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1:72 Consolidated PB4Y-1 Liberator

Navy Bird

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On 10/5/2013 at 13:48, heloman1 said:

Hey Bill, I think your a bit of a trojan with this GB thing and another one you're stabbing at. However I do like the Liberator and the look once the rivets are sanded off, sprt of brings the kit more up to date-ish. However, the resin cockpit, I'm not too sure about, I think maybe you should have built the kit OOB as you may have done in the early days but it is your decission and I'll follow you build thread with interest. Thanks for posting the pics.

Best of luck.



'm a trojan? Like the horse? :)


I thought about doing it completely OOB, but it isn't in me. I can't seem to do anything OOB unless all the resin and PE come with the box! :)

The cockpit will end up a combination of the CMK resin and the Eduard PE. I was hoping the vacuform canopy and nose glass parts would fit, but they look to be quite far off. Which means I'll have to figure out how to make the kit transparencies more, well, transparent. I see more sanding and polishing in my future...


Martin, I've always wanted to tart up some hussie! :):):)




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Hi mates,


I found some very nice historical photos about the anti-submarine patrols out of Brazil, and I thought I'd share them as they relate to this PB4Y build. First, a couple of photos of the airfield near Natal, at a place called Fernando de Noronha. Sorry, but it doesn't look like there were any beaches!






Next, a PBM-3 of VP-74 squadron on the ramp. Looks like a Pan Am Clipper in the background - I wonder if this was pressed into service for the USN.




Here is colour shot of a PBM-3 of VP-74 with two submarine silhouettes painted on the fuselage front, depicting attacks on the U-128 and U-513.




The flight line at Parnamirim Field in 1943, with seven PB4Y-1 Liberators from VP-107 and a PV-1 Ventura.




Here is the specific PB4Y that I've decided to model, the "Gallopin' Ghost of the Brazilian Coast." Note that there are no deicers on the wings or tail - don't suspect they were needed in Brazil!




The crew and a close-up of the nose art - I'll have to add the port cheek gun window, as it's not present on the Revell model:




No nose art on the starboard side.




It appears to be a Consair (Consolidated A-6) turret in the rear. I can't tell if the plane has a ball turret, radar, or tunnel gun in the belly.




Here is a close-up of the starboard side of the nose. Note that the cheek guns do not appear to be installed, but there are nose guns in the upper and lower position. I'm wondering if this is a unique armament for the ASW mission, as I don't think it was very common for a B-24D.




Unfortunately, the "Gallopin' Ghost" was written off in a landing accident. All crew members survived.




Here are some of the other PB4Y-1 aircraft stationed in Brazil (Subduer is also on the decal sheet from Iliad - I don't want to know what's going on in the wheel well):








And some of their handiwork - U-848 of Korvettekapitän Wilhelm Rollmann was sunk on 05.11.43 by Liberator 107-B-12 "Aruba" with no survivors.




U-849 of the Kapitänlieutnant Heinz-Otto Schultze was sunk on 25.11.43 without survivors.




PBY-5A of VP-83 landing the only two survivors from the submarine U-164 on 23.01.43.




I like to see these old photos, as it brings a sense of history to the model, but it also lets us remember the courage and sacrifices made on both sides of the conflict. When you look at the photos of the crew members you realize just how young these men were. To me it's incredible what they were able to do at such a young age. And I sure the U-boat crews were just as young. Amazing.


Back to the model. I've cut out a section of the forward fuselage for the cheek window. This was only on the port side of the Ghost - some B-24Ds had them on both sides. The size and location of the cutout is based on the Eduard PE sidewall that covers the interior at that area. The small notch will need to be filled, as it's where Revell have you mount the pitot tubes. This was the earlier position, later aircraft had the pitots moved up and back to make room for the cheek guns.




OK, I'm off to spend some more time on the cockpit now. It looks like things will come together nicely. I decided to use the Eduard PE for the sidewalls instead of the resin, this way I can make use of the pre-painted pieces. I've chosen to paint the forward area US Interior Green - a lot of references say it was Bronze Green and that may be for many B-24s. I have no references on the colour used on the Ghost. What made me make this decision is that the pre-painted Eduard pieces are in Interior Green, and I want everything to match.




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Very much enjoyed reading this post and seeing the photos Bill. As you say, young men making massive sacrifices on all sides of conflicts.

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Thanks, guys! I managed to find some time today to start the cockpit. I painted the resin and started applying the Eduard pre-painted PE. Man, I love that stuff - I can't imagine painting details this small, not at my age and with my eyesight!


I don't have the seats finished or the control yokes on yet, but it's starting to look the part. I will obviously be doing a wash and some chipping later. I've also been placing the PE on the sidewalls of the cockpit and the nose. The Eduard PE and the CMK resin all fit this old Revell kit surprisingly well. Since they were both designed for the Hasegawa kits, I'm guessing that means both kits are quite similar, at least here in the cockpit.






There should be nine levers in the central console, but three of them have been sacrificed to the carpet monster to ensure a trouble-free build the rest of the way. Actually, since Eduard gives you twelve, I really sacrificed six. I hope the monster is satisfied! :)




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Thanks, mates! I spent some time adding the seats and harnesses, along with the control yokes. It was fun making the control yoke shafts (not included with the Eduard set), these are small pieces of plastic rod about 0.6mm in diameter and 1.0mm long. Yikes!


There still is a lot of work to do inside the Liberator, after I finish up the nose area I've got to do the waist gun area. Lots more PE to play with, what with the structural details on the walls and the gun mounts, etc. Eduard even provides PE for the cooling jackets on the guns. Lord knows how I'm going to roll that into such a small diameter! Anyway, here are a couple of shots of the work done in the cockpit.






This will all look so much nicer once I've applied a wash and a flat varnish.


Cheers for now,


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Hi Bill,

Nice progress you've made! Being really in the middle of nowhere I haven’t had too much chance to follow everyone’s progress, internet connect out here isn’t the best!

The cockpit looks amazing!

You’re a brave man with this one! My father built one of these, probably was the first release version too as I remember the box art work. I know it would have probably cost a bit to buy in NZ back then. Remember playing with it as a small child, I loved the lower turret and how it would move in and out of the fuselage. I know he still has it packed away with all the other old models!

This build will bring back the memories for me, plus a chance to see what a heap of extras can do to an old beast like this!!

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Hi mates,


Back to work on the old bird...


Dry-fitting the cockpit showed me that there would be a gap between the top of the instrument panel and the inside of the fuselage. Since there is a huge glass nose on this baby I reckoned that the gap would be visible. So I made a "blind" out of card stock that matched the inside of the fuselage and glued it to the back of the panel.




I painted the blind flat black so it will disappear into the shadow. Until some contest judge pokes his pesky flashlight in there...


Next, I figured I would tackle the port cheek window. I removed the panel using a Tamiya scriber, found a nice piece of clear styrene that I formed into a slight curve, and then cut to size. I also drilled a small hole in the location where the gun muzzle would protrude. However, I won't have a gun in this position in accordance with the photos shown above. I won't actually glue the window in until I'm finished with the cockpit and the inside of the fuselage, that way I won't have to mask it on the inside.




Now it was time to go crazy with all that cool Eduard PE. Either that stuff is getting smaller or I'm getting older. But it is there, and it must be used or else be sacrificed to the carper monster. Speaking of the monster, remember those throttle levers that I sacrificed earlier in the build? Yep, that's right I found 'em. With my toe - which is why you should always model without shoes or socks.


I laboured tirelessly to add all the PE. Even though most of it was self-adhesive, I used CA anyway, as I've found that the Eduard adhesive can sag a bit over time, or just plan fail to adhere. After adding it to the cockpit and both fuselage sides, I did a wash to dirty things up a bit, followed by some post-shading and a flat varnish.














Let's see how many times I can knock off the bombardier's seat before I close up the fuselage! :)


I next proceeded to add the cockpit to the starboard fuselage, being careful to make sure everything on the port side would line up. Now she's starting to look the part!








We're not done in this area yet - I have to figure out some way to represent the front wheel well (nothing is supplied with the kit) and I'll also need to add some additional flooring for the bombardier. I'll be copying basing my work on the instructions for the Hasegawa B-24D, and of course the reference photos in my Detail & Scale book. Personally, I don't know how the bombardier could do anything in such a cramped space.


After studying the photos in the Detail & Scale book, it's pretty obvious that the CMK resin set is wildly inaccurate. It looks cool (and I'm not changing it!) but it's just not right. In the B-24D there is no "doorway" to reach the radio room from the cockpit, it's all open until the forward bomb bay bulkhead. Instead of the nice aft cockpit bulkhead supplied by CMK, the real plane just has a small piece of plywood behind the pilot's seat which contains oxygen bottle storage.


In-between adding the cool PE and watching the paint dry, I also returned to my favorite Obsolete Kit Group Therapy - rivet removal!! I decided to have a go at one of the lower wings and nacelles as it looked a little tricky. Plus, I'd like to see how the PE fits for the wheel wells. After my usual routine starting with a chisel and progressing to 18,000 grit Micro-Mesh (and that's 18,000 grit in metric!) I pretty much got rid of most of them. I decided to spray a quick coat of Alclad Grey primer, mainly because the smell takes me back to that part-time job I had in the auto body repair shop. Here is one wing as supplied by Revell, and the other after my modifications and primer:






The waste-gates for the turbo-superchargers aren't the best. They're somewhat the right shape, but they're not recessed into the bottom of the nacelle. And the details, well, aren't very detailed. Well, we'll just have to paint them so they look their best!


That's it for now. Starting to think about that front landing gear...




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Cracking work Bill. CMK parts not accurate? Can't say that comes as a shock having seen some of their other items. Know what you mean about that sweet smell of Alclad :D

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All right then, let's get back to work! So, the nose gear...what's provided in the kit is meant to be one of those cool "working features" that attracted us teenagers in the 60s. Really? A nose gear that pivots in and out of the fuselage is a working feature? I was a teenage boy, the only working feature I wanted were bombs that actually exploded!! (Hence the firecrackers...) :whistle:


What exactly does the B-24 nose gear look like anyway? Here is a photo from inside the nose gear bay, underneath the cockpit floor, looking forward.


B-24 nose gear


In this picture, the gear is extended and we can just see the top of the mudguard through the opening. Note that the nose gear strut is attached to a "rocker" made of triangulated struts, which is operated by a single hydraulic ram (to port). Also note how you can see right out through the glass nose. It would seem that a crew member could crawl inside here if necessary.


Here is a shot from the same vantage point, but the gear has been retracted. At the bottom of the picture, we're seeing the top of the nose gear strut (with a small yellow plastic cover over a fitting). The gear doors, in red, have closed.


B-24 nose gear retracted


Replicating this won't be as straightforward as I thought! If it means anything, neither Academy or Hasegawa accurately modelled the nose gear in their kits. But what the heck, let's give it a try!


Here are the kit parts (in blue) and a pile of stuff that I think I can use to make a new nose gear.




By the way, that nose wheel from True Details is more than "weighted" - it's out and out flat! The crew chief will be buying pints tonight. I don't understand why some of the aftermarket wheels are like that. These were high pressure tyres, when inflated properly the sidewalls didn't bulge out like that. Sure, there was a flat spot on the bottom, but that's about it.


So I tinkered with the raw materials, and came up with this:






It's not completely authentic, and it couldn't operate the way the real one did. (Just imagine that there are a bunch of pivot points, and that it's not the rigid structure that it appears to be!) But I think it captures the idea, and it will provide a way to mount it in the fuselage. Here is the general idea, although it's just held in place with tape:




The gear strut will be aluminum, but the rest will be in the same colour as the interior, per the above photos. That B-24, a J model, has the interior finished in Bronze Green, or Dark Dull Green, I think. As you recall, I painted mine in Chromate Green to match the Eduard parts.


On the B-24D, the nose gear doors retracted inward when open. On some of the later models, they opened outward. So for my model of the PB4Y-1, the nose gear doors won't be seen from outside. I'm still looking for photos or drawings of how the doors were positioned when they retracted inside.


Cheers for now,


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Since I had nothing better to do tonight, I figured why not some PE bending? It's the most relaxing, stress-free work I can imagine! :banghead:


I just had to know if the PE for the gear bays on the modern Hasegawa kit would work on this old Revell kit. To start, the main bay (where the tyre comes to rest when the gear is retracted) is one large piece of PE which you have to fold up into the right shape. I've always found Eduard's PE fold lines to work as advertised, what was different here is that the "roof" of the gear bay has to be curved into an airfoil shape, because it has to fit inside the wing. This should give you an idea of what we start with:




Note the airfoil shape on two of the side panels of the bay. The other sides are tapered, again to conform with the wing which gets thinner as you move out from the root to the tip. Once you fold this into shape, there are some additional stiffeners that are added. The result looks reasonably good.




But will it fit in the old Revell wing? The answer is yes! Without any trimming! :)








It's not perfect, but it's surprisingly good. I take this as a good sign that the Revell kit is quite similar to the Hasegawa, which of course means that they are both good representations of the B-24. The gear bay also fits the Academy wing nicely.


So that's our adventure for today. The wings on the PB4Y will look great with these new gear bays, along with the lowered flaps and ailerons that can be positioned. Next, I've got to do some work at the waist gunner's area, since this will be quite visible through those big open panels. There is nothing provided in the kit in this area, other than some poorly done M2 Brownings on their mounts. Oh boy...




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On 10/17/2013 at 03:12, Col. said:

Tidy job on those etched bays Bill. Very neat.

On 10/17/2013 at 06:56, Mottlemaster said:

Some excellent bending and folding there.


Thanks! There is more to the finished bay than just this main piece. The additional PE components will be added once I have the wing together. The PE will look quite nice under a coat of paint - which brings up the next question. What colour?


I've read that the gear bays were 1. painted the same colour as the bottom of the wings or 2. painted in Neutral Grey or 3. painted in Chromate Green or 4. left in a natural metal state. By scanning the net, I can find photos that seem to depict all of the above situations. Natural metal bays seem to be only on aircraft that were overall natural metal, so I can discard that option. The bottom of the wings on the PB4Y that I'm modelling are white, but I can't find any photos that clearly show the gear bay relative to the underside of the wing. What (black & white) photos I've found show the gear bay as darker, but this could be because they're in shadow, not that they are painted grey or green. Personally I'd like to paint them Chromate Green for visual interest, but I have no references that definitively show that.


Does anyone know the answer to this question, or have any photos that might give me a clue? I'll need to decide this before closing up the wings, since I'll do some painting of the bays before then.




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my guess from the info l have most likely dark medium green or bronze green as some like to call it, Zinc yellow chromite maybe in later bombers but not in a D variant

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