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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
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The Die Is Cast (Diecast "Modeling")
Redhand
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Posted: Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 03:41 PM UTC
WHY I AM DOING THIS, AND SUBJECT #1 - D3A1 Val

As some of you know, I have spent literally years working on B-17F Luscious Lady, as recorded in another build blog. In the intervening eons I have lost the pleasure of one of my main reasons for modeling, which is adding to my collection.

I don't know how I actually got into diecast models, but years ago when I was at the Boeing Museum in Seattle I saw my second favorite airplane in 1/48 scale in a diecast kit, the Brewster Buffalo, and was amazed how good it was. I should have gotten it but didn't.

While lurking around eBay a couple of years ago I saw the kit for sale at a fairly decent price, bought it (and other Buffs!!) and was surprised to see many other good subjects done by a few manufacturers, mostly in China and Japan. I took the plunge to add to my display case, and have been happy to do that while working on my own mad obsession.

In addition to discussing diecast acquisitions, I will also discuss and show off some OPM (Other People's Models) that I've acquired over the years and fixed up one way or the other.

I thought I would share some of these with you since, for virtually every one I have "put my mark on it." You know, like a dog in a fire hydrant factory.

Anyway, a Japanese D3A1 Val is the first one I'm going to post about and discuss here.

In the 1980s I did a Fujimi Pearl Harbor Val back when they were pearl gray and all that. Inevitably it got broken and I've always missed the fact that I no longer had a "Pearl Harbor Trio." Then I ran across this "semi-finished kit" on eBay from a Japanese company called Marushin.

Here's the model photographed on the box top:



The model is "semi-finished" in the sense that you have to literally screw the wings on from the bottom and use metal pegs to fit things like the wheel spats and horizontal stabilizers on. There are also a number of plastic parts that you have to cut off and add to the kit. So it's not one of these that you pull out of the box and put on the shelf.

One thing negative about Marushin kits is that their cockpit interiors are black and devoid of much detail. Since I was going to make this with the canopy closed as per the box top photo it didn't bother me too much but I did add an instrument panel, joystick, and Fine Molds Lewis gun aft, which of course you can't see. But here is how the kit looks after I finished with it.



If you compare this to the box top model photo you can see that I added the manufacturer's data plate decal in front of the tail, and antenna wire. I also changed out the pitot tube, and added some detail underneath, although that remains somewhat sparse.



Available research suggests that this aircraft had red striped decorations on the wheel spats, as pictured below.



Of course it is from Akagi, and here is some information about the aircraft during the Pearl Harbor raid.


Quoted Text

AI-201 was flown by a hikotaicho. The crew were PO1c Kiyoto Furuta (pilot) and Lt. Takehiko Chihaya (gunner/radioman).

Note the three red hikotaicho horizontal stripes. During second wave attack, 18 Val dive-bombers of the Akagi unit
target the tanker USS Neosho during her sortie, the floating dry dock (USS Shaw), the northwest side of Ford Island
(USS Raleigh, USS Tangier and USS Curtiss) and the battleship USS Maryland at Battleship Row. The first squadron
of 9 planes led by Lt. Chihaya. Four Kanbaku hit USS Shaw (three bombs struck the ship and one near hit) at 9:10
and started a fire that caused a might explosion at 9:30. Four Kanbaku attacked USS Neosho during her sortie to
Southeast loch and one Kanbaku attacked USS Maryland at Battleship Row.



I like the profiles on the site containing this image, see http://japanese-aviation.forumotion.com/t29-33-pearl-harbor-raid-akagi-s-dive-bombers/. The Brazilian guy who did the profiles is to be commended for the ton of work he did researching them, though he has been criticized by the purists for some "errors." [The discussion about brown-tailed Kates off of Kaga is particularly "harsh," shall we say]. But I think the guy deserves a medal for all the valuable info he's published, free for everybody.

While there are indications that some Akagi Vals did not have the decorations on the wheel spats, I felt pretty sure that this aircraft did, and not just because of the artwork.

Anyway, if you look at the kit box top you'll see a problem. The red decorations on the wheel spats on the model are missing. At first I thought that I could simply fix this by taking decals off of other Pearl Harbor Val kits and aftermarket sets, only to discover for the first time that the geometric shapes of the wheel spat decorations for each carrier are different! And, I didn't have one for Akagi. So I wound up masking and painting the wheel spats for this model.



Finally, if you look at the box top photo you will see that the engine in the kit is entirely flat black. That wouldn't do. So I hammer-tapped the engine out of the cowling (not that hard really) and painted it up so that it would look closer to the real thing.



One of these days I'll get around to building the Hasegawa D3A1, but for the present I'm happy with this result.

One other thing I'll say about Maruschin is that they are the only game in town if you want a D3A2 in 1/48 scale. That is a rare bird indeed! Have the model but haven't finished fixing it up yet. Also, kits from Marshuin weigh a ton!
Szmann
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Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 01:10 AM UTC
Hi, Bryan!

This is something refreshing, indeed!

As a modeler, I hate pre-painted models (it takes away all the joy and also all the chances to screw it up ). I bought recently a die cast trailer from Testors to use it as display base for my auto builds but I was completely displeased with the way the thing is painted. The paint is good and tough as nails, but it's sprayed in gross neglect and I need to re-spray it and customize it before assembly.
On the other hand, there is a whole "culture" of customizing die cast models especially in Central and Eastern Europe. I'm not very familiar with aircraft die-cast, but Italy produces lots of autos in 1/24 scale or larger. I almost went myself for a Fiat 850 (the car my old man owned from 1968 to 1989). Luckily for my pocket, the item was out of stock
From a collector's perspective, naturally, the plastic is no match for metal so it makes complete sense. I found out from your other blog that you're a collector too and Yes, I'm backing you on your choice!

Gabriel
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 01:38 AM UTC
Brian,
Thanks for sharing this aspect to our hobby. I'm more of a builder then a collector of aircraft replicas, yet the reverse is true of my passion for classic and race cars.

You most likely already know this, but Nascar, & Indy Car didn't renew their contracts when they expired with the model companies, preferring to sign with metal die cast companies that produce 1/18 & 1/43 scale versions per race that sell extremely well at each track, and they make a small fortune on each model sold, rather then next to nothing per plastic model.

There's a whole new sub hobby of stripping these die casts, detailing them to whatever level you want to, then repainting and decaling correctly per race. I've yet to get into this phase of the hobby, as these die casts are rather expensive.

Have you ever completely stripped on of your die-casts and repainted/decaled it as you would a full plastic build?

I would love to see your Buffalos, as it's always been sort of a favorite aircraft right behind the F4F Wildcat.


Joel
Redhand
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Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 03:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Brian,

* * *

Have you ever completely stripped on[e] of your die-casts and repainted/decaled it as you would a full plastic build?

I would love to see your Buffalos, as it's always been sort of a favorite aircraft right behind the F4F Wildcat.


Joel



Not yet, but I bought a trashed-up B-339C online and have plans to do exactly what you suggest. I have taken the cowling off and will completely re-do the engine. I have some Belgian decals and will make it one of the Buffs seen flying from Newark Airport with US Civilian Registration numbers over the military camouflage and Belgian national insignia.

Since I live about a 30 minute drive from present-day Newark Airport it's a link with the past too, just like Republic out on Long Island is for you.

I was not aware of the NASCAR and other auto model developments you mention, nor of Gabriel's news about the Eastern European interest in such things.

Per your request, my next post will be a pair of Hobby Master VF-2 Buffs I have.
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, July 22, 2018 - 04:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Brian,

* * *

Have you ever completely stripped on[e] of your die-casts and repainted/decaled it as you would a full plastic build?

I would love to see your Buffalos, as it's always been sort of a favorite aircraft right behind the F4F Wildcat.


Joel



Not yet, but I bought a trashed-up B-339C online and have plans to do exactly what you suggest. I have taken the cowling off and will completely re-do the engine. I have some Belgian decals and will make it one of the Buffs seen flying from Newark Airport with US Civilian Registration numbers over the military camouflage and Belgian national insignia.

Since I live about a 30 minute drive from present-day Newark Airport it's a link with the past too, just like Republic out on Long Island is for you.

I was not aware of the NASCAR and other auto model developments you mention, nor of Gabriel's news about the Eastern European interest in such things.

Per your request, my next post will be a pair of Hobby Master VF-2 Buffs I have.



Brian,
Looking forward to your Buffalo project, as well as seeing your pair of VF-2 Buffalos.

Joel
Redhand
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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 - 03:05 PM UTC
JG-27 BF-109Es IN NORTH AFRICAN COLORS

Whoa! It's been over a year since I started this subject, but I am at it again. You will recall I said I would do two things here:

Re diecast models:


Quoted Text

While lurking around eBay a couple of years ago I saw the [Buffalo] kit for sale at a fairly decent price, bought it (and other Buffs!!) and was surprised to see many other good subjects done by a few manufacturers, mostly in China and Japan. I took the plunge to add to my display case, and have been happy to do that while working on my own mad obsession.



And I said:


Quoted Text

In addition to discussing diecast acquisitions, I will also discuss and show off some OPM (Other People's Models) that I've acquired over the years and fixed up one way or the other.



So what you have here is a twofer: two diecasts and an improved purchase of a build I picked up on E-Bay.

As I think all of us know, JG-27's Emil's featured some of the most elaborate and eye-catching camouflage schemes in the entire Luftwaffe.

Who can forget first laying eyes on these color photos of "Black 8"?





or its stablemate "Black 6"?



There are other photos of this scheme on JG-27 aircraft, but the one that completely blew me away was "Black 3," which goes the other "standard scheme" Emil's one better for uniqueness and sheer





No! Not that Exotica (Get your minds out of the gutter!) This one.



As a car nut once said to me: "Lookit' the mufflers on that Mazarrati!" But, I digress.

I've never claimed to be more than an "advanced journeyman" here in our hobby, and that was even more so when I first saw these photos years ago. I knew the paint schemes were so far beyond my capabilities that I wrote off even trying to build them and moved on to simpler subjects.

[TO BE CONTINUED]
Redhand
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 10:05 AM UTC
MOVING RIGHT ALONG - TO BLACK 3

I will start with "Black 3," which to me has the most interesting history.

As near as I can tell, the above photo is the only one extant of the aircraft, so there has always been wide variation in the way the areas of it not seen in the photo are portrayed, or how it appeared before the photo was taken.







Ultimately I opted for the scheme shown on the recent Airfix issue of the aircraft in 1/48 scale.



[TO BE CONTINUED]
Redhand
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Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 04:22 PM UTC
HISTORY OF BLACK 3

The history of Black 3 is interesting. I'm quoting from this site, regarding the aircraft and principal pilot, Oberfeldwebel Hermann Förster, with one exception discussed below the quote.


Quoted Text

Black 3 started her career with I./JG3 in Europe, one of the Luftwaffe's premier fighter units and taking part in the Battle of Britain. In late 1940, the Geschwader transferred back to Germany and was re-equipped with the new Bf109F in preparation for Operation Barbarossa. Many of JG3's old Bf.109E's were re-fitted for tropical operations and sent to North Africa. Once in Africa Black 3 was delivered to 2./JG27 in Ali-el-Gazala in Libya.

Almost all German fighters in North Africa were painted RLM 79 "Sandgelb" a yellow/brown color, often with patches with dark green patches, to imitate the desert colors found across North Africa. This was not to be that case with Black 3, for whatever reason the ground crew kept its unique camouflage from its days with JG3 mostly intact, changing what was "necessary" for the North African theater of operations. The planes yellow nose was painted over with RLM 71 "Dunkelgrun" and patches of RLM 72 Grun leaving only the bottom of the nose its previous yellow color. Likewise the its former codes and unit markings were similarly over-painted with RLM 71 and new codes were applied as was JG.27's unit crest to both sides of the nose. The plane's yellow-painted rudder was untouched creating a very unique appearance for a plane operating in North Africa.

Not much is known about Hermann Förster, other then he was born on May 30th 1914. Over the course of his career he participated in the invasions of Norway and the Netherlands serving with 11/(N)/JG2 and NJG 1 before joining JG 27 in North Africa. During his combat career he flew three different versions of Bf 109: the D(ora), E(mil) and F(riedrich). He scored his first confirmed kill on February 2nd 1940 On April 26th 1940 he shot down a Wellington bomber from 38 Sqn RAF, and on April 4th 1940 he scored the second night kill recorded by the Luftwaffe in WWII when Hampden bomber.

There are no details about Förster´s whereabouts or career between July 1940 and June 1941 or how and when he transferred to day fighters and JG 27. The next record occurs on June 17th 1941. On that day he shot down a Brewster Buffalo flown by Lt(A) Kenneth Lloyd Keith RN, north-west of Sidi Barrani. This encounter appears to be the only time a Brewster Buffalo was shot down by the Luftwaffe and occurred just a few days before the Brewster planes were successfully employed by Finland, an ally of Germany against Russia for the first time.

On December 14th 1941, during his 287th sortie, he was shot down by RAF Kittyhawks. He baled-out near Tmimi, Libya, [but] he fell to his death when his parachute failed.



The bit about this pilot and aircraft shooting down a FAA Buffalo is remarkable. I didn't know that! This, and other details of Förster's life and career are discussed here.

This site and others point out that Förster´s death was not the accident the main article claims. There is strong evidence that he was machine-gunned in his parachute by Australia's leading ace, Clive "Killer" Caldwell,



who flew Curtiss Tomahawks with RAF 250 Squadron and later commanded 112 Squadron.



Ah, I find that disgusting, but what do I know? "War is hell."

In the next section, I'll finally get to the model.

[TO BE CONTINUED]

Redhand
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Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 02:05 AM UTC
THE PURCHASE

Buying a built model off of e-Bay is sort of like buying a used car based solely on photos. Until you get your hands on it and inspect it fully, you don't really know what you've bought.



So it was with the "version" of Black 3 I bought. I loved the basic paint scheme, "but on closer inspection."

I didn't download the "for sale" photos from e-Bay or take my own pictures when it was received, because I didn't expect to do this article. But here are some pictures I took while working on it.





And here's the list of "gigs" I noted.

1. Prop spinner misaligned between the front and back parts.

2. Aileron counter-balances missing, as was the pitot tube.

3. I managed to break off and lose one of the wing cannons.

4. No color difference between wheel hubs and tires.

5. Bottom wing black crosses overlapped onto ailerons.

6. Incorrect white lower wingtips.

7. Incorrect rudder color - white not yellow.

8. Improperly located white band on the fuselage - too short in length AND directly behind the black cross rather than positioned some distance behind it. Arrgh!

9. A poorly finished cockpit. A. No gunsight. B. The instrument panel was sprayed a flat black, with dry-brushed instrument bevels. C. The control stick was glued in SIDEWAYS - Wot?! D. The seat (from which I figured out this was a Hasegawa kit) had molded-in seat belts over which were located simple strips of masking tape without buckles to "simulate" lap belts and shoulder harnesses. It looked weird. It also wasn't painted RLM 02.

10. No radio antenna wire.

I didn't discover these all at once but concluded I had a fixer-upper rather than a completed display model. I still admired the basic paint scheme greatly and felt that the seller "ran out of gas" after completing it. Maybe he realized the errors and said "screw it" when he put it up for sale. In any event, I now had it and had to fix it if I wanted a presentable, reasonably accurate model of Black 3 for my collection.
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 02:15 AM UTC
Brian,
That list doesn't speak well for the builder and more importantly the model. From what you've listed, I can see that a complete decal and paint removal is needed after some additional subassembly, and then a correctly applied paint scheme and decals. Of course the replacement of the missing and or broken off parts is also a necessity.

Joel
Redhand
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Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 02:23 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Brian,
That list doesn't speak well for the builder and more importantly the model. From what you've listed, I can see that a complete decal and paint removal is needed after some additional subassembly, and then a correctly applied paint scheme and decals.

Joel



Well, I didn't go that far, but when I do the next post you'll see what I did do. Thanks for looking, BTW!
Joel_W
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Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 02:52 AM UTC
Brian,
By now you just have to know that I follow everyone of your builds and threads. Always have, always will.

Joel
Redhand
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Posted: Sunday, August 25, 2019 - 04:53 PM UTC
BLACK 3 - THE BIG REVEAL?

Well, after spilling lots of cyber-ink, you judge how it looks. But first, let me mention two "gigs" left off my list above:

1. No first aid "red cross" on the port fuselage national insignia.

2. A grossly undersized swastika on the vertical stabilizer.

OK. A starboard side view showing off the different tire color vs. wheel center on the landing gear; a correctly sized swastika, a broader chord white fuselage ring moved aft of the national insignia and a yellow rudder.



A port side view showing the first aid "red cross" on the national insignia.



A closeup of the after port fuselage with radio antennae wires.



The port and stbd. lower wings showing aileron counterbalances, pitot tube, "subtle" (?) trimming of the national insignia decals to get them off the ailerons while making the lack of symmetry in the bars not so noticeable, added brass "gunmetal" painted "ModelMaster" FF cannon barrels, elimination of the incorrect white lower wing outer panels with the necessary blue, weathered slightly with black acrylic wash.





An overall view of the A/C underside, with added belly fuel tank.



Removed canopy view of the Eduard colored brass instrument panel I added together with the new, correctly positioned control stick.



Closed canopy side view of the new seat with Eduard brass seat belts and the new gunsight.




The completed, repaired Black 3 sitting in my model case.


Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 - 01:11 AM UTC
Brian,
I'm super impressed with the finished results.
Joel
Redhand
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Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 - 01:40 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Brian,
I'm super impressed with the finished results.
Joel



:-)

More to follow in the next few days.
Joel_W
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Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 - 03:59 AM UTC
Brian,
I'm really curious as to how you did all the corrections. Care to share that with us?

Joel
Redhand
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Posted: Monday, August 26, 2019 - 04:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Brian,
I'm really curious as to how you did all the corrections. Care to share that with us?

Joel



I'll describe that tonight.
Redhand
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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 02:19 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Brian,
I'm really curious as to how you did all the corrections. Care to share that with us?

Joel



I'll describe that tonight.



Joel, since you asked I will describe the things I did.

First, I popped off the canopy. After examining the cockpit interior I decided to pull out the pilot seat and go with the new one from a spares-box kit I have.

Before that, I ordered a replacement brass set for the 109E-4, 7 off of eBay. Here it is.



I used a thin diameter standing stick to take off the bevels on the installed instrument panel to create a flat surface. Then I glued parts 6 and 5 into the lower instrument panel section and parts 1 and 2 into the upper instrument panel. I made sure there was clearance to insert a gunsight from my spares-box kit. The last thing I did was install the switch panel, part 7, to the upper right front of the cockpit close to the instrument panel.

The kit rudder pedals were installed too far forward under the instrument panel for me to try to use brass parts number 11. Besides, it's virtually invisible when the canopy is closed. I didn't use the tropical air filter brass part number 12 because it was just too much to try to install this on a fairly good intake on the exterior of the aircraft.

I glued parts 9 and 10 to the inner sides of the lap belts and the lap belts themselves onto the sides of the new pilot seat. (after spraying the seat RLM-02). I had to cut the fasteners to the seat off and shortened the belts a bit because they were too long. I did the same with the shoulder belts.

I forgot to mention that the pilot armor inside the main canopy was missing when I got the kit. So the piece I used came from an extra part I pirated out of one of the diecast 109 kits. Had to trim a little bit but it fits fine. Lastly, I sprayed the flat platform behind the armor plate RLM-02 to match the color of the armor plate itself. I didn't bother trying to repaint the rest of the cockpit interior that color because it really isn't all that visible anyway.

Before gluing the new seat and its base from the spares box kit I selected a control column and glued that in. Of course, I painted it beforehand.

Then I sealed up the canopy and secured the radio antenna with a tiny drop of crazy glue.

I next replaced the wing cannon barrels with metal Master-Model parts and painted them gunmetal. I didn't bother with the barrels on the machine guns in the nose. Not worth it.



On the bottom of the left wing, I attached a pitot tube from the spares box kit, and the aileron counterbalances came from an Edward resin set that I had for control surfaces on the 109F. I drilled fairly deep holes in the flat wing and aileron surfaces for all three of these parts and put them in with crazy glue. Unlike most such installlations, these are solid as hell.

The color contrast between the wheel hubs and the tires was easy. I simply brush-painted the tires NATO black. It creates the necessary contrast even if it is subtle.

The work reassembling the spinner to make the color lines match was very simple. I just pulled the front end of the spinner off with the prop and sprayed some red to align both front and back.

The toughest part of the restoration was coming to terms with the fact that I had to move the white band immediately behind the national insignia on the fuselage back to match what the photos of the real thing showed.

I had some concerns about this, obviously, because success in doing this depended on whether or not the kabuki tape I put over the national insignia would lift that off the model and create a ton of extra work. Fortunately, it didn't. So I created an L-shaped mask for the national insignia bar that ran perpendicular to the vertical and sprayed the upper L with that Luftwaffe dark green and the lower downward-facing L the proper Luftwaffe light blue color. Of course, in doing this I was over-spraying the white band immediately aft of the national insignia.

Before doing this painting work I masked off with tape the section of the after fuselage the width of the white band, beginning where I wanted it. I masked in the opposite direction to create the bandwidth (literally) that I wanted. This actually took two tries because I masked too short on the after part of the band on the first attempt.

However, I used Tamiya acrylic white spraying light coats and it went on very nicely. The kabuki tape created a nice sharp edge on both ends and I was very pleased and surprised at how well "moving the band back" turned out.

After this, I pulled the white rudder off of the vertical stabilizer and put it aside. I took a fine sanding stick and sanded away the tiny swastikas on the tail. I then resprayed that area olive green mostly and perhaps a little blue. I didn't feel I needed to be too precise here because the swastika, which replaced the small one, covered the entire area.

After removing the rudder I sanded it down to remove the kill markings on the upper part of it, and then carefully sprayed an enamel RLN-04 yellow that I had and put the four red kill bars from a spares decal set I had on both sides of the rudder. After letting the paint dry I sprayed the rudder area a dull coat as well as the relocated white fuselage band.

Around this stage, I simply sprayed the outer lower wing tind the necessary underside blue and blended that in with a light black acrylic wash.

I wanted to have this aircraft displayed with a belly tank. This turned out to be one of the more aggravating parts of the rebuild. I got the base and the tank itself from my spares box kit but had a hell of a time shaping it so that the base matched the contour of the fuselage bottom between the landing gear. There was a fair amount of sanding to create a matching surface for the tank bracket. However, it turned out okay.

Last but not least I used stretched beading wire for the radio antenna and encountered the usual aggravations using that product. It makes a nice straight-looking line when you stretch it and cut it from the spool of wire, but if you mishandle it in any way the wire bends and you have to start over again.

There are other details I did like painting the red and green lights on the wingtips: those colors were bare on the model, and there was a bit of touchup here and there with a paintbrush throughout the repair. I added a small red cross decal on the port fuselage because the pictures showed one there.

I'm happy with the repair and pleased to have it in my case, as I said earlier. Repairing somebody else's work is not the same as doing a whole kit oneself, but it does have its rewards.

JPTRR
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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 - 03:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text

...only time a Brewster Buffalo was shot down by the Luftwaffe...

The bit about this pilot and aircraft shooting down a FAA Buffalo is remarkable. I didn't know that!



Brian,

Very happy you rekindled this post!

I am not certain but think it is the Osprey Gladiator book that RN had a handful of Buffaloes in the Mediterranean, but I never heard that they were used in combat. Too cool!!!
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AeroScale: 7,351 posts
Posted: Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 01:31 AM UTC
Brian,
I'm truly impressed with the amount of work needed to take someone else's average build at best, and carefully bring it up to your standards. While not a complete build from scratch, the execution of your corrections especially the fuselage band and tail/markings isn't nearly as easy and simple as you make it sound. Just popping off glued parts can cause havoc. Believe me I only know to well that scenario.

Joel
Redhand
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,286 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, September 03, 2019 - 04:40 AM UTC
BLACK 8 - PREPARE TO BE UNIMPRESSED

My diecast model of "Black 8" comes from a now-defunct Chinese manufacturer called "Carousel 1." I believe they went out of business early this century, though their models are available on e-Bay if you wait. They can be pricy.

Here are some "factory photos" of their version of "Black 8":




I confess it does have a certain "toy-like" appearance, but I thought it was worth a few improvements to make an OK "shelf model"

I disliked the model's inaccurate rubber radio antenna post and replaced it with one from the spares box.


You will note the colors are light blue daubed with some olive green. That's what's shown in the pictures of the real thing. Check prior posts. The antenna wire between post and tail is the more user-friendly E-Z Line, and the vertical antenna wire is the aforementioned stretched beading wire.



The biggest hassle in this "upgrade" was installing some generic Eduard Luftwaffe seatbelts.

You can see them here.


I'll spare you how colorful my curses were installing them.



Diecast models are not without flaws, as can be seen at the bottom, with the circular insets,



but I'm still happy having it on my shelf.



When I was just starting at Curtiss-Wright in 1981, I was assigned to work with a much more senior employee who maintained the "litigation library" in a government contracts lawsuit that was one of my first assignments with the Company.

One morning I asked him how he was doing. His response was a classic:


Quoted Text

Oh, about in line with expectations. * * * Of course, at my age my expectations get lower by the day.



I'm about his age now and that quote fits "Black 8" pretty well.
Redhand
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,286 posts
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Posted: Thursday, September 05, 2019 - 03:36 PM UTC
IS IT BLACK 8, OR BLACK 6?

Here's the photo of Black 6 that I posted earlier



And here's the diecast version of Black 6 from a different manufacturer, Hobby Master, which is currently in production and which I'm using. This is a photo from the manufacturer.



But, I hear you say, that's a numeral 8 on the fuselage. What gives?

Well, already having a "Black 8" From Carousel 1 in my collection I decided to improvise.



It's remarkable what a #11 knife, some kabuki tape, an airbrush, and a bit of red piping decal can accomplish. That's really all I needed to make the change. The only other thing I did to alter the basic color scheme was to spray out in light blue the four kill markings on the tail that Black 8 had but that Black 6 lacked.

Sorry for the poor lighting on the side view.



If one compares the actual camouflage scheme on Black 8 to that on Black 6 by looking at the original photos it is clear they are not exactly the same. What to do here? In fact the schemes for the camouflage of Black 8 that Carousel 1 and Hobby Master used are different. (Even the not-too-careful observer will also see that the Carousel 1 model has white sidewalls on the tires. I think this comes from the fact that one aerial shot of Black 8 shows the tail wheel with white sidewalls.




The camouflage schemes on the actual aircraft vary also.

So I was good with the idea that, in a rough kind of way, the two diecast models were appropriately different in camouflage details.

For the purists intent on building both aircraft exactly the way they appear in the photos Alliance Model Works offers a couple of variations in masking sets. Compare this



with this



However my fidelity to detail lagged and I wasn't about to buy these two expensive sets to do an intricate paint job on each diecast model, when I didn't even know which masking set went to which aircraft, or if either went to these aircraft since they could've matched other JG-27 aircraft so camouflaged. So I was basically good with what I had.

One thing I added to the Hobby Master kit was seatbelts.






And here just for fun is a shot of the kit's instrument panel.



Close enough when the canopy is closed. Of course I added the antenna wire.

Let me show you the bottom of this model from the factory.



Not very impressive. I don't like the open slots, [especially the large one which should've been for an external fuel tank, but this wasn't included in the kit]. The other little notches are also an irritant.

Here's what I did to address them.


That improves things somewhat, but the "fabric" detail around the ailerons and flaps is just horrible. There are many other small things wrong that make the bottom side of the model far from accurate. It just goes with the territory of buying diecast models as display pieces.

For that purpose, as I said, "Of course, at my age, my expectations get lower by the day." But, with the modifications that I made, Black 6 and Black 8 are acceptable stablemates to my refurbished Black 3.



As my son says, "They look pretty close to real built models." And if we are supposed to "build for ourselves" I am good with the minor changes that I made to the two diecast models. I put my "mark" on them and they rate space in my display cabinet.



Next time I will write a little bit about the known operational history of Black 8, its pilot, and its connections to Black 3, its lost pilot, and the aforementioned "Killer" Caldwell.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 02:08 AM UTC
Brian,
Excellent attention to detail. I'm really impressed with your execution of the number change by altering the 8 to a 6, as well as how you dealt with those open slots.

Joel
Redhand
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: January 20, 2013
KitMaker: 1,286 posts
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Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 02:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Brian,
Excellent attention to detail. I'm really impressed with your execution of the number change by altering the 8 to a 6, as well as how you dealt with those open slots.

Joel



;) I'm going to start using the space to talk about modeling in general, aviation history anecdotes and other things that cross my mind. But ALWAYS centered around a model I have built; OPM (Other People's Models) I have modified; or a diecast model. So it will turn "philosophical" now and then. Almost a diary. I need to space to decompress from work, among other things.

Look soon for a fantastic new post re LL and HG's work too.

Brian
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
_VISITCOMMUNITY
New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 10,348 posts
AeroScale: 7,351 posts
Posted: Friday, September 06, 2019 - 05:15 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Brian,
Excellent attention to detail. I'm really impressed with your execution of the number change by altering the 8 to a 6, as well as how you dealt with those open slots.

Joel



;) I'm going to start using the space to talk about modeling in general, aviation history anecdotes and other things that cross my mind. But ALWAYS centered around a model I have built; OPM (Other People's Models) I have modified; or a diecast model. So it will turn "philosophical" now and then. Almost a diary. I need to space to decompress from work, among other things.

Look soon for a fantastic new post re LL and HG's work too.

Brian



Brian,
Will do. And looking forward to your Modeling thoughts & Insights. I might be a car guy now, but I'm still a fan and a friend.

Joel