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Quixote74

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  1. I've never used Testors' Fulcrum grays so I can't say this definitively, but my understanding is they are a close match to the colors used on the MiG-29s that appeared at the 1988 Farnborough Airshow - the first time most Westerners had a chance to see the type up close and in clear daylight. From the modeler's assessments of the Farnborough MiGs (supported by the excellent photos published in a multitude of sources), the light gray was close to FS36440 and the darker color was a gray-green approximated by FS34233. While Testors marketed Fulcrum gray and gray-green in the Model Master line to match these colors, it's notable that the colors were clearly fresh paint on the company's demonstration aircraft. Photos of MiG-29s in regular service frequently show heavy weathering (akin to typical USN/USMC types well into a cruise). Regardless of weathering, the light gray color on service aircraft seems to rarely, if ever, be a close match to FS36440 (aka Light Gull Gray, best known as the gray in USN "high viz" schemes and later overall gray on F-14s before the adoption of multi-tone TPS grays). The actual color usually shows a cool, bluish cast, very much like light ghost gray (FS36375). I've seen several well-researched Fulcrum aftermarket decal sheets recommend FS36375 or FS36373 as the base color. Somewhat strangely, the darker color doesn't seem to vary as much from the demonstrators, and FS34233 is at least a good starting point for the darker gray color seen in most photos. As for "scale effect," I believe it's a real phenomenon (or visual impression), but I tend to take it "case by case" as to whether or not I try to match the full scale 1:1 color (and reference standards such as a FS 595 chip). Using lighter than the official colors sometimes seems necessary to match my impression of what a model "should" look like, based on photos or in many cases seeing the real thing. But you can go nuts trying to formulate consistent mixes vs "out of the bottle" colors, so in most cases I'm happy to use an FS matched color as-is (or take artistic license if something lighter seems appropriate).
  2. You may have the key to answering your question in the information you already posted. "AFC 233" is a technical document issued by the governing authority to direct all operating units to implement the technical revisions it describes (AFC = AirFrame Change). If you know that AFC number was the one that removed the PDIs, confirming when it was issued will tell you at least a "start date" for the change. Depending on their urgency and various other factors, an AFC may take years to be adopted fleetwide, so you probably won't be able to know exactly when the last PDIs were removed.
  3. The only Su-27UB (or Flanker of any variant) that I know of having a single-color scheme is RF-92431, a Russian Air Force two-seater in overall charcoal gray: Su-27UB RF-92431 You didn't specify a scale - I'm not sure about 1/48 options, but I know in 1/72 Begemot does generic Russian markings sheets that cover the new-style insignia, registration serials, and BBC (VVS) titles. The "bort number" should be easy enough to scrounge from other Flanker or generic sheets. If you're just looking for a Flanker scheme that doesn't involve a complex 3+ color camouflage, China's PLAAF is probably the best place to look (overall medium gray over light gray, with dark gray radome & antennae).
  4. It's not entirely clear from your text and image which plane you're asking about having a bulkhead, but a google image search for "B-52H TF-33" should turn up quite a few results showing the BUFF's engines from various angles and in various states of disassembly. One article on a B-52H that lost her No. 3 engine in flight includes a shot of the remaining nacelle and should cover what you need: B-52H Engine Loss
  5. By "undersized" is the primary concern height, width, or both? If height only, you can add sheet styrene risers to add wjat you need without it being obvious (conceptually this could represent the adjustable height on the real seats). The only aftermarket ESCAPACs I have are True Details and Aeroclub, both of which are very similar in size. In addition to Pavla, Neomega also did them, but I have no idea about any dimensional differences. Quickboost also does an ESCAPAC seat, although only one per package and labeled only as a "Skyhawk ejection seat." Quickboost 1/72 A-4 Ejection Seat I believe other cockpit sets from the sister brand Aires also include ESCAPACs (notably the early A-7 set) but no idea if they're any different from the standalone Quickboost part. If nothing aftermarket fits your size or budget needs, have you considered detailing the kit seats or a pair from another kit (esp. if slated for aftermarket replacements)? All things considered the ESCAPAC is a pretty simple design, and since it was used in so many types there's a wide selection of kits that could provide a basis for scratch-detailing.
  6. No worriesx it's far too easy to confuse things when dealing with "acronym soup" of modern military designations. I'm reasonably sure that during Desert Storm "dumb" ordnance (slicks or CBUs) was only loaded in singles direct to the pylons, TERs were not used on the A-10. I can't say for sure about the Mavericks, but single-rail mounts were at least the most common configuration. The link below gives a rundown of the typical loads used: DSTORM.EU - A-10 load tables The Modern Hog Guide can probably help you with more modern combat loads such as the A-10C may carry.
  7. I'm not an expert on 1/32 but from the product numbers you quoted I think you're confusing the Multiple Ejector Rack (MER) 632102 and the Triple Ejector Rack (TER) 632103. Both of these were developed around the early Vietnam war to allow several bombs to be carried on a single pylon, the main difference being the MER has a total of six mounting points vs. the TER only three (hence the name). In overly simplified terms, a MER is similar to two TERs connected front to back in tandem. As far as your model A-10 goes, are you looking to show off a realistic warload, or do you want to show an "airshow load" - an unrealistically heavy/diverse range of weapons that the plane may technically have been able to carry, but which wouldn't be seen in "real world" conditions due to weight restrictions, mission requirements, and other technical considerations. The MERs were cleared for use on the A-10 but rarely if ever seen operationally since the A-10 isn't really meant as a "bomb truck." A normal MER load would be six Mk 82 (nominal 500 lb) "slick" bombs, aka Low Drag General Purpose (LDGP). The TER is slightly more plausible, and might carry Mk 82, cluster bombs (Mk 20 Rockeye, CBU-87, etc) or theoretically 500 lb class guided munitions like GBU-12 Paveway or JDAM (GBU-38 IIRC). But in practice the A-10 usually only carries one weapon per pylon - leaving some empty to maintain reasonable range without external fuel. As for Maverick missiles (AGM-65), these need a launch rail and cannot be mounted on a TER or MER. When the A-10 first entered service the Mavericks had dedicated triple-rail launchers (two missiles with a third below, similar to a TER). It was found that using the inboard launch rails the AGM-65's exhaust potentially damaged the adjacent landing gear sponson and wing. This led in some cases to the inboard missiles being left off and the remaining pair carried in "slant two" configuration (top outboard + bottom rails). But as with the other ordnance, single launch rail + missile per pylon became the most common configuration.
  8. The Aerofax book covers most of that info (with obvious exception of the post-1990 updates). I skimmed that and a couple of other references in my library to compile that list and verify approximate dates. Probably in part because of its unprecdented longevity, there isn't a single comprehensive "modeler's bible" on the the B-52, but in addition to the Aerofax book I can also recommend the DACO walkaround book (which mainly covers the post-SAC era aircraft): DACO Uncovering the B-52H
  9. I can second @Gator52's suggestion of the Datagraph, but note that since the H-models have now been in service some 60(!!!) years, there are actually a few different phases of service that could be called "early" or "late." For the most part the major airframe changes correspond to three basic eras: Service Entry : Features of the H include: - "short" vertical tail (same as G) - Extended nose radome (same as G) - Unmanned tail - TF-33 turbofan engines - M61 Vulcan tail cannon (vs 4x .50 cal turret common to previous variants) Avionics Upgrades (circa 1972 - 1978): - Electro-optical Viewing System (EVS) added - pair of bulged "chin" fairings below nose - Phase VI ECM upgrades - various "bulged" antennae throughout airframe, including nose and tail - Tail extension - 40" constant section plug added between aft fuselage and gun turret (part of Phase VI ECM) Post-SAC era (circa 1992 - present): - M61 tail cannon removed ("Bobbitized"), replaced with flat plates with circular perforations ("cheese grater") to equalize pressure - New lateral "bulged" antennae at fuselage sides, roughly above aft wjeel wells The Datagraph doesn't cover the post-SAC mods as it was published in 1990.
  10. I doubt anyone's ever done a dedicated aftermarket sheet for the FSD birds, but several of the early gray schemes had only basic serial numbers on the tail and basic stencils you could probably use from the kit sheet. There are some interesting variations on the gray schemes before they settled on the "Hill Gray" pattern, take a browse through F-16.net and see if something grabs you: YF-16 and FSD photo album
  11. The Hasegawa 1/32 F-16A is based on the Full-Scale Development (FSD) airframe, so there are several detail differences from a production F-16A. The shape of both the wing and centerline fuel tanks are radically different from the versions used in service. It might be possible to modify the wing tanks to the new style, but the centerline tank has a completely different shape from the early variant. The other most notable difference is the ejection seat, which in the FSD airframes was the Stencel, whereas production aircraft had the ACES II. The web archive version of the late, lamented Habu F-16 database describes the various updates made to each Hasegawa release over the years: Habu site (archive) - Hasegawa 1/32 Aftermarket ACES II seats are fairly common, you may also try finding a full cockpit set (though one for the Hasegawa A may be hard to find). I'm not sure of an aftermarket source for the tanks, but if you need them you might look for spares from F-16C kits from Tamiya, Academy, or even the later tooling of Revell's F-16C/N. What decals are you planning to use? Depending on the operator and the timeframe, there were several minor changes made to the airframes over time that you may want to include in your build.
  12. Closest potential matches that I know of are both from Tamiya - as mentioned above, AS-7 "Neutral Gray" is a WWII USAAF color, and AS-32 "Medium Sea Gray (2)" is a postwar RAF color. I haven't tested either to confirm, but AS-32 is probably the closest in Tamiya's line. Note that there is also an AS-11 "Medium Sea Gray" (no number suffix), but this represents the WWII RAF color, which is closer to FS36440 aka Light Gull Gray, so much too light for your need. Since just about every paint line includes at least one gray color, you may want to browse your local craft and/or hardware (DIY, bot sure the UK term) stores for spray paints and do some test sprays to find the best match/substitute. Depending on the brand the control and pigment grain may not be as good as hobby paints, but I'm sure they'll be much cheaper than Tamiya's range.
  13. Ok, sounds like the color selections you're using should be good but the problem you're having is the same AS number paints not matching from one can to the next? I don't know how consistent Tamiya paints are, but this is the first time I've heard of a problem. Is it possible you're comparing a fresh color coat to one that has had weathering or clear coat(s) applied? Even a matte clear layer over an already matte finish can change the appearance of the color (same for gloss, or a mix of the two). Worth remembering that a *slight* variation in the "same" FS colors is actually realistic, since some variation occurs in reality (e.g. different paint batches, touch-ups over weathered paint, etc). As far as alternative spray paints, unfortunately no other hobby paint I'm aware of matches to any of the TPS colors so even if there is some slight inconsistency within Tamiya's line it's the closest thing you can get without a custom paint order.
  14. Not sure what makes you think the protoype seat in your link isn't an ESCAPAC. The key identification feature to me is the headrest shape: on the 105 this has a rounded top and the headrest "cushion" is a single material/finish. On the ESCAPAC the top of the headrest is squared off, and there are two vertical pads with a gap between the two (the single loop face curtain handle is also a feature of most ESCAPAC seats, but I believe some did not have this feature so its absence isn't definitive for ID). I found this shot of 71-1369 dated 1972 which seems to show the ESCAPAC headrest more clearly. First flight was May 10, 1972 so it seems unlikely they would have changed the seat that early since the ESCAPAC was already widely used in multiple airframes at that time. http://www.air-and-space.com/19720517 EDW/19720517 EDW 19 A-10A 71-1369 right front l.jpg
  15. Not sure what doesn't make sense, I specifically mentioned AS-7 above, which is the "neutral gray" in Tamiya's line. That color is meant to match the WWiI USAAF underside gray, which is similar to but not a precise match for FS36270. Tamiya did not release an AS spray to specifically match 36270 until their 1/32 F-16s hit the market, specifically AS-28 (which they call "medium gray"). Unfortunately Tamiya has never labeled their paints by FS 595 match (which is only applicable for some colors anyway). Matching Tamiya's AS line to the appropriate FS colors takes some educated deduction based on the paint schemes/aircraft types Tamiya intended to match (e.g. releasing AS-27 Gunship Gray (2) and AS-28 for the F-16. Making better sense of this is one of the goals of the paint tests I mentioned are in progress. Since there are officially* no names for FS colors, different paint manufacturers sometimes use the same name for very different colors. For example, Tamiya's AS-28 "Medium Gray" is FS 36270, whereas "Medium Gray" in the Testors/Model Master line is FS35237 blue-gray. The best way to match color for color is to find labeled FS matches whenever possible, and stay within a single paint line as much as you can. *FS595 is basically a color matching standard that refers to each color by a 5-digit code rather than a name. Some of these colors are modern versions of pre-FS595 standards that did have names (e.g. "Insignia Blue") while other colors that were first adopted under FS595 or its various updates have informal names that are commonly used in the hobbyist community (e.g. "Light Ghost Gray" is known as such because it was the lighter of two gray colors used in the F-15 Eagle scheme first developed as a result of Project Compass Ghost). Many of the commonly used "names" refer to the labels used in the Model Master line, since it was the first paint line that attempted to consistently match FS595 colors.
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