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TheRealMrEd

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About TheRealMrEd

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    Obsessed Member
  • Birthday 04/06/1944

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

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  1. Time to start the New Year off with a fresh project, although helping my youngest daughter remodel her house is taking it's toll on the ol' modeling time... This is the first Blue Whale: Anyway, this will be a build of the 1/72 Hasegawa A-3B Skywarrior kit into a model of the very first Blue Whale, the XA3D-1. The Hasegawa kit: will be paired with the Obscureco Skywarrior cockpit set (the A-3A being as close as I could get for the cockpit of the XA3D-1), shown above right. There are some pieces in this kit that are excess to requirement as they are for other "Version" of the A-3, and they are not shown in the above photo. Also used will be the Muroc Model XA3D-1 conversion set: This conversion set has the correct "slanted" intakes, which only appear on the #1 ship, BN 125412. The #2 ship, BN 125413, as well as all subsequent variants, have "vertical" intakes. This kit also gives you a resin "master" for the cockpit, which allows you to vacuform another, should the need arise, as this canopy is different from later variants. There is also a rear gun turret, although the guns and it's controls were not installed on the first prototype. The is also a new nose and pod for the top of the vertical stabilizer. Sadly, I just found out the the Hasegawa kit does not have the correct wheels for the prototype or bomber versions, but instead has the wheels for the other "Versions" that followed later on. I have order a Reskit conversion for the wheels, and a comparison will be shown for the edification of fellow modelers, in due time. I'll begin with a seemingly simple task, installation of the front wheel well that is included with the Obscureco kit. In the second picture of this article, I failed to notice that the wheel well was stuck to the cockpit floor, but I can assure you, it does not go there! Below, it is shown glued to the right fuselage half with just a couple of drops of CA: Picture two, just above shows the fuselage halves being pressed together, to assure that the wheel well sits straight up and down, before properly gluing into place with more CA on the right side. The third picture above, shows the addition of other glue, a thicker, sticky glue, in case the CA ever fails. You may ask me HOW I KNOW THIS. Let me just say, that once a wheel well (or even a cockpit) comes loose after the fuselage is closed up, it will make you feel greatly discomfited! Before anyone posts that they've never had this failure ... yada, yada -- give yourself another 40 or 50 years of modeling without taking this precaution, THEN we'll discuss it! Please note that this mostly only occurs when bonding resin to resin, or resin to plastic NOT plastic-to-plastic, but, you never know with CA. For plastics, I like to melt the dickens out of it with Weldon #3, and rarely use CA to assemble plastic. Next order of business is to install the various components of the Obscureco cockpit, show in the following two pictures: There are a few things to note here. Because of my inability to find even a single photo of the major areas of the XA3D-1's cockpit, I am a little unsure of the pieces glued on, and marked with the two arrows. The upper arrow points to an equipment support bracket that Obscureco tells you where to put, but not how to orient. The lower arrow is sort of an equipment shelf (selected for the A-3A version -- again, as close as I can get to the XA3D-1). Lastly, the "G" marking shows the area where gun controls would normally be installed on a version with the tail turret, were the guns and controls mounted. Next, a view of the cockpit from the rear: In the above photo, the arrow points to the A-3A Bombardier/Navigator station selection from the Obscureco kit. Again, stations for other variants are provided in the kit. Anyway, because of my lack of photos, if anyone out there can chip in with knowledgeable placement on these pieces, or on correct cockpit colors for this version, I'd be grateful. In the absence of further guidance, I'll probably choose the usual black-over-Interior Green selection, although it could be black over black as well. While the later variants come in a variety of colors, the fact that this prototype was built more or less around 1950, before the gray interiors became mandated, give one pause to think. If you KNOW, please help! Well, at least it's a beginning. More soon, I hope! Ed
  2. Thanks everyone, for the kind comments. I bought this kit the instant I saw it on E-Bay a few months ago. Like most, I didn't even know it existed! If it were re-issued or continued with a little better word-of-mouth, I'm sure it would be a success, much like the re-issued PJ Productions F-84F... Ed
  3. As finished in the 1/72 "Lift Here" Models Piper Enforcer build, here are the final pics: Thanks for looking. Ed
  4. Okay, finally brought her home! Here she is with decals, and an overcoat of Alclad II Aqua Gloss to seal the decals and provide a base for a slight water-based black wash, to pop out a few panels: The small antenna have been added here and there, as well as the pitot under the right wing tip where the old ID lights were covered up, as well as the boom on the left fuel tank. The next view shows the 3 major omissions in the kit, the lack of yellow prop markings , the two landing lights, and that missing under-wing pitot barely seen below: All missing parts from my spares box. One sad note, of the two landing lights I found, one flew off into Never-Never Land. If I ever find it, I'' glue it on later. I top-coated the canopy with a hand-brushed layer of Aqua Gloss. In the pictures it looks cloudy, but it is much better in real life. Maybe I'll try polishing it a bit when I have more time. For now, that's it! As probably the last "Mustang" ever, it is a welcome addition to the collection. A few more pictures coming up, when I figure out where to put them. Thanks for looking in... Ed
  5. Okay, would you believe RIPE Olive Green.....? Or should it be Green Olive green? Ed
  6. Hello everyone! Well, after a very busy Christmas and having to stop and order some paint -- and to help my daughter with her house remodeling project, I'm back again with another installment. First up is masking off the turbo exhaust area, and then painting it with Alclad II Polished Aluminum and Stainless Steel: Above right, my new circle template just arrived (actually a device for measuring drill bits). It is about 1.5 - 2mm thick. and much sturdier than the scribing template used for making the tank tip light shown earlier! Next time I have to make such a moulding, I'll be all set. Next, the turbo exhaust area is re-masked, this time with Parafilm "M", and a coat of FS34102, a variant of Olive Green, but not exactly O.D. -- if that makes any sense... Above right, the airplane is masked and FS34092 Euro Dark Green is added where needed. Be aware that the two prototypes built had slightly differing paint schemes; I just picked the one I liked best. Next, more masking and the FS36081 Euro I Dark Grey is added, where needed: Above right -- I couldn't find a single good photo of the underside of the real aircraft, so I just more or less duplicated the upped side pattern. Note that the pylons are included in the camo pattern, not added afterwards. Not really a very exciting camouflage scheme... Thats it for this time. Next up will be adding all the antenna, pitot and other fiddly bits, followed by a coat of Alclad II Aqua Gloss in prep for decals and possibly a wash. Back soon, Ed
  7. Thanks Cookie, and you're welcome. Merry Christmas! Ed
  8. Hello again! First off, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate this wonderful day! To those that don't, may you also have a warm and fuzzy.... Anyway, on with the build. Next we re-mask the canopy and windscreen, this time mostly with masking film trimmed to shape, and the a light coat of Interior Green FS 34151. Some have stated that this color is Zinc Chromate Green, but after looking at pictures, I do not agree with that assessment, first off because the pics seem to show a darker color, and second, one of the reasons that black was added to the chromate green was that the color made aircrew slightly nauseous -- as well as to denote a second coat of primer, and I think that reasoning still stands up...: Above right, the main gear doors are glued in place with plain white glue, for easy removal and cleanup later, and the tail wheel bay has been filled with a piece of hobby foam. Hard to see in this pic, but the wing ID lights have been filled in on the wing underside. Next up, a coat of Alclad II grey primer overall: Above right, mustn't forget the little tank tip fin braces, which I have not seen on any other aircraft! And last for now, the exhaust tube has been glued into place: That area will be painted gloss black enamel, followed by Alclad II Stainless Steel, and that area will be masked off before finally applying some camo colors. Later, Ed
  9. Thanks Justin -- That's my whole point for doing this sort of thing, to add items to folks' repertoire for future need. Ed
  10. Back again. Having sanded and blended the canopy onto the fuselage, next step is to remove the canopy masking for a final check/touch-up, before polishing it out and re-masking before painting: After gingerbob posted the link to some nice photos, I decided to go old school and post something for the newbies, as well as any old-timers that might have forgotten -- a way to make the tip tank light. The easiest way to make this would have been to stick the tip of the wing tip tank into some 2-part silicone moulding material and then fill it with clear resin (now that I have found some!). But, the only compressor I have than is capable of supporting the 50 psi required for pressure casting is on loan to my youngest daughter for house remodeling purposes, so here is an old school method. First, a piece of appropriate clear plastic, from some old bubble pack merchandise, was fastened to a convenient scribing tool that had holes of the correct size, in the case 5 - 6 mm. I then heated the plastic over an old paint stripper electric gun (a hair dryer would also do), just to the point where the tip of the kit's wing tip tank could be pushed thru from the plastic side, through the hole to the other side: Above right, I got a bubble, but the metal of the scribing gauge was too thin, and it bent, which made the bubble off center, and not usable. Never fear, I had two more aces up my sleeve, the first being to use a plain old flat washer with an appropriate-sized hole, and the second was to drill a hole into a piece of K&S .008" tin. I decided to try the tin first: While this worked fairy well (above), it was not without it;s challenges! On my first attempt (the lowest hole in the pic, I just straight through the metal, and it in turn twisted quite badly. Another attempt at drill holes with the tin sandwiched between two pieces of wood fared better, resulting in holes that could at least be cleaned up a bit with a rat-tailed file. The result was the nice little bubble shown above. I have yet to try the washer idea... Next, to separate the bubble from the sheet of plastic, an ordinary single-edged razor blade was used: Above right, the old modeler's trick of simulating rivets, by taking a piece of stretched sprue (in this case clear) to make not a rivet but a bulb. This is done by slowly moving the tip of the sprue toward a heat source (in this case, a cigarette lighter -- I gave up smoking more than 30 years ago, but still use lighters). Soon, the tip of the sprue will begin to "mushroom" back on itself, forming a rivet, or in this case a bulb. The sprue is then nipped off, leaving a bit of leg to insert into a drilled hole. First, I sanded the formed lens down to the correct diameter (actually a combination of sanding the lens and the tank itself, after sawing off the tip) diameter. Then, I punched a little disk of Bare Metal Foil, slightly smaller than the tip tank diameter, and stuck it onto the end of the tank and sealed it with Alclad II Aqua Gloss to help hold in in place for gluing later. I should mention here that I failed to sand the flattened end of the tank really smooth, and the Bare Metal Foil did not turn out to be as smooth and reflective as I had hoped. My bad! Anyway, when dry, I drilled a hole of the appropriate diameter into the center of the BMFoil, and glued in the lens with RS watch cement: Above right, the vacu-formed tip light lens is glued into place using a Pic-'n-Stic stick to hold the nose, while the back edge only was dipped into a shallow drop of CA. The lens was then placed on the tip of the tank and allowed to dry. Then, a little light sanding and polishing to fair it all in. Please forgive the rather poor pictures, as I was too lazy to set u the tripod! Believe me, it looks better in person, and had I really sanded the area of the BMFoil, it would be nearly perfect! Well, more next time, Ed
  11. That's okay, Stuart. By the time I get into the paint shop, you;ll probably pass me by! Good catch gingerbob. I was interested to find that in place of the lights, there should be a pitot tube, as well as another light in the right tip tank. Thanks for the great link! Ed
  12. Thanks folks! Silenoz, I too wish that some of the resin kit makers would re-visit their offerings from time to time. I do not personally collect models as an investment, and I would welcome many re-issues of resin (and some plastic) kits! Yes gingerbob, the dark lines are an alignment device, put here to assure that I could draw perpendicular lines from it for the pylons. My original intent was to use drawing found on-line that I thought were measurements telling how far apart the pylons were from one another, etc., but that didn't work out, as the spacing shown did not match the photos. One of the other drawings suggested that it was "26" from the tip of the nose to the windscreen, but that didn't work out for feet, inches, centimeters or meters, so I didn't use any of the drawing info -- except for some color call-outs that appeared to be accurate, compared to photos. In the end, I just aligned the pylons to existing panel lines, as I had no better documentation to go on, nor photos. As stated, I believe the outboard one may be a little too far out, but that's just a guess. As far as the recognition lights, I can find no photos one way or the other, so I'll probably just leave them on. Since only around 19% of the aircraft is original Mustang parts, I don't know if the wings were P-51H or what... Anyway, after mounting the cockpit with RS watch cement, it looks like this: Above left, the RS cement, heavier in some areas to fill defects caused by my poor trimming of the vacuformed canopy. After drying, this was smoother with a cloth dipped in 90% rubbing alcohol, then some Bondo Spot Putty was added, and roughly sanded. The ripply effect on the canopy is two dips into Future or Pledge or whatever, which will be polished down later. Above right, the big blob of filler is laid atop a patch of medium CA, which was used to fill a bad hole, before the Bondo was added. Some other sanding of the Bondo has been done at this point. Next, some Mr Surfacer 500 is added before a final sanding: And, she;s starting to shape up. More next time... Ed
  13. Hello all, back again. Next up are the weapons pylons,. They are added now, because the wrap-around camo is applied over them as well. We begin with the innermost and the outermost pylons as they are both unique. The other three pylons per wing are all the same: Above right, the others are all the same, in the kit. There are, however, some details of note: "A", "B" and "C" denote the different type of pylon. Note that the large pylon "A", as well as the two outermost pylons are positioned almost on the leading edge of the wing, whilst the other two are back from the edge a bit. Also note the position of the tapered end on pylon "A", whereas on pylon "B", the taper is toward the front. All the pylons are flat on the bottom sides, while the top side follow the curvature of the wing. This is shown on pictures of the real aircraft. Pylon "B" should possibly just a little more inboard, but I can't be sure. Next, the antenna are added to the tail: . The next thing will be adding the canopy and fairing it in... be back then. Later, y'all. Ed
  14. Hello again! Well, having bit the bullet on the wings, there's nothing to do but seal up the join lines. For those not used to building resin kits, or those just curious, here's the way I go about it. I started doing it this way after building a few NMF aircraft, where the joins have to be perfect, or else. Since this model has an all-paint, and sort of dark colored finish, it would probably not normally need as much mothering -- but, that's my habit now. First a little masking tape to protect adjacent surfaces, then some Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty: This is sanded down with the judicious use of a tiny rat-tail file (above right) and some rubber sanding blocks of various shapes: These are three sets that I've collected over the years. You just wrap sandpaper around the shape needed, and away you go. These are available from wood worker type stores and on-line, not from most Big Box stores. Note that on the lower row, the thin edges are shaped differently from one another, such as square edge, pointed, rounded, slanted, etc. Highly recommended, if you can find any! Next a coat of Mr Surfacer 500 (thick primer) atop the spot putty: And when that's sanded down, we're finally getting somewhere. You will note that the horizontal stabilizers and the wing tip tanks have been added, and that I have chosen to black off the turbo exhaust fro the inside, as opposed to using the entire exhaust piece as provided, which did not fit really well to the inside contour of the fuselage. Well, that's it for now. More anon. Ed
  15. Alright! You people have done it! You've forced me to get out the protractor! Then, I found my problem: The wing is thicker, of course, on the inner end. BUT is also tapers more up from the bottom than the top. When measuring the dihedral on the TOP of the wing, I only get around two degrees. When I look at the side views of the real aircraft ( in the air, as well as on the ground , so as to eliminate the perspective problem of looking at a great big wing-tank and tiny, far off fuselage), the tip tank seems to need to be higher up, not quite to the lower edge of the front windscreen. Therefore, claiming artistic license and my modeler's gut instinct, I got out the razor saw: This results in a straight, but larger gap, giving me a little more room to maneuver. A little tape, some clamps and some CA, and we'll cank on some more dihedral: This might seem like overkill now, but when the glue has had a chance to set up and the tape comes off, everything will relax just a little, and we'll see. "Damn the torpedoes -- full speed ahead!" Ed
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