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1/72 Minicraft B-24J as a Liberator VI


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Bloody nora that's looking sweet, I have a 1/48 B-24J and this is having that I want to affect on me if you know what I mean. This is goint to be a superb example of a lovely looking bomber.

Clive

Edited by SHAR67
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Another update for today. At this stage it's just adding all the little bits, so I've made a list so I hopefully won't forget anything!

The main undercarriage legs are now on:

lib-167

 

lib-166

 

I've added some brake lines using fuse wire, and fuel dump pipes behind the wheel wells. Added next were the mainwheels and bomb bay doors:

lib-165

I chickened out of using superglue for the bomb bay doors, and used double-sided sticky tape, which gave me a bit of leeway when positioning them correctly. I then sat her on the mainwheels, and of course she's a tail-sitter, despite all the wieght added above the bomb bay and in the engine nacelles...ho hum :doh:

 

I've done some wind-deflectors for the waist guns, and put the nice brass .50 cals in postion too:

lib-163

 

Next up, I've glued the cockpit glazing in position. I thought I'd have the sliding side windows in the open position to show off the cockpit a bit better:

lib-164

 

And finally for today, the front and rear turrets have been glued together, ready for installation:

lib-168

 

More soon!

Cheers

Simon

Edited by Simon
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I thought I'd have the sliding side windows in the open position to show off the cockpit a bit better:

I did the same on my PB4Y. It's amazing how much of the cockpit you can actually see through the small open areas. It was well worth sliding the side windows back.

The build is looking great. Too bad about the tail sitter. I've seen a lot of folks add a crate or barrel under the tail skid to prop it up. I've seen actual B-24 photos like that. Much like the Tigercat, the B-24 could tail sit in real life under the right conditions.

My PB4Y, after adding 83g of weight up front, was still a tail sitter at first. I was lucky in that I did not detail out the area under the top turret, so I was able to add more weight in there prior to adding the top turret. I didn't add too much either, as I recall. Maybe another 5-10g and then magically she came forward and set on her nose wheel. Sometimes, though, if the table she's sitting on is not level, she'll go back to being a tail sitter. I must have the weight right on the ragged edge.

Cheers,

Bill

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Absolutely awe-inspiring!

My grandfather served with the 98th Bomb Group (the blokes who did the Ploesti Raid / Operation Tidal Wave) so I was raised with the philosophy of "B-24s did all the work and B-17s got all the credit" during the time I spent with him. :bleh: So it's nice to see a B-24 being given a truly breathtaking modelling treatment.

And while it won't be of much use for modelling purposes because it was just over 20 years ago, I have actually had the incredible fortune to fly in a B-24J, the "All American"! I will never forget that experience, if only because I was actually huddled in the nose gear section when the pilot did a low pass over a different airfield than we took off from (Patrick Air Force Base in Florida), and I thought we were actually going to land! I was absolutely ruddy terrified. But, as it turns out, it was just a low pass and I survived after all! :frantic: At the time, the All American was the only fully-restored B-24 in the world (early 1990s). Based on the Witchcraft link it looks like at least one more is now fully restored, which I think is fantastic. Such an underated aircraft, the B-24.

Your modeling does justice to all the men who served in these bombers in both the RAF and the USAAF so, sincerely, thank you!

Edited by caszerino
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My thoughts exactly Hamden, i will be sorry to see this one finish, it has been enthralling to watch.

John

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I can't believe I've been busy with this since last April!

Anyway, onwards and upwards, and a little sideways too, as shall become apparent - I think I'm succumbing to M.O.C.D. (Modeller's Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

Firstly, updates on the Lib. The Mk. XIV bombsight is now in place. I've got no idea how it was mounted, but I made a bracket to sit it on. The turret won't foul it - I remembered to check just before I fitted it!

 

lib-169

 

lib-170

 

I've decided to add some weathering to the tyres - Raw Umber gouache brushed on, then rubbed away to give the impression of dirt in the treads:

 

lib-171

 

lib-173

 

I've done the front wheel too, and added some dirt on the fuselage behind the wheel bay:

lib-172

 

Now the sideways bit - I'm toying with the idea of putting the Liberator on a display base, with a couple of vehicles for interest. I dug out the Airfix Bomber Command Support set from the stash, and have made up the DB tractor and bomb trolleys and weatherd them. I've also played around with making tyre tracks using the computer:

 

tractor-05

 

tractor-01

 

I've also got the Matador tanker from the Airfix Refuelling set. Chassis made up, and more tyre tracks to play with!

matador-01

 

I'm off to lie down in a dark room...wibble!

Cheers

Simon

Edited by Simon
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A short update, and a thank you to Byron for sending over his photos. As he rightly pointed out, B-24s have 2 brake lines per main wheel, so I bought a reel of 0.35mm wire off Amazon, and have replaced the existing over scale single brake line with two thinner ones:

 

lib-175

 

lib-176

 

He also sent over some shots of the lower nose, which showed the distinctive ammo tracks for the nose turret, as well as a yellow cable inside the nose glazing:

lib-177

 

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Unfortunately, while putting the main wheel brake lines on, I managed to dislodge the port waist gun, which disappered into the fuselage. And in trying to get it out so I could put it back in position, I managed to dislodge the starboard one - cue much cursing and gnashing of teeth. :doh:

Fortunately the rear turret isn't on yet, so even though they disappeared into the fuselage, some 'gentle' persuasion made them drop out fo the tail. Now all I gotta do is get the darned things back in place...

More soon...

Cheers

Simon

Edited by Simon
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The Liberator is now almost done (he says, hopefully...), but I've been diverted by the AEC Matador refueler for my display base. I used some Wee Friends white metal wheels, which add a lot of weight and make it 'sit' nicely, and also added some glazing, door mirrors and a few odds and ends in the cab.

Like the David Brown tractor and bomb trolleys, it's painted with Vallejo 70924 "Russian Uniform WW2", which I understand is a good match for the green used on SEAC vehicles. Weathered with gouache and watercolour pencils for some dust and fuel overspills. The only real problem I had was with the decals, which were completely out of register:

 

matador-02

 

Thankfully, a quick e-mail off to Airfix, and they sent two sets out the next day. :thumbsup2:

matador-03

 

matador-04

 

matador-06

 

I glued the windows in 'open' positions to let some cool air in the hot cab.

Now all I need are some figures, which I think I've got sorted. More soon...

Cheers

Simon

Edited by Simon
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I'm loving that AEC Matador! Absolutely top-notch. Is that from the Airfix "RAF Bomber Command" set?

Thanks for the kind words. It's from the Airfix RAF Refuelling Set - so it's 1/76 really. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the moulding, as I'm also working on a conversion of the Airfix Austin K2 Ambulance from their RAF Emergency Set, which isn't anywhere near as well detailed.

Regards

Simon

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  • 3 months later...

Well, it's been a while! I've finally got my Austin K2 tea van done, and I've rescued the Liberator from it's place upside down on top of the wardrobe (safest place for it - away from the cat and SWMBO :whistle: ).

Now, where was I...?

Ah yes. My last post mentioned some figures. The plan is to have a group of ground crew figures standing by the nose art, having their photo taken after fuelling and bombing up KH408. There's plenty of photos like this, but all the ones taken in India seem to show the men in tropical fatigues, wearing shorts and often shirtless. I looked for ages for some suitable figures, and I finally found these and these from Gunthwaite Miniatures. I found some suitable heads for them at Dan Taylor Modelworks, wearing Wolseley pith helmets, and so did some chopping and changing:

 

lib-178

 

Here they are painted up:

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The photographer proved a bit of a challenge too. Here he is, with the legs from a 1/72 basketball player (!), and the body, head and arms from the Revell RAF ground crew set. Camera is scratch built!

 

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Now all I need to do is figure out where everything goes, so I've printed out a grid pattern on a sheet of A3, and I've been trying things in place:

 

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Once that's all finalised, I can copy the grid onto the base in Photoshop and get the wheel tracks put in the right place.

Then it's just a case getting all the final bits and bobs onto the LIberator, and getting it all pulled together. He says, hopefully! :pray:

More soon...

Cheers

Simon

Edited by Simon
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This is coming along really well and having a real soft spot for the Liberator in SEAC it is right up my street too, you are doing a brilliant job and I love the idea of a diorama.

Could I just say that I don`t recall seeing the DB tractor or an Austin Tilly in any SEAC photos,........most of the light vehicles that I`ve seen were of US origin. Also,.....in all of the photos that I`ve seen of a `heavy' being refuelled the bowser was always parked in front of the aircraft.

Of course I could very well be wrong but I thought that I`d better mention it as I really want your diorama to be right,

Cheers

Tony

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Thanks for the comments Tony. I've had a look through a few photos of Liberators in India, and there seem to be a few vehicles that seem to be British in origin, or CMP vehicles. I also found several photo of RAF Libs being bombed up in the region, but the tractor isn't shown very clearly.

I must admit I wasn't 100% sure about the vehicles and where they should be positioned. I did find this photo on the IWM archive which shows a tanker reversed up behind the wing of the Lib in the background. Not sure what the usual practice would have been, but this shows it's at least possible. :)

Regards

Simon

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No worries Simon,

I just thought that I`d mention it, I agree that there are some British and CMP vehicles, I`ve just not seen many of the lighter vehs and if it were me I`d probably use a Jeep or another US vehicle rather than a tractor. I have seen another photo where the Matador tractor is parked under the wing of a SEAC Liberator, with the rear facing the front,.....but not behind. I have a feeling that the SOP was to run the hoses over the leading edges of the wing rather than the trailing edge.

Good luck anyway,.......the models are really top notch

Tony.

PS- Don`t forget a palm tree and I`ve also noticed than oil barrels seem to be everywhere on Liberator airfields! Many appear to be used as covers for taxy/landing lights too.

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Excellent model!

I suspect you;ve seen it, but just in case not.

http://www.iwm.org.uk//collections/item/object/205209657

Oh, and if they managed to fuel Sunderlands' like this, I think you'll be forgiven to place your matador against the trailing edge!

http://www.iwm.org.uk//collections/item/object/205209718

Next diorama...???

Will

Edited by Killingholme
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Hmm, interesting stuff! I did find this photo of an Australian Mosquito, Borneo 1945:

https://static.awm.gov.au/images/collection/items/ACCNUM_SCREEN/OG3133.JPG

Don't know what sort of tractor that is.

Or maybe they had Clarktors in the Fsr East?

http://i105.photobucket.com/albums/m224/D_Baumann/5964-3.jpg

Simon

EDIT - the Borneo tractor looks like a 1943 McCormick-Deering W4:

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/tractors/images/f/f8/McCormick_-Deering_W-4_sn_%3F6091_%28left_side%29_at_Scammell_Gathering_09_-_IMG_9200.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20090505140352

Edited by Simon
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  • 2 weeks later...

So, after a bit more research, I decided on a Clarktor. 1,511 Clarktors built to British specifications were shipped to the Ministry of War during 1941 & 1942.

I found a photo of one being used in India as a bomb tractor by 34 Sqn, dated around the end of 1942 to mid 1943:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207681

I managed to get an Academy 13043 set, the one with the US Army Ambulance and Tow Truck, which I thought would fit the bill. Unfortunately, the one in the kit is the wrong version of the Clarktor. The RAF used the Clarktor Heavy, with four rear wheels:

Matt1.jpg

So, back to the drawing board. After a bit more Googling, I came across this Clarktor from Videoaviation in Italy:

http://www.videoaviation.com/ground-support/172-clark-tug-tractor/

It's a little beauty, nicely cast and easy to put together. Here is the nearly completed Clarktor, next to the Airfix David Brown tractor for size comparison:

 

lib-184

 

And here it is completed. I've added a more accurate seat with the wire backrest, but apart from that it's 'OOB'

lib-186

 

lib-185

 

So everything is pretty much ready to be put together. More soon...

Cheers

Simon

Edited by Simon
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Now all the bits and bobs are done, I needed a base to sit them on. I wanted a section of Marsden Matting, and was going to buy some of the ones Eduard do, but they're quite small, and joining them up for a larger section looked a right PITA. So I saw this:

http://www.scalemodelscenery.com/172-large-psp-marsden-matting-display-plinths/

and I thought it looked pretty easy to try my own printed one. The downside is it's not 3D, the upside is, it would be free, and I could adjust the artwork as necessary.

So, I made a 1/72 single section in Adobe Illustrator, and took it into Photoshop to add some depth. I've gone for slightly rusted Marsden Mats - here's the flat Illustrator image above, with the Photoshopped image under it with 3D effects added:

single mat

I stepped and repeated the basic artwork in Illlustrator, (eventually, as there are 700-odd individual mat sections and my iMac had a bit of a sense of humour failure...), then exported it into Photoshop and added the 3D effects, the wheel tracks, some oil stains and weathering. Here's a small section of the A3 sheet:

 

Print

 

I glued the printed base to a sheet of 5mm polyboard (foam board) and cut to size, which makes it nice and sturdy. Next up is adding the figures, vehicles, some oil drums and other bits and bobs, and of course the B-24...

More soon

Simon

Edited by Simon
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