Thursday 11 June 2020

More British RAF and Royal Navy F-4 Phantoms

ROYAL NAVY F-4 K PHANTOM FG 1 - publicity photo by Peter R March as a 'news item' covering the embarkation of 892 NAS aboard HMS Ark Royal for the first time. The color shot of the Royal Navy's first F-4 K is dated 22 June 1966.

The colour shots below depict machines of 767 Sqdn, the shore-based Royal Navy training unit for their carrier based Phantoms. Naval Air Squadron 767 was established to train FG. 1 pilots between 1969 and 1972. The 'yellow bird' emblem became the 'ten-ton budgie'..

"153" seen landing on June 14, 1969 at Upper Heyford was  XT868 and marked like this between Jan 1969 and July 1972. XT 868 was subsequently operated by 892 Sqdn until it crashed on May12, 1978 at Leuchars at the beginning of a practise display routine. "Flypast" magazine published this image in 1976.

Decals for early British Phantoms are available via Xtradecal and (the now presumably defunct) RAM Models sheets reviewed on this blog here

Sunday 7 June 2020

AZ Bf 109 G-6/AS in 1:72 scale

Bf 109 G-6/AS from the AZ 72nd series of Bf 109s - seen here awaiting some final touches, like the pitot tube and the FuG 16 aerial. One reason for taking photos of your models - you immediately realize what you’ve missed! Decals are remnants from various sheets, except for the ‘Mickey Maus ’ from the old Encore models Gustav.

As a far better modeler than me put it recently, " I keep going back to the AZ Bf 109s ...and then reality hits home.." Now - based on just one build so far - I decided that I quite like AZ Model's Bf 109 G-6 series - 'Model of the Year 2015' in the small scale category in the German 'Modellfan' magazine. I've just added a couple of G-6/AS variants to the stash and bought both the 'Limited Edition' JG 300 boxes.

The G-6/AS were conceived as ‘fast’ high altitude interceptors with a refined ‘bulge-free’ cowling and forward fuselage, the DB 605A(S) engine (‘S’ for Sonder or ‘special’) and a bigger supercharger, issued in overall light blue-gray finish from early 1944 to units operating in the defense of the Reich, such as I./JG 5. This is the ’Mickey Maus’ machine flown by the Kommandeur, Horst Carganico...

I'd forgotten how tricky these AZ kits are - not much fits well unfortunately. Especially where the cockpit is concerned - a huge chunk of that need sanding down to get it between the fuselage halves.

To build a G-6/AS as depicted in this box the chin bulges will need to be sanded off - AZ don't tell you this anywhere.

I’ve just started another of these and somehow the fit of the cockpit is much better ! The other problem area is the fit of the empennage which seems too thick for the lower half of the fuselage, which could usefully use a ‘shim’ of plastic card to widen it out. And many modelers have complained about the nose shape on these kits but to be honest it doesn’t bother me too much at all...