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About TheRealMrEd

  • Birthday 04/06/1944

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  • Location
    Marietta, Georgia USA
  • Interests
    1/72 US military aircraft and small scale r/c aircraft.

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  1. My $.02 worth is to use Durham's Water putty to fill the inside of the vacuform canopy, to stiffen it up for vacu-forming. Either before or after this step, dip the entire canopy into Pledge Floor Care Finish, or whatever it's called where you are, 3 or 4 times (letting dry between coats). After each coat of pledge has dried (drain onto a paper towel and cover with a cup or whatever to protect from dust), check your defect area under a good light from various angles, and preferably, under magnification. When the defect has physically (not necessarily visually) disappeared, you are good to go. You can even further polish the Pledge before forming, if desired. Feel free to ask how I know... Ed
  2. To paraphrase a school teacher from long ago. "modeling is the effort of a feeble mind, trying to express itself forcibly"... But thanks, Ed
  3. Back again, this time after some undercoat and a layer of FS#15042 (MM Dark Sea Blue): Above, the decals were already old and cracking, even though the kit was just bought brand new -- go figure, so I had to put on a couple of layers of Decal Film to hold everything together. The top wing bar on the star-and-bar insignia will still need some repair, using strips of scrap white wing-walk line decal. Above right, most all of the tiny decals are added, but the added decal film meant that now, all the decals (stripes included) had to be trimmed individually from the sheet. Also, despite only laying in a single drop of water on my desktop for a few seconds, most of the tiny decals (there are many!) lacked enough glue to hold them down. If you build one of these, prepare to glue each decal into place with clear topcoat, or whatever method. My solve-a-set and such didn't help much at all, so there's quite a bit of silvering in some places. Be fore-warned... Better news, once all the masking had been removed from the main canopy, it turned out rather well: Leaving all that aside for the moment, there are a few other details to complete. I had failed to notice originally that the kit tail-wheel was missing, apparently broken off from the rear landing gear/tail wheel door assembly when removed from the mold. I got the linkage, but no wheel. Luckily, I had a wheel of about the right size in the spares box: Above, second from left, I selected a piece of "U" shaped plastic, just wider than the tire. I figured this would give more gluing surface, and thus be stronger than just butt-joined plastic scrap for the next part. Third from left, some small plastic scrap was glued to each side of the "U", hollow side up, and the wheel was drilled through and a small plastic axle added. My original thought was to trim off the axles just proud of flush with the wheel hub, the then glue them to the inside of the fork. Instead, I ended up trimming them a little longer, and drilled holes in the fork to accept the axle stubs, The forks were shaped a little after assembly, using a sharp #11 X-Acto blade, but I could have made them a little more spindly. I'll confess, I chickened out! In the end, it looks perhaps a little too burly, but it does look better than no tail wheel at all! Or, I can just pretend that this was the solution to one of the original delay problems on the prototype, which was in fact, the need to strengthen both the tail wheel and arresting hook... Here she is with undercarriage added: And here, above right, she is with her pants on (wheel bay doors). Also the tail hook has been added in the stowed position, as well as the underbelly gun assembly. Next, in the upper turret, the gun mount and armor plating have been added, prior to adding the canopy glazing. The sanded down lit turret ring is a tiny bit smaller than the inside of the glazing, so it was eventually a bit fiddly to get the glazing onto the turret ring, evenly on all sides. But, using G-S Watch cement, I was able to eventually wrestle it into place: Above the seat is glued to the little putter-shaped piece of plastic, here held by the clamp. Eventually, the "top" end of the "putter" is glued inside of the turret ring, offset to the side, behind the armor plate. When dry, the whole shebang is glued into the enlarged hole in the cockpit upper shelf: Above right, the main canopy glazing is installed, along with an antenna mast, made up from scrap plastic, with a wire pin to hold it onto the model. Well, that's it for this time. Rounding the final turn now, see you at the flag! Ed
  4. A brief update. Some masking fun: Boy, this is one of those times I would GLADLY have paid for a set of masks!! I ended up using kubuki tape on the main panels, and Parafilm "M" for the windscreen panels, as the tape just would not co-operate. Fortunately the lower gun glazing won't need any glazing, but the top turret, well that's another matter. I started up, as before, using masking tape, but it wouldn't conform to the sharp curves of the upper part of the turret. Next, I tried Bare Metal Foil, but I had handled the turret too much, and there was too much skin oil for the BMF to stick properly. I ended up cutting out the second kit copy of the turret, cleaned it with alcohol before starting, and THEN the BMF co-operated a little better: Above right,after the masking was removed, the turret worked out pretty well. I should state here than both the turret and the main canopy were mounted to wads of blue masking tape, to have something to hold onto while spraying these two parts off the model. When the model is painted, the FIRST copy of the turret, the one partially masked with tape, will be wrapped in Parafilm "M" and installed temporarily onto the model, along with the main canopy for painting. This turret glazing will be installed near the end of the build. Oh, the part unmasked in the upper left view, will be the part that's cut out for the gun travel. Later, Ed
  5. Nope it was late at night and I just had a senior moment. These are of course they are of the B-18 Bolo, sans glass nose. It IS interesting to note, however, that it is pretty beaten up. I don't think it must have been an easy job, being a medium bomber in the lower Americas, back in the day! Ed
  6. From the wayback machine, taken in 1969 at the old, mostly outdoor display at the Air Force Museum. Please forgive the large size, but this is a scan of a photo album of Polaroid pictures, that are far beyond stuck to their page! The show the B-10 with the original nose, and with some of those "dings" clearly seen: 1969 USAF Museum B-10 The pictures will be 53 years old this January, so I supose, like me, that they are entitled to their stubbornness! Hope you enjoy. Ed
  7. Yup, I once made that mistake on an old 1920's kid's steam shovel metal toy, that was given to me as a kid. Decades later, I wanted to clean it up for my son. Had it sand-blasted and professionally re-painted. Found out later that I had basically destroyed a very rare toy. I do still have it in the attic, however. At least, it hasn't rusted away! Seriously, only you mess with whatever is left of the original paint, it suffers a much worse drop in value than driving a new car off the dealer's showroom!. I sure hope that this is a labor of love for you, as mine was... Ed
  8. Back for more. Next, up, fiddling with the clear parts. One of the kit's main canopies is cut free from it's master sheet. Then, in the time-honored fashion, a scriber is used to scribe multiple passes around the outer edge of the part. Eventually, the part will snap off the sheet cleanly, with only slight sanding cleanup necessary: Above right, a little fine sanding cleans up the scribed edge, and assure that the bottom canopy rail is even on both side. Actually, the sliding parts of the canopy should be a hair taller than the non-sliding parts; originally, I had toyed with the idea of cutting up both supplied canopies, and using one to cut out the fixed part, and one to cut out the sliding parts, then depicting the canopies open. Trying to figure out the spacing requirements, much less the masking, etc. quickly put that errant thought to rest! Next, a trial fit: Upper right, beginning the same process on the upper and lower gun position glazings. Next the lower gunner's molded bubble actually has to be cut more or less in half, and for this I used a strip of tape to mark the line, and a fine-pointed small scissor to make the cut. (A tip here. Get a small pair of thread nipping scissors from a friendly sewing supply {or steal the wife's}. They are super sharp and thin-bladed, and excellent for this use or for detailed decal work. You'll be glad you did! But, I suppose if you were honorable, a trip to the fly-tying stockist would do as well... A photo in the Sea Wolf book shows that the lower gun glazing had a sort of sealed hole, through which the gun, mounted on a portion of a plexiglass dish, could protrude, and help seal out the cold, pretty much like the YB-17A, etc. did. Above right is how I make this sort of thing, and well as various other aircraft blisters of various sizes. The black metal sheet above is is actually a drill bit sizer (I suppose a bolt sizer would work as well, but it must be made of metal). Plastic ones deform from the heat used in the molding process. Anyway, here is shown a piece of blister packaging scrounged from around the house, fastened to the metal plate with spring clamps. This is heated with your favorite heat source, such as a hair dryer, but I prefer a cheapie paint remover, which also has the advantage of being able to narrow the flow of hot air from the device, thus protecting your face, eyes, and perhaps, favorite cold beverage from undue travail... When heated, a rounded end male whatever (this is a sanding stick, of a slightly smaller diameter than the hole) is quickly shoved through the plastic from this side shown, to the needed depth. When done, the newly-formed blister can now be shaved from it's backing sheet, using a sharp single-edge razor blade. Note that one side of the plastic is still clamped, and the thumb is located on the OPPOSITE side of the plastic from the blade!: Above right, the blister is shaved cleanly, leaving a neat, perfect edge. Next, the center of the blister is drilled, and the resultant hole is gently enlarged with a beading file (normally used to clean up bead holes), to perfectly fit the gun barrel: Above right, the finished lower fuselage gun emplacement assembly. Part "A" is the kit glazing (careful, is has a specific orientation, determined by an etched panel on the outer face). Part "B" is the new blister w/hole. Part "C" is the kit machine gun (although I'm not certain whether it should have the firing solenoid on the rear end, as used in aircraft wing guns, or whether there should be a two-handed grip/trigger assembly). Being unsure, I left it as is. Part "D" is an added ammo box made from scrap. Not knowing the actual color, I painted it O.D., but the reason it doesn't look that way here is because of my photo manipulation for better clarity. I could have opened up the hole in the glazing to allow the front of the blister to stick out a bit, as on the real thing, but with the thickness of all the parts, it still wouldn't look right. Most of this won't be seen anyway, and I only did it to perfect this technique against future need... More later, Ed
  9. Yup, they're still available, but starting to get a little pricey! Ed
  10. This build thread offering is for the seldom-seen (or modeled!) TBY-2 Sea Wolf Torpedo Bomber, originally designed to be a backup of Grumman's TBF/TBM Torpedo Bomber in case it didn't work out. Due to the lead time of requiring an entire factory to be modified to allow the build of this aircraft, and various other development delays, the first production TBY-2 was not delivered to the US Navy until November 1944, and, the TBF/TBM being pretty successful, the TBY-2 contact was cancelled. Interestingly, the TBY-2 had a newer, larger engine than the TBM, and was around 50 mph faster. The only remaining scrap of this aircraft type today, is a part of one canopy, and that is located at a budding Sea Wolf Museum in Allentown, PA, USA, where the type was built. Next, the parts. On the left, below, the Czeck Master kit, and the Pavla upgrade kit: Above right, the kit parts by themselves. You will notice that there is no engine, engine cowl ring, nor turret ring to be seen! As I had just bought this kit from HobbyLink Japan, I contacted them for help, and they contacted Czeck Master. CM requested a photo of the pieces I HAD (I suppose it would have been interesting to send them a picture of only the propeller?). But, of course, I did not, and eventually, they worked it out and the missing parts were forwarded from Japan by HLJ, within a matter of only a couple of weeks time. A shout out to Czeck Master and to HLJ for their fast response and help. I am a very happy camper, and recommend both companies for your future consideration. So, from the start of this kit to the present time, there has been some delay, even though I have been plugging along on it. It would have been a PITA to scratch-build the missing part, but as Tommy Thompson would say "That's no step for a stepper". However, during that time, while the build continued, some photos were unfortunately not taken, but that's not really fatal. Anyway, the only real source of data on this aircraft is the following book, copies of which are now approaching princely sums, but which are, nonetheless, VERY useful, if not indispensable: And, lest I forget, here are the items in the detail upgrade set from Pavla. There aren't a lot of parts, but they are very well molded, and do in fact, offer greater detail than the kit. Top left, is a new (and more accurate) cockpit floor, which also has a new bomb/torpedo bay roof molded on the underside, should you wish to open the weapons bay for detailing. I did not. Top right, there is also a better topside cockpit "shelf". In the center of the photo is a bulkhead designed to separate the torpedo bay from the rear gun compartment, It is the placement of this item, and the instrument panel which determines the fore-and-aft location of the new cockpit floor, and that little matter requires a lot of thought! Last, there is a new canopy. The TBY-2 kit, gives you two copies of all the needed clear parts, which is good. The problem is, the kit part canopies only allow you to build some serial numbers of aircraft, while the detail set canopy enable you to build the others (which were more prevalent!). In point of fact, the book says that the type of canopy in the detail set is the predominant type, and that the canopy type provided in the Czeck Master kit was only used on BuNo 30374, which is not correct. In their own book, they show at least two other buNo's with this type canopy, nos 30363 and 30361. Thankfully, 30461 is offered on the kit's decal set, so I went that route, rather than using the detail set's canopy. There may be other BuNo's also, but I didn't research further. Some preliminary work needed on the fuselage halves to use the detail set was removing part of the rear turret deck structure: After this is where some pictures were not, sadly, taken. This work, as stated above, involved the proper fore-and-aft placement of the cockpit floor, with regard to the placement of the rear torpedo compartment bulkhead and the instrument panel would all properly locate, and topside, as the where the roll-over cage and pilot's seat would properly line up. Well, I eventually figured it out, and so can you, if you build one of these. I will say that the kit's cockpit sidewalls are nicely detailed, and One could probably build a quite acceptable model, using just the original kit parts, but I will never know... Anyway, perhaps the following pictures showing the cockpit components installed into the fuselage halves will help out a bit: Top left, the important thing here is showing that the new upper canopy shelf hole for the rear turret must be enlarged to fit the kit's turret ring. Since I could find ZERO color pics of the cockpit, not much is known besides that fact that a lot of equipment was black... Above center, to get the roll-over cage to fit properly flat to the cockpit shelf or coaming, I actually had to chisel away some fine detail underneath it for a flat fit. Above right, the pilot's seat and control column has been added, along with seat belts made from strips of painted aluminum foil. I also spent some time adding some Mike Grant decals to the IP ( most of which will never bee seen) just because I hadn't done it in a while. There's a whole story with that, but perhaps we'll cover that another time... Also, it turns out that I should have installed the IP when the cockpit floor was put in, but it also turns out that it's possible to put it in after the fact -- just a lot harder! Well, that's enough for now. See you next installment, Ed
  11. Thanks F-32. Sadly, we'll probably never see the like again... Ed
  12. Thanks folks, for the kind comments. It was a lot of fun to build, a little less so to paint, but I got 'er done...! Ed
  13. Yup Andwil, tried masking and painting that little bit 3 times and then just gave up. Ran out of time as this trip was coming up, so I may touch it up after I get back. Good eye! Ed
  14. For those of you who may not know what a "squadron hack" is, it's usually a certain aircraft used by various personnel to make short trips to other locations, for various reasons, such as one squadron/wing/base commander visiting another for whatever reason. In case of it being an actual unit commander, then squadron, etc. pride comes into play, where the visiting commander wants to show off the maintenance and discipline characteristics of his/her command. Sometimes they are really polished to the hilt. (For some reason, Col George Laven, Jr comes to mind...) Anyway, when highly polished, they are meant to show unit pride. After finding that I had no T-33 in my collection, I decided, why not go the extra distance... For those interested, pictures of the actual aircraft, the build thread (and art work) are HERE Other than saying that this Platz kit is the best-fitting model that I've ever built, I'll let the pictures do the talking: Thanks for looking, Ed
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