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  • Mick's Avatar
    May 27th, 2015, 05:10
    Points 0, 1 & 2 are the landing gear. Point 0 is the nose gear, which looks OK. Points 2 & 3 are the main gears. In each of those points, the fourth number, -11.1, is the distance below the model's center where the bottom of the wheels will sit. The unit is supposed to be feet, but I question whether those "feet" are in the same scale as the models. Anyway, fiddle with that figure. Start small, like with changes on the order of about .5 or so, and experiment until you get it right. For future reference, this is what the first several numbers in each point mean, using the nose gear point as an example:
    2 replies | 242 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 18th, 2015, 08:38
    OK, I tried it and and it doesn't work very well at all. I took someone else's paint of a -5 in early 1942 colors and markings and changed the file names to make it work on the early versions, and the result was rather unsatisfactory. Mapping changes on the cowling and nacelles resulted in the gray undersides appearing in bits on the top and sides. That could be fixed but it would take a lot of patient trial and error. Worse, the repaint retained those cursed painted-on shadows that the original AlphaSims skins have, and the shadow of the waist blister looks really strange in the absence of the blister. Removing the shadows would be possible, but after doing it on the silver textures, I know what a big, tedious job that would be. If anyone wants a round-tailed Cat in...
    28 replies | 1489 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 18th, 2015, 05:40
    Great pic! Mystery solved! Thanks for posting that! I'm tempted to go and paint one like that, but I'm not very good at soft-edged camo schemes, and that early blue-gray gives me fits. But I have a -5 in that scheme that someone else painted, and it should work on the older versions with no more changes than renaming the external texture files. The training command was interesting, and frustrating from a modeler's point of view because there are interesting B&W photos where the colors can't be determined. We can usually determine the section colors by context and aircraft number, but we often don't know what the tail colors were, and we have no known system that can give us a clue. I have a number of books and articles with photos of service types in use as advanced trainers,...
    28 replies | 1489 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 13:41
    Thanks Milton! I'll have to leave the question for Shessi, since I know nothing about sounds. I can't even tell you if they work for me, since I haven't installed that sound set; I've had a set of SA-16 Albatross sounds installed temporarily during the painting process. Maybe I should just stick with that.
    28 replies | 1489 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 13:31
    A new entry has been added to Add-Ons Library, category FS 2004 Military skins - General Description: Three skins for Shessi's early round-tailed PBY modification of the Alpha Simulations PBY Catalina depicting aircraft wearing solid colored rudder squadron identification markings. To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Early PBYs with solid color rudders.zip The comments you make there will appear in the posts below.
    0 replies | 106 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 13:00
    I don't know but I think not. I have several books on the PBY, several historical magazine features on the plane, numerous other books that include the plane, and an extensive reference library of material about interwar US naval aviation, and I have never seen a photo of a round-tailed Cat in camouflage. That seems pretty strange at first thought, since the early versions were still in first line service when camouflage was introduced. But since there was no actual combat taking place (except for whatever unpublicized and unrecorded actions the Neutrality Patrol might have engaged in), and considering the effort and expense required to paint a plane as big as a PBY, it seems possible that older squadron aircraft, obsolescent variants slated for replacement, might not have been...
    28 replies | 1489 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 12:43
    You're very welcome. Glad to see the screenie! I'd wondered if anyone would be interested in the VP-8 plane with it's plain silver tail. I almost decided not to do that one as the number of skins grew. Now I'm glad I finished it.
    28 replies | 1489 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 12:39
    Oops! Sorry for the error, which is in the UI sections. I did that list early on and failed to edit it. I originally planned to paint those, but I decided not to include them as the number of skins grew like Topsy and I didn't need two more planes with solid red rudders, which was VJ-4's marking.
    28 replies | 1489 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 10:05
    A new entry has been added to Add-Ons Library, category FS 2004 Military skins - General Description: Four skins for Shessi's early round-tailed PBY modification of the Alpha Simulations PBY Catalina depicting aircraft wearing single tail band squadron identification markings. To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Early PBYs with 1-band tails.zip The comments you make there will appear in the posts below.
    0 replies | 53 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 10:04
    A new entry has been added to Add-Ons Library, category FS 2004 Military skins - General Description: Three skins for Shessi's early round-tailed PBY modification of the Alpha Simulations PBY Catalina depicting aircraft wearing checker-tailed squadron identification markings. To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Early PBYs with checkered tails.zip The comments you make there will appear in the posts below.
    0 replies | 54 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 10:04
    A new entry has been added to Add-Ons Library, category FS 2004 Military skins - General Description: Four skins for Shessi's early round-tailed PBY modification of the Alpha Simulations PBY Catalina depicting aircraft wearing double tail band squadron identification markings. To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Early PBYs with 2-band tails.zip The comments you make there will appear in the posts below.
    0 replies | 54 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 10:02
    A new entry has been added to Add-Ons Library, category FS 2004 Military skins - General Description: Four skins for Shessi's early round-tailed PBY modification of the Alpha Simulations PBY Catalina depicting aircraft wearing vertical rudder stripe squadron identification markings. To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Early PBYs with vertical rudder stripes.zip The comments you make there will appear in the posts below.
    0 replies | 48 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 10:02
    A new entry has been added to Add-Ons Library, category FS 2004 Military skins - General Description: Three skins for Shessi's early round-tailed PBY modification of the Alpha Simulations PBY Catalina depicting aircraft wearing solid colored rudder squadron identification markings. To check it out, rate it or add comments, visit Early PBYs with solid color rudders.zip The comments you make there will appear in the posts below.
    0 replies | 41 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 16th, 2015, 05:43
    Five skin packs will follow shortly. When I painted the -5 last year, I painted all the section leaders from both squadrons that flew the -5 before the adoption of camouflage. Despite my compulsive tendencies it was impractical to do that with the early, round-tailed Cats as they were flown by more than twenty squadrons. I tried to mix up the squadron and section colors and to minimize (though not completely eliminate) duplication in tail markings, and still came up with nineteen skins. By the end of the pre-camouflage identification system there were six different patterns for tail colors specified to identify squadrons: solid color, 1 horizontal band, 2 horizontal bands, one vertical stripe, 2 vertical stripes, and checkers. Each pattern was to be applied in each of the Navy's...
    28 replies | 1489 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 15th, 2015, 05:36
    Ah, that AH F3F! I recall when they released the FS2002 version. They sold it with the claim that it featured authentic skins, but the skins were all wildly, laughably unauthentic. The skins made the planes look like they were made up from parts of different planes, sometimes from different squadrons, including squadrons that never flew the type. They even put it in Army colors! I felt ripped off. I don't mind when a freeware modeler puts a plane in incorrect colors or markings - I'm happy to have the model and I'll repaint it if I feel the need to. But when a payware publisher advertises authentic skins and takes my money for the plane, I shouldn't have to paint it myself to give it the authenticity they claimed for it when they sold it to me! I saw the screenies of the FSX...
    106 replies | 7811 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 15th, 2015, 05:25
    You can do that yourself with any plane that doesn't have reflection enabled in the model file. In the texture files, the alpha channel controls either the degree of reflectivity or transparency. Which one depends on the way the modeler set it up. If reflection is enabled, I don't know if there's any way to turn it off, but if reflection is not enabled, you can use the alpha channel to control transparency. It's simple - a pure white alpha channel keeps the plane completely opaque; a solid black alpha channel would make the plane invisible; shades of gray produce various degrees of translucency. Actually, only the external parts of the plane, that are colored by the texture files, will be transparent or translucent; the internal parts of the model and any untextured external...
    8 replies | 476 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 13th, 2015, 15:41
    The gauges will be included in the release. They're the same as the originals, so they'll work on both the old Alpha models and Shessi's improved versions.
    106 replies | 7811 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 13th, 2015, 15:33
    Enough ranting about colors! Here's another picture. And yes, Scale Dail, there is also one in the set from VP-10 with black checks.
    106 replies | 7811 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 13th, 2015, 15:24
    Well, I almost didn't notice the tail stripe either! Shessi has really good eyes. These skins are much better than the ones I painted for the -5 last year, and he should get most of the credit for it. There are two kinds of improvements, and I suppose that the need for them was partly because those -5 skins were the first paint jobs I'd done since getting FS into my current confuter and becoming active again in the hobby. I missed a lot of little things that I like to think I would've caught in the old days, or in the future. For example, I'd painted the upper wing stars in pre-war colors, but left the underwing stars and the bow stars in AlphaSims' original WW2 colors, with a dark brick red/brown center and a virtually black circle. The other kind of improvement has to do with...
    106 replies | 7811 view(s)
  • Mick's Avatar
    May 13th, 2015, 10:56
    Well, thank you for asking! Your inquiry improved the final product! As soon as I saw that screenie I just posted I spotted an error that had escaped me. The blue in the rudder stripe is much darker and more purple than the blue in the national insignia. They should be the same color, Insignia Blue. (The section color is True Blue, a completely different color.) I didn't notice this when I painted the skin, or when I took a screen shot, or when I corrected the Insignia Red and Insignia Blue in the national insignia, or when I corrected the Insignia Red in the rudder stripes, or when I took another screen shot after those changes. Somehow I neglected to do it, and despite looking at it several times I never spotted the error. Then I looked at the screenie here in the forum and...
    106 replies | 7811 view(s)
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About Mick

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

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