AND I DIGRESS
I spent over an hour looking for information on the bottom Kingston valves with very little luck. I know what they are and what they do now, but I still don’t know what they looked like on Gatos or Balaos. I think I’ll sit on it a couple of days.
In the meantime, my display for dad is progressing nicely. The planes are all completed and sent to 3Delivered.
They have been printed but are being cleaned. They should be ready tomorrow, or the next day. Because the planes are being displayed in-flight, I decided to make the propellers spinning.
The propellers have already been printed on clear plastic and according to Thomas, they look good, although I haven’t seen them yet.
The base, a pine wood plaque that I found at Michael’s for $6, has been drilled, using a template I made, and has received two coats of Min Wax Dark Walnut stain. I say coats, but I rubbed it on with an old soccer sock and I did it twice because unfortunately I didn’t follow the directions and use a pre-stain conditioner. As a result, the wood soaked the stain up irregularly and it was really blotchy. So, I sanded the hell out of it and applied another coat, but wiped it off almost as soon as I applied it. This got rid of most of the splotches as you can see below.
Next, I will spray on a couple of coats of sanding sealer, with sanding between coats, and then spray multiple coats of lacquer, with sanding before and between coats. It would be started already, but I spray outside and it needs to be above 50 degrees, which it hasn’t been for several days now.
In the meantime, I found and ordered 1” diameter Air Force insignia tie pins ($12.53 delivered). They arrived Friday. I think they will look nice on the display.
I also had some decals custom made. I have made my own decals before and considered doing it again for this project but to print white decals you have to use the white decal paper and I personally don’t think it makes for as good of decal. Since both the AC-47 and U-3A have white decals I decided to see if I could find somebody to print them for me. I got on-line and found a company called “Cedarleaf Custom Railroad Decals” owned by Stan Cedarleaf. I sent them to him Sunday. He sent me the layout below Monday with my layout rearranged a bit to get 2 copies on one sheet. The gray letters on the right will actually be printed white, but are shown in gray for identification. The star on one of the T-34 decals is covered in the JPG Stan sent, but he says it printed correctly. He mailed them to me Tuesday. I should have them by the weekend.
The cost was $36.50 and included shipping. A little steep perhaps, but worth it I think, for two reasons. First, aligning number decals at this scale is difficult and can be frustrating. Customizing the decals allowed me to combine the numbers I wanted into a single decal, greatly simplifying their application. More importantly, it allowed me to add some personal graphics that are definitely not available on the market.
I definitely used a lot of modeler’s license on the decals. Not knowing any of the numbers of his actual planes, I made them up. Every number represents an important date in his life, family member birthdates, his and mom’s wedding date, and the “55” on the T-28 is the year he entered the Air Force after graduating from the Naval Academy. I also added some personal graphics.
In several pictures I have seen of T-28’s, there is an insignia on the tail, which in real life is probably the squadron insignia. On my model, it will be the Sugar Bowl trophy. This represents my dad’s participation, as starting center and nose guard, in the Naval Academy’s victory over Ole’ Miss by a score of 21-0 in the 1955 Sugar Bowl.
B-25’s were notorious for their nose art, but dad said that the trainer he flew did not have any. My model will have a bust of “Bill”, the Naval Academy mascot. I only hope that this doesn’t offend anybody, but I guess it is less offensive to some than the nose art of WWII.
The last personal graphic I made will be on the AC-47. From January, 1966 to October, 1966, dad flew an AC-47, “Puff”, in Vietnam. According to his memoirs from his time in Viet Nam, the natives often referred to the AC-47’s as dragons because of the tracers that looked like a fire breathing dragon. The Air Force Times even called them Dragonships, so the guys called her “Puff” after the kids TV show “Puff the Magic Dragon”. Dad’s detachment commander, Lt. Col. Carter, even had him design and fabricate plaques for the entire 4th Air Commando Squadron, of which he was part of. A dragon is a key feature of the plaque, as may be seen below, and dad says that they were all hoping that their call sign would be “Puff”, but for some reason SEA came up with “Spooky”. The nose of my model will have dad’s patch, rather than the Spooky ghost seen on some AC-47s.
I apologize that this has nothing to do with submarines. I just thought you might be interested.