View Full Version : Trumpeter 1:32 Enhanced Avenger

Builder 2010
08 Nov 16,, 01:38
After such a nice reception about my B-17 build I decided to get into action building this Trumpeter kit.

I was wrong. I thought that this kit wouldn't be started for a while since I'm scheduled to build another large structure for a commission project, but since that hasn't kicked off, I decided to pull this big beauty off the shelf and get into it. While I'm doing this I'm building a large plaster mountain for the railroad and while various things are drying/hardening, I can work on this model.

This model was a gift from a parent whose son I had in my Grandpop's Model Building Workshop that I ran a few years back. A close friend of hers father died and left a treasure trove of un-built Trumpeter kits. They offered them to her and she offered some to me. Included was this Avenger, a 1:32 Super Hornet which my grandson proudly built, and two Trumpeter 1:350 carriers (Hornet and Essex). Grandson is building the Hornet and I'm going to build the Essex.

This Avenger is a pretty big model with lots of details, much of which will be invisible (like the B-17) unless I open access panels to show it off, which I may do. The kit has some PE, but I added to it with two Eduard sets: Engine Details, and an Exterior set. I also ordered, but haven't received their mask set. Unfortunately, to order directly from Eduard the order needs to be over $20 and the masks are just under $10. I would buy a set for the Essex, but they don't offer it. They do offere two sets for the Hornet, but that would be up to my grandson if he wanted to mess around with it, and he's pretty much glued everything up. I have the capability to do all the masking by hand, but it's very time consuming.

I'm going to do the plane in the all-gloss sea blue scheme, instead of the three-tone, white, navy and light blue, not because it's any better, but I'm just a bit lazy and the three-tone scheme offers a lot of opportunity to screw up.

The build starts with the Wright R-2600 accessory case and engine baffle plate. This model has a beautifully detailed engine and with the Eduard stuff it could be a show-stopper like those 1:48 radials I built for the B-17. This entire subassembly will be buried in the airframe unless I go with the aforementioned access panels. As any of you who followed my previous build you know that I'm not very big in heavy weathering. I want to build a well-cared for build or even as it appears in the various museums, instead of a battle-weary bucket of bolts.


This whole deal will get airbrushed, semi-gloss black. Between this part and the engine baffle engine mount cradle. I think the outside of the baffle gets sea blue, but the inside is probably zinc chromate green. I'm going check some references on this coloring before proceeding.

Gun Grape
08 Nov 16,, 01:47
Buy from my Go to store. Sprue Brothers. I have had nothing but great service from them


Builder 2010
08 Nov 16,, 03:27
Thanks Gun. Gave it a look. They don't have the Avenger masks shown. Can you special order from them. The problem with the masks is this. Stephens International is the wholesaler for all the Eduard PE and Brassin resin, but they don't carry the masks. That's another wholesaler, and apparently they're not very responsive. I like getting stuff through my LHS. They don't overcharge and I don't have to pay shipping.

Gun Grape
08 Nov 16,, 04:51
Thanks Gun. Gave it a look. They don't have the Avenger masks shown.

This isn't the one?


Can you special order from them. The problem with the masks is this. Stephens International is the wholesaler for all the Eduard PE and Brassin resin, but they don't carry the masks. That's another wholesaler, and apparently they're not very responsive.

You cannot special order but you can have them E-mail you when they get an item you want back in stock. My experience is that they seem to restock if they get a request. I've never gone more than 3-4 days from putting in an e-mail me request and them having it on hand. It may be that I'm just lucky that way or they pay attention to customer demand/request

I like getting stuff through my LHS. They don't overcharge and I don't have to pay shipping.

Understand. My nearest LHS is in Pensacola. 90 odd miles away. I would love to support a local shop. Don't have one though.

Builder 2010
08 Nov 16,, 05:22
Yup! That's the one. How come I didn't find it. I searched Eduard 1:32 and it wasn't there. I'm going to order it from them.

Ordered! $3.82 shipping.


08 Nov 16,, 08:04
Understand. My nearest LHS is in Pensacola. 90 odd miles away. I would love to support a local shop. Don't have one though.

Unfortunately, LHS's are a dying breed; I used to have a pretty good LHS not too far from where I live, and it is (was?) actually in the city I work in, so I can usually pop over there on my lunch break if I know what I need. I say "used to" because over the last year or so my LHS has cut WAAAY back on what they stock for modelers: their paint selection is practically non-existent, especially their Model Master line, for some reason, and they don't really buy any new kits; lately, they've been picking up consignment models and estate sale lots. Sometimes, that's pretty cool, because you can get some pretty good kits that are either OOP, or normally way out of your price range (for example, I picked up THREE 80's-vintage Monogram/Revell A-6E's/EA-6B's last month for $20 each, about half of what they're going for on eBay; and last week I got my hands on a Tamiya M1A2 SEP Abrams with TUSK II for $50; it was retailing for $75-80). More recently, they picked up a bunch of old Revell space ship kits from the '60's and '70's, including the original Tranquility Base lunar landing module model from 1969 (my very first model, actually!), that huge 1/144 Revell Saturn V from 1968, and a Russian Vostok in 1/100 scale. In any case, I have had to make the tough decision to (gasp!) start going to my local Hobby Lobby instead to get the supplies I need, even though their selection is limited.

So, GG, this is my long-winded way of saying that going to an LHS is still fun but, unfortunately, they are dying off; I wouldn't be too surprised if that LHS in Pensacola didn't exist anymore in a year or two.

Builder: I'll be following this one, too (and, no, I'm NOT done with my 1/48th B-17G - yet!); I've been impressed with the detail and quality of the large-scale Trumpeter kits, even though most of them are way out of my price range (but maybe one will show up as a consignment at my LHS!). In any case, keep up the good work; my son's working on a 1/48th Avenger, so he'll be watching, too!

08 Nov 16,, 08:13
I'll be watching this build also. I do have three Accurate Miniature models of the Avenger of course. They go along with another 70 models, mostly Navy, I have collected but have not yet built. Always have wanted to so I enjoy these builds. However, with a full size model ship, a full size model Avenger, ten cars and a 7 year old one uses spare time to just crash.

Builder 2010
08 Nov 16,, 15:41
It really is quite remarkable that Scale Reproductions is so good. Brian Bunger, the owner, is a serious plastic modeler himself and is active in the IPMS, last year he hired an old friend Marty, who is even more into plastic than Brian. As a result, Marty completely reorganized that department. Their paint racks (Testers, Tamiya, Vallejo and Accurate Paint) are fully stocked. Any new model that appears in adds in Fine Scale Modeling, appears on their shelves at the same time. It's exactly the way it should be. This is just indicative of the rest of the store. Their RC department is huge and fully stocked as is their HO/N gauge train department. They have a working slot car track, a RC Flight simulator for kids to work, and (up until recently) a large outdoor RC off-road car track. That track was closed when the Kroger Market in the shopping center needed the land for their expansion project. They then put it indoors in a big industrial building, and just recently lost the lease on that and needs to find another place. Needless to say, I felt guilty when I had to buy those masks on-line. I do buy some stuff on line, but not kits, paints or building materials.

I'm happy that you guys will be watching. It makes spending the writing time worthwhile. While I do this for my own satisfaction to some degree, I really like the interchange of ideas and the fact that I'm helping other modeler's perfect their skills and know how. One a trainer, always a trainer.

Builder 2010
09 Nov 16,, 01:34
Well then, Toshi, you'll have to keep me on track.

First thing I did today was install the front motor mount ring into the baffle plate (don't know what else to call it since it's not really the fire wall since that's behind the engine mounts, especially since the carburetor is on the rear side of this piece. I think it just acts as a guide to steer air flow through the cowl flaps.) I painted both interior green. I masked the outside since I didn't want to have to paint the blue over another color if I didn't have to. The accessory case was airbrushed semi-gloss black.


I noticed 2 large conduits coming into the ignition ring from the rear of the engine. They are the ignition feeds from the two magnetos on the accessory case. I wanted to add this wire in the front and also at the magnetos.

Here's a picture that was available on the web which shows all the activity at the accessory case.


The mag wire is the large white one that's heading directly left into the engine. The wire comes into the mag's side with a 90 fitting. There's a lead on each side feeding that side of the ignition ring.

To make the connection, I flattened the end of a piece of 1/32 brass rod, punched and drilled it 0.032" and then soldered another piece of the same rod into the hole. After some bending and fussing I fit the wires and put them through holes in the baffle.


After gluing the accessory drive I CA's the mag leads and painted them chrome silver.


There's a ton of other wires and pipes running around the engine's rear. I don't know how much of this I'm going to model, but if I do, I'm going to open up and access panel so it's visible.

I then started building the engines themselves with painting the blocks and heads flat aluminum. I'm looking forward to building this engine. I find engines some of the most enjoyable aspects of modeling.


Tomorrow I'll keep going on the engines.

09 Nov 16,, 01:39
It really is quite remarkable that Scale Reproductions is so good. Brian Bunger, the owner, is a serious plastic modeler himself and is active in the IPMS, last year he hired an old friend Marty, who is even more into plastic than Brian. As a result, Marty completely reorganized that department. Their paint racks (Testers, Tamiya, Vallejo and Accurate Paint) are fully stocked. Any new model that appears in adds in Fine Scale Modeling, appears on their shelves at the same time. It's exactly the way it should be. This is just indicative of the rest of the store. Their RC department is huge and fully stocked as is their HO/N gauge train department. They have a working slot car track, a RC Flight simulator for kids to work, and (up until recently) a large outdoor RC off-road car track. That track was closed when the Kroger Market in the shopping center needed the land for their expansion project. They then put it indoors in a big industrial building, and just recently lost the lease on that and needs to find another place. Needless to say, I felt guilty when I had to buy those masks on-line. I do buy some stuff on line, but not kits, paints or building materials.

I wish MY LHS was that well-stocked!

My personal opinion is that the owner is either a.) getting ready to retire, so he's selling everything off so he doesn't have to spend his retirement money on restocking the store, or b.) he's getting ready to sell the store (and maybe retiring), so he doesn't want to spend anymore money on restocking the store; either way, I'm screwed. In any case, it's also very obvious that the store makes most of it's money off of the RC stuff, which is always well-stocked, and they have twice as many people working in the RC department as the rest of the store put together.

Maybe I'll get lucky, and somebody who really likes plastic models will buy the place . . .

09 Nov 16,, 08:57
A look at a TBM engine in situ.

Builder 2010
09 Nov 16,, 17:11
Great picture. I did some research about Zinc Chromate. It's not really a color, but a kind of paint and the actual colored varied all over the place from bright yellow to very green. So I'm going to stick to the with interior green for now since the zinc chromate yellow I have is very yellow; much more than the paint in this picture.

I also noticed another interesting detail: the ring of rubber shock mounts that tie the engine to the engine mount. Clearly they are there to control the tongue of the rotating mass, and no models I've seen have this detail. Looks like the valve covers are black and not silver as in the instructions.

The Eduard engine set contains some simulated wiring harnesses that will add to the business, but there's still a lot more if I want to add it. Also, it's good to see how the panels were removed on this plane so I can attempt to duplicate that. I need to build the intake ducts for carb air and oil cooler.

09 Nov 16,, 19:29
Yes, zinc chromate can vary in color since it really isn't a color but a chemical composition. I can spray cans of zinc chromate on the insides of car doors and it is greenish yellow. I can also find zinc chromate on the bulkheads of the Hornet and it is yellow. I know models say to use interior green for these planes especially if built by Eastern while zinc chromate for planes built by Grumman. Now my TBM is an Eastern built plane so you can see the original colors here. One shot from were the radio man would sit when using the ART-13. I suspect a respray. The cockpit color would show some sun fade but I also removed some paint with a plastic scraper. Then two shots of framing under wing panels which I know for a fact were never resprayed over the years.

09 Nov 16,, 23:27
I read all about "zinc chromate" on the IPMS Stockholm website; as tbm said, zinc chromate is just the chemical composition, it has nothing to do with the actual color, which is why there is "Zinc Chromate Yellow", and "Zinc Chromate Green". Apparently, raw zinc chromate actually had a yellowish color with just a hint of green, but some manufacturers (and/or the manufacturing plant itself) would add "lamp black" to the mixture to give it more UV resistance, and "more durability in high-traffic areas"; so you could find zinc chromate, especially during the War years, that ran the gamut from pale yellow to dark green, and everything in between. That's one of the advantages to modeling War-year aircraft: you could paint it almost any color, and it would be "correct". And I assume that "Interior Green" is just zinc chromate with a LOT of "lamp black" added to the mix.

Camouflage & Markings: Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45 Part I (http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/01/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us.htm)

Builder 2010
10 Nov 16,, 00:54
Great information guys! I was alternating today between model RR mountain work and the Avenger. It's just a joy to have two really engaging activities going at once. Unlike our National Elections, what goes on in my basement world is entirely under my control.

Now onto today's work. I hand painted burnt iron on the lower cylinder portions. I then used one of my newly acquired super-small carbide drills. This drill is a #88. That's not found in any micro-drill sets and is so small as to be a needle. And yet somehow they're able to grind flutes into it AND it's solid carbide. After measuring the Eduard PE spark plug wires at 0.008" so I used this 0.009" drill to open up spark plug holes so the PE would have a place to land. The front cylinder bank had a boss that made finding the plug opening easy, but the rear bank didn't have anything since Trumpeter didn't expect people to put spark plug wires... just what were they thinking. An engine this big must have wiring. What's really amazing is I drilled 14 holes and didn't break the darn thing. That blew me away since I generally break these carbide drills by looking at them the wrong way.


While doing this I was painting and plastering tunnel portal wing walls on the mountain project. I got them into position nicely. Then on the ABM, I prepared and painted the crankcase piece with the pushrod tubes. Unlike the Eduard B-17 motors, these are all on one part and that greatly simplifies assembly. Of course I did break one off when attempting to deburr the part. It was a clean break. I drilled the nub with a 0.028" drill just enough to let the broken part have something to hold to and CA'd it back in place. I painted the casing flat aluminum, the tubes semi-gloss black, the upper part first flat black and then dry-brush silver to simulate the clamps. These pieces are not glued in place yet.


TBM3fam's pic is terrific in that it not only shows the airframe structure, but it shows the coloration of the valve boxes and covers, the shape of the oil cooler and carb intake trunks, and it showed those interesting torque shock mounts that attach each rear cylinder to the engine mount. It also shows more plumbing which I will study closely and it shows how the panels remove and the flange sizes. The Eduard engine set has some PE wire harnesses to add to the complexity, but there's some more major tubing that could be cobbled together. Since I'm planning on leaving access panels open, doing it up may be worth the effort.

10 Nov 16,, 04:42
If you need a detailed picture ask me as I have a Avenger at my disposal. Here is our engine plus other detail since you are doing a big 1/32 scale plane where it can be seen.

10 Nov 16,, 04:48
A few more

Builder 2010
10 Nov 16,, 05:46
The pics are great. Interesting that the inner surfaces of the wings are blue also as are the landing gear. That's only with the gloss sea blue version I believe. Love the pics of the gun turret. Great for coloring. Are the props traditionally gloss black? If you've got more, keep posting them.

10 Nov 16,, 08:14
The pics are great. Interesting that the inner surfaces of the wings are blue also as are the landing gear. That's only with the gloss sea blue version I believe. Love the pics of the gun turret. Great for coloring. Are the props traditionally gloss black? If you've got more, keep posting them.

Builder - Go to the last page of this article, it's got a couple of paragraphs about the TBF/TBM: Camouflage & Markings - Interior Colours of US Aircraft, 1941-45 Part III (http://www.ipmsstockholm.org/magazine/2004/05/stuff_eng_interior_colours_us_part3.htm)

Builder 2010
10 Nov 16,, 15:18
Brilliant! All interior of the TBM is interior green and wheel wells as well as struts are sea blue. Easy peasy. I'm going to buy the sea blue today.

10 Nov 16,, 20:31
Awesome pics, tbm! I have a few pictures of that Avenger myself, but they're from a few years ago (2012?), and they're not nearly as detailed as yours.

10 Nov 16,, 21:31
I guess I forgot to hit submit last night. As to dark sea blue there was a Navy directive in 1944 spelling that out. This plane was built January 1945 by Eastern as a TBM3E model and delivered to the Navy in June 1945 via San Diego. Made it to Guam in July as part of VC-97 but never made it onto a carrier during the war. It did make it onto the Coral Sea in the mid-50's as an COD.

Now I'll have to take some pictures over the next week hopefully as there are several small details along the fuselage that models don't know/show. Obviously you would be interested. Antenna mounts. Drain tubes out the cowling for oil along with a small exhaust exit. The opening for manually turning the engine over. Tubes out the fuselage for the crew to take a piss. Those are some details that would be useful on a 1/32 scale.

Builder 2010
11 Nov 16,, 03:58
My plastering on the mountain needs at least another day of drying so I did more ABM work (after getting back from the LHS and buying Dark Sea Blue). I went further into the engine. It's a nice model to work in 1/32.

After gluing on the pushrod tube components on the front and rear banks, I needed to paint the valve box/valve cover parts. I could have painted the flat aluminum while the parts were glued to the engine, but felt that it would have been more difficult so I stuck them all to some masking tape. I only wanted to paint the bottom aluminum-colored part because I could paint the black valve cover part.


I could have airbrushed them, but was afraid that the blast would blow them all over the place so I brush painted them.

After fitting and gluing them in place on the engine, I brush-painted the covers semi-gloss black.


This really jazzed up the engine's look. Next up was the intake manifold which was also painted flat aluminum, and then it was time for the first engine PE. Eduard includes two different kinds of sheet metal baffles that sit atop the front and rear cylinder heads.


This part gets folded in a "Z" fold and then is CA'd to the rear heads. I scrap the primer (Tamiya primer) to expose bare metal so I'm not gluing to paint. Luckily, Eduard includes extra parts because I ended up folding two of them backwards and when you try to fold Eduard brass twice they usually break. Here are the first two in place. After taking the picture, I glued on all 7. BTW: I use the Small Shop's Plexiglass PE holding fixture so you can cut the parts in such a way that they don't disappear into the quantum rift.


Tomorrow I will install the front pieces and paint them semi-gloss black before adding the plug wiring.

Builder 2010
12 Nov 16,, 02:13
Plaster was still not dry on the mountain so I spent the day building an R-2600 and moving into other engine bay stuff.

I finished putting all the "sheet metal" PE baffles onto the cylinder heads. I then wrapped that thin piece of PE around the engine tying it to each baffle with thin CA and a sharp toothpick and then painting it all semi-gloss black.


I hold the engine in a Panavise with soft jaws to keep it steady while working on all this cylinder stuff. I painted the induction pipes semi-gloss black while on the sprue since it would have been very difficult to fully paint them when installed. That being said, I did have to touch up the sprue attachment point after they were all installed. I also touched up the flat aluminum at the intake flange at the head for the rear bank.


While I was waiting for the black to dry I started working on the firewall PE. The first thing to do was shave off the molded oil tank brackets which get replaced with the folded PE brackets. I used a large hold-n-fold from the Small Shop to do most of my PE bending. I got this one from them as payment for allowing them to use my Missouri in their advertising. It's a wonderfully designed tool that makes the almost impossible very possible.


These were CA'd to the firewall and then the glued up tank CA's to the bracket. You have to remove the attachment pins on the tank so it woudl nest properly. Eduard included some new straps that would attach the tank to the brackets. These were an example of "even though you can DO a thing, you probably shouldn't". The parts were damaged on the fret and the little tangs that were supposed to attach the straps were so frail that several had already separated before I even attempted to remove the part from the fret.

The strap you see on the right center of the pic shows the tiny metal connection between the tangs and the straps. The other one was toast. So I had to make new straps using left-over fret material. It lacks those tiny eyes but who cares. i certainly don't.


There were several other PE details on the firewall: another brackety kind of thing, an instrument box of some sort and a wiring harness. All of this will be airbrushed interior greena and then the details picked out by hand. Again... I always scrap off the primer to reveal bare metal before CA'ing. Otherwise, the PE WILL FALL OFF when the paint lets go from the metal.


On Monday, the plaster will be dry on the mountain and I will be painting that. After landscaping there will be more drying time and I'll be back on the ABM. The next step will be to install the ignition system.

Builder 2010
15 Nov 16,, 00:37
Did some plastering on the mountain, and while it was setting got back to work on the radial. First up was attaching the four parts of the exhaust collector. I had painted it Tamiya Dark Iron off the model, and then touched up the missed spots when one. I attached the parts using solvent glue, then reinforced with thin CA. There are two large pieces and two small ones that tie into the sides of the large output end. While solvent glue started this joint, medium CA filled the gap and made it look like it was welded in place.


Still needed is a little weathering powder to give it some more life.

Next was the ignition ring. I wasn't looking forward to this step for a couple of reasons; the fineness of PE, and my experience with Eduard where the metal breaks too darn easy. It was the second worry that did show its ugly head.

To start, I used some tape to hold the ring in place for attaching the wires. The Eduard parts consist of a short set (#10) for the front banks, and a long set (#5) for the rear. I marked the positions on the ring where these two pieces go.


All 14 went on pretty well. So far so good!


I CA'd the ring in position on the engine. And then the troubles began. The "wires" being PE don't behave like real wire. They tended to become misshapen very quickly, and then three broke off at the base, and I'm not done yet. I had to stop for dinner. I may scrap this entirely and go with small gauge copper conductor. We'll see...


You can see the remants of two of the wires that are not longer attached. I was being very careful, but Eduard is brittle. You can anneal it, but that creates its own problems which I discovered in the building the Yankee Lady. Also, all the yellow paint was peeling off the wires as I was manipulating them into position. All in all, not too happy about the results.

15 Nov 16,, 02:47
Given that I would think some 18-22 gauge wire, from the hardware store, and then stripping off the insulation to separate the individual wires would work. Sure do bend easy enough. Ignition wires are not yellow on my plane. Also the front bank position for the spark plugs are not where yours show as they seem low. They are a bit higher up top for the front bank and the plugs are more upwards in direction. I have pulled mine enough when shooting oil into the cylinders to manually turn the engine over. However, that engine placement is what you are stuck with. In a real engine the piston would shear right past those plugs in that position.

Builder 2010
15 Nov 16,, 15:40
I questioned that plug position too. The Eduard engines for the B-17, while being 1:48, actually had correctly positioned spark plugs. Can't have everything. I have two remaining wire sets since Eduard included one extra on each side. Ideally, the whole deal should be remade. I'll see how I feel about that.

15 Nov 16,, 23:45
Given that I would think some 18-22 gauge wire, from the hardware store, and then stripping off the insulation to separate the individual wires would work.

Hardware stores don't seem to have wire that's thin enough (and pliable enough) for my taste (or at least my local hardware store doesn't stock it); on my 1/12th Lamborghini Countach, I went with some old computer wire I had laying around. Almost any old computer peripheral you have laying around (wired mouse, keyboard, etc.) has some really fine gauge wire inside of it; just strip the outer jacket away, and you'll get a lot of pretty fine wires of various colors (I used the red ones for my Countach spark plug wires).

Builder 2010
16 Nov 16,, 01:22
Seven pics today so two posts.

Yesterday's plaster was not dry enough paint so the whole work session went to the ABM. Finished the engine by repairing the errant ignition wires. Two sets were replaced with the additional Eduard parts, but I had to make two more sets from scratch using conductors scavanged from some hook up wire. Actually, I wish I would have done this for all the leads. The 18 AWG hook up wire's conductor diameter was almost a perfect match for the Eduard etchings so you really can't which is which except for the lack of the simulated clip between the two leads.

First step was to clip off the little plastic nubs on the ignitiion harness ring, file a little flat spot, make a prick mark with the pointy end of a divider and then drill with a #80 drill. I did break a couple of the new skinny carbide drills. The wires were CA'd into the holes and then clipped to a similar length of the Eduard PE ones. After getting all the wires in I repainted them black and repainted the copper-colored ring to Tamiya gold since you see engines with brass rings. The arrow points out the copper conductor used for the new wires


The engine needed the propellor governor and the oil sump pressure module. The instructions call for these two parts added much later in the assembly, but I wanted to make sure that they were installed correctly AND painted.

There's a little tiny pulley that attaches to the governor, and of course, it pop out of existence in this dimension from the tweezers. So I machined another one on the Taig Lathe. This was CA'd into place.


After installation I painted these two parts. I also added some rusty brown weathering powders to the exhaust collector to ton down the brown. With that, the radial was complete. In this picture, the engine was not glued to the baffle plate. I also added an alcohol/India Ink wash on the cylindes to kill some of the shine.



Before mounting the firewall, the engine needed to be glued to the baffle (and the motor mount on the other side). I painted the baffle's face Vallejo Dark Sea Blue. Before doing so, I masked the center circle where the engine will glue.


Trial fittings showed interference between the exhaust outlets and the relief notches in the baffle. I used the Dremel with a small mill to remove enough material so the engine sat flat against the baffle. I used solvent cement first and clamp it together. After it set I reinforced this critical joint with thin CA.

Builder 2010
16 Nov 16,, 01:27
The engine mounts:

Instructions were ambiguous as to whether they should be glued to the firewall first and then the motor mount or vice versa. I chose incorrectly. I glued all four to the firewall and attempted, unsuccessfully, to glue all eight contact points into the motor mount. There was tension of them, and I get seven pins in and #8 would pop out. I'd get #8 in and 3 and 5 would pop out and so on. As usually happens when things start going south, applying more pressure did not help and eventually two thing happened; pins broke off in the motor mount and parts were coming off the firewall.

After gluing everything back together, I airbrushed the firewall interior green.

Time for some drastic action! I realized that the mount struts should be glue firmly into the engine mount first and then the firewall. To do this I added some 0.032" brass wire and drilled the broken off stubs to receive the brass. I CA'd all four struts into the mount and when set, I solvent cemented and CA'd the firewall to the struts. This time, everything was square and intact. I had to touch up paint several areas, but it's ready for some additional Eduard details. Notice too that I added, the oil drain pipe that will get some more details before disappearing into the depths.



Here's the assembled engine and mounts.



Hopefully, tomorrow the plaster on the mountain will be able to be painted. If not, I'll be doing more ABM work.

And one more thing: My Eduard glazing masks arrived this weekend so that won't hold me up. I've also ordered one of the those ultra-thin razor saws from MicroMark that will help me cut the access panels with very small saw kerfs.

16 Nov 16,, 06:55
For added realism are you going to add oil to your tank and then have it leaked out of the engine drip by drip like they all do?

Oh, since you are probably not a car guy like me I find all my wire at a good auto parts store down to 22 gauge.

Builder 2010
18 Nov 16,, 17:02
I can have the oil leaking without actually filling the tank...

18 Nov 16,, 18:39
Builder 2010

Did you ever see this build thread? Different US Navy aircraft and scale but same vintage. Some really great techniques. http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?/topic/131666-helldiver/&page=1

19 Nov 16,, 05:56
I can have the oil leaking without actually filling the tank...

I'll get some pictures showing you how and where oil drips out of this engine along with other details on the fuselage/cowling that usually aren't present in models.

Builder 2010
19 Nov 16,, 16:35
Please do! More pictures would be great!

I just read Chuck's entire post. Thanks for flagging that for me. Okay. I consider myself a good modeler, probably better than most. And then there's Chuck. That plastic kit took two years and it shows. His level of detail, and perfection is another dimension beyond what I want to do, or even perceive. While I probably have most of the skills he demonstrates, I don't have the desire to take a model to that level. I probably got close on the Missouri, but even there, I could have gone even further into the abyss of AMS (Advanced Modeler's Syndrome). I did learn from Chuck's masterpiece. I am always learning.

I loved his pipe work and how he didn't have any hesitation to remove kit details and make his own. I also liked that he broke and lost stuff and recovered beautifully. That's a person that I can respect and empathize with. I need to do a search and see what else he's been up to. I also like the level of work he does in a very modest space.

Again, thanks!

20 Nov 16,, 07:42
Engine cowling shots. You can see what sticks out of the cowling on both sides. Oil drips as the plane sits in last shot.

20 Nov 16,, 07:46
Two large inside engine shots. Took about another 20 detail shots along the fuselage. When you move onto to that part of the build I'll get them help. They need to be resized from what these engine pictures are.

Builder 2010
29 Nov 16,, 03:44
First of all, those pictures are fantastic. Who knew there were all those waste tubes sticking out of the sides. It's not included in most models.

The reason why I'm posting is Chuck introduced me to a company Albion Alloys from the U.K. They make precision metal shapes like K-S and Special Shapes, only much, much finer. He used this material in making his splendid a 1/32 Helldiver. He was able to build hydraulic and brake line fittings that were terrific. It is the perfect material to use on engine ignition rings to hold the spark plug wires.

I bought two packs of the telescoping sampler from Sprue Brothers which has Albion's whole line in stock. These are 0.4, 6, 8 and 1mm. The small one's so small you can barely discern the hole. They have a much thinner wall thickness than K-S which is my big complaint about K-S small diameter tubes. These are spectacular.



Price wasn't out of sight a $6.00 a pack. It's an object that I didn't know existed unless you went into the world of stainless capiliary tubes. It also saves not having to use hypo needles for this purpose.

I'm doing some serious plaster work on the model railroad and while that's curing on Wednesday and Thursday, I'll be back on the Avenger.

Builder 2010
04 Dec 16,, 00:20
Just got a few minutes to do one little thing; put the first Eduard PE "wiring" into the engine mount area behind the engine. I've been working full-tilt on finishing up plastering on the train layout and haven't done much ABM building. I have another intense week of railroad work and then they'll be a break for more TBM work.

As usual, Eduard wiring is tricky since it's not round, but flat and behaves as such. I also cut the next piece off the fret and was attempting to install it on the other side, but it was time to quit, I was hungry and my hands were even more unsteady then normal so I put the part aside and went upstairs. In my mature status, I hope I've learned that when you try and do that "just one more thing" is usually when all hell breaks loose.


That box and wires should be painted some color or another. There's also a little folded PE box glued to the firewall on the left.

Builder 2010
10 Dec 16,, 17:21
Back again for a bit of work. Meanwhile the mountain project is moving apace and will be finished sometime next week. I do have other railroad projects comiing up that could be topics for FSM too.

I tried to use the Eduard wiring harness for the port side, but as usual, the wires broke off when handling them so I went back to using small gauge copper strands with some wine-bottle foil strapping. It's not as elegant, but it works. After installation I painted them zinc chromate yellow based on some images that I saw.


After installing this I needed to find a way to terminate the oil line from the oil tank. I cobbled together something with a piece of styrene tube, styrene rod and a piece of hi-tech toothpick. The line was a piece of shrink tubing with a big i.d. so I need something that would spill the space without a lot of hassle, ergo the toothpick.


Here's what that pipe looks like with the painting on the starboard side.


The bomb bay floor had a large amount of deep ejection pin marks. I usually don't bother with fixing these, but I wanted to try usng my new Tamiya putty. It worked, sort of, since I probably have to use a second coat to make them dead flat, but I probaly won't. In reality, and let's get real here people, the only way to see those pin marks would be to pick up the model, turn it upside down and stare at the bomb bay, ignoring all the other parts on top of it, and focus on the bomb bay roof to see those divots. A) most people don't do that, and B) I wouldn't want anyone picking up the model for any reason, let alone to find ejection pin marks. I think this is an example of AMS (Advanced Modeler's Syndrome). While there's still more stuff that could be crammed into this firewall area, I'm going to cut it off at this point. The other details would be a nest of fuel lines and manifolds, but the big baffle plate makes access very difficult. On the TBF version, that area is all open, but not the TBM.


The last thing I did yesterday was add some sort of PE detail to the front of the floor. I don't know what this detail is, but it was two parts and five folds.


10 Dec 16,, 22:59
The last thing I did yesterday was add some sort of PE detail to the front of the floor. I don't know what this detail is, but it was two parts and five folds.


Trying to picture that part? Front of the floor, where? Front of the bomb bay section? I know the real front is the picture below. The two similar holes at the top, by the box, are for mounting a hydraulic piston laterally. The right side of the piston moved while the left was fixed. At the end a solid arm attached to each side of the piston and extending down to an attachment point on the doors. These arms were also attached to the two small mounting holes at the bottom of the green panel at each edge. That was a pivot point. Last, a round rod much like a strut for a car hood, would run from the middle of the left arm up to the attachment point of the right arm with the piston.

Builder 2010
11 Dec 16,, 00:11
Here's that part in place on the fuze half. It's the lower firewall facing into the engine compartment.


So we'll to get a look from the other direction.

11 Dec 16,, 04:09
Then the lower half that slants backwards is the black area in my picture just above. That being the case then I wonder what the purpose of that photo-etched part that no one could ever see.

Builder 2010
14 Dec 16,, 01:43
Apparently there's a lot of details in this model that no one will ever see, but it's still fun to build and we know it's there.

The Trumpeter panel for this 1:32 ship is a three-part affair, with a clear outer panel, a film inner layer with instrument faces in clear, and a grey styrene back panel. Both the front and back panels have extra parts on them and they have lots of knobs and switches.

The outer clear panel (and for the life of me I don't know why it's clear since the instrument faces are just holes, and the rest needs to be painted) has five PE levers/pull knobs attahched. The PE parts are very small so to cut them without losing them, I used an idea I found from Chuck Walas, who's a superior fine scale builder, where you cut the parts with the fret attached to masking take so nothing flies away. I measured their little stems and they were 0.021". I drilled the panel with this size drill and it made fastening them in much more secure than just expecting the CA to hold them there.

After drilling the holes I looked, but couldn't find the darn panel. It disappeared. I searched the work space three times, swept the floor, check my pockets, etc. NOTHING! I had all the little parts cut and stuck to the masking, but no panel. Then I find it sitting direclty in front of me on the upper bench in front of my Panavise. Hiding in plain sight! See! There it is! I think I should resurface the workbench since all the stains make picking out parts sitting on it much more difficult. That surface is Homasote, which is excellent for pinning plans and parts down to hold for assembling.


I then painted this clear panel with the Tamiya Primer so it had some good tooth for the color coat. You can see the little levers on the lower left.


After airbrushing flat black on both panels I found my favorite fine-pont brush and was able to pick out all the knobs and things. I used red, white, silver and back painted flat black when necessary.


Some folks pick out the instrument rims with dry-brushed silver. I'm not going to do that since all of those aircraft instruments have black rims. I may pick them out with gloss black if I need some highlights.

The insert instrument face film is photographically produced (it seems to be Kodalith or equivalent) which has jet black background, but is clear where the instrument graphics lie. They need to be white. So I painted the back with some Vallejo white in two coats


I put the front and isert togehter to see how they'll look together. The registration is not perfect yet, but it's just sitting.


I like the way it looks. None of this painting was called out in the instuctions. If the back panel was painted black, the instruments would have been obscured. I'm going to glue this 3-part sandwich together with MicroMark's Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) since the film will not respond to plastic cement and the PSA is very easy to control. The instrument don't need gloss faces since the film is glossy on that side.

More work will come tomorrow.

14 Dec 16,, 05:02
Actual panels. First a restored plane then the others my plane. My panel is 100% correct as far as gauges go. Took time to find them all especially the autopilot assembly which is darn near unobtanium.

Builder 2010
15 Dec 16,, 01:24
Wow! First of all, I have to go back and adjust the colors. Second, you actually have your own TBM! Amazing!

Most of the day was spent getting "water" into the water feature on the layout. But I did get to do just a few things on the TBM. I first glued all the control panel layers together with PSA. I then went back and put a couple of dabs of thin CA since there were some gaps that needed to be tightened up.


I dropped it on the floor and the small red T-handle PE parts disappeared. I don't know if I'll worry about it.

I put together the pilots seat and painted it O.D. although it's probably interior green. I then glued up two of the side panels. Instead of using the PE parts, i made my own using 0.021" brass rod with round balls created with medium CA.


Tomorrow I'll adjust the panel colors and keep going on the cockpit parts.

Builder 2010
17 Dec 16,, 00:00
Because of that great picture, I was able to adjust the colors on the panel to as closely match the picture as possible.


After doing this I was reading ahead in the instructions and looking where the cockpit floor (which supports the entire engine/firewall assembly) joins to the bomb bay ceiling. It's a critical joint that takes places on a thin edge in the front and vertical plate in the rear. It's so critical that it would be hard (for me) to get a good strong joint when all the other stuff is glued in place. After staring at it for a while, I concluded that it could be safely glued in place now to ensure it was a strong joint.

I also came to this conclusion since the engine as I modified it, was interfering with the front edge of the bomb bay floor. That oil line that I put it was right smack in the way. I had to carve a bit away so the line would clear and this added stress to the cockpit floor joint which was another reason to glue it now.


In this picture you can see the front thin joint. That has to fuse properly. The other place the engine is supported is the firewall to fuselage side joint. That's going to provide most of the support.


Next up will be more cockpit componets moving rearward to the radio compartments.

Builder 2010
22 Dec 16,, 03:01
While I did this work yesterday, I'm just getting around to post it. I did some more mountain work and while the epoxy "water" was curing, I did get some ADM work done.

I began to realize that air brushing the cockpit was problematic based on the various colored pieces that needed to be glued in, and some parts were actually partially hidden by parts that were interior green. So I've been brush painting the green. It takes two coats, but looks decent. I'll do some aging and wearing on it to kill the "newness". Here's a case in point. That radio set buried in the structure that sits behind the pilot. And those oxygen bottles...


The main part of the cockpit has two consoles mounted to the floor and I decorated them with little bits of paint. The right-hand one in real life is all chrome toggle switches and circuit breakers on the side. I briefly entertained the thought of actually inserting pieces of High-E guitar string to simulate those switches and then as quickly disabused myself of that stupid idea since that panel will be partially hidden by the tumble-home of the fuselage sides and basically invisible. It wasn't worth breaking expensive 0.010" carbide drills to do it.


The control sticks will be painted next session.

Here's the opposite side view.


I finished the mountain and all its water features today. So take a look at my other long-running thread.

Builder 2010
07 Jan 17,, 01:28
I don't know why WAB is dropping the last post I put up, but it happened on Wednesday's post and it happened again yesterday. So here's yesterday's post and then I'll attempt to add today's.

Hi gang! Holiday trips are over. We spent the time from Christmas through New Years with family and friends in the Philly area and State College, PA. Got to do some ABM work today. I'm in a hold on the layout waiting for the laser cutting for a new Bernheim Distillery that is to go into Heaven Hills' "Evan Williams Bourbon Experience" in downtown Louisville.

I continued work on the upper fuse interior and put the parts into the bomb bay as well.


I just placed it into the right fuse half to see what fit where. It's a very nice fit indeed. I need to add some cabling since all the black boxes on top will be visible through the large greenhouse canopy. You can also see that I finished painting the flight stick with the red pickle switches on it.

I glued together the left side cockpit wall, added some brass levers, and let it all dry before painting. The bright spots you see is me rushing to take the shot before the paint dried flat


I then turned the assembly over and mounted in the Panavise to glue in all the bomb bay details. The instructiions didn't have the upper pieces glued in yet, but I found it better to put them in while painting them. I'm going to air brush the interior green in this area since it has so many vertical surfaces sticking up.


You have several choices for load out: extra fuel tank, bomb load or torpedo. I'm going with the torpedo since the Avenger was first and foremost a torpedo bomber, and the torpedo is more interesting to look at. I'll keep working on this stuff as long as I can.

07 Jan 17,, 01:30
Just to wish you a Happy New Year and to let you know I (still) closely monitor your work(s).

Builder 2010
07 Jan 17,, 01:32
Work continues on interior. Masked the upper parts that I didn't want to get any more interior green on, and first gave a primer coat of Tamiya Gray Surfacer. I was finding that the Model Master acrylics were not sticking very well to the styrene. I generally do not wash my styrene before starting to work. I just feel it's more trouble than it's worth and could lead to parts loss and breakage. That being said, I suspect, there's mold release on the parts causing the adhesion problem. The Tamiya primer, on the other hand, has not trouble sticking and provides a good surface for the subsequent coats. Unfortunately, it's solvent based and I have to spray very sparingly as to not smelling up the house. It's way too cold outside to do any painting out there. I'm still lobbying for that spray booth.

I then sprayed the entire bomb bay, the rear radio compartment and the nose portion interior green, then went back and picked out some detail parts with chromate yellow, flat black and knobs of different colors. All this taping and handling broke the control stick off at the base. I waited until all the work was done, drilled it with a microscopic #88 (0.0095") and secured it with a piece of high E guitar string, also 0.010".



I then got to work finishing up the pilot's seat with the PE seat belts that were included in the kit and ended up using medium CA to secure the seat into the cockpit.


Next week, I'll continue working on all these interiors bits. I cleaned off the nubs on the fuselage halves and was very happy with the fit and alignment. Very little filling appears to be needed.

Let's hope that this post doesn't get lost too.

Builder 2010
07 Jan 17,, 01:35
Same to you Doktor. Glad you enjoy it!

08 Jan 17,, 06:48
Interesting that your cockpit shows a two level position behind the pilot and in front of the gun turret. On a TBM-3E that position is open and even has built in facilities to add another stick if so desired. The mountings are there in mine. To the left side the large ARB receiver was placed on a platform. The right side of the fuselage had a passageway from the radio man's position to up in that area behind the pilot. I'll get more pictures tomorrow. Right now this one shows the area directly under the turret. The collector for the turret cables is gone. The radios are in my storage area. The gauges that go below the big ART-13 radio are in storage. What you see against the bulkhead is the hydraulic system for the plane.

Albany Rifles
08 Jan 17,, 12:02
Looks great

Builder 2010
08 Jan 17,, 17:35
TBM3fan, having you as a reader and resource is priceless! I notice that all the knobs on the equipment are generally black. Leaving the faces of that equipment black would be, frankly, boring. So while painting them more interesting colors is not prototypical, it's certainly more fun to look at.

Keep those pictures coming.

There is a passageway from the radio compartment up behind the radio rack and into the cockpit.

Builder 2010
10 Jan 17,, 04:19
Late start but still productive. Built the torpedo and sprayed it with rattle-can Tamiya Natural Metal spray. Tomorrow I'll mask the nose and paint it insignia red. I also mounted the little support bracket for this load out option into the bomb bay ceiling. Then I remembered that I wanted to open an access panel in front of the firewall to show off the rear of the enging. I used the new fine razor saw I bought at MicroMark which worked very well to make very fine straight cuts with very little effort. After cleaning up the edges I glued some 0.080" X 0.010" Evergreen styrene strip as the backing edge that you see when these panels are removed. Often they're held with Dzus fasteners. I spaced out and drilled some faux mounting holes with a #75 drill. The holes are not in scale, but they'd be almost invisible in scale.


I test fit the engine in position and quickly found that the .010" thick new plastic held the firewall out of position and would have created a problem when joining the fuse halves. So I removed the same amount of material off the firewal so it restored the proper orientation. I did this by first scribing the offset line with a divider and then removed most of the material with the Dremel and a sanding drum...very carefully since the engine and all that details is essentially a finished product and I didn't want to destroy anything.


And here's the engine assembly test fit into final position... nothing glued. That panel removed gives enough view inside to show there's stuff going on.


The last thing I started was the gunner's seat and its seat belt PE, but didn't get far enough along to be photo-worthy. Tomorrow, I'll be getting into the gun turret full tilt.

11 Jan 17,, 00:07
TBM3fan, having you as a reader and resource is priceless! I notice that all the knobs on the equipment are generally black. Leaving the faces of that equipment black would be, frankly, boring. So while painting them more interesting colors is not prototypical, it's certainly more fun to look at.

Keep those pictures coming.

There is a passageway from the radio compartment up behind the radio rack and into the cockpit.

I believe tbmfan is being modest; if I'm not mistaken, he's actually done most of the work on that aircraft. If you've ever seen that aircraft (and I have, several times), it is pristine; I'm not a huge WWII buff, but my son is, and he insists on seeing that particular aircraft whenever we're onboard.

I have some older pictures of the TBM somewhere, I think they're on my computer at home; if I have a chance, I'll post them tonight.

Builder 2010
11 Jan 17,, 00:17
Looking forward to them. Didn't "work" today. Went with my wife to see a terrific movie, "Hidden Figures". Uplifting, well-done and thoughtful.

Builder 2010
12 Jan 17,, 04:34
Thanks guys!

In looking at the coloration of the Mk 13 and especially the rough cast appearance of the warhead, my coloration is pretty far off, unless it was going to be a museum display.

First thing I did was mask and paint the torpedo's nose Vallejo red. I forced dried the first coat and let the second coat air dry. I find Vallejo, unlike other acrylics, flashes off, but is still tacky (and easy to get fingerprints) for many hours (24). Tamiya dries without tackiness very quickly as does Model Master acrylics. Model Tech is somewhere in between. Life Color also dries quickly. So I set it aside and didn't mess around with it. I did place it in the bomb bay for this pic. This should get some weathering to make it a little more worldly. With the new info, I may go back and repaint this critical piece of the model.


Next up was the single Browning 50cal electric gun turret. It surprises me that the Avengers designers spent so much effort on making a fully capable electrically driven gun turret, but kept it at a single barrel.

This is a very nice feature of this model and how Trumpeter likes to engineer them. They don't leave anything out. Since some many layers needed to be laid up, and some of the parts buried in said layers were not interior green, I was forced to hand paint it as I went along so I could actually paint the insides and the differing colors.

With the pic of the real turret that TBF posted I was able to be confident with the turret colors.

Here's what I got done today. Clearly, I didn't get it all painted yet.


I tried something new, more or less successfully. I had reported that I bought those micro-tubes from Sprue Brothers and I always like to drill out gun barrels, especially in 1:32. I measured the barrel that was protruding from the heat shield and it was 0.038". One of the tubes was exactly the same diameter, but its i.d. was too big, but the next telescoping tube in the series looked good for the i.d. So I clipped the existing barrel stub and drilled it out in two steps to accept the larger tube, into which I inserted the smaller one. Came out pretty good.


Should have the turret finished up tomorrow.

I found this on the web built by Soren Wolf. Seems he had the same thoughts on the torpedo color as I do. I like how it looks and will probably leave it alone.


12 Jan 17,, 07:19
Got more inside pictures but no time tonight. One question is what version is this? TBF-1C, TBM-1C, TBM-3? If it is a -3 then there is one mistake I noticed in their model behind the pilot.

12 Jan 17,, 07:30
Unfortunately, I didn't find too many photos of the TBM (and I'm sure tbmfan has way more than I do; his name isn't tbmfan for nothing!), but I did find these two; of note is the torpedo sitting under the TBM in the second photo:



I also have some close-ups of some torpedoes they had onboard, if you're interested.

Builder 2010
12 Jan 17,, 17:34
I believe it's a TBM-3. Post everything you've got. Can't have too many pictures.

Builder 2010
13 Jan 17,, 01:06
When they say, "Gloss Sea Blue", they weren't kidding. I wonder how long the plane would be that shiny when in salt air. I'm making a reasonably clean machine so glossy would be okay for me.

I found that I installed the gun trigger box upside down. I couldn't quite figure out which way was up from the instructions and found the error when I attempted to install the bullet proof glass shield and there was no where to attach it. Another check of the instructions showed that it attached to the gun trigger box which was upside down. I removed it fairly easily, but broke the trigger handle off when trying to remove it. This required a drill job and some guitar string to reinforce it. It was a tricky job all the way around, but it finally was fixed.

All the rest of the parts of the turret were installed and the turret mounted to its ring. I removed paint in the roller path so the turret rotated freely. It does. I went over all the interior green areas with an alcohol/India ink wash to tone it down a bit. I lightened the paint on the armor shield top behind the pilot since it's in the sun all the time. I took a couple of status pics. All that's left to for the interior is the radio operator's seat, some doodads on the walls, the belly gun and then the tail wheel and its attendant apparatus. When I get into the tail wheel I will again be adding Eduard PE since I bought the exterior detail set. Nothing in these pics is glued into the fuse half.



I also glued in the instrument panel since it was time to do that.


Tomorrow could see the remaining interior stuff finished and we'll be ready to join the fuse halves. I do see a problem with a gap between the front fairing and the fuselage. I may fill thise with some styrene strip followed by Tamiya filler.

13 Jan 17,, 07:45
Interior shots

13 Jan 17,, 07:53
Couple more. Notice the missing panel behind the pilot. It was removed in the -3 version as a weight saving measure at the same time they upped the horsepower of the engine. At the same time the .30 cal stinger gun was eliminated. The -3E version had the ability to carry radar and has hard points for mounting the radar dome under a wing.

Next three show the smaller radios and some control heads I found. After that you have the APN-1 radio altimeter that goes right behind the pilot's back. Last is the big ART-13 that mounts under the turret.

13 Jan 17,, 07:56
The turrret

13 Jan 17,, 08:00
B&W during breakdown. Note there are a lot of cables on the turret.

Builder 2010
14 Jan 17,, 02:32
More great pictures! I'm a little overwhelmed looking at the quantity of cabling just to feed and control the turret. One part of me wants to pull out the stops and add more cables, but then the rational part of my brain says, "What are you going to actually see when the plastic dome is put on?" Not much I'm afraid. I've seen models where folks attempt to install every wire and tube, I've even done some of it at one time or another, but I want to finish this plane since I have so much to do for the railroad. A full-blown model like this could take over a year to build (Like the Missouri did). That being said, keep send those pictures.

Today, being Friday the 13th, was one of those days where I probably should have read a good book, since the quantum parts-sucking rift must have been hungry. I lost more parts to the rift in one day than I've lost in the last few months. Normally, 13s are my wife's and my lucky number. Both kids were born on 13s, I've had two jobs on the 13th, bought new cars, etc. But today, it wasn't so good.

It started with trying to add a stupid piece of PE on the back of the tailwheel strut. I removed the plastic nub as instructred by Eduard, bent the tiny piece and then attempted to CA it to the strut. Tried 3X until it went "Pwang", for the third time. I found it the first two times it took off. Last one, it was in the rift. I then attempted to make my own out of some brass off the PE frets. Again three attempts. I broke the two remaining #88 drills I had while attempting to insert a pin in the hinge point to provide something for the PE to hold onto. Then they too eventually took off into the rift. I gave up. No one, and I mean no one will ever know that this microscopic piece is not there.

Onto the tailwheel itself. The tire is some kind of semi-hard plastic, with an injected molded hub. The hub has a raised ring in the middle of its circumference which is supposed to engage in a similar groove in the center of the tire. Only thing is the tire doesn't give. I tried to press the hub into the tire in a vise and it wasn't working so well so I thought I would do what I did years ago to get vinyl tires onto very fragile wire wheels that were a hallmark of the 1/8 scale Pocher model car kits. I would heat the tires in hot water and they would go like butter without destroying hours of work creating the wheels with their individual spokes. So I decided to heat the tire slightly with the hot air gun. I was careful to blow downward on the tire to keep it from blowing away, but I forgot that the hub was sitting nearby. GONE! It was blown directly into the rift. It did not pass GO and did not collect its $200. I went over everything within an 8 ft radius. GONE.

This was a critical part so I resorted to turning another wheel out of brass on my miniature TAIG lathe. It lacks the spoke detail of the plastic one, but it's the right size and is again an obscure part that doesn't get much scrutiny.


I painted the insides of the tailwheel fork Vallejo Dark Sea Blue before gluing the other half on so it would be properly colored. I then assembled the rest of this complex assembly. To the front of the tailwheel bulkhead goes another frame that supports the belly machine gun. I put the gun together and then went to install it, but something was missing. The drawing shows a tab on the bottom that engages a spot of this frame, but that tab wasn't there. I don't remember chopping off when cutting the part from sprue. I'm usually very careful doing this and I use a good pair of flush cutters to do it. I thought maybe the instructions left out a step to attach the tab, but there were no parts left on any sprue that fit the description. So again, I was forced to jerry rig something or else the gun would not be on the model. I took a part of the sprue with a number tab on it and shaped it so it would do the job. The number is still visible, but will be hidden when the fuse is closed. The arrow shows this part.


All landing gear and gear wells on this model TBM is gloss sea blue like the rest of the aircraft so I painted the tail wheel side that color and next session will mask it and paint the inside parts interior green. I gave it a quick shot of Tamiya Primer since it really helps the Model Master acrylic hold onto the styrene. Then I fgave a quick two coats. I was going to use Microsol Liquid Mask, which I just purchased, but it said DON'T USE IT FOR WATER-BASED PAINTS. So I used Aleen's Tacky glue instead to mask the tire while I spraye the blue.


I put the tailhook together. The only part needing paint will be the hook itself (white and black stripes). The rest is buried in the tail and unseen. The hook is operable.


Lastly, I finish painted the cockpit right-side panel and glued it in place, glued in the left side panel that was made a couple of weeks ago, and put together and painted the radio operator's seat. Before closing up the fuse I have to build the rudder. This kit has workable hinges and the rudder must be installed when you're closing the fuse.


So, there you have it. Not much production for over threee hours of work.

Have a great weekend! And stay warm and dry!

Builder 2010
15 Jan 17,, 03:09
This is a rare Saturday post and has lots pics so it's going to be three posts.
This session was a lot more productive than yesterday's, not without its challenges though.

Started with completing the tailwheel assembly with interior painting interior green and painting the 30 Cal MG with semi gloss black. I then scraped paint of all the gluing surfaces.


I masked and painted the tailhook's zebra stripes. I tacked the ends of the tape (which I cut to narrow strips) to itself, but it proved prone to leakage and made for some delicate touch up painting.

Next was the rudder. Eduard calls out some microscopic PE to replace the plastic simulated linkage to the trim tabs. I knew looking at these parts that this wasn't going to end well. I hate when I'm right.

Look at them compared to the #11 Xacto blade. You were supposed to fold the ends over themselves and then fold them towards the middle. Not only couldn't I fold them, I couldn't even pick the part up to handle it and I have a pair of very nice expensive tweezers. I tried one and then gave up, realizing that it was such a small detail, it was effectively invisible unless someone picks up the model and stares at that spot... and they won't. Some PE is ridiculous. This was just such an example.

Trumpeter uses a strange PE bar that has a steel rod threaded through it as an actual hinge. The lower part of the rudder is hinged by a pin into the tail. This PE part drops into a slot on the fin which sort of captivates it when the fuze halves are put together. It works, but seems to come out of the slot very easily. I thought about burying it in medium CA. I think I'll do that for the others going forward.


There's another piece of Eduard PE glued to that apparatus in the fin. I don't know what the purpose of this feature is, but there's now PE details on both sides of it.


I always rough up the brass on the back side of PE, otherwise, CA may just pop off whenever it feels like it.

It was time to glue all of the interior pieces into the left fuze half. Prior to placing them, I also scraped all the paint off mating surfaces on all parts. I used the Touch-n-flow glue applicator to apply solvent cement to all the interfaces. I glued the radioman's seat with medium CA so it stayed put. So here's everything in an waiting for the other half.


I used Testor's tube cement applied with a toothpick to apply glue to the mating edges. I used various rubber bands to hold it all together, and then went back and used the Touch-n-Flow to add cement to the joints from the outside. There were a couple of trouble areas that needed addressing. The first was the cowl fairing gap that appeared on both sides. This is an engineering error since I read another build thread of this plane and the fellow had the same problem.


Builder 2010
15 Jan 17,, 03:12
The second problem was a narrow part of the fuze that had broken off some time ago and was in the quantum rift with the other parts lost off this project.


I fabricated a styrene piece to replace the lost fuze part. The part has a little less curvature, but it will work since it's hidden behind the cowl flaps.


For the cowl gaps I started by making styrene filler pieces and solvent cementing them into place. After they dried I sanded and filed them to good fits, and ended with fllling them with Tamiya Filler. Here's the filler piece.


After filing and sanding. I removed a lot of blue paint, but that should be okay to repaint when I do the whole deal.


And lastly, application of the filler. This will dry overnight before finishing. I filled all the other seams at the same time, but they were pretty good not needing very much.


Builder 2010
15 Jan 17,, 03:20
I wanted to see how the cowl fit and was a bit discouraged to see that it looks out of alignment, and there's nothing I can think of to fix it. It seems to stem from the same engineering error that had the cowl gap.


I may fabricate intake and oil cooler air trunks for the inside of the cowl to separate those areas from the cylinders. This was also done in that other build I reviewed. I'm also going to look at prototype pics to see if maybe the cowl wasn't centered, but I think it probably was.

When reviewing front view that TBMfan posted, I see that the real plane's lower cylinders are more exposed too, so I'm not going to worry about. My life is very simple now. I'm retired, I'm in good health, have a good marriage, successful kids, enough resources, so I can't complain if my only worry is about whether or not the cowl on my model airplane fits correctly. Need to keep things in perspective.

I used my new razor saw to open up another access panel to show off the cylinders of that very cool engine. I also stuck the propeller on to see if the angle was too bad. Notice, I didn't even trim of the attachment pips.


I have to decide whether I'm going to attach the access panels as if they were hinged with support rods or just leave them off. TBMfan... I need some guidance here. Are any of those panels hinged or do they remove completely?

A couple of other things happend that gave me pause. A rubber band broke off the front bomb bay actuator arm bracket. No big deal, got it back it reinforced with CA. The second was a little more scary. The turret plate was not seated correctly in the right fuze side and was keeping it pushed outward. I was able to spread the sides and pop it into position, but then the rotating part of the turret came out of its track. Luckily, I was able to take the elevating portion out of its trunnions, and work it all back into position. That was a close one, but it ended okay. Pretty soon I'll be starting on the wings.

Builder 2010
16 Jan 17,, 17:42
Had a rare working Sunday. Wife and daughter went to see "La La Land" (chick flick) and I got another work session in the shop.

I folded the PE liners, CA'd them to the outer bomb bay doors and painted the liners Chromate yellow. They fit nicely, but they're not going on until the plane is painted.

Terror struck!. The turret came out again and when I peered into the fuze's innards I see that the radioman's seat didn't lodge into the correct spot, but was upwards at a weird angle on top of the ammo box on the fuze side. So much for "fuze closing anxiety". And then I saw something much worse. The turret mounting ring was fractured AND it was not sitting against the fuze sides. Why? I checked the instructions to see if there was a clue to its orientation. There was, and I missed it. There's three lugs on the ring that captivate the turret; one on one end and two on the other. The end with the one lug faces foward. I had it facing backwards. I realized that the ring had one end wider than the other. I mistakenly thought that the wide part was foward. Nope. The fuze is actually a bit wider behind the ring.

To get this out while the fuze was glued together seemed impossible, but I persisted. I split the fuze a bit in front of the ring, used the fractered part as a way to manhandle the ring out after breaking the glue bonds holding it to the left fuze side. I got it out, reversed it and reglued it and fixed the broken fuze joints. It positioned the ring more centered under the opening AND it enabled the fuze to close more completely in front of the opening. I wondered why that joint kept popping open. Now I knew. Here it is correctly seated.


I'm leaving the turret off until the end of the build since that gun's going to get broken. I know I can snap it back in whenever I want to. Speaking of breaking guns, all this handliing ended up breaking the barrel off of the belly gun. I drilled and inserted brass 0.021" rod and re-glued it. It may break again, but not in that spot. I'll touch it up at the end.


I sanded and filed all the filled areas and then went back and re-scribed all the panel lines and rivet dots. After the primer goes on I'll see more areas needing work.


Next I attempted to create an intake trunk in the top of the cowl. Another builder did this so I should be able to also. I used my rarely-used pin profile copier to get the curve shape and made a cardboard template. I cut the pieces out of some styrene sheet and glued them in. The cowl didn't close at all.


I trimmed the trunk way back and added a floor to it. But the cowl still fits terribly.


I'm really bummed out about the cowl fit. The engine's orientation is making it impossible to get it right. In retrospect, there's no reason why the engine had to be glued to the shield when it was. It exposed the engine to lots of handling, and made it impossible to realign it for this specific reason.

So...I woke up this morning thinking about how to fix this. If I can cut the engine off of the shield, reshape the its back to bring the thrust line downward and then reglue the engine in a slightly lowered position, I could restore the geometry and get the front correctly fitted. I would use an epoxy to reattach the engine and would have the cowl fitted over it while it set so it would be in the right place. I just went downstairs and checked to see if I could get a razor saw behind the engine without breaking anything and I beleive I can. So stay tuned and we'll see how this works out.

Builder 2010
17 Jan 17,, 01:04
Today is a two post day since I posted earlier about Sunday's work. So... I tried (successfully) to sever the engine from the shield using a fine toothed Xacto razor saw. I had enough room between the exhaust ring and the shield. It came off without screwing anything up too badly. Once off, I had the chance to really see what was going on with the fit.


Using the Dremel with a sanding disc at low speed I ground off the old glue surface and then removed some stock from the upper side so the engine would tip upward starting the thrust line adjustment.

During all this handling, I dropped the engine and broke off the exhaust pipe extension and OF COURSE I couldn't find it. Another part into the rift... So I measured the other one and machined one out of brass. Again, having a small lathe is a real savior. I've lost count of the small model parts that I've created with this machine.


I drilled a -.032" hole in the back end and soldered a rod of the same side into it as a mounting stud. I then dipped the brass into a blackening solution to help it hold paint better.


After drilling a simiar hole in the plastic exhaust ring, I CA'd the new pipe extenison in. This enabled me to fit the engine back onto the shield. I had to relieve the cutouts for the exhaust outlet so it would snuggle down a little better.


That intake trunk was still interfering with the top cylinders so I ripped it all out. The trial fit showed a nicely centered engine.


In checking some drawings, the engine is, indeed, centered in the opening and the thrust line is directly down the middle of the airframe. So it had to be fixed. Go to Part B)

Builder 2010
17 Jan 17,, 01:07
And here's the cowl in place showing the cowl actually fitting squared up as it should.


To get the angles right I added 0.040" of styrene shim which I've cemented in place. I'm not going to mount the engine now. I'm going to finish the rest of the model and mount the engine as one of the last steps. If you're planning on tackling this model, I would leave the engine off until near the end. There's nothing in the way forcing you to mount it when the instructions say, and if you're super-detailing the engine, most of those parts are very fragile and having that engine hanging out there during all the subsequent assembly just invites damage.

The shim really puts the thrust line down the middle. You may also be able to adjust the thrust line early in construction by breaking an refitting the plate that the engine mounts glue to. It was right there that all this misalignment occurs.


Once again, waking up thinking about the problem found a workable solution. I have to admit, this one really had me stumped and annoyed since the cowl and the engine inside is a main focal point for a radial-powered aircraft. Having it all askew wouldn't work for me. It's not uncommon for early Trumpeter kits to have geometry problems. My grandson built their 1:32 F-18 Super Hornet and there was big fit problems in putting the fuze together.

And once again, you see how stress-free my retirement is when the worse thing I think about is the engine not fitting well on my ABM-3 model. Have to put things in perspective.

17 Jan 17,, 05:26
All engine panels are removable and attach via zeus fasteners. That brass thingy you mentioned at the back of the rudder can be seen in the tail photo. You can also see the elevators on the deck and the piece that bolts onto that part.

17 Jan 17,, 05:30
I don't know what all those little nubs represent on the lower cowling flaps where you show the first picture in part B of the exhaust. Those flaps have an in cabin control to open or close to help cool the engine. In my shot those flaps are smooth and used flush rivets.

18 Jan 17,, 01:43

There's another piece of Eduard PE glued to that apparatus in the fin. I don't know what the purpose of this feature is, but there's now PE details on both sides of it.


I always rough up the brass on the back side of PE, otherwise, CA may just pop off whenever it feels like it.

It is in line with the rudder trim tabs. It looks the spool for the trim cable.

Builder 2010
18 Jan 17,, 03:08
Just another discrepancy between the real world and a plastic model made in China.

Haircut day and other errands so not much time in shop. I did paint the new exhaust extension and touched up the remaining pipes. I added some mounting flanges for the cowl.

The fellow who's interacting with this theme on another Forum (Worldaffairsboard.com - Modeler's Forum) is the owner of a real Avenger which he is restoring. He says all the cowl parts are held on with Dzus fasteners and they are not hinged but come off entirely for service.

Lastly, I wrestled a small piece in place that joins the fuze halves at the front edge of the bomb bay. This is a good example of adding to parts count where it adds no value. Instead in made joining the fuze much more problematic. I had to squeeze the fuze together with lots of rubber band tension and then use lots of CA to get the joint to hold the fuze together. It should have been cast as part of the fuze. Furthermore it would have strengthened that very narrow part at the cowl which, as you can see broke again. I repair it again after I do some filling on the new part. In front of this part goes a bottom cooling flap that I'm gluing in the closed position. That too could have been made part of the fuze casting. Extra parts count is only a benefit when it adds detail WHILE NOT DETRACTING FROM BUILD CAPABILITY.

The brass exhaust pipe looks as good (if not better) than the plastic one (on the right).


I may have made the mounting flanges just a bit wide, but if they're too close to scale size, they almost disappear. Sometimes details need to be exaggerated a bit to be seen. The TBM owner said that he was surprised that Trumpeter added raised rivets on the cowl flaps. On the 1:1 TBM they're flush rivets. Speaking of exaggeration. Those rivets would be close to a half in high. Fastener holes are 0.021" = .67" in full size, which isn't too big.


And here's that pain-in-the-butt part that should have been molded in. I had to pull at least a 1/16" to close it up enough to get it stay in the opening.


The part is not situated well and will need more filing and filling tomorrow to get it right.

The second piece went in better since the first one was now holding the fuze together. All this messing with the rubber bands broke out that filler piece I made. AND that piece was too long when the fuze halves were pulled closer together. That's why it broke out. It was bending way too much. Building a model airplane shouldn't be this hard!


Builder 2010
18 Jan 17,, 03:14
That piece also looks like a bearing for the cross elevator shaft. Both elevators are tied together and it appears that the tie-in goes through this piece.

18 Jan 17,, 04:39
Look at the picture again. The shaft for each elevator (red line) bolts to the rudder (red line) pe part you are talking about.

18 Jan 17,, 05:04
Look at the picture again. The shaft for each elevator (red line) bolts to the rudder (red line) pe part you are talking about.

D'oh. Didn't know the horizontal stab was so high up on the vertical stab. Great picture of the attach point for the elevator.

Builder 2010
19 Jan 17,, 01:58
So, is that a bearing that rotates as the elevator moves? Must be tricky getting to the fasteners. When one is one I can imagine that it's not too hard. When the second one goes on it would appear to block the fasteners from being accessible.

Good day/bad day...

Started with finishing up that repair in the lower fuze front. I rebuilt that missing section using a piece of solid styrene shaped to the curve. This was a much better solution than the thin piece. It had much more surface area for gluing and after sanding, fits really nice and restores that lower curve. It does not interfere with the cowl attachment.


I then put some filler on the other bottom panel. It took two appications to get the contours right. I redrilled the rivets after I finished filing and sanding.


It doesn't look like much, but should be okay with paint.

I started completing the fuze details with the application of the glazing using Forumla 560. This PVA cement doesn't craze or fog clear parts. It's not as strong as solvent cement, but much more well behaved.


I have Eduard's masks which will be applied shortly to protect the glazing during the rest of the assembly and painting.

Next up anti-glare top of the instrument panel with some clear gun sight parts. The little tiny round lens dropped into the hole without problem, but the slanted beam splitter didn't like my tweezers. It launched once, but didn't make it to the quantum rift and I found it. 2 seconds later it launched again, and this time it was vaporized and gone from this universe. I made another one out of some clear sytrene. These were both attached with 560.


Builder 2010
19 Jan 17,, 02:04
Onward to the wings. The kit includes some PE strips that provide an edge extensions on where the folding wings will overlap for aerodynamics. The usual PE problems were there but I prevailed. Clamping and pre-bending helped along with accelerator.



Lastly, I started working on the control surfaces with the ailerons. Again, the darned rift got a part. There are little nylon pieces that provide the axle for the PE hinge parts so these surfaces can move. The first aileron went together well and made me a little over-confident, the next one had a nylon piece that hated the tweezers. Again, it flipped out and I found it. It must have been unhappy and again, in a very short time it flew out again and man... it was really gone. I searched for 15 minutes and got nowhere. It's a part I can't scratchbuild so I just left that hinge (middle) off, and that will be that. Bummer! Since the parts go in from the inside, even if I ever find it, I no longer can get it in place. Again, sometimes the engineering on this kit is just a bit too tricky. Tamiya doesn't do it this way.


I'll keep going on the wings tomorrow. I'm noodling a way to make a replacement hinge connector either out of brass or styrene. I see what my brain says when I'm waking up tomorrow morning. That's when I usually get my best ideas.

Builder 2010
20 Jan 17,, 03:23
After taking a bottle of Formula 560 back to the store where I bought it and getting another (it was solid as a rock), I got to work on the wing-fold mechanism. I had read in another build that the nylon hinges and the steel hinge pins did not fit well. Nope! They sure didn't. The pins are 1 mm. and the holes have to be at least 30% bigger than that. It makes the wing folding very sloppy. So I decided to make brass bushings and use brass pins. At first I tried using K-S tubing with a .062" i.d., but was have trouble cutting off a piece that was only .047" long (the thickness of the hinge plate). It meant having to machine them.

I first had to adjust the centering of the tailstock. In the little TAIG lathe, the tailstock is on lateral ways clamped by a set screw. It was a bit off center, just enough to cause my center drill and subsequent drills to wander off-center. I drilled the i.d. first with the .032" drill for the brass wire I was using for the hinge. Then I machined the i.d. back just far enough to part off the first one. I found that if I machined too much, it got a little fragile and didn't cut off so well. But using my parting tool wasn't working so I used the digital caliper to space of the .047" and used my newly acquired ultra-fine razor saw to part of the piece. To keep the little tiny bushing from going into the Rift, I placed a piece of brass rod into the hole so the part off bushing would stay put. This worked great! And I lost no parts for the first of the two assemblies.

Here was the first bushing pressed into the hinge.


Here was a bushing after separating it from the rest of the brass.


Here was one half of the hinge with both bushings in place.


And the assembled hinge with a temporary pin. The pin will need to be cut to length. The hinge moved smoothly with no play at all. It will make it so I can actually operate the wing folding without worry.


Tomorrow, I'll machine another four bushings and assemble the second hinge assembly.

Builder 2010
21 Jan 17,, 00:46
Thought about machining more bushings and decided to try again with tubing to modify the right wing's hinge. This time, instead of attempting to cut a tiny piece of tubing 0.047" long, I used the nylon hinge itself as a guide for the razor saw. I pushed the tube into opened up hole until it reached the other side and sliced it flush with the hinge. A light touch with a fine file squared it up.


That was for the outer hinge lugs. For the narrower space for the inner hinges, I just put the tube in to fill the entire space and again sawed it off at the hinge. The end result is a very clean installation and it was much, much quicker. The K-S tubing i.d. is sized for the 0.032" brass wire.


Next up was to build the wing machine guns. There's a little Eduard etched plate that replaces the dubious details on the receiver top. One of the easiest PE jobs on the plane.


I then assembled all the parts making up the two guns. Only challenging part is the three-piece barrel. There's a long extension, a transition piece and the gun that get glued together. Gun must have been pretty accurate with a barrel that long.


Builder 2010
21 Jan 17,, 00:51
Now onto some more challenging PE. Eduard provides a whole suite of PE to simulate the real look of inner wing sheet metal. All of the exposed surfaces are covered with etched sheets and then all of the ribs and angles are replaced/added to really jazz this part up that will be seen when the wings are folded.



This is what it looks like with the wing skin in place (no yet glued). To me, doing this kind of detail work is what PE is all about. You simply can't replicate the delicacy of an aircraft structure with the thick plastic wedges in the kit. I really was surpised how well all of this metal fit and I made good use of my folding apparatus to make clean folds on all those pieces. There was another piece of folded PE on an inside wall of the wheel well in this same piece, but on the other (not shown) side.


Monday, I'll do the same magic on the right wing. It's nice to get one under my belt since I now know how it all goes together. You must make sure you align the tiny engraved grooves on the bottom and back plates. The angle PE sits in these grooves with helps align them and provides more surface for the CA to hold. When I first installed the back piece, it was off slightly and the grooves didn't align. I popped it off without wrecking it and got it aligned correctly.

21 Jan 17,, 01:09
Those three braces add a nice touch. However, and there always is a however, the entire area under the inner wing is open to the fuselage. I'll see if I have a picture into the inside or not. reason I remember is because it was a bit.h to get in there to clean. The lower edge is also more elaborate with a horizontal panel, hydraulic check valve and wider fairing.

Builder 2010
21 Jan 17,, 01:13
Can you get some pics of the piping around the wing fold mechanism? I'm going to try and add some more "fun" in that area. Your pictures are wonderful and I'm very pleased that you're following this build.

21 Jan 17,, 04:58
Here are some

Builder 2010
21 Jan 17,, 17:24
Oh boy! Those pictures are great! Interesting that on the restored version, the inners are interior green, and on your plane it's all sea blue. From what I've read, the dark sea blue planes were all sea blue including wheel wells, landing gear, etc. But the restored one clearly shows what's what. Armed with these images, I think I can do some damage with little bits and pieces in that fold area. That articulated rod with the universal joint...is that the hydraulics that open and close the wings? In the kit there's a simulated piece that does this, but it must be removed if you want to fold the wings. I wonder if that could be made workable in model form?

How do the control inputs get to the ailerons?

Is that one little lug with the hydraulic pin all that holds the wing from unfolding in flight? That's a bit scary...

21 Jan 17,, 19:59
Yes, that one lug on the outer half fits into a pin at the front of the hydraulic cylinder to hold the wing in place. You can see one of the timing check valves down by the lug to control the exact sequence of events so you don't rip anything like the flaps which have a latch to meld the inner with outer half of the flaps. The handle below the cylinder is obviously to open the wings manually which is how I do it till my F-4 Phantom hydraulics expert rebuilds the hydraulic system.

The inner part of the wings is always body color which means dark sea blue or white. The interior green is incorrect.

The ailerons are under hydraulic control.

Builder 2010
21 Jan 17,, 21:49
The hand lever just disengages the pin? How difficult is it to move the wings against the pistons in the cylinders. Where does the hydraulic fluid go? I assume that in your plane, all the fluid is drained so you can work on everything. Again, these pictures and your experience is what makes writing this stuff every day totally worth the effort. I'm going to post some of these on the other sites, if it's okay with you.

22 Jan 17,, 03:06
Yes, the hand lever disengages the pin with a forward tug. To open manually you need one person at the pin, two-three people at the tip of the wing (tall), and then one person at the back where the flaps of the folding wing meet the large flap of the inner wing. Just inside the meeting of those two halves is a catch that locks the two halved together to act as a unit. There is also a hydraulic timing check valve down in there. My left hand side does leak. Anyway that catch must be moved by hand otherwise as the wing comes down, and the two halves want to separate, bad things can happen besides a loud snap. Once all is done in order the wing moves down half way and will remain there. One person can push the wing back and attach the holding cable to the elevator. There is a picture of the wing end on page 2. Picture below is the elevator end.

Hydraulic oil has a reservoir above the pump which is in the back half of the plane under the turret. There is a picture of that on page 1.

By the way did you notice the picture I had of the pilot's left side of the cockpit. Those control dials happen to be half red/half green for the top one, front one also with black dial over, and the inside one is half white/half black. None of them are all red.

22 Jan 17,, 03:08

22 Jan 17,, 03:10
Continued 2

22 Jan 17,, 03:12
Continued 3

Builder 2010
24 Jan 17,, 01:28
More great pictures! Some of those small details are in the kit, some are not.

I started piping the fold area. I'm using that micro tubing to fake the fitting. I believe there are some resin plumbing fittings that I saw at the hobby shop. I have to check them out before I get too far into the weeds. But, even so, when painted, it should look reasonably complicated. After all, we're just shooting for the illusion of gadgetry, not a workable product.

The tubing size is ridiculous, and this wasn't the smallest size. The smallest telescopes into this one. For the junction block I actually drilled two cross holes into a one-size larger tube to insert the small tube. All is held with CA. I actually entertained the thought to solder these connections. I held that thought for about 5 milliseconds. I scraped all the molded details which this special chisel from MicroMark.



Builder 2010
25 Jan 17,, 00:26
One of my readers on Fine Scale Modeling Forum (where I'm also posting this simultaneously) claimed that the flaps are hydraulic, but the ailerons were operated by push rod. Is that correct? If not I need you to set him straight.

I finished (as much as I'm going to) putting piping on the left wing joint.


I decided to go with stripped wire insulation from the 24 AWG wiring since the tubes needed to look flexible like hoses and not pipes. I'm going to paint it all dark blue so, even though the color matches the museum version with the red piping.

It took two work sessions to do one joint. The right side should go faster now that I actually know what I'm doing.

25 Jan 17,, 17:49
I'm going to paint it all dark blue so, even though the color matches the museum version with the red piping.

First, the museum version is wrong. Those particular lines happen to be fabric covered and are black. I masked them off when painting the plane so they were not contaminated.

Builder 2010
26 Jan 17,, 00:45
I'll paint them black.

I'll be taking some time off from the TBM project. The laser cut parts for the Bernhiem 1870 Distillery model arrived today and I have to build it for a client. It's going into the Heaven Hill Evan Williams Bourbon Experience here in downtown Louisvile. Here's the photo from which I designed the model, and the one that's sitting on my railroad. While I've covered building the prototype in all its gory details on my other thread on the model railroad build, here's just a quick refresher about it.

The old picture hangs in lobby of Heaven Hill's Lousiville Distillation Plant. It was one of Isaac Bernheim's distilleries and the picture dates from 1870 and existed in Pleasure Ridge Park (a S.W. Louisville suburb) and was razed during Prohibition. We think it's the only extant picture.



Picture was imported into SketchUp where I produced a scaled 3D image. This was then exported to Illustrator to make 3-view working drawings which were then laser cut to make the "kit". Model is mostly MDF, Masonite, thin ply or Laser Board. All the fancy Victorian stonework is layered ply.

The prototype took many months to complete due to working through lots of kinks. This next kit should go togehter much faster based on the number of errors I found and fixed, the reduction in parts count and the use of 1/4" MDF, istead of 3/16 Masonite for the main body. The MDF is smooth on both sides with enabled the bricks to be engraved on both sides eliminating a lot of overlay pieces to add bricks to the back edges of certain parts.

One change I'm contemplating is to paint and grout the laser-engraved bricks while the walls are still flat and unassembled. It's much easier to squeegee all the excess joint compound with flat walls, instead of trying to scrap it out of inside corners.

The laser cutting is being done by River Leaf Models. I'm in discussion with them about the possibilities of offering the Bernheim Distillery as a kit in their line up. Once you have correct drawings, it doesn't matter whether you make one or one hundred copies on the laser. It's all variable cost.

A multi-part article on its design and construction is being published in the next issues of Railroad Model Craftsman.

27 Jan 17,, 02:59


In the first photo the hole located between the star and the bar. It looks like a hole we have on our Tora Tora Tora Kate which is T-6/SNJ with a couple of fuselage plugs and the tail of a BT-13. To lift the tail MX thread a steel rod through the holes in the fuselage and lift with jack, hoist or any anybody foolish enough to be in the vicinity. Is that the what the hole is for?

Builder 2010
28 Jan 17,, 00:34
Well... there's a slight hiatus on the Avenger Hiatus. A couple parts of the Distillery needed to be re-cut due to some minor errors I made on the drawings so I had another day to work on the Avenger and got the other wing joint piped. Took much less time to do the right hand wing joint than the left due to that wonderful learning curve and actually knowing what I was doing.

This time I drilled and installed the micro pipe fittings before joining it to the joint.


Then, when I went to install it, I realized that I drilled the holes on the wrong side of the cylinder. So I cut off the mounting lug and glued it in correctly. Without the lug, the joint was weak, but with medium CA in the slot, secured it well enough.

The brass wire I'm using for the hydraulics is from a wire net wrapped around bottles of Rioja Spanish red wine. When I removed those nets, I immediately realized that this was a nice small guage brass that had modeling usage. I was right. It's a bit tougher than copper wire of the same guage and less difficult than the guitar string.

Here is an intermediate shot showing the early piping.


And now with the rubber hoses added to the metal piping.


And here are both wing joints ready to be installed and painted.


So with this done, and the new distillery parts expected next week some time, I may or may not contiue working on the Avenger. If I can, I will post the results.

29 Jan 17,, 03:54

In the first photo the hole located between the star and the bar. It looks like a hole we have on our Tora Tora Tora Kate which is T-6/SNJ with a couple of fuselage plugs and the tail of a BT-13. To lift the tail MX thread a steel rod through the holes in the fuselage and lift with jack, hoist or any anybody foolish enough to be in the vicinity. Is that the what the hole is for?

To lift the tail only, one positions a 1 1/2 inch steel tube, through the lift hole you see at the rear until it sticks out two feet on either side. Then slip on padded hoisting hooks onto the tube on each side, close to the fuselage and then lift.

29 Jan 17,, 04:15
One of my readers on Fine Scale Modeling Forum (where I'm also posting this simultaneously) claimed that the flaps are hydraulic, but the ailerons were operated by push rod. Is that correct? If not I need you to set him straight.

Ok, flaps are hydraulic. Ailerons use several pushrods with a bellcrank. The pulley system used is pretty much hidden behind the wing hinge rod. Aileron tabs used a flexible shaft and are controlled by a round dial on the control panel to the left of the pilot.

Builder 2010
29 Jan 17,, 18:58
That's a good diagram. It really shows the construction of that middle bracket that supports the ends of the pushrods. So... pulleys not hydraulics. Is any of that handbook available on line... cheap?

Another rare Saturday work session and I finished up the inner wing PE. I was then able to attach the two lower wing sections together with the newly piped hinge assembly. Well look at that. I was able to upload directly. It was right in front of my eyes. I was always looking at the icon bar for the insert and not at that big (upload) box at the bottom.

The placing of the PE was certainly easier this second time around. Isn't it always? Notice the tiny little PE bracket with a PE gear-looking thing and a brass rod. Don't know what it's for, but it certainly took more time to install than it was worth. Sometimes this really little stuff drives me nuts.


The lower halves of the wings are joined through the hinge pieces. It has enough gluing surface to be pretty secure. I moved it back and forth and with the new bushings is very stable and works well.


You can see how the fold brings the flaps very close together. One of the timing valves is to ensure that the flaps clear one another so they don't be broken when the wing swings by.

Next up was creating and positioning the flap hinges. This time I attempted to medium CA the PE hinges into their slots since I now know that closing the wing on top isn't dependable enough to hold the hinges in place.


Lastly, I positioned the 50. cal in its spot to see how it all fits and to determine what should be painted and what should be ignored. I will leave some parts unpainted that will be completely obscured when the wings are glued together.


Since the replacement parts for the distillery won't be here until late next week, I will get some more TBM work done. At the rate the assembly's going, I might get ready for paint by the end of next week. There's more PE brackets going on the fold area of the upper wing half, but since I'm get better at it, shouldn't take too long (famous last words...). The landing gear have Eduard PE brake lines, but I'm thinking that I will use iron wire which is much easier to handle and less brittle. PE simulating wire is much worse than wire simulating wire.

29 Jan 17,, 23:27
That's a good diagram. It really shows the construction of that middle bracket that supports the ends of the pushrods. So... pulleys not hydraulics. Is any of that handbook available on line... cheap?

You are talking about the 664 page Erection and Maintenance Handbook for the TBM-3 Airplane. On line in various places. No download is free from what I can tell. Cds run around $140 a copy. Mine I got back in 1998.

Builder 2010
30 Jan 17,, 02:24
Well then, I will leave it to the fellows that own an actual airplane, not for guys like me building a toy one. I hate to admit, but even scale models are sort of toys. Actually one could argue even owning a real one is sort of a toy. At least if I wanted one, that's what my would say.

Builder 2010
01 Feb 17,, 02:49
While I did work on Saturday to finish up the PE on the other wing root, I didn't post, but got more done today. Basically what I didn't get done was get the flap hinges to work. The design is awkward and doesn't really work. I attempted to stabilize all the floating pieces with CA, but just got a mess. After messing with the pins and the PE hinges, I decided to scrap it and glue the flaps closed since I'm going to display with the wings folded and the flaps would not be hanging open. The hinge rods should have somehow snapped into their slots, not just lay there hoping that the upper wing will hold it all in place. Today I started working on the upper wings. These too have their PE enhancements some from the kit and a lot from the Eduard set. First there were two walls to install in the wheel well. Last week I cut the parts for one wing ahead of when I was going to use them thinking, "I won't lose them". Famous last words! Of course I lost one. So I cobbled one together out of styrene sheet, added a raised strip and marked and drill the rivet marks.


In the wing root, the PE lined both the bottom and side of the space with all those webs. In the wing body (top), Eduard did not include a bottom and you had to fill the slots to receive the plastic webs in preparation to receive the PE wedges. Instead of piling in filler and then sanding it all off, I used styrene strip to fill the bulk of the space, and then use some filler to clean it up.


I used a razor saw to trim the strips down almost level so I reduced the amount of filing needed to make them flush.


After this pic was taken I added the Tamiya filler. I'll sand it tomorrow.

While all this was drying, I saw that there was some more PE to be added on the fuze. There were two PE overlays to add more relief to the tail skid area, and then a folded piece which was supposed to have a piece of plastic rod to add as a snubber to control the downward drop of the tail hook.


Instead of the plastic rod, I drilled the PE to accept a 0.021" brass rod. I also did not use CA on this, but epoxied it with J-B Weld 5-Minute Epoxy. It cured much more securely than CA which has been letting go on a lot of the brass overlays that concerns me. I scratch the back of the brass pieces to provide more "tooth" for the CA to grab, but it still doesn't like to hold metal all that well. The epoxy worked really well, it's just not instant.


I feel bad about scrapping the hinges, but with folded wings you're not going to be expecting the flight surfaces to be moving at all.

Builder 2010
03 Feb 17,, 04:11
Worked today finishing up the Eduard PE on the outer wings. There are more gussets in the outer wing. The last two are very small with the very last one, almost microscopic. On the first wing I attempted, both flew into the rift. I did get them both on the second one and was quite surprised that I did. When folded, these details are not easy to see. When un-folded, they're buried in the wing. Notice that I drilled the plastic behind the open hole on the wall PE. AMS rearing it's head again.


I painted those inner wing areas dark sea blue now since they'll be very hard to air brush when assembled. Tomorrow I'll pick out the silver details in the joint area and paint the flexible hoses rubber black.


While this was all drying, it was time to work on the main landing gear. I reinforced the main shaft with a piece of 0.021" brass rod, and then after assembling the oleo links, drilled the their pivot points and again used the brass wire to reinforce and make the joint more realistic.


On the opposite side of the wheel hub is a tie-down ring. The first one I was going to place blasted out of my tweezers, but lo and behold, I actually found it. I glued it in and carefully glued in the second. I wanted to take a picture and guess what? The first ring glue joint had let go and it disappeared again. This time it successfully went into the Rift and was lost. So, even though I had found it and glued it in, it still disappeared. So I made one out of brass that luckily was exactly the same gauge. I took the opportunity to put the brass all the way out to the other end, thereby strengthening the wheel hub.


There were tiny nuts and washers that Eduard wanted me to glue on the pivot ends of the oleo links. I actually tried to put these on. They were so small that my very expensive jeweler's tweezers could barely grab them. One actually got stuck under my fingernail. Ultimately, I realized that any detail so small that magnification was needed to see it, wouldn't be missed on the model. You've got to draw the line sometimes.

The last thing I did was add the gear doors. There's a little Eduard folded PE bracket that goes onto the top of the door. Nice little detail...


With this done, the hiatus has to begin again. The additional parts for the distillery arrived today and I'll be working on that project until its completion (or when paint is drying).

10 Feb 17,, 07:17
Okay, dug up my torpedo pictures from the Hornet; these were the various torpedoes they've had on display over the last 10 years or so. The little one on the bench is (I believe) a helicopter-dropped weapon, since early helicopters couldn't carry that much (tbm probably knows more about that than I do):






There's one more photo, but I'll have to post that in a separate entry.

10 Feb 17,, 07:26
I'm pretty sure this is the same torpedo that was at the bottom of the magazine in the first pictures, just 5 years later:


Builder 2010
10 Feb 17,, 16:37
Thanks for the great pics. So they can be green on green, gray on gray, bare metal, and probably one with a red nose like I'm using.

With the torpedo up inside, you'll have to pick up the model to look inside unless I sit it on a mirror which isn't a bad idea since picking this beast up invites disaster.

Builder 2010
11 Apr 17,, 22:42
Well... the Bernheim project for Heaven Hill Distilleries is complete and waiting for delivery. It is supposedly going to be on display at their Bourbon Experience attraction in Downtown Louisville.


So today, after a little cleanup, I went back to work on the TBM. I'd like to finish that up over the next couple of weeks because I have some more big model railroad projects to complete.

Today, I glued in the main gear, completed the tail feathers and then glued on the main wing tops. Before I left it, I applied Tamiya filler to any gaps and let it dry overnight.


I was able to use Trumpeter's questionable hinging method on the elevators and it worked. There's a very fragile plastic rod that attaches the right and left elevators to syncronize their movement. It also worked, but it's really fragile and probably shouldn't be played with.

I need to detail the main gear now that they're installed, and attach the wings and bomb bay doors. There's a few added details like antennas and then it will be time to mask and paint this beast.

Builder 2010
13 Apr 17,, 02:26
Today I got the main landing gear decked out with their hydraulic and brake lines. I used foil to "chrome" the oleo struts and wine bottle foil for the tubing clamps on the structs. I had a choice of 0.016" or 0.010" iron wire to use. I chose the larger since it would show up better when it was all painted. The large scales out to 1/2" and the smaller to .31". I don't think the scale brake lines were a half inch.


The wine bottle material is a bit thick and you have to overlap it a bit to get it to adhere right. Painted you won't notice it. And these gear get painted the same dark sea blue as the rest of the craft.

I sanded down yesterday's filler and made the small leading edge seams sand made them disappear. I also glued in the ailerons and flaps on the main wings and then snapped them home. As I noted before, I completely gave up on getting the main wing flight surfaces workable with those Trumpeter hinges. The wings will be folded so all the hinge details would be on the inside away from the viewer.

You need no glue to fasten the main wings. They literally snap in and will not come out without breaking a lot of stuff.


Tomorrow when I come back from the doc's I'll finish up adding all the remaining doodads and start getting it ready for painting. Lots of Eduard glazing masks to apply...

I had an episode with atrial fibrillation that lasted for about 11 days. I got a beta blocker and blood thinner to reduce the impact and then 10 days ago it just stopped and the engine was firing normally. I'm going to get an ECG tomorrow to see if my heart has converted back to sinous rythym. If it has, I'm not sure why that is, or what if anything, you have to do going forward.

Builder 2010
18 Apr 17,, 00:18
So... the ECG showed my heart is now beating normally and there's no really sound reason why it's doing so, but I'm not arguing. On Friday, I started the canopy masking process. The back and mid-canopies are supposed to be glued together. Instead of using Hypo-cement which would have controlled the glue better, I chose (unwisely) to use the applicator brush in the Tamiya glue bottle. And this is what resulted.


Needless to say, I was disgusted.

So I let it dry overnight.

Saturday I got in the shop and did some TBM work. I sanded the damaged canopy as best I could and then dipped it into Pledge Floor treatment with Future and hoped for the best. I also started using those wonderful Eduard canopy masked to cover all the intricate glazing. I completely masked the airframe using wet paper towels to plug the big areas and Tamiya masking tape for the smalller ones.


Today, I found the now-cured canopy to be better, but not close to perfect. I decided that it was as good as it was going to get and masked it. The Eduard masks are incredibly accurate and if you position them correctly they fit very well. Don't be afraid to pull them off and reposition them. The adhesive dosn't lose its grip and they will still stick just fine even after several attempts. Most impressive were the ones for the windscreen and the gun turret.


Burnish them down well with a burnishing tool (if you have one) and they don't leak. Just to be sure, I hit all of them first with Tamiya clear spray to seal the edges. The backsides are completely masked with Tamiya tape. I believe Tamiya tape and Eduard's masks are made from the same material.


First color that goes on is interior green. Believe it or not, I just learned this trick recently. I always wondered how guys would get the inside colors on... masking inside? Really? This was airbrushed with Model Master Acrylic.


After force drying this coat, I sprayed several light coats of Vallejo "Steel Blue) which is their name for Dark Sea Blue. Again I forced dried it so I could remove the tape today.

Builder 2010
18 Apr 17,, 00:25
While the green was drying I shot the airframe with Tamiya Grey Primer outside to give more tooth to the Vallejo acrylic which followed and to prime any bare metal that was still left like around the landing gear details.


After pulling the tape, I was very impressed with the accuracy of the masks. They really worked well.


In looking at this pic I realize that I neglected to paint the little triangular window that separates the cabin from the guner's area. I hate to do tiny jobs with the airbrush since it takes just as long to clean it as to spray the part (or longer). Here's the backside of all the glazing showing the interior green. Pretty slick!


I sprayed the entire airframe the Vallejo blue. It wasn't spraying particually well and the spray pattern was very narrow, but after several force-dried coats, I got it covered. There were a couple of missed spots that I noticed after drying and I hand-brushed those for that same airbrush cleaning issue.


Vallejo paints, even though they're no longer shiny, are not dry yet. It takes a good 24 hours for the paint to lose its tackiness and be completely capable of being touched without paint damage. So all of this will dry overnight. I need to get more clear gloss spray since that's the next step prior to decaling and any weathering I'm going to do. With the dark blue most weathering won't show very much. Besides, I'm not building this as a war-weary craft. In fact, I've been reading various threads about weathering and the condition of most war machinery has a lot to do with who the crew chief and the rest of the chain of command was. In some instances, the machinery was always spotless and others not so. In the modern Navy, most craft are very clean. They're kept that way out of pride, but more so since it's much easier to spot leaks and their source when the machine is basically spotless.

Last thing I did was spray the prop tips yellow, force dry and then mask them. I then sprayed Tamiya gloss black over the entire surface. After force drying, I pulled the tape, and was satisfied with the results. Tomorrow I'll mask the black and spray bare metal on the hub and polished metal on the prop pitch piston cover. Having the gloss black as a base coat makes for better bare metal finishes.


To facilitate handling the prop I clamped it into a pin vise. We're getting close to the end of this project.

Builder 2010
20 Apr 17,, 01:39
Yesterday, I masked the prop hub and sprayed it with rattle can Tamiya natural metal. I then intended to use the buffing metal paste for the hydrodynamic piston hub. If you all recall, I said that I'm not actually a patient man. I am persistent. My lack of patience always gets me in trouble. In this case, I attempted to do the buffing paste before the natural metal was set. I thought it was, but it wasn't AND because it's a solvent-based it started to melt away the gloss black below creating a mess. I removed all the black on the hub, and resprayed the natural metal. Then, after really letting it dry, applied the past successfully. Here's the results. The hub is reasonably shiny, but it could have been better.


I had a little residue left on the paper towel I was using and I rubbed it on the prop's leading edges to give it a little wear.

I sprayed all the blue stuff with the Pledge with Future Acrylic to create the gloss for the decals. This plane actually was gloss sea blue so it will get another coating after the deals are in place. I covered it while drying, but still ended up with a lot of dust in the surface which made me not happy. I used some steel wool to knock it down a bit, but it's not really good.

The radio mast was a flimsy styrene part that butted up to the center canopy rid. Not having much support, I was afraid it wouldn't perform very well so I made a brass part with a tang on the bottom that would epoxy into a hole in the rib. Unfortunately, when I finished drilling a 0.031" hole, the rib broke in two. I then repaired this by epoxying a brass bar underneath which really reinforced it.


I then epoxied the brass mast in place and it will cure overnight.

I applied the "Hamilton Standard" prop decals. I needed to drill a hole in the wheel hubs to accept the new brake lines.


I also had overlooked putting in the wing fold lugs on the outboard wing tips. This little PE part had a tab that was supposed to engage in the box in the wing. With the wings glued together the box was no longer accessible. So I folded the tab over on itself and epoxied them into their respective opening. That problem solved.


I airbrushed the assembled wheels, a triangular panel that opens when the wings are folder and the little piston assemblies that are simulating the rams that open and close the wings. It was then time to apply decals.


I had trouble with those wing tip decals. They were very delicate, and being Cartograph, they had no added film extending beyond the graphic so they kept tearing. I also had a similar problem with the fleet insignia on the tail with one of those cross Shelalies on the bottom tearing off. I was able to get them back together.

There are lots of stencils, but they're basically invisible against the dark blue so I'm not wasting time putting them on. I installed several and you can't see them.

Tomorrow, I'll overcoat it again with clear gloss to blend it all together. I will try to control the dust better. I think it was on the plane when I sprayed it.

Builder 2010
21 Apr 17,, 00:12
I've been exercising on the bike and elliptical every two days (or trying to) and today was one of those days so I didn't get into the shop until after 3:00, so I didn't get enough done, but I got some stuff done.

First I painted the new brass radio antenna support and the brass reinforcement bar beneath.


I painted those triangular access panels that open to enable the wings to fold with the inside interior green and the outside deep sea blue. I painted the running lights will go on after everything's done. I painted the back sides chrome silver and the lenses either Tamiya clear green or red. I also painted chrome silver the inside of the area on the wing where the four lights will go. The tip lights get covered by a streamlined clear part. There's another light that goes on the dorsal fuselage that stays clear which also got the chrome back treatment.


The only thing I paint with these two colors are lenses, therefore these two bottles last for years. There's no solid pigment so they don't dry out.

I picked out some details on the airframe that needed doing such as the red stick in the wing fold area that is the manual release handle for the wing fold lock and a couple of silver details. According the to prototype very little is anything but deep sea blue. I'm going to paint the hydraulic hoses flat black along with the brake lines on the main gear. I need to paint the walk ways one the wings with flat clear. Right now they're very glossy which they would not be.

I carefully glued on the gyro compass into position inside the top of windscreen. I used Hypo Cement to give a very controlled amount of glue so I didn't screw up any more glazing.


I made the wheels. After spraying gloss on the prop I put some Tamiya clear smoke on the prop hub to highlight the details.


I'm going to airbrush exhaust streaks on the fuze sides once it's all nice and dry. I then gave the fuze another coat of Pledge. This dried much more nicely than the first coat. The Vallejo Steel Blue is almost the exact same shade as the blue in the stars and bars. I pulled off all the masks tonight and was pleased for the most part. A bit of interior green was pulled off in the radio area and I'll have to go back and touch up the fuze edges after the canopies are all glued on.


We're very near the end. Tomorrow I'll start putting on all that's not on and do some mild weathering. I'm at a loss since this blue is so dark, so shiny and so pervasive that none of the normal things will be seen. I suppose I could have used a more faded color in the panel centers to bring out their contrast, but that plane has left the hanger. Since I actually have a blog follower who owns a real blue TBM that's being restored, mine is going to look like a restored plane that is not all beat up.

Builder 2010
22 Apr 17,, 01:26
Today, the TBM 3 Project was complete!

The echo cardiogram was early this morning so I had a long work day in the shop. The test proved at least one thing... my "heart's in the right place" literally. Other than that from what I could see, my heart is working. I didn't see any blood flow going through valves in the wrong direction, but the tech didn't tell me very much. The doc has to do that. Watching those valves opening and closing I was awestruck thinking about how many times they done that in my 71 years and came up with a number of over 49 billion times.

I have a ton of pics today so bear with me.

The "work" day started with touch up painting any areas where the masks leaked and then installing the torpedo and the bomb bay doors. Leaving them off to the end was a good idea since they're in the way and would be knocked around a lot.


I painted the brake lines, removed the masks around the oleo struts, and installed the running lights at the wing tips.

I then moved topsides to get the glazing installed. I used Formula 560 Canopy Cement exclusively for the clear stuff since it dries clear, doesn't fog, wipes off without damage when it's not dry. The windscreen went it without any difficulty. Since it's a slow-drying glue, I taped the parts until they set (about an hour).


The above also shows another mod. Whenever you add reinforcement to a model part, there's always the chance that it will interfere with something else. In the case of that brass bar I added below the mid-canopy slide impinged on the armor, roll cage behind the pilot and wasn't letting the canopy seat down on the fuze rails properly. So I had to cut a groove in the roll cage without screwing anything else up. I used that new, fine-tooth razor saw to rough out the trench and cleaned it up with an Xacto. It worked and the rest of the canopy array settled down nicely.


The gun turret dome isn't glued. It snapped in place so nicely that I didn't put glue on it at all. No glue is the best way to prevent glue smears. I touched up all the blue areas adjacent to the glazing and added some clear Future on it. I also used brush paint Tamiya clear flat on the walkways on both wings.

It was time to fold the wings. Instead of using the fat string included in the kit, I made some clips with brass wire. I painted them flat black. Probably not prototypical, but it's very secure.


It was time to glue in the Wright R-2600. I scraped all paint from the glue area, and decided to use 30-minute epoxy for a) strength and b) ability to reposition with the longer curing time. I carefully mounted the plane in my Panavise turned on the side and c-clamped to the work bench. After placeing the engine, I put the cowl on top so it was positioned correctly, and let it set.


Builder 2010
22 Apr 17,, 01:30
When the engine was set, it was time to permanently glue on the cowl. To get it to sit down tight, again, I used epoxy and added some weight for a "Gravity Clamp". Again, after curing it was on for good and reasonably in line. Not perfect, but reasonable.


I needed something to encircle the engine's gear case with something so the weight was on the cowl, not the engine. A Tamiya spray can lid served this purpose.

With the cowl on, all that was left was the prop and the radio antenna. Like the B-17, I used E-Z Line for this purpose. The beautiful thing about this product, besides its elasticity, is that it is intantly adhered with CA. It allows you to intersect lines at 90 degrees and with a tiny drop of CA it's adhered and can be trimmed very close.

So here's the finished model taken in a better photographic environment.



Some weathering powders on the wheels, tires and exhause area is all the weathering I did. It's a newly restored musuem bird so it's clean and fresh.


Well that's all folks. Thanks for hanging in since the beginning.

The next project up is a large Plastruct petrochemical refinery that will be for the railroad. Since it's a plastic structure perhaps I'll post the build here and in the model railroad sites that I feature.

26 Jun 17,, 10:58

Indeed! Your modeling is really nice! I wasn't aware of a Modeler's forum here at WAB until you pointed it out to me last night. I normally post on The Ship Model Forum and have a 5 year project going on - building a 1:200 scale NEW JERSEY (BB-62) circa 1968-69 from the Trumpeter 1:200 USS MISSOURI kit. It's been a real interesting, if not frustrating, project - the hull is not correct in it's below waterline shape (as is the case with many of the Trumpy large ship kits). So, a lot of extra work involved. Much of the conning tower/amidships is scratchbuilt to conform to the 1967-69 modifications that were made to the ship.

I have a modeling acquaintance out in AZ who does aircraft models - and quite well - he would certainly appreciate your TBM model.

Thanks for sharing this link!


Albany Rifles
26 Jun 17,, 14:14
You guys have me in awe!

Nicely done, everyone!

Builder 2010
26 Jun 17,, 16:17
My model was of the MO during the time between signing the Surrender in August and some mods in Pearl Harbor in October 1945. During that time two things happened. They holystoned the deck blue paint off the teak restoring its natural color and removed the triple 20mm AA guns and tubs that flank #2 turret. I wanted to show off the laser cut decking and didn't want to paint it deck blue, but I also wanted all the WW2 radar suite and armament intact. The only time the ship was in that condition was during those few months, since shortly after the 20mms were gone. And after Pearl, the Measure 22 paint scheme was changed so the entire hull above the boot topping was navy blue, losing the haze gray above the sheer line. When it appeared in NYC later in 1945, those changes were in place. If you don't own it, it might be worth you while to get the Iowa Class Battleships book by Robert F Sumrall. It's the most complete treatise on these ships that I could find. I also downloaded many pics of Iowa ships for more details especially the little stuff like how the antenna leads enter the boat.

On Photobucket,


there's a album of most of the Missouri build that I did. These are many of the pictures that accompanied the build thread here on WAB. It's a Tamiya 1:350 kit with Eduard, Alliance and Tom's photo etched, ABER 16" brass guns, laser-cut decks and a bunch of scratch-build parts (brass masting for example). I was offered a place in the Missouri Ship Museum at Pearl Harbor if (and it's a big IF) I could get it there from Kentucky. It's very delicate and it's sitting in our space bedroom and it's where it will stay.

My goal was to create a 1:350 model that came close to the level of detail of larger models. The finest of which was the 1:48 scale Missouri built by Gibbs & Cox during WW2. At that scale each gun or appliance is a model in itself. It was displayed at the Smithsonian for years and now I believe it's at the Naval Museum at Annapolis. It's over 19' long and is spectacular in every sense of the word. He's a picture of that model. It's an inspiration to us Iowa Class builders.


I used these images to add all the vertical support poles under all the overhanging gun tubs plus adding a very tiny boat davit winch that was sratchbuilt out of four pieces.

The reason why I blogged it here is this story.

I had built this same model in 1985 just before the age of PE came to be. It was a nice model, but lacking. In 2011, when my #1 grandson started getting into building models, I decided to build another Tamiya kit, but this time pull out all the stops and see how far I could go with it. I wanted to replace the plastic prop shafts with metal but didn't know what color they should be. So I went on Google and asked, "What color are Iowa Class Battleships Propellor shafts?" One of the answers that came up directed me to WAB's Battleship Board. So I signed up and asked the same question. Rusty Battleship then posted this amazing picture of himself standing on the Missouri's shaft when it was in Long Beach getting refitted in the 1980s.


Rusty aka Dick Landgraff was the yard superintendent that supervised the IOWA rebuilds and knows every bolt, tank, space and washer on those ships. He explained that the shafts are coated with an anti-fouling paint and are sort of white. Then the fellows on the board asked if I could post the build in the Modeler's Corner.

I had already posted a massive build on a forum (a year-long build of a 1:16 RC B-17E on commission from an RC Flyer on RCScalebuilder.com) so I was comfortable with doing a daily journal.

It really worked well since besides Rusty, there were other followers who had intimate knowledge about these ships. They were also instrumental in hooking me up with the curators of the Missouri and New Jersey ship museums. The NJ would have been much more doable since I'm originally from Philly and get back East a few times a year. But they only display ships that actually were in actions with the NJ. Rusty was heavily involved in the IOWA reconditioning and they weren't ready to receive any models.

I will check out your 1:200 build. I've had my eye on that model for quite a while since it's been on sale at MicroMark, but I simply don't have any space to display it. It would really give me the chance to go all out on my favorite ship. Fine Arts Models has a 1:192 scale museum model that they had offered years ago and I actually had put my name on a reserve list ($8,500) until my wife found out about it. His ship models are some of the finest offered for sale in the world. Check out their website if you haven't already done so. www.fineartmodels.com

I had also posted some finished Missouri pics on the same website on which you're posting I believe.

Builder 2010
26 Jun 17,, 16:51

What's the URL of your build thread on Model Warships? I'm a registered member also and did publish some Missouri pics 5 years ago. I went to search your post, but am getting a lot of unrelated stuff.

26 Jun 17,, 17:28

The picture of Rusty (Dick Landgraff) - I also have that - he's on the stbd outboard shaft of NEW JERSEY during one of her 1980's drydock periods. Here's the URL to my build: http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=154697

Fine Art Models are wonderful, but w-a-y too expensive for my pocket. They are beautiful, no doubt about it! Your model looks extremely well done! There isn't (or doesn't) seem to be much of an interest in NEW JERSEY during her Vietnam War configuration, unless of course, you served in her as I did.

I'm currently doing hull numbering, etc. and hope to get the main deck on very soon - the upper works are pretty much finished - now only to have more permanent radars and masts from the PE that I designed and had a company in UK print for me. It never ends!!!!


Builder 2010
26 Jun 17,, 19:01
I'm reading your entire thread. Terrific work! Wonderful work space! I am a horrendous slob when I work and I love the way you have the tools at ready right in the front. I may adopt it.

Obviously, you have the same (and more) reference material than me. So I won't suggest that again. Eduard has drilling masks for the ladder grabs, but I believe you're way past that at this point. I'm only on page five. Clearly, you can do so much more at the larger scale.

26 Jun 17,, 19:13

Well, I thank you very much for the nice remarks! Much appreciated. I'm just slightly younger than you (70.5) but also have been building a while. To be honest, I should take a picture of my workshop (spread over 3 rooms in a rented mobile home near where I work) - it is ANYTHING but neat. I take the Slob of the Year award hands down. Books, copies of this & that piled all over the place. I would love to have a real workshop; but such is life at this point. Here is my shop back in 2009 while working on my sloop of war PEACOCK:
43991 (it just "looks" neat!!!

Ladder grabs - different for each manufacturer, and nothing in common - a real downer when trying to use PE from one vendor to another. You would think that a 12" hand rung would be samo-samo - not the case!!! Model building has changed so much since the early '50s (my first kit - a long box Revell USS MISSOURI - terrible kit, but still selling like crazy; go figure!!) regardless of whether it's ships, planes, trains, or cars. A lot of improvements and some disappointments - but, all in all a great hobby!!!


Builder 2010
26 Jun 17,, 20:07
Figured I respond here since I'm still reading stuff that year's old in your thread.

I'm on page 9 and read about the mast disaster. First of all, I'm glad I'm not the only lunatic who built models in motel rooms when on business travel. I spend a half year living out of a Holiday Inn on I-10 in Channelview, TX. I would come home (Philly) on weekends. I'd leave my models and tools at the front desk and each time they wanted to see the progress. Not many folks did that and it really kept me sane and out of trouble.

As for disasters. I spent lots of time creating a mold to shape the WW2 main antenna dish and formed a very nice antenna, CA'd all the rings and back supports and then dropped it on the floor. If that wasn't enough, I rolled my desk chair over it and turned it into road kill. Completely and totally destroyed so I made another, but it really wasn't as good as that first one. As I described in my thread, the Eduard pre-etched PE was so fragile that it would break even before attempting to bend it. I actually got them to send me a complete 2nd set for free. Luckily, I was able to build these destroyed pieces with that. I also crushed the radar on the top of #1 16" gun director, but by that time, I had already gone into the 2nd set so I had to reshape it. Again, it's not as good as it was, but unless you're very close you can't tell.

I soldered as much of the masting as I could since I really don't trust CA very much. This was before I had a resistance soldering system by American Beauty. It wasn't cheap, but makes soldering miniature assemblies possible.

Also for the fine guy wires I use a high E guitar string. At short lengths it's rigid as heck and really works. I used J-B Weld to secure it.

For radio rigging I used the finest gauge E-Z-Line. It really performs in small scales.

26 Jun 17,, 20:55

Dick Landgraff pointed out to me that my 1st attempt on the fore mast was not to scale. The entire structure is 2nd effort and better than the first. All scratch built. The main mast is also, but will be replaced with a much more detailed and correctly scaled one that I developed with Model Monkey for his 3D product line. This will take a while to get in place. The ECM rig on the 011 Level of the conning tower is also going to be replaced with my PE designed and printed parts (Starling Models - UK). This will occur also in near future. I need to get the deck put in place and equipment/parts/etc. located - I hope to finish NJ this year and move on to a 1:200 scale PENNSY (also a Trumpy ARIZONA bash) pre-war version (waterline). THEN comes the 1/144 scale FLETCHER Class DD - USS STODDARD (DD-566) circa 1966-68.

Getting back to the mast - the 3D printed main mast will be correct as to leg/brace diameters and will have much more detail than the brass one in place now. Also, after my trip to NARA this spring, I got photos giving me info to correct my CAD drawings for all the radio antennas etc. that the current mast has on them incorrectly (Lack of info...).

I too use E-Z line although its tendency to stretch is a bit of a hassle. Next time I change guitar strings, I'll hang on to the lower E string for modeling use. The kit PE (Trumpy) seems a bit more fragile than either the Pontos or Eduard does, although sometimes it's hard to tell.


Builder 2010
27 Jun 17,, 01:35
Hank, I finished reading your entire thread and comment on page 29. Really wonderful and ambitious build. As you may have seen in my other railroad thread, I'm doing some serious scratch-building there too. I'm actually pushing the envelope there more than I am with plastic kits. 72 and still learning. As long as the eyes and hands hold out, I'm good to go.

Builder 2010
27 Jun 17,, 02:00
Got ahead of myself. Read your last entry and missed the great pic with you and the Peacock. I've also built rigged ships and have a cutaway Corel Model of the Victory's midsection which I bought years ago. But here were two that did get finished. The first was an awful Steingraeber kit of and American War Sloop. It was my first and only plank on frame kit which I built in the early 70s. The second was a re-build that I did for the Corinthian Yacht Club in Eddystone, PA. The original was a very old model of a 4-masted Barc probably late 1800s with metal masts. The modeler built with what he had handy and made mast tops out of cut tin cans. Spreading trees were tooth picks. The rigging had rotted away and they were paying me $1,500 to re-rig it. When I was finished everything above the main deck itself was replaced. This included scratch building all the deck houses. Top mast spreaders were soldered brass. I finished it in 1997 and it's still on display in their club house.



BTW: That Revell Missouri was the first model that Revel produced with their own dies in 1954. It was also my first model. It was my 9th birthday. I couldn't wait to get started so I began building it on the living room rug. I had the Testor's liquid cement in the box top. Of course it spilled and in my panic, I placed it on top of a piece of Kleenex and put that on top of a piece of finished furniture. Of course the glue tipped over and spilled onto the lacquered table. The destroyed lacquer remained there until my mom passed in 1999. I had run upstairs to hide in my room. Dad gave me a spanking which I never forgot. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger.

27 Jun 17,, 11:26
Re: Stuff - Ha!!! I'm laughing my ass off - those type of modeling mishaps I think are rather common - BUT, certainly not without drama. Reminds me of Tim Allen gluing the board to his forehead in one of the Home Improvement episodes as well as Ralphie and the Red Ryder air rifle in A Christmas Story. I think the Revell MO kit I also built in 1954 in Charlotte, NC on the couch in our den. Quite the proper place to build a model ship!!!!

Your Tall Ships are really nice work - repairing/refurbishing older models is a good opportunity to use our skills, but also learn a bit about a ship we may not have come across otherwise. One of my friends at home who is also a ship modeler has done a few recent repair jobs for people who sought him out. Could also be some extra $$$ to boot! Here is a shot of PEACOCK completed:

I've PM'd you in re. to the FLETCHER topic.


Builder 2010
01 Jul 17,, 02:37
Peacock's a beauty! What was it? Kit? Scratch-build? I love building these things, but I'm just spread too thin doing the structures for the RR, and digging into some plastic fun. I've had the C. Nepian Longridge's HMS Victory book for over 40 years and read it so many times I wore out the dust jacket. I've seen his ship at the Science Museum of London and consider it to be the penultimate wooden ship build especially at 1:48. The man wound his own ropes in the correct number of lays depending on their use. He had the canons cast with the crests on them. His "made-masts" were made with the correct number of components. It just goes on and one. And the way he did the decking...I used it for a reference when building the other ships since his drawings of how the shrouds go over the tops were very clear.

I would like to build one of the higher quality versions of this boat, but frankly can foresee running out of time and don't have the space to display even a 1:96 version of a first-rate ship of the line. Probably should start another thread to talk about tall ship modeling...

03 Jul 17,, 02:31

PEACOCK - Sloop of War 1813, WASP class (one of three). She was the only one (of class) to survive the War of 1812. WASP was lost at sea, FROLIC was lost in battle. Lewis Warrenton was commander of PEACOCK. My model was totally scratchbuilt (1:48 scale); plans from Smithsonian Inst. I got the scaled cannon barrels (machined brass) from another modeler who didn't need them (I have some left for ????) and it took from 2006-2012 to build. I have visions of another scratchbuilt BOSTON (1799) but have put that on hold as correct and verifiable info simply doesn't exist (as it most certainly does for ESSEX). Everybody does CONSTITUTION; well, ole Uncle Hank DOESN'T do CONSTITUTION! The case alone is bigger than I can carry in either of my vehicles (of course neither is a truck or van or SUV). It was fun and very educational as I want to know the complete history of a model I'm going to spend all this time building. I also had kibitzing from an acquaintance - Author/modeler Stephen W. H. Duffy (Capt. Blakely and the WASP - The Cruise of 1814).

I too have Longridge's book on VICTORY and consulted it from time to time. I agree, he is over the top on every detail - very few modelers could hope to compete with this level of building. I also did probably 25 finished drawings in 2D CAD for items, masts, spars, boats, deck equipment, cannon carriages, etc. The ships of that period were constructed from a body plan, side elevation, and deck plan. Masts and spars were figured from John Steele's tables and it's there that I got the info for my masts/spars/fighting tops etc. It's a long term involvement - to do it right. I was given a partially started 1:93 kit of VICTORY several years ago but gave it back - way to much work to correct the 1st modelers many mistakes and it wasn't really a kit I wanted to build. I would however, love to build a 1:48 NORTH CAROLINA - but that is simply wishful thinking!!!

Well, thanks for the remarks about PEACOCK. One other bit of the model's construction - the copper plates are individual, designed to scale, and have the proper number of nail heads represented. I was being mentored by master modeler Arther Ortner who also built a 1:48 PEACOCK and had these copper plates designed for his model. There is a separate sheet for each side and the keel (total 3 designs). I was able to purchase the stbd and port sheets from the original model parts company but not the sheet for the keel. I doubt anyone will know. They are adhered using Pliobond rubber cement and it took 2 1/2 months to get the bottom coppered. Also, the rudder in similar fashion. Is this going over the top???? Anyhow, here are some close-ups of the model:

My case also has two rows of white LEDS in the solid top w/switch and plug - so you can turn on the light at night and it bathes the ship in a nice cool white light!



Builder 2010
03 Jul 17,, 04:35
Oh Hank... it's truly wonderful. Thanks for posting more details about it and the additional pictures.

I hope the rest of the guys that read this thread are as impressed by it as I am. Having spent a lot of time reading about this level of construction, it's great to see the work of someone who has actually done it.

The longest I've ever spent on any given build is about 13 months and I've done that several times since moving to L'ville. The B-17, the Missouri and the substation project all ran longer than a year to complete, but I've never done a multi-year project like the Peacock unless you count the 5+ years this model railroad has taken, but I view it as a long series of projects, not one.

Again... terrific work!

So almost all of the armament were carronades, not long guns? Lots of short range impact, but long range... nada.

03 Jul 17,, 11:26
So almost all of the armament were carronades, not long guns? Lots of short range impact, but long range... nada.

She (PEACOCK) carried 2 Long 12 lb. cannon up forward and (18) 32 lb. carronades - the bridle ports forward I left closed as I don't think in reality those ports were utilized except as needed. Also, I left the after two ports closed although I could have built 2 more carronades for those locations.

I'm hoping to get some sort of actual shop in place when I retire - our present home doesn't have room for one. My current working arrangement has allowed for me to use my temp. quarters as my model workshop.

Once again, thanks for the nice comments!