Tuesday, 30 August 2016

S-3 Viking update

I finally finished messing about with the cockpit today so after a wash down it will be primed with black then sprayed a light grey and the details painted, THEN I can at last nail the fuselage together.

The boarding steps will be down so this area had some detail added such as the electronics box and fire extinguisher plus a pulley wheel for the step retraction;
The rear cockpit has a couple of ejection seats in there and a representation of the instrument panels where the sensor operators would stationed. You can't see much especially with the tinted canopy but it's there.
The canopy would not fit as the seats were too high but I found that the moulded-on seat belts hanging over the side were getting caught on the centre console and once these were trimmed the canopy fitted once again;

Once the fuselage is together it will feel that I'm actually getting somewhere as it was at this point a few years ago the build was shelved. Still much to do on this one though as the undercarriage bays are missing a lot of detail and a few other areas need some TLC but on the whole it is coming along well.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Italeri S-3 Viking ongoing

Some updates on the (slow) progress of the model.
Today I received the Two Mikes resin update set for the S-3B Viking and I'm so glad I did'nt have the fuselage glued together as it requires some hacking to fit new parts. One of the parts is the new APU exhaust on the port fuselage side forward of the bomb bay so the area to remove was marked out and holes drilled around the inner edge;
The centre was removed and the hole cleaned up;
Then after some final adjustments the new part was fitted;
Much better!
Then I turned my attention to the vent underneath the fuselage using the same method;

The new cockpit is OK but is missing the shroud for the instrument panel so a new one was made from bits of styrene sheet and sanded down to smooth it all out a bit. Also some extra sanding was required as the shroud interfered with the fit of the canopy. This is how it looked before all that sanding;
The actual aircraft I want to model is an S-3B that was assigned to VS-21 'Fighting Redtails' onboard the USS Kittyhawk circa 1999 (Bureau Number 159413/ NF-700).
The Viking fleet has received many updates over the years but one in particular saw a big change to the airframe under the AFC-284 ASW Deconfiguration Programme (ASW=Anti Submarine Warfare). This included the reduction of sonobuoy launchers on the fuselage underside from 60 to 16 and the deletion of the MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) boom at the rear as well as other mods.
The programme began in 1999 and ended 2000 and I had assumed that my Viking would have to be modified as a consequence, however looking at reference pictures in the Tony Holmes book 'Supercarriers' (ISBN1-84176-026-9) I found one image of 159413 that showed the MAD boom still in place. This one image is what stalled the build originally a few years ago as I was'nt sure what configuration the aircraft was in so coming back to the model meant I had to do some further research as to whether the aircraft had been modified under AFC-284.
I spent a fair few hours trawling for images and info and came across two pictures of 159413 on the ground at Atsugi Naval Air Station in Japan during September 1999 and one of the aircraft in flight in the same markings that actually showed the full amount of 60 sonobuoy launchers underneath and the MAD boom still fitted. The decal sheet I have depicts the aircraft in June 1999 and coupled with the fact that I found out the ASW Deconfiguration Programme actually started in late 1999 meant that I was good to carry on.
I did find more pictures of 159413 after the modifications but it had been assigned to VS-41 'Shamrocks' and no decals exist for it. 
This is one of the problems of modelling US Navy aircraft as they are VERY specific markings-wise and can very often change between cruises as aircraft are rotated, reassigned, repainted etc etc etc. One example of a difference in markings that features on this particular aircraft is the logo of an oil company (Phillips 66) on the refuelling pod when 159413 was onboard the Kittyhawk mid-1999, later pictures at Atsugi in September 1999 show a different oil company logo so the refuelling pod came from a different aircraft or it had been repainted at some point.
Anyway just some useless information for you to digest, unless somebody else is building a Viking using the CAM decal sheet I have in which case the info above will prove useful :o)

Friday, 26 August 2016

Trumpeter E-50 with Heimdall turret

I've started painting the E-50 after giving it a coat of primer;
 The base coat is a mix of Tamiya olive green, cockpit green, yellow and white but please don't ask what the ratios were as it was just all mixed in until I achieved the shade of green I wanted. The darker green was actually hand painted using Vallejo olive green as I could'nt face masking off the splinter camouflage, plus I used this method before on my M728 CEV and it worked out OK (for once);

I did'nt paint the darker green on the uppersurfaces (just because so there) and I'm toying with the idea of adding a sandy colour in places to add some light to a dark scheme but we'll see.
Light green was actually used as a basecoat on some late-war panzers and I wanted to carry this over to my paper panzer with the outline broken up by a splinter camouflage scheme. The MG mount on the rear deck will be painted in another colour yet to be decided as though it was taken from another vehicle.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Revell 1/35 Leopard I finished

I pulled this one from the Shelf-of-Doom (TM) recently and over the weekend I decided to finally finish it;

I hope you like it !

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Italeri S-3 Viking

I know I know! Yes the Fokker D.VIII is ongoing as is the E-50 with Heimdall turret and other bits and pieces but having got the this kit out for another look I just started to do stuff to it and lo and behold it's off again.
The particular aircraft I want to do dates from around the late 1990's so some changes will be required to reflect this but more about that later. What I have done so far is some basic improvements to the fuselage sides before they are glued together as it's so much easier working on them.
The first job was to make a small oval hole next to the APU exhaust. This area was then thinned down from the inside so that a piece of mesh could be glued in as close to the surface as possible. The APU exhaust was removed as it is too small and all the panel lines filled in as these are complete fiction;

One of the steps on the rear starboard fuselage was filled in and a new one rescribed as it is off-set to one side;

 The next job was to add strips of 0.10" styrene strip for the formation lights on the tail and fuselage sides plus a funny-shaped raised panel below the starboard cockpit;

A square of styrene sheet was cut out and four holes drilled into the corners, then the centre piece was cut out, the part cleaned up and glued into the crew entry hatch;

There were a couple of panel lines both sides of the fin that needed filling and new ones scribed in plus rivet detail was added in a couple of places using an RB Productions rivetting tool;

The resin cockpit was from True Details (formerly KMC I believe) and although it's OK the floor was badly warped so rather than destroy any detail I made a new floor from 0.40" styrene sheet, cut out the centre and side consoles and glued these and the rear bulkhead to the new floor;

Phew! That was a good couple of evenings work and the fuselage still is'nt glued together. To be fair the resin cockpit required more hacking than I thought as the curtain divider between the front and rear cockpits was removed as well to allow a bit more light into the rear. I know you still won't be able to see much but it keeps me happy as I know it's there (it's a modellers thing) :o)

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

It's a funny old hobby sometimes...

I was weighing up another project recently invoving a 1/72 Fujimi A-7E to do as a quick build (in between the Fokker D.VIII, E-50 with Heimdall turret, Leopard I etc etc etc) and while looking at bits for the A-7 I came across ESCAPAC seats and included in the list of aircraft that used them was the dear old S-3 Viking.
Now this jogged my memory of the old Italeri (originally ESCI) 1/48 Viking that I had started a few years ago but abandoned due to the sheer amount of work involved to bring it up to scratch so guess what came out of the loft today?
I originally got the Paragon wing fold set not long after I bought the Viking but since then I had heard a few horror stories about the amount of cutting required for it to fit properly so a couple of years ago I got the Wolfpack wing fold set instead plus the D704 refuelling pod.
The cockpit is by True Details (Formerly KMC=Kendal Model Company I believe) and luckily I found it again yesterday while having a sort out. I say luckily as I was looking at a Wolfpack cockpit set on Evil Bay and very close to buying it because I had forgotten all about the True Details one.
Originally boxed by ESCI this kit is YEARS old (at least 30+) but to be honest it's still a good basic kit and I've seen some beauties made from it over the years. It is billed as an S-3A/B but to get an accurate B you need to add a few bits and delete others such as chaff and flare dispensers, bits to the wing tips and aerials. The biggest challenge is to fill in some of the sonobuoy holes under the rear fuselage from 60 to 16 and make it look decent, fortunately I have an update set from Two Mikes resin on the way which provides a new underside panel plus the chaff and flare dispensers and wing tip bits as previously mentioned.
I don't know how far I'll get with this one but it's been an interesting afternoon looking in the box again and digging out the references and I suppose the point of this post was how modellers (well...me anyway) can go from one subject to another while looking for something else.

Edit; I've just looked at the Wolfpack wing fold set and it has all the lumps and bumps for the wing tips included, I suppose I should really check these things beforehand :o)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Dragon Fokker E.V/ D.VIII

Trying to figure out how to hold the wing so that I could paint the upper surface I hit on the idea of using a clamp. I was'nt bothered about losing or smudging the paint on the leading and trailing edges as there would be a white trim around the wing that would cover them.
Doing this meant that I was able to get the top colours on, again using oils for the streaking effect and this time using Prussian Green and Vandyke Brown. The colours I have chosen are all near-as-dammit and are good enough for me, all I have to do now is wait for the oils to dry;
If you look carefully, particularly on the green bits you can see the plywood decal showing through.
This post is a bit of a milestone for me as it is the 200th so thank you to those who take the time to look in on my work.