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1/72 Academy Boeing B-29 Superfortress - Silverplate (Enola Gay)


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I started this build back in July but only completed it a couple of days ago, as my first finished build for 2021. This is from Academy's Silverplate boxing of their 1/72 B-29 kit. The subject is built up in the colors of the infamous "Enola Gay". 

 

 

4 2 3 5 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 9

 

Painted with Alclad Airframe Aluminum, Aqua Gloss, Tamiya acrylic and lacquer paints and primers from Gunze. 

 

To be honest, this was by no means an easy or smooth build. I hadn't attempted an NMF finish on this scale before, and in this case it turned out to look a little more dull than I wanted to as a result of the overcoat of gloss to seal the paint. Some of the parts look more sloppily painted or weathered than I'd have liked, and I ran into a lot of problems during the build especially with assembly and fit. Some of the decals also silvered on me, which was something I wasn't expecting from Cartograf of all decal makers.

 

The kit itself leaves a lot to be desired compared to what we have today, which to me is surprising given how well it scored in reviews. To be frank, building the kit felt like building something that Academy didn't try all that hard with. The kit goes together in a way that doesn't seem to be thought out very well which results in a lot of fiddling and build problems that in themselves don't ruin the kit but make it feel sloppy. This combined with parts that only vaguely fit and ejector pin marks and seams on very prominent parts among others make building kit a bit of a slog in my opinion. I know some modelers like this challenge which is perfectly fine, but I wasn't all that prepared to experience these build issues and it really took away from the overall experience. Since this kit is the only good option for a 72nd B-29, I suppose it's all about knowing what you might be in for. It does build up to look like a massive shiny display piece in the end. 

 

Thanks for viewing! 

 

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This is a very commendable result of what seems to be a difficult kit - well done! The subject, though, gives me a shudder.

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Fantastic model! Aluminium skin looks excellent. It should not be more shiny at all in my view - you're spot on. 

Enola Gay is definitely a very special aircraft and very distinct with no armament, no bright spots, huge R... Infamous of course but beautiful in its simplistic and very gloomy livery. 

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2 hours ago, Abandoned Project said:

Oh, and thanks for getting the OMD song stuck in my head 

 

So glad I'm not the only one!

 

Cracking model superfort, really lovely nmf!

 

Keith

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Superb metallic effect - one that's not easy to get. Well done!

 

You only mention Alclad Aluminum - were no other metallic shades used?

 

Cheers,

Bill

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I think the finish looks great for a wartime aeroplane. The modern warbirds with the mirror finishes are a different kettle of fish.

 

And however frustrating the build was, I bet it was less fraught than building the Airfix one!

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Beautiful  work!  For all the challenges you described, the result certainly doesn't indicate any issues!

As another responder has said, the alternative would be the Airfix kit - likely even more challenging.

I've yet to build my Academy Enola Gay kit, but your model certainly sets the bar high!

:clap2::clap2:

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Looks like a superb model. Older large kits can be a challenge, but that's what it is all about, especially when they come out so well. B-29 is a great aeroplane. 

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Thanks for the comments everyone! 

 

On 2/11/2021 at 7:04 AM, AdrianMF said:

I think the finish looks great for a wartime aeroplane. The modern warbirds with the mirror finishes are a different kettle of fish.

 

And however frustrating the build was, I bet it was less fraught than building the Airfix one!

 

Regards,

Adrian

On 2/11/2021 at 11:44 AM, kapam said:

Beautiful  work!  For all the challenges you described, the result certainly doesn't indicate any issues!

As another responder has said, the alternative would be the Airfix kit - likely even more challenging.

I've yet to build my Academy Enola Gay kit, but your model certainly sets the bar high!

:clap2::clap2:

Definitely, life's too short for stubborn kits like that one lol

On 2/11/2021 at 6:26 AM, Navy Bird said:

Superb metallic effect - one that's not easy to get. Well done!

 

You only mention Alclad Aluminum - were no other metallic shades used?

 

Cheers,

Bill

Oh yeah, I didn't really mention it specifically but the wing panels and the duller parts of the aluminum were painted with Tamiya LP-11. Good stuff though it went down a lot more matte than I wanted it to. A few small parts that needed separate painting and attachment such as the landing gear doors and antennae were also painted with Alclad White Aluminum to avoid the issues with the fragile Hi-Shine shades. 

 

On 2/11/2021 at 2:40 AM, Toryu said:

This is a very commendable result of what seems to be a difficult kit - well done! The subject, though, gives me a shudder.

 

Yes, I would be amiss if I didn't mention that the subject itself isn't an easy one to sit comfortably with depicting. The B-29's certainly a beautiful aircraft, but with it comes a tragic and dark history behind what it was for. 

 

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Beautifully done!  The metal work looks like it has some subtle weathering effects that really cause it to stand out.  I agree that these aircraft were weathered.  Did you attempt to mask/paint the ailerons and elevators separately?  They are doped fabric, and my go-to color is white aluminum to show a different sheen on subjects like this.  

 

The real thing is just down the road, at Udvar Hazy.  You can get to within a meter of it from the catwalk!

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Great artist(ic)  paint work!  :) 

 

2 hours ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

The real thing is just down the road, at Udvar Hazy.

I think that Enola Gay in Smithonian Museum (I was lucky to see her there in 2006) is better polished then when it was operating in war time, still the surface was mirroring as one can see on photos from Tinian,  so was pretty shining as you did it. I would expect small weathering since she came to service on 19th May 1945. So it was in field for less than two and half months in early August 1945. 

 

BTW - in Wikipedia there is a photo on nose section from museum storage in 1987 with some cartoon-hero-like black figures below cockpit. 

1280px-Enola_0079.jpg

 

There are four of them and perhaps the traces of a red fifths one. Are there sorties symbols and the red one is for A-bomb? On photos from Tinian I do not see them...Neither on current display .  Does anybody know the story?

Regards

J-W

 

Edited by JWM
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