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Quixote74

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  1. I'd tend to rank the "new tool" Academy best value, even with its shortcomings. You can replace the dreadful exhausts with aftermarket and still have less invested than the GWH typical retails for. The later toolings of Hasegawa's Mudhen that added updated parts for a mostly accurate E (or derivatives) out of the box is also a solid choice. I have yet to see any previews, but Revell Germany has announced an all-new tooling of the F-15E in 1/72 for late 2021. If it gets the same team that did work like their F-16 family it could easily top this list (the "Son of Matchbox" quality o
  2. Castle (93rd BW) was at that time the B-52G 'schoolhouse' so it's likely they would have operated a couple of the Harpoon-capable airframes but not with any operational mission. Castle was also the only wing at the time that operated a mix of ALCM and non-ALCM Gs, again for training. All other G units operated one or the other, with the non-ALCM units given priority for conventional missions including antiship strike with the AGM-84s. My recollection is that Loring, ME (42nd BW) and Andersen, Guam (43rd CW) were the initial operational Harpoon units, essentially an "Atlantic" and "
  3. A lot of folks responding here seem to have been confused by the OP's term "late tail sections." There actually is only one aft fuselage/tail molding for the AMT B-52 family. It represents the late-Cold War G/H with (most of) the various Phase VI ECM mods, including the ALQ-153 warning blisters on the upper part of the vertical tail. The constant-section tail plug between the empennage and tail gun (part of Phase VI) is a separate two-part addition that can simply be omitted for earlier G/H models, but all the other "late tail" features will require mods to the plastic as @Gator52 noted.
  4. Normally that would be true, except as I pointed out, the AIM-9 on the wingtip is known to be FS36375, so it gives a baseline for relative comparison (in the same light conditions and overexposure). Unless you think somehow the airframe is overexposed but the missile is not? Bottom line is FS36307 is nowhere near the actual color (too dark and too "warm" a gray). Saving others some time, your links above reposted in "live" format: https://www.the-northrop-f-5-enthusiast-page.info/Pictures/USAF/00881SideA.jpg https://imgproc.airliners.net/photos/airliners/9/5
  5. I'm not certain of the exact FS color, but 36307 is definitely not it (despite Armycast's suggestion). In the photo below you can see what @Jay Chladek described as the "almost white" appearance of this color, but with a wingtip AIM-9 in the "known" color of FS36375. The airframe is clearly much lighter than light ghost gray. 36307 is a darker color than 36375, as well as being a significantly "warmer" gray, often having an almost beige/tan appearance. The FCM instructions (readable on their own site) call for FS36495: http://www.fcm.eti.br/48-33 Instruction1.jpg
  6. @Rob de Bie reading through the thread you linked, some of the posts seem to have been edited and possibly abridged. @kotey may have answered the question at the time, but if so it's not there anymore. It seems there was a "1955" version of the insignia and a "1973" (or possibly 1974) version, but I can't find any specifics on what the differences in these may be. My best guess from photos and what the Begemot 1955 instructions show is that the 1955-1973 version has a red/white border (only), while the 1973 version has a additional thin white outer border. The problem is those feat
  7. As @achterkirch noted, correct seat for a Desert Storm-era A-7E is the Stencel, the Corsair II never had NACES fitted. With all the detail differences, you might consider picking up an Italeri A-7E kit (or similar from AMT/Esci or Ace/Tsukuda) for the detail parts. Then you should pretty well have a complete D left over to build or sell/trade. If you're having difficulty finding the Fujimi A-7E, have you considered looking for the Testors boxing? This has the Fujimi plastic, probably with better decals and instructions. They actually reboxed both the D and E kits, though I seem t
  8. The TwoBobs sheet @kozlok mentioned actually includes three "Gamblers" F-16Cs, a squadron commander and line birds from Allied Force (1999) and Iraqi Freedom (2003). I may have an extra copy of this sheet (or at least spares of one of the options), so if you can't find it through other sources send me a PM. https://www.arcair.com/Rev1/501-600/Rev598-TwoBobs72033/00.shtm I got to see some of these birds in person at an airshow at Shaw in fall 2000, and can confirm that they wore the 2-color gray scheme at that time (36118 over 36270, no 36375).
  9. As @picknpluck noted, the Tomcat's gray over white used gloss versions of both schemes. The USN finish standards changed from matte to gloss light gull gray in 1971, so no F-14 wore the "mixed" scheme. To answer your original question, since it's best to apply decals to a gloss surface (which by definition is smoother), if your final scheme calls for a matte finish it's best to apply matte clear over the decals (depending how thick the decals are and how complicated you want to make things, a thin gloss clear coat *after* applying decals can help "blend in" the decals before the fi
  10. For 1/72 "out of the box," the Matchbox kit is closest to the prototype configuration. Unfortunately it's a typical Matchbox kit overall, crude or nonexistent detail and generally not a choice for "serious" modellers. I'm still in the early research stage for deciding if it's simpler to try to adapt parts from Matchbox as a conversion for the new-tool Academy or Hasegawa, vs modifying one of those much better kits essentially from scratch (pending any aftermarket conversion that might materialize). The major feature of the prototypes not in most kits is the shape of the fences and
  11. I'm reasonably sure it isn't a map of North Vietnam, mainly due to the lack of the southern "leg." My first semi-educated guess is it's a toilet (top 3/4 view). VA-25 famously dropped the "toilet bomb" on November 4, 1965 (the toilet itself even wearing a battle E!). The MiG kills were June of the same year, so the timing is about right. Are any of the photos with the unidentified mark dated pre-November '65?
  12. My two copies in 1/72 arrived yesterday, and my biggest obstacle will be deciding which option to build first. Detail and print quality is outstanding! Looks like the basic instructions cover some key points but I will have to do some more comparisons to work out the best kit (or mix thereof) to represent some of the prototypes' unique features. Probably a Matchbox kit or two in my future, along with a use for the recent Revell "Top Gun" reissue of the modified Snap-Tite tooling.
  13. Some partial answers, FWIW: 1) & 4) Can't verify color specs but they definitely wore walkways and other contemporary stenciling, in what seem to be contrasting colors of the base camo. This shot has a pretty clear view of the walkways: https://theaviationgeekclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/F-16N.jpg 2) & 3) Leading edges of the vertical (and I believe also horizontal) stabilizer were FS36270. Standard component delivered in the USAF Hill Gray color. Same applies for the vertical surface between the wing trailing and horizontal tail leading edges. I believe
  14. I think "reasonable" depends greatly on what part of the world you're in, and to a lesser extent how badly you want a given subject that the original manufacturers have neglected to reissue for give or take a decade. Outside the EU these reboxes are generally more expensive than the original makers' retail prices, but those have been moot for years. If the original makers won't reissue them I'd rather see Hobby 2000 do it than pay collector prices or go without. And Hobby 2000 is generally adding at least some premium to the mix, such as aftermarket quality decals and a mask set in case of
  15. I'm not able to access the early G boxing at the moment but my recollection is that all three AMT kits include the 40" tail "plug," which is molded separately. The plug was added on both G and H models as part of the Phase VI ECM upgrades, so you have to check references but generally any BUFF with EVS should have the tail extension. IIRC, the "bulges" on the sides of the vertical tail (ALQ-153 if memory serves) were part of the same Phase VI program but often installed later than the other external changes. I believe these are on all the AMT kits, including the early G for which
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