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Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

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Everything posted by Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

  1. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    It's been a while since I started a build thread, and I have been intending to start this one for a long time. Indeed, I have spent far too much money gathering bits for this kit and I think I have reached the point where I feel more guilty about the amount of money spent on unused aftermarket stuff than I do about starting another model. That leads us to here then. The Monogram B-29 is basically accurate. It's a kit of its day and features some nice (for its day) detail moulded in. It's not all the sharpest, and I personally find that makes it a bit hard to paint well and make it look convincing. In addition, it has raised panel detail outside. There is a school of thought that this is more realistic than recessed surface detail. I make no comment on that but what I will say and would happily argue to the point of exchanging punches in a carpark however is that raised panel lines are a real chore to work with. They are the first things to get obliterated when parts need remedial work to fit well and reinstatement is not easy. It's also difficult to work with when trying to achieve more than just rubbing paint over it with a brush or hosing the model down with an aerosol can. I have not yet decided what I will ultimately do about that on this model. I find rescribing about as much fun as a day at the dentist so this will be a balance of what annoys me most. The Monogram B-29 is basically accurate. However, the aircraft which Monogram measured up was one of the Silverplate aircraft of which 65 wartime airframes were built (hence why Little Boy and Fat Man bombs are included in the kit). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverplate This means that the Monogram kit is not appropriate for any 3,905 normal B-29s though. To rectify this, I spent a considerable wedge of money on Flightline Engineering's B-29 Super Update Kit which is beautiful, if expensive, and is available on and off when the guy has sufficient interest to warrant another set of resin casting moulds: http://www.flightlineengineering.com/b29-kit.html This set includes new, glorious engines with a million pieces each. Whilst that sounds like a hassle, it should hopefully make spray painting a dawdle without the need for any masking and I will not have to pick up a paint brush which pleases me greatly. I hate brush painting and can feel veins swell on my forehead just typing the words. The set also includes nice resin wheels with separate tyres and hubs which is excellent for exactly the same reasons as outlined two sentences previously. The correct propellers are included consisting of separate blades, hubs and an assembly jig. New turbochargers and exhaust pipework is included which looks lovely compared to Monogram's admirable yet dated relief moulding effort. Lastly, new engine cowlings are included which, with the uncuffed propellers, are the key external visual differences between a standard production B-29 and a Silverplate. On to the wings next. These are, well, big. The Flightline Engineering set requires that I partially cut away the nacelles in order to use the turbochargers which I fully intend to. The cutting will require careful measurement and careful cutting though. I'd have liked a set of flaps and these are available but again expensive. I am mainly concerned about structural integrity though. These wings are big. Despite the kit including around 10 inches of wing spars to somewhat stiffen the wing-to-fuselage joints, when picked up and put down the wings are going to bend. Separate flaps will weaken them, exaggerating this and I am quite concerned that I will have trouble keeping brass flaps attached at both ends long term. Also, they will be very vulnerable on something so, well, big. I do have the Eduard set covering the wheel wells etc though: Lastly then, the fuselage. The B-29 is known for its big greenhouse of a cockpit glazing. I have toyed with the idea of getting vacuum formed replacements to improve clarity, but am worried about getting a perfect fit all round with the fuselage. I have Eduard's seat belts set and front and rear fuselage sets. Some of the front fuselage set is highly unlikely to be used - e.g. those big quilted insulation pieces intended to go into the cockpit. The chances of those brass plates achieving a double curvature to fit in the cockpit are between slim and none. I may hammer them over my car panel-beating dollies with hammers just for a laugh, but there is no way on this earth I'm going to hack out the interior detail in the kit fuselage sides before I prove myself wrong by forming the brass. Likewise the pressure domes in the rear fuselage set. The PE parts look nice, but they are unlikely to work without sheet metalworking skills (which means hammers and a dolly to stretch the middle more than the edges forcing the metal to dish out into a 3-dimensional shape). Lastly for now, the markings. The B-29 is most famous for the only atomic bombs ever dropped on cities. That topic is best not discussed on my thread as it is the subject of much heated debate, but due to the prevailence of Enola Gay and Bocks Car as modelling subjects I wanted to do something different. The aircraft became a bit more colourful after the second world war and into the Korean conflict there are some nice schemes and decals available. I bought this sheet: I quite like Command Decision with the Disney Dwarves and the globe. The overall colourscheme looks quite attractive and balanced. I also quite like Kee Bird though, if only because the International Orange tail is bright and eye-catching, that I have International Orange in the Colourcoats range which I have yet to use myself, and that Kee Bird is also quite famous in that it was almost recovered from the ice by a team led by a man who is not kindly regarded by the aviation world these days. Indeed he has received some severe criticism for unprofessionalism during the attempt and how he just walked away and left the burnt out wreckage after the aircraft caught fire, burned out and sank with 4 new, borrowed, R3350 engines and propellers which were loaned for the purposes of recovering the aircraft and to be returned afterwards. Any interest in the big Superfortress?
  2. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    PE for Aoshima 1/700 HMS Illustrious

    How about: Toms Modelworks #793 Illustrious Class Carriers For the new Aoshima HMS Illustrious and HMS Victorious kits but will work perfectly well on the HP resin kits or the old Aoshima kits. Contains parts to detail the kits as built and also as fitted for service with the British Eastern and Pacific Fleets in 1944 and 1945.
  3. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Fear not folks - it's going to work and it's going to be fine
  4. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Double posted
  5. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I've been an idiot. I tried the nose weights in place and re-weighed the tail, then used the new residual weight on the tail for the moment and took credit for the nose-weights already in there again. I've had to re-do that. I might be able to get a bit more in at Position A2 above using lead shot instead of wheel balance weights. That will require me finding my bottle of the stuff in the big shed outside.
  6. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I'm maybe not a million miles away unless I have my sums wrong... Hopefully this is now fairly self-explanatory
  7. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    That is a concern, particularly if the model is to go to the occassional show. Undercarriage damage from overweight models can be a plague. Mostly though, I really want a model that naturally sits on its wheels properly and I really don't want the cabin full of weights if I can possibly avoid it. I've managed to avoid going to London this week which is great news. A few minutes more with the flap wheel and this half of the tailplane is over 3 grams lighter which means 6+ grams of bulky weight avoided upfront.
  8. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    That's interesting since the longer nosed S-61N hovered nose-down. Just checking against specs and the HAS5 has a significantly higher Max TO weight than the S-61N, which surprised me actually as they fairly packed people and baggage into the latter. I guess that shows the weight of some of the military hardware! The Sikorsky HH-3E was a bit heavier than the HAS5 still but the fuselage aft of the main rotor was different so who knows what they changed inside.
  9. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Rivetting Tools

    Morning all, I already have MDC's punch and spacing template tools for rivetting and they work really well. They are also, unfortunately, rather slow and tedious to work with. Do any of the toothed wheel type tools have round sectioned teeth? I am interested in buying a good one but want round rivets made, not square ones. Thanks all, Jamie
  10. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    We're open again...

    Thanks for your patience everyone. The webstore is reopened again as of 5 minutes ago.
  11. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    F-86A in 1/48

    B-E-A-utiful model.
  12. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    1/200 British Airways Negus Super 737-236

    Excellent. I loved the 737-200 series and am also very fond of British Airways schemes. I admit I'd never heard of this particular kit before but it looks very good especially considering its age, or maybe that's the workmanship
  13. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Hello again from Scotland

    Welcome back
  14. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Lanc, Mossie, Tempest Camo

    I agree, that Dark Green has all the tell-tales of an outline shape later coloured in if only because the paint hasn't gone on full-wet up to the edge of the green panels.
  15. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I'm planning on having the bomb bay closed, so that can be the back-up plan. I'm already musing that I should cut off the kit's stub axles on the main gear legs, drill through and replace those with brass rod.
  16. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Exactly - those tongues can be drilled out so they still function, but it saves a little weight. Not much, but as the maths shows, every little bit saved at the back saves twice as much (or more) weight needed at the front The suggestion to fill the front half of the crew access tunnel is good - I hadn't thought of that! It's probably not a bad shout Troy, and I happen to have some from the r/c world again as they are popular for holding hatches on etc. If needs be, I'll do it Plan A was to use a rotary tool and sanding bit: ...but it's broken. Thinking back, I think I burned it out 4 years ago working the valve ports on my MG Midget cylinder head. Plan B is to use a power drill and flap wheel which works, but the battery needs charged. I've drilled out holes in one of the tailplane (horizontal stabilizer) tongues and I've got a little bit of thinning on one half done. I'll get more done with a recharge... Each half of the tailplane (one side, upper and lower parts together) weighed 19.3g before any fettling. In the state above (one piece partly thinned, the other not touched) the total weight is down to 18.3g. As per the previous post, that's >2g of nose weight saved already and the total weight on the mainwheels reduced by 3g (compared to a noseweight-only solution). There won't be any silver bullets here, but working away at the whole back end will see lots of small weight savings which will add up to considerable amount. Whether it's enough remains to be seen! Fullsize aircraft sometimes use a weight and balance sheet with lots of component masses positioned relative to a datum point. I may do something similar in Excel to track how much mass I'm managing to fit in where. By adding together all of the balance weights and how far ahead of the mainwheels they are, we can see how their various effects accumulate and see how far away from the final result we actually are. I am supposed to be in London Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with day-job but due to administration barriers I don't have flights and accommodation booked yet so may well end up staying home. If nothing seems to happen here for the next few days, I am probably in London!
  17. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Some more thoughts on weights... Unlike most I have straddled many camps within a wide world of model making and there are things that the well-seasoned modeller of one camp takes for granted as common sense that seldom occur to well-seasoned modellers in other camps. One of the things I've done before is design, build and fly radio controlled aeroplanes. Like real ones, they have to balance or they don't fly. Every pilot/builder of flying models knows that the correct way to balance a model is to lighten the tail, not fill the front end with lead. Doing the latter results in the total weight going through the roof, the power to weight ratio dropping and the wing loading increasing. The somewhat dimmer aeromodeller tried to offset bad building by fitting bigger engines, but that does nothing to help the high wing loading and high stall (and therefore takeoff and landing) speeds. To arm myself with some data (me coming back to my Engineering roots here) I have inspected the rear fuselage and tail parts from the kit. These are very substantial mouldings and must be close to 2mm thick everywhere. Ignoring the wings for now, I taped the fuselage halves and tailplanes & elevators together and balanced the fuselage on the point where the main wheels coincide. The tailplanes have relatively massive locating tongues which overlap inside the fuselage. Even like this with interior parts missing and no wings, the tail is weighing over 90 grams on the scales: So why am I making such a fuss about the thickness of plastic back there? Because Engineering, that's why... Here are the moments about the Centre of Gravity (which needs to be at or ahead of the main wheels for this thing not to sit on its tail striker) The scale of the drawing is irrelevant because the moment arms only need to be in proportion with each other, not true to life - the results are the same regardless of the scale. The moment about the CoG at the tail (which I have labelled T and which is where most of the excess beef in the tail planes, elevators, fin and rudder are - there is more redundant weight ahead and behind) is the the mass on the scales times the distance from the CoG. The mass needed either immediately behind the cockpit (which I really don't want to do) to balance this out with only half the leverage (48mm ahead of the wheels) is as near-as-damn-it double, or 179g which needs to be considered an underestimate because paint, guns, some PE in the aft compartment etc is going to tip this a little further aft. Point B above the front lower turret is worse still needing 210g placed there to offset the tail's moment. The moral of the story is that for every 1 gram of redundant mass I can Dremel out of the back end of this thing, I save the need for an absolute minimum of 2 grams of counter balance up front which means the finished model is 3 grams lighter than it would have been had I left the tail as-is. If I am to have any chance of getting this thing to sit on its nose wheel without spoiling the interior I have to do this, and the main undercarriage will thank me later when I do. With the nose weight already stuck to the cockpit floor inserted into the fuselage, the same experiment on the scales still shows a residual weight of 60 grams on the tail. That means that if I don't try to lighten this thing's fat backside then I need at least another 120g up front immediately behind the cockpit.
  18. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Hi, that's a practical solution and one I might have to accept if tail-end lightening fails, but I really hope I can avoid it. I can't rationally explain why, but I think that would really grate on me Hi, you've been fairly quiet for a while unless I've been living under a rock (which probably is the case). How are you? I suppose I could, but I'm not sure they're good enough really. It could save myself some hassle in the long run I suppose. I haven't scaled these from anything real - they were just made to fit the PE parts. Maybe correctly sized bottles would be something marketable though? I'd have to measure some up next time I get to Duxford. Speaking of which - does anyone have any photographs of the inside of the nose wheel bay of Duxford's "Hawg Wild"? I had, but lost them with my hard drive failure at Christmas. I'm interested in Hawg Wild because it's unrestored, but any other unrestored airframe in the USA or elsewhere would also be of use. I've spent some time searching the internet for photographs and have only found Enola Gay which is painted silver, an unnamed aircraft in Interior Green and there is the Monogram instructions which call for Interior Green, but I trust none of these modern preservations or kit instructions as reference material for colours.
  19. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Hi Ian, I reckon more weight yet will be needed but I plan to use the space behind the engines and maybe the leading edges of the wings too inboard of the engines. Obviously that's less effective though. Really the back end needs lightened. I saw the same when I went to get the link for the Flightline Engineering set. I expect he still has the masters so could make another set of casting moulds. I imagine these will reappear in due course when he's got time and when there is a sufficient list of people asking for a set
  20. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Building up the other side reveals that the Eduard details clash with the Eduard details - note that the folded box when correctly positioned on its marked space on the main etching clashes with the nose-gear bay roof structure, and as a result daylight is visible along the joint where it shouldn't be. I will try relocating these, and if that doesn't work one of the boxes will be omitted. I find this a lot with Eduard PE so it's not really a surprise.
  21. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Best PE kit for academy Warspite 1:350

    Yes that's correct. If planning on going the whole hog with Pontos it's better to just buy the basic Academy kit for £40 or thereabouts as there is no way to buy "the other half" of the Pontos set thus you'd have a lot of duplication of parts.
  22. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Best PE kit for academy Warspite 1:350

    Pontos is the the absolute best of the lot here by a country mile. Even the Academy "Premium Edition" box set chose Pontos as their enhancements and indeed it included around half of the Pontos set.
  23. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    One of the nose wheel bay side walls is done (and so is the sanding board that you are all no doubt wondering about)
  24. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Rivetting Tools

    Thabks folks. I don't like the sound of the Rosie the Riveter tool and the Trumpeter one likewise looks no good. The MDC one leaves proper round depressions behind but it's slow and easy to mis-place one. I was really hoping there was a wheel type that had the "teeth" rounded. The RB tool sounds the best of the three mentioned so far.
  25. Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Done. Right - I want that big sanding board now...
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