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Topics - Second Air Force

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Aircraft Modeling / Luftwaffe Mustang
« on: November 25, 2013, 02:32:09 AM »
Here's an old 1/48 Monogram P-51B that's been unbuilt in my collection for twenty odd years. I pulled it out last week to make some room and decided to put it together for "old-time sake". This is another of those old Monogram kits I built as a child and I still like building it, even if it has raised panel lines. For fun I built the first known P-51B made airworthy and evaluated by the Luftwaffe. Nothing but out-of-the-box here and some spares box decals. Very relaxing for me! :-cool

Combat Warplanes / Warplane No. 06 B-58 Hustler
« on: November 19, 2013, 12:33:31 AM »
Here is a short review of the latest book from the Violaero series, Warplane No.06 Convair B-58 Hustler.

Authored by our own Nico Braas, this latest volume in the Warplane series is a great addition for anyone's library, but especially for those who are keen on learning more about the delta-winged B-58. The book is 48 pages plus covers packed with photos, many of which I have never seen before, and great text to go with the photos. Additionally there are a number of great profiles by Srecko Bradic and several technical drawings of the airplane and its component parts. The coverage Nico gives of the development aircraft is excellent, as is his description of the various weapons/fuel pods that could be carried by the Hustler.

In addition to normal operational use of the B-58, a section is devoted to the "dark side" of B-58 ops, the many accidents that occurred during its short service life. This was a supremely demanding machine and had an accordingly high accident rate--I think this is the most complete listing of the accident airplanes and their crews.

Also, as is usual with the format Nico employs, he gives us a current listing of the still-existing airframes and their locations.

I can't write this review without relating a short talk I had with a former B-58 pilot a number of years ago. He told me he never let down his guard when flying a B-58 and didn't know if he'd do it again if the opportunity arose. I asked him why he transitioned from his other flying assignment (B-47s) to the B-58 and he grinned........"Heck, I wouldn't have ever passed up the hottest thing in SAC when it was offered!"

This is a great book and I can't recommend it too highly! You can get your copy here:

Many thanks to Lanasta and Nico Braas for this review sample.

P.S. I apologize to the publisher and author for the lack of photos here--my camera is currently being repaired...... :-wall :-red

Aircraft Modeling / Hasegawa P-38F 1/48
« on: October 20, 2013, 03:55:15 PM »
In my ongoing quest to "clean up" the backlog of partially started kits in my collection I've decided to begin work again on this P-38. It is the old Hasegawa E/F/G/H kit from the 1990s. I picked this one up at a hobby shop when we lived in Texas and paid less than half price for it because someone returned it complaining of a "warped wing". This problem was quickly fixed when I got it and then the whole thing was placed in storage until a few weeks ago.

When I fixed the wing issue in 1995 I also assembled the two booms. My current start began with the cockpit and central pod:

I'm planning on markings for a P-38F that my father photographed in North Africa when he was getting a haircut at an Allied desert airstrip.

Aircraft Modeling / Tomahawks In 1/48
« on: October 11, 2013, 03:01:41 AM »
Here are a pair of old Monogram Tomahawk kits that I've had in storage since the 1980s. Finally it is time to pull these two out and do something with them!

First step was to pull all the parts out of the box and take inventory. It turns out that everything is there except one set of gunsight posts. Then it was down to starting the build again. I'd started one of these when the kit was new in 1985 or so. I'll be adding a resin cockpit on both:

Aircraft Modeling / Gloster Gladiator 1/48
« on: September 24, 2013, 11:53:05 PM »
Time to start a new topic on one of the last biplane fighters, the Gladiator. I've had a very old Inpact kit on the shelf for some time and will also build the more "modern" Roden kit in parallel. My intention is to build both kits at the same time.

First a couple of photos of what I've got to start with:

The instruction sheets give an idea of each kit's complexity--the Inpact is one sheet printed on both sides, the Roden takes 13 pages!

The parts sprues (many parts are already removed but you see the idea) with Roden on left of photo and Inpact on right:

The fuselage halves:

The builds are under way, more later! :-flo

Aircraft Modeling / Hobbycraft P-35 1/48
« on: September 23, 2013, 11:07:53 PM »
Here is an old Hobbycraft P-35 kit that I started many years ago. I remember purchasing this when I was still building automobile models, so it was partially finished for a LONG time.

I had always wanted to build this as a field-camouflaged airplane rather than NMF but one thing stopped me--the squadron's Indian brave insignia. So, for many years, this laid in its box until Daniel sent me the MustHave Curtiss Hawk kit. The great decal sheet in this kit had exactly the decals I needed!!! It seems that the U.S. 94th Pursuit Squadron "borrowed" the insignia of the French GC II/5. So, with these in hand, I sprayed ModelMaster aluminum where the numerals and Indians went, then camouflaged the airplane in the temporary camouflage colors used at the North Carolina War Games in 1940.

This is a fun little kit to build but does have some inaccuracies that need to be corrected. There are numerous build reviews on the web that go into the corrections. The thing that took the longest to accomplish on my model was the antenna wire rigging--there are so many wires it is almost like rigging a sailing ship!!

Aircraft Modeling / Airfix Spitfire Mk.I 1/48
« on: September 09, 2013, 06:31:59 AM »
Last week I was tempted to purchase this Airfix Spitfire kit, with hopes that it might be as enjoyable to build as the Bf 109E they produce.

After spending some time with this model, I found that this is not quite as much fun as the Emil....... The surface engraving and basic details are nice but the trailing edges of the wings and tail surfaces are quite thick. It isn't that hard to thin these by filing and sanding, so all is not lost. I spent a few hours (waiting on the clear gloss to dry on the Eduard Mk.IX project ;)) fitting the wing sections together and thinning the flaps also. Next was to do the same to the rudder until it was thinned to a proper dimension. Next was to do a bit of cockpit painting. The transparent parts of this kit are really quite thick and it was decided to build it with the canopy closed, so detail inside is somewhat basic:

More will happen on this one as time permits!

Aircraft Modeling / Eduard Royal Class Spitfire IX
« on: August 22, 2013, 07:57:50 PM »
Here is a new thread to work in parallel with Daniel's Eduard Spitfire project. This is the Royal Class kit, as you can see. This comes with two complete kits, photoetch details, photoetch flaps, and Brassin wheels and beer kegs. Also included is a nice crystal beer glass and coaster!

On to the start of the build. First I decided to drill out the prominent lightening holes in the cockpit bellframes that are visible:

Next all of the cockpit sub-assemblies were worked on with the goal of painting the interior green in the next couple of days. The photoetch armor behind the pilot seat and headrest are very nice touches:

More later!

Ground Forces / Brengun 1/48 Tool Set
« on: August 16, 2013, 06:42:08 PM »
Another great new product from Brengun! This tool set is not only very comprehensive, with many different sizes and styles of hand-wrenches, but it also includes two tool trays, hacksaws and larger timber saws. It's also very simple to complete. Only two pieces need to be truly assembled, this being the two tote-trays. Simply bend them along the indented lines and add a piece of .020 styrene rod for the handles. Handles from the same material are also added to the two crosscut saws. Other than that, the balance of the project is to simply paint the tools in the desired color and trim them from the base fret.

This will add much to any mechanical diorama--highly recommended!! Thanks to Brengun for the review kit and No.1 for posting it!

Ground Forces / Brengun Pierced Steel Planking 1/48
« on: August 16, 2013, 05:40:34 PM »
Here is a short review of a very useful kit from our friends at Brengun, pierced steel planking in 1/48 scale.

As we all know, the U.S. stamped out millions upon millions of feet of Marston Matting during WWII and this material is still in use to this day. In fact, not too many miles from our home, there is a bit of PSP in use on a ranch as fencing material.

Brengun has photoetched some really nice Marston mat and the photos tell the story--very easy to use on your next display!

I painted mine in dark olive drab. The original samples I've examined all have evidence of O.D. paint. I then simply gave the planks some shine with ground pencil lead and silver Prisma-color pencil material.

I really like this product a lot, but it will take several packages to make a parking revetment surface for a fighter. Highly recommended!!! :-clap :-clap :-clap Special thanks to No.1 for sending this, and to Brengun for the review sample.

Aircraft Modeling / Eduard Avia B-534 Serie III
« on: July 22, 2013, 04:56:24 AM »
It's time I finally start on this beautiful Weekend Edition B-534. A great kit this is, even without the etched parts!

First up was to open up the exhaust stacks. First they were drilled out and then the oval openings slowly filed on each fuselage half:

Aircraft Modeling / Operation Torch Wildcat
« on: July 07, 2013, 04:16:40 PM »
For some time now I've been wanting to build aircraft from both sides of the invasion of North Africa, Operation Torch. As y'all know, my father was a member of the Allied armies during this campaign and he often spoke of the various airplanes that he heard and saw.

My first project will be this Tamiya F4F-4 in markings of either U.S.S. Ranger or U.S.S. Santee. This is my first build of this kit and it looks pretty nice right out of the box.

One modification is required, to cut out the sides of the cockpit floor. These earlier Wildcats had windows in the belly to allow the pilot to see below:

After fixing the floor the main elements received their paint, bronze green for the cockpit and Grumman grey for the accessory section and wheelwells:

Aircraft Modeling / 1/48 Eduard USAAF Fabric Seat Belts
« on: June 05, 2013, 03:49:28 AM »
Here is another new item from Eduard, #49060, USAAF Seatbelt.

This is made with a fabric fret and the buckles on a photoetch sheet. Assembly goes the same as the Luftwaffe set I reviewed in an earlier topic here: Since assembly is much the same I'll let the viewer look at the earlier thread for some details. The end product is quite nice and I highly recommend this! (I apologize for the harness not being fully attached to the seat. I haven't got a U.S. machine far enough along in build status to fix the harness to. This P-38 seat was the best I could find!)

Aircraft Modeling / Bf 109E/Luftwaffe Tool Set by Eduard
« on: June 04, 2013, 03:13:37 AM »
Once again, our good friends at Eduard have gone "above and beyond" with this new PE Luftwaffe tool set in 1/48 scale. Really there is nothing much that can be said with words that pictures don't tell us more! Not only hand tools and special tools, but the toolboxes and "shadow boards" for storage of the tools is included here. Being an aircraft mechanic makes this set even better for me--I know what most of them are for! :-ok

First an overview:

Close-up of some of the tools:

Instruction sheet:

I may not have time to build this set for some time, but I assure you it will be a great addition to a Bf 109 diorama I'm planning! Many thanks to Eduard for producing this and No.1 for sending it to me for review.

Aircraft Modeling / Eduard 1/48 P&W R-2800-10
« on: May 12, 2013, 05:14:08 AM »
Courtesy of Eduard (and No.1 for sending the kit to me) the new R-2800 engine kit will be reviewed here. This is specifically engineered for the Eduard F6F Hellcat line of kits but could easily be adapted to other manufacturers models as well.

Typical of Eduard products, the kit comes carefully packed in a sturdy box with lots of foam padding and a nice instruction booklet:

Here are all the resin parts unpacked and the second photo shows the PE fret:

Following along with the start of the build, I removed the pour stubs from the various parts and then cleaned up the remaining flash, which is quite minimal with the casting method used. The cylinders were left on the pour blocks for ease of painting and I'll cut them off just before installing them. Even the complex exhaust stacks were easier to prepare than I had thought they would be:

The final step this evening was to trim the VERY thin cowling sections from their pour blocks and then remove the appropriate sections from the kit cowling. This cowling is a left-over part from the Eduard Hellcat I recently built so it's being modified for this engine project:

Next will be to start painting!

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