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++++ Sea Baker MB5-FINISHED ++++


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This has been in my stash for a few years and I thought it's ideal for this. 

 

The totally fictitious back story. The war in the Pacific dragged on and the Royal Navy needed a high altitude interceptor that had superior climbing and altitude performance to its lend lease Hellcats and Corsairs. The Japanese had developed a number of high altitude dive bombers which could get through the fighter screen before launching at speed into naval formations. The Seafire was an excellent low level fighter and the US fighters could slog it out with Japanese fighters and medium altitude bombers but the high altitude bombers were a significant threat as they couldn't be touched unless identified really early at the outmost range of seaborne radar or when they descended at high speed into the AA screen or picked up at low level after dropping their bombs. Obviously this latter option was ineffective against kamakazi attacks. No current RAF aircraft was suitable for conversion and starting jet use on the carriers was not an option. Martin Baker's MB5 had all the performance needed and Supermarine now had significant spare capacity as the war in Europe was over, so the two companies collaborated to rapidly produce a navalised version in sufficient quantities and pressed into service. The aircraft proved to be an instant success and was deployed on all of the Pacific Fleet's carriers. A Gloss Sea Blue livery with white identifier bands was used to ensure the Baker was not misidentified by trigger happy US allies. 

 

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Transfers are provided for three versions but the GSB is the one I'm going with. 

 

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So off we go into flights of fantasy. 

Edited by 825
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Two sprues of grey plastic which are well moulded with reasonably crisp detail for a short run kit. There are a fair few ejection pins and a bit of flash, especially on the undercarriage legs and prop/spinner, so a little filling will be in order. The cockpit is nicely detailed though. Small clear sprue with a single canopy as can be seen in the previous post. 

 

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The instructions are simple simple and clear with easy to use painting instructions. 

 

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I have now put some paint on and will take a photo later. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been away for a week's holiday but as now back thought I'd have an hour or so's bash at the Baker. A fair amount of paint on and some light weathering done with dry brushing. Also had a go at filing of some of the excess on the props/spinners. 

 

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The detail on some parts parts is quite nice but I suspect not much will be seen in the cockpit. 

 

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Wheel wells assembled, with wrong part numbers on instructions for anyone following with this build. 

 

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And the cockpit also assembled, awaiting cleaning up, seat and IP. 

 

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Cockpit completed with some Tamiya Tape seat belts and inserted into the fuselage. Then the fuselage was joined up. It wasn't quite straightforward, the cockpit needed some sanding down for the two sides to go together around the cockpit. I started glueing around the cockpit as I thought it best to get this aligned, then worked along the top rearwards then forwards. Some tape was needed to keep a small seam from appearing. Turning upside down the bottom met up really well. A bit of sanding will be needed but not much. Hopefully!

 

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Glued the wings together as well. The wheel well walls needed a little trimming as did the detail in the inside of the upper wing

 

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Seams filled, sanded down and polished. 

 

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The air intake will need a bit of attention. 

 

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The wings are butt joined so i have added some plastic rod to give some fixing pins. I suspected that the actual join would probably need some short term strengthening. 

 

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And wings on

 

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Looks like like an aeroplane now. 

 

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Although there there is a need for sorting out the wing seams underneath. I thought that getting the upper join was a priority. Some filling needed. I prefer plastic strip flooded with cement for gaps. Leave it overnight then careful trim off excess with a sharp scalpel and there's very little sanding to do. 

 

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Some paint on now. I have cleaned all the joints up, some needed a further smear of PPP, and polished everything up. I decided to start with the white stripes and mask them before adding the Gloss Sea Blue. I'm using Citadel's Ceramite White thinned with Flow Improver which will take about 3 or 4 thin coats. 

 

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Also some paint on the seams to check. They all look OK but if necessary I'll pop on a smear of PPP or Mr Surfacer. 

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White bands finished and glossed up a bit with Klear, then masked ready for some Gloss Sea Blue. I've also dipped the canopy in Klear and masked it. Dry fitting it has shown that I need to paint the rear decking behind the cockpit opening as it will be below the canopy. So that's the next job to do. 

 

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3 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Seeing as i was given one of these last Saturday I'm going to be taking notes from your build. Anything major i should be aware of ? 

Not too many it goes together well. The part numbers for the wheel well walls in the instructions would have you put them in wrong. They also need sanded down to get the wings to fit properly, and was still left with a small gap near the root. The instructions suggest you assemble the air intake and then add it once the fuselage is assembled. I was left with a bit of filling needed. I would probably wait and assemble it in place. 

 

The other thing that was needed was sanding down down the side of the cockpit tub to get the fuselage to fit smoothly. And it needs some seat belts. Otherwise not too bad. 

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The canopy needs a little bit of work to fair it in as well. 

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First coat of Gloss Sea Blue on. No panic, thinned Xtracrylix brushed on always looks like this on the first coat. You can also see the filler to fair in the canopy. I sealed the gap first with Krystal Kleer, painted it with the interior colour before some GSB and eventually some Perfect Platic Putty. Will gently sand an polish it tomorrow. 

 

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Looking good.  I'm intrigued by the 'pilots' identified in the painting instructions.  I surmise that they are people, some even of this parish, who helped AZ with information about the subject.  Looking forward to seeing this one completed.  As I've probably said before I've long wanted an excuse to give an MB5 model MSG instead of yellow undersurfaces.

Edited by JosephLalor
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Painting more or less done. 

 

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Now with the masking off, and most of it's OK. A little bit of touching up needed but not much. The cowling needs another coat of the blue as well. 

 

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The cockpit looks looks good and the clarity is excellent. 

 

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Transfers on. Nearly all behaved themselves beautifully, apart from a couple that took forever to nudge into place and then when gently wiping off excess water, they flew off like a hockey player on the ice. And one curled over and took forever to unfurl. Got them all on though and the white is nice and opaque. 

 

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I thought the sharkmouth would cause problems but it (they) went on beautifully with a little smear of micro set. 

 

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I've brushed on some Micro Sol and left everything to set. 

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The prop is assembled but there was a lot of tidying up needed on the prop/spinner joint which took some time. 

 

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Now the airframe polished and then given a coat of Klear. The prop is all tidied up and painted. The spinner probably needs another coat of Klear. Not much to do to finish off. 

 

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Pretty well done apart from a little touching up and the prop glued on. 

 

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She does stand on her own undercarriage but as the wheels were only glued on a little while ago I'll leave her upside down overnight. The prop isn't fixed yet. 

 

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Looking good. It is perhaps a pity Martin Baker were such a small company - with more resources they might have got the MB5 finished early enough to see service. The performance was good, and it was designed for ease of maintenance apparently so the groundcrew would have liked it as much as the pilots. When Eric Brown finally got to fly it in 1948, 4 years after its first flight, he described it as "outstanding", his only complaint being that the ailerons were not powerful enough. Of course by then it was becoming outclassed by the new generation of jets. Like the DH Hornet and the Grumman Bearcat, it was one of the planes that just missed the war, and as a result are not as well known as they deserve to be.

 

Pete

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Finished, went together well with a little bit of nudging and attention here and there. I think it looks really good as a possible Fleet fighter. I'll pop some better photos into the gallery a little later. 

 

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