David Knights' Weblog

November 30, 2016

Book review: RF-8 Crusader Units over Cuba and Vietnam

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 12:02 pm
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rf-8Book review: RF-8 Crusader Units over Cuba and Vietnam
Osprey Combat Aircraft #12
By Peter Mersky
98 pgs
ISBN 978 1 85532 782 5

I’ve been reading a lot of Osprey books this year for a number of reasons.  I have managed to collect a lot of them over the years and they are quick easy reads.  Also, I am determined to finish more books this year than Jim Bates and the Osprey books are an easy way to boost my book count.

The format of these books is pretty much all the same, a short history of the subject aircraft, 8 or so pages of color side views and some combat stories with quotes from the participants. So of the books are better, such as the Nick Millman volumes on the Ki-27 and Ki-44 aces, and others aren’t quite of the same caliber.  Sadly this volume falls into the latter category.

The book isn’t bad, per se.  It’s not that author has gotten anything factually incorrect, as far as I can tell.  I did learn some stuff too, such as the USMC RF-8 units never operated the RF-8G, only the RF-8A.  Also, part of the problem may simply be the subject itself, as recon flights don’t lend themselves as easily to the “There I was..” type of gripping combat stories. On the plus side, this volume seems to contain more than the normal number of photographs for an Osprey book, though quality of the reproduction of the photos leaves something to be desired.

Given that the RF-8s were operated by the Navy and Marines from the early 60s to the early 90s, the color side views, the centerfolds of the Osprey series don’t provide much variety, all of them being some variation of gull grey over white.  Only the colorful squadron markings provide any variety and the recon birds were less colorful than their fighter and attack brethren.

As with all Osprey books, this one is a quick read and most readers can knock it out in a sitting or two.  For modelers, it provides some level of reference, even if there isn’t much inspiration.  (As a side note, 72nd scale modelers have been waiting for an RF-8A or RF-8G for some time. Fisher Models has released a resin conversion in 32nd scale and an email from them confirmed that they planned to scale it down to both 48th and 72nd scale.)

If a modelers is looking for inspiration I highly recommend Blue Moon over Cuba detailing the RF-8 flights over Cuba during the missile crisis.  While this book makes an interesting companion to that book, I am not sure that it really adds much.  I was able to pick my copy RF-8 Crusader Units over Cuba and Vietnam used off of Amazon, so it only coast me about $5 including shipping.

October 4, 2015

I clearly need help

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 3:30 pm
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I have plenty of decals.  Yet I still want more.  I particularly want this.  Glad to see them doing 72nd scale decals now.

July 5, 2015

Magazine review: RT Vol.37 #2 (Summer 2015)

Filed under: IPMS,Modeling — dknights @ 3:04 pm
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Once again our friends from the great, white north show us how a modeling magazine is done.  I get tired of saying this almost as much as you get tired of hearing it, but RT is the best modeling magazine out there today.  Some modeling magazines you can read in 15 minutes.  RT takes hours.  Each and every article is a treasure.

This issue contains a conversion of an AT-6 back to an NA-44, a build/review of the Special Armor V-2, a build/conversion of 2 F-8s, and all of these are in 72nd scale.  They also have an article on building a Bailey Bridge kit and a build of the Fujimi Ferrari Dino 206.

Keep in mind, RT is a magazine wholly produced by IPMS/Canada and all of its articles are the result of submissions of its members.  Given that IPMS/Canada has only about 460 members.  That is what makes this magazine all the more amazing.

Unfortunately IPMS/Canada has recently had to raise its membership rates due to a postage increase by Canada Post.  However, I still recommend you join.  It is a great organization with a great magazine.


August 12, 2010

Magazine review: Scale Aircraft Modelling June 2010

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 6:51 am
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Scale Aircraft Modelling June 2010


I picked up the June issue at the bookstore a few weeks ago.  I just got around to reading it before I went out to Phoenix for the Nats.   For the 72nd scale modeler, there are a couple of build reviews, one of a Revell/Germany Luft ’46 item and one of the newly revised and reissued Airfix MiG-15.  Both are nice articles, but neither stands out.  There is also a feature article on the history of the F-8 in French Navy service with a number of color sideviews and scale plans. 

Overall this is a good issue, not great but good.  It is, however, marred by numerous typos in the text.  Scales of models are quoted incorrectly in several places and there are other typos as well.  These aren’t nitpicky little typos as I notice them just by flipping casually thru the magazine, before going back thru and reading in detail.  I ran into Jay Laverty, the editor of SAM at the Phoneix show and mentioned these.  He acknowledged that it was a problem. ( I was polite, but nonetheless I am sure I didn’t make myself popular by pointing this out.)

February 22, 2009

Bates throws a low blow! (BOTB round 3)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:04 pm
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Welcome to round 3 of the Battle of the Barristers (BOTB).  Previous installments can be found here and here.  Well, it is clear that my opponent has decided that the only way he can succeed by insuring that I don’t finish my F-8 in time.  In order to make that happen, Mr. Bates threw a low blow.  He sent me, gratis, (and this is your clue, since an attorney never does anything for free.) a set of the prepainted Eduard photoetch for the F-8.  Clearly he figured that by getting me to start adding improvments to the Academy kit, that AMS would take over and I’d never finish.  A clever plan, but it won’t work!

Eduard F-8 set

Eduard F-8 set

I got a little time with the F-8 over the weekend. As I said previously, this kit is not nearly as perfectly fitting as the Revell Hunter kit.  The cockpit as made had a gap on each side between the side panels and the sidewalls.  I added a thin strip of plastic to each side panel.  Curiously, even though it isn’t mentioned on the instructions, the Eduard side panels fit perfectly on the modified cockpit side panels.  I painted the whole interior medium gray and will begin weathering it next.



More soon.  So take that Bates! 🙂

January 14, 2009

End of the year lists

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 4:08 pm
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Every December and January you get “end of the year” lists.  Best of this…Worst of that, etc.  If it is good enough for everone else, it is good is enough for me.

Top 10 models I completed in 2008:

#10 thru #2 {blank}

#1 Revell 72nd scale Hawker Hunter

Now, I know what you are saying to yourself.  It is number one because it is the only model you finished in 2008.  While techincally true, that doesn’t keep it from being #1.  As I said in a previous post, it is a great kit.

Ten worst models I finished in 2008. (See list above)

Yep, same reason. Only one model finished.  Pretty sad.  Doesn’t make for much of a list.

Top ten models I’d like to complete in 2009.  Now I know what you are saying to yourself.  You finished one in 08, what makes you think you can finish 10 in 09?  I don’t really.  My eyes are always bigger than my stomach or my building skills.

10. Academy F-8E (The Battle of the Barristers build)

9. Trumpeter Su-15

8. Trumpeter P-40B/C

7. Revell Me-262

6. Trumpeter Hawker Sea Fury

5. DML MiG-17

4. Another Revell Hawker Hunter

3. Hasegawa B-24D

2. Revell He-177

1. Anything. Just finish a model!!!!

My next post will be a list of all the models languishing in half built condition in my model room, or as it is known throughout the land, “The List of Shame”.

December 2, 2008

The battle of the barristers (Round two)

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 11:52 pm
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Well, we aren’t in Revell of Germany land! 

Despite what I implied in my post below, I did get some modeling done this weekend.  I worked on the Academy F-8 that Jim Bates and I are challenge building.

Knowing that the Academy kit was a new release and having just come off building the Revell of Germany Hawker Hunter, I expected that the Academy kit would be as nice a fitting kit as the Hunter was.  Wrong!

I was working on the main gear well, which is one of the pieces that gets sandwiched between the fuselage pieces before they are assembled.  I test fit the parts and found, to my horror, that the gear well stood proud of the fuselage.  See the photo below.

F-8 main gear well

F-8 main gear well

The solution to this problem was to cut notches in the corners of the well so the well would sit flush in the fuselage.  I removed the portion represented in red in the photo below.

F-8 well insert

F-8 well insert

This allows the well to sit lower in the fuselage and not leave a lip on the fuselage side.

Corrected gear well

Corrected gear well

Now this does create an area at the end of the well that has to be filled, but I think that will be easier to fix than the well sitting proud of the fuselage.

Area to fill

Area to fill

Ok Jim, your turn.

November 24, 2008

The Battle of the Barristers

Filed under: Modeling — dknights @ 8:47 pm
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F-8 logo

F-8 logo

Ohio attorney Jim Bates was recently visiting this site and noticed in this post that I said that one of the models I was considering doing next was the Academy F-8.  Well a subsequent exchange of erudite emails (so is your mother, etc.) resulted in a challenge build of the Academy 72nd scale F-8. (God’s one true scale)  We are building them to enter at the Columbus IPMS Nationals this year.  There are no real rules.  We can build OOB or add accessories if we want.  Well the challenge was agreed upon, and I am proud to say I have already finished. So there Jim.  Here it is.

Hasegawa F-8E

Hasegawa F-8E

Just kidding.  This is a Hasegawa F-8E that I built 10 or 12 years ago.  As you can see, this one is worse for wear and missing a missile rail, nose gear and one main gear.

The one advantage of having built an F-8 before is that I am flush with reference.





Unlike Jim, who claims he is going to do a sissy French F-8, I am going to do mine in good ole’ U.S. markings.  Probably a MiG killer from this book.

Osprey F-8 book

Osprey F-8 book

Ok, I did actually start the model this weeked.  I did not get very far, but here is photographic proof that I started.

Academy F-8

Academy F-8

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