Jump to content
ARC Discussion Forums


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About HCS-5 AO1

  • Rank
    Glue Required
  • Birthday 05/30/1960

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Sci Fi-Aircraft-Boat-Armor models, HO scale trains, 28mm figures, Reading and playing with flight sims and FPS video games.

Recent Profile Visitors

1,125 profile views
  1. As an aside, it was just announced that the Maintainers for the Seawolves are eligible to wear the Navy Enlisted Warfare Specialist wings and it was a group of pilots and aircrew that fought to get that for them, I can give anyone the link for the information if they ask in a PM should they know a Seawolf. That was announced on their Facebook page not too long ago. I was a member of one of their successor squadrons, HAL-5, later HCS-5 in the late 80s and then again in the late 90s so getting vetted into the group was easy. I never post anything there other than the occasional congrats to someone I know but reading their recollections is an education in itself. The HAL-3 association is a active group that shows how dedicated to serving these guys are. Thanks for the link, I'm going to watch is and see if I can spot couple younger versions of three of the ones I served with before they retired as they all were good mentors and friends.
  2. I would like to know how reputable Tracks and Troops Online Store is, especially with shipping to the US. I found some things on that site that I've not seen anywhere else or cheaper than what I would find with the vendors I usually deal with on EBay. I looked at their shipping charges and saw that they reserve 30 Euro but only charge a lower rate corresponding to what it actually costs. Have they overcharged anyone or not delivered when they promised? I'm like a lot of people, retired and on a single paycheck that has to last a month so I have to watch how I spend. My days of overtime and bi-weekly checks are over so after I pay all my household bills what little I have left is budgeted out for my hobbies. If I can make those dollars last I can get more models, especially items that I can't find in the US.
  3. I recently was given a good deal, well better than Spectrum, for my cable and internet and made the switch to AT&T for everything. Aside from a lifetime discount for my military service I was sent a gift card for $300 dollars. Since the town I live in lost all of it's brick and mortar stores between 07 and 2010 all we have left is a pair of Michael'stores, a Hobby Lobby and one local hobby shop that tries to serve everyone but due to poor selection, especially all manner and scales of military kits, and very poor customer service I and my friends have few reasons to visit the place. In fact the only reason I do spend some of my money there is when I need paints or certain adhesives that I can't get at the big name stores. The problem with buying paint is that both due to local anti-graffiti laws and the owners paranoia of getting ripped off by younger customers trying to get paint is an exercise in futility as no one seems to have the patience to help you and all the paint is a good six feet, nearly two meters from the customer side of the counter. Frankly, I'm fed up with that situation since Hobby Lobby has their non-aerosol paints where I can actually see the rack and put my hands on the paints. So, I figure that instead of my local store, I and my wife decided that it was worth the two to two and a half hour drive to the Los Angeles area for paint and anything else that we can't find in the land of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Aside from Brookhurst and Smith Brothers hobby shops as well as Anime Jungle in Little Tokyo, who is still open or are there any new stores worth visiting? Since I'm retired and my wife has Sunday and Monday off from work we both have the time to spend browsing different places. My one brand of paint I really want to stock up on is Humbrol, the last cans I bought were back in 2007 before Riverview Hobbies closed for good. The only bright spot is that the majority of those cans are still unopened and the ones that were have been recently inventoried and found to be still viable. I guess making sure to tap the lids back into place with a small hammer and then storing them in a cool place lid facing down does work. The pigments settled on the lids and made an airtight seal so nothing evaporated. I'm also curious if the two hobby shops near Bellflower are still open. One was on an intersection south of the 91 by a Jack In The Box drive in and was called, I think, Hobby Warehouse. I still have some Testor's paint jars with their price tag on it and yes, as of two years ago the paint was still good. The other store was north of the 91 on, once again, I believe, Bellflower Blvd. When I was single I made twice a month trips to the shops in the LA and OC areas before I ended up living in Long Beach between 85 and 88. Over the years the stores I was loyal to began shutting their doors so I have no real idea as to who is left. I had a big shock the day I drove down Sepulveda and found that Allied Trains had closed. That was my favorite place to get all the little things to busy up areas on my models like landing gear wells or making a building such as Airfix's control tower look lived in. Shep Paine called it 'creative gizmology' but I always called it the greatest tip that I had ever read. Unfortunately with the closure of the local train store 12 years ago those little parts are out of my reach locally so places that also cater to railroad modelers are on my must find list. Smith Brothers has some train detailing parts but nothing like B&F here locally or Allied Trains in Culver City so any bit of information will be welcome. Even just a name so I can look it up is fine. When I was first looking for a place to live I found an apartment next to John's Hobbies in Long Beach but the price was too much for the area and the manager made a few remarks about my being in the service after he saw the base sticker on my car. While he didn't just come out and say what he was thinking, had he done so I could've filed a discrimination complaint, it didn't take a genius to see that he was like most of Long Beach at the time and disliked the Navy and Sailors. So, for $50 less I found a place that had a bar and a used bookstore on the first floor and was within walking distance of all the good places in downtown Long Beach. Pity, I would've traded the bar for the hobby shop if I were able to. Since I retired it has been a struggle to get to the point that I can start building kits agin but the days of the town I live in having several hobby shops where each one was able to carry a small general assortment of kits but specialize in one or two genres are long gone. I keep hoping that someone else will take the leap and open a store that is stocked to the gills with plastic kits of all kinds and scale but that'll never happen since one can make ten times the amount selling pot since it's been more or less made legal in this state. I'm also curious if
  4. After further digging on the internet I was able to find a total of five pics of Red cranials with the letter "O" on it, three of which were USMC Ordies, the majority of the pics shown and what I wore on my shop's gear was nothing for VP-65, "230" at NAWS China Lake due to the fact that we wore either Navy dungarees or blue coveralls, or unit designator starting or ending with "W". In the internet search the majority turned up the same with "W" appearing in most of the shots. There for, to a certain degree I stand corrected but, it did take a lot of looking around to find these five shots, so I will extend an apology. I did edit my second post to show the actual NAVAIR instruction footnotes. Saying that, I still stand by what I said because of actual experiences on the flight decks of the Saratoga in 1979-80 and the Nimitz in 1992 as well as the flight lines at NAWS China Lake, NAWS Pt Mugu, NAS Fallon, NAS North Island, NAS Barbers Point and NAS Moffett Field. Twenty years will have a person see a few places and ships. Depending on how one looks at things it was either good or bad luck to spend time on only two aircraft carriers but there you are.
  5. In my personal experience as well as a member of several different type commands, P-3, HH-1K, HH-60H, F/A-18, A-6 as well a a flight deck crew member of two aviation rates, Aviation Boatswains Mate-Fuels (ABF) and Aviation Ordnanceman (AO), I personally have never to my recollection seen a the letter "O" used for Ordnance on a brain bucket. I admit to some minor memory loss from several very minor stokes, but all pic in my 1980 ship's MED Cruise album show otherwise. As NAVAIR is the got to publications for line operations concerning flight deck and flight line personal that is the publication I provided the link to. As I said, there are always exceptions to every rule and SOP so if you were to provide a picture of the odrnanceman's helmet in question I will concede that point Having said that, I did not post to prove that I was more right than anyone else. I posted a link to an official publication that answered the question asked as well as personal anecdotes on the practices common on the USS Saratoga between 1979 and 1980. I do not try to 'out do' another member but I will give information and real life examples as it is everyone's best interest to have the best information available on a given subject. I embarrassed myself very badly with one of my first posts because I was rightfully called out for giving the wrong information because of my faulty memory. I had answered a question that I knew was right only to be proved wrong in. The fact that it was something I should've known as an AO, especially an AO rate resident expert and unit instructor, made my embarrassment that much worse. Therefore, before I posted on this topic I not only read, but reread the NAVAIR instruction as well as look up official and personal photos of flight deck cranials, especially those in my own rate, AO. In looking over the NAVAIR instruction, nowhere does it say anything about markings on the helmets. Officially, this is what is foot noted in NAVAIR 00-80T-120 Appendix H..... 2. Helmets for all personnel shall be marked with a 6-inch square (or equivalent) of white reflective tape on the back shell and a 3-inch by 6-inch (or equivalent) of white reflective tape on the front shell. Landing signal officers are not required to wear helmets or sound attenuators when engaged in aircraft control. Helmets shall have a 2-inch piece of velcro on the left side of the front shell and velcro on the survival light. 3. Three reflective international orange stripes, 1-inch wide, evenly spaced, running fore and aft on top of the white reflective tape. a. All air department officers. b. Air department Chief Petty Officers and Leading Petty Officers. c. EOD team members. d. All ordnance officers and gunners. e. Ordnance handling officer and gunner. f. Arresting Gear Topside Petty Officer. 4. Helmets for all personnel who have not completed flight deck observer qualification shall be marked (front and rear) with a “T” using 1-inch wide blue reflective tape over the existing reflective tape (front minimum 2-inch tall, rear minimum 3-inch tall lettering). 5. Helmets for all aircraft directors under instruction shall be marked (front and rear) with a “U/I” using 1-inch wide blue reflective tape evenly spaced over the existing reflective tape (front minimum 2-inch tall, rear minimum 3-inch tall lettering). Please note that paragraphs 4&5 were added after my retirement from the Navy in 1998 after 20 years of Active and Reserve service to my country. "Legally", ie; according to this instruction, there should be no extra markings other than the white panels on the front and back of the helmets. As a Safety Petty Officer I would have been in my right to order all letters and markings on my shop's helmets removed but in doing so I would've been regarded as a fool and rightfully so. The helmet markings are for lack of a better term a 'tradition' of each and every Navy and Marine Air Wing. Leaving a model figure's cranial devoid of any markings would be bland but according to NAVAIR, the only correct color scheme. As I have said more than a few times, there are exceptions to every rule and regulation. If you feel I slighted you or gave faulty information then I applogise but, to my best abilities I gave the best that I could not only find but had personal, first hand knowledge of. I would rather give a fellow modeler too much info over a wider time period than not enough if only to deny everyone's common enemy, rivet counters, an opening to criticize one effort. In this instance I stand by my statements and hope that they are what a fellow modeler was looking for as well as making sure others have that same knowledge for their own projects.
  6. Sorry, Rightwinger but that's mostly wrong info. the correct info can be found on this page here.... https://info.publicintelligence.net/USNavy-CVN-FlightDeck.pdf See Appendix "H" for a complete listing of markings for shirt, flotation vest (float coat), and helmet (cranial or brain bucket, depending on how viscreal you are 😜 ). This by all means is not the last word on how a helmet is marked. For example, in 1979, before I grew up and became an Aviation Ordnanceman, AO, I was assigned to V4/Fuels Division on the USS Saratoga as a member of a flight deck fuel crew. The regulations were somewhat looser back then and we had access to a literal rainbow of reflective tape, including, believe it or not, black. The backs of some flight deck helmets on the USS Saratoga were works of art as we were allowed to personalize our helmets as long as our job's color was still visible, in my case back then, purple. That said, as I wasn't that creative, I flunked finger painting, the back of my helmet had the outlines of my home state, California and the county I lived in, Kern, all in white reflective tape on an reflective orange background. When I left the ship I was allowed to keep my helmet and float coat, ie; stole them, and in later years the helmet had the back painted yellow to better fit my job as a handler in both my Reserve and civilian occupations. The front piece was left in purple plastic and the original orange tape stripe over white panel pattern. I still have that item wit the original liner and hearing protection but over the years the foam rubber pads in the ear cups are gone having turned to dust ages ago. As for helmets in VP-65, VFA-305, HAL/HCS-5 and China Lake Station Weapons, those were property of the units and were marked per NAVAIR, TYCOM, and/or unit/local instructions. If you to an internet search for flight deck personnel images you will find a whole slew of exceptions to the rules and examples that I've listed. Sadly, those same rules governing flight deck helmets apply to Aircrew helmets as well but again there are exceptions to every rule. At the most basic level jerseys and float coats are the one color_ blue, yellow, red, brown, green, or purple_ with lettering and numbering. Adding to that are black vertical stripes, on the front and back that a broken to leave a space for special letter lettering such as (in vertical format) stripe segment-space-VFA-305-ORD-stripe. One other special marking if you can call it such, is a person's crow or rank insignia. I'm sure it's been covered before and the info is easily found so I won't be going over that. As a rule of thumb, for helmet markings for the period of the hard plastic two piece cranial in the 1970s until about 1987-90 when the regulations were tightened up, headgear was as colorful as the person was able and allowed to make it. After the enforcing of the instructions headgear, to this day for the most part, is basic color, white reflective patches with lettering and numbers.
  7. Really sad to hear that this is their way of doing business. It makes as much sense as when Testors bought up FloQuil railroad colors and then killed off that line. I'm like you, I can't understand why a company withholds a line of products that has a ready-made consumer base. While most figures are molded in that soft, worthless toy soldier plastic their figures are all molded in actual styrene plastic that holds detail and paints just as most mainstream kits. For some reason, there has been a dearth of modern 1/72 scale military vehicles lately. A few years ago everyone was producing Hummers in all configurations, today? Good luck trying to find the Hummer ambulance Revell put out, let alone the standard four-door transport. It would be nice to see Preiser sell the molds to a company that would actually produce and sell these figures such as Italeri, Fujimi, or Hasegawa. Anyway, thanks for the information, I may try Hannets or one of the other well known online vendors and see how well my luck is. I do check EBay a few times a week, maybe someone will turn a few sets loose.
  8. A while back I was able to purchase a set of modern Bundeswehr figures by Preiser but was told that other sets were unable to be obtained such as the unpainted Civilian Passersby, Modern US Troops, Sitting US Troops. Recently I was able to download their latest catalog and noticed that these items were still on the list. I'd like to know if they are in fact available and who sells them. The vendor I was using strung me along with a couple of back orders for so long I finally gave up and killed that PO. Since there are no real hobby shops in my area, all but one remain and that one has a very limited selection and bad customer service, I don't really care if the vendor is in the US or out in the world at large. I have several projects planned and they all need at least one set of figures from this company so any info on where to buy would help. For instance, the Passersby set would give me the civilians I need to put my F-20 into an airshow setting. The Seated US Soldiers are needed for several dioramas where that have troops riding in various kinds of transports from Hummers to trucks. The other sets are just for fillers in the background. Thanks for any help anyone can give me.
  9. Thinking about the subject of tinting I remember that at some point in the 70s I came across a tip in the old Scale Modeler or Aircraft Modeler, both defunct since the late 80s, suggesting using Testors or Pactra 'Candy' color top coats that were to be applied over silver or gold base coats to achieve that Candy Apple or whatever color you were going for as window tinting. It was fine if one was tinting a 1/24 scale auto windshield but an absolute mess if you were trying to spray a 1/48 or 72 scale Huey overhead panel. Forget brush painting as that had its own set of problems, number one, getting the paint decanted into a proper container and then trying to not leave brush marks. Not that we all didn't at one time or another decided to charge ahead regardless. The day I was shown the new Tamiya clear colors back in the early eighties was a game changer. I bought one of each color and it wasn't too long ago that I tossed that last jar out, yes, I made them last that long. If you close the lids tightly and store them upside down you can get a good seal. Anyway, I find it amazing to look back and see just how far this hobby has come in the way of simple things like clear tintings that have evolved from having to put in more effort than the payoff seemed to be worth to coatings that are thin enough to be brushed on and then cleaned up with water.
  10. I just watched a youtube video about the Jollys on a CSAR mission and this is what I was able to determine. In the shots of the cockpit interior, the shade of the outside sky is darker in the overhead windows than in the side windows directly next to the pilot's shoulders. This seems to indicate tinting of some type. The colors of the video are very washed out so I don't know if it was green or blue. Going by memory which isn't what it once was, I remember an article from Boy's Life, the scouting magazine we all had as kids in the sixties, about the non-stop trans-Atlantic flight by a pair of HH-3E Jollys. In the accompanying photos, the greenhouse windows were definitely green. In the 1990s I made several Navy Reserve deployments to NAS Moffet Field. One of the hangars was shared with the AFRES HH-3 CSAR unit and at that point in time the greenhouse glass was green. I don't see them ever being clear since the idea of the tinting was to decrease sun glare and keep the cockpit interior cool so it would stand to reason that they would've been built that way.
  11. Yesterday I had to go to Los Angeles for family business and after that was taken care of my daughter and I decided that we'd have lunch in Little Tokyo. While there we took my grandson to the Anime Jungle's model store to see if we could get him his first kit. Well, we didn't find anything for him but I was struck by the amount of Gundam and Star Wars kits they had for sale, nearly 70-80% of their stock but it got me thinking about the Bandai SW kits. I'd like to know the following, What is the quality of the parts? Are they in scale or are they like most of the snap kits I've seen over the years and have out of scale and clunky oversized parts, especially landing gear and canopies? How are they put together? Do you use traditional methods with glue or do you just push parts together? How is the fit? Most snap kits I've seen since they were introduced leave a model with gaping join lines because the pins are too thick and the sockets are not bored out enough so unless the sockets are drilled out slightly the parts always seem to never completely close. How are these kits finished? Are they prepainted with stickers instead of decals or is paint actually needed to complete the kit and are stickers the only choice as I've seen that option mentioned on the box? It's my understanding that these are actually snap kits and if so are they better than the snap kits that are overall poor quality toys instead of actual models. To me, snap kits are a cheat and because of the poor quality of the finished product, they're not to be taken seriously. I have built a total of four over the years, the first was a 747 that I got by sending in two or three Cheeri-O's box tops and fifty cents to some PO Box. That was in 1969 or 70 but I do remember even though it was considered a toy it did fit quite well and so tightly once put together it wasn't falling apart. The last kit was a Y wing from MPC/Kenner that a girlfriend got me because I loved Star Wars so much. Just to shut her up I built the thing and was very disappointed in the end result and it soured me on these things for the longest time. I would be willing to give the Bandai kits a chance if I can be convinced that they're worth the time needed to work on them but after that last kit and the X wing before that, I'm going to need to know as much as I can about these kits. As for my grandson, we're still looking for something that he's interested in.
  12. Swung by the Van Nuys airport this afternoon, aside from the usual biz and corporate jets you see there I drove past the Condor Legion's flight line. Almost a dozen AT-6 Texans in both USAAF and Riech Luftwaffe paint jobs. Found out too late that the batteries in my camera died.
  13. I'm looking into getting a new printer for the house and I figured if I'm going to get one that I can print decals with. Ideally, I would like to find an inexpensive one to do colors as I plan to do more than a few 'what if' and things related to anime and manga shows and stories that I enjoy. I used to cut my own stencils when I was younger but it was just simple shapes at the time. I'd like to add text to the text and more complex designs to some of the projects I have in mind.
  14. Well, San Diego has the USS Midway and Balboa Park Air and Space as mentioned but the Marines moved their museum from El Toro to MCAS Miramar after MCAS El Toro closed down years ago. Not sure if it's still there or open though. Further north is the California Science Center Air and Space Museum. It doesn't have much in the way of aircraft but it does have the sole surviving F-20 Tigershark, an A-12 Oxcart/Blackbird, as well as the Space Shuttle Endeavor. At one time there was an F-104 Starfighter attached to an exterior wall but I didn't notice it the last time I was there about ten years ago, it may have been taken down after the Northridge Quake of '94. Santa Monica Airport has the Museum of Flying, the last I visited was in the mid-'90s in a huge building with access to the flight line. I'My wife and I are planning to visit this spring and check out their new building. There are also single aircraft located in parks in the Los Angeles Area, off hand I remember seeing a Douglas F3D/F-10 Skynight night fighter in a park in Lakewood Ca as well as an F-104 in a park in Beautiful Burbank. NAWS Pt. Mugu has it's Missile Park between the main gate and the end of the runway. NAWS China Lake has a Museum on base as well as various aircraft along one of the main roads of the base. The HH-1K there has been restored a couple of times, the first time around myself and other members of HAL-5/HCS-5 did the majority of the work for its initial unveiling. The second time around the Marines got their hands on it, as a condition for their help we had to, reluctantly for some of us , allow them to put the word 'MARINE' on one side of the tail boom. (Still say it's heresy) North of Bakersfield Ca is the Minter Field Air Museum, here's the link to their website s you can see what they have as I've not been there in years. The hours it seems are hit or miss but should you get in you'll like the collection of artifacts from the airport's time as a training field. https://www.minterfieldairmuseum.com/index.html Edwards AFB and Mojave Space Port are to the east of Bakersfield and there are things on display at both places. Not only does Edwards have their own history exhibits but NASA has a museum of their own onboard the AFB. And as mentioned Castle's Museum is still a going concern but some exhibits were moved to March it seems, like the YA-9A. That was up in Atwater when the base was open. A little bit about their Vulcan, during the trip I took with the local CAP squadron as a Sr Member and chaperone we were informed that the RAF asked for the end of the Vulcan's IFR probe be loaned to them during the Falklands war. It turned out that the Vulcans in then-current RAF service were missing this piece of gear. So, it was loaned out and returned after the war was over. Whether that was true or not I don't know but it was something I remember from that trip. While it's been a while since I visited some of these I did enjoy each visit. The Santa Manica museum has or had a lot of Douglas and Lockheed related items on display along with things from North American Aviation. That was one place I wish I had had a decent camera when I visited.
  15. I bet whoever it was had gone to college with Bluto...
  • Create New...