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Hobby Boss 1/48 Bv 141


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bv-141-boxart.jpg

I've built a couple of Airfix 1/72 models of this notoriously asymmetric aircraft over the years, and @Ozzy's recent rapid build of the Airfix kit reminded me that I had the Hobby Boss 1/48 version in my stash.

 

The kit provides decals and paint schemes for V10, lettered NC+RA, and the wrecked GK+GH I mentioned on Ozzy's RFI. I'm building NC+RA, using the photoetch detail set from Eduard.

 

The first problem with the kit is that the propeller rotates in the wrong direction--a ridiculous error in an aircraft that is asymmetrical in order to counter torque. So I have the True Details propeller to correct that.

bv-141-correct-prop.jpg

True Details, assembled, on the left.

 

Then there's the problem of painting the frames on that huge glasshouse. I'm using Montex's interior mask set, though I've never had an entirely satisfactory experience with Montex masks---they seem to be too stiff, and the adhesive is intolerant of repositioning, at least in my hands.

bv-141-internal-masking.jpg

 

And I've made a start to the cockpit detailing from Eduard.

bv-141-interior-initial.jpg

(I found the Eduard bomb sight impossible to position in the middle of a pane in the manner depicted in my references, so it's had a bit of surgery.)

 

Lots of bits to paint individually, I think. The kit paint instructions call for dark grey, which I imagine is RLM66, but I'm leaning towards RLM02, for an aircraft that was flying by mid-1941--the grainy, contrasty B&W interior photos I've seen are no help.

 

The kit also wants me to paint it with an RLM 65/02/71 camouflage pattern, but the photos I've seen seem too low-contrast for that--again, I'm leaning towards 65/70/71.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Initial progress on the gondola--blocking out the basic colours and adding the Eduard detail. Eduard provides a lot of photoetch instrument panels, but I needed to use the kit decal for the unit in the mid-compartment.

bv141interiordetail.jpg

The Eduard panel at left extends beyond the margins of the kit part, and will align with the window frames on the starboard side, so I added a bit of styrene to fill the gap between photoetch and frame. Otherwise, the thin edge of the photoetch will be visible through the window.

The three objects at right are dispensers for ammunition drums.  Eduard provides photoetch empty frames, but I went with the kit parts because they look more interesting with the saddle magazines in place. The kit provides a stack of five magazines, extending all the way to the bottom of the dispenser, but the real thing had a space of some sort at the base, with the bottom magazine being pulled out through a gate a short way above the floor.

bv141magazinedispenser.jpg

I've compromised by painting out the lower magazine of the kit parts with matt black.

 

Eduard provides two sets of harnesses, one for the pilot and one for the rear gunner. The observer, in the mid-compartment, scooted around on a little seat attached to rails that extended from the main spar to the bomb-aiming position in the glass-house at front. The take-off positions for the three crewmen looked like this:

bv141-crew.jpg

The observer and gunner are backed against the main spar, and the Eduard instructions have me placing the gunner's harness in an appropriate position on the floor. But the other crewmen are provided with bucket seats to accommodate parachutes, and I'm interpreting the object on which the rear gunner is perched as something similar. Things are awkward in the gunner's space, because a photograph of the real thing suggests the kit's box for empty cartridges (tumbling down a canvas tube from the upper gun) is misplaced and overlarge, so the kit provides little space for the gunner to sit in.

Here's the view looking back from the machine-gun mount in the rear cone, showing what I mean:

bv141-rear.jpg

 

I could probably have done something to improve the kit's depiction---moving the port-side ammunition dispenser forward to make room for the cartridge box, and replacing or dispensing with the cartridge tube (which seems to have been a variable feature). Unfortunately, I'd assembled and painted the thing before I got around to properly looking at the reference material. So I've contented myself with placing an undersized bucket frame seat on the floor in an appropriate position, knocked together from styrene strip.

bv141cockpitblocked1.jpg

 

The canopy interior is now fully painted in RLM02.

canopypanels.jpg

I'll eventually have the three roof hatches standing open, but will place with clear glue in the closed position for painting. Eduard provides handles for these, to replace the little moulded cuboids on the kit parts. I've put them in place---we'll see if they survive the process of gluing closed and then popping open.

 

Lots of bits and pieces need to go in the cockpit interior:

bv141canopydetail.jpg

The main puzzle for assembly is the vertical rod you can see coming up from the cockpit floor at right. It extended from the canopy frame between the pilot's feet to the cockpit ceiling, and was a primitive bomb-aiming aid (presumably used if the pilot had to release the bombs while the observer was occupied defending the aircraft from the upper gun position.

You can just make it out in this photograph:

BV141-port-canopy.jpg

But it's more clearly visible in a photograph on the Alamy site, here: https://www.alamy.com/pilot-in-the-glassed-cockpit-of-a-blohm-voss-bv-141-in-hamburg-photo-scholz-image247143985.html

 

The difficult is getting it correctly position and fixed in place top and bottom, after the top and bottom canopy parts are closed together around it! My solution is just visible in my photo of the lower canopy, above. I've attached a length of monofilament nylon to the top of the photoetch part with CA glue, and drilled a hole in the upper canopy at the appropriate attachment point. The plan is to do a bit of ship-in-a-bottle work, closing the canopy halves and then gently tugging the bomb-sight into its final position, then gluing and trimming the monofilament from the outside. We'll see how that goes.

 

Also visible in my reference photos is some sort of  hinged panel in the upper canopy, in front of the pilot. I'm not sure of its function, but it's missing from the kit parts. It was a bit of a puzzle to come up with a way of modelling it, but here's what I end up with. I took some fine copper wire (liberated from my late father's workbench, so I can give no details) and knotted it tightly around a couple of scrap lengths of styrene tube of appropriate gauge, then secured the knot with CA glue. Once removed from the styrene, and with the ends of the knot bent into position as surrogate hinges, this looks fairly promising:

 

bv141frame1.jpg

bv141frame2.jpg

 

Next I need to do a bit of weathering to the gondola interior, then assemble all remaining parts and add the harnesses. I've got some spare photoetch Luftwaffe harnesses in my spares box, so should be able to provide the observer's seat with a lap belt, too.

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So all the bits of the gondola interior are now in place, apart from the guns which will be added later from the outside, along with their respective turrets and mounts.

By the simple expedient of not losing any of the spare parts on the Eduard photoetch, I was able to put together one harness and two lap belts for the three crew locations. It's had a little bit of drybrushing with aluminium and buff enamel, and a weathering wash of Payne Grey watercolour.

I thought I'd take a couple of photographs before I added the side walls at rear and on the right side (for which you can see the locating slots in the views below.

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My adapted bomb sight is now in place, but I notice from the photographs looks like it needs a little nudge to straighten in before I start closing the canopy.

 

Does anyone else here notice problems with their models only after they've taken the photographs? Or is that just me?

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Thanks for putting up a really interesting build. Even before the aftermarket, Hobbyboss seem to have packed in a whole load of detail into the basic kit.

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Some slow progress.

I'm using Eduard masks for the exterior. The three hatches and the upper turret are now masked and temporarily fixed in place--I've left the remaining upper transparencies unmasked at present, because I want to be able to see what's going on inside while I close the upper and lower halves of the glasshouse. The lower transparency has had a coat of pale primer so that the RLM02 interior paint doesn't tint the pale blue underside. The panels on the conical rear turret are not all equal-sized in the kit, because the cone is not perfectly circular in cross-section. I think this is an error in the kit depiction, since it's evident from photographs that the real thing rotated on a circular base. Rather than produce custom masks for each set of panels, Eduard has split its masks for the conical glazing in half, so that they can be overlapped to a greater or lesser extent according to the panel being masked. 16 masks for the rear turret alone!

prelimmasking.jpg

You'll also be able to see the little hole I've drill in the lower frame, which matches the previous hole in the cockpit ceiling. After a bit of fiddling and deliberation, I decided to fake up my own version of the pilot's bombsight, using the same fine wire I used for the missing front canopy panel. Blobs of CA glue to simulate the cross-sights are far from ideal, but I think will do the job when seen with normal eyesight through the canopy, and it means I can run the wire right through the cockpit, close the halves, and then adjust at my leisure.

bombsight.jpg

The Eduard photoetch provides gunsights for the kit's MG-15s. These most closely resemble the appearance in drawings of the upper turret.

uppergun.jpg

But the sights seem to have been quite variable. Here's a photo of the rear gun position in an Fw 189, said to be identical to that of the Bv 141

reargunturret.jpg

I've done a bit of surgery on the Eduard part to try to reproduce that appearance for my own rear gun mount:

reargun.jpg

Eduard also provides some photoetch detail for the bomb racks. Here it is positioned on the kit parts. (Slight careless trimming of the frets, I see.)

bombracks.jpg

The appearance isn't quite right when compared to diagrams of the real empty racks, however.

bombrackdiagram.jpg

 

Do I want to embark on a campaign of snipping, rotating and regluing the eight little bits of the kit parts? I dunno. But these little niggles are difficult to unsee, aren't they?

 

 

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On 3/3/2022 at 5:59 PM, Hamiltonian said:

Does anyone else here notice problems with their models only after they've taken the photographs? Or is that just me?

All the time.Fingerprints drips, things I forgot to add, things I forgot to paint, misalignment, geometry issues and so on. :)

 

lovely work do far btw.

Edited by Marklo
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I bought a set of white metal landing gear (from Scale Aircraft Conversions) for this one, something I've never done before.

Not much advantage in terms of detailing:

partscomparison.jpg

 

Both the kit parts and the white metal parts depict the brake lines running tightly across the compressed oleos, which would present a problem when the gear unweighted. Eduard provide brake lines in their photoetch set, but they don't help much except to provide an additional line running to the other side of the wheel.

So I carved off the section of moulded brake line where it crosses the oleo, and used some stretched sprue to add a loop of flexible slack.

brakelinereference.jpg

From the above, it looks like the line on the side of the wheel-well cover was also flexible, so I'll add that later.

Here's what I have for now, though.

bv141-gear-painted.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

A bit of a puzzle for the landing gear. The wheel covers of the Bv141 were generally marked with a fragment of the underwing Balkankreuze, visible in multiple photographs of the aircraft. The Hobby Boss kit doesn't provide decals for this.

I have reference photographs of the V10 (my aircraft) which show it with a marked up wheel cover, and without one.

v10ref.jpg

In the second photograph it also appears to have some odd paintwork done on the wing, however. I've gone with printing up my own decals for the "missing" bits of Balkankreuz, which I did by scanning the kit decals and using each cross to mask the other, if you see what I mean. Like this:

balkan1.jpg

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I'm using the Eduard photoetch gear covers, but there's something odd about the dimensions, which I think are perhaps copied from the kit parts. I found it impossible to mount the two pivoting square covers for the oleo scissor-links in the correct positions, as seen in my reference photos, without shortening the lower cover. Here's what I ended up with.

The flexible brake line under the wheel cover is also in position.

bv141gear.jpg

Eduard provide some little linkages to attach the covers to the oleo scissors, but they're the wrong length and challenging to place correctly, so they've ended up being omitted.

 

Another problem is the prominent bulge under the nose of the crew gondola, which represents the Pell IV D/F loop -- actually a perspex dome lined with metal strips. Someone with more skills than I have would probably replace the moulded lump on the kit, but I've contented myself with painting it gloss black and striping it with little bits of Bare-Metal Foil.

bv141df.jpg

 

With that done, I assembled the interior and the lower gondola transparency. This, I think is best done by placing the interior first, and then sliding in the lower transparency, snugging it up against the cannon tunnels in the cockpit floor before the glue sets. Doing it in that order makes it easy to ensure the interior settles properly into its locating holes, which you'd otherwise end up doing blind.

bv141gondolabase1.jpg

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Then I placed and glued the lower end of my improvised wire pilot's bombsight, let that dry and tested its security, before closing over the big upper transparency, with the wire threaded through its locating hole. (This benefits from a bit of dry fitting early in the game--I found the lower transparency needed a little shaved off its back end (either side of the pilot seat) to get a reasonable fit and good closure at the front without the glue line being under tension.)

Here it is, with the bombsight wires yet to be trimmed.

bv141gondolaclosed.jpg

Little bit of filling and tidying needed at the wing root on this side, as you'll see, but it all came together pretty well. Also, no depressing rattling sounds from inside yet, which is always a bonus!

 

Once I've done the tidy-work, I'll mask for the upper paintwork.

 

You can perhaps also make out that I've enlarged some of the locating holes for the wing bomb-rack. This is because the Eduard photoetch instructions, which modify and augment the kit parts, actually create parts that are the wrong way round, something I didn't appreciate until the work was done. The bomb rack locating holes are of different sizes, which would mean that I mounted my spiffy new racks back to front, so I had to do a little surgery.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Slow progress. The wing sections fit together so well I made the decision to do the major camouflage painting before assembly. (Basically, because I hate masking wing undersides and will do pretty much anything to avoid it.) The boom fit was more problematic, with a lot of sanding, a little bit of filling, and then some rescribing of the sparse panel lines.

Colourcoats RLM 70/71/65 enamel from Sovereign Hobbies, then Plastikote gloss sealer to prepare for decals and weathering.

camo1.jpg

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The kit engine is a bit of a disappointment. This aircraft was fitted with a BMW 801A (competition for this desirable engine is one of the reasons the Bv 141 was produced in such small numbers).

At least the fan vanes point in the right direction, which was by no means a foregone conclusion given that the kit got the propeller the wrong way round. Here's the True Details propeller assembled with the kit's spinner and vanes.

propengine.jpg

Beside that, you can see all that the kit offers in regard to engine detail--only the front seven cylinders, and hopelessly undersized at that, designed to slide into the cylindrical cavity in the front of the cowling. I've no good idea how to paint the cylinders, since my reference photographs are all pretty dark and obviously also obscured and shadowed by the black fan vanes. So far my Google-fu has failed me on the colours of Luftwaffe engines, so I'm leaning towards black unless anyone here can set me right.

The exhaust assembly is also a puzzle. The part you can see here sits between the boom and the cowling, and seems to offer a fairly random array of 16 exhausts for a 14-cylinder engine. The arrangement also doesn't match any of my reference photographs, so I think a bit of surgery will be in order.

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Decals are on and sealed with another coat of gloss. The kit decals are pretty well-behaved--reasonably thin and reasonably robust. Usual problems with trying to position tail markings provided in two halves, though. That bit took me about quarter of an hour, and the result is still not perfect.

undersidedecals.jpg

I always find it difficult, having got a nice shiny result like this, to move on to marking panel lines and general weathering. At present I'm thinking I'll do most of that on the separate parts, then glue, then give a final coat of matt.

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Third attempt to get a decent photo of the upper surface decals. The gloss finish is so reflective at present that it keeps drowning out the camouflage pattern and markings. This is my best effort:

topsidedecals.jpg

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So I've snipped off all the misplaced exhausts on the kit part, and now need to start placing them correctly for my aircraft. Reference material is a little sparse, but I figure I have a 2:1:3 pattern on each side, with the 3-cluster set a little higher on the starboard side compared to the port.

exhausts.jpg

The image at right is of V11 in the factory, the other three of "my" V10 in use--which seems to have produced a lot of exhaust staining.

 

Views of the underside are inadequate, but I'm not seeing any similar streaky staining to suggest there are any more exhaust outlets than the 12 I've identified.

 

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On 09/04/2022 at 18:10, Hamiltonian said:

Third attempt to get a decent photo of the upper surface decals. The gloss finish is so reflective at present that it keeps drowning out the camouflage pattern and markings. This is my best effort:

+++

One of the parameters to tweek is the lighting, the other parameter the background.

 

Regular cameras give better results with a "medium reflective" and neutral (grey) background than with a white or black background.

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On 3/20/2022 at 9:41 PM, k5054nz said:

I don't know how I've missed it but this is a gorgeous build, I love the work you've done so far!

 

Just what I was thinking!  (that and, "why don't I have this in my stash yet?"  Yes, I knew about it, just hadn't tracked one down.)

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On 4/11/2022 at 2:18 PM, gingerbob said:

 

Just what I was thinking!  (that and, "why don't I have this in my stash yet?"  Yes, I knew about it, just hadn't tracked one down.)

It's a nice kit, and (although you couldn't guess from the speed I'm going) I'm very much enjoying building it.

Downside is that the lovely Eduard detail set seems to have been discontinued--though fortunately you still seem to be able to get the masking set!

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Progress.

I've glued the big bits together, done some weathering (combination of LifeColor Liquid Pigment and Tamiya powders) on the gloss finish, then sealed with a fresh rattle can of KlearKote matt, popped off the hatches (to be modelled open) and the upper turret (to add the upper gun), and taken off all the transparency masks.

matt1.jpg

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There's a little bit of tidying to do around some of the canopy frames, and I've lost one grab-handle along the way, which I can replace with a spare from the Eduard photoetch.

 

Now I need to decide whether to attach the hatches or the gear first. Whichever one I do first, I'm liable to knock something off while attending to whatever I do second ...

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Tidying up largely done. A glimpse down into the cockpit, before I position the hatch.

foregondola.jpg

Now I've taken the photograph, I see there's a bit of debris to fish out from the box over the main spar in the centre compartment.

 

The top turret presents a problem, since the locating tab for the upper gun has it pointing straight rear, which would foul the open rear hatch. My reference photos with hatches open show the turret rotated slightly sideways, with the gun apparently unmounted. It's too late now to unmount the gun (that would leave the tube for spent cartridges mysteriously levitating), so I've contented myself with slewing it around out of harm's way:

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A bit of dry fitting suggests I should now be able to slide the turret transparency up the gun barrel and drop it into place.

 

Eduard provides a photoetch ring for the turret that provides a mount for the gun and a handle that's either for rotating the turret or just a grab-point for the gunner. The original has only the square mounting brackets, but no attachment for the gun, so I've further complicated my life by adding a little styrene strip to portray the gun mount itself. Hopefully I can insinuate the whole thing into position without unmounting the gun!

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The turret slipped on fairly easily. The real thing seems to have had some sort of weather-proof shroud around the gun-barrel, so I've emulated that with a blob of clear glue, painted to suggest dirty leather once dry. Eduard provide a PE gunsight like the one in my reference drawing, so I've snipped off the kit's foresight, and will add the Eduard part as one of my final bits of assembly.

uppergun.jpg

top-turret-seal-1.jpg

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And the gear is on, with a bit of fuss. Having been no great advantage in terms of detail, the white metal parts turned into a liability during assembly, with a tendency to sag out of alignment under their own weight. I used slow-drying epoxy to attach each of the three parts to the airframe, and CA for quick bonds between the parts so that I could cajole everything into a stable tripod that stayed where it was put.

 

Here's the result:

gear-1.jpg

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Not much more to do now: pitot tube, the Eduard gunsight, the upper hatches, some final weathering on the upper surfaces. So probably my last post on this WIP, barring disaster.

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This is an absolutely stunning build of this kit.  The detail you have added immensely contributes to the quality of the build.  I look forward to more posts.

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I am SO GLAD that I stumbled across this AMAZING build!

I have the kit, which I slightly started months ago, then put it back on the shelf for a change of pace. Your excellent photos of your detail work will help my build immensely, when I get my modelling room back in order after a home remodeling. The one major change I will be going to my kit is to make it as an Aufklärer or reconnaissance version, using a spare camera from one of my Hasegawa AR-234 kits.

Larry

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