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Old 10-09-2015, 08:02 PM   #51
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What's to say about Century Wings’ F-14 Tomcats other than they're, well—FABULOUS! And this particular specimen is arguably one of the best of the bunch!

The Iranian Air Force F-14A Tomcat 3-6020 of TFB-8, Khatami Air Base, is second to none for detail and accuracy. It features swing wings, completed landing gear subassemblies that snap quickly into place, and realistic panel lines, antennas, access panels, and surface details. The opened canopy reveals a detailed cockpit interior. Plus the model boasts of selected moveable control surfaces, optional extended/retracted landing gear, detailed removable pilots, and authentic, interchangeable ordnance loads including Phoenix, Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles. And…its camo job is unique among Century Wings’ F-14s.

Purdy cool, huh?

In ancient days (1976), the United States forked over a bunch of F-14As to Iran, making that country the only foreign power to operate the aircraft. Then revolution ruined the festivities, the power paradigm everlastingly shifted, and American and Iranian relations circled the toilet. The Imperial Iranian Air force morphed into the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force, whereupon the US imposed an embargo on its newly minted enemy. Overnight, Iran found itself scrambling for Tomcat parts and additional AIM-54 Phoenix missiles. Intelligence groups guesstimate fewer than 20 of these Tomcats still fly.

This particular F-14A, #3-6020, is celebrated (in Iran) for having fired an AIM-54 on an Iraqi MiG-25, forcing it to run home for mamma. Anybody up for fireworks?

I hate to rub this in, but really, if you didn’t buy this model back in the day—you should have. This particular Tomcat is nearly impossible to find; and when it does appear it fetches a king’s ransom. If you’re an F-14 jock but don’t own this model, beg for, borrow, or pinch one (I’ll disavow I ever said that, I swear ). You might have to sell your house, wife/girlfriend, and kids in the process, but it’ll be worth it.
This is a funny release. It was a tad controversial when it was announced and was a tad slow to sell.

But plenty of lads these days are wishing they pulled the trigger back in the day.

I did.... and it is a very very speccy release.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:56 AM   #52
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It certainly was controversial on MHII back in the day, quite a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth from a few good ol' boys who thought that diecast blasphemy had been created

Mine is still MIB but will eventually display alongside the HM F-4 & F-5 in IIRAF markings as a mini-theme
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:31 PM   #53
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HM would be insane not to do an Irianian tomcat, if not this old 80's scheme, do the modern digial camo scheme for something different
Very much doubt it's an either/or proposition! Both deserve to be made, and arguably the blue version should get done again too, since it was one of the most asked for despite Gemini's recent coverage of it. But of course later on, once the Gemini version is long gone...
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:35 PM   #54
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Right there with you on the F-2, Richtofen!

Personally am not a fan of the B version so much as the A, but yes, in a perfect world I would own a regular A, that new cherry blossom tailed A, and the TRDI single seater for sure, and treasure them all. Would look great escorting a Hickam Raptor or two!
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Old 10-12-2015, 10:31 AM   #55
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You've gotta hand it to Witty Wings: complex camouflage schemes didn’t intimidate it; quite the contrary, the company tackled them with gusto, demonstrated by its Mig-29AS Fulcrum-C "Digital Thunder."

Over the years, scores of discontented collectors blitzed the now deceased manu for many perceived shortcomings, including, but not exclusive to, incorrect camo color, anorexic tail fins, inordinately shallow intakes, too little wing dihedral—or anhedral, inaccurate canopy shapes, imprecise nose cones, wrong ordinance loadouts, questionable landing gear—the list goes on. But on this model, ol' Witty surprised the world: Tampo application wise, the company went virtuoso all over it. Literally.

Witty replicated this lavish (and devilishly complex) camouflage with dazzling finesse. Indeed, but for the manu’s other insane camo masterpiece exhibited with its F/A-18F Super Hornet (WTW-72-008-009), the Slovak Mig boasts of the best tampo rendering anywhere. Ever.

A few years ago the Slovakian Ministry of Defense stated it would switch all of its Mig-29 Fulcrums to digital fractal camouflage, the brainchild of HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp. According to experts, the three-color "Digital Thunder" camo effectually disguises aircraft against ground, sea, overcast, and blue sky by duping the human brain into seeing depth, a 3-D optical illusion. Easy peasy.

The model’s a jewel; and, good news, you can occasionally find it on eBay. So if you love ridiculously excellent camouflage jobs (not to mention bad-to-the-bone jet fighters), you’ve gotta add this honey to your collection. But don’t dillydally; it won't hang around forever.
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Old 10-12-2015, 01:00 PM   #56
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Hear hear, richthoven - well put.

I'll add to that the wonderful UkrAF airshow splinter scheme which if it were on an HM-quality mould might be model of the year (by comparison, the splinter scheme HM hornet is very nice, but doesn't quite have it).

And of course the scheme that I keep pimping as just wonderful, the centennial of naval aviation digital superbug. Stunning in the flesh.
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:12 AM   #57
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If you’re lookin’ for the ultimate, certifiable, freaky-deaky, “I can’t find one for my life” rare model, search no further. Century Wings' Vought A-7D Corsair II (no. 686250) simply can’t be found. Anywhere.

CW’s Corsair II represents the ultimate bomb-truck, the world’s most cost-effective and capable attack aircraft ever flown. Derived from Vought’s legendary F-8 Crusader, the A-7 was a completely different animal, sporting different wings, a strapping turbofan sans afterburner, and three times the F-8’s warload, able to drop it on a flea’s ear.

This snub-nosed bad-boy served brilliantly in the attack role in numerous conflicts, including 'Nam, where it achieved one of the lowest aircraft loss rates, even while flying straight down the enemy’s throat. In more than 23 years of front line service between 1968 and 1991 with the US Air Force and Navy, A-7s logged over five million flight hours. And though the warbird wasn’t exactly a cutie patootie (I mean, come on, look at that colossal maw), its pilots unanimously praised her.

Model wise, Century Wings hit this trouper out of the park. The company issued 1500 world wide, of which only 200 reached the UK—and were all pre-sold by blastoff. The USA received its fair share but sold out almost instantly, too.

So your chances of finding one are ridonkulous. If you ever do see one trippin’ down eBay Street, knock it over the head and hustle it away. ‘Cause somebody else will likely snatch it right out of yo’ little hands before you can say, “What tha???!!!”
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Old 10-14-2015, 10:17 AM   #58
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I know you'd definitely be a fan of this Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/TheBellTowerTimes?fref=ts
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Old 10-14-2015, 04:52 PM   #59
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If you’re lookin’ for the ultimate, certifiable, freaky-deaky, “I can’t find one for my life” rare model, search no further. Century Wings' Vought A-7D Corsair II (no. 686250) simply can’t be found. Anywhere.

CW’s Corsair II represents the ultimate bomb-truck, the world’s most cost-effective and capable attack aircraft ever flown. Derived from Vought’s legendary F-8 Crusader, the A-7 was a completely different animal, sporting different wings, a strapping turbofan sans afterburner, and three times the F-8’s warload, able to drop it on a flea’s ear.

This snub-nosed bad-boy served brilliantly in the attack role in numerous conflicts, including 'Nam, where it achieved one of the lowest aircraft loss rates, even while flying straight down the enemy’s throat. In more than 23 years of front line service between 1968 and 1991 with the US Air Force and Navy, A-7s logged over five million flight hours. And though the warbird wasn’t exactly a cutie patootie (I mean, come on, look at that colossal maw), its pilots unanimously praised her.

Model wise, Century Wings hit this trouper out of the park. The company issued 1500 world wide, of which only 200 reached the UK—and were all pre-sold by blastoff. The USA received its fair share but sold out almost instantly, too.

So your chances of finding one are ridonkulous. If you ever do see one trippin’ down eBay Street, knock it over the head and hustle it away. ‘Cause somebody else will likely snatch it right out of yo’ little hands before you can say, “What tha???!!!”

Yeah, she went quick and as you alluded it appears to be one of those models that is genuinely almost impossible to get.

A couple got to Australia and I picked it up damn quick. Sweet,....and a standout in me Vietnam War theme packed with F4s and F105s.

Its one of the biggest mysteries in the Hobby why CW have not released another USAF Vietnam War SLUF.
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:57 PM   #60
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Its one of the biggest mysteries in the Hobby why CW have not released another USAF Vietnam War SLUF.
Christian, do you know what "SLUF" stood for?

"Short Little Ugly … (um) Fella"
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:45 PM   #61
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Christian, do you know what "SLUF" stood for?

"Short Little Ugly … (um) Fella"
-------------
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:20 AM   #62
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I think that to ´Gone but Not Forgotten´ you can easily add also this beautiful F-104 Starfighter, Bundesmarine MFG 1, Schleswig, HA1012, what do you think, Richtofen288?

I was looking for mine for a very long time and was really surprised how few there are available nowadays.

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Old 10-15-2015, 08:57 AM   #63
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That's definitely one of if not the best F-104 by HM to have. Together with HA1030, the Netherlands Air Force one.
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Old 10-15-2015, 11:03 AM   #64
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Absolutely, Ladia and Richard. The Bundesmarine Starfighter ranks among my favorite '104s. Good on ya for reminding me!
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Old 10-16-2015, 10:46 AM   #65
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Something about the Val shrieking from the sky, disemboweling enemy ships and obliterating instillations, personified Japan’s fierce samurai spirit: It took no prisoners; it gave no quarter.

The Aichi D3A “Val” was Japan’s answer to Germany’s Stuka, both aircraft featuring external bomb storage and fixed, spatted landing gear. The prototype took to the air in 1938 and later in China and Indo-China, but US Intelligence hadn't a clue. And though relatively obsolescent, the type sent the USN into a screamin' fit when 126 Vals spearheaded the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7th December 1941.

D3As flew in all major carrier actions during the first 10 months of the war and sank more Allied naval vessels than any other Axis aircraft. American losses to the type are well documented, but less publicized are Britain’s casualties, including the HMS Hermes (the world’s first carrier sunk by carrier aircraft) and the cruisers Cornwall and Dorsetshire.

Japan deployed two-hundred fifty Vals throughout the Pacific by mid 1942, but heavy losses following the Battle of the Coral Sea forced their withdrawal to less vulnerable land bases. By 1943, American fighters dominated the D3A; by 1945, the Val was effective only in kamikaze attacks.

Collectors generally agree that SkyMax’s D3A Val (SM5001) represents the company’s high-water mark both in design and execution. Unearthing one is challenging in the extreme; so if you do dig one up, bag it. You’ll thank me.
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Old 10-16-2015, 05:34 PM   #66
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I think that to ´Gone but Not Forgotten´ you can easily add also this beautiful F-104 Starfighter, Bundesmarine MFG 1, Schleswig, HA1012, what do you think, Richtofen288?

I was looking for mine for a very long time and was really surprised how few there are available nowadays.

An absolute cracker this one - and makes a nice pair with Corgi's Bundesmarine Tornado .

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Old 10-16-2015, 09:03 PM   #67
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Christian, do you know what "SLUF" stood for?

"Short Little Ugly … (um) Fella"
am one of the Lucky few who got the A-7 SLUF in my collection......
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Old 10-16-2015, 09:33 PM   #68
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An absolute cracker this one - and makes a nice pair with Corgi's Bundesmarine Tornado .


For some inexplicable reason, I never built a post War German theme. I don't know why. But gee, I sometimes do regret it. Perhaps in the future I could get into the theme and go on one of the hunting expeditions over a couple of years to gain the F4s, F104s and Tonkas that the theme really needs.

Ya not helping AG!!!
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:21 PM   #69
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Start with a very big torpedo, nail stubby wings to it, strap two ginormous, 2,000 horsepower Pratt & Whitney engines to those, do a little tweaking here and there, and voilà! You've got the Martin B-26 medium bomber.

This swankalishious little beast was as serious as a heart attack. Speedy, armed to the teeth, and hauling a crackin’ bombload, it routinely zipped in low and fast, nailed its target, and scooted away before fatso Uncle Göring could hoist his beer stein.

The B-26 was optimized for high-speed cruising, which it did swimmingly. But take-off and landing wise it was craptacular, slaughtering gaggles of fledgling cadets and horrified instructors in the process. Things got so sticky at a training base in Florida, in fact, crews pointed to their B-26s and quipped, "One a day in Tampa Bay!" So it’s understandable why flyboys labeled her the "Widow-maker," "The Flying Prostitute," and the "Baltimore Whore" (pleasant sobriquets compared to others).

With a little fine tuning, the Marauder eventually logged the lowest attrition rate of any American aircraft serving with the USAAF. And though the warbird performed a limited role in the Pacific, in Europe and North Africa it won distinction.

For my money, FOV did a reasonable job on its B-26B. I don’t like the rubber machine guns much, and the panel lines are a bit overstated; but overall the model satisfies. And considering Forces of Valor is the only manu to ever produce the bird in 1/72 scale, you’ve gotta give the company props. And … if you look hard, you can still find one.

(Too, I thought you'd like to see the exposed, frontward fuselage of a rickety old ’26 resting sullenly at a local aerospace museum. Graffiti artists just love the thing.)
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:36 PM   #70
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Something about the Val shrieking from the sky, disemboweling enemy ships and obliterating instillations, personified Japan’s fierce samurai spirit: It took no prisoners; it gave no quarter.

The Aichi D3A “Val” was Japan’s answer to Germany’s Stuka, both aircraft featuring external bomb storage and fixed, spatted landing gear. The prototype took to the air in 1938 and later in China and Indo-China, but US Intelligence hadn't a clue. And though relatively obsolescent, the type sent the USN into a screamin' fit when 126 Vals spearheaded the attack on Pearl Harbor, 7th December 1941.

D3As flew in all major carrier actions during the first 10 months of the war and sank more Allied naval vessels than any other Axis aircraft. American losses to the type are well documented, but less publicized are Britain’s casualties, including the HMS Hermes (the world’s first carrier sunk by carrier aircraft) and the cruisers Cornwall and Dorsetshire.

Japan deployed two-hundred fifty Vals throughout the Pacific by mid 1942, but heavy losses following the Battle of the Coral Sea forced their withdrawal to less vulnerable land bases. By 1943, American fighters dominated the D3A; by 1945, the Val was effective only in kamikaze attacks.

Collectors generally agree that SkyMax’s D3A Val (SM5001) represents the company’s high-water mark both in design and execution. Unearthing one is challenging in the extreme; so if you do dig one up, bag it. You’ll thank me.
Agreed, this one is the hardest to find these days, and usually the most expensive. I managed to track one down from a Japanese dealer before they disappeared from retail quite a while ago.

From the Battle of Ceylon, so it's the British who suffered.

Skymax could have made a few more I think in the green color at least. Even a plain jane would've been cool.
One of my first Skymax choices over the recent all grey Devastator.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:17 AM   #71
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The Regia Aeronautica Italiana got itself an indisputable, steely eyed killer in the Macchi C.205 Veltro. It could dodge, catch up to, and swat down its opponents with relative ease. And had it been available in number and its niggling faults resolved, the warbird would have kicked tail all over the Mediterranean.

Some Italian higher-up guessed that grafting a superior foreign engine to an unremarkable airframe would significantly boost the plane's performance (what a novel idea!). So the Italians slammed a powerful German Dimler-Benz DB 605 engine under a C.202 Folgore's hood and presto! Instant Mount Vesuvius! The Veltro (Grehound) reached 400 miles per hour, flew 590 miles non-stop, and rocketed to 37,730 feet, leaving its predecessor in the dust. That, and the Veltro carried 2x20mm MG 151 cannons, the first Italian fighter to pack serious heat.

What really singed the Allies’ knickers was, the C.205 could rhumba with the Supermarine Spitfire Mk.IX (and its like) effortlessly. When it wasn't lolling around some hangar awaiting repair, the warbird was a veritable prizefighterand a swanky one at that.

By September 3rd, 1943, when Italy officially ditched Nazi Germany, C.205 fighters went to both the Nazi-buttressed loyalists (the Rupublica Sociale Italiana) and pro-Allies supporters, each side securing roughly half the inventory.

An observation …

I truly believe the 21st Century’s 1/32 plastic fighter line was extraordinary. Not every plane in the series rose to excellence, but the majority came tolerably close (the Macchi C.205 Veltro a prime example). Given their large scale and incredibly low price, nothing in the model world rivaled them; and even today they stand up to critical scrutiny.

Personally, if I were just starting a model collection, I’d ignore these models completely. Not because they’re substandard or flawed or too large, but because I’m a completest and would go nuts trying to hunt down each and every one. Many no longer exist.

…Oh to heck with it, I take that back. If you can find a 21st Century 1/32 fighter at a reasonable price, snatch it. I promise, you’ll love it.
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Old 10-23-2015, 11:07 AM   #72
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In response to the deadly Sopwith Triplane, Anthony Fokker designed the DR.I Dreidecker, delivering the first of these to Manfred von Richthofen's Jagdegeschwader I in late August 1917. Upon seeing the DR.I, the "Red Baron" leaped into it and straightaway shot down a British R.E.8 of No. 6 Sqn., whose crew, no doubt, thought the three-winged craft was a friendly Sopwith Triplane. Talk about irony.

Unhappily for Deutsche Luftstreitkräfte rookies, however, the DR.1 devoured pilots like candy. In an expert's hands, the triplane was devilishly maneuverable and lethal; in the hands of a novice, the fighter was a veritable deathtrap, a swift ticket to suicideland.

Lothar von Richthofen, Manfred's little brother, nonetheless, mastered the DR1.s slippery personality and proved himself a cunning pilot and exceptional shot, credited with 40 enemy kills.
……

Just for you Halloween devotees out there, a spine-tingling yarn …

Baron Manfred von Richthofen died on 21 April 1918, from Australian machinegun fire near the Somme River. Lothar heard of his brother's demise while recovering from battle wounds and didn't fly again until July, 1918, scoring his last victory on 12 August. The next day, American Captain Field E. Kindley, flying a Sopwith Camel, nearly killed Lothar, who just barely escaped. The wounded ace blacked out repeatedly from loss of blood, and his plane was so shot full of holes it could scarcely fly. Conditions were so desperate, in fact, Richthofen resigned himself to death and nosed his fighter into a final dive. But at that precise moment, a blazing red Fokker DR.1 materialized off his left wing, got his attention, and pulled ahead as if to lead.

Fighting unconsciousness, Lothar tailed the enigmatic triplane all the way to his airfield and circled, where the other pilot tendered a smart salute, smiled easily, and then vanished into nothingness.

To his dying day, Lother von Richtofen swore the mystery pilot was none other than his dead brother, Manfred. And others confirmed his story: Ground observers also witnessed the Red Barron fly over the field, roll away, and then dissolve into thin air. Poof! There one second, gone the next.

Yikes!

Anyway, Corgi’s AA38302 (Lothar Richthofen’s bird) is a genuine tour de force. The colors are snappy, the tampos are crazy good, the minimal wire bracing is exceptional, and the shape and contour are bang right on. And the best part is, the model’s still available (I think); so give yourself a ghost of a chance and grab one! Just keep marauding 1/48 Corgi Sopwith Camels at bay.
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Old 10-26-2015, 09:29 AM   #73
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To qualify for The League of Uglyitis Warbirds (“TLUW” for short), a plane must fall out of the ugly tree and hit every branch and twig on the way down. The F-35 and Mig-31 did it with gusto; the Panavia Tornado likewise made a spectacular splat.

That said, the ol’ Tonka is far and away a noble warbird, having done herself proud in the Bosnian and Kosovo Wars, the First and Second Gulf Wars, the Libyan Civil War, and lesser roles in Afghanistan and Yemen. Indeed, British, Italian, and Saudi Tornados made low-level, anti-runway bombing sorties in Iraq with stupendous success.

Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace, MBB of West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy mass-produced the interdictor/strike aircraft, which first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 1979-1980 (did I mention that it comes in an air defense/interceptor variant, too?). Despite considerable wear and service since then, the bird shows little sign of decrepitude, a testament to its brilliant design.

Corgi’s Saudi version (represented below) boasts of fastidiously applied Saudi 'desert' camouflage, exceptional tampos, and impressive ordinance. I found a couple on eBay, but both were “used” and cost a bundle. Keep in mind that somewhere down the road this model will up and vanish. So if you’ve got a hammer, smash your piggy bank, grab some coin, and buy this goodie while it’s still available.
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:30 AM   #74
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She was eye-catching, speedy, and could boogie with the best of ‘em. The Germans called her "Der Gabelschwanz Teufel" ("The Fork-Tailed Devil."); Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto wished he'd never laid eyes on one. We're talking about Kelly Johnson's brainchild, the P-38 Lightning.

Designed as a high-level, high-speed interceptor with exceptional range, the Lightning's design radically deviated from conformist, single-fuselage fighters: Twin boom engines bookended a single, central pod nacelle containing the pilot and armament, and a broad horizontal elevator plane joined the booms at the rear. This arrangement provided an unprecedented, unfettered "cone of fire" that allowed for intense slicing and dicing with the plane's 1× Hispano M2(C) 20 mm cannon and 4× M2 Browning machine gun 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns. (In other words, if a Zero traipsed into a Lightning’s crosshairs, it was a dead duck. Splash one meatball.)

The P-38 served most effectively in the Pacific and China-Burma-India Theater of Operations (not so much Europe), as demonstrated by America's top aces, Richard Bong (40 victories), Thomas McGuire (38 victories) and Charles H. MacDonald (36 victories). In the South West Pacific theater, the P-38 was the primary USAAF long-range fighter until the P-51D Mustang horned in.

And though the P-38 played second fiddle to the P-51 and P-47, it was still a superb, sturdy warrior: The warbird served as an interceptor, dive bomber, level-bombing bomber, ground-attack bomber, night fighter, photo reconnaissance platform, radar and visual pathfinder for bombers, and long-range escort (when equipped with drop tanks). And … this magnificent warbird was the only American fighter in production from the first day of the war to "VJ Day."

As for Corgi’s splendid California Cutie P-38J (US36604), good luck trying to find one. Corgi was known as (and still is, depending on whom you talk to) the primo, choicest, best military diecast manufacturer ever to grace planet earth (if you need proof, take a long gander at this twin-boomed wonder). It’s a genuine, consummate Corgi masterpiece, and shame on you if you don’t own one.
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Old 10-28-2015, 03:33 PM   #75
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Was disappointed that Corgi did not do their blue PRU Lightning. So I made my own.

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Old 10-28-2015, 08:58 PM   #76
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Great job, Shawn507. You're an airbrush virtuoso!
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Old 10-28-2015, 09:51 PM   #77
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Remember when HM spooks cost $58 ?

Pepperidge farm remembers
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Old 10-30-2015, 09:18 AM   #78
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The appearance of this swept-wing, agile, cannon-laden jet over Korea stunned the pants off the USAF. The Mig-15 was the Soviet Union's first true turbojet-powered design of consequence and the first swept-wing aircraft of the Empire. And believe me, if this hardscrabble, threatening little monster caught you in its sights, you likely had to change your undies later—if you survived.

The Russians were no slouches when it came to nicking German scientists and their trailblazing aircraft designs following the war. Nor did they object when Britain graciously gifted them with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet engines, which the Soviets, in turn, gleefully copied as the Klimov RD-45 power plant, which propelled the Russian's forthcoming Mig-15. Presto! Instant success. And thank you!

The jet’s design was relatively simple, a single-engine layout with 35-degree swept wings with slight anhedral. The single engine was fed by a split-forward intake, the air ducting around the cockpit to merge just before the engine. Armament was typically brawny: The Russians squeezed a Nudel'man N-37 37mm cannon and 2x Nudl'man/Rikhter NR-23 23mm cannons—with ammunition boxes—into a user-friendly weapons tray beneath the forward fuselage. And though the main cannon was hobbled by a sluggish rate-of-fire and limited ammunition, one hit could handily destroy any avionics system, engine—or pilot.

Mig-15s were deployed to the Korean Front in November, 1950, its Soviet pilots wearing Chinese uniforms and flying from Chinese air bases (officially off limits to UN bombers and fighters). And while Soviet pilots could hold their own against their American counterparts, Chinese and North Korean pilots typically fared poorly. Later, when the North American F-86 Sabre stepped in, the Ruskies had their hands full, though many experts claim the F-86 and Mig-15 were evenly matched (more or less). Their first duel occurred on December 17th, 1950, when four Mig-15s squared off against four Sabres at 25,000 feet, resulting in the annihilation of one Mig-15. The adversaries tangled again on December 21st, the Sabres whipping six Migs for the loss of one Sabre.

Hobby Master's Mig-15bis version represents North Korean Lieutenant Ro Kun Suk's mount, which he surrendered to the Americans at Kimpo Air Base near Seoul two months after the war. And for my money, she's a beaut. My sources inform me it’s still available through an American vendor (sounds like and rhymes with "Aikens"). But don’t wait long. Inventory is low.
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Old 10-31-2015, 06:33 AM   #79
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I love this thread!
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:21 AM   #80
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When it comes to brilliant technical and aerodynamic achievement mindlessly (perhaps even criminally) felled by the budget ax, the twin-engined, delta winged, supersonic interceptor Arrow CF-105 stands among the most grievous. For Canada, its and the Iroquois engine’s kindred termination were ruinous: the loss ransacked the nation’s developing aerospace industry, extinguished over 30,000 jobs, triggered the exodus of irreplaceable talent and brain power to Lockheed, Northrop, Boeing, McDonnel, and NASA (among other rivals), and bushwhacked any distinction the project would have garnered. But perhaps the vilest upshot was, it exterminated the most striking, aesthetically pleasing warbird of all time.

Let me say that again…

The Arrow CF-105, for unalloyed beauty, remains unsurpassed in the annals of aviation. It was a saucy, sexy supermodel, the Elle MacPherson of warbirds, and we’ll never see her like again.

This glorious warbird warrants far more reflection and analysis than I tender here, so I invite you to Google additional info. But were I Canadian, 29 February would be a day of mourning, the despairing over a splendid, achievable dream that circumstances foolishly (and ruthlessly) extinguished.

The model, of course, is stunning. Hobby Master produced this incontestable masterwork along with its all-white sibling for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. And I can tell you personally, these models rock; they give new meaning to the idiom “gotta-have.” So if you can find either one (which will prove profoundly difficult, believe me), grab it. You’ll likely wind up bankrupt, but you’ll own the ultimate cheesecake of military diecast models.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:28 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richtofen288 View Post
When it comes to brilliant technical and aerodynamic achievement mindlessly (perhaps even criminally) felled by the budget ax, the twin-engined, delta winged, supersonic interceptor Arrow CF-105 stands among the most grievous. For Canada, its and the Iroquois engine’s kindred termination were ruinous: the loss ransacked the nation’s developing aerospace industry, extinguished over 30,000 jobs, triggered the exodus of irreplaceable talent and brain power to Lockheed, Northrop, Boeing, McDonnel, and NASA (among other rivals), and bushwhacked any distinction the project would have garnered. But perhaps the vilest upshot was, it exterminated the most striking, aesthetically pleasing warbird of all time.

Let me say that again…

The Arrow CF-105, for unalloyed beauty, remains unsurpassed in the annals of aviation. It was a saucy, sexy supermodel, the Elle MacPherson of warbirds, and we’ll never see her like again.

This glorious warbird warrants far more reflection and analysis than I tender here, so I invite you to Google additional info. But were I Canadian, 29 February would be a day of mourning, the despairing over a splendid, achievable dream that circumstances foolishly (and ruthlessly) extinguished.

The model, of course, is stunning. Hobby Master produced this incontestable masterwork along with its all-white sibling for the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. And I can tell you personally, these models rock; they give new meaning to the idiom “gotta-have.” So if you can find either one (which will prove profoundly difficult, believe me), grab it. You’ll likely wind up bankrupt, but you’ll own the ultimate cheesecake of military diecast models.
Very clever write up yet again, R.

I found it a little funny that you used an Australian model do describe a Canadian aircraft - then again, not many Canadian models come to mind. Maybe Aussie girls are prettier?
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:01 PM   #82
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Old 11-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #83
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If you like modern warbirds, you've gotta love the ol' General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Falcon, one of the best fighters in its class and a favorite among turn-'n-burn aficionados. The Fighting Falcon is essentially a screamin’ street hot rod, a no-frills, pedal-to-the-metal, missile-toting bad girl endowed with advanced radar and weaponry that’ll rock any rival’s world.

The jet is agile, light weight (comparatively), faster than greased lightening, and is fly-by-wire controlled, making it very slippery and enormously lethal: Mix it with this baby and you've got rock-solid problems. (And talk about smokin’ hot! This honey can slip into a two-piece bikini and rip up an entire beach. I've seen it done!) Perhaps the F-16C's most striking feature is its conformal fuel tanks, those big, beefy shoulder blades sitting astride the jet’s spine. They look almost Frankensteinish, freaky humpbacked monster growths. But the Poles love 'em (and so do you)!

The Polish Air force was besotted with the USAF’s heart throb and ached to take it home to mamma. So on September 15, 2006, it took delivery of its first F-16C Block 52+. By the end of 2008, the PAF fielded 36 F-16C single-seat and 12 F-16D dual-seat "Jastrzab," or Hawks, celebrating its new toys with oceans of tasty Żywiec beer and dancing Polish women.

Turns out Hobby Master produced but 700 of these happy little brutes and sold the lot almost instantaneously. The model is impossible to find now, but don’t cry in your soup just yet: HM announced a new PAF F-16D (HA3835) with conformal tanks scheduled to arrive in January 2016. It’s a two-seater wearing NATO Tiger Meet camo, but be advised: based on its predecessor’s shattering popularity, you’d best pre-order it ASAP. DON'T WAIT!!! And as my Polish friends say affectionately, "błogosławcie swoje serce!"
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Old 11-06-2015, 10:22 AM   #84
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As those who lived through the Blitz could attest, the He-111 was the fiendish symbol of Hitler’s malevolent, maniacal lust for world dominance. All across Europe, Russia, the Mediterranean, and North Africa, the bomber left swaths of death, destruction, and unmitigated misery so egregious, people still recall it with loathing.

Years before in a trifling (but ultimately pivotal) twist of fate, the Luftwaffe took the wrong cue from the bomber’s deployment to Spain in ‘37, convinced the aircraft’s light armament and marginal speed were adequate for combat. Consequently, the He-111 became the Luftwaffe’s primary bomber but soon proved too slow, unmaneuverable, and defensively weak against the likes of Spitfires and Hurricanes. As He-111 losses mushroomed in succeeding years, the Luftwaffe reshuffled the bomber to less hazardous night, special, and transport units (though the move did little to stem losses).

As a kid, I fell in love with the beast at first sight. Something about its glazed “greenhouse” snout, stout, fatty wings, torpedo fuselage, and roaring inline Daimler–Benz engines really did it for me. I gave it little thought that the plane was an expression of unalloyed madness.

The graphic below showcases Corgi’s superb He-111H-22 with an Fi 103 (Doodlebug) slung underneath. The actual aircraft operated from Gilze Rijen, Holland, in July 1944.

Notwithstanding a few negligible issues, the model rises to Corgi’s legendary, superior standard. And providentially, you can still find the AA33707 on eBay occasionally, though prices are north of excessive. If you love the ol’ He-111, this one’s a definite must-have.
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Old 11-06-2015, 01:06 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richtofen288 View Post
If you like modern warbirds, you've gotta love the ol' General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Falcon, one of the best fighters in its class and a favorite among turn-'n-burn aficionados. The Fighting Falcon is essentially a screamin’ street hot rod, a no-frills, pedal-to-the-metal, missile-toting bad girl endowed with advanced radar and weaponry that’ll rock any rival’s world.

The jet is agile, light weight (comparatively), faster than greased lightening, and is fly-by-wire controlled, making it very slippery and enormously lethal: Mix it with this baby and you've got rock-solid problems. (And talk about smokin’ hot! This honey can slip into a two-piece bikini and rip up an entire beach. I've seen it done!) Perhaps the F-16C's most striking feature is its conformal fuel tanks, those big, beefy shoulder blades sitting astride the jet’s spine. They look almost Frankensteinish, freaky humpbacked monster growths. But the Poles love 'em (and so do you)!

The Polish Air force was besotted with the USAF’s heart throb and ached to take it home to mamma. So on September 15, 2006, it took delivery of its first F-16C Block 52+. By the end of 2008, the PAF fielded 36 F-16C single-seat and 12 F-16D dual-seat "Jastrzab," or Hawks, celebrating its new toys with oceans of tasty Żywiec beer and dancing Polish women.

Turns out Hobby Master produced but 700 of these happy little brutes and sold the lot almost instantaneously. The model is impossible to find now, but don’t cry in your soup just yet: HM announced a new PAF F-16D (HA3835) with conformal tanks scheduled to arrive in January 2016. It’s a two-seater wearing NATO Tiger Meet camo, but be advised: based on its predecessor’s shattering popularity, you’d best pre-order it ASAP. DON'T WAIT!!! And as my Polish friends say affectionately, "błogosławcie swoje serce!"
I got mine by accident, but love it.
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Old 11-09-2015, 11:15 AM   #86
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"No other troops in the world but German paratroops could have stood up to such an ordeal and then gone on fighting with such ferocity."
-
Field Marshal Alexander at Monte Cassino Abbey, February 1944

Evidently, Fallschirmjägers (German Paratroopers) were the élite of Hitler’s war machine, super soldiers celebrated for their extreme combat prowess and extraordinary valor. It was a case of whacking them first—before they nimbly whacked you.

Somebody recently conjectured that Germany might have lost WWII due (in part) to faulty Fallschirmjäger parachutes and tight exit doors encumbering Ju-52 transports. Which sorta sounds absurd (on the face of it), but give this a listen…

Fallschirmjägers leaped into the Battle of Crete armed only with handguns and machine pistols, their heavier weapons arriving separately via dropped canisters. Embarrassingly, these spunky paratroopers couldn't squeeze through the JU-52’s gawky door with enlarged combat loads (nor could their inept parachutes handle the added weight), thus necessitating the canisters.

Unternehmen Merkur (Operation Mercury) commenced at dawn on 20 May 1941, with fleets of Ju-52s roaring over the Cretan coast, disgorging clouds of nervy Fallschirmjägers. Cantankerous Commonwealth troops counterattacked savagely, slaughtering a ghastly number of German paratroopers before they could reach their weapons canisters, depriving the Fallschirmjägers of machine guns and heavy weaponry. Horror-struck, Major General Kurt Student called in massive reinforcements to stave off outright defeat.

Wheeling Ju-52s responded bravely but dropped like flies before determined anti-aircraft fire. Things got so frenetic that landing Ju-52s pancaked atop other Ju-52s sitting chockablock on the airfield, planes stacking like cars in an auto wrecking yard. The Brits had a field day leaping about, killing with abandon.

Incredibly, the Germans finally won the fight but at a frightful price. Fifteen-thousand German soldiers died, and 220 of nearly 500 Ju-52s were lost. When Hitler heard the news he puked all over Eva Braun and forbade all massive airborne operations ever after, maneuvers that might have tipped subsequent battles in Germany’s favor (especially in Russia). Had Fallschirmjägers intervened and won enough battles, history might have changed considerably, perhaps radically. Which is all supposition, of course, but thank goodness for Herr Hitler’s flip-floppy stomach.

The first of the two Ju-52s (nicknamed “Tante Ju,” or “Aunt Ju”) illustrated below didn’t have a bloody thing to do with the Crete battle. It did, however, participate in the Luftwaffe's first major airborne operation, the invasion of Norway, toting ginormous pontoons. The second one pictured, however, did fly to Crete (and crash) in Operation Merkur, assigned to 2.Staffel, KgzbV 1 at Milos, Greece in May 1941.

Pretty cool, eh?

Both are zinc masterpieces, corrugated skins and all. The paint jobs are immaculate, the colors are correct, the tampos sing with gusto, and the shapes and contours are wonderfully correct. Love those wee gunners perched on their dorsal spines, too.

You can still find these honeybuns on eBay (sometimes), but they’re far and few between. I promise if you do buy one or both you’ll be delighted. Just remember: When flying these models around the house, avoid British "ack-ack" at all cost.
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Old 11-11-2015, 11:29 AM   #87
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About the last two things an F-105D Thuderchief jock wanted to see over Vietnam was a SAM or Mig-21 on his six. Either one could spoil his day in a rippin’ big hurry.

Really, you’ve got to hand it to the Ruskies for ginning up this enormously capable, nimble, safe and simple-to-fly, easy-to-maintain, and positively affordable warbird. The Mig-21 was so inexpensive (comparatively) and the Russians produced so many, it practically swamped the world, serving in no less than 56 air forces in 30 shooting wars. Moreover, with a production tally of 13,500 aircraft, it more than doubled that of the F-4, the Mig's long-time adversary in Vietnam and the Middle East.

After the USAF thumped the Mig-15 (or, to be more precise, its pilots) over Korea, the Soviet Air Force screamed for a better short-range interceptor and light strike fighter. At length, the Mig-21 rolled out and flew in 1955, soon proving itself a tough little customer against American fighters in Cold War-related conflicts worldwide.

Form wise, the ’21 looks sleek and sultry. The jet has mid-mounted delta wings with small square tips, a single turbojet, a round air intake in its schnoz, and a single exhaust. The fuselage is long and tubular with a bubble canopy, sports a belly fin beneath the rear section, and shows a large dorsal spine flush with the canopy. The tail fin is swept back and tapers with a square tip; the horizontal stabilizers are mid-mounted, swept-back, and tapered with square tips. In other words, it's a bad little kitty with vile claws.

Corgi and Hobby Master offer(ed) superlative, rival Mig-21s. I like this particular Corgi release for its green-splotched, bare-aluminum camouflage, suggestive of a venomous lizard (it’s so appealing you might be tempted to feed it insects—but I don’t recommend it). The model’s still available, but supplies are thin. So if you’re looking to expand your ’21 collection, jump on this one.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:57 AM   #88
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Though the Westland Lysander bore a passing resemblance to a gooney bird, the aircraft acquitted itself splendidly during the Second World War, winning praise and adulation from its pilots and many an Allied agent.

To meet the RAF’s specification for an army co-operation aircraft, Westland produced this aerodynamically advanced aircraft (despite its appearance), equipping it with fully automatic wing slots, slotted flaps, and a variable incidence tailplane. The Lysander’s signature wings had an unusual reverse taper towards the root, which gave the impression of a bent gull wing, though the spars were perfectly straight. And the plane sported fixed conventional landing gear faired inside enormous, streamlined spats, which supported mountings for small, removable stub wings that could carry light bombs or supply canisters.

Combat established that the aircraft was too slow and vulnerable against fortified targets: 118 Lysanders were lost over France and Belgium in May and June 1940 out of 175 deployed. But operating as an air-sea rescue platform or flying clandestine missions over France it had no equal. Blest with extraordinary STOL ability, the Lysander fluently inserted and removed clandestine agents from the continent and retrieved Allied aircrews shot down over occupied territory, providing an inestimable service.

For me, the Lysander’s gawkiness belied a remarkably robust and resilient aircraft, a major leaguer by any definition. And Corgi faithfully reproduced that resolute, stocky look, replicating the gull wing, intricate canopy, and all other parts unerringly. The paint and tampo applications are inspired, too. The plane’s so ugly—it’s beautiful!

I looked but couldn’t find the AA36301 anywhere. You might have better luck; and if you do, give the Lysander a try. You’ll love it.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:59 AM   #89
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If F-4 Phantom IIs from around the world strutted their bodacious metallic bods down a New York fashion-show runway, the Greek contestant would draw insane, thunderous applause. Because for pure appeal, its Aegean Ghost camouflage stands head and shoulders above the pack; no other scheme compares for out ‘n’ out beauty. Not to mention, the colors and pattern are so superbly adapted to Aegean Sea conditions, airborne Greek F-4s (and F-16s) well-nigh vanish over that area.

I don’t have the room (or patience) to catalogue the Phantom IIs abundant qualities. Suffice it to say, the F-4 is a world beater (or was) and still flies for a bunch of air forces. She’s a combat veteran crammed up the wazoo with street cred, and many devotees justifiably regard her as a genuine mega-superstar.

Aircraft 01511 (the one depicted below) was the first Greek F-4 to wear fashionable Aegean Ghost camouflage, a scheme so wildly popular among the Phantom II community (and DA.C aficionados) that the Hellenic Air Force took note, set up shop, and now sells its own trendy AG Camo swimwear/leisurewear line (as featured on the ever-popular Home Shopping Network, which, conveniently, takes Visa and Master Card). Kidding…just kidding.


And, my dear friends, I’m sorry to say, this little goody is gone. It’s so gone, in fact, you’ve got a better chance of dating famous fashion model Jamilla Hoogenboom than finding one. So if you luck out and stumble over a Hobby Master Greek F-4, buy it. You'll love it. (Jamilla loves chocolates and flowers, by the way.)
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:02 AM   #90
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Somewhere just above the 20th parallel, December, 1972, 0300 hours, a stick of bombs blew a North Vietnamese Battalion HQ to kingdom come, bodies and equipment flying everywhere. Survivors saw no package of fighter/bombers, fighters, jamming aircraft, or anti-SAM Wild Weasels overhead, just a single, unidentified aircraft warping away at high speed. Sometime later, a lone F-111 returned to base, taxied to its revetment, and shut down, having flown the entire mission sans protection or tanker. The “Aardvark” had just lived up to its namesake, the South African solitary night hunter that roots in the dirt and unearths prey with unnerving accuracy.

The General Dynamics F-111 was a warbird of firsts: the first swept-wing production aircraft, the first to employ after-burning turbofans. It could dash supersonically at ground level or just as easily soar to Europe without refueling. It could fly at night in any weather, avoid detection, and still unerringly locate and destroy its target, all while hugging terrain with hi-tech radar.

Sadly, negative publicity dogged the beast from its beginning owing to political and procurement ineptitude. Costs rocketed; the Navy’s version fiscally collapsed; postmortems revealed significant issues with wing-box fragility and inlet/engine concerns. But once engineers surmounted these and other challenges, the F-111 proved a potent, formidable strike bomber.

Toward the end of the Vietnam war, revamped F-111As shattered North Vietnamese targets during Linebacker II and later missions, flying 4,000 sorties for six losses. Years later in 1986, eighteen F-111Fs accompanied by four EF-111A Raven electronic warfare aircraft flew from England to Libya, bombed Khadafi, and returned to base unscathed, completing the longest strike mission in history. During Desert Storm, the F-111F, stuffed with Pave Tack avionics, located, tracked, and obliterated targets with uncompromising accuracy.

The Australians affectionately called their F-111s the “Pig.” To replace its elderly Canberra bomber fleet, the Royal Australian Air Force opted for the F-111C. And though never used in combat, these warbirds provided the RAAF with means to strike and destroy targets over impressive distances. The “Pig” underwent modernization programs in the 1980s and 1990s and were eventually replaced with 24 Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets. The RAAF expects to further augment its strike resources with new Boeing F-35s (if and when they arrive).

The model (below) lives up to Hobby Master’s resounding quality and is, as you'd guess, impressively difficult to find. A word of caution: If you buy one, don’t display it anywhere near a Hobby Master 1/72 North Vietnamese T-55 tank. The resulting bomb blasts might fling your cat out the window.
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Old 11-16-2015, 09:53 AM   #91
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Rant time …

I'm just flat out gonna say it: The USAF should ditch its "Kick the A-10 Warthog under the bus " crusade. Stop robbing the Warthog to pay for the F-35 and let the thing continue to do what it does best: bust enemy heads!

There, I said it. Amen and hallelujah!

Hawg enthusiasts love this tank bustin', 30mm GAU-8 Gatling-Gun-totting bad boy. Stories abound among American combat units about how the warbird can swoop in, make hair-pin turns, and annihilate enemy positions with ordinance and cannon fire powerful enough shake the dust on Mars—all in under eight seconds. Ask the F-35 to do that!

Without question, this beast is undeniably deadly and deceptively maneuverable, an enraged pig that roots around the muck all day and gores lesser creatures to death. It shares no kinship with pedigree poodles that fly in air shows at the Eukanuba Nationals. It isn't flashy; it's not superfast; it doesn’t do multiple barrel rolls to compensate for itty-bitty manhood. It simply shows up, stomps you to death, and goes home. The proof is in the pudding. A-10s flew 8,100 sorties during Desert Storm, with a mission capable rate of 95.7%. They're credited with killing 987 tanks, 926 artillery pieces, 1,106 trucks, 51 SCUD missile launchers, and a raft of support vehicles and bunkers. Hotshot fighter flyboys achieved "Flying Ace" status after only five kills; Desert Storm A-10 pilots sored that number and more on their bathroom breaks.

This particular Hobby Master specimen represents an A-10 from 917th TFG (47th TFS) at Barksdale AFB, circa 1991. Ground crew christened it the "Peanut" owing to its multi-brown, trial-camouflage scheme—which Air Force higher-ups ultimately rejected. The model is tough to find, but it pops up now and again; so if you don’t own one, get it. Just don’t antagonize it.
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Old 11-16-2015, 10:10 AM   #92
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richtofen288 View Post
Rant time …

I'm just flat out gonna say it: The USAF should ditch its "Kick the A-10 Warthog under the bus " crusade. Stop robbing the Warthog to pay for the F-35 and let the thing continue to do what it does best: bust enemy heads!
I agree completely, the decision to can the Hog is ill conceived and shortsighted. If the party affiliation of the occupant of the oval office changes in the next election, I believe this decision will be reversed.

The Hog is one of my favorite diecast model subjects, and I recently purchased the HM 188th FW "City of Fort Smith" A-10C, and I can tell you she's a real beauty.
Attached Thumbnails
Gone but Not Forgotten-ha1318_a10c_188fw_left__03329.1446223604.1280.1280.jpg   Gone but Not Forgotten-ha1318_a10c_188fw_side__66672.1446223614.1280.1280.jpg  
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:51 PM   #93
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

The Air Force never liked it because it didn't zoom and climb and shoot down bad guy planes. It was stuck supporting ground forces.

Do away with the Key West Agreement ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_West_Agreement )
and let the Army and USMC have them.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:33 AM   #94
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

I'll bet you don't know these tidbits about the SR-71 …

1) Though it hasn't flown since 1999 (officially), it's still the certified record holder for the fasted manned jet-powered aircraft. How fast you ask? 2,193.13 mph.

2) It did that with only one engine. Speed record protocol requires a plane to fly in both directions. During that exploit, one of the Blackbird’s engines shut down at the start of the second run, obliging the pilot to relight it. By the time Capt. Al Joersz examined the checklist, he had passed the second gate (thus officially starting the run), exiting at Mach 3.2

3) Each of the Blackbird's twin Pratt & Whitney J58 jet engines could kick out 34,000 pounds of thrust— roughly that of an ocean liner.

4) The engine cones were essentially the beast’s throttle control. They moved as part of a complex system to maintain uniform air flow at all speeds. They also helped to stabilize the aircraft at 2,000 mph.

5) SR-71 ground crews occasionally kick-started SR-71s with two Buicks. The trick was easy: Wire two Buick Wildcats together, then wire them to the Blackbird. Rev the Buicks—and voilà!

6) The plane was so heavy it needed a parachute and special tires to land safely. Slowing a screaming 17,000 pound monster to a stop is no mean feat: A parachute helped, but special aluminum-reinforced tires (and meaty brakes) helped a whole lot more (necessitating their replacement every 20 landings).

7) The SR-71 as a spy platform was an afterthought. “Kelly” Johnson, the plane’s chief designer, envisioned the aircraft as an interceptor, a roguish, speedy assassin meant to slaughter marauding Soviet bombers over the Artic. Several of these Ninja Blackbirds actually took to the air, but President Kennedy foolishly nixed the project, which subsequently birthed the SR-71 spy plane. The USAF could have, and should have, had both aircraft.

8) The Ruskies tried mightily but failed to shoot down even one SR-71. The Soviets fired off more than one-thousand missiles at the jet over its service life—but all missed. The spy plane needed only to hit the throttle and bingo! Outta trouble.

9) It could photograph an entire swath of North Korea (and other malevolent countries) in seven minutes.

10) Authorities allowed only married personnel to work on the Blackbird, and only those who were between 25 and 40 years old considered "emotionally stable." Higher-ups reasoned that emotionally vulnerable individuals were more disposed to shooting their mouths off and/or outright sharing secrets with enemy agents.

11) LBJ screwed up, calling the bird the "SR-71" on national news, not the "RS-71" like everybody else. The President’s brain fart forced Lockheed designers to change the plane’s designation on 33,000 separate schematic drawings—all by hand.

12) Over 60 pounds of black paint coated the Blackbird, because black dissipates heat better than other colors. Plus, black gave the SR-71 a suave, sophisticated, James Bond look.

13) Quartz covered the cockpit windows, which routinely hit temps of over 600 degrees (F). Engineers needed something that wouldn’t deform and distort the pilot's vision.

14) The SR-71 leaked fuel and had to refill immediately after takeoff—every single time. By design, the plane’s panels didn’t quite fit when cold (and thus leaked fuel all over the place); but when hot, they expanded and fit together snuggly (no leakage). Once topped off at base, the Blackbird (leaking), would take off, warm up, and then refuel within seven minutes.

15) An entire fleet of special KC-135Q tankers serviced the Blackbird. Fifty-six were produced—three for every two SR-71s.

16) JP7 fuel production caused a nationwide shortage of bug spray. JP7 fuel shared an ingredient with Flit mosquito repellent, which Shell was short on. Given a choice between government ultimatums and bug-spray-needy consumers, the government won hands-down (surprise, surprise). Mosquitoes everywhere rejoiced.

17) The Blackbird set a new transcontinental speed record just for the heck of it. When it was retired in 1990 (the first time around), the SR-71 flew coast to coast in 67 minutes, 54 seconds—roughly half the time of the previous record. On that same flight, it flew from St. Louis to Cincinnati in eight minutes flat.

And there you have it. Perfection plus.

Despite the irritating fact that the Century Wings SR-71 sports a conspicuous, trench-like seam crosswise over its fuselagse at the forward wing juncture and the engine cones point straight ahead (not canted inward like the real thing), the model is a masterpiece. Unfortunately, some are either impossible to find (like the one pictured), hard to find, and/or too expensive to buy. And that's all I'm going to say, except that if you don't own at least five, you're missing out. Big time. (I might add that if your example spills aviation gas on your carpet, kitty litter works wonders.)
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:06 PM   #95
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Is the CW SR-71 CW655058 one of the harder models to find?
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:52 PM   #96
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

The following is what CW has made so far. The last three announced models are still available out there among suppliers. The others are sold out. Many sold out models are "actually selling" between 200 and 350 on eBay at any time. The number produced is probably the best along with how long ago they were made to assign rarity. There is a strong following for the Rapid Rabbit even with the spelling error on the first produced models.

SRW 61-7958 1990 Cobra
Item No.001616
Limited 800pcs
About to be released

SRW 61-7962 1990 Small red 1
Item No.001610
Limited 800pcs
Available

SRW 61-7962 Skull & Cross Bones
Item No.001607
Limited 500pcs
Available

SRW 61-7960
The 50th Anniversary Signature Edition Libyan Raider
Limited 500pcs
SOLD OUT Hard to find

SRW 61-7960 Libyan Raider
The 50th Anniversary
Limited 500pcs
Can still be found at some distributors

SRW 61-7960 Snake around big red 1
Limited 500pcs
SOLD OUT

SRW 61-7976 USAF Shield
Limited 500pcs
SOLD OUT

SRW 61-7955 Skunkworks
Limited 1000pcs
SOLD OUT

NASA YF-12C 1975 Nasa Yellow
Limited 1200pcs
SOLD OUT

9th SRW 61-7967 Beal stealth red lettering
Limited 1000pcs
SOLD OUT

NASA 831 1999 White NASA dual cockpit
Limited 1000pcs
SOLD OUT

9th SRW 61-7978 Rapid Rabbit
Limited 1000pcs
SOLD OUT

9th SRW 61-7956 Plain "17956" in white lettering
Limited 1500pcs
SOLD OUT

9th SRW 61-7974 Don't tread snake
Limited 1000pcs
SOLD OUT
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Old 11-18-2015, 09:22 AM   #97
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

In the late 1930s, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was hell bent to produce an extremely fast, unbelievably nimble, and robustly armed fighter. To achieve this, the company sacrificed armor protection and self-sealing fuel tanks, eventually birthing the world’s preeminent (at the time) carrier fighter, the A6M2, code named Zeke, or Zero.

The Zero was a hands-down war winner. From 1940 to mid 1943, it was unbeatable in air-to-air combat, especially when teamed up with élite Japanese navy pilots. It was swift, nimble, and heavily armed, toting two 7.7 mm machine guns and two wing-mounted 20 mm cannons. Lock horns with this demon and your chances of survival were laughable.

Over Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and elsewhere in the Pacific, the A6M ruled the skies until mid ’43 when new American fighters with greater armament, power, protection, and toughness took it on. By then, the Zero’s lack of armor and self-sealing fuel tanks came back to haunt it: One lucky .50 cal. hit could send it cartwheeling earthward in a dazzling fireball.

The model below is a Dragon Wings masterwork (as many collectors will attest). Had the company made wiser choices years ago, it could have stood tall among diecast giants like Corgi and Hobby Master to this very day. As it was, Dragon’s execs foolishly (some say idiotically) forfeited that dream.

As for the 50049 (illustrated below), fugeddaboutit. You’re better advised to mine for gold in the California Sierras than hunt for this treasure. And too bad, too, ‘cause it’s really a honey. The model’s shape, camo colors, and overall presence are outstanding. So if you can nail one, do it. Just don’t get in a dogfight with it.
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Old 11-18-2015, 10:23 AM   #98
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

I have the Witty wing version... ain't so bad !
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Old 11-19-2015, 08:21 AM   #99
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

Call me silly, but the F-18 Hornet is bad-to-the-bone good lookin', the Brad Pit of modern fighters. Which isn’t to say other contemporary warbirds aren’t gorgeous, too. But something about the old “Plastic Bug” looks like it’ll sting you to death given half a chance.

As everybody knows, the McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic twin engine all-weather night fighter and attack aircraft. Variants A and C are single-seaters while B and D are tandem-seats. In September 1987, production switched to the F/A-18C.

The Finnish Air Force snarfed up 64 of these bonafied bad boys, honoring Swedish Count Eric von Rosen in the doing (he donated the first airplane to the Finnish Air Force in 1918) by emblazing his name on the bottom of the vertical stabilizer of aircraft HN-457 (the one pictured below). Which, it so happens, was the last F-18C ever manufactured: production switched to the Super Hornet thereafter.

Some guys think the bird’s mono-grey camo job is tedious, even unsightly; but I disagree: To me the livery looks hip, a pleasing shade of predacious that emphasizes the Hornet’s savage, killer-insectoid disposition.

Hobby Master produced but 580 Finnish F-18Cs, and I can’t find a single one anywhere, either on eBay or at vendor sites. So I’m guessing the thing is long gone. Which is, unfortunately, tough luck for those who didn’t buy one.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:23 AM   #100
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Default Re: Gone but Not Forgotten

"Hobby Master produced but 580 Finnish F-18Cs, and I can’t find a single one anywhere, either on eBay or at vendor sites. So I’m guessing the thing is long gone. Which is, unfortunately, tough luck for those who didn’t buy one. "
Do not agree on that one - it was long avaliable in Europe with quite some discounts. Perfect-hobby in Germany still has it in stock (although the webshop is not working currently).
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