Author Topic: #7 DONE (but late) +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943  (Read 2107 times)

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Not certain if I make it until the extended deadline on Sunday - but I try to put a Heller Curtiss SBC (1979) together.

Just OOB, only with some detail additions, but in a whiffy livery: the white/grey Atlantic ASW scheme.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 05:21:00 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline zenrat

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Re: #7, maybe... +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 04:01:07 am »
When Chris announced "just hours left to post your builds" I was going to joke "Just enough time for Dizz to knock out another one..."

 :rolleyes:
Fred

Another ill conceived, poorly thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.


Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: #7, maybe... +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 11:48:13 am »
 ;D ;D ;D


Go man, go!! 
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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #7, maybe... +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 12:50:35 am »
Good news: it's actually finished! But there's the peripheric material left to do...  :o So, let's start with the WiP documentary.

The kit and its assembly:
The Curtiss SBC is a kind of ugly duckling and certainly not an aircraft that left any serious impression in history. Nevertheless, its odd mix of modern and vintage design features makes it an interesting subject, and I wanted to build one for a long time. The extended timeframe for the “Old Kit Group Build” at whatifmodelers.com was a welcome motivation to finally dig out a Heller SBC kit (moulds date back from 1979, Matchbox countered with another SBC only one year later) from the stash and build it.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The kit did not see any whiffy mod, was built basically OOB, but received some detail changes and additions. These include a machine gun dummy in the observer’s station, a scratched bomb displacement swing as well as underwing hardpoints, some superficial cockpit and landing gear opening details, as well as lowered flaps and the wiring between the wings – thankfully, only little work of the latter was necessary on the relatively modern biplane design, even though may of the wing wirings are double, so that the work was still challenging. As per usual, I reverted to heated sprues, glued to the kit before painting. The crew (Hobby Master soft vinyl figures) was only added for the beauty pics – in order to make this possible the long greenhouse canopy was cut into four pieces and the sliding parts left unglued to the fuselage.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Otherwise, the kit itself is an easy build with good detail (raised panel lines, though), just the plastic is a bit thin and wobbly, making a good fit not easy. This was not made easier by the fact that the part with the struts for the upper wings had been squashed and bent through other sprues in the box. Getting them back into shape and place for a proper fit was not easy, but with patience and some trial-and-error I was able to save the situation.


Painting and markings:
AFAIK, the SBCs in US Navy service were initially either left in bare metal (with some colorful pre-war squadron markings and the characteristic yellow wings), and, later, some machines operated in the Pacific TO received the early USN Blue Grey/Light Gull Grey livery, and, alternatively, some were painted all-over light-grey (FS 36440?).
I could not find any proof concerning SBCs being operated on carriers in the Atlantic TO, in fact it seems that the SBC was only carried on board of a single carrier, USS Lexington (CV-2). But I deemed the compact aircraft to be pretty suited for smaller escort ships - similar to the Grumman F4F Wildcat, which soldiered on, too, for a long time despite being a pre-war design.

This idea was the basis for my what-if model, and resulted in a machine painted accordingly in the “Atlantic ASW Scheme” with Dark Gull Grey (FS 36231) on the upper surfaces and off-white undersides, with a high waterline. Rather simple and unspectacular, but it suits the SBC well and is rarely seen on USN model kits, most tend to end up in Pacific TO colors.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


For painting I used Humbrol 106 (RAF Ocean Grey) and 147 (FS 36495) – both are darker than the authentic tones, but the latter were used for shading (Humbrol 140 and 34, respectively). Reason behind this is that I deemed esp. pure white to be too bright as basic color, leaving no room for post-shading on panels and details. Effectively, it’s a kind of overall pre-shading procedure.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


The cockpit became US Interior Green (Humbrol 226), while the visible interior of the landing gear and the cowling became zinc chromate yellow (Humbrol 81), a nice, colorful detail.

The kit was lightly weathered with black ink, too, and received only minimal markings in the form of “Stars & Bars” and a tactical code – another typical feature of machines operated in the Atlantic. As a little (yet authentic) design twist I applied American roundels with a red border, which were mandatory only for a short period in mid-1943 – for the built, fictional SBC they would fit well, and AFAIK this insignia variant lingered on for some time, so that even in late 1943 these must still have been a frequent sight.

After simulating some soot and oil stains as well as flaked paint on the fuselage and leading edges, the kit was sealed with matt acrylic varnish (Italeri).


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit) - WiP
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr

 :lol:
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 03:09:15 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline 63cpe

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Re: #7 WiP +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 01:35:34 am »
SEVEN Builds for the old kit GB! Wooow I'm impressed!  :thumbsup:
Early October I finished one built (RAF Regianne 2000) at three at night, just in time for a show a couple of hours later. But won't recommend to do so.

Nevertheless I feel challenged to speed up my builds....

What kind of filler do you use? Might as well resolve my issue's with paint and fillers...

David

Offline NARSES2

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Re: #7 WiP +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2017, 01:59:23 am »
I really do like that scheme on almost anything, one of my favourites and it really suits the old SBC
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #7 WiP +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2017, 03:13:43 am »
SEVEN Builds for the old kit GB! Wooow I'm impressed!  :thumbsup:

(...)

What kind of filler do you use? Might as well resolve my issue's with paint and fillers...

David

For the BoB build I managed ten kits in the time frame...  ;) This final one was done in the last couple of days, after building another quick one (soon to come, too, but does not fit into this GB).

The filler I use is a nitrous compound stuff for car bodies called "Presto Finish" (availablr on German ebay in tubes, and in some ATU car service stations). Firm believer in it, after trying a lot of other putties,  and already converted PR19_Kit of the stuff's model kit qualities.  ;)

Timing looks good, this one should make it with the beauty package before today's chequered flag.  :mellow:

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #7 DONE +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2017, 04:51:31 am »
Here she is, a 1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Some background:
In 1932, the United States Navy contracted the Curtiss-Wright Corporation to produce a modern, two-seat fighter design for use on its growing family of aircraft carriers. Curtiss responded by putting forth their Model 73 - a two-seat monoplane design featuring a single set of parasol wings fitted high atop the fuselage, and the US Navy designated the prototype as XF12C-1.

The Model 73 was powered by a single Wright R-1510-92 Whirlwind 14 series radial piston engine and sported a modern retractable undercarriage. The Curtiss product achieved first flight in 1933 though, by the end of the year, the US Navy had revamped their requirement and categorized the XF12C-1 prototype as the "XS4C-1 scout plane". Once again, this time in early 1934, the US Navy reorganized their needs and labeled the XS4C-1 as the "XSBC-1 dual-role scout-bomber". Curtiss fitted a Wright R-1820 Cyclone series radial piston engine to the design and testing of the prototype ensued.

Among the evaluations was a dive bombing test in September of 1934 that resulted in a failure of the parasol monoplane wing assembly. Testing had shown that the parasol wing assembly was generally unfit for the stresses of what the new aircraft would be called upon to achieve. As a result, the US Navy ordered a new prototype to fall in line with stricter requirements.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Curtiss once again delivered an answer, this time the Model 77, to which the US Navy affixed the designation of XSBC-2. This machine was powered by a new engine,a Wright R-1510-12 Whirlwind 14 series radial. First flight of the XSBC-2 was recorded on December 9th, 1935. In March of 1936, a Pratt & Whitney R-1535-82 Twin Wasp Junior radial piston engine was fitted to the airframe, resulting in the revised company designation of "Model 77A" and the respective US Navy designation "XSBC-3".

Design of the SBC Helldiver was a mix of two eras of aviation: On the one hand, the design was characterized by its staggered, uneven span biplane wing arrangement with thick outboard struts, cabling and skeletal inboard struts holding the wings in place. On the other hand, the fuselage was a streamlined, all-metal construction, contouring finely to a tapered end to which a rounded vertical tail fin was affixed. The undercarriage, while retractable, still sported its visible wheels tucked in alongside each forward fuselage side. Like other aircraft of this period, the SBC took on a noticeable "nose-up" stance when at rest, being fitted with a small, semi-retractable tail wheel at the empennage base and an arrester hook for carrier operations. The crew of two sat in tandem under a single, long canopy with heavy framing with generally poor forward views of the oncoming action. The cockpit was set at amidships, well aft of both wing assemblies.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Being powered by an air-cooled radial engine, driving a three-bladed propeller, the SBC Helldiver could afford top speeds of 234 miles per hour with a base 175 mile per hour cruise speed. Service ceiling was limited to 24,000 feet while range was out to 405 miles.
Armament was rather modest and included a pair of 0.30 caliber machine guns (one forward fixed for the pilot and the other on a trainable mount in the rear cockpit) with an optional 500 lb (227 kg) bombload along the fuselage centerline. The latter was held by a swing arm that would keep the bomb out of the propeller disc during dive attacks and was augmented by additional shackles under the lower wings for single light bombs.

The United States Navy, content with the latest Curtiss-Wright offering, contracted the company in 1936 to deliver some 83 SBC-3 "Helldiver" production-quality aircraft. Initial deliveries occurred in July 1937 to Squadron VS-5 of the carrier USS Yorktown. By all reports, the SBC proved to have a rather pleasant airframe to control. But the constantly changing world of technology in the late 1930s solidified the SBC as an out-of-date design, forcing the scout bomber to undertake second-line duties in the training of upcoming airmen out of Florida. When the Japanese Empire unleashed their surprise attack on the US Naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7th, 1941 - thusly thrusting America into full-fledged world war - the SBC was more or less accepted as an obsolete design.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Curtiss worked on improving the base SBC-3 series design and set one airframe aside for such work. The resulting tests yielded the new Model 77B to which the US Navy appended the designation of SBC-4.
To go along with several improvements, like self-sealing tanks and a bigger bomb load of up to 1.000 lb (454 kg) and additional underwing hardpoints, was a more powerful Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9 series radial piston engine of 850 horsepower.
The US Navy signed a production contract for 174 examples of this mount in January 1938 with the first deliveries beginning in March of 1939, followed by formal service entry. By this time, Europe was already completely engulfed in a war that would soon spread beyond its borders, and foreign orders, e. g. from France, ensued.

Regardless, the outdated biplane dive-bomber soldiered on with both US Navy and Marine Corps branches aboard such active carriers as the USS Hornet. But, overall, the SBC Helldiver would only lead a short active life with the US Navy, being soon replaced by much-improved types.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


Until its retirement, the SBC still found use in supportive roles. Furthermore, the SBC was, on a limited scale, employed for reconnaissance, patrol and pathfinder tasks in composite squadrons (together with F4F Wildcat fighters and TBM Avenger torpedo bombers) on board of small escort carriers in the Atlantic theatre of operations, where its compact size and good handling were appreciated.

To ensure something of a legacy, the SBC Helldiver was in fact the last biplane aircraft to be purchased by the United States Navy. The longest Curtiss SBCs to survive were 12 aircraft at NAS Jacksonville, Florida, which were stricken off-charge on 31st October 1944.


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr




General characteristics:
    Crew: two; pilot and observer gunner
    Length: 28 ft 1⅝ in (8.57 m)
    Wingspan: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
    Height: 10 ft 5 in (3.17 m)
    Wing area: 317 ft² (29.4 m²)
    Empty weight: 4,552 lb (2,065 kg)
    Loaded weight: 7,080 lb (3,211 kg)
    Max. take-off weight: 7,632 lb (3,462 kg)

Powerplant:
    1× Wright R-1820-34 radial engine, rated at 850 hp (634 kW)

Performance:
    Maximum speed: 234 mph (203 knots, 377 km/h) at 15,200 ft (4,600 m)
    Cruise speed: 175 mph (152 knots, 282 km/h)
    Range with internal fuel: 405 mi (352 nmi, 652 km)
    Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,320 m)
    Rate of climb: 1,630 ft/min (8.28 m/s)

Armament:
    1× 0.30 in (7.62 mm) forward-firing M1919 Browning machine gun
    1× 0.30 in (7.62 mm) machine gun firing rearward on a flexible mount in the rear cockpit
    1× underfuselage hardpoint for a bomb of up to 1.000 lb (454 kg)
         or a 45-U.S.-gallon (170-liter) fuel tank
    2× underwing hardpoints for 100 lb (45 kg) bombs or flares




1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


1:72 Curtiss SBC-4 ‚Helldiver‘, aircraft ‚19‘ of US Navy Composite Squadron 55 (VC-55); USS Block Island (CVE-21), North Atlantic, late 1943 (Whif/modified Heller kit)
by dizzyfugu, on Flickr


A relatively simple but subtle whif version of a rather unpopular and forgotten aircraft – but I must say that the Atlantic scheme suits the anachronistic SBC well. With the other colorful details (green cockpit, yellow engine parts, red roundel edges) I was able to make the simple kit look more interesting than expected.

 :cheers:

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #7 DONE +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2017, 04:53:57 am »
Ooops, too late, though. Misinterpreted the deadline as 8th of January midnight, not 7th.  :angry:

Mea culpa, but there's enough stuff.  ;D

Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: #7 DONE (but late) +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 06:00:33 am »
Ah well, it still looks really cool!!  I like it.  :D
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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #7 DONE (but late) +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2017, 06:14:02 am »
Thank you.  :angel:

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: #7 DONE (but late) +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2017, 09:16:55 am »
Ah yes, THAT Helldiver! I was thinking of the equally non-memorable mono-plane.

Yours does look great in that scheme Thomas, suits it very well.  :thumbsup:

And I conform what you say about Presto, I love the stuff, and I'm for ever grateful to you for getting that bulk supply for me a while back.  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline Captain Canada

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Re: #7 DONE (but late) +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 09:35:25 am »
Gorgeous. Love that colour on her. You make it look so easy....the rigging is perfect !

 :thumbsup:
CANADA KICKS arse !!!!

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Where's my beer ?

Offline Glenn Gilbertson

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Re: #7 DONE (but late) +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2017, 11:05:06 am »
That looks wonderful = well done! :thumbsup:

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: #7 DONE (but late) +++ Curtiss SBC (Heller), Atlantic TO, late 1943
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2017, 11:48:44 pm »
You make it look so easy....the rigging is perfect !

 :thumbsup:

Thank you, but it's far from 'perfect'. Just the humble addition of details that might stand the first glance and add realism to the beauty pics.  ;)