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About 11bee

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    Darth W3rd

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  1. Stumbled upon a very interesting (and disturbing) article about the December 2018 mid-air between a Marine F/A-18D and a KC-130. Heartbreaking and quite honestly disgusting that this was allowed to happen. If it wasn't so tragic, it would almost comical how bad thing were with regard to poor leadership, morale, staffing, equipment, training, etc. https://www.propublica.org/article/marines-hornet-squadron-242-crash-pacific-resilard
  2. Napalm tanks are pretty much done, except for a flat coat, which should tie everything together a bit more. Truly hideous looking but given the pics of the real things above, I'm pretty content. Certainly not something you see on every model and that's the point! Next up in my quest to avoid having to fix the canopy are the HVAR's. These were powerful weapons. As the name implies, they were very high velocity rockets (which made aiming pretty straightforward), each furnished with a 5" HE warhead. Bottom line is that 6 of these would have the same effect as a full salvo from a destroyer's main guns. Introduced late in WW2, these were pretty much standard on every Mustang mission in Korea and hung around in US service until early in the Vietnam war. A quick note before I proceed. These HVAR's are not included in any current Tamiya kit (although will certainly be in the upcoming F-51D). Fellow LSP'er Dennisd7423 graciously donated the HVAR's that came with his Tamiya F4U-1D kit. I can't thank you enough Dennis, this project would be dead in the water without these. These require a bit of work. In a very un-Tamiya like move, each rocket body has two ejector marks as does each tail fin. You are going to spend some time sanding here. After cleaning them up and assembling, it was time for painting and decals. These were only painted in one scheme, a metallic grey rocket motor and fins with a OD warheads and bare steel fuzes. That being said, there seemed to be a bit of variation in the colors. I added a bit more green to my OD mix for a couple of the warheads, not sure it really shows in the pics below but it's there. After that, I shot the rockets with X-22 gloss and added the kit decals. A last note on decals - Just about every model I've seen that has HVAR's shows the markings on each rocket's warhead and motor in perfect alignment. This is not accurate. The motors and warheads were screwed together in the field, prior to being loaded on the aircraft, the loading lugs were then also attached. The bottom line is that each rocket's markings were positioned differently from the one next to it. Still need to touch up some of the paintwork and flat coat the rockets. I also need to add the PE rocket exhaust and the igniter lead that runs from the back of the motor to the rear pylon. After that, a bit of weathering since they were assembled assembly line style in the dirt. Once done, they will hopefully look like this: Note the igniter leads hanging off the back of the rocket motors. As a safety measure, these were connected to the aircraft just prior to take off. I really like this picture, it sums up the F-51D in Korea. Horrible weather conditions and working so hard there is no time to keep the aircraft clean. Look at all that grunge (and the underside black stripe that seemed to be much more commonly applied than previously thought). I honestly have no idea how I'm going to replicate this. Thanks for all the great feedback and as always, thanks for looking!
  3. X-22 is the schznit! I'll never go back to Future again.
  4. Yes it will. I swore off -109's ages ago but should T release one, I will join the rest of the lemmings and queue up to buy one. Tamiya's large scale stuff is just that good. Heck, if they offered up a 1/32 kit of some dog poop, I'd probably end up buying it.
  5. Hoping we see a new large scale subject from Tamiya. At minimum their new F51D but ideally a brand new subject.
  6. I started by adding some dents to these tanks. Again, some tanks were pristine, others were heavily banged up (as you can see above, no care was taken to protect these during the filling process). I then sprayed each tank matt aluminum, added a bit of hairspray and then shot them with a thin, variable coat of Yellow Zinc Chromate. I then used the good ole hairspray method to replicate a bit of wear and tear. After that, I applied some black and brown pastels: After that had set up, I went about trying to replicate the nasty crap that got spilled over these tanks during the filling process. As best I can tell, they filled the tanks with a mix of dyed, jellied gasoline and a white powder. I had some real issues trying to replicate the white powder. I used white pastels and even flour. Neither would adhere very well, even when used in conjunction with various mediums. I then used my 8-year old daughter's water color paint for the red spillage (thanks Brooke!). I also added the front and rear igniters. These will eventually be safety wired to the pylons. So at that point, I wasn't completely happy with the look. I didn't think it was as close to the pics above as I wanted, plus the red "goo" was a bit too glossy. I went back to the workbench and made a mix of orange / red water paint (thanks again Brooke) and flour to replicate the clumpyness of this liquid. Got this tip from a kind gent on ARC! I also went heavier on the orange tint this time. I added this new mix to some of the stained area. I then applied some acrylic flat white to the fronts of the tanks. I'm much happier with the results. The reddish stains are still too shiny but I'll be spraying these tanks with flat later to seal everything in. Only issue is that I don't have time right now to take any pics. I'll get something posted in a bit. That's it for now, tanks for looking!
  7. Two updates in a single day! Wife and young daughter are out for the day so I'm much more productive than usual (which really doesn't say much). I tend to put off unpleasant tasks for as long as possible. In order to complete the fuselage and paint it, I need to sand the seam off the canopy, which is a PITA. As such, I'm going to be working on the ordinance for a while. First up are the napalm tanks. This rather horrific weapon was pretty much a standard fit during the war, with 500 lb GP bombs a distant second. Plenty of info on the thread I posted on in the Aviation forum for those interested. Bottom line is - these tanks came in a wide range of colors and conditions, from clean natural metal, to immaculate bright yellow to really nasty, dirty shades of yellow or ZYC. Here are a couple of pictures to demonstrate how gross these tanks could get: I've got confirmation that the primary napalm tanks used by F-51's were the 110 gal version (although the smaller 75's were also used at times). The kit ones are really nice. I simply added the "can" that was tack-welded to the aft left side of the tanks. This can held one of the two igniters used on these tanks. The other was installed on the fuel tank filler cap. Here is a nice picture (courtesy of "Tourist") that shows the "kit" used to convert these drop tanks into napalm bombs:
  8. That's really interesting, I thought almost all the VLR missions were escort and only after the bombs dropped did they go down for a bit of strafing. Does he happen to know if his aircraft were fitted with HVAR's at any point? Those were tough missions, he's got my full respect. Long time in the cockpit and having to bail out if hit over Japan was only slightly better than having to bail out in the middle of the Pacific ocean, hundreds of miles from any land.
  9. Great info. I know that by the end of the war in Europe, G-suits were pretty common, figured they would be present in the Pacific by mid-45 as well. That's a great picture of your buddy BTW.
  10. BTW, whilst on the subjects of these tanks, if anyone is interested, here are a couple of pics that show has nasty these things got: Not exactly a state of the art production line... Great weathering opportunities abound.
  11. So I've painted a few sections of the model. As mentioned above, I'm pretty content with AK Extreme Matt Aluminum. Can't add much except that the paints go on very thinly, I don't see a lot of grain in the applied paint (unlike Modelmaster flat aluminum, which had a pretty rough finish which is too bad because otherwise, I loved the color tone). Only issue with AK's stuff is that they stink! Definitively recommend a paint booth or at minimum, a respirator! Here are a few pictures of the wing. A couple of notes - I take pics using natural light. It's been cloudy and overcast for the last few days so the tone shown in these pics is a bit off from the real thing. That being said, to me it looks good. It definitely doesn't have the shiny metallic look of bare aluminum which I was trying to avoid. Even pics of the real thing, show changes in the tone based on light conditions, etc. Note - the leading edge panel above is press-fitted in place so don't mid the gaps and I managed to get some overspray on the black panel around the MG's. I'll get it cleaned up. The MG's and .50 cal ammo are also works in progress still. Much more to be done for those bits. I also added the black panels that (as far as I can tell) where simply added to hide all the soot and grime that was generated by those MG's being fired 3-4 times per day. I posted a thread on this over in the LSP Aviation forum in case any one is interested. Prior this kit, I never knew how wide spread these panels were on Korean War F-51's. Lastly, for those that are thinking of using other AK Extreme paints for this application, I test shot their Dark Aluminum and Aluminum paints and can say that they are very shiny. I probably wouldn't use them on a weatherbeaten subject without toning them down a bit. As a quick example, the leading edge of the Mustang's flaps was left in natural metal when they were painted overall aluminum lacquer. I painted my kit flaps leading edge using AK's regular Aluminum, hopefully you can see the difference between this stuff and my custom mix of Matt Aluminum. I think if I was going for a weather-beaten NMF finish, I'd stick to Matt Aluminum with a few drops of other colors added for some tonal variety. Again, it's really hard to get good pics of the finish on a gloomy day. Hope these suffice for now. Thanks for looking!
  12. Good idea... I tried using flour and white pastels, they really didn't adhear very well even using various mediums to assist. However, I like the idea of adding it to the red to thicken things up. Thanks much!
  13. KS, thanks for all the good info. I'm intrigued about the Hellfire birds. Did they use the standard FLIR to designate the targets or something else? I have to ask - if you have any LB related pics that haven't made it to this site, I hope you'll consider sharing them with us. You and GT are goldmines of info on this previously very neglected subject. Thanks again for all your contributions. John
  14. "NA" tail code? Never seen that before. Which Air Wing is that?
  15. It got just as cold at 25,000 feet in the Pacific as it did in the ETO. By that time as well, I think all Mustang pilots would be wearing g-suits. Might want to check out the Osprey book on VLR Mustang Squadrons. Should be a bunch of pics that might help.
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