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mtaylor

CH-53 Sikorsky by mtaylor - 1:48 - Revell

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I'm going to start a plastic kit since I need better weather to continue on my Belle Poule.  This model is something I wanted to build for a long time but never had the time or could find one.  I picked or maybe it picked me (thanks Lou).  In Marines from '66 to '70, I was a electronics tech, avionics test flight member, and whatever else they could find for me do them.  I'm building it as a D-model as that was type.  I have two choices, I could  build as one of my squadrons from the States (Santa Ana Air Facility, California) or Vietnam.   I picked the State side version as I served in the stateside squadron for a bit more than 2 and half years. In 'Nam, I was only there for the last 8 months of my enlistment as the Commandant issued an order that ALL marines would serve in Vietnam, even with those who had a couple of weeks left.  

 

Here's a picture of the kit I'll be using:  1163257386_Revell20449820CH53gd.jpg.92b1620a44833424aff115ed81eda8f1.jpg

I'll be using minimal PE and aftermarket items as there just isn't much out there.  I will be adding the .50 machine guns to the doors such as we used in training flights here in the States and in Nam for protecton.

 

So... state side chopper it is.  The squadron was HMHT-301 which was a training unit at the above base along with two CH-46 squadrons.  I'll put pictures of the aircraft and base below and then start the build log probably in day or so as have to buy some paints from the hobby shopl

 

First a couple of bird.  Color photos from the '60's havent' aged well....

a-ch-53-sea-stallion-helicopter-rests-on-a-recently-installed-landing-mat-at-c65765.jpg.913f6fafc7ecb7e24898ac889ad5720f.jpg

Heilos1.jpg.56e363244a87778e7c6cc42493083af1.jpg

And a few of the base.   Santa Ana was old blimp base during WWII with (if I recall correctly) the third largest blimp hangers in the States. In the first picture, our hanger was lower one of the two pictured.

1219540805_Aerial20LTA20Hanger.jpg.9b4cdd028f76029056d6b3a9403840c1.jpgHeilos2.jpg.f30845223e8be2beb7930a9c9f6071bc.jpgimages.jpg.72bcc9c78596b256d5513e8ee73f24b4.jpgTustin_Blimp_Hangar_No_2.thumb.jpg.dbe433be42564a2b7a9bbd7b4fbac86f.jpg

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That is going to be one of the big problems with my build as well Mark. Most of my belongings, including most of the few photos I had of my overseas military time went MIA at the time of my divorce a few years later. I dug around a few weeks ago and was able to find a few that had not been used in my scrap book, (Missing) and as can be expected have not weathered as well as I would like. Yours look much nicer than mine for the most part.

 

I never realized they used the old airship hangers as helicopter hangers. Must have been nice. We did almost all of our local maintenance in the revetment. 

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Yeah...my scrapbooks went MIA at some point after my first one broke up.  Those pics are all off the web.

 

The were/are huge.  We had GU-11's* and other birds that living in the rafters.   Oh,... and bats.  We had to keep one set of doors closed at all times (or at least one on each end) as the F-4 and certain others would fly through the hanger.  Too dangerous to leave them open as it was a temptation.

 

 

 

*Gulls to civilians.

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NEVER trust an F-4 pilot! :D

 

We once had a pilot buzz us with full afterburner at what appeared to be about five feet clearance! We were out on a sunny afternoon just whop whopping along minding our own business at a couple of thousand feet. We were on one of those long going somewhere flights for some reason almost like enjoying a day off, when this Phantom shot by from behind at supersonic speed. The rear of a Huey is mostly a blind area as the pilots have no rear view mirror and unless the gunners lean out and look back is not observable. All I saw before being hit with the shock wave was two cones of flame departing rapidly into the distance! That guy was gone almost before he was there! While I am almost certain he was further away than he seemed, (Almost) it was either the shock wave or the shock of our pilot that made our chopper go all over the sky for a few seconds, I don't know which, the pilot blamed the shock wave. WE were NOT happy campers and for some time not all that friendly toward Double Ugly pilots either. After a few retelling and even more alcohol at each telling we eventually got over it and pretty much saw it for what it was meant to be. We even did similar things a couple of times, (At MUCH lower speeds) but that is a story for another night with a few more drinks.   

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glad to see you started your project as well Mark :)   looking at that base,  it would be interesting to see a diorama,  but at that scale,  it would be huge! :stunned:  I know your not planning anything like it,   but it does make for an interesting observation :D   I look forward to your progress.

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No diorama, Denis.  No room. The model is going onto my case that holds the Constellation.

 

I've done wee bit of testing of paint and I'm pretty sure I'll need primer and in a rattle can.   The acrylic I have ends up with too many "thin" spots where the plastic color bleeds through so it's off the hobby shop tomorrow.   And I'll pick up a newspaper for use in turning a spare bathroom into a paint booth.  I'll check the paint I've point on during testing before I head out.  I think I'll use the rattle cans for the olive drab as it's a pretty large area also.

 

When I first got the squadron, we had CH-34's.  Lovely little hauler, all aluminum and magnesium with a Wright radial for power and a belly fully of high octane Av Gas.  And by belly, I mean it.  The fuel tank was between the deck and the bottom of the bird.  Made a nice racket once that engine fired up.  We enlisted types knew that if we were going to sit with our legs hanging out of the big door on the side to make sure we had gunner's belt on and it was securely attached.   It was a wonderful place to sit but some pilots liked to flip the chopper just bit to see if they could shake us up.  

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1 hour ago, mtaylor said:

It was a wonderful place to sit but some pilots liked to flip the chopper just bit to see if they could shake us up.  

I do have proof of that in one of my surviving photos Mark. Even though it was not the result of the pilot playing tricks on us I do have a picture of how important it was to wear your gunners harness!

image.png.4306eb644cbd6edaf264a055e45d4eb9.png

I was taking an early morning picture of the rice paddies below as the morning light on that day made them look more like they were snow covered than water filled when all of the sudden my looking down was really looking from the bottom side of the chopper! I swiveled forward with my camera still up to my face and took this picture. What you are looking at is the head of the command pilot, the right windshield and door window. It is noticeable that the ground is pretty much parallel to the right side of the chopper........... My position in an open door! Unlike in Mark's situation this was not the result of a playful pilot but the sudden appearance of tracers coming from out of nowhere on the ground. We were not even near the LZ we were heading for! One of the AC-1 Cobras that was also flying with us did not take as drastic a turn and instead opened up on the source.  But for those who think a clunky old Uh-1 can't maneuver when it needs to here is the proof.

 

To be truthful though, this was not done often buy Hueys. Watching Cobras and Loaches turn and spin was another matter all together! Sorry for the quality of the picture but I never was much good with a camera and my remaining pictures have seen better days.

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Sorry Ken 

Didn't mean to cause any stress. That is the only picture I have of any kind of action at all. My job was not to take pictures for Stars and Stripes and I very seldom even had a camera with me except on milk run days where there should have been nothing to do. All of the other pictures I can show are just landscape kinds of things, more like drone pictures people would take today only in much poorer condition.

 

I have always wondered what it was like to see the Akron or Macon or even the Los Angeles in person. Must have been quite the experience. 

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Nothing there, Lou. No stress. It's like when you hear a certain tune on the radio/CD/mp3/streaming device and good memories pop into your noggin. I hear American Pie and think about me and my frontseater bugging the local base restaurant at Korat about the water buffalo steaks we were eating that they claimed was Kobe beef. Too chewy, by far. I lost him way too soon, although it was almost 10 years later. Peacetime flying accident. Overloaded airplane, underpowered airplane. Don't worry guys, I'm OK; that story has a thick scar over it.

 

I did get film from Uncle Sam's photo guys to shoot slides while on missions. We had a "deal". Capeesh, Lou ;)  We couldn't let a combat photographer get in harm's way, you know. The film guys kept what they wanted and we got the rest. Sometimes half a roll of film might be shot on a tour of the water markets in Bangkok. Our standing joke was if we were shot down, we'd pull out the camera and swear we were just taking pictures, not combatants. 😁

 

Those dirigible hangars are a sight, Lou. You'd be wowed. Unknown if any still exist on the West Coast.

 

Sorry I hijacked your log, Mark. Forgive me, brother.

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There is a huge zeppelin hanger at the Akron, Ohio Municipal Airport.  It was built to house the airships Akron and Macon that were built there by Goodyear Aircraft.  The rubber companies that were headquartered in Akron were interested in the Navy’s attempt to build lighter than air rigid airships because of the possible application of rubberized fabrics.  Goodyear also hired the German Zeppelin Company’s structural expert, Dr Karl Arnstein.  Dr Arnstein designed and Goodyear built the Aluminum mast for the L. Francis Herreshoff designed J. Boat Whirlwind- in the 1930’s the aircraft companies were the experts in designing and building Aluminum structures.

 

There is a sister to the Akron hanger at Moffit Field, Mountain View California.  Both hangers are over 1100ft long and unlike the Santa Anna and Lakehurst hangers feature orange peel doors that open on a circular track folding back flush with the building side walls.  This was considered to cause less turbulence than the flat sliding doors, making it easier to move the airships in and out of the hanger.

 

Both the Akron, Ohio and Moffit field hangers supposedly still exist. Moffit Field is leased by Google and my Son-In-Law works for them in New York but travels to their West Coast headquarters.  He told me that when he was there this fall he saw the hanger.

 

I’ve never seen an airship but as a child growing up in Akron saw dozens of blimps as Goodyear still built them throughout the 50’s

 

Roger

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2 hours ago, Canute said:

Unknown if any still exist on the West Coast.

The only one I have ever seen is Hanger one. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/hangar-one It was complete back then but it looks like it is going to get a face lift. Even from the highway it is pretty impressive.

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No stress here Lou, Ken, or anyone else.   Like you, if someone want's to talk 'Nam or whatever, I'm open to it.   Part of what's driving me on this kit, and apparently my shrink agrees, is that maybe some healing will come... who knows.

 

I saw the ones in Akron as a kid.  My dad took on road trip.  Those are larger than ones at Santa Ana.  As for blimps, we did the Goodyear blimp stationed on the west coast to come in, park in the hanger and deflate for maintenance once a year.   The hanger just made that blimp look like small toy.   

 

A little memory from the first time I flew in a CH-34.  It wasn't a "normal" flight.  I had signed up flight pay when I got to the squadron (it was encouraged for all us avionics types as well as all the mechs).    The goal was be able to actually flight test our flight critical repairs.  Anyway, about two weeks before our CH-34's were to be replaced by the '53's, I get sent to the paraloft for a flightsuit, helmet, and gloves.  At that point in time, our flight suits/gloves were nomex which the Air Force didn't have.  We used to get offers from the AF guys up at Norton at the bone yard to trade us anything they had for a nomex flight suit.  But I digress.   Anyway, I get back to the shop and am told to suit up, there a bird needing testing. WTH?  I've not flown yet?  So nervous, I suit up and go the bird and the pilot (a Captain) is standing there.  After a salute and some small talk where he found out I hadn't done this before, we started pre-flight.  He was one our instructor pilots, btw.   We walked around the exterior, checking things. He had me do the reading of the pre-flight and actually doing the inspection with him and bird's crew chief overseeing.  Then inside and the same thing.   We get done and he tells me to take the right seat and then we strap in.  We start running through the checklist, getting the APU started and then I'm sitting waiting.  The crew chief is out front with a fire bottle and waving his hand over his head (the signal to start her up)...  Captain says "Clear Left" then bumps my elbow... "you need to check and if all clear is report "clear right".  He nudges me and says "Your the pilot, start her up".   Oh.... okay... how do I do that.  He walked me through everything, startup, getting clearance to taxi, taxing, getting me on the runway, and clearance to take off.   Big gulp... "take off"?   He walked me through that with his hands on his controls so I wouldn't over power or do something stupid.  We did it... we got off the ground in one piece, flew around for about 30 minutes and got a feel for the plane.   The he walked me through landing, taxing, and parking along with shutdown and post flight.  Wow... I did it.  I saluted him and thanked him (that was the last I saluted on the flight line.  It's just not normally done.) and we went to the hanger to fill out the paperwork.  His parting shot... "next time, I'm not telling you what to do...." and laughed.  

 

Footnote... unlike fixed winged aircraft, the pilot sits in the right seat in helicopters.  I never did learn why.

 

 

If I'm being too long winded, let me know.  I know how to be quiet.

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Back to the build log for me.... picked up assorted paints, had a long talk with the guy at the hobby shop.  Answered questions, calmed me down a bit as the painting part was stressing me out.   I ended up buying my colors  I needed but forgot some 1000 grit sandpaper... tomorrow or Saturday.  I tested my interior color (light gray)  (see photo below).  Per him, as long as everything is washed and well dried, the acrylics shouldn't be a problem.  They should work fine as long I don't handle it a lot.  I won't, it's going in  a case.  As it is, primer would cover a lot of the detail according to him... no primer.

 

Current work in progress is removing the top part of the door (it's basically a dutch door).  I'm just about done.  Once done.... I start painting and assembling.

 

DSCF3039.thumb.JPG.4817f1cd0381ce835debcbd085587dde.JPG

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Thanks OC for the idea.  I'm not worried about drying time at this point as this is more of an adventure or road trip where I need to pause and absorb everything. 

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1 hour ago, mtaylor said:

the pilot sits in the right seat in helicopters.

I was wondering about that when I started reading your story Mark. Our Command Pilots sat on the right as well. But the actual crew chief sat on the left. Dumb gunners on the right. It is nice to see that at least some of the Marine training is no more sophisticated than in the Army. "Do you know how to load an M-60 and where the bullet comes out?" "Good you are now a gunner." Crew Chiefs got better training stateside as did most gunners but gunners like me slid in the back door TDY and it was pretty much OJT. (On The Job training)

 

No fair, you have first paint down! I am still waiting for my interior from France. At this point I have no real idea of what I am getting and if I will use the kit interior or the one coming. To be honest it is not even clear what is included in the parts from 1001 and what is not. I just wanted to have the best options available. 

 

It is nice to see another LTA fan Roger. I have about six or seven books covering rigid airships from WWI until the Hindenburg. They have been a passion of mine since childhood. I have the small model of the Akron/Macon by Revell from years ago and the 38" Graf Zeppelin in plastic. I have decals to built it as the Los Angeles. I wish I could find a trapeze aircraft at 1/245th scale. 

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I remember looking at the blimps going in and out of Lakehurst when we went to the Jersey shore when I was a little guy. What did they cruise at. They looked slow. I think we passed them if they were paralleling the Garden State Parkway (newly opened back then in the mid 50s).

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They were supposed to have a top speed of almost 80 miles an hour and cruising speed of just under 60, but like all LTA they are highly effected by air currents. I don't think I have ever seen  blimp fly faster than 35-40 miles an hour. But then I have never seen one in a hurry.  

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not totally correct on the primer use Mark........if you go with thin coats and use an air brush,  you should be able to use primers with no trouble.  the bad thing about primers and hand brushing,  is depending how long a drying time one gave the primer coat,  brushing over it can cause the primer to become solvent again and blend with the paint.  understandable why he would say that........in any case,  subtle detail can get lost just by using paint in the first place.  paints with high pigment counts will cover better as a thin coat.........this is not specified on any labels,  but it does depend on how much it is thinned down.     you've probably heard canvas painters referring to their paints as 'pigments'.   that is what they are using........color pigments thinned down with small amounts of mineral spirits,  oils,  or water.  I know a fella a while back that was using Jo Santos artist paint on models......I thought he was nutz!  it does work,  but I can't attest if the paint cracks or chips over time........no suspension in it really to bond to plastic.  I've never used acrylics,  but from what I've seen here on the site,  they are just as good as enamels.  glad to see you've laid down some paint :)  

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Denis, that's why Floquil was well liked. Fine pigment. Sure, you can use the dollar paints from a craft store and I do on structures and scenery. But for models that folks are going to study (thanks to hi-rez cameras and computer monitors), I'd like a paint blended for those models.

 

Airbrushes do give finer coats, but not all of us are situated to set up a spray booth for any formulation of paint. Whether it's space available, solvent or lacquer and availability is also a factor.  Thinning your brush paints like you suggest works very well. Oil paints are good for weathering. I've seen some master work done with oils.

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I don't either.....only in the summer when I can use the garage.  my spray booth is a large plastic storage bin......I open a window for ventilation.  I can't right now because the weather has gone to the dogs....it's in the teens to zero right now.   we got more snow coming Saturday or Sunday.  where do you get Floquil?.......haven't seen that brand for a while either.

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19 minutes ago, Canute said:

Denis, that's why Floquil was well liked. Fine pigment. Sure, you can use the dollar paints from a craft store and I do on structures and scenery. But for models that folks are going to study (thanks to hi-rez cameras and computer monitors), I'd like a paint blended for those models.

 

Airbrushes do give finer coats, but not all of us are situated to set up a spray booth for any formulation of paint. Whether it's space available, solvent or lacquer and availability is also a factor.  Thinning your brush paints like you suggest works very well. Oil paints are good for weathering. I've seen some master work done with oils.

All the old masters used oils. Shepherd Paine comes to mind. Remember all the diorama photos in the Monogram kits showing Shep's work? I promise his photos helped sell a ton of Monogram kits. 

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2 hours ago, popeye the sailor said:

where do you get Floquil?.......haven't seen that brand for a while either.

VOC regulations killed it decades ago. You might get lucky and find some old stocks of it but very rarely.  I have a few bottle of railroad colors left but no military colors. 

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20 hours ago, mtaylor said:

calmed me down a bit as the painting part was stressing me out. 

I may have to find your hobby shop and talk to this person. Painting plastic models frightens me to no end. I feel compelled to use an airbrush but anytime I look (window-shop) at airbrushes I get overwhelmed and go hide in a corner :-). 
 

Looking forward to following along!

Edited by VTHokiEE

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Like Jack says, EPA pushed Testors, who bought Floquil, to pull it from the market. The Testors MBAs said nobody paints models with Floquil anymore (?). Floquil was a brand I think started as a lacquer on figures. Model railroaders started using it and it it was great paint. Testors got it and turned it into an enamel, before they killed it. 😞

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Just now, Canute said:

Like Jack says, EPA pushed Testors, who bought Floquil, to pull it from the market. The Testors MBAs said nobody paints models with Floquil anymore (?). Floquil was a brand I think started as a lacquer on figures. Model railroaders started using it and it it was great paint. Testors got it and turned it into an enamel, before they killed it. 😞

Besides being great paint and a huge selection of colors, the bottles were 2 or 3 times the size of competitors and not much difference in price. All the way around, Floquil was great paint. 

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