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Plastic Addict
Nathan Dempsey (Plastic Addict)

Battle of Palmdale - WIP

F-89D & F6F-5 Hellcat Drone


39 | 19. January, 20:39
Show 119 previous comments
Nathan Dempsey
The battle of Palmdale begins. Work has started on the F-89 & my wheel set for the Hellcat arrived so this one will start soon as well.
19. January, 20:51
Slavo Hazucha
Two scorpions - one cat... who may emerge on top at the end...? 🙂

Indeed the F-89 kit shows some merit, nice pit, decent seats... a very clean job on the instruments painting too 👍

even the positive lines & rivets on the pylons don't look too bad - not saying it's a general rule, but in places, old-school sometimes can look very much the role...
19. January, 21:20
Roland Gunslinger
19. January, 21:25
Maciej Bellos
Read the story so obviously I am in!
19. January, 22:06
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks mates for joining me on this ride. Yes Slavo, the general fit is good even though the kit is older. I'm not a huge fan of raised details, but it should work out ok.

I think I said this on Clifford's build but you have to love a kit that has you joining the fuselage together on the first step. I felt like I was halfway done already!
20. January, 01:17
Nathan Dempsey
Finished assembling the rocket pods. Added a shot with a 109 to show how huge these things were.

Did I mention all the unit colors will need to be painted on? No decals for these guys. Today I'm going to paint the yellow on the pods in preparation for the masking effort.
20. January, 14:53
James C
Nice work on the cockpit interior Nathan👍
20. January, 16:43
Slavo Hazucha
Yeah, I guess a 109 would cover itself with more honor & glory in this particular incident... 🙂

As for the pods, I am a big fan of this brief period in the USAF when jets were painted like NASCAR racers... And don´t tell me as a former 40k fan that it´s not an exciting prospect to paint a black/yellow checkered pattern on that tail... what about the squadron number - no decal at all?
20. January, 18:18
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks James 🙂 Those older Revell/Monogram kits have fairly good cockpits.

Indeed Slavo, (sweet I used indeed!) the 109 would have made short work of that drone. Ah yes the checker board will be fun too. I only worry about getting those graceful sweeping lines on the rocket pod. As for decals the only thing I have are the national insignia, 45 degree block letters/numbers, and the warning stencils around the cockpit.
20. January, 20:56
Nathan Dempsey
Work begins on the terror of the 1950s skies. The out of control Hellcat drone! I've built the cockpit out of the box.
21. January, 21:52
Nathan Dempsey
More work on the Hellcat today. I've built up the camera pods for the wingtips. Research on the crash site shows the Hellcat was carrying these pods.
22. January, 16:09
Nathan, Neato torpedo! This is ambitious, but I like it! Masking that paint scheme will be tedious, but I am interested to see how you do it and learn something new. K/r, Dutch
24. January, 20:52
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Dutch! Yes, this one is a stretch of my skills for sure.
24. January, 22:58
Nathan Dempsey
A little more work to show. The Hellcat has her wings.
26. January, 14:48
Roland Gunslinger
Nice work so far 👍
26. January, 14:56
James C
They look to be taking shape nicely Nathan. The Scorpion is quite a cool looking aircraft, but a subject that I'm not very familiar with. The Hellcat is also interesting and something that I plan on building later on as well. 👍
26. January, 17:06
Slavo Hazucha
great pace - but I'd also hurry to get a shot at that paint-job! 👍

I did think the Scorpion is a fair bit larger than this in relation to a Hellcat - that impression will probably come once the rocket pods get on! 🙂
26. January, 17:36
Nathan Dempsey
Thank you Roland, James & Slavo 🙂

No more work last night or today due to the monthly club meeting. I spent all that time preparing my Su-30MKK for transport. 🙂
27. January, 21:59
Roland Gunslinger
Nice to hear that you can still meet LOL
Here in Germany everyone is locked up. Only the dogs are allowed out at night. No joke 😄
27. January, 22:01
Nathan Dempsey
We are lucky enough to have a very large space at a church that enables us to stay a great distance apart. Personally I don't go out much, but I never did in the first place.
27. January, 23:08
Nathan Dempsey
I've laid down the yellow on the rocket pods to prepare for the maximum effort masking that will take place.
30. January, 19:54
Ben M
This is a great story and the planes look great so far. Looks like some challenging paintwork coming up.
30. January, 21:14
Erik Leijdens
Interesting story Nathan, and great progress too!
30. January, 21:24
Nathan Dempsey
Thank you Ben & Erik!

My Tamiya tape for curves showed up today so I'm at least ready for the attempt 🙂
31. January, 00:52
Ben M
Oh wow, yeah that's a great result on the rocket pods!
31. January, 18:10
Nathan Dempsey
I've masked and painted the rocket pods. It's not perfect, but it'll work.
31. January, 18:13
Slavo Hazucha
Fancy stuff, those pods do look great, 👍
31. January, 20:12
Patryk S.
Great work so far! Following!
31. January, 20:27
Nathan Dempsey
Thank you Slavo & Patryk 🙂

That was the most masking I've ever done for such a small area! The Tamiya tape worked fairly well, but tended to start pulling loose after a few minutes, which means I had to work fast. This made the process quite stressful and definitely not fun. Luckily the rest of the paint work is fairly easy.
31. January, 22:34
Nathan, excellent results, nonetheless! Never heard of this Tamiya tape for curves. Is it like Parafilm-M? i.e. stretchy?
31. January, 22:50
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Dutch! Yes, it is a PVC material and stretches quite easily. I picked it up on my last order at Victory.
31. January, 23:17
Nathan Dempsey
Finally got back to this project and have attached the canopies to both kits. Tonight I will mask both in preparation for the main colors for each build.
16. February, 23:47
Nathan Dempsey
Had time to paint the base metal color in the F-94 today. A bit of a hassle as I was chased inside by a passing rain storm half way through.
19. February, 19:59
Roland Gunslinger
Nice progress, the Aluminium looks very promising. Did you prime beforehand?
19. February, 20:04
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Roland. I primed using Tamiya Fine White. I've been unable to procure black primer recently. Actually been kinda scary how many of my "normal" products I've been unable to find in the last month.
19. February, 20:08
Patryk S.
Very nice progress, I have a big weakness for the Scorpion - 3 await in my stash, I think you just made them go much higher on my to do list :)
19. February, 20:09
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Patryk. It is a fun build, however I'm always scared to start the paint with a bare metal finish.
19. February, 20:27
Clifford Keesler
A Scorpion, looking good. I love the color scheme.
19. February, 22:31
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Clifford 🙂 Getting there slow but sure.
20. February, 22:41
Casey Beckett
The USAF fired HOW many rockets at the F6F drone, and started how many fires? Nice shooting, boys! True story.
20. February, 23:34
Nathan Dempsey
I think the total was like slightly over 200 rockets fired. Here's a synopsis:

Click on the "aftermath" tab. It was basically raining rockets.
21. February, 00:51
Casey Beckett
Oh I know- meant to be humorous. And didn't the F6F just run out of fuel? Crazy story!
21. February, 01:38
Nathan Dempsey
Added some shading colors to the main Aluminum color today.

Yes, that drone just ran out of fuel. When it crashed I think it did manage to clip a telephone pole even though it was out in the desert.
22. February, 16:54
Donald Dickson II
This was SO embarrassing for the plane AND the AF. LOL
22. February, 17:08
Erik Leijdens
The bare metal looks great! Have the Scorpion in the stash too, such a great plane! Don't know if I will rescribe it or not.
22. February, 17:52
Nathan, It looks to be larger than a football with you holding it in your hand like that! HUGE! K/r, Dutch
22. February, 18:18
Clifford Keesler
Looking very nice. @Erik, I have another one in the stash also. I am considering re-scribing my next one. Sure would be nice if someone came out with a new tool 1/48 F-89 and F-102.
22. February, 20:05
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Mates!

Donald: Embarrassing for sure. One would hope they could manage a hit on something bigger like a bomber.

Dutch: Yes she's a big one. My next projects will need to be smaller as I'm running out of display space.

Clifford & Erik: The chances of a new tool being released will be much greater if you do rescribe your kits. 🙂
22. February, 21:28
Donald Dickson II
Well, to be fair, the targeting system went tits up. And since they had been upgraded to that system, the gun sites had been taken out. So they were blind firing.
22. February, 21:45
Konrad Limmer
Very nice progress Nathan! The metal colours are looking great👍!
22. February, 21:49
Erik Leijdens
Haha exactly Nathan!! Well, time to grab mine from the ever growing stash pile!!
22. February, 21:50
Slavo Hazucha
Nice metal & the yellow looks spectacular 👍 ...and will get even better when the black elements are in place - some effort for sure, but definitely worth taking!
23. February, 09:34
Patryk S.
Looking great! Great natural metal finish! Hope dies last so I also hope that sometime in the future we will see new kits of the F-102 and the F-89 or at least that revell will re-issue the scorpion as the 1:48 kits are becoming very difficult to find.
23. February, 13:30
Nathan Dempsey
Donald: Yes, those pilots were at a disadvantage from the beginning.

Konrad: Thanks mate 🙂 I'm very fearful of natural metal, so I'm trying to slowly build the skill set.

Erik: I traded my first kit to Clifford & upon seeing his build re-purchased 2 kits, lol !

Slavo: Thanks! I'm a real fan of AK's Maize Yellow. Can't wait to compliment it with the gloss & flat black elements.

Patryk: Thanks ! The metal finishes are difficult but can be rewarding. Some great inspiration to find from other's builds. I'm only assisting on the release of a new tool by completing this old kit 😄
23. February, 15:24
Nathan Dempsey
Added a shot of some of the wheel well work done last night.
23. February, 15:27
Clifford Keesler
Wheel wells look good there sir. I did the same thing, after I started the kit I got from you, I also bought another one.
24. February, 03:58
President Reagon referred to that as "trickle down" economics! LOL! Eventually, we'll all end up with a Revell 1/48 F-89 Scorpion!
24. February, 13:04
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Clifford 🙂

Yes I have multiple kits of a plane I thought I'd never build. After reading the Battle of Palmdale story and then buying a book I fell in love with this beast!

Dutch: I have two D/J kits, but that was only because the first one was damaged. However, I still need a C model to depict the aircraft lost chasing a UFO over the Great Lakes.
25. February, 02:09
Clifford Keesler
The C is a rare beast and hard to find.
25. February, 02:40
Nathan, I am beginning to see a trend here. Why not model one or both of the F-102s from the scramble scene from "Flubber" or the F-101Bs (60th FIS) from "The Russians are Coming!"
25. February, 12:55
Nathan Dempsey
Clifford: I saw a C on Evilbay for $50 not long ago, but I had already spent my $$$ on other goodies for kits I already own.

Dutch: Good ideas!
26. February, 17:23
Patryk S.
Wonder why revell didn't re-release any of them for years?
26. February, 19:15
Clifford Keesler
I will have to look again, I would like a 1/48 C. I have 2 1/72 C's.
26. February, 21:28
Nathan Dempsey
I say I want one, but I have so many other projects out there I really need to put the idea on the back burner for a bit.

Worked a bit today on the landing gear and made good progress.
26. February, 22:47
Clifford Keesler
I know what you mean. I have stuff I did not even realize I had. I almost bought a Wessex the other day, but then decided to wait. Good thing I did guess what I found buried in the bottom of the stash?, a Wessex.
27. February, 01:14
Nathan Dempsey
Well, I've finally attached the landing gear. Now to decide if I want that huge wheel bay door up or down. Typically it was up on powered jets and down if it had been parked a while.

Clifford: I always keep my eye out for that 1:48 Falklands Wessex that Italeri released. I may need it whenever I get around to building my Falklands kits.
1. March, 16:31
Nathan Dempsey
Getting some work done today. Laid down the flat black areas. I'm nearly out of tape now!
1. March, 20:38
James C
Nice job your doing on the paintwork Nathan👍
1. March, 21:37
Clifford Keesler
Looking very nice Nathan. I found a 1/48 F-89C, I'm a sucker what can I say? LOL.
2. March, 04:37
That title caught my attention for some reason (certainly nothing to do with living in Palmdale) and read the story. Apparently the area didn't burn in August in the 50's like it has every year since i've been here. That is just CRAZY! Apparenlty the USAF never heard how the RAF dealt with Buzzbombs, huh? Very interested to see the finished project.
2. March, 06:22
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks so much mates 🙂

Clifford: Ha! Glad you found one. Looking forward to the build.

Bossy: Welcome! Yes this story is what made me even start a build involving this old F-89 kit.
2. March, 17:08
Nathan Dempsey
It's not perfect, but I ended up hand painting the checker pattern on the rudder.
4. March, 21:23
Erik Leijdens
The checkerboard came out great Nathan. Very nicely done
4. March, 21:27
Roland Gunslinger
Looking good 👍
4. March, 21:31
Ben M
yeah the painted checkerboard is a win - nice work.
4. March, 21:49
Bart Goesaert
very nice background story, and glad to see it takes shape in this form...
4. March, 21:54
Clifford Keesler
It turned out good.
5. March, 02:19
Nathan, no complaints from my side! Keep up the beautiful work!
5. March, 02:32
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks so much mates! This build has been lots of fun for sure & a great learning experience too.
5. March, 02:32
Nathan Dempsey
Decal application has started. I'm still working on the wingtip rocket pods. They will probably be the last thing attached.
7. March, 21:43
Roland Gunslinger
The metal work turned out very nice 👍
7. March, 21:53
Looking really terrific, Nathan! I'm just a little jealous! I wish my natural metal finishes came out as nice as yours. K/r, Dutch
8. March, 03:06
Slavo Hazucha
Great looking nose 👍 - If the Hellcat could actually have seen the Scorpions, It would have fallen out of the skies in awe!😉
8. March, 09:45
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Roland, Dutch, & Slavo 🙂

Doing some rework today on one of the wing pods. I really messed up the paint and need to try again.
8. March, 17:19
Clifford Keesler
Looking awesome Nathan.
8. March, 22:15
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Clifford 🙂
9. March, 00:00
Nathan Dempsey
Woohoo! The F-89 is complete. I'll try to get pictures up tomorrow. Now to complete the Hellcat drone. Maybe I should wait to reveal them together...
12. March, 01:14
Well, if you must. But at least show us the in progress Hellcat pics.
12. March, 01:17
Nathan Dempsey
Will do Dutch 🙂

In other news, my wife bought me a cool circular LED light to attach to my phone, so test photos will be in order. I told her this thing will reveal all my errors!
12. March, 01:31
Roland Gunslinger
Very nice build 👍 Great paint work! I like it ... Congrats!
12. March, 17:48
David Taylor
The scorpion was never a pretty plane but it looks great.
12. March, 19:00
Amazing finish you achieved there. Congratulations
12. March, 19:11
Patryk S.
Great finish! Looking really good!
12. March, 19:42
Ben M
Those rocket pods look awesome!
12. March, 21:17
Nathan, She's a stunner! I need to come over and see it for real! K/r, Dutch
12. March, 21:31
James C
That Scorpian is a work of art mate👍
12. March, 21:44
Donald Dickson II
Absolutely awesome!
12. March, 21:53
Clifford Keesler
Agree with everyone, just stunning.
12. March, 23:44
Nathan Dempsey
Thank you very much mates. I'm humbled by your kind comments. Another thanks to Clifford for the inspiration from his build.

Dutch: I'm sure we could meet up if you'd like that see it.
13. March, 04:22
Top result. Very clean and careful build with appealing paint work!👍
13. March, 12:38
Nathan Dempsey
Thank you very much Neuling 🙂 This one was far outside my comfort zone with all the metal and gloss colors.
13. March, 17:47
Konrad Limmer
Agree with all above👍! Very nice!!
13. March, 18:34
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Konrad!

Today I've primed the Hellcat and the Reskit tire set in preparation for paint.
13. March, 19:44
Clifford Keesler
I think yours turned out better than mine. LOL. You make me want to build another one. But I have other fish to fry first.
14. March, 02:27
Maciej Bellos
The rocket pods are massive!

Splendid result Nathan!
14. March, 17:50
Nathan Dempsey
Thank you Clifford & Maciej 🙂

Painted the wheel wells to the Hellcat today as well as the yellow on the wingtip pods. The yellow was a complete failure and I've spent the rest of today stripping it back off.

I'm leaving the pretty pics up one more day then I'll begin uploading the Hellcat progress shots.
14. March, 21:15
Slavo Hazucha
Hey, what a finish on the scorpion - all the masking payed off with interest 👍 A rock star / 40k Orc-tribe idol / Las Vegas performer in full evening dress😉

What did you apply on the rocket pods yellow to achieve the tonal differences?
15. March, 09:00
Nathan Dempsey
Thank you Slavo! I certainly felt a Flyboyz / Cult of Speed vibe while building this one and I did let out an Orc war cry when I had to strip & repaint that rocket pod. 🙂

The tonal differences on the pod were done by first applying Mig's Filter (for yellow sand). The rest was done testing out Mig's Streaking Brusher (Starship Grime). Highly recommended. I also used a little AK Burnt Jet Engine pigment around the exhaust slit of the pod.
15. March, 15:32
Nathan Dempsey
Added a few shots of the Hellcat drone in progress.
17. March, 01:47
George Henderson
Great looking F-89. Did your -5K have the extended tail wheel? I think I added 2-3mm of plastic rod on mine. The antenna array on the tail was a real pain in the keester to drill
17. March, 02:42
Clifford Keesler
Looking very nice sir.
17. March, 03:21
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Clifford & George 🙂

George I'm not too sure about specifics of the actual Hellcat drone other than the one in the incident had the wing pods with cameras. The only pictures I found of it were just crushed and torn pieces of metal barely identifiable as an aircraft. I agree that the antenna array is going to be tricky!
17. March, 15:55
George Henderson
I have one photo of drone with wing-tip tanks, s/n 80173 with extended tail wheel. Photo dated 1951
17. March, 17:07
Nathan Dempsey
That's good enough for me 😄
17. March, 19:03
Nathan, There is a color photo fo F-89H 4310 in 437th FIS markings on page 36 of "USAF Interceptors" by Marty Isham & David McLaren. Wow! Do you have the book? K/r, Dutch
17. March, 21:59
Nathan Dempsey
I don't have that one Dutch. I'm using Northrop F-89 Scorpion- A Photo Chronicle by the same authors though. Mine is based closely on that H and the cover art from my book which depicts a D in the same coloration. My tail code is off by one number though. I ran out of "3s" 😂
17. March, 22:28
I may have to stop by with my spare copy of the book.
18. March, 01:21
Nathan Dempsey
Dutch: My wife will be happy because it will force me to clean up the house.

Well I was really hoping to have this Hellcat done by Tuesday, but I'm not sure if that will happen. I still have research to do on the fuel pod since pictures show it's clearly not a standard Hellcat type. Also, I have 3 shots of a Hellcat drone with the wingtip camera pods and none of them show the standard "drone type" antenna configuration. In fact one shot also shows the top anti-collision/formation lights having been moved as well.

Thanks to George for mentioning the tail wheel extension as a new antenna I'll need to install on the underside will require this modification.
18. March, 19:32
Nathan Dempsey
Looks like I solved the fuel tank question. Definitely looks like a tank taken from a late F4U Corsair. Comparison photo added.
18. March, 20:36
Nathan Dempsey
I've got the new fuel tank primed and ready for paint. I also finished the main colors of the wingtip camera pods. Now I'll need to add all the camera ports.
20. March, 14:22
James C
Awesome job on the paintwork Nathan and great to see you solved the fuel tank issue.
The Hellcat looks good as well... how was the kit, as I have a "weekend" edition in my stash that am considering building.
20. March, 14:27
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks James! The Eduard Hellcat is a nice little kit. The only even slightly fiddly bit is the canopy. Lots of extremely tiny parts on the landing gear, so have your magnifier ready.
20. March, 14:50
James C
Cool and thanks for the heads up 👍
20. March, 16:43
Nathan Dempsey
The Hellcat is now a delicious fruit. Enjoy 🙂
20. March, 16:44
Oooh! Nice and orange. Very ripe! Looks ready to eat!
20. March, 16:51
Roland Gunslinger
Looking good 👍 Hopefully the fruit doesn't end up in the mixer accidentally.
20. March, 17:23
Slavo Hazucha
Yeah, that´s one angry & defiant tangerine there..! And painted entirely without Orange Peel!😉
21. March, 13:03
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks mates!

Seeing this color reminded me I really need to finish my Ice Pirates UH-1N!!

Well, the decal application will soon commence and the build will move a bit into the realm of "what-if" since I have no images of the actual drone. I like this, as I can just do what I like. Onward!
21. March, 16:49
Nathan Dempsey
Added a shot of the anti-glare panel showing a bit of wear.
22. March, 15:39
Clifford Keesler
Looking good Nathan.
22. March, 18:56
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Clifford 🙂

Good progress being made yesterday and today. Extra bench time is a good thing.
22. March, 19:55
Slavo Hazucha
Cool job with the anti-glare, I particularly like the chipping effects... Which actually brought me to some photo-search, since I wanted to understand why there would be the anti-glare stripe on a target drone and if it would actually go over the red/orange - which it obviously would have to, since service-paint Hellcat do not seem to have any in the first place...

Seems the rules were pretty liberal, some had them, some did not, all I could find with one also had really prominent exhaust burn & soot marks, apparently being flown & landed several times before being sent to "actual battle" 🙂

In any case, I am absolutely not an expert (not even an amateur) in this field, but it´s interesting

And yeah, the pirate helo needs some love!
22. March, 20:06
Nathan Dempsey
Thanks Slavo 🙂

Yes, the only pictures I have of the Hellcat drone with the camera pods also has a pilot sitting in the cockpit. This one shows much wear and sooty exhaust. Also the antenna setup on that plane indicates it may have been a drone controller as well (much like the blue w/ yellow wings schemes). I assume that much like Clifford's QF-106 they would use it in many mock battles until it was practically falling apart then do a "live-fire" exercise for its final mission.

Although I hope to have it finished for this month's club meeting tomorrow evening, it will likely just be "almost finished" because I really want to spend time doing some weathering then present it here.
22. March, 20:25
Clifford Keesler
It sure must be nice to have a club near by, there is no such animal in my area.
23. March, 23:12
Nathan Dempsey
Yes, it nice to actually see other builds. Last nights theme was the 50s and there were 3 six-foot tables filled to almost overflow.

This build is now complete. Final photos up this evening or tomorrow.
24. March, 15:56
Clifford Keesler
Looking forward to it.
24. March, 21:20


1:48 F-89D/J Scorpion (Revell 4548)1:48 F6F-5N Nightfighter (Eduard 84133)1:48 Post War Test F6F-5K Hellcats. (Alley Cat ACD-48006)1+
Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat
US Military US Navy (1794-now)
Februar 1950 - Point Mugu
Insignia Red upper surfaces Florescent Orange lower surfaces

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