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Monogram Enhanced B-17

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  • Pedicabby
    replied
    Excellent work dude.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    Glad I could help light that fire.

    Plastic building is done for a bit since my right arm has recovered to a point where I'm going to attempt building the mountain. I did a "proximal biceps tendon rupture". From the way it felt, I initially partially tore it an knocked it out of its track. A couple of weeks later, I moved my shoulder joint slightly outward, felt a lot of motion in that tendon, lots of pain for a couple of days, and then I had a new muscle bump at the upper portion of my bicep. The soreness moved into that area only and my shoulder freed up. I took a picture and sent it to my son in law and he diagnosed it. He said I can live well with it and at my age, surgery is not recommended. If was younger, an athlete or used my arms for an occupation (carpenter for example), surgery would be done, but it's a long recovery and difficult surgery. With the long head tendon-connected bicep belly disconnected, you still have about 80% of arm strength and that's enough to build a mountain.

    The model made it successfully to philly, the new owner was overjoyed and he's thinking that he might want me to build the 1/32 scale HKM B-17, which is a state-of-the-art kit that would be a blast to build.

    I also have a 1/32 Trumpeter ABM Avenger with extra goodies that arrived when I got stuff for the B-17 which should be a fun build. And I have a Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex which I'm thinking that I'm going to do it up like the Missouri with all the bells, whistles and steam horns. So standby for more stuff over the next year.

    Leave a comment:


  • texasjohn
    replied
    Excellent work! I need to get back into it again....been a while.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    Thanks Gun! I'm on the road again and just got myself logged on since I forgot my password. Finally was able to reset it.

    I didn't use any primer and in retrospect should have. I have Tamiya Surfacer/Primer that I used on the PE, and should have used it. I would have saved myself some grief. It's solvent-based so I can't spray much indoors. I'm lobbying to finally get a spray booth that I can vent outside. Instead of investing in digital train control, a wiser choice IMHO would be a fully functional, vented spray system. I would the be able to work with solvent paints wthout creating fumes in the house.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gun Grape
    replied
    Great build. With all your pitfalls yu did breath new life into an old model.


    What primer did you use under the Vallejo paint?

    Leave a comment:


  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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?

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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?

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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.

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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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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  • Builder 2010
    replied
    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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