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"Celestial Queen" Academy 1/72 B-29

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*** Slightly better photos added Feb 2021 ***

Still struggling to get really good snaps of this big bird but at least the lighting is a better in the photobox. Enjoy!


















Hi all, photos of my finished Academy 1/72 B-29, sorry for the distinctly mediocre picture quality, haven't really figured out how to photograph big models like this... The scheme is "Celestial Queen" with decals from warbirds and I also added the Eduard etch set. She's painted with various shades of Alclad - it was a bit of a battle at times as I was pretty much learning how to airbrush and how to do NMF as I went along. I enjoyed detailing the cockpit and scratch built a few bits and pieces like a lamp, map and headphones for the radio operator. The front of the fuselage is held on with little magnets so you can take it off to see the detail inside (looks better in real life than in the photos!). This works quite well but if I was doing it again I'd make the whole upper half come off so the joins appear along panel lines rather than on top.  I also put quite a lot of effort into the bomb bay with doors open and all those bombs to decal! It took me most of 2018 to get done but in the end I'm really happy with it and it looks pretty cool alongside the B-17 with matching red wing tips! I learned absolutely loads along the way, thanks to those who provided help and encouragement, the WIP is here: 
























Edited by SaminCam
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The time spent building it was well worth it. Great detail work, and the NMF shading and the weathering are outstanding!  I like the idea of being able to remove part of the fuselage in order to see the interior craftsmanship.





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Nicely done :clap2:

One problem, the Academy kit is of a Renton Washington built B-29A (where all B-29As came from) not a B-29 as represented by your build. The only B-29 in 1/72 is the Airfix Superfort. :coolio: There are differences between the two types.

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That is a super build!

Would never have known you were a newby to airbrushing or NMF's.

I've had the Academy kit (the Enola Gay version) in my stash for a long time and your build shows how good it can be.

Love your choice of decals from the aftermarket too.

A brilliant job all-round.


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As FAAMAN pointed out, the Renton-built B-29A was different from the Boeing Wichita and Bell and Martin-built  B-29's. The B-29 wing was built in two sections; the B-29A wing was built in three sections and was 12" longer in span. In addition, B-29A's had a four-gun front top turret instead of the two-gun B-29 turret. I don't have an Airfix B-29 kit, so I can't comment on whether or not it has a one foot shorter span than the Academy kit. B-29A wingspan is 142' and  the B-29 is quoted as being 141'


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To the best of my knowledge 72modeller I think you'll find that the four gun turret was a B-29 only feature.


"Early combat experience indicated that the B-29 needed more protection against fighter attacks coming from the front. The forward dorsal turret armament was increased to four 0.50-inch machine guns on Boeing-Wichita production block 40. Bell-Atlanta introduced this innovation on Block 10, and all Martin-built B-29s had four guns in the top turret from the beginning."


So no B-29A (Renton, Washington 'BN') had the four gun top turret.

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