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About BillS

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  1. I just bought the Marines J for $67 at SB last week. they had a sale on all 48 plastic. You might hold off for their next weekend promo. They come up about once a quarter
  2. As usual Ben is right. Actuators were typically red too as were the inside of aux air doors, the rat and the inside edges of the ailerons and flaps although obscured by years of overspray of camo colors. I also remember the fuel dump mast tips (not the tail vent mast but wing dumps) often being red
  3. The wing root finger braces, the structure that an F-16 wing is attached too, can leak. This necessitates injecting a sealant to slow fuel seepage. Epoxy cement is also used to “plug things up” if you will. All of this attracts native soil producing what you see in that image.
  4. How ‘bout this: 370s on the outboard stations, a ter on station 2 with BDU-33s x3, a clean centerline with the same configuration on the right side. Oh, put a an empty set of aero 3bs on the inboards. That would be a realistic bomber training configuration. An air-to-air jet might have 370s and a captive carry AIM-9. You also might consider a SUU-20 or 21. A good rule of thumb to follow is USAF F-4s almost always had 370s regardless of mission and BDU-33 were very common in the mid 70s and 80s. Those Spang jets might have carried other training ordnance as well, ie Mavs. I’ll bet there is an old USAFE head that can opine.
  5. Strictly my opinion. Anti glare areas black. Can’t imagine jets left Lockheed with unpainted tanks. Cockpit probably black but quite possibly gray by then. Certainly not green. Cockpit360, The USAF Museum’s virtual cockpit photo gallery might give some ideas. Can’t wait to see your finished project. You have good looking stuff.
  6. Cant remember exactly, but didn't the Meteor MK1 have a Ghost or Goblin. If so, Tam’s Meteor had a nice engine complete with metal burner cans.
  7. I’ll toss in my two bits. I was at the 474TFW (now defunct) from 84-86 with block 10s all of which had Pratts. Forgive me for not knowing the correct nomenclature (I’m big on correct nomenclature). The augmenter (a/b) section just before the variable nozzle “feathers” was blueish-gray metal, sort of medium in darkness. The nozzle feathers were a fairly bright but not shiny metallic sort of like a medium range aluminum silver, multi tonalish if you get my drift. They were left unpolished so the glint would not give a guy away. The T-birds shined theirs though. As for paints; I’m having tons of fun with Tamiya rattle can silvers for my bare metal work. It looks like the real McCoy (experiment with different ones) goes on super smooth and when dry is bullet proof.
  8. My bad. Correction. L & Ms were joint use with Argon cooling, not helon. The P was USAF only. My memory is jacked on some of this stuff. I should just keep my trap closed! I was around so much of this stuff for years and think I can contribute to posts I see here and other places. When I stop and ask myself if I know the the right answer I frequently realize I really don’t remember stuff exactly. I hate that.
  9. For the seeker window I find that painting the very tip of the seeker white followed by Tamiya’s clear “Smoke” looks pretty convincing. The little metal band directly behind the window looks good painted Testor’s “Chrome”. Something else you can do to tart up your AIM9s is to use a small drill to hollow out the motor nozzle, but not too deep. The inside should be the kind of rusty orange and in the very center there was a white cap over the nozzle itself. Rollerons were dull metal color and if you want to go really nuts, there was a piece of plastic string attached to the rolleron which crossed over the rocket nozzle to the opposite rolleron, When the rocket motor fired, the string burned allowing the rollerons to deploy. I noticed Tamiya’s late AIM9s have the helon bottle panel, not appropriate for USN missles I think.
  10. My guess is an early chaff dispenser
  11. When this kit was announced it caught my interest but I told myself over and over I’d never buy it. Then it hit the market, the box art looked appealing, I shopped it for the best price and bingo, it mysteriously landed at my door. I’ve been following everyone’s musings so I knew this was’nt going to be a Tamiya F-14 sort of build but hey, I cut my teeth on Comet and Aurora kits so I figured I could stomach this bad boy. Forgive me for being too lazy to take pics but I wanted to share my experience with this kit thus far since nobody else seems to have made the plunge. I’m at the point where everything is filled and ready for a blast of primer. In 3 or 4 days I expect it will be ready for decals (Caracals of course, since I don't want to be an ARC heretic). Oh, in departing from the orthodoxy of the day, I’m going to rattle can this thing with Tamiya Gunship Gray 2. As a side note, I’ve turned to these fantastic spray products wherever there is a match. Their various silvers have replaced Alclad and every other bare metal product in my armamentarium. I’m one of those model builders who develops my own sequence for assembly while loosing half the parts in rhe process. Anyway I determined straightaway I was going to glue all of the fuselage segments together forming complete halves vs making a forward section, intermediate section etc. and glueing them together as per the plans. That method in my experience leads to mis-match. Upon mating the fuselages halves, i think I was correct. But before all of that, I built up all of the interior components but only painted what would be seen on my model; the pilot stations, gear wells and bomb bay. I used Danny Cormoran’s book for a color reference. I used the photo etch instrument panels/consoles and spent too much time detailing those because when closed up, they’re invisible. Duh. Oh, ACEs seats. After some research, I discovered AF funded ACEs for a 2018 retrofit. Since I’m doing jet c.2015-6, I used the nav’s seats downstairs and made them fit the pilot’s stations. I made parachutes and harnesses for a little additionsl detail. The gear wells have basic 70s vintage details but when painted and installed they’ll pass...just. Same on the bomb bay. I sprayed Tam. gloss white with some interior green thrown in. That’ll have to do. You could spend a lifetime detailing that space but I have to balance my priorities! So, all the big airframe components fit decently but a couple of fuselage joints around the gear wells wouldnt close the way I like so Miliput to the rescue. The wings and tail surfaces were no “sweaty da” (something I heard USAF NCOs always say???). Engine nacelles left me scratching my noggin. Once I caught on I was trying to glue J-57 G model stuff together, things made sense. I threw the G stuff out and proceeded to clean TF-33 parts up. I elected to scrape out the last 4 formers inside the nacelles and glue the J-57 “t” wheels in place giving the illusion an engine is in there. Although a crude approach, it’s so dark in there, you can just make out the exhaust cone. Again, close enough for government work. Before gluing halves together, I rattle canned gunship gray inside the intakes and painted the fan blades. Once joined, i filled rhe interior seams with epoxy. The main thing to be prepared for is lots of clean up and filling. There’s a jillion sprue gates to fool with on this guy. So, that’s my take so far. Generally, I like this model. It gives you a good platform to start from, the shapes, sans external tanks seems pretty good and the fit issues won’t deter most builders. As a final note, the outrigger wheels are totally goofy. I found some nice wheels from a Russian aftermarket supplier that have tread and sidewall detail so I ordered those. Before final paint, I’m pondering a way to simulate wrinkled skin like the real McCoy. I’m thinking about heavy primer embossed with something textured before it dries creating a subtle dimpled effect. Yes? No?
  12. Here’s a couple of mixes that came from Model Art 236. These grays are prone to subjectivity. Pick the ones you like, put a dab on a piece of cardboard, let it dry then hold it next to your as595 and compare. That’s my scientific method! I personally like Xtracolor because I like a ready made gloss (the less coats the better) and they spray without sticking to the needle like acrylics. 36320= xf-66. 11 xf2. 7 xf24. 2 36375= xf2. 15 xf24. 3 xf66 2
  13. I was on 16s as a maintenance officer in 4 units on and off between 1981-2004. The “gold” tinted canopies were around in the late 80s and early 90s or thereabouts. F-16 canopies are kind of an esoteric thing. At one time I understood the rational behind all the varieties but canopies with a smokey solar tint and what appeared to be very lightly tinted coexisted. The “clearish” ones had a very faint tint when you compared it to the Aft Transparency (correct nomenclature) or what crew chiefs called the “opera glass”. These were truly clear. My best recollection of gold tinted canopies was a jet we had with an improperly staticly bonded canopy. In certain weather conditions, static would build up and when the pilot touched the inside of the canopy it would discharge with a loud bang knocking that gold material off like small fragments of glitter. Other aircraft have similar coatings, The E-2C is one. An E-2 pilot told me it was to refelct radar enrgy from the rotodome away from the cockpit.
  14. Here’s a wag: a zap from VMA-121, Green Knights.
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