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About LanceB

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  1. Hmm - no belly strakes or gunpods in that boxart. Should have one or the other. At least there is a Stencel seat fitted. The CG images on their facebook show an AV-8C with Mk.9 seat (wrong) and AV-8A gunpods (theoretically possible).
  2. Apologies, Scott, I misread what you were saying. And yes, I agree, for those VMA-211 markings from 1989 they were doing something different from "normal". Here's a different airframe, but same scheme, taken at Iwakuni almost certainly in May, 1989 - I went over with VMA-331 that year to relieve 211, they were the last Skyhawk squadron deployed to Japan, 331 was the first AV-8B squadron deployed, and this pic is clearly from the Iwakuni Friendship Day which has always been in early May every year: https://twitter.com/T_fighter/status/1216706729825595399/photo/1 This was something applied locally, as that is a fresh coat of paint, and in '86 they had "normal" markings with 36375 over 36320, or 36320 when over 36375: https://www.aviationphotocompany.com/p973745392/h8954C500#h8954c500 Still the same black unit codes, though. As far as concerns the colors for national insignia and warnings of their 1989 scheme, though, I would guesstimate 36231, not 35237. While I don't have firsthand knowledge of how 211 painted their birds, I do know what was at Iwakuni, I worked in airframes (who are the folks doing painting, when it needed to be done), and the paints we had were those that were authorized for the aircraft at the base. 35237 was, at the time, a helo/OV-10 color. It was not normally used on other Marine fixed-wing assets. They would have had gallons of it in Okinawa, naturally, but I doubt that it would have been readily available at Iwakuni. 36231, though, likely would have been available. Anyway, to the OA-4M RCarlson is asking about: all of the MALS-12 OA-4Ms were painted in "reg" colors: the stars and bars on the speed brakes and port upper wing, "Marines" text on fuselage and wing, intake and seat warnings were 36375 against the 36320 base color. BuNo and exhaust warnings were 36320 against the 36375 base color of the majority of the tail. The WA tail codes were either 36320 as in RCarlson's pic, or 36495 as can be seen on the tail of the OA-4M parked just behind the 211 A-4M in the pic from Iwakuni. I saw all of MALS-12s OA-4Ms on a regular basis, and they didn't do anything out of the ordinary on them, unlike MALS-32 (which I also worked at) with their two oddball schemes.
  3. That doesn't sound right at all. Standard colors for the lo-vis tactical scheme on A-4M and OA-4M were: FS36495 on the underside FS36375 on the sides of the fuselage and periphery of the wing FS36320 on the top of the fuselage and center of the wing. 35237 is a dark blue-grey, used during this period in the gray/black/green scheme on Marine helicopters and OV-10s. It *may* have been the darker gray used on H&MS-32/MALS-32's one-off medium-gray/green jet "04" (not the dark gray/green jet "01", Harrier colors were used on that one), but I am not certain. I think "04" used 36320 for the uppersurface gray, and it just looked darker due to the green stripes, but it may have been 35237. Anyway, an A-4 with 35237/36320/36375 would have had 36375 on the belly, 36320 on the sides and 35237 on the top and looked *very* dark compared to a standard A-4.
  4. Hi Chris, Great information, thanks for taking the time to write it out!
  5. Thanks for your insight, I think that settles things authoritatively. If you can answer this question, Chris: the kit includes parts for two bays' worth of GBU-31 and two bays' worth of GBU-38. In your experience, was it "common" to carry all of one or all of the other, or as CAS seems to be the most common usage of the Bone in recent conflicts, was one bay of each generally loaded to offer flexibility "on-scene" depending on what the ground pounders required?
  6. Yes, but one thing I learned working on aircraft is there are things that can be done, and things that are done, normally. An AV-8B can carry three Mk.82 on the inboard pylons - but we would never load that except for static display at an event as there were fears of the inboard bomb hitting the plane when the bomb was dropped off the TER. Likewise, rockets could be loaded on the inboard pylons - but we never would, because of concerns of the exhaust gasses being sucked into the engine.
  7. Ah, I could see that.... probably the safety wire that held the spinners on the fuses in place until they were dropped.... Yeah, you wouldn't want to suck that up. Thanks!
  8. In building the Academy 1/144 B-1B, I started wondering something about the fuel tank installation in the weapons bay. Academy has you fit the tank into the forward bay, then bombs in the center and aft bays. But, I have seen pics (somewhere, can't find them now, darn it...) of the tank in the aft bay leaving the bays forward of the gear for weapons. I seem to recall the 1/48 Revell kit also had this setup if built according to the instructions. And, while this could be my mind playing tricks on me, I also seem to remember reading somewhere that "tank in the aft bay" was the "normal" fit, as the pilots could burn off that fuel first which lightened the tail and kept trim problems down when then doing a high-speed, wings-swept approach to target, as the CG moves aft on variable-sweep aircraft when the wings are swept and lightening the back end early helped counter that. Which makes sense to me, and the Academy tank (and bombs) can be swapped between the bays with no extra work, so can anyone tell me if I am remembering things right and that it would indeed be "more protypical" for the three bays to be bombs, bombs, tank from fore to aft rather than tank, bombs, bombs as Academy's instructions say? TIA
  9. I worked on Harriers in the late 80s. At the time the authorized stores for the centerline pylon was the ECM pod (which was a mythical beast, we never saw one), or 1 x Mk.81 or Mk.82 (snakeye or slick) with gunpacks or 2 x Mk.81/Mk.82 on a TER if strakes were fitted. But note that the only time I ever saw a Mk.81 on a Harrier was when it was built with the Monogram kit, as that seems to be what they put in the box. With strakes the Harrier could originally carry 16 Mk.82, or 15 with gunpacks. I have a pic somewhere at home of one flying during testing with 16 Mk.82 fitted. In practice, we never put a snakeye on the inboard TER station of the inboard pylons as it was just too close to the fuselage, and as the outer pylons were almost always fitted for AIM-9 rails and the centerline pylon almost always left off the most I ever saw actually carried was 10 x Mk.82 or 6 x Mk.83. I was told by people who were there during DS that some missions were flown with Rockeyes on the centerline, even though that weapon was not authorized by the manual. Supposedly one would fit, even with gun packs (I don't see why it would not) and the stores controller was told it was a Mk.82 snakeye. Problem solved. Anyway, the answer to your question is yes, for the period it would be entirely possible to have gun packs with centerline pylon and a Mk.82 snakeye on that pylon. If using the Monogram kit, you should note a small raised panel molded into the left and right packs on the centerline where they join. Cut that out to open a slot in the forward section of the crossover fairing (the sloped part forward of the flat horizontal section of the crossover, do not cut into the horizontal section). Assemble the gun pods without gluing them to the fuselage (yet). When put the centerline pylon in place without glue. Slide the assembled gunpacks into place over the pylon - they will hit the aft section, that's fine, you are just aligning things at this point. You are going to cut the aft end of the centerline pylon off and are using the gunpacks as a guide to mark where to cut. When things are lined up about right, mark the pylon where it meets the aft end of the slot in the crossover fairing. Take the gunpacks and pylon off, chop off the aft end of the pylon and then glue everything together. Add 1 Mk.82 of your choice and boom, Robert is your close relative.
  10. I am in the process of converting an Airfix B-25C/D to one of the VMB-612 birds, as they appeared when first deployed and before they started dropping things to save weight and increase range for patrol purposes: Top turret still in place Side blisters with windows Tail gun position Gunpacks on both sides of the nose HVAR stubs under the wings Radar in the nose Overall gloss sea blue with small national insignia By the time that pic was taken, they had removed the top turret, pulled the glass out of the side blisters (and the guns as well, it seems), removed the aft half of the tail gunners's glazing (and left off the gun) and only had the gun packs on the port side of the forward fuselage.
  11. Hemspilot was asking about the depot-level mods, not the local "pull out a window and stick a gun in it" unit-level mods. You are correct that having the guns directly across from each other, with the turret in between them, would have made things very cramped - which is probably why everything got moved around in the H/J models. PBJ-1D MB 3 from both sides: https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/b-25/pbj-1d-vmb-611-in-flight/ http://ewafield.blogspot.com/ (scroll down for the pic of MB 3) And another PBJ-1D showing the starboard, forward window: https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/usa/aircrafts-2-3/b-25/pbj-vmb-612/
  12. No, they were not staggered, they were in the same position port and starboard and were both in pretty much the same position as the starboard waist gun on the B-25H/J - which is to say, forward, close to the wing root trailing edge. Note also that the fairings above the windows themselves were larger than those on the B-25H/J. They are basically identical to the fairings below the windows (which seem to be the same as those on the B-25H/J).
  13. Upon further thought, I wonder if it would not be possible to trim down the blanking plates provided in the kit to at least provide a base that could be puttied up and smoothed out. The blanking plates for the sighting windows, at least, are curved to match the fuselage curve, they are just too big around to fit flush inside the window openings. But that excess could be trimmed and sanded. As I recall, they even have the hole for the small vision port left in the real item, which would be a handy place to run a chuck through to put those into a router to spin them while sanding them smaller... The turret plates may be flat, as I believe the instruction had you leave the turret mount rings standing proud of the fuselage and just capped them with the plates?
  14. Cutting Edge did one, but IMHO it made the job more difficult. The CE set involved carefully removing large sections of the kit fuselage to fit resin pieces in. They didn't just "fill the holes". http://acc.kitreview.com/cec48478reviewpb_1.htm Some felt this process was somehow "easier" than using templates or a compass to cut round plugs, fill the holes and then sand and polish smooth. I am not one of those people. I have always found it a lot easier to get a plastic patch blended into a plastic fuselage than to blend a resin patch to plastic. And, on the B-29, there is exactly ONE panel line that runs close to where you need to plug, so with a modicum of care in that one area a self-made conversion is going to be a few orders of magnitude easier than cutting, test-fitting the CE set, adjusting, test-fitting and then gluing and trying to smooth it all back out. Not to mention the joys of trying to sand out the seam where that thin resin edge attaches to a thin plastic edge, held by superglue. It WILL flex and crack, guaranteed.
  15. The Tamiya Me262 is excellent, and the MiG-15 also has great detail, as long as you don't care about apparent issues with the vertical tail and (IIRC) wingsweep. The Ki-61 was released with a "clear" fuselage, but it really isn't, it's translucent. They didn't polish the inside of the mold. And, the kit itself was not really designed to be a "visible" kit, it has a simple block to represent the engine and the cockpit has separate sidewalls which were not molded in clear - and, the fuselage is built up in such a way that the panels on top of the nose are separate parts, and they are not included on the clear sprue. Legend has it that the clear fuselage sprue was an afterthought, only included after production was done and Shunsaku saw a pre-release example and said "where's the clear fuselage parts?" With no time or money to do things right, the guys at the plant just ran clear plastic through the standard mold. So I would NOT recommend Tamiya's "clear" Hien to anyone looking for a "visible" aircraft kit.
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