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Monogram Enhanced B-17

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  • #31
    Bomber Build: Gear, bombs and guns Part A

    Today nothing particularly bad happened. I finished the landing gear, assembled the bombs and started painting them, and modified and completed more machine guns.

    After installing the wire loops in one side of all four bombs, I glued them together, sanded the edges to remove the seams and painted the yellow that would form the yellow rings. After two coats of yellow (a mixture of Vallejo and Tamiya). I then cut some Tamiya masking tape strips to cover the yellow in preparation for the olive drab which will follow tomorrow.

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    This is an old model and the seam fits weren't so hot. Not like the new stuff.

    The landing gear is installed first into the upper Gear well sheet. This, in turn, is glued into the bottom wing. Before gluing anything, I tried the fit of this part into the wing, and quickly found out that both resin exhaust pipes leading to the turbos were too high and holding the gear sheets away from their mounting points. I took the Dremel and removed the excess resin until they fit properly.

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    I then CA'd the main gear struts into position. One of my brass locking arms had separated from one strut. I waited until the main gear was set and then got the locking lever into place and CA'd it fast. Next on was the gear actuating levers which were styrene kit parts. These parts needed a little coaxing since they were now mating with scratch-built metal parts. All in all, everything worked.

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    When I was okay with the installation, I masked the bases to protect the interior green. This proved to be unecessary as you'll see in a moment. I sprayed it with the Tamiya Bare Metal rattle can spray, followed by Dullcoat.

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    After I pulled the tape I found that it pulled about half the green left the plastic. Most likely, it's because I don't wash my styrene before painting, and the Model Master Acrylic doesn't have the grip that Tamiya paints do. Makes a great peeling paint effect if I wanted that.

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    • #32
      Bomber Build: Gear, bombs and guns Part B

      After brush painting to repair the missing paint, I painted the brake lines and the gear was done. I put on a light coat of alcohol/India ink mix to tone it all down. I also did this to the wheel hubs. With that the main gear are ready to install into the airframe.

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      The tires have "weight flats". The kit's gear had an axle with two flats that aligned to the wheel hub's hole that was also shaped the same way. But the resin gear has a round axle. I had two choices, file flats on the gear axle or drill the wheel hole out to be round. I chose the latter since it was easier to control AND I can rotate the wheels to contact the ground properly before gluing them in place after the plane is finished.

      Machine Guns:

      The Verlinden resin Brownings have separate very fine barrels and receivers. The problem is they're missing other aspects of the kit's guns that enable them to be mounted correctly in the model. So I'm making hybrids of all of them as I did with the top turret. With the waist and radio room guns, I used the same method, drilling the receiver and shaping the barrel so they were a tight fit and CA'd into place. For the bombardier compartment guns this method wouldn't work, since there's a lug on the barrel portion that goes into a fitting on the window. This part was too narrow to drill the barrel-sized hole, and a straight butt joint would be very fragile. I needed to pin the barrel in place.

      For very small diameter rods I use B and E guitar strings. The E string is 0.009". There's actually no drill size you can easily get that's this small. I have a selection of carbide drills that I buy from This set has 10 each of small sizes and it's a good barging. But... there's a caveat. These are solid carbide and very brittle. A tiny bit of side thrust and "snap!". They are very sharp and originally are used to drill circuit board fiberglass. That sharpness is a blessing and curse. When drilling brass it's a curse since it grabs on exit and breaks the drill almost every time. I went through a ton of these when building the Missouri working with the PE.

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      Here's the drill I used. It's a #78 and is oversized for the guitar string, but with ample CA it ultimately held. They all have an 1/8" shaft so there's lots of support. These were originally used in automated drilling machines.

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      Here's the sequence. I file both the receiver and barrel mating surfaces flat and square. I then use a divider point to make a pin prick in as close to dead center as I can. I then use the #78 to drill both pieces.

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      The newly joined barrel is reasonably strong. Here are all guns done today.

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      Before closing up for the day, I painted all the guns Tamiya Gunmetal. I had a problem with the chin turret. Its guns are noticeably longer than the rest and have flash shields on them. The Verlinden replacements are just too small. I may use the kits guns in this one instance. I like to paint the barrel tips silver. I don't know if this is prototypical, but I like the look.

      Tomorrow, I'll finish the bombs and mount them to the bomb rack. This will pave to the way to start installing everything into the right fuze half including all the glazing and then put the Fuze together. The seams will need a lot of filling, and being an ancient kit, all the panel lines are raised. I'm not of spirit to shave them all off and engrave panel lines. I would wait until I build the HKM 1/32 scale bird which already has engraved lines. Meanwhile, the wings can also be built. From now going forward, the build is going to accelerate.


      • #33
        Bomber Build: Bombs and major assemblies (Part A)

        Thanks Guys! Since this aircraft is going to be "Yankee Lady" as is currently flying, I guess the red extinguishers would still be accurate.

        Today was a mixed bag of successes, screwups, recoveries, and outright panic.

        Started with finishing the bombs and installing them on the bomb rack. I airbrushed them with two coats of Tamiya Olive Drab lightened just a tad with some Tamiya Khaki. I then pulled the tape off the strips and they came out okay, although there just a tad wide.

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        I went ahead with the scheme to mechanically attached the bombs to the racks using the metal rings I had installed. The first try was to form a brass 3-sided box out of 0.021" brass, but it was hard to put that last bend in place when threaded through the rings. I then went with two, L-shaped brass rods CA'd into holes drilled at an angle in the rack. The first side I glued in place, then put the second side partially in, threaded the bomb onto both and then pushed the second side done into position with the bomb itself. I then used thin CA on the protruding rod on the inside of the rack. Worked pretty well and the bombs are no suspended.

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        Next up was installing glazing on both fuze sides. I used a combination of Formula 560 Canopy Glue and medium CA. First getting stuff in place with the 560 and when set up a bit, adding some CA to the tabs or edges so the windows will not fall into the fuze.

        In attempting to put the skylight window over the pilot's position it sprung out of the tweezers into the quantum realm. I swept about 25 square feet of floor, but it was not there. Gone! It will probably pop out of the quantum rip in the Universe tomorrow and be right below my feet. Since I couldn't use one kit molded styrene window on one side and one hand-made sheet styrene window on the other, I needed to make two new ones using the remaining skylight as a template.

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        They installed reasonably well and here they are installed in the right side Fuselage.

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        Next up was gluing in the bombardier guns. I was worried about these delicate guns sticking out with so much handling going to happen. My worries were well founded.

        The left side gun position was missing the small upper plastic bridge that contained the indentation for the upper pin on the gun. After gluing (medium CA) the lower pin and curing with accelerator, I cut a small plastic shim with a groove filed in that would fill this space. After curing I trimmed the oversized shim flush with the window.

        I then glued in all the interior subassemblies with CA (or so I thought) and prepared the fuze edges for joining. I then used first solvent cement with the Touch-n-flo, followed by CA. Rubber bands and some clamps kept it tight. Any suspicious areas were then reinforced with the CA.

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        See Part B


        • #34
          bomber Build: Bombs and major assemblies (Part B)

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          Now as I was fiddling with all the rubber bands and gluing all the seams, I remembered those delicated nose guns, which when I looked were now broken off not quite to where the reinforcing piano wire rods were. I knew it was going to happen. I just didn't expect it to happen so darn fast. I am not replacing those gun barrels until everything is done. I will probably be able to drill and insert more wire.

          As you can see, the seams are pretty gruesome. But nothing that filler and elbow grease can't fix.

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          I then glued the horizontal stabs together and went to work on the wings. First into the wings was the gear assembly. After CA'ing them securely into the bottom wing, I test fit the top wing and found that some reinforcement pins that press onto this gear plate were a tad too long and were keeping the upper wing proud of the lower wing by about 1/16". I clipped them shorter and was able to glue the wings together, first using Testor's Tube Cement, followed by the Touch-n-flo and then with CA for the more resistant areas.

          With the wings glued, all the major assemblies are done.

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          So all I had to do was give it all a day to cure and get ready to finish the seams....or so I thought. Just before going upstairs for dinner, I was inventorying the remaining bits and pieces to see what was left to do, and YIKES!. There was the tailwheel and bulkhead assembly which should have been glued into the fuze with all the rest. At first I tried to weedle it into place through the tailwheel opening, but that wasn't working. So I had to first remove the resin tail gun turret which was CA'd solidly in place, and then split the seam down far enough to left me separate it enough to get the bulkhead into position. It took almost a half hour to get it finally seated, but I did it. Again... this blows a hole into the belief that I am somehow a very gifted modeler. Sometimes it just ain't so.

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          So all's well that ends well. "It's not that you make a mistake, it's how you recover". Keep repeating that and maybe you won't feel so bad. Tomorrow I'll start finishing the fuselage and wing seams getting ready for finally assembly, painting, decaling and very mild weathering.


          • #35
            Bomber Build: Filling all the Gaps

            Spent the entire day filling, sanding and filling again. At the LHS (Scale Reproductions Inc.) I bought paint and two kinds of filler. I was using the water-based Vallego filler, but I find that a) it shrinks and b) dries too slowly for my impatience. I bought Squandon White and Tamiya. Both are solvent-based and cure quickly. I had used Squadron Green for years and had also used Testor's White, but never Tamiya's. Of the two, Tamiya wins the contest. It doesn't appear to shrink, it's very smooth and creamy with very find grain size, and dries very quickly.

            Where I did use the Squadron was a fairly large gap between the resin rear turret and the fuze. But due to its graininess, I went back and did a second coat with the Tamiya. Again, due to the age of this model (copyright 1975) the seams needed a lot of work. The biggest problem was misalignment with one side being low. I filled that last crack above the windscreens after I took this picture.

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            I didn't have any liquid mask, and I didn't want to use masking tape on all the windows because, frankly, I was afraid of the tape pulling some of the more delicate ones out of position, so I decided to try an experiment. I took some Aleen's Tacky Glue and put it on a scrap piece of clear styrene. From experience I know that PVA cements don't really stick well to styrene. The test patch pulled off in one piece and cleanly so I went ahead and painted the windows with it. Before doing all the windows, I test pulled the dried PVA from one of the little square windows and again it pulled off perfectly. So, if you need a quick and dirty mask, you can use PVA adhesives, especially the thicker ones.

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            As you can also see, I stuffed went paper towels into various spaces to block overspray from getting inside. I also masked the bomb bay since that was also wide open. It took two to three applications of filler to bring the fuze to a point where painting could be done.

            While the fuze filler was curing I started working on the wings. They too required a couple of applications especially around the nacalle joints which were very poor. I also prepared and glued the horizontal stabs in place using tube cement helped with medium CA.

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            I had to add one more piece to each wing: the inboard engine exhaust bypass header that ultimately leads to the turbo-chargers. I also masked around the landing gear and blocked access to the wheel wells since that's painted interior green. Note that I didn't block the tail gunner or waist gunner holes since the interior there is the same color as the exterior will be.

            Just before quitting for the day I saw a big gap at the bottom joints of the horizontal stabs. I slathered some filler into these gaps and will sand them prior to painting tomorrow.

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            • #36
              Bomber: Painting Day #1 (Part A)

              Today was the first painting day! So far, the Aleen's is holding up in its masking duties. First up today was stuffing the engine cowls with wet facial tissue and then CA'ing them to the wings. I was contemplating painting them off the model, but quickly disabused myself of that idea since the anti-glare needs to line up.

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              After wiping the whole deal with a paper towel with alcohol, I started painting the Vallejo Natural Metal. My only complaint about this paint is it's very fragile. As I was handling the model for further masking, I was damaging the already painted areas. But it looks really good.

              After the paint set up, I sprayed the areas to be painted olive drab with Dullcoat to protect the paint a bit when masking. I masked all the anti-glare areas including the upper nose, and the interior upper facing nacelles. After looking at some pictures of the actual Yankee Lady I still need to add a bit more O.D. surface. The kit's instructions show this going around 180. I was only bringing it around the midline. It actually goes around the nacelle until its tangent to the lower lip of the leading edge. I'll add that bit tomorrow.

              Narrow Tamiya tape was used first followed by 3M Blue and packing paper.

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              I airbrushed all the parts and pulled the tape. I found one little spot that I missed. I'm going to have to shoot some more silver to touch up some damage so I can pick that spot up.

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              The nose painting came out nicely.

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              Here's an example of the fragility of thise paint. Some was pulled off the cowl. I'm hoping that after coating with Pledge acrylic that it will toughen it up. I'm going to do this before decaling and any weathering.

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              • #37
                Bomber: Painting Day #1 (Part B)

                So here are all the parts ready for the next step.

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                Regarding weathering. The Yankee Lady is an exhibition aircraft and is very clean. In looking at pictures, I see some slight exhaust streaks coming from the waste gate and around the edges of the turbo compartment. On the wing tops you can see here that there is very little staining of any kind. A lot B-17 builders like to streak from those four little slots behind the engine nacelles on the wing tops. All that comes out of them is air. They are air exits from the turbo intercoolers. Unless there was some kind of leak in the wing, normally fumes or oil shouldn't be passing out of them. The other area needing some discoloration is the skin immediatly behind the cowl flaps. I just bought some Tamiya Clear Smoke just for this application.

                There's some more paining needed. The tail (minus the rudder) and wing tips (minus the Aileron) are inisgnia red. There are wide demarcation strips on the wings. For the strips, I'm going to paint some decal film and then apply that to the model.

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                • #38
                  Bomber Wing Stripes

                  Today is a rare Sunday input since I have a deal with my wife that no model or train work goes on during the weekend.

                  After figuring that the wing walk stripes are 12" scale, I decided the best approach would be to make decals of them. I have both clear and white-backed inkjet decal film, so I decided to lay them out and make them myself rather than masking and painting them. Here's the process

                  1. Took an overhead picture of the wing and noted the overall length and width (11 13/16" X 4 3/4"
                  2. Imported (placed) the image into Adobe Illustrator and after carefully aligning it square with the art board's edge, I put it on the bottom layer of the drawing and locked it.
                  3. Added another layer and on it drew an un-filled rectangle with the same dimensions as the wing.
                  4. Stretched the wing picture equally in both directions (in Illustrator holding the shift key while pulling a corner) and once it matched the rectangle I drew, I locked the imported image's layer. I now knew that the screen image size was the same as the model's wing.
                  5. Using the actual plane's picture showing the stripes, drew the 1/4" wide stripes to match the picture.

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                  6. Cut up this images (Digitally) so I would have several inter-connecting pieces and then copied and pasted them to another art board on the screen. I laid them out logically and labeled them as to left or right wing. To make the right wing's decals I mirrored the left design.

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                  7. Took a test print and found that some of the stripes were not perfectly horizontal leading to the edges having some very slight stair steps. To align them, I laid down guidelines that were in perfect contact with one corner, and then rotated the other corner to coincide with the guide lines. I then duplicated the entire array so I'd have two sets in case I screw a decal up.
                  8. After printing out the decals, gave them a clear coat of Tamiya clear lacquer since inkjet ink is water soluble. It would all wash off in the decal soaking water.

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                  I know from experience, that this brand of inkjet decal film can't handle Solvaset decal setting solution. It works okay with Microsol.
                  Tomorrow, I touch up the aluminum, fix the anti-glare panel shape on the wings, and then clear coat the silver before getting into painting the red panels and decaling including these newly created stripes.


                  • #39
                    Bomber Painting cont.

                    You're welcome. We learn from each other.

                    I just realize yesterday, that if I want to deliver this plane to my commissioner and we're leaving on Thursday, I only have 3 days to finish it. So today I put the pedal to the metal and got into more finishing steps.

                    First up was fixing those slightly inaccurate nacelle anti-glare panels. The inner ones needed to go further over the top and both had to go around the bottom more. I didn't want to airbrush since this involves a whole lot more masking, so I just masked the lines and brush painted it. I had a lot of leakage due to the non-stickiness of that Vallejo silver paint.

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                    I was worried that the alcohol-based silver would dissolve the alcohol-based Tamiya and not give me a good cover, so I first brushed on some Testor's Dullcoat lacquer to act as a barrier and then hand painted the silver. After a back and forth between silver and O.D. I got a nice clean line.

                    Next was painting the fabric-covered control surfaces a light Tamiya Sky Gray. In looking at the photos of the Yankee Lady I saw a different color and clearly not metalic. Again, I masked the line and brush painted it. Again, that silver paint caused some problems and I had to do a lot of touch up. Frankly, I wouldn't recommend the Vallejo Liquid Metal paint. It is much too perishable and I'm not the gentlist worker so I'm having to fix it all the time. Tamiya silver holds up better and dries harder.

                    I started masking for the red wing tips and all those red tail feathers. I got the wing tips masked, but then had to take #2 grandson to a piano lesson. Since my time is so compressed I asked for and got special dispensation to work for an hour in the basement after dinner.

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                    The 3M blue tape is too agressive for the Vallejo paint and, as you'll see, pulled a lot of silver off in the de-masking process. So I was able to airbrush the red trim too.

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                    In these two pictures you can see the difference in texture painting the control surfaces flat gray makes to the appearance. I used Tamiya flat red for these panels.

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                    The only problem with using the Pledge Floor Finish (with Future) is its ridiculously slow drying time. It really takes a full 24 hours or more, and I don't have that luxury. On the other hand, the Tamiya gloss dries very fast. I have to mask and hand-paint the de-icing boots and then hand paint the exhaust headers and turbos. I need to rig the radio antennas with E-Z Line, and then there's a raft of decals to go on. Can I do this all in two days... hmmmm?


                    • #40
                      Bomber Painting bonus work

                      I'm going to make the deadline (I think) since I got to go back downstairs again last night and got the de-icing boots done. This enabled me to go back down this morning and shoot some clear coat on the tail and tips so decals can be applied sooner.

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                      Once again, the tape pulled its share of paint off the surface requiring a bunch of re-touching, but I got it all done.

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                      Now, I'm sitting here having coffee and watching political television. In a bit, I'll go down to work and get more done.


                      • #41
                        Bomber: Decals Begun

                        Progress is coming fast and furious. I painted the turbos today. I started with a base coat of Tamiya Boat Deck Tan which closely resembled the basic red/tan color of the real ones. After drying I painted the dark parts Tamiya Burnt Iron. The central turbo area was painted straight Burnt Iron and the rest was dry-brushed at various levels to also resemble the discoloration due to heat. I then went back and painted the bolts and clamps flat black. The end result works for me.

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                        The final step will be to apply some exhaust plume eminating from the waste gate. I was thinking about airbrushing the flat black, but may just use Dr. Brown's weathering powders, since it's easier to control. Not shown in this pic was the Tamiya Smoke that I used to discolor the first nacelle ring behind the cowl flats. I also dry-brushed some smoke trailing off the sides of the turbo which I've seen on prototype images. The main exhaust stain will be directly behind.

                        I then finished up all the machine gun mounts that go into the radio room window and waist gun position. I also rebuilt the broken barrels on both bombardier position guns. One is in place now (probably ready to be broken again) and the other is waiting until the mask comes off the nose.

                        I then officially started the decal process. We've moved our travel date out one day which gives me one more shop day and almost assures that I will finish on time. The Kits decals are very nice and went on well. Here's the tail on one side. I have to wait until the decals fully cure so I could do the right side.

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                        And then I officially christened this ship, "Yankee Lady" with the nose decals on the left side being installed.

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                        Having the prototype picture showing this graphic in detail really helped in getting it placed properly. I wish this model had recessed panel lines. It would have made it much easier to clean up. Notice that the nose turret has a different finish that the plane in general. I used Tamiya Bare Metal spray for this. I also changed the tone on the Cheyene tail turret.

                        Wings were next. Again, top side first until the decals dry and then I'll do the bottom.

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                        Notice that my wing walk decal is not finished in this picture. That's because I ran into trouble with them. Even though I over-coated them with Tamiya Clear Lacquer, it wasn't sufficient to prevent water from causing the inkjet water-soluble ink to bleed. Bleed? Heck, it really got gross.

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                        The long stripes did get on, but the surface is questionable. After this I stopped putting them on and went to Plan B. Plan B was to coat the existing decals with Microsol Liquid Decal Film. I'll give this a try tomorrow. Part of the problem was that I didn't leave enough margin between images. The edges are too narrow and let the water to creep in under the over-coating. Hopefully the Microsol will provide stronger protection. If this doesn't work, I'll re-draw the set and leave more space around the edges. If that doesn't work, I'll mask and paint, but I dread to do that since I'll have to deal with more aluminum paint drama. I'm not looking forward to that.

                        The idea is still a good one, but the decal film may be sub-par. I'm optimistic that I'll figure it out. I believe in "Test Pilot Problem Solving". You're in a dive and you try A, B, C, D, E, F, G, etc. until you solve the problem or make a hole in the ground. Like I said a while ago, "I am not a patient man, put I am very, very persistent!"

                        Need some guidance here: After decaling I was going to Dullcoat the model, but that would effectively kill the shine on the metal finish. Otherwise, I could gloss coat the whole deal, but would that work? What do others do with bare metal surfaced aircraft?


                        • #42
                          Bomber: Finishing up (Part A)

                          Whew! Today was a mixed bag of successes and horrors equally balanced. I will elucidate as I go on.

                          I started by finishing up the stripes. Microsol Liquid Decal Film worked like a charm. The inkjet color stayed put and the decals applied very nicely. This brand of inkjet decal paper has a pretty heavy decal film and takes a lot of Microsol setting solution to lay it down over raised details. As I said before, DON'T USE SOLVASET! It will dissolve these decals. Next up was all the rest of the decals and all went on without difficulty. I then sealed them all and

                          After things dried I used Dr Brown's grimy black weathering powder to lay down the exhaust stains. Looks sloppy, but I kind of like it.

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                          After doing this I shot the bottom with Dullcoat so the turbos are no longer shiny. With all the decoration done I started to install all the remaining glazing including the Cheyenne tail. This was a bit more challenging than I would have liked, but I did get it on without a serious screwup.

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                          I also installed the top turret, the guns for the tail turret and fixed the broken guns in the front...AGAIN, but that wasn't the last time.

                          Then the first calamity happened. I wanted to use this new Real Metal buffing aluminum by AK Interactive. It's a wax-based metal paint that polishes bright. When I opened the tube for the first time, the stuff blasted out all over the place, but mostly on my hands. It was a freak'n mess to clean up, but luckily alcohol removes it. I used it on the prop spinners and it worked pretty well.

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                          Boy those engines look cool! As far as I'm concerned, they're the best part of this whole project. Too bad the Monogram kit doesn't measure up to those Eduard R-1860s. The props are held on with medium CA.

                          After putting the guns back on, which entailed more micro-drilling and guitar string, I wanted to paint the muzzles with Tamiya Chrome, which then leads to the second calamity.

                          I thought the lid was screwed on, but when I picked it up, the bottle part flew off, flung chrome silver paint all over the floor and even a drop landed right on the red surface of the horizontal stab. Of course it landed on the red. It couldn't have landed on the entire silver-colored plane. Nope! Murphy's corroletion is still true, "Any tool (or bottle of paint) dropped will always do the maximum amount of damage."

                          I cleaned up that mess and touched up the stab. Then I proceeded to break off the bombardier and waist gunner gun barrels on the port side. These very fragile resin barrels are ridiculous. They have no give. If you touch them, they will break. Again, I re-drilled the barrels and breaches and, with more E Guitar string, CA'd them back again.

                          The Aleen's mask removal went well except for two windows. A true liquid mask might be better if you have it.

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                          This pic shows the nose dome on. In the process of applying liquid cement, I didn't realize that some had already run out onto my fingers until upon trying to remove them found a huge glue thumb print on the bottom quadrant. Another calamity!

                          I wet sanded it out and then gave it some Pledge (with Future) acrylic and it's less noticeable. Still there... just less noticeable. I'm not having much luck with clear parts on this model.

                          Time to install the wings. You do not need to glue them. It's a lock joint. With the wings on I felt confident enough to install the bomb bay doors and the forward crew door. They actually went on easily.

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                          The PE here really works giving the sheet metal look to both surfaces. Lastly, I put on the wheels (although not yet glued) and got the weight spot in the right position, and put the plane on a flat surface to take some "almost complete" pictures. I say, "almost" since I still have to put on the landing light lenses. And then I just touched that port-side waist gun barrel, and BANG! It broke again. I'm running out of patience. And more imprortantly, running out of gun barrel. I have no more resin barrels other than this stub. I may, heaven forbid, have to use one of the plastic barrels. They may not be scale, but they're styrene and bend a bit before breaking. I will now have to do that repair tomorrow along with the landing lights.


                          • #43
                            Bomber: Finishing up (Part B)

                            So here are some "almost finished" pics shot with the iPhone. When finished tomorrow, I will take it with Canon EOS and do depth-of-field work on it.

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                            There still some work to do around that ill-fitting nose dome that this picture really shows up.

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                            SO... now that we're heading back East on Friday instead of tomorrow, I will definitely be able to finish it. That is if I don't break anything else.


                            • #44
                              Bomber Completion (Part A)

                              Today is the official end of project day. This was good build, but not a great on because A) it's a crappy kit to start with, and B) I screwed up enough stuff (especially those *)@^_E cockpit windows to relegate it a nice model, but not superior level. That being said, let me get into the final steps. First of all, here are the "official" beauty pics created with my Canon EOS and ZereneStacker depth-of-field software.

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                              I started the day wanted to scratch-build the football antenna since I somehow must have thrown it out with one of the sprues. I'm usually pretty careful about making sure that any parts left and unneeded, but I must have missed that one. I drew a scale profile of this part and then made a bunch of duplicate parts that would be glued together and profiled. After gluing them all together I started filing away everything that didn't look like a football antenna. All went well until the base piece was breaking due to the filing stresses. I attempted to insert some brass wire to reinforced, but this too didn't quite work.

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                              Then I was left with filing just the round part. I figured that after I got it shaped, I would fabricate a separate base. Then it launched out of the pliers. I heard it hit something, but that was just the quantum rift opening and swallowing up the part. With that, I decided the plane didn't need any "stink'n" football.


                              • #45
                                Bomber Completion (Part B)

                                Next up was the landing lights. I put some Bare-Metal-Foil in the space prior to using Canopy Cement to hold the glazing in place.

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                                And then I installed the lens.

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                                The model needed some antennas. There is a short, straight one on the bottom and a double one to the tail. The bottom antenna originally had a couple of plastic pins that long ago broke off in all the seam fixing. I had drilled a couple on 0.021" holes for some brass wire of the same size. Today I added the brass and tied E-Z Line to the two points. If you've never used this product, I believe it's actually Lycra elastic fiber. It takes CA instantly and is very easy to use and, since it is highly elastic, it holds its tension and will not break if you happen to run into it... which I do repeatedly.

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                                For the top antenna, I believed that the two plastic lugs protruding from the port and starboard sides of the radio room were the feed throughs for this antenna. I drilled holes there to accept the line. The tail also has a lug that I drlled for the other end. The antenna needs an insulator at the top end. I tried to make one out of small diameter styrene rod drilled to accept two pieces of E-Z Line. This didn't work very well so I substituted a couple of black seed beads which were much easier to thread.

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                                Last up was replacing the last broken Verlinden gun barrel. I began to realize that doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome was a symptom of insanity (Albert Einstein). I decided to substitue steel for that resin. I found a piece of floral wire (0.046") that closely approximated the resin barrel. I turned the muzzle shape by chucking the wire into my Dremel Flexishaft handpiece and shaping it with a diamond-coated file. It doesn't have cooling holes, but you can't really tell. Not the barrel WILL NOT BREAK, but the gun can still be knocked out the window.

                                With that, the model is complete! I painted the figures and am including them with the model. The last thing I needed to do (besides cleaning up the shop...) is figuring how to bring it to Philly tomorrow. I came up with this.

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                                Nothing on the model is touching anything except the outer wings and the tail behind the tail wheel. Hot glued straps hold everthing down and the peice of foam keeps it from bouncing up and down. It's a good use for a Costco box. It will sit on top of any luggage and not have anything near it. It should work.

                                So, until the next plastic project, thank you all for following along.