Yesterday proved not only how easy it is to fall into the trap marked ‘assumption’, but also how great social media platforms can be when enthusiasts take the time to offer factual guidance about a subject that you are all passionate about.
Though an assumption based on nothing more than a cursory glance through the interwebz, I believe that Albert Einstein was not entirely correct when he said “assumptions are made and most assumptions are wrong”. Yesterday, though I concede it might have been purely by accident, I made such an assumption about my F-15 model which thankfully, proved to be correct (phew!). Let me explain.
As you now know if you read yesterday’s update entitled “Is Out Of Sight, Really Out Of Mind”, I’m currently building an F-15, or more specifically, and Alpha model based on Hasegawa’s 2010 F-15C kit. As part of that build, I’m using an Aires set that’s providing a higher level of detail than that possible from the kit. Having painting my replacement cockpit, I posted a couple of pictures on my Kit Box Facebook page (serving to gain some immediate feedback along the way) and then waited to see the comments as I hoped they would roll in.
Almost immediately, one of the modellers that follows that page mentioned ‘bay 5’ and how it should not be the metallic blue/green that I had painted mine in, but should in fact be white. Resisting the temptation to repeat ‘bay 5’ over and over in my head in the voice of Alien’s Sergeant Apone “bay 5, please!” I instead began to check out the rear electronics bays of F-15As and whether out not they should indeed be white a colour I, up until that point, had not seen.
What followed was a detailed set of replies that not only explained those hitherto unknown white bays, but on which aircraft they were used, which production blocks they were retrofinished within, and when they became routine as F-15s went through the Multi-Stage Improvement Program (MSIP). Here, in black and white was a detailed timeline that would allow me to colour that bay correctly within all subsequent builds, especially within the Great Wall Hobby F-15C (MSIP) that I hope to build one day. Here, were enthusiasts coming together to share information that I think broadened all of our knowledge of what seems to be a rather obscure detail that most would miss when instructions were followed and assumptions made, that all jets were the same when as proven here that is not the case. Here, was the modelling Internet at its very best.
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As for my model, I was indeed correct to paint my model the way I have – though as proven here, that might have been more luck than judgement. The aircraft that I’m building is actually an F-15A (76-100) and that blue/green bay was in place throughout the jet’s life with the 48th FIS. Had I been wrong and I’d chosen an F-15C that had a white bay, there is no way I would have repainted an area that had taken a whole day to paint, that’s for sure! Instead, I would have simply chosen another scheme and moved on, which I now have experience of doing. Last year, whilst finishing my Monogram F-106, I had fixated on completing it in the colours of the Montana Air National Guard, only to find that that unit was unique in using jets that had their cockpits painted bright blue, rather than grey. Having completed the cockpit, I had no choice but to choose another unit, the aircraft being completed in Massachusetts ANG colours, instead. It’s a lovely scheme, but I still have to build another ‘106 in the colours of my favourite ANG squadron!
Yesterday proved not only how easy it is to fall into the trap marked ‘assumption’, but also how great social media platforms can be when enthusiasts take the time to offer factual guidance about a subject that you are all passionate about. I certainly learned a lot about these machines and can now move forward with other builds, safe in the knowledge that that one small area of each model will be as close to accurate as I can get it. I assume you would call that, a win?!
See you next time.
MY NEW BOOK IS ON SALE NOW!
If you like my work, you will be interested to know that I have a new book out. Dedicated to the construction of the Airfix Hunter, this new modelling guide will show yo how to build, paint and convert the kit for you collection. For further information, please visit the follow update where til will find more information about the book and how to order a copy for your library.
- WHY NEW KITS ARE NO LONGER IMPORTANT…
- LET’S BUILD TAMIYA’S 1/48 TOMCAT!
- COSFORD’S WELLINGTON: ON DISPLAY AT LAST!
- ‘HUNTER’ AND ‘A YEAR IN MINIATURES’: MY NEWEST BOOKS ARE NOW AVAILABLE VIA POCKETMAGS
- WE VISIT THE NEWARK AIR MUSEUM!
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