Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hola, Britmodellers. I took an unplanned hobby break in 2019, but picked up the plastic again a while back. After a few quick builds (a 1/144 EA18G and completing two Arma 1/72 Hurricanes that were largely built but unpainted when the break hit), I thought I'd tackle something more ambitious. I don't know what it is about the waning of the days but I often seem to pluck up the courage to deal with the bigger boxes in the stash at this time of year. 

 

I was all set to build the Minicraft B-24J but then a chance ebay purchase delivered the Eduard "Mission Centenarians" boxing of the B-24D to my door. Because the chances of me building two Liberators are so high. Oh, yes. 

 

Here's the obligatory box top shot:

spacer.png

 

Ah, so pretty. I'll not post photos of the contents, 'cos I didn't take them before I started chopping them up. Also, the only camera I have right now is my phone, and that's got a crack across the lens. Combine that with my photography skills and things may look a little surreal at times...

 

OK. Big decision #1. There are four options shown on the box, though the instructions have a fifth option (it's an earlier iteration of the fourth option). One of them isn't an actual mission centenarian, so what the heck it's doing here is anyone's guess. According to Mr Eduard, though, it "fits the theme of this release very well". No, it bloody doesn't. Anyway. Two/three are SE Pacific birds in olive drab, two are 15th AF birds in pink sand. For me it's got to be a pink one, and since only one of those options was an actual centenarian, it's going to be the box-art beauty, Chug-A-Lug. I've ordered some Vallejo paint as faded pinkish sand isn't a colour that I already have, and I'm beggared if I'll be trying to mix up enough paint to cover a viermot. This was a 98th Bomb Group airframe, survivor of Operation Tidal Wave (unlike an astonishing 35 of the 48 aircraft from the 98th BG on that raid), and eventual veteran of 105 raids. 

 

If you've got this far, thanks, and I hope both that you'll stick around and that the thread provides some entertainment value! 

  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

Construction, as is traditional, begins with the cockpit and some other fuselage interior areas. Eduard suggest painting most of this with good old interior green, but I had a brief search of the Internet, and the suggestions I saw there were that in the absence of specific evidence to the contrary:

 

Cockpit and forward nose compartment in dull dark green, with tan fabric insulation if present. 

Turrets in dull dark green. 

Waist compartment and bomb bay in natural metal. 

Wheel Wells and landing gear in neutral gray. 

 

I have no references on the B-24 at all, so I'm going with the above. I'm seldom hung up on these things, but if you have any thoughts, kind reader, please feel free to share them. But not for the forward compartment as I've already painted that!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Hook said:

Pulling up a chair!

Welcome, Hook! 

 

The original cockpit looks to be pretty sparse, not much more than two seats, two big yokes, and a plain centre console. I assume Minicraft provided decals for decoration, but really not much can be visible through the Lib's rather small windshield. Eduard provide lots of microscopic photo etchery instead. For the aforementioned visibility reasons, I'm going to add what I can, ignore what seems insane, and not worry if it doesn't quite work out. 

 

The instrument panel is easy enough: two layers of etch and one fold. It's a wee bit bigger than the plastic, which might make the fit interesting later on. 

 

spacer.png

 

Not too bad. I was chuffed when I got the throttle quadrant off the fret without damage, but then a mouse farted next door and it paid a visit to the carpet monster for a while. When it returned, the throttle levers look like someone had been using a hammer to control them. Ho hum, no one's going to see them when it's closed up. 

The chair is, ah, rudimentary. Eduard provide PE harnesses and hilariously impossible-to-attach-looking arms. I hate PE harnesses. 

 

Oh, and the yokes. I gave these a go. The plastic is chunky and the tiny etch has to be attached to some spare plastic before being attached to the IP. 

spacer.png

 

You'll see my "cunning" plan here: use the original plastic yokes to mount the etch. This is about as good as it got. I cannot get more than one of the joins to stay stuck. And that has also used all the mojo I need to tackle the harnesses. 

 

One day, Eduard will sell a mini pick and place robot that cuts up the etch and puts it all together for us. @CedB will of course be the pioneering user. 

  • Like 6
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think "chunky" is a being a little kind! The PE, if you can get it sorted, will be a huge improvement. Patience and a gentle touch will be required....

 

Ian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes. Trying again - left hand column seems to have gripped well, but the co-pilot's column is not cooperating. Strange: same plastic, same etch, same glue, different outcomes.

 

As a distraction I have cleaned off my cutting mat (surprisingly liberating, putting all those half-done bits and pieces, that have languished there for months, out of sight). And then cruised about doing some virtual sight-seeing along the Tagus valley in Microsoft Flight Sim 2020.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Right. Some progress with the yokes, using matt varnish to adhere the etch to the plastic. Not perfect, the columns look too short to me (unless Liberator pilots had long arms) but I'm not redoing them now. 

 

To distract me while this was curing, I tested the fit of the fuselage and the transparencies. The design of this kit has the nose section separate to the rest of the fuselage, and it contains noses for both the - D and - J versions. The join is a flat one with no location assistance, and the windshield has to fit as well. What could go wrong there? 

Well, credit to the design as it works pretty well:

spacer.png

spacer.png

spacer.png

 

I call that a win at this stage. The side windows on the windshield are going to be interesting, though. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, amblypygid said:

have no references on the B-24 at all, so I'm going with the above

https://www.daytonipms.org/b-24d-liberator

https://www.ipms.nl/walkarounds/walkaround-vliegtuigen-props/614-walkaround-b24-liberator

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/b-24_home.htm

I think you can find some useful pics there.

Cheers

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dear Chris

 

I have built 2 of these and here are some tips.

 

1. Glue each nose section to its mating fuselage half in smaal steps because the profiles do not match well.

2. The space under the dorsal turret is a good place for plenty of weight.

3. The wings fit very well meaning they can be left off until late in the build.

4. The nose and tail turrets have seam lines along the centreline that is difficult to hide.

 

Regards Toby

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck with your build, amblypygid!  The kit isn't one of my favorites, but it can look very good built up.

 

Planebuilder's advice is sound.  I'd also suggest checking the fit of the nose greenhouse before you get much further; on my specimen it is significantly wider than the fuselage if built OOTB, and almost impossible to fix if caught too late.  A couple of plasticard shims make an easy fix (but then the astrodome coaming is splayed too wide which requires some revision).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, bbudde said:

Thanks, Benedikt. Definitely some good stuff there. Seems like a lot of the preserved airframes are ex Indian AF; I had no idea that it operated LIberators after WW2.

 

6 hours ago, Planebuilder62 said:

Dear Chris

 

I have built 2 of these and here are some tips.

 

1. Glue each nose section to its mating fuselage half in smaal steps because the profiles do not match well.

2. The space under the dorsal turret is a good place for plenty of weight.

3. The wings fit very well meaning they can be left off until late in the build.

4. The nose and tail turrets have seam lines along the centreline that is difficult to hide.

 

Regards Toby

Thanks, Toby. Yes, I was thinking about tip 1, though the profile doesn't seem to bad at this point. Might be different once the internal etch panels are on, they may act as stiffeners, I think? Must not forget the weight!

 

3 hours ago, Hook said:

I'd say! 

I just hope it stays that good...

 

2 hours ago, Jackson Duvalier said:

Good luck with your build, amblypygid!  The kit isn't one of my favorites, but it can look very good built up.

 

Planebuilder's advice is sound.  I'd also suggest checking the fit of the nose greenhouse before you get much further; on my specimen it is significantly wider than the fuselage if built OOTB, and almost impossible to fix if caught too late.  A couple of plasticard shims make an easy fix (but then the astrodome coaming is splayed too wide which requires some revision).

Thanks, Jackson. I did check the greenhouse fit and it seemed acceptable, but I shall check again! 

 

  • Like 1
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...