Author Topic: Nicaraguan Iskra  (Read 11540 times)

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Offline John Howling Mouse

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2009, 04:43:23 pm »
Shame about the poor fit---I just bought this model last year and was looking forward to it.  I might turn mine into a biplane now.
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Offline Jschmus

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2009, 05:18:11 am »
STS: no "choice" in it if you want an Iskra: this is the only kit AFAIK. Incredibly, there's a Polish company who do a PE brass set for it!

I don't know if it would make any difference in the quality of the kit, but Squadron have a listing for an Iskra by a Polish company called Aeroplast:

http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=MKP00325

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Offline Weaver

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2009, 09:22:22 am »
Okay, I've decided to stop micro-pre-planning everything and make it up as I go along. The Iskra's now got a belly coat of Light Aircraft Blue (no picture, sorry) and a custom paint mix I'm calling "Polish Jungle Green"  ;D on the uppers. Next will come some angular masking and big areas of Slate Grey.

"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

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Offline Weaver

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2009, 05:25:42 pm »
Okay, here's the basic paint done:



The Polish Jungle Green I'm pleased with. The Warm Grey, however, did exactly the same trick as the brown on the Magister.... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:



This time it was NOT down to a heavy coat of varnish underneath it, because there was none. My suspicions are:

a) the mixed, thinned paint doesn't like being kept: both incidents happened when a third coat was applied several days after two coats that worked perfectly.

b) it's something to do with airbrush propellant and enamel paint.

Can't really test a), but a compressor is now on it's way from ebay to address b). I was going to wait until it arrived and give the grey another coat, but quite frankly, I'm getting so hacked off with this that if I don't say sod-it and get on, I'll never finish it.
"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

 - Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

Offline sotoolslinger

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2009, 08:26:53 am »
Dang, it's a shame your encountering so many probs with this one .It's really cool looking :wub: :thumbsup:
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Offline JayBee

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2009, 08:50:40 am »

This time it was NOT down to a heavy coat of varnish underneath it, because there was none. My suspicions are:

a) the mixed, thinned paint doesn't like being kept: both incidents happened when a third coat was applied several days after two coats that worked perfectly.

I have had problems like this before. My thoughts are that with the thinned paint being left to settle the pigment drops out quicker than usual and forms a more solid bottom layer, which, I think is very difficult to re-mix.

Anyway, your wee beast looks fantastic.

JimB
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 06:13:45 pm »
(note: yes this IS the same post as the Magister one, but it has an extra Iskra-specific bit at the end in blue, so please feel free to fast forward to there if you've already read the rest!  :thumbsup:)

Right, well after much faffing about and doing of other things, I now have a decal sheet printed up for this and the Iskra. This presented a dilemma: the roundels and flashes have white and yellow in them, which implies white decal paper, but they have to be very small to fit on the Magister wings and Iskra tailboom, and I wasn't convinced I could cut them out that well, plus there's also a lot of black writing which would have to go on clear backing.....

The solution (I hope) is to paint white circles/rectangles on the planes first and then put the decals across them. However, that still left the issue of how to make the masks. My circle cutter doesn't go small enough and my cheap'n'nasty punches arn't even vaguely sharp enough to cut masking tape cleanly. What I can up with was to put masking tape on a piece of very thin pasticard and then punch circles out of it, the card ensuring that the circles cut cleanly in the tape:




I did the rectangular/parrallelogram flashes by sticking a piece of masking tape to glass, sticking a piece of double-sided tape to the top of it, and then sticking dummy decals from a plain paper test shot on top of that. I then cut the shapes out with a sharp knife and a ruler.




Peeling off the double-sided tape and the cutouts showed that the masks could distort with handling, so I stuck fresh pieces of masking tape across them to hold them in shape, and then peeled the lot off and applies it to the models. With hindsight, I should have put paper release tabs under the edge of the "carrier" tape because taking it off, while leaving the mask in place was a major PITA. However, the results were reasonably good:



They now have a coat of thick white (from a 20yr old tin  :thumbsup:) drying. I'll see if they need another one tomorrow.

Coming to put the fin flash mask on the right side of the Iskra's tail, I had one of those awful Laurel and Hardy moments: yep, I'd forgotten to do mirror-image slanting flashes for the right hand side, and the decal sheet, with only left-hand flashes on it, already had a coat of varnish drying on it..... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

After a bit of throwing things and swearing, a solution presented itself. My first attempt at printing the decals on actual decal paper failed because I got the printer settings wrong and the over-saturated ink "bled" into unsightly halos around the images. Now the decal sheet is pretty full, BUT there was a clearish strip down the right-hand side.. I quickly knocked up a mostly blank sheet with RH flashes down the right-hand side, put the failed decal sheet through the printer again, and bingo!  :thumbsup: Some of them have overlapped existing images, but enough havn't, and I only need one to work at the end of the day...... :mellow:




"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

 - Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

Offline John Howling Mouse

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2009, 01:41:44 pm »
Boy, does this all sound familiar.  Just do what I do, keep repeating the mantra "Models are fun, Models are fun" until she's done.

Both projects are real lookers.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #23 on: May 03, 2009, 10:46:03 am »
Okay, getting there. All it needs now are stencils, weapons, weathering (this one isn't going to be as tatty as the Tzukit) and the other fin flash, of course. Some of the stencils go on the gear doors and some on the pylons, so it's a bit "interesting" working out what to glue on at what stage. As is normal with this kit, something had to not-fit..... :rolleyes: This time it was the nose gear doors, whose thick tabs clash with the nose leg - easily fixed.



By the way, yes I do know that one of the tailplane probes is missing: I got sick of glueing it on over and over again after it snapped off, so it's waiting 'til last in the naughty corner now. Those probes are a REAL pain BTW: you've no idea how many times I've nearly dropped the damn thing when they caught my hand as I was trying to grip the centre fuselage......
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 10:50:30 am by Weaver »
"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

 - Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

Offline frank2056

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2009, 09:44:47 am »
By the way, yes I do know that one of the tailplane probes is missing: I got sick of glueing it on over and over again after it snapped off, so it's waiting 'til last in the naughty corner now. Those probes are a REAL pain BTW: you've no idea how many times I've nearly dropped the damn thing when they caught my hand as I was trying to grip the centre fuselage......

It looks great so far! That canopy from hell looks fine now, and the intakes look great.

I've managed to not break off the wing tip probes on mine, although I've bent one. These guys will catch on anything and everything. I did manage to almost knock off the long antenna on the spine.

If anyone is going to build this "redhead" of a kit (the results look great, but it's nothing but endless drama to get there...) I would suggest removing all the antennas and probes until after the kit has been painted. With all the fiddling involved with this kit, they really get in the way.

Frank

Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2009, 01:57:43 pm »
Nice work there, Weaver! :thumbsup:

<...> this "redhead" of a kit (the results look great, but it's nothing but endless drama to get there...) <...>

Cheers,
Moritz


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Offline Weaver

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #26 on: May 06, 2009, 03:15:33 pm »
Following the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, the CIA became completely paranoid about the possibility of the country acquiring MiG-21s, and scrutinised every satellite photograph and scrap on intelligence for signs of suitably-sized crates being shipped there. On becoming aware of this fixation, the Soviet Union decided to exploit it. Casting around for a combat aircraft that could be shipped in a much smaller crate, they settled on the Polish-made TS-11 Iskra BR300, whose tailboom could be removed to pack it in a much shorter, fatter crate than would be thought possible for any kind of aircraft. The ruse worked, and the shipment of aircraft arrived in Nicaragua without challenge.



The Iskra BR300 was a single-seat development of the standard Polish trainer, with a fuel tank in place of the rear seat and a twin-barrelled GSh-23 cannon in place of the NS-23 fitted to it's BR-200 predecessor. Since the aircraft would be Nicaragua's only jet fighters, they were also given an air-to-air capability by wiring them for R-60 (AA-8 Aphid) AAMs, although this capability was concealed for some time after the existence of the aircraft themselves was acknowledged. The PZL factory wern't told the destination of the aircraft for security reasons and the only guidance they got for a colour scheme was "forest", resulting in an attractive, but rather too dark scheme by Nicaraguan standards. The Fuerza Aťrea Sandinista had more important things to do that re-paint aircraft though, so the "Polish Jungle" scheme remained.



The number of aircraft supplied, and their full combat history, remain unclear and the subject of much rumour and speculation, with the FAS providing no useful information to this day. What is known is that their first recognised air-to-air kill was a Honduran A-37B, on mission in support of the anti-revolutionary Contras, whose wingman saw the Iskra fire a small missile at his leader, and another which apparently malfunctioned, at his own aircraft. This was the first indication that the Iskras had R-60 capability, but it may not actually have been their first kill, since another pair of A-37Bs had vanished without trace two weeks beforehand, and their fate remains unknown.



The only other established fact is that, a month after the A-37B shootdown, the tables were turned when a flight of A-37Bs apparently ran from a pair of Iskras, only to lead them into a trap sprung by Honduran Super Mystere B2s, resulting in both Iskras being downed in short order. No further recognised air combats took place, although a number of transport aircraft supplying the Contras vanished both before and after these incidents, and it's widely believed that the Iskras were responsible for at least some of those losses. They also flew many ground attack missions in support of the Nicaraguan Army, during which some of them were almost certainly damaged by ground fire.



The aircraft pictured  is showing signs of wear and tear, despite the fact that, as "the pride of the FAS", they were generally very well maintained. Although the GSh-23 cannon provided far more firepower than it's predecessor, the shorter barrels caused problems with muzzle-blast, which can be seen to have rippled the skin nearby. This aircraft also has patches on it's port wing, and the port aileron and wingtip have been replaced, suggesting damage by small-calibre rounds. The combination of the red-black-yellow Sandinista roundels with the pre-revolutionary blue-white-blue fin flash might seem incongruous, but in fact this was standard practice for all Nicaraguan aircraft of this period.


"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

 - Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

Offline Weaver

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #27 on: May 06, 2009, 03:27:07 pm »
I'm posting this now because I seriously doubt weather I'll be able to do any decent daylight photography between now and the revised deadline. If I can, I will.

Kit: Mastercraft 1/72nd TS-11 Iskra 100/200
Missiles: unknown 1/72nd source. I think I got them from B787 in a trade - cheers if I did, sorry if I've got it wrong!
Mods: cannon from brass rod and filler, rear seat tank from Evergreen, jetpipe blanked with plasticard, seat straps from masking tape.
Paint: Humbrol enamels, sprayed and brushed. Karismacolour pencils and black pastel for weathering.
Decals: home-printed national markings, kit stencilling.

Best bits: ummmm the green paint (wish I could remember the formula...) and some of the the home-print decals.

Worst bits: the grey/brown paint going wrong, most of the kit stencilling decals falling apart, oh yeah and the the whole damn kit!  :banghead:








Thanks very much for all the supportive comments and encouragement during this pig of a build: all very much appreciated.

All comments, criticisms etc... welcome as ever.

"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

 - Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

Offline Ed S

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #28 on: May 06, 2009, 05:13:22 pm »
Nice one.  Well done.  Especially considering the kit you started with.   :thumbsup:

Ed  :cheers:
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Nicaraguan Iskra
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2013, 05:50:07 am »
Just did a bit of photo-montage with this one, and used it to jolly-up the article on the front page (I was editing it anyway because I've moved the article pics to a different host to try to stop my Photobucket running out of bandwidth every month).

Got halfway through then realised it didn't have a pilot in it... :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Every bit of correction I tried looked heavy-handed, but then I hit on a brainwave: blame it on the censor! So I blacked out the buzz numbers too and put a note in the article to that effect..... :wacko: :thumbsup:

Did quite a bit of touch-up on the "distant" aircraft too, to make it not quite so obviously the same one....

« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 06:09:16 am by Weaver »
"We thank you, but this diversion is not true. Things never happened thus."

"Oh, but it IS true. Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and dreams are
the shadow-truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes, and forgot."

 - Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman