Tab Content
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 30th, 2015, 12:11
    Now here's something you don't see every day: a Tigercat hauling a torpedo! The light gleaming on the forward fuselage shows that this bird is glossy Dark Sea Blue, not flat black like Marine night fighters. The plane belonged to the Naval Aviation Torpedo Unit at NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and was used to develop torpedo launching gear for the Tigercat. Like the other planes operated by the NATU, the only unit markings would be the letters NATU across the vertical tail. The photo was scanned from the Images of America book on NAS Quonset Point.
    1175 replies | 135653 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 28th, 2015, 05:14
    Here's a thought: ask the Air Force Museum. They have an MB-2. I should've thought of that right away. When David and I were working on the Gee Bee airplanes we needed information about the instruments and controls of the Model R Super Sportsters. The New England Air Museum has a very authentic replica, so we e-mailed them with our inquiry and told them why we needed to know. They responded promptly and generously. I'll bet the Air Force Museum (or I should say, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, to give it it's proper name) would be just as happy to help. After all, preserving and sharing artifacts and information is what museums exist for. http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/
    7 replies | 326 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 26th, 2015, 05:32
    The closer we look, the odder it gets!
    7 replies | 326 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 25th, 2015, 05:10
    I have that AAHS Journal and I just looked up the cited article. Alas, it doesn't answer the questions at hand. It tells a lot about period instruments, but nothing about controls, and none of the many cockpit pictures are of the MB-2. I then went to the members section of the AAHS website and used their search engine to search the entire history of the Journal and came up with nothing useful for the terms MB-2 cockpit, MB-2 instruments, MB-2 controls and a couple others. My best guess is that the big blue wheel on the lower right of the cockpit is an elevator trim wheel. I dunno about those lower levers being brakes. That's an awfully odd place to put the brakes. But I must admit that in those days, a lot of airplane controls and instruments were put in odd places... But...
    7 replies | 326 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 23rd, 2015, 06:15
    Here's a treat for us Golden Wingers: an Avro Avian by David Molyneaux! It's at FlightSim. http://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/fslib.php?do=copyright&fid=186130
    13 replies | 634 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 22nd, 2015, 07:40
    These look very promising! I'm looking forward to assembling these kits! :ernaehrung004:
    13 replies | 734 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 20th, 2015, 04:54
    Wow! Sweet! :ernaehrung004:
    1175 replies | 135653 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 19th, 2015, 05:20
    Good points all. Methinks that the yellow showing through on those SBDs has to be zinc chromate yellow, since only the SBD-1 and a couple dozen of the earliest -2s ever wore the pre-camo livery with the yellow wings, and I think all the -1s and -2s were gone from the fleet very early on. I don't know for sure, but I think zc yellow would have been used as a primer on the whole plane before the final color coats were applied. As for the Cats, I don't think I'll try to have other camo colors showing through where the black is worn off. It's not as easy as it looks to simulate such wear realistically, and it's all so speculative, especially considering the multiple layers of paint under the black, that I think I'll just stick with what AS gave us (with the requisite file name changes,...
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 18th, 2015, 05:11
    Now that I know how they colored the black Cats black I'm pondering something else. We've all seen photos of black Cats with the black worn off. They're all black & white photos and it looks like the black paint has worn away, leaving bare metal to show through. The AlphaSims black Cat skin shows silver where the black is worn off, and O've always figured that was correct. Now I wonder about that. Since the black was a field-applied mash of lampblack and soap, it was undoubtedly applied over the planes' existing paint job, which in the early days of blacl Cat operations would have been blue-gray with light gull gray undersides. So it would seem that where the black is worn away, we should see blue-gray or gull gray showing through, not bare metal. Does anyone have any...
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 16th, 2015, 05:59
    First, I should say that I think Shessi's semi-matte finish is most appropriate for skins depicting wartime camo paint. But I suspected that this might not be so for the black Cat night raiders. I did a little research and this is what I found out: Black Cats weren't finished in camo paint - they weren't finished in paint at all! According to Richard Knott, writing in his book Black cat Raiders of WW2, the finish was a field-concocted mixture of lamp black and soap! Soap! No wonder it tended to wash off in water, leaving the planes with that beat-up, scruffy look. And lamp black has a flat finish. Since this is the only livery that needs a fully flat model, I think what I'll do after I do the required file name edits is to release the black cat skin with a dead flat model for...
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 14th, 2015, 05:19
    Well, that will work! Would you please send me a copy of the model file? The only copy I have is the one you sent earlier that isn't reflective. It should display the pre-war skins properly. If dead flat works better for them, I can whip up a dead-flat model file to include with them without messing up the VC. It's just reflectivity that I can't do anything with on my own. Anyway, I will do a little testing and see what looks best. It occurs to me that dead matte might also be more appropriate for some wartime camo schemes (though I don't know if everyone would agree with that.) For most liveries, I agree that semi-matte would be better. I'm thinking of early Black Cats with their color applied in the field, which probably used flat black paint. It also occurs to me that...
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 13th, 2015, 08:56
    Matte's a good start. It's suitable for the camouflage textures that wartime Cats wore. But it won't be possible to simulate the metallic silver paint of the pre-war Cats unless the model has reflective textures enabled. It wasn't possible on the pre-war models, as you must recall, and it isn't possible on the -5 for the same reasons. Nothing has changed. Metallic finishes require reflective textures, and reflective textures require a reflective model, just like it was a couple months ago. We couldn't do it with specular gloss on the -2/-3 and we can't do it on the -5 because specular gloss can not simulate reflectivity. That's why Microsoft invented reflectivity for FS2002 - because everyone was tired of paints of silver airplanes that looked gray, and had to just pretend they...
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 11th, 2015, 14:17
    That's not glossiness, it's reflectivity - something different. And it only works that way if reflectivity is enabled in the model - otherwise the alpha channel controls transparency instead. I have downloaded many models and paints where the modeler or the painter has used reflectivity to simulate gloss, and it doesn't look right. You can spot it in a second. Instead of looking like glossy paint, it looks like color-anodized bare metal. The difference in appearance is plain to see. There's a sheen on the surface but the color has no depth. To an even greater degree, you can't effectively simulate a metallic finish with specular gloss. No matter what you do, it will look like glossy paint, not like metal or metallic paint. The early, prewar Cats, like all pre-camouflage Navy...
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 11th, 2015, 05:10
    Two things to keep in mind: 1 - For the pre-camo paints finished in aluminized silver paint, specular gloss looked completely wrong on the -2, so there's no reason to think it could look right on the -5. 2 - Most -5 skins by other painters will be of wartime camo schemes, and specular gloss would be completely wrong for them - they'll need to be full matte. A glossy finish will be appropriate for Dark Sea Blue US Navy liveries on the -5A and -6A, but nothing earlier.
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 10th, 2015, 05:11
    Excellent work, as always! My only requests are that you: 1 - maintain the same level of reflectivity in the model file as on the early round-tailed cats, and 2 - carry over the mapping change that allowed the non-slip walkway on top of the bow chines to remain black when the base color of the hull is silver, again as you did on the round-tailed cats. That way I can adapt my pre-camo skins simply by editing the file names as required. (In anticipation, I have already upgraded them with the enhanced colors and details that we developed for the early versions.)
    22 replies | 1253 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 9th, 2015, 04:56
    Well, I would be happy to paint an in-service scheme or two for any variant that doesn't come with one straight from the box. I've got some photos stashed for reference, and I am really pleased to know that there's a paint kit in the works! But you're better than I am with the paint brush, so I'd be very happy if you made some skins. Very happy indeed! Happy because you'd most likely do a better job than I would, and happy because it would save me time and effort that I could spend on things that nobody else is doing.
    1175 replies | 135653 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 8th, 2015, 05:28
    Thanks Milton! The pics you posted earlier show most of the markings, but there are two areas missing: the upper right and lower left wings. Those two locations are where the standards changed a couple times during the Dark Sea Blue era, and where the standards often tended to be interpreted loosely. An educated guess would be that it said MARINES under the left wing and the individual aircraft number and squadron letter(s) on the upper right. But it would be great to have photos to confirm or refute that, especially since this plane has a number instead of a squadron code on the tail, which seems a bit non-standard. Also, it's a museum example, and museums don't always get all the markings right anyway. I searched the web again and found more than I did the first time. I now...
    1175 replies | 135653 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 7th, 2015, 05:05
    Excellent! I have stashed those photos for future use, and I hope it won't be too far in the future!
    1175 replies | 135653 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    June 6th, 2015, 16:00
    Well, I wasn't gonna say anything, but since others are suggesting different versions, I've been imagining how great an F7F-2D drone controller would look, with the F8F Bearcat canopy over the rear pit for the drone pilot, wearing the Nifty Fifties drone controller livery of Glossy Dark Sea Blue fuselage with yellow wings and tail and red wing bands and rudder. And the drone pylons under the outer wing. And maybe a couple Firebees hung on the drone pylons... I built one in plastic, converted from the old Monogram kit. It's still one of the nicest models on my shelves. But I couldn't come up with the Firebees to hang on it. :( I would paint it if one was made...
    1175 replies | 135653 view(s)
More Activity
About Mick

Basic Information

Date of Birth
February 11, 1948 (67)
About Mick
Biography:
Lifelong New Englander, long-ago lightplane pilot, longer-ago hang glider pilot, retired FS developer/texturer/repainter.
Location:
Easthampton, Mass., U.S.A.
Interests:
Anything about flight; cats; bicycling; XC skiing; snowshoeing; photography
Occupation:
Civil service: administrative law (retired)

Statistics


Total Posts
Total Posts
1,339
Posts Per Day
0.36
Last Post
F7F Tigercat SOH Project June 30th, 2015 12:11
General Information
Last Activity
Yesterday 05:10
Join Date
June 6th, 2005
Referrals
0