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  1. Since it appears to be an important issue, they are all gone. During the Second Depression, I losr everything, savings, retirement, eventually my house to foreclosure. Had already sold all of my construction equipment, all of my contracting tools, most of the gun safe contents. So, when it was time to cram everything into a 8 x 10 x 16 box, a lot of stuff had to be left behind. To include virtually all my furniture, my drafting table, and the hobby desks, and paint booth. The consortium who bought my property in the foreclosure sale used a bulldozer and knocked down the house and every tree but one, and slapped up two "Aggieshacks" in it's place. I spent rather a lot of 2012 and 2013 living in guest rooms and garages. Then, was lucky to find my present bedsit. Priorities have been focused on trying to get back to even, and I'm still not there yet. And this plague has not helped any, as I have a third computer on my one desk (which is a disaster area). My only intention here is to offer information, to share experience, particularly wher eI have handles the items in question, strode the decks (or been on the beach with Marines attempting to run over me with one each of every vehicle in inventory). I intend no critique, criticism is all opinion, and usually only represents self-aggrandizement. I may well be guilty of this, my feet are clay, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. But, it is not my intent.
  2. The M2 receiver has a unique look. MM Steel or Tamiya Gunmetal are not bad, but you want a deep black oil wash over that to get the look right. The part at the front, with the holes ought to be a clean "steel" color. The barrels (which get changed middling regular) are Parkerized dark grey. NATO Black lightened with a few drops of steel will capture the look. Barrels that were left packed in Cosmoline and wrapped in brown kraft paper picked up a greenish hue. This is another one that's hard to pin down. Equal parts of "interior green" and "gunmetal" gets close. The color of the barrel ought "show" through the holes in the shroud. The handle on the barrel will have a "steel" sort of color, the handle will be a dark color, like 80% cacao chocolate--NATO black will suit. This is also true of the spade grips on the rear, too. The cradle for the ammo box is a dark metallic color. or the color of the pintle. Hmm, ust remembered, WWII cal..50 ammo cans open the long way, and not the short way, like post-war cans do. The lid was pulled off so the can could be strapped to the pintle. Even with the headspace hassles, the Ma Deuce is still one of my favorite MGs. Were it not for "cheap" ammo running $1.50 a round, I would have kept my semi-auto version.
  3. Appropriate since the tank crew was usually the applicators. And had of only satisfy the TC.
  4. This batch of stuff Tamiya includes is a tiny bit controversial. Partially for only offering two fuel cans, and no water cans at all (the filler cap is the give-away). There's an on-going argument over just what the rectangular pouches (near th ecenter of your photo) are supposed to be.. The shape of the pocket flap on the top very much resembles the Pouch, Ammunition Carrying, Universal, except it's about 75% too wide, and 25% not thick enough (and the Universal pouch had an attached shoulder strap until August of '45). So, the other argument is that it's the Case, Carrying, MG Cleaning Tools. Except, then, it's 2x too thick, and the flap is closed with a snap fastener not a strap. (Rivet counting goes all sorts of places o_O) The Packs are gems--the Pack, Musette, M-1936, very much a desired pack by all in ETO. Originally produced in a khaki color, later in a more OD color, and even a "transitional" (collector term, was Substitute Standard or Alternate Standard per War Department QMC catalog) which had OD edging around a khaki body. IRL, the tabs on top each had a round ring of brass or painted steel; the carrying strap had snap hooks to engage those. Buckles will be black or brass with traces of blackening. Those ammo cans are real gems, too. Typically, those cans were painted a darker color than the vehicles as a result of being painted at the factory. That color is hard to pin down, other than you know it when you see it. Best I've managed is a almost 50/50 of OD and black-green.
  5. Plenty of documentary photos of TCs (Tank/Track Commanders) and Loaders with steel pots on when poked out of the turret. If they "button up" they will ditch the pots, either hangign them on some feature on the turret roof, or cramming them into some corner of the turret. Now, since this a 105mm vehicle, they are more likely to be standing off reducing obstacles at a suitable distance, rather than wading on into rifle range. Not that they didn't, just that they did not have to. Now, the TC is more likely to be scanning about with binoculars than the loader, but there is no reason the loader couldn't be looking further out, either. But, it might be worth putting a bino case on the turret roof (if you have one laying about) to show how the loader grabbed up the glasses in their case to start scanning. The loader's side of a Sherma has a bunch of places you could hang stuff on a strap that you could sinch up to keep from swinging about while on the march.
  6. And, very specifically, the 105mm howitzer tank was used in the assault to counter obstruction, pillboxes and other barriers to infantry assaults (and for blasting through dragon's teeth to some extent. Also, to be fair, American tanks were never sent out on a 1:1 basis; the smallest tank maneuver unit was the Platoon, 4 tanks. This is where the inaccurate adage of "it took 4 Shermans to take out a Tiger" stems from. The grunts on the MLR would report a tank to their front. Higher would then send out whatever the next Platoon of tanks were attached. The grunts did not much distinguish between tanks, so a whole Platoon of tanks would be sent out whether it was a Pz 38t, a Pzkfz III, a Marder, or a King Tiger. It was on the treadheads to figure out how to reduce the problem when they got there. And now, back to your regularly-scheduled gluing of plastic.
  7. Well, "ditto." Sadly, I need to over come Morrison's Law (whereby no workbench ever has more than 2 square feet of clear space). It would help to not have quite so many things on my plate--but, such is my life after the 2008-2012 debacle. Which is why I live in, effectively, a bed-sit. And, spending my work day modeling entire buildings probably cuts into my creative life more than it ought to, too. Sigh.
  8. Which explains why Merit did not include that feature. Fickle Memory Strikes Again.
  9. This continues to be an impressive build. And the kit appears to be top notch, as well, too. Watched a vid on building the 1/18 (!) Merit SBD 3/4, and was somewhat amazed. That kit goes for north of US$150, and has as many movable parts as the old Monogram 1/48 kit (other than folding wings--go figure). The parts looked as if they had been pantographed "up" to the larger scale, rather than down. So, all the more applause on the build here.
  10. Well, without devolving into a philosophical discussion on Free Will, you are free to do anything you please, until it causes harm to another. Generally, though, accepted wisdom in the modeling community is that a gloss coat is least likely to have clear decal film "silver." You can then put a matte coat over the set decals to fix them to the finish. Now, I have heard of using Ultra thin to correct silvering, but, I've never tried it.
  11. From memory, Sara & Lex were 70 or so; the Essex ships 75 or 80, and that was chock full, flight & hangar decks to capacity. And, as the old adage goes, there's no such thing as a "perfectly good airplane." So, you can't get them all flown off.
  12. Fair enough. However, those birds are all engines turning, wings open, too. The ones in the back, still stowed are pretty neat rows. That's back in the day, when you needed all the deck you could get to fly off, so, you wanted it "compress" the fore & aft length of whatever you were launching in those days before catapult launching became common. But, I'm drawing off of remembered photographs and the like. At SWO school they mostly told us carriers were dangerous and ought be avoided at all costs. And that brownshoes were very silly.
  13. That's a fascinating question. From photos of parked a/c, they were generally kept parking parallel to the long axis of the deck. And the tie down rails run perpendicular to that. Angled parking really does not come around until angled flight decks necessitate keeping the Flight Ops area clear (and adopting tricycle landing gear meant being able to park TOW, Tail Over Water). Also, a tow tractor is only going to be able to use a single bar to the tail wheel, or a V bar to the main mounts, so squaring the a/c up makes sense from that. But, is that good modeling? Aye, there's the rub, Horatio. Really, any static USN a/c not on tarmac ought to be trussed in tie down chains and with chocked wheels. (The Plane Captain, in his brown shirt, has to be able to show his trophies to the Aviator before flight.)
  14. Yep, all of the above sounds like an exact match for coastie helos. Orange to red depending upon observed and local light conditions.
  15. Coastie helos are chimera--in some light they are red, in others, distinctly orange, and will change apparently hue with the light. Actually, kind of handy, that, as it gives the modeler a nice range to pick from.

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