Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Well it had to happen....with the big Bucc crawling along at a snails pace, (due to me not the model) and the EB-66C Destroyer being laid up in the repair hangar due to an unfortunate landing accident I thought I'd finally commit to getting this beast finished as it's been languishing in the stash for over eight years, having been partially started and then stalled due to other commitments.
As many of you know I'm a huge fan of these Soviet monsters and along with the TU-22 Blinder and TU-128 Fiddler find the Bison family awe inspiring designs from the early Cold War period. The Bison looks pretty ungainly on the ground but once airborne extremely graceful. Never fulfilling its range requirement of 7,450 miles due to inefficient engines it still served in good numbers firstly as a nuclear bomber and later more successfully as a tanker aircraft right up until 1994 when the last Bisons were put out to pasture, (or in the case of the bombers cut up as part of the SALT agreements of the time). Starting life as the M-4 Molet (hammer) the aircraft evolved into the 3M series culminating in the more streamlined 3MD missile carrier variant. The missile system was never perfected and cancelled quite early in the program, 1960, by which time nine aircraft had been built and served well as standard bombers and unit commanders personal 'hacks'.....not a bad way of getting about !
Early aircraft used the underpowered Mikulin AM-3A engines of which there were stockpiles however due to disappointing performance figures later aircraft were fitted with the more powerful and fuel efficient Dobrynin VD-7 turbofans, (unfortunately these had reliability issues of their own but more on them later)....

This Amodel kit was number 8 in the Amonster series utilizing a mix of resin impregnated fibre glass for the main components and short run, soft IM plastic for the detail sets, of which there are a LOT.
I've always loved the Amodel stuff as whilst not being the easiest kits to build, being somewhere between a vac form and short run model, they are extremely accurate, well detailed and usually featuring unique subjects and for me that's the important part. That's not to say that a lot of extra detailing can't be added because in this case it certainly will be. I'm lucky in that space isn't an issue so these huge kits are an easy choice and I'm lucky to have a few connections to get them at sensible prices too as they are rather pricey due to the materials and processes used in their manufacture.

Amodel make nearly all versions of the Bison, except for the M-4, including the 3-MS/N, 3-MD and Atlant with it's various payloads. I chose the 3-M variant, (mainly coz it was the only one out at the time), though it can be built as a 3-MS-2 or N-2 tanker version too, (only involves different bomb doors really). The S stands for early engines and the N for the later VD-7's.

Hopefully it'll make a good companion for my M-50 Bounder, TU-16K and TU-22 M3 as well as my modified TU-22 Blinder KPD that I'm also doing at the moment.............






The real thing, lack of IFR probe and smooth bomb bay doors identify this aircraft as a 3MS tanker,






3M-bia_zpsf392a697.jpg



Another view of a tanker variant.................. positively prehistoric

3M-13_zpsccb4b9f7.jpg









Ok well firstly the cool box art,



DSC_0271_zpsf27f0144.jpg








Main source of reference comes from Yefim Gordon's excellent Red Star book as well as several other Russian language publications and large number of online photos that I've accumulated.


DSC_0272_zps4af89a83.jpg






Firstly with apologies to Ken, (Flankerman). hope you don't mind if I show yours but I didn't take any photos of the parts before starting work, although Ken's is the 3-MD variant with its different nose and positionable flaps, it's basically the same kit ,



3MD002_zps1b3ebce2.jpg





A steady hand and sharp saw needed to cut through the extremely tough resin impregnated fibre glass material, Kens a lot neater than mine !


3MD004_zps53f556b0.jpg




The bomb doors need to be cut out too, excuse the rough cuts, they'll be tidied up later...............surprisingly the fit was near perfect...


DSC_0246_zps13ab546b.jpg







The fitment of the undercarriage bays are 'interesting' to say the least....you are supposed to half build the 'boxes', slide them into the narrow fuselage and then assemble them inside the fuselage !!!. Like a few others I agree that the best way to get around this is to build the units up first and as they are quite a bit wider than the cut outs then I'll need to remove the sides of the gear bays, slide the assembled units into place and then refit the pieces, fill and make good, (luckily on this version the undersides are all white , which will show any imperfections a lot less than a NMF !






Hear are just a couple of the many sprues carrying the smaller detail parts.....it's amazing just how much detail Amodel has crammed into these kits,



DSC_0249_zps1e2fec3a.jpg






The downside, if it can be called that is that the detail is a little soft and all parts need a good clean up but being used to vacform kits that's a minor detail,


DSC_0251_zps83915c13.jpg






I started in a strange place...the engine tubes, which fit perfectly on my example, the engine facings need careful fettling as some of the blades were damaged and needed replacing, they were then airbrushed using Alclad dark aluminium and given oil washes,


DSC_0240_zpsdc3b87d1.jpg



DSC_0239_zpsec57f85f.jpg




The exhaust shrouds were then made up, again needing a fair bit of sanding and filling to remove all seam lines. These are a royal pain to fit , particularly the inner ones as they are simply too large ! and need either a LOT of trimming or fitting further back up the exhaust 'tube' though this creates another problem in that you then lose the correct shape of the outlet... :banghead:



DSC_0248_zps491083fb.jpg




The rear top engine shrouds are quite well done but details are incorrect. Firstly the outlet baffles are too small and facing the wrong way round blowing air forwards!!, they need removing and replacing with Plasticard strips. I've elected to cut out the whole area and build them all separately using photos as reference,


DSC_0235_zpsedec69ab.jpg



Also Amodel only have the outlets on one side for some reason..they should be on both...no matter, just a few minutes with a rescriber and metal ruler,


DSC_0234_zpsa22d9b9a.jpg





The other thing that's missing are all the guide vanes in the top cooling slit intakes. They need reaming out too and tidying up and whilst this took a bit of time it was well worth the effort,


DSC_0253_zpscc50441a.jpg







Strips of card cut to length then slid into place and secured using Gator glue to minimize mess,

DSC_0252_zpsb7a1257b.jpg











DSC_0254_zpsc0154e95.jpg









All done and I think worth the effort, these will be sprayed in dark aluminium to reduce the visual impact,

DSC_0257_zpsa3a5310f.jpg




Rear gunners compartment started and the quilted insulation added...lots more detail to go in here

DSC_0262_zps815a9775.jpg



I've also trimmed the underside exhaust fairings to fit...took some time but I just don't like using copious amounts of filler on these things when they are going to be airbrushed in natural metal, preferring to get the fit as good as possible first,,


DSC_0241_zps0bf67c50.jpg


Next up the wings, exhaust shrouds fitted, ailerons, tip outriggers, etc,

Cheers for now, :cheers:

Melchie...

Edited by general melchett
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great stuff Andy Looks like a nice kit. I can't wait to get stuck into some modelling soon. will be watching this one.

cheers Rob

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chaps, I'll be cracking on with it as soon as possible.

Sean, the instruction sheet describe the 3MN-1/ 3MS-1 as the 3MC and the 3MN-2/ 3MS-2 as the 3MC-II. The main differences are that the bomber version has the long refuelling probe, bulged bomb bay doors and long strip aerials placed close together on the top of the fuselage whereas the tankers are widely spaced, the rear one being near the tail fin, also the bomb bays are smooth as the doors were partly sealed making reversion to the bomber config . (the -1 designation means that the aircraft was fitted with the old RD-3A or AM-3A turbojet engines and the -2 the VD-7 turbofans). Also for some reason the instructions have you paint the top sides ghost grey ! whereas they should be natural metal, (mostly dull aluminium).....I've never seen a photo of one painted grey, though that's not too say that they never did !


Hi Thomas...just a bit bigger than a B-52.....big !

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chaps, I'll be cracking on with it as soon as possible.

Sean, the instruction sheet describe the 3MN-1/ 3MS-1 as the 3MC and the 3MN-2/ 3MS-2 as the 3MC-II. The main differences are that the bomber version has the long refuelling probe, bulged bomb bay doors and long strip aerials placed close together on the top of the fuselage whereas the tankers are widely spaced, the rear one being near the tail fin, also the bomb bays are smooth as the doors were partly sealed making reversion to the bomber config . (the -1 designation means that the aircraft was fitted with the old RD-3A or AM-3A turbojet engines and the -2 the VD-7 turbofans). Also for some reason the instructions have you paint the top sides ghost grey ! whereas they should be natural metal, (mostly dull aluminium).....I've never seen a photo of one painted grey, though that's not too say that they never did !

Hi Thomas...just a bit bigger than a B-52.....big !

thanks mate ...

thomas

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sean, the instruction sheet describe the 3MN-1/ 3MS-1 as the 3MC and the 3MN-2/ 3MS-2 as the 3MC-II [etc]

Ah, so the tanker version has no actual fuel transfer parts, just the external signifiers. The instructions are as clear as mud on this as on much else, I've found. (And of course "3MC" is the Cyrillic version of 3MS.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sean, the tankers config is similar to that used by the Valiant. The rear bomb bay doors are opened and the drogue extended back to the receiving aircraft as opposed to the more common wingtip to wingtip system used by aircraft like the TU-16.,

Here's the KAZ drum reel system,

DSC_0273_zpscb16e650.jpg

And installed in the aircraft,

DSC_0275_zps50d0b1c7.jpg

And this is the drogue as deployed, (early M-4 trials aircraft but the system remained essentially the same for later versions,

DSC_0274_zps39fa4dbf.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll be watching this. While I may never build one due to cost & space considerations, I'd sure like to, there is a certain fascination with this cold war stuff & the soviets did come out with some cool machinery. I picked up an Air Enthusiat recently with this written up in it, real interesting.

Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chaps, Winenut, you've got to admire the ambition of Amodel and Modelsvit, where will it all end ? 1/32nd An-224 !!
Steve, agree, they certainly came out with some amazing designs, just look at the different approach with the Ekranoplans, hydrofoils and giant helos of the time, some really outlandish solutions.....1/72nd Bartini anyone !

Ian....knew I shouldn't have mentioned it !, I meant to say B-36..... Oh hang on, got one of those on the go too...doh !

Edited by general melchett
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yes! I have reason to exhale now! The General is back with another big, bad Soviet Cold War monster. And a B-36 on the go - now that's a real double feature! :)

Cheers,

Bill

Link to post
Share on other sites

I meant to say B-36..... Oh hang on, got one of those on the go too...doh !

Blimey, barmy as a bathtub full of Bolinger if you ask me but I'll be watching nevertheless, I like this sort of barminess. ;)

Steve.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have reason to exhale now!

Permission granted........Bill I have a calling...nay a duty to King, country and the Harrow back four and in this hour of need shall not be found wanting

Steve....barminess isn't a dirty word....crevice is, but barminess definitely not....... oh and be a good egg and send the Bolinger over....I could do with a good soak !

Ian.............honestly, don't beat yerself up..................(let me do it ! :coat:)

OK, well the wings have the ailerons, wing fences and tip outriggers fitted as well as the inner engine 'tubes', no real dramas here, attaching the plastic to the RGF has to be done carefully as even CA with accelerator takes a short while to dry properly and it's easy to let things move about so everything was taped in place, also added the rudder, and fuselage cooling intakes

DSC_0269_zps91347819.jpg

DSC_0244_zpsbe408ad0.jpg

One thing that does concern me a little is the thickness of the ends of the outer wings. This will need careful work as the material is very tough to sand and I have no idea what they'll be like to rescribe !. There's not much in it but the wing tip section is almost as wide as the tip out rigger fairing, You can see here that the underside end piece will have to be sanded back....

DSC_0243_zpsc0aa4a20.jpg

Also made a start on painting the gear bays and ancillary equipment. Quite a bit extra to add before putting it all together and applying the oil washes to bring the things to life, but I want to get these out of the way first as they are very complex and fiddly, and the way they are designed means that you have to paint the parts first...so easy does it with the glue....

DSC_0277_zps04cac113.jpg

Edited by general melchett
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've now just about done the part I dreaded most...the intakes...From the few other builds I've seen of this kit I knew what I was in for !...HUGE gaps, misaligned parts, poorly fitting intake tubes and deformed parts !...well it wasn't as bad as I'd thought, again steering away from lots of filler on a natural metal finished airframe I tried to get the joints as close fitting as possible. This was OK on the port set but the starboard one was another matter ! I've had this before on a few Amodel kits where one part is a different size to the other, in this case the top cover was about 2mm too short. I'll use scrap resin to fill the gap and liquid putty to smooth over, As expected the tubes were indeed too small in diameter but I should be able to get a sanding stick in there to sort that out. Other than that no real dramas here which was a pleasant surprise.

The exhaust covers will be next after the baffles have been fitted....again the fit is pretty poor so it's out with the Dremel !,

Unfortunately when I first got the kit I only got as far as building up the intakes as per the instructions ...BIG mistake. Whilst they went together perfectly when it came to fitting them into the wing holes they were completely mis aligned and the upper and lower fairings too narrow to fit the wing !!!...so I had to carefully take the things apart unfortunately this meant that damage occurred on the lips of the two inner ones which had to be made good with scrap resin and putty,

DSC_0280_zps82025de9.jpg

And after,

DSC_0281_zps723cd0a1.jpg

Firstly the intake tubes were fitted to the lower fairings, this was relatively painless though a certain amount of twisting and pressure was needed,

DSC_0282_zpsef761aab.jpg

Then the upper ones were added....this required even more of the same...but it all fitted in the end,

DSC_0283_zpsf5a5cd6c.jpg

The port one was a bit more problematical,

DSC_0284_zps0adc3a92.jpg

The topside being the problem....but not for long,

DSC_0285_zps053da5c5.jpg

The exhaust cans are now done and waiting tube fitted. These will need careful thinning done to fit as this time round they're too large !

DSC_0279_zpsacf27d12.jpg

It's a slow process but that's half the fun with these kits.....

Cheers all, dosvedanya........

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to see it started Melchy - mine's languishing on the shelf half made........

There is s great build on the airforce.ru website - the text is Cyrillic, but the photos are in English..... http://forums.airforce.ru/modelizm-aviaciya/2944-3m-1-72-model/

There are more of my photos of the 3MS-2 taken at Engels .... here

Happy Bisoning......

Ken

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chaps, Rad, more coming up soon, after the pesky engines are sorted out I'll be working on the landing gear bays....

Ken, thanks, I did wonder what had happened to your 3MD as you'd made such a good start on it, but I know what it's like when other projects come along and take over ! One thing I preferred in the 3-MD version was the revised flaps and the fact that you can lower them ala Monogram's BUFF.

As for the link thanks yep I noticed that build, he's put some interesting detail work in there. Thanks for extra pics... very useful. I'm looking for details of the seats and overhead panels...all I have at the moment are these, I'm guessing the seats are either black or dark grey/green...gotta love the WWII atmosphere in the overly complex cockpit............and just look at those seat straps !! !!

3M_captain_zpsdcc0df74.jpg

3M_captain_and_instruments_zpsb4f4784e.j

Cheers,

Melchie....

Edited by general melchett
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks chaps, Rad, more coming up soon, after the pesky engines are sorted out I'll be working on the landing gear bays....

Ken, thanks, I did wonder what had happened to your 3MD as you'd made such a good start on it, but I know what it's like when other projects come along and take over ! One thing I preferred in the 3-MD version was the revised flaps and the fact that you can lower them ala Monogram's BUFF.

As for the link thanks yep I noticed that build, he's put some interesting detail work in there. Thanks for extra pics... very useful. I'm looking for details of the seats and overhead panels...all I have at the moment are these, I'm guessing the seats are either black or dark grey/green...gotta love the WWII atmosphere in the overly complex cockpit............and just look at those seat straps !! !!

3M_captain_zpsdcc0df74.jpg

3M_captain_and_instruments_zpsb4f4784e.j

Cheers,

Melchie....

"Hmph! State of Art, My Babushka. Here i am flying big jet aeroplane, still wearing jacket i get from Great Patriotic War. Thinking am liking B-25 better..."

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...