Sunday, March 3, 2013
We Actually Finished Something, A Couple of Early Scooters, and A Few 'Cobras,
Serving No Model Airplane Before Its Time
It's often said that the road to a warm and largely uncomfortable place is paved with good intentions, and we tend to believe that. We also tend to believe that it's our mission in life to infrequently complete a model airplane of some sort and show it to our long-suffering readership just to prove that we can, in point of fact, move something from a collection of tiny plastic pieces into a completed edifice in less time than the normal span of an adult human life. In other words, it can be done!
Today's polystyrene offering is an example of just that. We began this particular project six or seven months ago, and it's been sitting, mostly completed but without transparencies or final detailing, for five or six months---so near and yet so very far, as some folks are fond of saying. It could've sat a whole lot longer too, but we woke up this morning (Sunday, to be exact) in a Finish Something kind of mood. The airplane you're about to see was closest to completion, so it's what we snagged and commenced to work on.
We've been experiencing a severe bout of Modeler's Lethargy of late, and haven't done much of anything with plastic as a result. If we'd just sat down and worked on this model it probably would have taken a grand total of twelve or fifteen hours to complete---once you've built a couple of the Hasegawa 109F or G kits you can pretty well do them in your sleep---which made this a nice, easy and relatively pain-free way to get a few of our chops back. It was, as we're somewhat fond of saying around here, an easy date.
One more thing before we go; we happen to like those 109Fs and Gs and were, at least until recently, picking up every discounted Hasegawa kit of same that we could find. We've recently stopped doing that, preferring instead to await the arrival of Eduard's recently-promised late variant 109 family. If those kits are anything like their 109Es they'll be a knockout, and we can barely wait! Life is good if you're a fan of Herr Willy's progeny...
Tinker Toys in the Med
If you've been with us for any length of time at all you'll remember Frank Garcia, a friend of ours who spent his hitch in the NAV helping man the V2 divisions of the FDR and the ShangriLa. We've run a handful of Frank's black and white photography in the past, but had forgotten we'd duped a few of his color shots too. Today's as good a day as any to run a couple of them so without further ado...
firstname.lastname@example.org .) Note the Light Gull Grey rudder on this bird, not the norm in 1960 but not that unusual either. Frank Garcia
In our world these two images raise more questions than they answer. Rick? Tommy? Jan? Where are you guys? (Or anybody else who feels inclined to make us smarter than we really are!) You know the address!
Back in the Bad Old Days
The 35th Fighter Group was one of the early players in New Guinea, fighting it out in the heat, mud, and rain during the Bad Old Days of 1942. Reader Jonathan Watson recently contacted us with a correction to a photo caption, which in turn led to our request for more photography. Johnathan graciously obliged with the images you're about to see.
Many thanks to Johnathan for these remarkable images. We'll be seeing more from his collection in oncoming editions so stay tuned!
It's been a while since we've done anything with this part of the blog so it must surely be time! Rick Morgan spent his entire naval career as an aviator, both as an NFO and as a pilot. This photo was taken during his days as a Prowler ECMO and captures a side of NavAir few of us ever see.
The Relief Tube
All of you who've been with us for more than a few months have probably noticed that our last couple of issues have been less lengthy than is our norm. It's not a change, but rather a reflection of our sincere desire to get this project back on some sort of schedule again. The extended photo essays are still part of The Plan (as much as that concept ever applies around here) and will be back before you know it, but today's edition is another truncated one. We hope you'll understand and bear with us while everything gets sorted out again.
Now let's get down to Brass Tacks. First on deck is a photo provided to us by Ron Picciani of an F-86L that may be familiar to you, since we ran a far more cluttered shot of it a couple of years ago. Ron was kind enough to send a different, non-air show view of the aircraft to share with us:
That "Scooter" we took at Bergstrom back in The Day elicited a couple of comments since we managed, with the very best of intentions, to mis-identify the squadron and the background of that blue Zoom Bag. Let's get started with a comment from Jan Jacobs:
Just a couple of comments on the A-4E in adversary markings. The aircraft has an "AD" tail code, so it's not VF-126 and is probably VA-45 instead. Also, the dark blue flight suits were available in the supply system and were actually U.S. Navy issue. Not many squadrons had them, but a few did. Jan Jacobs F-4/F-14 RIO (USN/USNR 1972-87) Managing Editor, The Hook magazine (1989-2011)
Jan wasn't the only one to notice our clanger, though:
Hi Phil, A couple of comments on your A-4 photo. The tail code on the airplane is 'AD', so the airplane was most likely from VF-43 or VF-45, I believe. Of course, it could have 'changed hands' to VA-126 and they hadn't gotten around to putting on the tail code 'NJ' yet. As for the non-military zoom bag, I think it is a military issue flight suit. Around that time there were blue, Nomex flight suits available, although we usually got the green ones. My squadron, VF-213, issued each member a blue one, since it was our squadron color. Anyway, it was a military issue flight suit. So maybe the driver in the photo is a former Black Lion, or maybe that squadron also went with blue for awhile. Keep up the good work. Kolin
And finally, a correction from Gerry Asher regarding what should have been the Cleveland Air Races last issue!
Phil - I enjoyed the "Where does it go" editorial - definite food for thought. I knew Dave Menard - spoke with him just a week or so before his death - and in his case, I am pretty sure he had his stuff pre-figured for somebody. Tex Johnston's "Cobra II" looked sweet - but if you haven't been bombarded already, "Reno" is anachronous to this period of air racer - everything revolved around Cleveland up through 1949, except for the intermission for WWII... All my best, Gerry
Please remember that we're still collecting photos of F-100 models, any scale, any time period, to incorporate into a special Dave Menard tribute issue somewhere down the road. We're also accepting photos of the real airplane, if you'd like to contribute. It's the same old address we always ask you to use: email@example.com , so please get in touch if you'd like to join in.
Thanks for your kindness and for your patience while we once again get things sorted out. Be good to your neighbor and we'll meet again soon.