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reprobate's blog
Posted by reprobate | Nov 29, 2013 @ 07:33 AM | 2,918 Views
Following a very successful and enjoyable year flying an HH Super Cub (in all types of weather), I thought it was about time to 'up the ante' and raise my game. I'd seen adverts for the Beaver on a couple LHS of web-sites, but it took a while for the brain to work out that this was a natural progression. I got there in the end though and searched to see if a Forum covered the type. Once I had made the connection between the Flyzone, ST Models, Robbe, T2M and the Czech Pelikan variants (all the same basic model but with different decals and levels of equipment/finish), I quickly discovered an awful lot of folk were having a real ball with this aircraft. Better still, it seemed to be vice-free! I'm still trying to read my way through all the 460+ pages in the Forum, but I'm catching up and I've been making notes along the way.

In the UK, ST Models provide a basic version (wheels only and no radio gear) as opposed to the full-on Flyzone version (USA/Canada) that gets wheels, float conversion and radio gear. ST wins over Flyzone with their better (IMHO) decal set and colours. The ST model is loosely based on Wilderness Air's C-FJOF with a sprinkling of an Australian a/c's (VH-IMU) over-wing stripes. The ST model gets let down with a hideous black lettered decal down the fuselage side declaring it to be a DHC2 Beaver. That was the first one to come off!

I've kind of styled mine around C-FJOF but both added to and taken away elements. I guess it's more of a modern...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Aug 22, 2012 @ 09:19 AM | 2,865 Views
The Spanish Civil War is, I think, largely overlooked. In general, if you are seeing a German war-plane in model form, it'll be in a German scheme (almost invariably RLM 70/71 or 74/75). This, to my mind, is a great shame considering both the history of the Luftwaffe and the German aircraft industry foreign sales. With the Spanish Civil war, we got the Legion Condor and with that we got both German aircraft and a new set of National markings. Export camouflage schemes were also applied to the Me109 when sold to Hungary. It's these exceptions that produce the most intriguing variations and interest for me.

The Hs123 was used throughout the Civil War and records suggest only 2 or 3 survived to be handed on to the new National Airforce. Subsequent to the cessation of that war, 12 more 123's were delivered. The Spanish pilots referred to the Henschel as the Angelito (Little Angel) and my subject is Angelito 24-8, delivered in 1939 for which, so far, I have only one positively identifiable photograph.

The graphics were made to order by Lee at, here in the UK. I cannot recommend this guy and his products enough - the quality is outstanding and damn good value for money. If you were going to make up an Angelito of your own, I doubt he would so much as blink if you asked for a different ship number (24-5, 24-17 etc).

For the purposes of this blog, I put the model together, loosely, for the first time, so what you see in the photo's is as new to you as it is to me. There is still some way to go before this project is done, but I hope, you will agree, that it makes for an interesting alternative to the standard FMS offering.

Posted by reprobate | Aug 21, 2012 @ 04:15 AM | 3,040 Views
The triple Splinter scheme is based upon a very clever Paint Plan that, once applied, turns from a 2D to a 3D map. I have been fortunate to have the Hs123 plan to work from, never-the-less, when it came to understanding the 3D 'wrap-around' over the fuselage, it caused quite a few headaches trying to visualize it. The plan, in its concept, is pure genius. Not only could the position of one (or more) colours could be altered, thus changing the appearance of the aircraft again, but so too, in theory, could the position of the pattern, as it was perfectly possible to 'flip' the plan over from left to right! This 'flipping' occurred with the later 2-tone 70/71 scheme. I am unaware of it being done to the Henschel as the numbers of aircraft produced were, by comparison to other fleets, small. Happy to be proved wrong!

Back to the 3-tone. Working from all of the B &W photo's was interesting, especially when it came to deciding what was what colour-wise (check the photo's below of the two Red Banner aircraft) and this caused further head-banging moments!! To get a feel for how the scheme would work, I made up a 1/72 scale plastic kit and tried painting it. The Airfix plan was dire - it's paint plan was very difficult to interpret and further misleading by its substitution of Dark Grey for Green. How they came to that conclusion eludes me.

For most all my referencing, I have used a Spanish publication, La Maquina y la Historia. (Perfiles Aeronauticos) Hs123....Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Aug 20, 2012 @ 07:30 AM | 2,910 Views
I got into FMS models via Parkzone. The latter were firmly against introducing a Zero whilst the former did. Better, FMS upped the ante by producing the Zero in the 1400mm range, a scale I was keen to move on to. "Goodbye Parkzone, Hello FMS." - no contest.

I read an article in a British model mag', recently, where the author opined that the days of the 'real' model making were fading away with the introduction of foam ARTF's. I disagree. The construction side may not be there in any real sense, but the repair issue hasn't gone away, nor, for that matter, the desire to modify and/or improve. The only real change is in the materials and how they are used.

Parkzone is a luxury. The kit comes out the box, is assembled, checked, charged and flown.. almost always without further issue. Basically, high quality. FMS, I have learnt, is pretty well matched, but there are quality issues. These are quickly identified and the Forums carry all the data and experiences you need to 'fettle' your prize into a good, airworthy ship. Long may that tradition continue! Take the Zero, for example (of which I am a very proud owner). There is no point recounting all the issues recorded within the forum - I just noted them all, where relevant, and disassembled mine to correct before actually assembling it. I now feel I have a better understanding of the kit and a more positive view of its flight integrity.

However, one issue not covered, to my knowledge, is that of...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Feb 06, 2012 @ 09:32 AM | 3,088 Views
It's been some time since I wrote any thing about this model, but I can,at last, finish it here.

I left it with the painting completed but with all the physical modifying still to do. I seem to recall it took forever to assemble all the servos, extension leads, the Bf109 flap hardware and the rate reducers. The flap hardware, in particular, took a helluva long time to acquire, but they were worth the wait. I also stalled, for some time, over the rate-reducers issue, but, eventually, I opted to install 2 of them, one for each set of flaps. The wing, by the way, now sports a total of 6 servo's! Including the elevator & rudder, this ship has 8 servo's in all (2 Digital (standard) and 6 analogue).

The actual installation of all this gear was a very straight forward affair - the 'groundwork' already prepared by Dav3uk - and I can't praise the guy enough for his work. I followed his plan to the letter and the results are very, very promising. My initial saw cuts into the wing were crude and inaccurately placed. Once the flaps were fully removed, I cleaned up all the messy bits and added in new material where needed and made sure all the gaps were uniform before they were re-fitted and the paint was applied.

I used the long-lead PKZ servos for the flaps. In order to fit them and use the Bf gear, I had to cut off the 'upper' mounting flange from each servo body. The servo's butt up to the wing spar now and the leads sit immediately behind. They are then fed...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Dec 08, 2011 @ 04:13 AM | 3,063 Views
Daylight photo's to show the wild colour variation! Compare these with the previous 'Flash' views. It's an extreme comparison I agree, but this is the type of thing I was playing with early on to try get the balance right.

All the paint on this Corsair is derived from German RLM type paints. As a rule, most all the RLM European Theatre camouflage colours tend toward various tones of grey and, in some instances, black! This only really changed at the very end of the war with RLM81, 83 & 84.

To try reflect the Pacific influence on light, colours and tones - all of which are more intense - there is a lot of yellow and blue in the mix for all three colours on the model. It some conditions, it actually looks jaundiced! The nett effect, though, I am content with.

Posted by reprobate | Dec 07, 2011 @ 11:48 AM | 3,348 Views
Yo Ho Ho - t'is the season to be jolly! Yeah, well, almost. Still, progress has been made with the Corsair of which I will share with you.

First, the down side. I called the Online outlet with whom I had placed my order (back in October) for the Bf109 bits and cancelled the deal. No regrets, no remorse and no apology from them for sitting on my money for over two months and delivering only a few excuses. Given the state of the economy in the UK (Europe, America and, probably, the rest of the world), you'd think a business would go all out to satisfy its customers and give a good, honest service. How else are you gonna survive if you don't? Well, they didn't and I shall do my utmost not to use them again. The order is now with my very local LHS to supply. Let's see how he does before long.

I also want to fit in Servo rate-reducers to manage the flaps. It would appear that to work the set-up planned for the Corsair, I'll need two of them, one each side as there will be a pair of flap servo's per wing side. Each reducer can only work a maximum of two servo's, but I await confirmation from Dionysus Design that I am in the right zone with this .

All in all, there will be eight servo's on the final model - so I will be replacing the (already defunct) 30amp PZ speed controller with a UBEC set-up to ensure the power delivery is as safe as can be for both engine and systems.

Back to the model. As stated at the beginning of this Blog, I wanted to find a more...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Nov 29, 2011 @ 04:33 AM | 3,350 Views
It's been quite a while since I stopped to contemplate this Blog and I imagine many who had reviewed the previous two entries had, like me, begun to think the whole project had failed and gone to ground. Not a bit of it, but it isn't over yet.

We've had the most unusual weather, ever, here in the UK and it was too good an opportunity to ignore. "Make hay whilst the sun shines.." goes the saying, and so I did, in a manner of speaking. All those chores that had backed up (for years!) were done and then some. Man, I'm well ahead of the game as far as the outside of this house is concerned. Not so much the inside, but I'm not, and never will be, Superman!

With all the external activity, the Corsair sat quietly to one side awaiting my full attention. The cockpit was already done and the canopy masked off, so the whole model got hit with a total white-wash. I always start a project in this manner as it gives a good foundation for any other colour and also shows up any imperfection previously unnoticed. Now, all the time spent doing non-modelling things did not go entirely to waste (as far as this project was concerned) as I was always considering what is was I wanted to do, how I wanted it to look, and most importantly, how I was going to achieve it.

The business of what colours to use were researched over the internet and a good deal of time spent comparing various colours, tones and combinations using the slick Federal Standard paint web-site. What...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Oct 17, 2011 @ 01:33 PM | 3,524 Views
Not too much to write here, so will endeavour to keep it short & sweet.

Currently, I am holding off cutting wing foam for the flap servos - this because I am waiting on some Parkzone spares from a UK supplier, namely the Flap conversion kit that is made for the unloved Bf109. Alas, as seems to be the way of things here, getting hold of Parkzone spares is like trying to get a Euro-zone 'bail out' from the IMF. There are stones bleeding all around me here! Hopefully, they'll appear... sometime.

The new cowl came out of the pack with paint damage. Fearing a repetition of the farce that befell the Malicious Millie project, I coated the whole thing in paint stripper and left it overnight. Come the morning, nothing had happened. Suspecting the stripper of failure, I went and bought a fresh pot and repeated the procedure on the cowl. Twelve hours later and only the slightest of change to the paint had occurred. Funnily enough, the blue on the foam has shown a very distinct resistance to 'lifting' when masking tape is applied and, later, removed. Compared to Millie - well, there isn't any real comparison at all. I believe that the Corsair is finished off with Testor's paint. Impressive stuff indeed! Wish it could be bought readily over here in the UK but, to date, I have had no joy. Shame.

Finally, for this entry, the cockpit is done, the Universal Parkzone Pilot has been painted (they seem to be more individualised from the F4F onwards) and the Canopy is masked up. Paint will begin with an application of white before the fun really begins!

Posted by reprobate | Oct 06, 2011 @ 03:36 AM | 3,657 Views
October UK, and the flying season is drawing to a close. I love the Fall as you guys know it just as much as I loathe Winter. Just too darn depressing. Still, it's usually the time I settle down with a 'Project' and this is what I've chosen to do.

We all, by now, know of the Parkzone Corsairs, (big & small). Mine is several years old now and doing just fine - I've enjoyed many, many hours flying it and still get a kick when seeing her 'cranked' wing cut into profile as she turns in towards me, but I do have one problem when flying her that has terminated many a flying session. It's her colours. Unless the day is really bright, she can be awkward to fly because of reduced orientation.

What do I mean by that? A lot of UK light has a grey background (Clouds!), which, in turn, reduces the overall light level quite significantly. The Corsair in its Pacific scheme, often hides itself in the sky and by that I mean it becomes difficult to know quite which way she is flying. Often, I find myself having to tweak the ailerons or elevator in order to see what the model does before getting a 'fix' on her direction and attitude. There have been several scary moments when she was high or out quite far and I could not tell if she was coming toward or flying away from me. Poor piloting skills? Maybe. I always thought I kept her close enough - maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm right. The point is, I can't always see what she (read I) am doing.

Since owning this...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | May 13, 2011 @ 10:37 AM | 3,564 Views
My airbrush arrived today so I finished 'Millie' off and took these last 'stills'. Mostly, the work focussed around the gas burns under the belly and wing... you need to see it to notice everything else.

I had considered weathering the airframe but chose not to for two good reasons. 1/. I done that stuff before and this model wasn't about doing that. This was about the 'alloy' panel effect. 2/. Although I make no claim to have exhausted all the material available covering both the T-Bolt & the Super Bolt, I had seen enough to impress myself just how clean the alloy-finished 'Bolts were. Either the aircraft, generally, was a clean machine or the Ground Crews' really took a pride in keeping them so... probably both! Either way, until I get to see a really 'weathered Thunder Bolt, I'm not daubing paint for the sake of 'effect'.

That's it, thanks for your interest - time to go fly.

Posted by reprobate | May 06, 2011 @ 08:21 AM | 4,032 Views
Okay. Couple of things have prompted me to wind this Blog up. Firstly, the max size prop adaptor for the Escale 4-blade prop is 4mm (5mm is the size of the shaft on the motor) and, secondly, my LHS seems to be having a problem getting hold of a new AZTEK airbrush. So, much as I would have liked to present 'Millie' with a proper set of 4 blades and all the painting complete, I regret that it will, now, no longer be the case. Better luck next time eh?

After dismissing 'Rabbit', the search began to find a similar/suitable substitute. I really liked the simplicity of 'Rabbit's' scheme, far from garish, easy to pick out in the sky and still with the European Theatre connection. Along with the two profiles shown earlier in this Blog, 'Bum's Rush' & 'Old Missouri', I chanced upon two more a/c with the red 'n' white tail feathers. Clearly, the 'Dragon Lady' was a non starter but 'Malicious Millie' was definitely in the frame. Besides.. I kinda liked the name and all that it suggested. As it turned out, it was the most appropriate name ever!

Like all the others, this is the only view I have ever seen of 'Millie', so she, too, falls into the category of an Anecdotal Airframe. The small amount of text below the picture says she was crewed by Mike Brown. Whether that means flown by or that Mike was the ground crew, I don't know. If anybody can shed more light on the history of this particular aircraft, I'd be very pleased to hear from you.

Take a look at the...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | May 04, 2011 @ 05:15 AM | 3,542 Views
May 4th. By now I'd hoped to have posted the final part of this project but, and this is a big but to me, I can't get my hands on a darn E-scale 4 blade prop, nor can I get hold of their 5mm prop adaptor. Every time I look on the 'net', I'm greeted by ever slipping delivery schedules. Now, why does that keep reminding me of something I've seen elsewhere of late? If that wasn't enough, my AZTEK airbrush decided to call 'Time' and now won't work. That's the second one to go in just the same way - needle release sticks and then... nothing. Tried repairing it but it doesn't want to know.

So, no prop, and no airbrush, no finished model and no further update. Who said modelling was fun?

Posted by reprobate | Mar 28, 2011 @ 07:17 AM | 4,376 Views
I'm nearing the end of this project now, maybe end of April (allowing for all the other things I'm meant to be doing like work, house repairs etc..), so this'll bring it all up to date prior to the finish. That means this one but last entry will be comparatively short.. I hope.

All the fuselage is now done, all of the plastic 'vents' are glued back (they fell off when I attacked the black paint) and all of the main wing is completed. After studying the various references I have gathered since the project began, I have corrected minor over-sights like the 'Aircraft green' wheel wells which are, now, as close an approximation as I can make to the 'Zinc Chromate' finish that Republic used. I've also taken the (unexpected) opportunity to revise the way the cowl is finished.

The cowl. I mentioned, earlier on, that it went wrong. This caught me on the hop as I really hadn't anticipated that it too could cause a problem. I'd all but finished painting it up, with the exception of the AG panel, when upon removing the very last piece of Tamiya masking tape, the paint gave way from the ABS and left me with no alternative but to start again. Looking back on it, I'd foolishly left the original paint in situ and painted over it. Wrong, wrong WRONG.. BIG MISTAKE! No words this time, no oaths, just a liberal covering of paint stripper and into a sealed bag. Three hours later, no more, and the red had dissolved.. literally.. and the silver had lifted in one whole sheet! I...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Mar 26, 2011 @ 10:31 AM | 3,752 Views
Huh! As I begin to write this 4th instalment to my Blog, there's a PZ P47 advert in the top R/H corner of my screen - how ironic is that?

Again, I need to put a couple of things into context here (for my benefit if not yours). Not long after I'd placed the original order for my '47, I'd settled on the idea/scheme of Rabbit and I'd mentioned that to replicate the 'Nose Art', I'd need a little help. By good fortune (read: Luck!), I found a guy over in Wales (I'm in the UK, so that'll be the Principality) who made plastic kits, produced decal sheets and, to my delight, had Rabbit in his catalogue. Once contacted and brought up to speed with what I was planning, I got the 'nod' that he could produce, to a given scale, the decals I would need for this project. Great! But as I didn't have the model then, we agreed to hold off until it arrived so that I supplied the right dims to the guy. Seemed like the sensible thing to do. Well, back then it did..

When the 'Bull did arrive, all efforts to contact him were in vain. The phone number shown on his web-page was no longer in use, emails went unanswered and I had to presume he'd packed up or the business had failed under the current economic downturn we are enjoying here in the UK. Whatever the case, with him too went Rabbit. Now what? I really liked the basics of the colour scheme, not too garish, the red was good for orientation in flight and the history associated with the 527th FS / 86th FG suited my small mind...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Mar 25, 2011 @ 07:48 AM | 4,163 Views
Before I go much further, I must confess that (if you look real close) at least one of the photo's I have posted doesn't follow the time-line here - that's the one of the de-nuded airframe sitting on it's wheels. Over this period, next to no pictures were taken of it, such was my feeling toward this project! So my apologies to anyone reading this blog.. this entry is mostly all text.

The model 'kicked' around for some three weeks before, finally, I turned my attention to it again. I stated at the beginning my intention to go the full six channels, and as I had all the hardware ready to install, also, bearing in mind some of the reports on the P47 forum regarding what needed doing, it seemed sensible to fix everything in/on before starting the task of re-painting. I should also point out that, armed with the knowledge gained from the fuselage debacle, I went all out to protect the wing paint as much as possible. Never-the-less, as soon as I peeled back that tape over the spar and cable channel, the wing began to go the way of the fuselage.

OK, Grumpy Old Man bit here.. If you market a product made of this material, that has all the problems it does v.v the paint and tape/decals, and you make a big deal at the outset of the full six option the moment you begin to advertise the darn thing, don't you think, given the damage you know will occur the moment Joe Arceer sets too with a passion to make the six happen.. don't you think it would have made all the sense in...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Mar 24, 2011 @ 07:49 AM | 4,150 Views
I left off the last entry with a damaged model on my hands. Given that the silver paint had lifted itself with all of the decals and left ugly scars all over the airframe, I reasoned that any work on the aircraft, it it were to look even remotely up to standard, was going to require that the whole fuselage be stripped of paint. Now, I don't know about any of you who are kind or interested enough to read this may have had by way of experiences with the PZ 47.. I can only speak of my own. When I removed this model from the box when I first got it, the paint on the fuselage was tacky, definitely tacky (as in sticky). Very strange. The main wing was fine, so too the tailplane. Given all that befell this model and myself as the work progressed (and stalled, and regressed), I am absolutely convinced that the paint was either a bloody poor mix or just damn cheap. Either way, it had no right to be where it was!

I set about stripping the tail first (to get a feel for how things would go) and used a modellers paint stripping compound. This required being sealed in a bag for up to 10 hours and then being washed off. Up to a point, it worked. Curiously, it appeared to leave the slightest film of silver on the Z-foam (like you could see through it easily) and, stranger still, it had no effect of the black painted stripes. Hmm? Okay, I didn't have to worry so much about the black, so I just concentrated on the silver. The fuselage, being the size it is, presented another...Continue Reading
Posted by reprobate | Mar 22, 2011 @ 04:07 PM | 3,918 Views
Like many of you guys out there, when Horizon Hobby announced the new PZ P47, I looked at the model with keen interest to see what was new. First impressions (if I'm honest), weren't too great as the immediate 'look' of the Snortin' Bullwas, er, dull/dreary. But, when I read the PR release and saw that the fairly 'neutral' scheme was deliberate and intended to aid those amongst us who like to customise, I saw that as a positive step. So, I read the reviews, liked the idea of a full 6 channel model and began to think this was a model I should get to know. An order was placed and, like everybody else, I sat back and waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually, I ended up waiting over 2 months for the darn thing to arrive. I think, now, looking back on it, that all that waiting was fate trying to get me to wake up and smell the coffee 'cos what was about to happen (if I'd known or even suspected) would have coloured my judgement and seen me walk away.

I was always going to customise my '47. I had chosen my scheme some time back (it was a European based Fighter Bomber group with an Italian link) and so, as the English flying season was some time off, I assembled 'Snortin' Bull' once, to see what it looked like, and then removed the decals to begin the work... and with the decals came the paint along with the god awful realisation that this was rapidly turning into a major project. Little did I know just how much work that would entail!

More to follow..