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Brian J

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About Brian J

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    Tenax Sniffer (Open a window!)
  • Birthday 05/27/1944

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    Tecumseh, ON, Canada

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  1. Many thanks to the gentlemen who took the time to respond to my questions. First off, I have a copy of Tommy Thomason's 'Scooter!', a must reference for any Skyhawk fan. Over the years I have collected as many A-4 references as possible dating back to the old AirCam Aviation Series No. 27 in 1971. KoKu Fan use to include many colour photos of Skyhawks during the Viet Nam War as well. I'll have to make a trip to my local Staples and check out those felt tipped pens. Great idea! Wow! What an impressive series of close-up photos that 'a4s4eva' included. They should be published in a specialty book on A-4s. I found the image #8821 to be of particular interest as well as several others that covered the tail area in question. Jeez, will I ever know very much about anything? Brian
  2. I have two questions concerning my 1/32 Trumpeter A-4 Skyhawk build-up. 1. I'm using the aftermarket one piece AMS resin intake set. How do members paint the interior of the curved inside lip? Obviously it it very difficult to mask off. I am considering using red decal strip. Is there a better way? 2. Many if not most parked A-4s have the horizontal stabilators angled downward at the leading edge. When they are angled downwards there is a hole or opening in the vertical tail. Should this opening be blanked off in its interior, with plastic card or just left open at front and back, top and bottom? Is there any type of support structure in that area? Does anyone have access to a close-up photo to verify what I'm doing a poor job of explaining? Opinions and advice would be appreciated.
  3. I'm having a difficult time finding an answer to a question concerning the markings of the A-4E that Lt Col John Caldas of VMA-311 flew on the last sortie of the Viet Nam War on 27 January 1973. I have an old Micro Scale 1/32 scale sheet with his name on an A-4 WL 1, BuNo 150105. Does anyone know if this was the A-4 he flew on that last mission? I have two b&w photos of this aircraft from an old KoKu Fan magazine that verify the 1/32 scale sheet. I would like to do a build-up of the aircraft he flew on that mission.
  4. Thanks for asking but no, nothing definitive. I've kind of put the whole thing on a back burner (along with about 15 or 16 others) waiting for a definite response. I really should get back to it as it is a very nice kit.
  5. I keep referring back to my references hoping a definitive answer to my latest question will pop up. No luck yet on the three pane 'bay window' as found on a late photo of Kentucky Belle. I did find a comment that I'd like to share with those who may be interested. It can be found on page 54 of the B-24 Liberator in Detail by Bert Kinzey where he discusses staggered waist gun positions. "It should be noted that the gun windows were not staggered as they were on later B-17Gs. On Liberators, it was the guns and their mounts that were staggered rather than the windows themselves. The left waist gun was mounted at the lower aft corner of the window, and the right waist gun was mounted at lower front window." I may be wrong but I interpret this to mean the full window as seen in the colour photo that Don included in his above comments. The one with the red tail. I guess then that there was a good chance that the guns would be mounted the same way when the three pane 'bay window' was installed. Sure would enjoy hearing opinions on the subject.
  6. I think I have all my ducks in a row to finally start that Hasegawa B-24J, and I'm thinkiing of using clear sheet styrene to create those 'bay waist windows. So hopefully I only have one more question. If a B-24 had the three pane 'bay window' in the waist area would the guns be staggered? I mean if the starboard gun was in the front 'pane' would the port gun be in the rear 'panel'?
  7. Hoping to have all my ducks in a row in preparing for my AVG build-up I noticed during my research that photos indicate that there was no standard in antenna wire arrangements. Over the years I have read that inflight radio communication was a constant problem during the first couple of years during WWII. Navy and Marine Corps F4U Corsairs come to mind and so various radio systems were experimented with. In the artwork produced by Thomas A. Tullis in the excellent EagleFiles #4 Tigers Over China: The Aircraft of the A.V.G. all of the drawings/artwork indicate that antenna wires ran from the tail to both wing tips and also to the upper fuselage midway between the cockpit and the tail. While it is often difficult to tell from b&w photos, it appears that this arrangement was not found on all AVG P-40's. I would enjoy reading opinions on the subject that might clarify the issue before I add finishing touches on my model.
  8. Many thanks for the gentlemen who took the time to add to the above postings. I'd like to share my concluding observations on the subject. This subject was covered in some detail on Britmodeller back in the summer of 2014. A member, '72modeler' from San Antonio, Texas quoting a paragraph (page 16, bottom paragraph) from the Osprey Aircraft of the Aces #41, American Volunteer Group Colours and Markings by Terrill Clements, "Colour photos of newly-assembled Curtiss aircraft in the pre-Pearl Harbor time period indicate that yellow zinc chromate primer was used for protecting undercarriage doors, access panels and similar components. Wheel wells were protected with canvas liners painted the undersurface colour." 72modeler goes on to add his own observations which included, "Since H-81A-2's were delivered to the AVG direct from Curtiss in three separate batches consisting of 36, 33, and 31 aircraft, it is most likely that they were finished as stated above. I personally think that the canvas covers probably didn't last very long, given the rough nature of the landing strips and the frequent repair/maintenance that they were subjected to." In the case of AVG P-40's, my conclusion is that these aircraft would have been painted to British specifications at the factory (could be wrong on this) which to me would indicate the canvas boots would be added after the under wing paint was applied, leaving the boot in that khaki colour. If the under wing was repainted/touched-up in China they would repaint the canvas boot in that colour. If the boot had to be replaced it would be left in the khaki colour. In others words, when painting my AVG P-40 I have the option of one of two colours, Sky Gray or Khaki Drill (recommended in the 1/48 Airfix kit instructions). Man, I hope no one throws a wrench at this topic to add to the confusion!
  9. Many thanks for taking the time to comment on my questions. I am still undecided as to how to interpret the gun ports. I found a couple of photos on pages 53 and 73 of The Skull & Cross Bones Squadron: VF-17 in World War II by Lee Cook that show taping of the gun ports. There is distinctive signs of the use of straight edged tape and in the case of the photo on page 53, multiple layers of tape, which makes sense in a combat zone. That in flight photo I keep referring to suggests to me a clean, circular shape, maybe a bit lighter in shade then the prop hub but not white like the colour of the white skull and crossbones on the unit insignia on the cowling. I may be missing the obvious and again, would enjoy reading comments from other Corsair fans.
  10. Thanks for your informed comments, Andrew D. A couple of comments and another question if I may. On page 55 of F4U Corsair at War by Richard Abrams there is an often published photo of Kepford's second Corsair. It is taken from the starboard side and you can make out an antenna wire from the top of the rudder to the outer tip of the horizontal stabilizer. Another often reproduced photo inflight photo of this second Corsair can be found on pages 50 and 51. If we agree (and I do) that the upper port star and bar originally had the red surround that was painted over in blue wouldn't that mean that this air frame had been assigned to the squadron for some time, then it was issued to Kepford with his a/c number and kill markings applied. If that was the case, is it possible that this air frame had been assigned to another pilot, possibly from another flight or for that matter the same flight Kepford was assigned to? My point has to do with the colour of the prop hub. If it was an older air frame might it have had an original coloured (blue) prop hub? That prop hub does not look natural metal to me. And now my question. It appears that the gun ports were also painted in a circular fashion. Could they have been the same colour as the prop hub? I'd enjoy hearing opinions on the above. Oh, by the way, nice job on that 1/72 build-up!
  11. My apologies for being dull of intellect, but I am still unclear as to the correct colour of the canvas boot that was inserted in early wheel wells of P-40's. It makes sense that the metal part of the wheel well would be primed and painted, but would the actual canvas boot be painted as well? Would it be necessary? Would the canvas boot be inserted before or after the wing under surfaces were painted? Would the canvas become stiff and difficult to work with once it had been painted? Would this boot be removed very often during operations? I guess my conclusion is that this canvas part of the wheel well would be left the natural colour of the canvas or it would be painted the same colour as the wing under surfaces...but then again, I've drawn wrong conclusions many times in the past! Comments would be appreciated. Be gentle, I'm very sensitive.
  12. After reading several references and studying relevant photos I am still uncertain about the colour of the prop hub of the often photographed Corsair flown by Ike Kepford. There is a large b&w air to air view on pages 50-51 of F4U Corsair at War by Richard Abrams. This same photo can be found on the title pages of The Skull & Crossbones Squadron: VF-17 in World War II by Lee Cook. According to written sources this squadron painted propeller hubs various colours to denote various flights (some say four, others five aircraft per flight). Tommy Blackburn's flight colour was red, Hendrick's flight colour was white. My question is, what would be the colour of the prop hub of Kepford's well known #29? In the above mentioned photo the colour appears too light to be red, and too dark to be white. My guess would be some shade of blue. Has there ever been a clarification as to what colour it should be? I have art work and decal references indicating black, red and natural metal. Another question has to do with the colour of the upper port wing star and bar. While the fuselage star and bar appears to be a fresh, clean shade of dark (insignia blue) blue, the upper wing markings appear very weathered and faded. In fact it almost seems to be a painted over earlier marking when it had been outlined in red then painted over in insignia blue but not matching the faded blue of the original star and bar. The leading edge of the vertical tail also appears to be quite weathered or chipped. Am I interpreting this correctly? One last observation. When comparing the above mentioned photo with others it appears that this aircraft had a whip antenna in place of the original post antenna, with two antenna wires, both starting at the top of the rudder with one connecting to the starboard fuselage and the other leading to the tip of the starboard horizontal stabilizer. I would enjoy hearing from anyone who can help clarify the above questions/observations.
  13. On the topic of P-40 wheel well colour, the earlier comments included in dogsbody post indicates that early P-40's up to the E model had a canvas boot. The fact that it was not metal would suggest there was no need for a primer and interior paint to protect metal surfaces. My question is, would these earlier P-40's e.g. AVG P-40B/C's have wheel wells the same colour as the wing undersurfaces?
  14. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I ordered that set from Roll Models a while back and while I haven't used them yet they seem to fill my need. While on the topic of gunsights, does anyone know if AVG P-40s used American or British versions?
  15. I'm working on three 1/72 Airfix P-40's in AVG markings and would like to dress them up with some detail. Does anyone produce photo etch ring and bead sights in that scale? I've got some1/48 scale ones but they would look wrong. Been checking around since my above post and found that Eduard does a set in 1/72 (EDU72403). Has anybody used them and would they still be available?
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