Author Topic: The FAA go American  (Read 18999 times)

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2013, 11:40:23 PM »
Well it's in the paint shop. First coat of primer reveals that the fit isn't quite as perfect as I first thought. I suppose that's a penalty of dark-coloured plastic: you can't see the shadows of imperfect joints so well... ???

Decals are getting trickier. I was about to buy the Xtradecal "13 Sea Hawks" set, when I noticed something significant: the Panther is a less generous canvas than the Sea Hawk. The problem is this: the Sea Hawk has room for two large "things" ahead of the wing and two behind it, the usual arrangement being buzz number and a big squadron badge at the front, roundel and "ROYAL NAVY" at the back. On the Panther however, the rear fuselage is cut back and the wing root fairing extends nearly to the back of what's left, so the only thing that can go in that area is really the "ROYAL NAVY" lettering. The roundel will have to go in front of the wing and the buzz number can't be lost, so that leaves no room for the squadron badge.

You can see the roundel migrate forwards on real FAA aircraft (Scimitar, Sea Vixen, Buccaneer), but all of those have unobstructed fins, so the squadron badge moves there and often changes shape to match. However, you can't do this on the Panther, because it's tailplane is halfway up the fin, just like the Sea Hawk, and so effectively cuts it in half. There's just room for the serial below it and the ship/base letter above it.

Two things might save the day:

1. One thing the Panther does have that the Sea Hawk doesn't is a triangular area of fin in front of the tailplanes, so it might be possible to put some of the smaller unit badges there.

2. The "ROYAL NAVY" lettering appears to have varied in size quite a bit, so by only choosing the smaller ones, it might be possible to make room for the squadron badge on the front of the tail (see above), either by having the lettering in the same place OR by putting it on the tip tank. The latter might seem a radical move, but the tip tanks on the Panther were non-jettisonable, so they're as much a part of the airframe as anything else. The only aircraft with tip tanks that the FAA has ever actually operated is the Sea Venom, and since that had it's booms available for the lettering, the issue never arose.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #16 on: July 28, 2013, 11:58:16 PM »
I think paint-wise, that I'm going to treat it more like an Attacker/Sea Fury than a Sea Hawk, that is to say, the EDSG panel on the top of the fuselage won't touch the top of the wing, rather it'll end relatively short on the nose, but it will go up the leading edge of the fin.

Although the Panther look superficially similar to the Sea Hawk, it's wing is much lower, so if you try to "dip" the demarcation line down to the leading edge, Sea Hawk style, it's more conspicuous and awkward. It then gets even more awkward trying to "undip" it from the trailing edge, because the latter is almost underneath the fin, so the "curve" is pretty near vertical.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2013, 04:37:35 AM »
Bugger - just screwed up the windscreen... >:D >:D >:D

It's got a WWII style oval bulletproof glass section, and I tried to cut a masking tape mask for it. Unfortunately, my line is well inside the proper frame line and too deep to polish out...

Oh well, Falcon Vac-form set here I come: I was going to have to get one anyway to make my Skynight buildable, so it's just a case of buying it early really, but you know what's REALLY annoying? The last thing I did before starting on the canopy was place an order with Hannants for the decals. So now I've just placed another order a hour later for the canopies: two lots of postage... :icon_crap:
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 05:02:52 AM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2013, 07:41:57 PM »
Now here's an interesting drawing from the Wiki page:



There appear to be two folded heights on that, 17'10" and 16'11", and in the side view that shows them, the tip tanks arn't on (which is wierd because they wern't detachable). The lower height appear to be achieved by having the main gear compressed, so my question is, was that a state the aircraft could be left in, or was it something that was only done just before launch?

Why do I care? Because the tallest RN hangers were 17'6": my FAA Panther might need a Gannet-style double-wing fold...... ???
« Last Edit: July 29, 2013, 07:43:55 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
  • Its ZOTT!!!
    • My Artwork
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2013, 02:26:59 AM »
I'm not sure about the discrepancy between the two heights given but a possible solution would be to install/modify a set of locks in the wing fold mechanism that limits them to just under the RN hangar height.  Wings won't go as high and you won't be able to cram as many birds in but it would be a simply solution and one that I think they would be sure to make.  A different sort of fold mechanism would be something they'd address in a later variant.  Also, I'm unaware of any early jets or jets at all for that matter that have multiple folds in them.  Might have something to do with higher speeds/wing loads but that's just a guess.  Something to think about either way  :)
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2013, 03:08:16 AM »
Been enjoying this thread with premiss and build.
Keep building and posting.  Look forward to seeing more  :)

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2013, 07:18:33 AM »
Or you could just factor in the loan of a couple of Essex class carriers covering the gap between the retirement of the smaller war built carriers an the new generation of larger fast jet carriers that can be afforded following the decision to buy US carrier  aircraft instead of developing their own.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 09:47:03 AM by Volkodav »

Offline buzzbomb

  • Low Concentration Span, oft wanders betwixt projects
  • Accurate Scale representations of fictional stuff
    • Club and my stuff site
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2013, 08:47:09 AM »

It's got a WWII style oval bulletproof glass section, and I tried to cut a masking tape mask for it. Unfortunately, my line is well inside the proper frame line and too deep to polish out...


"... and they fitted a small number of examples of the RN Panthers with a smaller, oval, tinted glare panel on outside of the forward canopy"
Sure I read that somewhere in the RN Panther history ;D ;D

Really liike where this is going and the grounding behind your selections.
Great job.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2013, 09:28:03 AM »
Cheers Folks!

The problem with reducing the height by reducing the amount of fold, at the cost of hangar capacity, was that the very carriers that had the tallest 17'6" hangars were also the smallest ones, i.e. the Colossus class light carriers. The Illustrious class "fleet" carriers had various combinations of hangars with heights of 14' to 16' and generally got worse the the later they were (i.e. the last two had 2 x full-length 14' hangars each). Nothing else would be available in time for Korea, precisely because they were being madly re-designed/rebuilt to incorporate tall hangars, angled decks, steam catapults etc...

This was a peculiar bind that the RN found themselves in post-war. With no money for completely new carriers, they decided to redesign the two half-built Eagles and three of the four half-built Centaurs, which delayed their completion, completely rebuild the Illustrious class, starting with Victorious, to "save money", and sell off the barely-started Majestics to raise cash, thus leaving them with nothing but the Collossus class for "a few years" after the war. This plan went pear-shaped because the Eagles' re-re-re-designs delayed them repeatedly, and the Victorious rebuild turned into a nightmare of unexpected problems, redesigns and spiralling costs that left her out of service until 1958 and costing as much as a better new carrier, which in turn caused the cancellation of all the other rebuilds.

My idea for the "realistic" post-war RN is that they abandon big-carrier aviation early. They keep as many Colossus class as possible in service as actual carriers by using later Invincibles as depot/repair ships instead, abandon the re-builds and the Eagles and put all their money into finishing the Majestics and Centaurs. They then KEEP the Majestics, selling off the Colossus hulls as the later carriers come into service.

A loan/sale of Essex Class carriers to the RN was discussed several times, even as late as the late 1970s, but was always rejected for one reason or another. "Cost of re-fitting to RN standards and procedures" gets mentioned a lot, although that might just be RN snottiness rather than a genuine show-stopper.... However I'm not sure it was on the cards in the early 1950s, since the USN was using them pretty heavily and was also comitted to Korea themselves. It's worth looking into though.

A Royal Navy Essex could be re-named HMS Chelmsford (county town of Essex)..... ;D
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 10:31:40 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2013, 08:15:32 PM »
My thinking was that the Korean War could have been a trigger for the UK to lease an Essex and air group from the US to replace the CVL deployed in reality (the RAN could follow this example instead of deploying HMAS Sydney for another tour).  The success of the Essex lease leads the RN to lease additional hulls while selling, transferring or scrapping most of their existing carriers, there were no attempts to modernise or upgrade existing ships or to design new aircraft, rather all investment was channelled into designing and building new fleet carriers to operate modern, high performance US aircraft.

There were five Essex class carriers that were never modernised and were retired prior to 1960, there were another two that were never completed, these ships could have been suitable for the UK.

Love the look of many of the 1950s RN FAA aircraft but acknowledge that long development cycles and the limitations the existing UK carriers as well as lack of funding saw them pretty much behind the curve when compared to USN aircraft.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2013, 10:40:17 PM »
But my impression is that there were no Essex class carriers "spare" once the Korean war had started: all the ones that were in reserve seem to have been quickly re-commissioned and put into service. The only exceptions seem to have been the two unfinished ones (how finished were they? were they still hanging around in 1950?) and two that were so badly damaged in WWII that they never recomissioned post-war. The question with the latter two wolud be whether the damage was so bad that they were physically not worth re-building or whether it was just that the USN had so many others that it wasn't worth it for them (but might have been for the RN?).

An Essex was more the size of an Illustrious than a Colossus, so it would be more suitable as a replacement for the former than the latter. Indeed the latter would complement it quite well (as they were designed to do, of course).

BTW, the Aussies were offered an Essex in, I think, the early 1970s, and rejected it for the same reason as the RN did, namely that re-fitting it to work with their mostly UK-built fleet would take too long and cost too much, so maybe there was some substance in the RN's objections after all.....

"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2013, 06:40:13 AM »
Decals arrived today: I went for the Xtradecal 13 x Sea Hawks one in the end. They'll certainly cover a Panther and a Cougar and a little jiggery pokery with serial numbers should make them stretch to a Tiger.

The vac-form canopy set from Falcon arrived too - gulp..... :icon_crap:

Looking around Falcon's website, I noticed that they do a conversion set for three two-seaters: a TF-9J Cougar, an F-106B and a Mirage IIIT. It strikes me that the TF-9J conversion should also fit on a Panther, thus making a highly credible whiff. There's also markings on the Sea Hawks decal sheet for an FAA "Red Devils" display team aircraft that would look mighty fine on a two-hole Panther or Cougar, and although the conversion set's expensive, I looooove F-106Bs too......

(Do you detect an element of talking myself into it here?)

(and I just won an F-106 on ebay.....)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 06:46:42 AM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2013, 02:45:46 AM »
Mirage IIIT ?? ???
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: The FAA go American
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2013, 11:29:55 PM »
Okay some progress. We now have a coat of Sky:





I could have spent more time getting the joints perfect but time is marching on, since I'm away for 1 weekend in August.

The paint was traumatic as always. The white undercoat showed that the fit wasn't as good as I first thought (dark plastic hides a lot!) and I had to do a fair bit of sanding back to the blue. For some reason, the subsequent (rattle can) re-undercoating wasn't as opaque as the first one, so the freshly sanded areas still looked darker. No problem, I though, the Sky will even it all out, I mean, it's darker than white, right?  Uh huh - took four coats of Sky to get an even overall colour... ???

Rockets have been sprayed black and I'm currently working my way through painting all the brackets and warheads aluminium. The idea, based on some pics I found on the web, is that the rocket motors have come courtesy of the RH and have been stored immaculately in a warehouse, but the warheads have come from RAF stocks in the middle east where they've been stacked outside and have all gone from green to rust from top to bottom....
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith