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  • Birthday 03/09/1981

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  1. We are pleased to announce that our new 114 page full-colour facsimile copy of the Royal Navy (Confidential Book) C.B.3098(R) from May 1943 is now finished and available for those who want to understand more about camouflage, the colours, designs and techniques used: https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/sovereign-hobbies/products/cb3098-1943 What's inside? - Insight into the theory of sea-going camouflage - Practical instruction on which types of schemes were best suited to which theatres and which primary threats - Practical instruction on the application of detail aspects such as counter-shading which is typically missing from model kit instructions - Over 130 full-colour illustrations of standardised camouflage designs for destroyers and smaller vessels
  2. The Flower looks outstanding, and I admire your ability to build that little model for your club - I used to shamelessly tell them I simply wasn't going to do it when I was in a club. I'm not sure if they stopped asking or if I stopped going first but it has resolved itself one way or another!
  3. The evolution of US Navy aircraft camouflage paints circa World War Two. There is a great deal of misinformation or over-simplification to the point of being simply incorrect floating around the internet, in magazines and occasionally in books. As late as 1940 the US Navy were still flying aircraft around in the high-visibility schemes of silver with Orange-Yellow upper surfaces of the wings and ID markings such as flashes, coloured tails, fuselage bands and coloured engine cowlings in Lemon Yellow, Willow Green, True Blue, Black or Insignia Red. Merging in to 1941, these schemes were being replaced in favour of an overall Light Gray scheme. The first camouflage schemes applied was in use by late 1941 prior to the USA entering the war. This is often referred to as the "2 tone" scheme and consisted of Blue-Gray over Light Gray using shades from existing camouflage paint specs. This is the camouflage which prevailed through 1942; the Battle of Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, Guadalcanal etc and featured widely on Douglas TBD-1 Devastators, SBD-2 and -3 Dauntless, Grumman F4F-3 and -4 Wildcats and Vought SBU-1 Vindicators etc. The very first Grumman F6Fs and TBFs were also delivered in this scheme. In the Atlantic theatre, a different scheme was used which comprised a mostly Insignia White scheme with Dark Ghost Gray upper surfaces. By 1943, the US Navy were trying to standardise on paints with the US Army Air Force using the Army Navy Aeronautical (ANA) paints. In the Pacific theatre, the "Tricolor" scheme was introduced which is a misnomer - it had 4 distinct colours in it! The application directions were a little different for larger or smaller aircraft, which in practical terms means something like a TBF / TBM Avenger and larger for larger aircraft and fighters and scout floatplanes for smaller aircraft. Larger aircraft were to use all 4 colours which were ANA601 Insignia White for the undersides, ANA608 Intermediate Blue for the vertical surfaces e.g. fin and rudder, ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue for the upper surfaces of the wings and ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue for the upper surfaces of the fuselage and leading edges of the wings and tail. For smaller aircraft, it was acceptable to graduate the dark upper surface colour(s) into the undersurface white, although plenty photographic evidence exists to show that use of Intermediate Blue on fighters was commonplace. By 1944, a desire to simplify production of aircraft was coupled with the acknowledgement that ANA607 in particular was not a particularly robust paint which chipped fairly easily and faded rapidly. Both ANA606 and ANA607 would be replaced by a new paint, ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue, and the applied camouflage scheme for new aircraft was simplified to an overall ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue scheme. A suggestion from Grumman was made to dispense with ANA605 Insignia Blue for the national insignias on such painted aircraft to save time, owing to the similarity of the blues, which was a practise introduced possibly some time before it was formally accepted. This scheme was hereafter applied to all aircraft delivered under Lend-Lease to the United Kingdom's Fleet Air Arm (e.g. Hellcat II, Corsair IV etc) also. In 1947, ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue was revised in colour, but retained its name unchanged. This would be the version of Glossy Sea Blue applied to the first generation US Navy jets which would see action over Korea such the Grumman F9F Panther and McDonnell F2H Banshee etc. It is this version of ANA623 which was incorporated into Federal Standard 595A in 1956 as FS15042. It is important to understand that ANA606 was a different colour to ANA607 which was different again to ANA623; many mistakenly believe that they are simply a satin and matt finish of the same colour. This in part is due to the well-meant yet ultimately misleading and unhelpful habit of trying to use the modern American Federal Standard 595 collection to describe WW2 era paints, and in this case often people quote FS15042 for ANA623, FS25042 for ANA606 and FS35042 for ANA607 which are, unfortunately, just gloss, satin and matt versions of the same colour. Herein lies the problem with using FS595 for a reference - it contains circa 650 chips but many of those are duplicates in different finishes. Objectively, FS595 is a very limited colour palette and the limitations become apparent when the same FS595 reference is given to describe three different colours.
  4. A proper OOB this time - not even resin wheels I promise At the Scottish National Scale Model Show at Perth, I was gifted a nice Mil Mi-8MT by Stew who helps us with Colourcoats tinning on his time off. This is based on the much earlier and cruder KP kit, but is mostly fairly nice and looks like a Hip in the main. I'm not an expert on Russian choppers and I deliberately didn't go looking for reasons not to build/finish this. As such, the only obvious (to me) thing amiss with it was the shape of the windscreen which inherited KP's flaw of following a horizontal line around the front of the aircraft. On the real thing the upper edge of the glazings goes somewhat up-and-over. I reprofiled the kit glazing by scraping and sanding the top edge of the windscreen away and reinstating it using tape as a guide and Mr Surfacer to build it a new top edge. There was around 2mm of extra height to play with on the kit glazing so I've done the best I could without hugely adding to the complexity of the build and stalling. Otherwise it's just built up as it comes, and I must say I enjoyed it greatly so thank you once again Stew. It's painted in Colourcoats ACSM13 light stone and ACSM14 grey green on top with ACSM05 blue-grey underneath. I've never really researched these colours if I'm honest, but the notes from WEM days says they're Mil helicopter paints. The IPMS Stockholm's colourguide is flawed in many ways - sometimes badly - but they compared well here to the ACSMs. Anyway, I enjoyed it.
  5. I've decided that this model is now complete. The Gallery thread is here: Thank you for all your comments, critique and support
  6. I have taken this Eduard weekend edition kit as far as I wish. The purpose of the build was to try an idea I had to emulate the uneven surfaces seen on stressed skin aircraft, and chose this particular aircraft as I'd already built an Eduard Hellcat and knew how it went together, but this overall Glossy Sea Blue aircraft would particularly benefit from something to add visual appeal to an otherwise featureless finish. If interested in the experiment itself, here is the Work in Progress thread: The kit is close to being Out-Of-the-Box, but did receive Airscale cockpit instrument decals to improve the panel, and substantial improvements to the cockpit purely from adding an Ultracast resin seat with seatbelts, new wheels and Ultracast's much improved Hamilton Standard propeller. In addition, Master brass barrels were added. All paints are Colourcoats enamels, and the antenna is Infini Model 40 denier (0.068mm) lycra rigging line. The base is Eduard's injection moulded Essex class aircraft carrier deck section, although strictly speaking the aircraft was from USS Enterprise CV-6, a Yorktown class. If anyone made it this far and is remotely curious to see how ACUS34 - ANA623 Glossy Sea Blue compares to our parallel paints ACUS07 - ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue and ACUS33 - ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue, often all claiming to be matched simultaneously and/or referenced to FSx5042 which matches none of them, here's the GSB Hellcat and my earlier "by the book" tricolor F6F-3 together: Thanks for looking in!
  7. Tonight has been "invested" (yes, let's call it that) in that deck brush painting. Righto. Now in actual fact that piece of deck is supposed to represent an Essex class carrier, but my Hellcat is from USS Enterprise which was a Yorktown class. The market is not awash with different types of American carrier deck sections though so given that most aeromodellers don't know that all US Navy decks were blue during wartime, the chances of some berk giving me the "I think you'll find..." treatment due to this being of the wrong class fairly remote. The Yorktown sisters had one lift astern and one close to the island. I decided to dress this up a bit like the stern elevator and added the top of Enterprise's hull number (CV-6) to the aft end, along with the white centreline. There was no way on this Earth that was going to involve a paint brush though because masking the planking for this was just begging for seeping under the tape. I've just stripped the tape off for a quick picture before I go to bed. The deck still needs work to make it look somewhat convincing, and the Hellcat requires a whip antenna and its rigged antenna between the masts. Also the propeller requires a final clearcoat following application of yet more stencil decals.
  8. I really don't make things easy for myself. I was holding the roll of Tamiya tape in my hand when apparently my brain malfunctioned and I thought "it might be quicker just brushing the planks". It's taken me THREE. SODDING. HOURS. to get almost half way. I regret this choice very much.
  9. Lots of transparent pieces were tinted and glued on yesterday. This mostly went well however the wingtip navigation light lenses are a poor fit and will need to be sanded and polished (and surrounding paintwork well protected with tape to do so...). I also started painting the base. I chose to begin by painting the metal parts with US10 20-B Deck Blue. Next I shall mask this and airbrush the rest with US11 Flight Deck Stain 21, before then severely abusing both with weathering back to something resembling a WW2 US Navy carrier flight deck. Many (aero) modellers think these were natural wood colour - in fact all US Navy carriers had their decks stained blue for the entire duration that the Americans were in the war - documentation suggests this practise was ordered into being in mid 1941.
  10. Apologies for the shonky lighting here, but the interior has been sprayed with ACUS22 Green Zinc Chromate. I remember seeing the Accurate Miniatures Avenger in a mag back in the day. My friend and I both saved up our money and bought one each - if memory serves they were around £30 which was a lot back in the day and especially so for 2 mid-teenagers. My awe of the interior detail turned to utter dismay after brush painting in around 20 of the framed-in rectangles on the first fuselage side - I'd honestly rather spend the time in a dentist's chair than have to brush paint the interior of something like this again. Fortunately things have changed for me in the 2 decades between then and now, and the horror of brush painting that Avenger was equalled in magnitude but opposite in polarity airbrushing the inside of this B-25 tonight. I almost laughed at my hapless younger self miserably poking a paint brush into every moulded in nook and cranny of the Avenger whilst effortlessly colouring this green I have constructed a compartment in the essentially hidden aft-end of the nose gear bay to fill with lead shot. Similarly, the forward half of that semi-cylinder (is it a fuel tank?) in the bomb bay will be lead filled. I shall then do a B-29-esque exercise to assemble the rest and weigh the tail to calculate moments and thus determine how much lead to hide behind the engines on each side to ensure it sides on its nose wheel.
  11. Hi folks, Apparently I did a better job on one side than the other. It's almost there now though, but as evidenced, one side has much more feathered out filler than the other There's a low spot still apparent which has just had what's hopefully its last dab of filler then I can rescribe the lost panel lines Thanks for looking in!
  12. I picked this up cheap Italeri issue of the now 21-year-old Accurate Miniatures B-25 kit with a bashed box at the Biggin Hill airshow a couple of years ago, and plan a simple OOB build with it. I fancy this scheme which is one nothing in my existing collection wears. It's a B-25C model, tail number 232496 and as can be seen is wearing the yellow ringed US insignia which were used around Operation Torch, but the aircraft has RAF fin flashes still present. The kit is generally very nice - probably the nicest 1/48 B-25 we're likely to get. I'm aware that the nacelles can take some attention to get a good fit on the wings. The way this was described to me by someone trying to make a name for himself on Facebook modelling groups, but in reality just appears to have a contraceptive personality, was that this rendered the entire kit utter junk best used to pad out the bin. Well, we'll see... I'm quite lazy and don't particularly enjoy interior painting, mostly because I find it somewhat iterative. One aspect of this particular kit that isn't so common (but by no means gone) on releases 2 decades later is that the positioning of gates to assist moulding aren't always in helpful places. I decided to assemble much of the interior first and just resign myself to the dreaded brush painting to pick out black boxes etc. Spraying parts on the runners wouldn't gain me much here because of said gates everywhere. Another advantage is that the partially assembled interior will help me find the interior colour demarcations which is something I do want to get correct. A check of the fit demonstrated that the fuselage closes up fine as a dry-fit: ...however the solid lower half of the glazed nose was quite distorted and needed some lovingly applied violence to get into shape: Now then - to figure out how to paint this thing. I've done some reading around and the most common answer I can find that at least seems to be aware that ANA611 Interior Green was not introduced until late 1942, at least in terms of chosen nomenclature, is the following: Flight Deck - Bronze Green #9 Seats - Aluminum Bombardier's Compartment - Yellow-Green (Tinted Zinc Chromate) Navigator's Compartment - Yellow-Green Radio Compartment - Yellow-Green Tail Compartment - Yellow-Green Bomb Bay - Aluminum (note that incorrect spelling of "aluminium" suggests this list came from the USA) Wheel Wells - Aluminum (note that incorrect spelling of "aluminium" suggests this list came from the USA) Instrument Panels - Flat Black Sound Proofing Material, Flight Deck - Dyed to match Bronze Green #9 Sound Proofing Material, all other areas - Dyed to match Yellow-Green There are variances of that though, including some which claim the radio compartment should also be Bronze Green #9. I'm leaning towards ignoring that unless someone can convince me of that over this weekend, and if they do we'll also need to establish the demarcations too. I started with the aluminium, which doesn't seem to be under dispute between accounts of B-25 interior colours. I will use the wing spar and bomb bay interior parts, as well as the cockpit floor, to mask off the bits that will remain aluminium then spray the rest with a green zinc chromate. In due course I'll paint the Bronze Green for the cockpit on top of the zinc chromate.
  13. I'll start one tonight. Last night I only cut out and glued together some interior structural parts, chiefly so that I could precisely identify where the internal colour demarcations need to be. They'll be all dried/set this afternoon so I can untape the fuselage halves and get some photographs to begin. Be my guest!
  14. Whilst waiting for some glues and paints of annoying unrewarding fiddly bits to dry on other stuff, I have started the next aeroplane for the work bench. This is Tamiya's aging Beaufighter with a few tweaks here and there, and I plan to model it on RD136, one of a small batch of Weston built aircraft which retained the Hercules XVII but received the Mk.XII wing and the Mod T361 tailplanes and enlarged elevators. It also sported a Lockheed tailwheel. First up was to attempt to improve on the "fishbelly" appearance of the Tamiya kit. I did this with 3 saw-cuts per side, and whilst both sides were marked out with a scriber and the lines washed with black paint, I cut and glued one side at a time retaining the other as an alignment reference. As a confession - I did this on a TLAR basis, and removed 2mm of depth at that second panel line from the tail. This is how it went back together compared to the unmolested other side The second side was hacked up to match and the centreline seam taped to help ensure it would all go together in the end (Yes, I know, I'll have to fettle the nav's internal compartment pieces) A trial assembly shows a more Beaufighterish outline, which will do. Time to tidy up the joins etc. I hope this turns out nice! Whilst the filler on that dries, I've started an Italeri boxing of Accurate Miniatures' B-25
  15. It's really annoying! This thing was as smooth as a greasy weasel at first and now it looks like it was painted with water based acrylics
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