Jump to content

As a result of the close-down of the UK by the British Government last night, we have made all the Buy/Sell areas read-only until we open back up again, so please have a look at the announcement linked here.

This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

yardbird78

RB-36E, Cold War Warrior

Recommended Posts

I have had two of the old Monogram B-36 kits in the stash for a whole bunch of years, so I decided to put a couple of other projects on the back burner and build one of these
monsters. The kit is intended to be an RB-36H, but the kit decals are wrong and useless anyway because of age. I found some aftermarket decals for an RB-36E from the 5th
Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 72nd Bomb Squadron that was at Travis AFB, California from January 9, 1951 until September 30, 1958. The first B-36's that Convair built
were the XB and YB-36 prototypes and then 21 B-36A bombers. The A models didn't really have a combat capability and were used for crew training. After a couple of years,
Convair took all 21 of the A's plus the YB-36 prototype back to the factory, disassembled and modified them, then reassembled them as RB-36E Recce Birds. The biggest mods
were turning bomb bay #1 up front into a pressurized camera compartment and filling bomb bay #4 with ECM and ELINT equipment.
..I am pretty fired up about this build as I have wanted to do a B-36 ever since I was a kid. The question now is, "Can I keep the fire going long enough to finish a large, difficult
project". I bought two of the Pavla resin kits for the gun turret bays and will use them for both upper gun bays. I will open up the very large side oblique camera windows and
smaller tri-metragon windows on each side as well as the three vertical camera windows in the belly of the camera compartment. Bomb bay #2 will get 40 of the AN-M26 photo
flash bombs, while #3 will get a scratch built 3,000 gallon auxiliary fuel tank, a new "communication tube" down the left side and hopefully some more added detail. Both levels
of the forward crew compartment will get some added detail and I am hoping to scratch build the entire photo compartment interior. Now I have to see if I can live up to my
dreams.
The Kit Box
DSC_0017E_zpslw4hp3ll.jpg
I started simple with the wheels and struts
DSC_0006E_zpsgufhuiju.jpg
DSC_0033E_zpsoyekoycz.jpg
The Pavla AM turret bay boxes and pieces. The only real difference between the forward and aft turrets is that the aft bay has a one piece cover.
DSC_0012E_zpsksnzmejo.jpg
DSC_0023E_zpso1xfnd8c.jpg
The upper and lower forward crew compartments, the fwd & aft bomb bay bulkheads and the radio operator's panel at the rear of this area. This overlaps the gun
bay unit by about 1/8 inch, so I will have to modify that somehow.
DSC_0011E_zpsekwngjxl.jpg
DSC_0009E_zpssb51behu.jpg
The forward gun bay tub. It requires a HUGE hole to be cut out.
DSC_0025E_zpssm7vznas.jpg
This shows the camera windows and crew observation windows cut out of the right side. The left side is stock, but won't be for long.
DSC_0021E_zpsfcjyukpx.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RB-36E Update #1
The bomb bay fuel tank held 3,000 gallons and was jettisonable. I made the top and bottom out of the outer main gear doors from an Airfix 1/72 C-130 and scratch built the end
panels. I still have to build the sides and reinforcing straps that go around the circumference.
DSC_0002E_zpsdsfdtelt.jpg
DSC_0027E_zpsghldqtfa.jpg
DSC_0035E_zpsnb693bhh.jpg
Communication Tube that runs from the forward crew compartment to the aft in the regular bomber, but skips the pressurized camera compartment in the recce birds. It is made out of 3/16 brass tubing
DSC_0029E_zpsvpqpdymi.jpg
Add the bomb rack main frame and pressure bulkheads (not glued in yet)
DSC_0030E_zpshibw4jex.jpg
Add 20 of the photo flash bombs in bomb bay #2.
DSC_0031E_zpsafef7tjk.jpg
Add the aux fuel tank in bay #3 and the wing spar.
DSC_0034E_zpsimkmb2pm.jpg
I intended this to be the floor for the camera compartment, but it didn't turn out very well. Back to the drawing board.
DSC_0003E_zpsctbubnpg.jpg
DSC_0004E_zpsnx8w4w5i.jpg
Edited by yardbird78

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many years ago I did an out of the box build - never finished it but I remember I needed a huge amount of weight put in between the rear of the cockpit and forward Bombay to prevent it being a tail sitter.. Don't forget it!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of those 'Überkits' from my childhood that was never within my reach. I had to satisfy my modelling habit with series 1 & 2 kits from Airfix and if I was really lucky, a series 3!

I don't think I've ever seen one of these built up so looking forward to seeing the end result too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never owned this kit but looking at your build but lots of memories of wanting one as a boy come flooding back.

I do like old monogram kits, they have an ability to capture the real aircraft and this subject still captures my imagination.

Cheering you on from the sidelines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great to see you tackle an ambitious project like this, good start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many years ago I did an out of the box build - never finished it but I remember I needed a huge amount of weight put in between the rear of the cockpit and forward Bombay to prevent it being a tail sitter.. Don't forget it!!!

Thanks for the tip. I planned some weight under the floor of the forward compartment, but I will add even more.

Warbird make some nice B-36 decals that settle down well over Alclad.

Regards Toby

I have the Warbirds sheet with all the walkways, No Step warning and so forth, plus another for the particular aircraft I am building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RB-36E Update #2
My eyeballs are rotating to the back of my head from working with the tiny instrument decals, so I thought that I would post an update to the Beast. This is the pressure bulkhead between the back
end of the camera compartment and the front end of bomb bay #2. The hatch in lower right is the entrance to the "Communication Tube" that ran between the front crew compartment and the one
in the tail. It wasn't present in the camera compartment so that the guys in there could go to the front or back of the plane. The hatch on middle left gives access to the bomb bay. The window
towards the bottom is so they could monitor what was going on in the bomb bay without depressurizing the compartment. The items on the top shelf are electronic components and the center and
bottom row are instruments and controls for these "black boxes". I have applied a few decals and need to put on several more. The silver disc in picture #2 is how the bulkhead looked when I
started working on it. The decal sheet with the 1/72 instruments and controls is by Mike Grant Decals.
DSC_0036_zpslwkklpzp.jpg
DSC_0040_zpsctlotnfg.jpg
DSC_0042_zpswsaj9jlq.jpg
This is the jettisonable auxiliary fuel tank that goes in bomb bay #3. I finished the construction and put on a coat of primer. It still needs a finish coat of green. See the you tube video above to
see a full scale B-36 jettison one of these things.
DSC_0044_zpsi5qgwdai.jpg
Edited by yardbird78

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Built one as a kid, if memory recalls correctly there is not a lot to see inside when built straight from box in the cockpit area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

B-36E Update #3

I have made some progress with the camera compartment and started on the modification to the APG-32 tail radar.
This is the front side of the pressure bulkhead 6.0 that divides the aft end of the camera compartment and bomb bay #2. The hatch on the right is the entrance to the communication tube to the rear crew compartment and the one on the left is for access to the unpressurized bomb bay. I am considering it complete.
DSC_0053A_zpsafwy9zsy.jpg
This is the backside of bulkhead 5.0 that divides the forward end of the camera compartment from the forward gun bay.
Just starting.
DSC_0046A_zpsznkw3rny.jpg
Adding the "I" beam at the top, the first shelf and the hatch to the gun bay.

DSC_0049A_zps28llagy7.jpg

Adding the shelf and cabinet for the Camera Operator's control panel.

DSC_0050A_zps6il5itpn.jpg

Just for a little diversity, I started on the modification to the fairing for the APG-32 radar that controls/aims the two tail guns. The early B-36s had a single antenna/radome and later models had twin antennas. The kit provides the twin antenna version with a much larger and longer fairing. This has to be cut out and replaced with a smaller one.

DSC_0050A_zps6il5itpn.jpg

Edited by yardbird78

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RB-36E Update #4

This bulkhead 5.0 with the construction finished and the camera operator's panel to the right.
DSC_0055A_zps9fcfet1e.jpg
The same bulkhead with a coat of primer and the Camera Operator's panel temporarily in place.
DSC_0058A_zpswzsmrsdm.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The B-36! Perhaps my favourite aeroplane ever (that and the Tu-95 Bear)! I have a completely unbuilt one out in my garage. I've been very tempted to buy the Pavla gun bays and the only serious disappointment I had when I originally bought the kit some thirty-plus years ago was the absence of the retractable guns. I'll be very interested to see how the Pavla ones turn out. Best of luck on this build!

Best Regards,

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have the kit, pulled it out of the box a few times over the last 30 odd years I have owned it, then realised I have nowhere to put it when built, so put it back, so good to see someone tackle the beast, let me know if you need any coal to keep fired up, I might be able to help :whip::D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crickey, the only way this could be more ambitious is if you did the FICON version!

Really look forward to seeing this one come along.

Bravo,

Will

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RB-36E, Update #5

I decided to take a break from the camera compartment and do a little work on the gun tubs. They have a LOT of detail in them but the gun barrels are pretty fragile and the ammo belts are so incredibly delicate that it is essentially impossible to work on them without breaking them. I don't want to leave them out, but I may have to. The bulkhead hatch visible in the first photo is for access between the camera compartment and the gun tub, but it should be in the middle instead of over at the side. The camera operator's control panel is directly opposite this on the other side.
This is the basic gun tub the way it comes out of the box.
DSC_0084A_zpszbjz0wya.jpg
This photo shows the bases for the two turrets. There are two diagonal braces I still need to install for each base. You can see the pivot hinges at the corners. They are what raise and lower the turrets. The long rectangular objects under the bases are ammo boxes.
DSC_0088A_zpspgvc23ez.jpg
These two photos show the gun turrets installed temporarily for fit check.
DSC_0089A_zpsv7gwr7bf.jpg
DSC_0091A_zpsdnlxcaam.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RB-36E Update #6

I managed to get the ammunition feed chutes in place under the turret frames. I don't want to permanently attach the turrets until this beast is almost complete because they are way too delicate and likely to get damaged.

DSC_0101A_zpsmncavx6t.jpg
It is time to shift focus a little bit again and get some work done on the main crew compartment. There is a fairly large wheel to the aircraft commander's left that is for the nose wheel steering and this is not depicted in the kit parts. This is my scratch built version of the wheel before and after painting.
DSC_0093A_zps8rq7sepn.jpg
DSC_0099A_zpshxxbdnxx.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RB-36E, Update #7
I have been back working on the 3 forward bulkheads lately.
L-R, forward side of bulkhead 5.0 that divides the camera compartment and bomb bay #2, back side of bulkhead #4.0 that divides the front of the camera compartment from the forward gun bay. (these two were completely scratch built0, front side of bulkhead #3.0 aka the radio operators station
that divides the forward crew compartment from the gun bay.
DSC_0107A_zpsottmdzvd.jpg
Bulkhead 5.0 close up
DSC_0108A_zpshkxr1xin.jpg

Bulkhead 4.0, the blue items are supposed to be binders for Tech Orders and black items above them are extra film cartridges and the Camera Operators Control Panel is right center.
DSC_0109A_zps8mrmdkir.jpg
Radio Opertor's station at the back of the forward crew compartment.
DSC_0111A_zpsdrhhikel.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RB-36E, Update #8
I got out of the crew compartment and crawled back to the bomb bay to do some work in there. The yellow thingies are liquid oxygen cylinders made from scrap sprue with very thin strips of Bare-Metal-Foil for the mounting straps. The wires along the lower side wall are supposed to represent the grouped wire bundles.
The rectangles on the communication tube are the windows for inspecting the bomb bay without actually going into it.
DSC_0114A_zpsz0pi1pwe.jpg
Add in the forward and aft bulkheads for the bomb bay.
DSC_0116A_zpsdgv1bnmj.jpg
DSC_0117A_zpsm4orjvwk.jpg
Add in the main bomb rack structure.
DSC_0118A_zpspxafzcj8.jpg
Then 20 of the AN-M26 parachute flares or photoflash bombs and the 3,000 gallon auxiliary fuel tank and it starts getting a little crowded in there. The tank and bombs are a little crooked because they are not glued in and they shifted a little bit while I was taking the pictures.
DSC_0120A_zpsox7hcprf.jpg
Edited by yardbird78

Share this post


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...