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Tomoshenko

Airfix Dambuster - 1/72 Avro Lancaster B.III

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Tom you have my utter admiration Sir for a ) rectifying an issue by 'discarding' work that had taken so much time and b ) producing a new 'gunsight' AND a bench - great stuff.

Hold onto the camera and gunsight though - they'll look great in your next one!

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Wow, finished mine today and felt all pleased with my results, but the detail you've already put into it puts me to shame, difference between a kit assembler and a true class modeller :) 

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On 1/30/2017 at 8:46 PM, Bell209 said:

Actually, the sight used depended on which of the three dams the crew was tasked to destroy. Not all had the two towers (in fact, only the Moehne did, IIRC).

Yes, I believe you are correct.

 

I think this is mentioned in Sweetman's book on the Dams Raid.

 

For the Sorpe, it seems it took McCarthy ten runs before the bomb aimer dropped the mine: no reverse spin, no searchlights, at thirty feet and on a run along the dam wall. 

 

Michael

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Well that's a sight and I'll be bound me young lad you!

 

A fine representative wooden wonder, I woodent mind saying too

 

I'll have to re-read the Sweetman book to see, but I'm not sure they left the WD sight behind when they took the woodenwonderful one with 'em

 

Still this is a really excellent piece of scratchery, nice one Tomo

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31 minutes ago, Michael Enright said:

For the Sorpe, it seems it took McCarthy ten runs before the bomb aimer dropped the mine

 

Johnny Johnson was the bomb aimer on the Sorpe mission, did leave his sight behind and describes the raid in his great book "The Last Bristish Dambuster". A great read. 

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Thanks gents, I'm a tad 'umbled by you complements.

 

Ced & Bill, yep it looks as though I've done some abortive work, ah, as Ced says they'll come in handy for another Lanc one day.

 

Brief update. Turned my attention to the escape hatches. Well they are moulded into the fuselage (standing too proud, in reality they look a little recessed if anything), and the portholes are filled in:

 

IMG_1586.jpg

 

This was bugging me for a couple of reasons. First up I was none too pleased with the inaccuracy. I’m not an obsessive about this sort of thing, but being on the spine it is quite prominent – using my dad’s decorating analogy, by all means misalign wallpapering up a corner behind a table where no-one will notice, but not by the light switch. Second up, the dry fit looks great, but any tidying up will be a bit awkward with the raised and recessed detail.

 

Anyroad I sanded the offending articles off, drilled out the portholes larger than they needed, then masked off the location with insulation tape.

 

IMG_1590.jpg

 

It was then out with the file, and sanded flatish. Next I punched out 4mm holes in some take-away tinfoil, and glued a thin sheet of acetate to the back.

 

IMG_1583.jpg

 

These were then cut to size like thus:

 

IMG_1593.jpg

 

And in place:

 

IMG_1594.jpg

 

And a brace of Lancaster escape hatches:

 

IMG_1597.jpg

 

They do lie a lot flusher with a little persuasion and glue, but obviously are just resting atop for the time being. The recesses will need a little sanding once the fuselage is zipped up. The acetate is nice and clear, not that you can see anything. I also think they look a little more convincing as removable items than if I’d just drilled the portholes out. Anyroad thanks for looking, back soon.

Edited by Tomoshenko

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Nice hatches Tomo - great detail that will, I'm sure, pay off.

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“Back soon” did I really say that? Apologies for the break, had a holiday and stuff to do on the allotment, but back at the bench at last. I continued with finishing off the scratch build in the cockpit and forward section. It’s a bit tedious so I’ve just included the final piccies below. First though I realised that the tube protruding from the position where the aperture for the camera sight is on a normal Lanc is in fact one of the Aldis lamps used to calculate the correct height before realising its bomb – pretty much as iconic to a Dambuster Lancaster as the Up Keep mine itself! Still kicking myself that I overlooked that.

 

Anyroad the kit version is solid so I drilled it out in preparation for inserting a Little-Lenses clear light. I also drilled out the nose vents.

 

IMG_1602.jpg

 

I finished off the radio operator and navigator section. Used take-away tin foil and the riveter for the box section with a milliput cushion.

 

IMG_1609.jpg

 

IMG_1614.jpg

 

The forward spar bulkhead above had two nasty sink marks. They probably won’t be seen but they irritated me enough to warrant covering them in yet more take-away tin foil.

 

IMG_1615.jpg

 

Before getting some primer on I thought I may as well start on the turrets so I can paint them at the same time. I started by drilling out the rear guns. Unfortunately the barrel twisted slightly (probably something to do with the longer or shorter flute lengths and helix on the drills) and will require surgery.

 

IMG_1636.jpg

 

Onto the forward turret (spares are included fortunately as I don’t need the upper turret). As usual, the kit engineers conspire to affix it to the sprue in the most delicate and inconvenient place. As seen below it’s a real pain in the proverbial to get it off the sprue and clean it up without damage. I can understand why folk opt for aftermarket barrels, notwithstanding the extra detail, just so much less hassle.

 

IMG_1641.jpg

 

Anyroad with that done I thought I’d add some detail to the gun mount. The kit offering aint bad but could do with a lift.

 

IMG_1645.jpg

 

IMG_1673.jpg

 

I drilled out the lightning holes, added the cartridge chutes and the gunsight and frame. Beer can foil was used for this being stronger than take-away foil - unsurprisingly I also have a large supply of beer can foil for some reason…

 

Here’s the hydraulic arms for the guns and a little seat for the gunner. Probably very little will be seen but I want my little men inside to be comfortable.

 

IMG_1667.jpg

 

Next up I thought I’d have a crack at the ammo belts. So in the manner of someone who clearly has too much time on his hands I chopped up loads of little lengths of copper wire, then stuck them onto the sticky side of a thin strip of black insulation tape like thus.

 

IMG_1652.jpg

 

It’s a bit tedious, so it’s the sort of thing one does in batches between lengthy gulps of alcohol (yeh I know sharp knives and alcohol, health and safety and all that), and constantly repetition of the pointless scratchbuilder’s mantra “at least I know it’s there”.

 

Anyroad it’s best to have some music on in the background and also the odd glance at Britmodeller to take solice in the fact that there is likely to be someone on there more bonkers than yourself! PS I mean that in the nicest possible way if in the unlikely event someone reading this is more bonkers than me!

 

This is it taking shape.

 

IMG_1655.jpg

 

The little sections are trimmed up slightly then a little dab of runny superglue underneath to cement them in place. And this is it dry-fitted, approximately in place. The beauty is it won’t need to be painted. I have another one for the other side, but just want to give you some idea of what they’ll look like.

 

IMG_1683.jpg

 

The hydraulic arms are also dry-fitted as I want to mask the bare nickel rod.

 

Here is the finished turret and the capola:

 

IMG_1684.jpg

 

IMG_1679.jpg

 

A little strip was added and the removal of another nasty sink mark. Of note, I keep discovering sink marks, and raised sprue release lugs (can’t think of the proper name) in the most inconvenient places. At first they are pretty inconspicuous, but have a habit to appear when you least expect them too.

 

IMG_1689.jpg

 

As with most Acme Tomoshenko aftermarket supplies, not as good as the proper off the shelf stuff, but better than before, and at least gives some semblance of detail through the thick transparency which fortunately will hide a multitude of sins.

 

IMG_1692.jpg

 

A final shot of the interior. Before primer I shall now finish off the rear turret. Won't be away so long this time.

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he says...

 

 

 

Been waiting, impatiently it must be admitted

 

Glad I did

 

Just a bit rather wonderful mate

 

glad I waited

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Nice Build so far. A little info I can offer on the bombs. Not sure which book I read this in but I bought it at Cosford and it's in my collection. The bombs were disposed in the sea as mentioned and the crews were advised to drop them from 4000ft, that is until one went off. They were dropped from 10000 feet from then on. I also recall that one of the types, at least, went on a normal bombing raid with 14 x 1000 bombs, the majority of which I assume were open to the elements.

Regards

Paul

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Great work. Your detailing is very effective...

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Lovely work Tomo. The turret looks great, I'll half inch that bullet idea if you don't mind,they makes a great addition.:goodjob:

 

John

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Typically imaginative, sophisticated and impressive work Tom.   

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Great looking interior detail you've added. I particularly like the bullet belts. Some food for though for adding extra detail to my turrets.

 

Regards,

 

Mark

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Thanks for the compliments gents. Good to have you back Steve and hope your alien abductees treated you well.

 

22 hours ago, The Spadgent said:

Lovely work Tomo. The turret looks great, I'll half inch that bullet idea if you don't mind,they makes a great addition.:goodjob:

 

John

 

12 hours ago, FZ6 said:

Great looking interior detail you've added. I particularly like the bullet belts. Some food for though for adding extra detail to my turrets.

 

Regards,

 

Mark

 

Glad to be of help. It's a little tedious but they do look quite reasonable. Maybe you guys can come up with a quicker method or improve on my attempts.

 

No gluing or cutting stuff this evening, Just a quiet beer and a little research on tinternet for the rear turret.

 

Came up with this:

 

FN_20_Turret.jpg

 

And this is the kit offering:

 

IMG_1696.jpg

 

Okay not expecting to replicate it in entirety, but there are a few mods required. Out with the knife…to be continued....

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19 hours ago, Tomoshenko said:

Good to have you back Steve and hope your alien abductees treated you well.

 

Thanks Tom.  I've now seen the several various comments alluding to alien abduction; and can only offer the Trumpian observation that such allusions are at best characterised as alternative facts and perhaps more properly should be called out for being fake news :)

 

I'm still struggling to find time to get on with my own build - but I could no longer resist the lure of watching the builds of my favourite modellers unfold.  So here I am.........

 

 

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That's some excellent detailing Tom, love that you have done the brass tube trick again. Looks great

 

Rob

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Struth Tomo, you had me double-checking the scale of this. I can safely say I've never seen anyone drill out 1/72 barrels and make the bullets to match. This is the crown jewels of modelling as far as I'm concerned. Not to mention a sheer pleasure to watch...

Tony

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Don't forget to have slight smears of oil trickling down the casings of those guns will you Tomo

 

 

Or in other words have a big blarry wow from me

 

Now he makes bullets yet     :rage:

 

in the gentleman's scale.........

 

 

WOW

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I'm late, as usual. Inspiring stuff Tomo, you are definitely testing the theory of infinite detail and I'm looking forward to the resulting model and paradigm.

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Thanks Cookie more than welcome. I've been a bit late catching up on your Spitfires with the appropriately named thread:

You and Mr P keep building Spitfires, you're our only hope to save the world!

 

Well I cracked on with the rear turret and this is how I got on. There are basic limitations as to how accurate a representation one can make. A simple formula provides the solution: the way the parts are moulded, and configured for assembly + my ability + (my patience x my sanity). The latter part of the equation is clearly the weakest link.

 

Anyroad it’s fair to say that the Airfix offering is pretty reasonable, but could do with a bit of a lift. Coupled with the fact that the cupola is the version with the central section cut away – removed by crews to avoid condensation, but more on that later.

 

Here’s a link to a good reference piccie of something I’m trying to achieve:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdathebowler/14812754132

First up was to replicate some of the plate and mounting sections. This is the look I’m after, courtesy of Julien’s Britmodeller Lancaster Walkaround page, picture thanks to Mark Mills:

 

lanctailturret02.jpg

 

My fabricated attempts care of take-away tin foil.

 

IMG_1736.jpg

 

Dry fitted in situ:

 

IMG_1701.jpg

 

The gun mount is a very tight fit. I had to do a fair amount of sanding to get everything to fit inside, so the thinness of take-away tin foil is much appreciated. My advice to anyone undertaking this build is to keep dry fitting the pieces and sand to get a smooth fit. They fit well, but are tight so you need to account for the paint.

 

Next was to improve the front of the mount. Again Airfix do a basic representation which one can’t complain about given scale and cost, but felt some improvement was in order.

 

IMG_1703.jpg

 

I made a basic template for the ammo feed then cut away the excess plastic which represents the armour plate.

 

IMG_1708.jpg

 

I then rebuilt it up from bits of take-away tinfoil and made the ammo feeds from beer can foil gently bent like thus:

 

IMG_1711.jpg

 

Here they are stuck together, now looking a little better with more depth.

 

IMG_1719.jpg

 

I then made some ammo belts in the same way I did for the forward turret by sticking lots of little bits of copper wire (donated by old electrical appliances) to a thin strip of black insulation tape. Here they are roughly dry fitted in place to give you some idea as to how they will (I hope) look. I can’t fit them in yet until painted, and they are proper fiddly. Plus some of the little bullets keep falling off.

 

To the right you can see a slightly blurry rear plate with a control column. When painted I will glue the ammo belts in place properly then glue the back plate and control column on the back (I hope you get the general idea but you’ll see what I mean).

 

IMG_1728.jpg

 

Here is a front shot with the back section dry fitted without the ammo belts. I’ve also replaced the kit gun sight and its support with … you’ve guessed it…beer can foil (it’s a bit stronger than take-away tin foil).

 

IMG_1730.jpg

 

Looks a little more realistic and to scale methinks.

 

At this point, a little interlude from the build (no don’t worry not another fortnight break). As you can imagine I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time (or healthy amount of time depending on your perspective) googling, goggling and searching on tinternet for Lancaster bomber rear turret references, and Lancaster bomber stuff in general. Now you folks will be well aware that you come across quite a lot of personal accounts and stories. And we are reasonably well informed and familiar with the conditions and plight endured by the crews given our interest in the subject matter. Rear gunners in particular.

 

Their stories are quite remarkable to say the least. They would remove much of the armour plate to save weight, so increasing their vulnerability, which to be honest was probably the most vulnerable position in the aircraft anyway; the central plexiglass screen was often removed (as in this instance) to prevent condensation, which of course meant sitting for hours in sub-zero temperatures enduring frostbite; in the event of fire or aircraft damage the turret would often lock, thus trapping the gunner; the turret was so cramped the parachute was stored outside the turret in the rear fuselage section, so inaccessible if the turret jammed which was quite likely. The list goes on. These blokes were 19 plus and in their early 20’s mostly. When I was that age I was trying to get into pubs in Brum town centre in scruffy jeans and a Ramones t-shirt (partially successful); drinking lots to get merry or drunk (quite successful); and trying to chat up girls (not very successful and no doubt a consequence of the latter!). I can only imagine how I would have reacted had I been in their position. I thank my lucky stars I wasn’t. Needless to say I would have been absolutely petrified.

 

Here is an incredible story about a gunner who survived jumping out his doomed aircraft without a parachute. Seriously it’s no urban myth and is verified:

 

http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/blog/the-indestructible-alkemade/

 

Okay on with the build.

 

On my internet trawls I came across this poignant story which further underlines what these blokes went through:

 

http://lowfellwritersplace.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/the-mynarski-lancaster.html

 

Well as I’d come this far, and in light of the dangers cited above, I thought it rightly fitting and proper to add an axe. So after much faffing with bit of brass rod and beer can foil here is the result:

 

IMG_1744.jpg

 

On the real thing the axe fits inside a recess in the cupola. It may be possible to cut out the transparency in order to do this, but it would be one hell of a faff, and could go ‘orribly wrong. Therefore I took artistic licence and made a little case from take-away foil:

 

IMG_1741.jpg

 

Although I must admit the case makes it look a little over scale. I don’t mind much because it adds a little emphasis and prominence to something that cannot be seen very well. However, I’m not entirely satisfied with the case so I may dispense with it. The jury’s out at the moment, I’ll see what it’s like when painted. Views welcome.

 

Finally I assembled all the bits n bobs to finish off the turret.

 

IMG_1756.jpg

 

IMG_1753.jpg

 

It has a somewhat HG Wells, Jules Verne steampunk look methinks.

 

Here is the gunner’s position. As I said earlier the back plate isn’t glued in yet hence why it looks a little wonky. It’s gonna be a right blinkin’ faff gluing the ammo belts in place. That will come post paint with the aid of some Tommy Walsh DIY Time superglue – you get about a billion tubes of the stuff for a quid from…you’ve guessed it, Poundland.

 

IMG_1766.jpg

 

A view from above:

 

IMG_1750.jpg

 

Finally all the bits together ready for the paint shop.

 

IMG_1760.jpg

 

The transparencies have been dipped in clear, but the front section needs another wash and polish due to all the smudges from my maulers – the finger prints are 1:1 not 1/72. Oh yes everything does fit inside!

 

I’ve drilled out the gun barrels, but to be honest I can understand why folk would replace em with aftermarket ones. They are quite big and clunky. Still they should be okay once painted.

 

Right then, that’s the turrets done. Which is just as well as my eyeballs feel pickled to bits. Next? Well I just need to make up some buckles for the belts, last check of the innards then it’s paint time.

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