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Replicating real aircraft.

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  • Member since
    August, 2016
Replicating real aircraft.
Posted by Keyda81 on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 10:43 AM

So who else out there has plans to replicate a real airplane?  I have plans to try and replicate 3 different planes that I've had the pleasure of seeing in person.  I find this to be a bit of a challenge because I have to make custom decals for each. 

First up, and probably going to be the most difficult, and the one I'm going to be very picky about is "Whiskey 7"  National Warplane Musuems D-Day veteran C-47 Skytrain.

I was lucky enough to be able to take a flight on this plane in July.  I have a real soft spot for W7.  I have Monogram's 1/48 kit, and a few aftermarket goodies for this project.  Matching the paint is probably going to be the most difficult part.

Next up is "Madras Maiden."  The B-17G Flying Fortress.  This plane was the first B-17 I seen in flight.  I almost got knocked over by the prop wash when she turned around, lol.  I seen her in Buffalo last year, and got to take a walk through inside the plane.  That was also a first. 

I have Revell/Monogram's 1/48 B-17G kit for that project.

Last but certainly not least is "Movie Memphis Belle."  Another NWM plane.  She was the first B-17 I seen in person.  But wasn't flying that year, as they were in the process of replacing an engine.  I got to see her fly this year. 

Hubby was taking pictures while I was on my flight with W7, and he had a black umbrella to shelid himself from the blazing hot sun.  Well MMB was taxiing out for take off, turned, and the prop wash totally ripped the umbrella out of hubby's hand, and broke it.  Which I thought was just downright hilarious.  I wish I would of seen it happen! 

I'll be using Revell's 1/48 B-17F "Memphie Belle" kit to replicate MMB.  I will put a small broken black umbrella on display with it when finished, lol. 

I also am going to attempt to replicate one of every type of aircraft that was stationed at NFARS since it's opening.  I have a few planes nailed down, but still have a lot more information to try and find.

Anyone else have any stories of planes they are trying to replicate?  Please share!

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Malvern, PA
Posted by WillysMB on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 10:56 AM

Good on ya, a noble quest!

A couple things to consider; I talked with the W7 crew chief at Reading this year and asked about the splotchy paint. Not intentional, but not a lot they can do about it at the moment. The paratroopers jumped from W7 this year rather than Tinkerbell. The Belle in the movie was played by Duxfords B-17, hard to get stateside aircraft to fly to Britain where filming was done. Still, a lovely restoration I have very fond memories of working at the NWH for 6 mos. many years ago when they had Fuddy Duddy and the Catalina.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 11:07 AM

Good projects, K.

One thing is to not get too hung up on the details. Every single aircraft is different from every other one.

I recently built the Travel Aire Mystery Ship owned by Pancho Barnes. She of the speed records that broke those of Earhart, and the bartender in "The Right Stuff". Mostly decals, new cowl ring.

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 11:12 AM

Neat project.

Some years back I bought a Super Cub model with plans to make it like my friend's airplane to give him. It's still in the box on my shelf, and my friend has passed.

So just do it, K.

-Greg

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 12:03 PM

I try to replicate real aircraft as far as markings concerned go. I’ll see what photos and other such information that I can turn up. My last P-40 build was a good example of this. I spent hours researching the 57th Fighter Group and pouring over every photo that I could find of them in North Africa.

One of my dream projects is to build P-61A “Hard to Get”, which flew over the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines in a diversion as Rangers from the 6th Ranger Battalion low crawled across open fields in fading daylight prior to initiating their raid. After reading the book “Ghost Soldiers”, where the raid is chronicled in great detail and the Widows role is pretty much a whole chapter of its own, I knew that I had to build my P-61 as that aircraft. Recently I was finally able to locate photos of that aircraft online and the nose art that it carried. So one of these days when I build the Monogram P-61 in my stash, it’s gonna be that bird.

I also plan to build most, if not all of the various aircraft flown by the Flying Tigers in their history, since my son is assigned to that wing, and a B-26 from the 452nd Bomb Wing in Korea. My father served with them after they returned stateside from that war.

 

 

But it’s not my style to replicate modern restored warbirds. Yes, they are wonderful to see in person, but modeling wise, they do nothing for me. They are usually kept too pristine for my tastes. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 1:29 PM

WillysMB

Good on ya, a noble quest!

A couple things to consider; I talked with the W7 crew chief at Reading this year and asked about the splotchy paint. Not intentional, but not a lot they can do about it at the moment. The paratroopers jumped from W7 this year rather than Tinkerbell. The Belle in the movie was played by Duxfords B-17, hard to get stateside aircraft to fly to Britain where filming was done. Still, a lovely restoration I have very fond memories of working at the NWH for 6 mos. many years ago when they had Fuddy Duddy and the Catalina.

 

I've asked them about the paint myself on W7 myself.  With all the pictures I've found of her, some of the older ones are when she was set up more like a "flying living room" before NWM had her.  They returned her to her current configuration which was closer to what she would have looked like on D-Day I believe.  But from what I can gather, they didn't repaint the outside of the fuselage with the olive drab/neutral gray combo.  Then over the years of her being outside the paint has faded in some areas more than others.  Which is fine by me, I think it gives her character!  It just going to be the more challenging part. 

GMorrison, I've got plenty of references of W7, so I should be able to pull that one off.  As for the B-17's I don't have any interior pictures of MMB.  I do of Madras Maiden though. But I'm not going to drive myself nuts with tiny little details!

Greg, sorry to hear of your friends passing.  I plan on starting on W7 in the near future.  She's going to be my winter keep me from going insane indoors project, lol.

stikpusher, That's cool!  I too have a P-61 in the stash I'll get to one of these days.  It's a very distinct looking aircraft.  I have some aftermarket goodies for it as well.  Glad you were able to find what you needed for the build.  That seems to be the hardest part especially if the plane isn't around anymore.  I understand about not replicating restored birds.  But with W7 I'll be replicating her as she was on the day I flew on her.  It was a very special thing for me.  Everything that I replicate from NFARS will be from when it was in service, if I ever find all the info I need.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 1:40 PM

Stik, the Monogram Widow is mostly a B. I seem to remember it comes with a shorter A nose, but I'm not sure.

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, October 03, 2018 5:09 PM

GMorrison

Stik, the Monogram Widow is mostly a B. I seem to remember it comes with a shorter A nose, but I'm not sure.

 

 

The Monogram Widow comes with noses to do an A or B, along with the drop tanks for both types (I think that the A had hardpoints for only 2 while the B had 4), and the upper turret fuselage plug for the late A.

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Friday, October 05, 2018 9:16 AM

Ambitious but rewarding projects you have there Keyda.  About half the projects I have or am planning are of actual aircraft and the research is a big part of the fun for me. The realism in the paint is one i am still striving to achieve and it's my personal hardest  challenge, getting it to look properly weathered, faded and dirtied up, but I endeavor to persevere. I am currently investigating the use of oils for this phase and it seems promising but i have much to learn.

The  first  model I  built when re-starting this modeling thing was the ship my Father served on in WWII. I got er done but it took 3+ years to complete from the research to learning how to "real it up" to finally the finished model but man did I learn a lot. It eventually came out pretty good I guess because I did receive a bronze medal award for it at the IPMS show in Orlando last year. I made a glass case for it because having to dust 140 tiny little guns was a nightmare, and it's in the most prominate place in my display shelf.

Much luck with your future projects and I am sure that the talent you have already displayed here will carry you through to successful and impressive builds.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Friday, October 05, 2018 9:58 PM

For just about 99.9% of my builds be armor, aircraft or maritime are of actual documented subject. I do not replicate restored subjects either.

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, October 05, 2018 10:07 PM

I did the s2 tracker fire bomber from my local fire attack base.  I was luck that the decal set was available with all but the city name script .

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, October 06, 2018 6:40 AM

I sometimes model a specific plane with different markings than provided in the kit.  When I do, the ability to make inkjet decals sure comes in handy.  Sometimes I make decals from photographs obtained from Google Images, other times from photos of the plane I have taken myself.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Saturday, October 06, 2018 7:23 AM

Keyda, I like the idea of replicating an actual airplane. For me it gives the build much more meaning. I'm finishing up a Hasegawa F4U-4 at the moment that replicates Ens. Jesse Brown's Corsair in 1950, as he covered the Marine withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. I call thse builds "dedication builds." I keep going through my dad's logs from WWII to find a tail number of an airplane he flew so I can build a model of that airplane. I admire you for taking on these very big builds of actual airplanes. I have the 1/48 scale Revell "Memphis Belle" and the 1/48 scale B-24D. I'm not sure if I will build the B-17 as the "Belle." I may build it as one of the other B-17s from the "Belle's" squadron, 324 BS, 91 BG. The B-24 will most likely be a Liberator that took part in Operation Tidal Wave in 1943. Keep going the way you are going, Keyda. Your builds are always interesting and fun to follow.

OK. On the bench:

Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Saturday, October 06, 2018 11:12 PM

Jay Jay, paint is going to be the hardest part with Whiskey 7.  She wasn't painted in original colors, and the paint has been weathered, and faded pretty badly in spots, so I'm looking at quite a few different colors, and lots of blending.  I've played with oils myself, and am still learning!  That's great that you could build a ship your Dad served on.  I had some family in the service, and my grandfather served in the Navy.  But he never spoke of it, and that was something we just never brought up.  Thanks!

plasticjunkie, you must spend a fair amount of time researching stuff!  I think that can be the most difficult part sometimes, finding info!

keavdog, I remember that build, it looked great when finished!  That is lucky!  I've actually found a set of decals for a Niagara Falls Voodoo, and Phantom.  Those are the only ones out of all the birds that served there.

Don, that is what I have done with the "Madras Maiden" nose art.  I had to use a picture I took of it to make a decal.  I made up a few others as well.  It takes some time, but worth the effort in the end.

fotofrank, that's awesome that you have your Dad's logs!  The build of Whiskey 7 will be very meaningful to me.  It will likely be the only model I will ever build of a plane I actually flew on!  Thank you!

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Denver
Posted by tankboy51 on Sunday, October 07, 2018 12:38 AM

I attempt to replicate a plane based on the decals that I purchased and the artwork provided.  Often  I find several photos that are good of the subject.  Sometimes though, it is just for fun of doing a kit just pure guess work.   Espescialy with armor.  Which is what I mainly build.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Sunday, October 07, 2018 9:18 AM

I've often done similar but with tanks I crewed and to a lesser extent, cars I owned.

The problem with tanks is that two are often never exactly alike so there are minor differences on kits. In other words, you can get caught in the tiny details and it hampers building.

Conversely with cars, it was easy for me to take a similar car kit and make it look close enough to the model year I had.

I was also fairly satisfied with a pair of HMMWVs I crewed in my carreer. I liked the way they both turned out.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, October 07, 2018 10:00 AM
  • Member since
    January, 2013
Posted by BlackSheepTwoOneFour on Sunday, October 07, 2018 7:27 PM

stikpusher

I try to replicate real aircraft as far as markings concerned go. I’ll see what photos and other such information that I can turn up. My last P-40 build was a good example of this. I spent hours researching the 57th Fighter Group and pouring over every photo that I could find of them in North Africa.

One of my dream projects is to build P-61A “Hard to Get”, which flew over the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines in a diversion as Rangers from the 6th Ranger Battalion low crawled across open fields in fading daylight prior to initiating their raid. After reading the book “Ghost Soldiers”, where the raid is chronicled in great detail and the Widows role is pretty much a whole chapter of its own, I knew that I had to build my P-61 as that aircraft. Recently I was finally able to locate photos of that aircraft online and the nose art that it carried. So one of these days when I build the Monogram P-61 in my stash, it’s gonna be that bird.

I also plan to build most, if not all of the various aircraft flown by the Flying Tigers in their history, since my son is assigned to that wing, and a B-26 from the 452nd Bomb Wing in Korea. My father served with them after they returned stateside from that war.

 

 

But it’s not my style to replicate modern restored warbirds. Yes, they are wonderful to see in person, but modeling wise, they do nothing for me. They are usually kept too pristine for my tastes. 

 

 

After a lot of soul searching of the issues of replicating Whiskey 7, I have to agree with stik above. It's not worth pulling your hair out trying to paint it as exactly as her is restored current condition. I have the same Airfix C-47 Skytrain and I, too, planned on building as Whiskey 7 but only her as in her WW2 condition during the war.

There are too many variables in fading color shades due to weather and possible replacement parts - if any were in the process of being restored. I've got a few AM parts I planned on using as well from instrument panel, surface detail parts, exterior details, color seatbelts, and tires.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Monday, October 08, 2018 8:41 AM

BlackSheepTwoOneFour

 

 

There are too many variables in fading color shades due to weather and possible replacement parts - if any were in the process of being restored. I've got a few AM parts I planned on using as well from instrument panel, surface detail parts, exterior details, color seatbelts, and tires.

 

So true, even if you have color chips of the paint.  The paint begins to change as soon as the plane is rolled out of the hanger.  You cannot rely on color photographs.  Color control suffers in the printing process, developing if film picture, and even in digital cameras because of the digital processing.

I remember a full page ad in Scientific American many years ago.  It was a Kodak ad touting their color controlled printing process.  The full page ad featured a printout of the primary color spectrum.  You could see discontinuities in shading, due to inability to duplicate all colors in the process.

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Monday, October 08, 2018 9:17 AM

tankboy, it certainly can be fun just to build it right out of the box.  A lot of what I build is straight out of the box.  I think at this point I would like to just make the builds a bit more meaningful if possible.

Rob, I think everything has slight differences!  I'll try not to get caught up in the smallest of details.  I did a 1/12 69 Z/28 to replicate my car in my Dad's memory.  It's not exact, but I did add some details only my car has, so it's close enough. 

GMorrison, I've come across that page before, and then lost it!  Thanks for sharing it!  I have it book marked this time, lol.

BlackSheep, I realize it's not going to be an easy task to match paint, so as long as I get close enough to the colors I'll be happy.  I just don't think I would be satisfied with the olive drab/neutral grey paint scheme, when that's not what she looked like when I flew on her.  I will consider the build to probably be my biggest challenge.  I have 240 pictures for reference, even some taken from directly above with what I assume was a quad copter.  I have some aftermarket goodies as well, metal landing gear, interior and exterior PE, masks, and I just bought the PE flaps.  I also plan on scratch building some parts, like the gust locks, and wheel chocks. 

Don, I'll just be using the references off my computer screen to try and match the colors as best I can.  I know it's going to be difficult, as I'll have to mix paints.  There isn't any that I have found yet that even come close to Whiskey's colors.  Not in model paints anyway.  I think I am going to broaden my search, and see what else I may be able to find. 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, October 08, 2018 9:27 AM

Inevitably, about the time the model is painted to look like an unfinish resto, someone will pony up some cash and the museum bird will be repainted in fresh OD!

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Monday, October 08, 2018 10:48 AM

GMorrison

Inevitably, about the time the model is painted to look like an unfinish resto, someone will pony up some cash and the museum bird will be repainted in fresh OD!

 

That would be my luck!  I would be a bit disapointed only because she just wouldn't look like the W7 I've come to know and love.  The model will look like she did when I flew on her, and that point in time won't change. 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, October 08, 2018 12:07 PM

Bravo! That's a great way to look at it.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Thursday, October 25, 2018 6:20 PM

In my display case is an F-106A of the 87th FIS (Red Bulls) based out of K.I. Sawyer AFB. I was stationed there between 83-87. Used to love watching those beauties take off. 

Rumour was we were supposed to get F-15’s but the squadron deactivated before that came to pass. So I’m thinking I’ll probably build a F-15 in 87th markings to park next to the Six. And an F-14 as well since the Air Force did briefly consider buying them for the air defense mission. 

  • Member since
    August, 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Friday, October 26, 2018 11:09 AM

Keyda-  When you get around to the Maiden she is based about 125 miles from me, and I can make a trip over to get any external pics you need that you might not have, and have a bunch already.  Just let me know.

 

We have a GB going at the club this year for WWII radial engine single seat fighters in 1/48, doing a F4F-4 from Midway, Have a decal set for it, can't decide on Thatch's, McClouskey's or a bird off Enterprise.  Probably do Thatch's, and save the rest of the sheet for another.  The other one will be a Hellcat with Butch O'Hare markings on the night intruder mission he was lost on, if I can find the decals.

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Saturday, November 10, 2018 9:19 AM

Straycat, Perfect excuse to build more!  Lol.  I would also like to build one of every type of aircraft that was stationed at the local airbase.  It's hard to find info though.

goldhammer, I should have enough pictures.  I did check at one point this year to see if she was coming back to Buffalo, and it wasn't on the schedule, so I assumed she wasn't.  Well she did come for a visit but I found out too late.  I think I need to get more pictures of MMB though.  She's only an hour and a half drive from me.  I think finding decals is the hardest part.  Replicating them on your own isn't that easy either, at least not for me! 

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