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TheRealMrEd

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About TheRealMrEd

  • Birthday 04/06/1944

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

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  1. DC-2 would be accurate. That being said, way back in 1973, before we had the internet to find out such details, I built this kit with DC-3 wings and it came out great. Mostly depends -- do you want dead accurate or would you just like a nice B-18 model in the case? Enjoy the build in either case, as it will certainly look better than the one you had before... Ed
  2. In the end, I don't know that it's a very scale-like appearance, but I just wanted to give it a shot. Next up, the canopy goes on. As you can see below, not a great fit: Above right, the canopy has been glued into place with G-S cement, trying to get the best fit possible on the top side. There is a larger gap at the bottom. All the gaps were filled with additional G-S cement, and when dry, that was smoothed with 91% rubbing alcohol on a cloth, which was wrapped around a stiff round stick, to smooth it out a bit. Next the canopy was sanded smooth with 1500 - 12000 grit sanding film, and then everything was polished. Here is where I ran into trouble. Apparently there were tiny gaps in the join of the two halves of the canopy, both top and bottom, and polishing cream worked its way into the canopy. I have one trick that I will try to clear this up, but a little later on. Also the two fins on the upper body have been added. Below, the lower body fins have been added: Short lengths of split plastic straw have been temporarily stuck into the tailpipes to mask that area, held in place with tiny drops of white glue, which will be soaked off with water, when the painting is done. Below, the canopy has been masked with Parafilm "M", and trimmed to size: Above right, pieces of a sticky-backed hobby foam are cut to shape and used to mask the major wheel well openings; the smaller ones will be touched up later. And, she's ready for the paint shop. Back later. Ed
  3. Next up, the major addition to the model that I wanted to try and add, the instrument gauge backs and some wiring. I'm not going to try to replicate everything, as I'm not sure even these will be seen when done, but for me, it's one of those learning things -- can I or can't I do it -- and get them to fit? The gauges: My attempt: Above left, I re-installed the now-lengthened instrument "panel" (more like a strip, really!), which now sits a little more forward in the cockpit than originally. I added some short lengths of plastic rod (stretched sprue would also do), with holes drilled out for .010 lead wire (available from your fly-tying supplies stockist. This has the advantage of being fairly small and very flexible without breaking. These are glued onto the back side of the I.P.. Above right, the wires are gently bent back into the cockpit area -- not exactly correct, but a compromise on where anything would fit in this tiny area! They are routed, 3 to a side (trying to keep them from crossing each other), and secured in the back with a drop of CA adhesive. They will be trimmed at the "X" 's when dry. Not that they are along the cockpit sides, NOT under the edges. Next, although they can barely been seen, Mike Grant Instrument gauge decals have been added, to the I.P. and right side panel: Above right, Mike Grant switch panels have been added. Again, not as many as real life, but just to add some detail. Well, I made it this far -- more later. Ed
  4. Oops -- moderator, please move this thread to WIP ... Sorry about that! Ed
  5. My next effort will be the RS Models XP-79B, mostly because I don't yet have it in the collection, but also, until now, I wasn't certain how to build it with a few added things I wanted to do. I was also happy to find a kit review of the model over on Modeling Madness, by Scott Van Aken HERE This helped alert me to some possible problems, but didn't supply all the answers. So, here I go again, with something that I HOPE I know how to do! Of course, the nickname "Flying Ram" is totally inaccurate. Despite the legend that it was re-enforced to ram through enemy bomber formations, it was actually designed to carry 4 .50-caliber machine guns to do the dirty work. Besides, being made almost entirely of magnesium, only a scratch or two wrong and the aircraft would have become a flying bonfire. That was actually it's fate, the single prototype having crashed just 14 minutes into it's initial flight, when the aircraft began uncontrollably rolling to it's right, and the pilot bailed out. Unfortunately, the aircraft struck the pilot and he was unable to open his parachute. He died and the aircraft burned to a very small pile of ash on the desert floor. For some odd reason, the U.S. Army lost interest in the aircraft, and the project was cancelled... The kit: The kit consists of 31 fairly small parts, and a decal sheet, apparently including some "what-if" markings for a British aircraft. The drawing instructions, for me at least, were not crystal clear: Above left, right out of the box, I thought that part #30 (the cockpit rear bulkhead was supposed to go where part #12, actually goes, behind the canopy opening on the upper fuselage half, which has two small padded lumps that eventually will be painted leather-colored. (To digress for a moment, I have thought long and hard, wondering about how the pilot was strapped to the airplane, and I could not imagine any harness that would allow him to lay prone, and still get out of the rig to bail out. Guess it's amazing that he at least got out of the aircraft.) Anyway, due to the usual fact that RS does not provide locating pins on it's models, the cockpit "tub" has to be assembled on it's bottom edge, free-standing. Part #31 (the instrument panel) will be glued across the front, as seen above right, after the tub has been glued into place, which is largely a matter of achieving the best fit you can. Next, I glued the connecting shaft for the control yoke to the yoke while it was attached to the sprue. This allowed me to get it pretty much perpendicular to the yoke: Above right, the shaft and yoke are glued into place, with the yoke just proud of the bottom canopy opening, after gluing the little "V"-shaped part to the floor. The two "X" 's show ejection pins that must be removed. It was after test fitting everything to this point, that I discovered that the instrument panel, part #31 set too far back to clear the yoke, so I sawed it off the model, glued on two small bits of scrap card. When the glue is dry, these will be sanded to shape, and serve to simply extend the length of the IP so that it fits further forward: Above right, I used fly-tying hackle pliers to hold one half of the two clear canopy parts, while they were glued together with G-S Hypo (watch) cement. The pliers don't hold the halves together, they just give me something to hold the tiny parts while applying the glue! They are very tiny, awkward parts! Next, the intakes were temporarily glued into place, to allow proper spacing for some tiny split shot that I glued in with white glue, to get as much weight forward of the main gear as possible, a tip provided by Scott in his review -- thanks: Next, the "belly pad" was added, along with two forearm pads, made up from scrap card, which RS did NOT provide. Then, everything was painted interior green, leather and black. The kit plans call for the yoke to be painted aluminum; it was not. And with that, I'll close for now. See you next time, Ed
  6. Hello again. Back this time with some finished pictures of a project I've been dragging along on for some time. Years ago, I bought this Anigrand XP-49 kit on-line, as a used kit. It had some problems. The boom halves were badly warped, the landing gear doors and nose gear leg were missing, as were the mass balancers for the elevator. So, I started slowly sawing, slicing, bending and scrounging replacements parts,in this case from the same old MPC P-38F kit that I scrounged other parts from for my XP-38 prototype build. Only the nose gear door had to be fashioned from an old fuel tank of the right diameter, as the one on the XP-49 was longer than on the P-38. This became one of those kits that were only worked on while paint or glue on other models in progress were being built, so I never shot pictures for a build thread. Other than the above-mentioned problems, this was just another simple resin kit, albeit, one of the older Anigrand offerings. Like most other resin vendors, Arnold has improved his techniques in later years, and are these days, his kits usually quite build-able. The Lockheed XP-49 was a later proposed variant of the P-38, with larger, more powerful engines and weapons, as well as a pressurized cockpit for higher altitude flight. The newer engines didn't pan out, and while the XP-49 was said to have "run circles" around the P-38's, the advent of the long-range P-51's made it not worth the effort, First flown in 1942, it was tested to destruction at Wright Field in 1946. In any event here are a few pics of the finished beast: And, for those interested, here is a shot of the Lockheed twin-boom brethren, from left to right, the XP-38, the XP-49, and the XP-58 "Chain Lightning", for comparison purposes. As always, I'm glad to add it to the collection. Thanks for looking, comments or questions always welcomed. Ed
  7. Thanks Bill! Thanks Cookie, by bucket list is getting smaller these days! Thanks Learstang, They probably hired some of the sheet metal workers from Curtiss -- they apparently always had plenty of scoops lying about Ed
  8. Thanks Jeaton! I would love to see a build of this in 48th. The biggest problem for you would seem to be finding the earliest version in 1/48 scale that you can scrape up. Of course, there may be one, I just don't follow in that scale. In addition to the massive chop and fill on the intake area of the later marks, it's quite another thing to reverse the turbos on a later mark, as there are usually other fences, intakes, etc around the turbo, so that you would have to pretty much destroy the upper booms in that area. leaving you with basically a pair of empty landing gear wells to hold everything together on the booms. Not a task I would care to tackle. Hope you figure it out! Of course, I had to wait years for RS Models to give me an earlier mark before I dared try this one in this scale... Ed
  9. Well, after much chopping, filling sanding and other general mayhem, this combination of the RS Models P-322 1 and the MPC P-38F models have been beaten into a semblance of the very first Lightning, the XP-38. For those who might be interested in the hows and whys, the build thread is HERE. The pics: Thanks for looking in. Ed
  10. Well, I've more or less survived the paint shop. After a coat of Alclad II Grey primer, more sanding and filling, then an overall coat of Alclad II Gloss Black Base coat, and an overall coat of Alclad II Airframe Aluminum, this is how she looks: . Now, time for some decals. I like to start with the hardest first, so that hopefully, it's downhill from there. In this case, I had not yet decided whether I would have to paint the red, white and blue tailfeathers or not. I went ahead and painted the rudders white, just in case. The technical order on these is to derive the width of the rudder, and divide by three. The blue stripe is one third the width, and the red and white stripes are two-thirds the width. There have to be thirteen alternating stripes, with the topmost and bottom one both being red, and all the stripes alternating between red and white -- total of 7 red, and six white stripes. Dividing the height of the rudder meant that on this model, the red and white stripes needed to be an actual 1.9mm in width. While I have painted these markings in the past, with all their required masking, this time I felt lazy and hoped to find some spares in the decal box that I could use. I lucked out, and found an old TBF sheet with the required size markings: As this was an old decal sheet, I gave the needed decals a coat of Microscale Decal Film, just to be safe. When dry, I cut out the requisite 7 red and 6 white striped pieces, of which the decal sheet yielded exactly the four pieces I would need. The thing that made these usable, is that the stripes were almost exactly the right width, ie. 2mm. Above center, I cut out one of the rudder shapes from the scale drawings, and used that to trace an outline approximately 1.5mm wider than needed, along the rear edge. This gives some material to wrap around the rudder when the decal is applied. I also figured out where the slot for the horizontal stabilizer was needed, and cut that out at the same time. I you ever find yourself doing this, take great care to make two rights and two lefts, because if you screw it up, there is no spare red/white stripe to save your bacon! Above right, the drill is to apply the decal using your favorite mild decal setting solution. Position the decal with the slight overhang to the rear. When dry, add a few drops of heavy-duty decal setting solution to the rear edge decal overhang, and as they wilt a bit, tease them around the edge of the rudder. Prop the model up so that the limp decal edge will hang down, and gravity may do the job for you. If not, a couple more applications of setting solution and some teasing, will do the job. In my case the first solution was Micrsol Set, and the latter is Walther's decal setting solution, found in toy train shops everywhere. The same process is later repeated on the other side of the rudders, and then the blue vertical stripes (3mm wide were added. The arrow point to one spot where a little red touch-up paint will be needed, as the decal didn't wrap around perfectly. Eventually, all the decals were added, from the spares box. There where few indeed on the XP-38, the rudders, four wing stars with red circles, and "U.S. ARMY" on the bottoms of the wings. I threw on four four fueling receptacle decals just to add a little more color, but I'm not sure that they were really there on the prototype P-38. When dry, I shot on a coat of Alclad II Klear Kote Light Sheen topcoat, both to seal the decals, and to kill the polished metal sheen somewhat. While the XP-38 was shiny, I don't think she was THAT shiny! After that, it was time to mask up and paint the wheel wheels (Interior Green), the anti-glare panels (I chose flat black, they may have been dark green. I can't prove it one way or the other), and some darker aluminum around the turbo-chargers. To mask over Bare Metal Finishes, as well as over decals, I use Parfilm "M" masking film. I put it on over almost any area a dumb cluck like myself could possible get over-spray on, then I outline the needed areas with Tamiya Tape and thinner flex tape for tight curves. (The tape is laid on atop the Parafilm "M", which assure that nothing pulls off when the masking is later removed.). Below, all masked off and ready to go, I have followed the edges of the tape with a sharp #11 X-Acto blade, scoring lightly though the decal film, which is then peeled away using the tip of the blade very carefully, to start the removal process. Shown here are the anti-glare panels, ready to paint. The other areas will be dealt with in the same manner: Below, after removing all the Parafilm "M" masking (which also removes the masking tape, which was laid atop the film), the anti-glare and turbo panels look like so: Another last, important detail, is the proper logo for the propellers. The XP-38 used an earlier type Curtis prop than all the later marks, along with the older Curtis prop logo. I confess that I can't see much difference in the propellers, but the logo are very different. If you should choose to do one of these, the artwork is provided below, a large copy to see, and a copy scaled for 1/72 scale: From here, it's just assembling the small parts, etc. On the nose landing gear, the prototype seems to be different than production versions. As I didn't have any really good views, I chose to simply add the retracting strut to the front of the gear, vs the usual rear side of the nose gear on the production models. Not sure about the YP-38's either -- your mileage may vary. I think it is now time to try to list all the things I can think of to help distinguish the XP-38 from later variants, which might be useful when looking at photos and the like. Again, bear in mind that the XP-38 had only undergone about 4.5 hours of flight testing, before her ill-fated flight across the country, which lasted about 7.5 hours flight time -- not a whole lot of miles... 1) There are no known photos of the XP-38 in flight. Therefore, all flight photos are YP-38 or later marks! 2) The turbo-chargers on the XP-38 are the only mark that had them installed backward, ie., the waste gates were installed toward the front, rather than the rear 3) The XP-38 is the only version to have both props rotating inward, at the tops. All others are outward rotating (except the P-322 1, which had both props right-handed rotating, because the Brits wanted commonality with their existing stock of P-40 engines. In any event, the prop decals are a dead giveaway. Only the XP-38 had the earlier Curtiss "stripe" version, shown above. 4) The XP-38 had the very short radiators on the side booms. All the YP-38 pics I've seen seem to be larger, more like the later production versions. 5) As discussed in the build article earlier, the smaller side boom intakes (under the wings) are different from the production versions. The YP-38's however, may have used the same ones. 6) Only the XP-38 had the retractable intakes under the engine nacelles, and the retractable exits atop the rear booms. 7) The XP-38 had no framing on the windscreen (YP's probably were the same, at least for a time -- not sure. The XP-38 had no mass elevator balances installed. (Don't know why I get the smiley face instead of "8)", but something has gotten embedded in the text, and I can't get rid of it...) 9) The pitot tube was installed just ahead of the nose wheel well. 10) The XP-38 had no wheel covers, just the bare spoked wheels. I used the one from the MPC P-38F kit. 11) Also, the XP-38 lacked the three ID lights under the center fuselage -- not sure about the YP and later early marks... And, for not certain items, the huge steering wheel seems to at least be in one of the YP-38 pictures (the Kelly Johnson one, shown above), and I seem to have read somewhere that the XP used only a single radio wire, from the cockpit area to the horizontal stabilizer, as opposed to the two wires, from the rudders to the fuse , as seen on later versions. Not sure about the YP-38s, and I couldn't find a picture, so I left it off. And there you have it. You now know what I THINK I know -- good luck. Since the rest off adding the little parts is pretty straight forward, I didn't take any other build photos. But finally, she's all done, and I'm happy to add here to the collection. I hope that you'll try one also. Just limber up the old sanding hand.... I've got to go out f town for a few days, so I may not respond to any questions or comments until I get back to town. I will post up some RFI pics HERE. Meanwhile, here's a teaser: Thanks for following along, or for just looking in! Ed
  11. Hello again. Time to show a little progress: Above, various scoops, exits, etc, have been added (1, 2, and 3), along with the horizontal stabilizer extensions (4). Note that the cockpit has been masked with bare metal foil (5). In the following picture, you will note the the retractable ducts atop the boom are not quite the same shape, and do not fit the tops of the booms precisely: Not to worry, a little filler and sanding will help with that problem: Above right, at the end of the day, they didn't turn out too bad, given my fumble-fingers! Now, it's time for a confession -- I lied about there being no more scoops, intakes and so on! Turns out, there's another pair needed, the little intakes outside each boom, on the sides, below the wing. All Lightnings have them, in one form or another. I already knew that the early production Lightnings had different-shaped scoops here, as compared to the later variants. My original intent was to use the scoops/intakes from the donor MPC P-38F. Turns out that for some reason, one of these was missing from the kit. Shouldn't have been surprised really, as the kit has been open box, none-bagged parts for at least 30 years in the stash! No telling how many times it's been pawed through, looking for some odd part or another -- the fate of a lot of kits belonging to a kit-basher... So much for plan "A", I'll just have to scratch build some. My first thought was "duck soup", I'll just grab some old missile bodies and reshape them. I found a pair of (I think) AIM-120's from (probably) an ancient Airfix F-14A Tomcat kit, and started sanding, while referring to photos: It was while looking at photos to figure out what was needed, that I discovered that the shapes of these on the XP-38 (and the YP-38), was even different from the early production P-38 variants. I had always seen the production one as sort of an elongated "football" antenna, with the front end chopped off and opened up. On the XP-38, they are round at the front opening, increase slightly in diameter at the main body, until forming a 90-degree turn and becoming sort of a fat tear drop shape, where they attach with a blended tear drop shaped flange to the fuselage. The following pictures may help this to be a little more understandable. Oops, time for plan "C". I took some measurements off the earlier-mentioned scale drawings, and found that in 1/72 (THE ONE TRUE SCALE - A POX ON THE OTHERS!), they measure out to 5mm long, 2mm diameter at the front end, increasing to 3mm for the main body. Casting about, I found that fortuitously, the MPC P-38F kit had a piece of sprue 3mm in diameter, with the makings of two 90-degree bends, the part of the sprue next to the gear doors: That sprue needs to be cut off where indicated, leaving a very wide "U"-shaped piece. As sort of a "proof-of-concept", I began by sawing a partial line around the sprue, a little longer than 5mm from the bend end, and began shaping the needed part: Above center, the end attaching to the fuselage or boom is a fat tear drop. Above right, the thinnest piece of scrap plastic card that I could find was attached to this end with a drop of liquid glue, and left to dry. Eventually, this all was done on the other end of the sprue, and the flat plastic card bits were trimmed and sanded to a corresponding, but slightly larger, tear drop shape: Above right, The two ends were sawn off a little Vallejo putty as added and smoothed to sort of fair-in the flange to the intake proper. Then the ends were drilled out, and we have a passable set of intakes. For those who have struggled to drill out the back end of missiles and the like, here is my technique, bitterly worked out over the years. I start by using a "newish" #11 X-Acto blade tip to twirl a tiny divot as close to the center of the object as I can manage, using strong magnification. Usually, one of these efforts will be slightly off-center, when examined closely. If so, I lean the edged side of the X-Acto blade toward the direction I want to move the hole, and sort of "hog-out" plastic gently, slightly increasing the size of the divot, which moves the center of the hole slowly in the right direction. Once I have it close to center, I have a hole or divot usually about 1mm or so across, I start with a slightly larger drill bit, the drill a shallow larger hole. If that hole is well-centered, then fine. If not, I lean the DRILL BIT a little in the desired direction and sort of rasp off plastic to center the hole a bit. When the hole is really centered, I gradually increase the size of the drill bits to finish up to hole to the desired size -- hopefully just shy of drilling through any of the walls of the hole! Note: this only works with reasonably-sized drill bits. Try this down in the #79 or #80 sizes and they'll snap in two, every time! Anyway, when done, they attach to to XP-38 with their rear ends aligned with the back of the wing, centered up on the side of the boom, midway between the bottom of the wing and the gear well edge (on later variant P-38's, your mileage may vary...!): And with that, I think (and hope and pray) that finally I'm done with scoops, intakes, exits and the like! For real this time! Next up, it's time for the endless rounds of primer, sanding, inspection, filling, primer, etc...etc.. Back eventually, Ed
  12. Martin Here's one place, but the postage may be off-putting. MPM bombs Also, I got my 3d print 2000lb bombs on EBay. Good luck Ed
  13. Thanks Adrian, But, that's probably there are no kits around. There are so many differences that no one can easily stretch the molds into many kits cheaply. Of course, a gutsy manufacturer could do an XP/YP kit offering... Ed
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