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Everything posted by checksix

  1. I love your "how I did that" tips. I appreciate all the little tidbits of info that help me improve my own (much more modest) efforts.
  2. This is going to look amazing! Regarding drilling acrylic: I've had similar experience when drilling flat acrylic plates: after drilling what appeared to be clean holes, several days later small cracks and stress fractures appeared. After some experimentation I found that using water as a drilling lubricant prevented the fractures from later appearing. I just used an eye dropper and kept refilling a little puddle around the hole while drilling. I suspect the water has two effects: it provides cooling so the plastic doesn't melt and it also somehow allows the drill to cut a cleaner hole without chipping away at the walls of the hole.
  3. As long as you're putting all those lights in place, maybe you should put blue/pink leds within the engine to create afterburner "shock diamonds" using edge lighting, by adding frosted concentric rings on the outside of your clear support rod? You might be able to achieve an effect something like this:
  4. Stellar. I like how you documented this project and especially how you described the painting and color process. I learned a lot. Too bad about the flecks inside the front canopy. It's probably happened to everyone. I've learned to completely seal the cockpit tub all around where it meets the fuselage interior in order to prevent sanding dust from working its way in during subsequent work on outside areas. Also I fully blow out the cockpit with (empty) airbrush at high pressure to get rid of any pesky dust that might be sticking underneath instrument panels, seats, etc before sealing the canopy. Again, great job.
  5. A lovely work of art. You really need to pose it with a nice uncluttered background for some beauty shots.
  6. All that panel work is really going to look good when painted. Love the decal on back of pilot helmet. Don't rush to get it finished! It's going to be a beauty.
  7. I used original Rockwell / North American Aviation drawings for the B-1B, obtained here: http://www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com/catalog/drawndoc.htm "Airdrawing 2" and "Airdrawing 18" This was a great resource. You place an order via paypal and he email's you a temporary web address and password from which you download the .zip file containing the drawings. I used a program called "Imagemagick" to convert and rescale the desired image ("B-1b.gif") into a pdf file that I took to a local Office Depot and had them print on one of their big architectural printers (48" x 36") for about $7.
  8. I'm planning on adding "EL" (Ellsworth) markings eventually. My son will be PCS'ing there sometime this year as a pilot. I'm waiting to see what plane(s) he'll be flying so I can pick something appropriate.
  9. Thanks all for the kind words. It was a lot of work. I had to put it back in the box a few times after frustration with fitment issues, but finally decided to beat it into submission with clamps and glue. It all worked out in the end. It will be interesting to see what ModelCollect comes out with if/when they release a kit.
  10. Completed All done. The base of the display stand was cut from poplar. The vertical portion is a temporary mdf template that will be replaced with clear acrylic. With clear acrylic display stand, cut from 3/8" sheet:
  11. Painting I was looking for a worn, somewhat aged appearance. After priming with Tamiya gray liquid surface primer, I sprayed multiple thin coats of Tamiya XF-54 "Dark Sea Gray", stopping before obtaining complete coverage. For walkway markings I used XF-24 "Dark Gray". For the nose cone and dielectric panels I used a 50:50 mix of XF-54 and XF-24. The wing pivot areas are X-31 "Titanium Gold". Lastly, I dirtied things up a bit with some XF-1 "Flat Black". The flat paints look good but are delicate. For final assembly and handling I wear thin cotton gloves (thanks wife!).
  12. Back end The Barracuda resin exhaust nozzle castings are quite detailed. Installing the tiny actuator rods is a challenge. They are sliced one at a time from the casting block and then CA'd in place. Many spares are provided. I only lost two: After painting and applying a wash of clear smoke:
  13. Front end Rather than using decals, I painted all lines and markings. Window seal outlines were applied using the Barracuda canopy masks. To make a mask for the refueling markers, I scanned the original decal sheet, did some photo editing to generate a black-on-white image, and printed out the image. Then I overlaid some frisket film on the image, traced out the pattern with a fresh X-Acto blade, transferred the film mask onto the model, and sprayed several thin coats of off-white: The resin pitot tubes are tiny. They are installed into holes that must be drilled. I used the tip of an X-Acto blade to start each hole and then opened them to size with a finger-turned .081" drill bit. A needle file was used to ream out each hole for a custom friction fit. A couple of holes came out slightly too large and required a tiny smear of epoxy:
  14. Stabilators I added a metal reinforcing rod to ensure positive alignment during assembly:
  15. Blending and filling Milliput epoxy filler, Tamiya gray putty, and Tamiya gray liquid primer are my friends: Tail radomes installed and blended:
  16. Nacelles The engines use a whole pile of resin parts. Almost none of the original plastic remains: Barracuda includes a set of radar deflection baffles which must be painted and installed in the inlets: Installing the engine nacelles requires a fair amount of fitting and fiddling:
  17. Fuselage Fuselage surgery begins by marking out cut lines for the wing fillets: Replacement fillets are then glued in with CA: The upper fuselage needs some reshaping. The refueling area below the windshield is completely wrong and must be sanded off. The area behind the crew cabin needs more of a taper. The overwing areas are too thick and need to be thinned: The lower fuselage also needs lots of work. I'll be posing the model in flight with the wings fully swept, so the landing gear, stairwell, and bomb bay doors all need to be closed up with plastic card. Also, there are lots of mounting holes for external cruise missles (present on B-1A but not on B-1B) that need to be filled. The camera pod and various antennas also need to be removed. Finally, the rear bomb bay door is too long and needs to be shortened. The fuel/air cooler intakes (circled in red) are part of the Barracuda resin set: Most of the (raised) fuselage panel lines get sanded off during blending and filling, so I sanded off the remaining ones and rescribed (some of) them. I used strips of "Dymo" plastic label making tape as scribing guides. It's thick and semi-rigid, providing a good edge for the scribing tool. The trickiest area was the pair of rear ejection hatches. For these I used rectangles of Dymo tape with the corners rounded off as guides. One is shown here, removed after use and placed to the side, circled in red:
  18. Cockpit The kit pilot figures have old-style helmet visors, so I modified them to look more like the helmets that are currently worn: The windows on the real aircraft seem to have an iridescent yellow tint, so I tried to duplicate that: The canopy fit was very poor and required extensive filling and blending: But the Barracuda paint masks fit very nicely:
  19. Wings The first job is to correct the wings. They need to be longer to match the drawings: And the wing pivot knuckles need to be larger in diameter: I made the wings removable so they can be installed after the fuselage is closed up, blended, filled, and scribed. I cut slots into the wings and filed matching flats on the pivots, after inserting wire rods for extra strength:
  20. Aftermarket parts Here are the Barracuda Studios canopy masks and resin parts I'll be using: These parts of the model will be replaced:
  21. Drawings Checking the drawing against the actual aircraft (side view): Checking the drawing against the model (side view): Checking the drawing against the actual aircraft (top view): Checking the drawing against the model (top view):
  22. Here's a kit I built last fall. I saved up a bunch of photos and finally had some time to edit them and post them up. Well, it looks like a B-1, but the devil is in the details. The kit is 20 years old. The parts fit is poor. Some of the panel lines are engraved (wings) but some are raised (fuselage). Many of the shapes (nose cone, tail cone, engine exhausts, external bombs) correspond to the B-1A prototype rather than the production B-1B. Nevertheless it's a good starting point and a good set of correction parts is available from the aftermarket. The box art: Quick dry fit out of the box, without the engines: I'll be using this drawing for panel line references: And this drawing for dimensional references:
  23. It's difficult to tell without seeing the entire fuselage, but it looks like your nose profile is going to work! One thing I noticed is that the little cone shape at the front base of the canopy seems too exaggerated. It's actually fairly subtle, and the shape seems to carry through the canopy and matches the interior cockpit glare shield. Here's what I mean: You're going to have a great model. I'm really enjoying watching this unfold...
  24. Q1: What brand of putty / filler is that you're using? Looks like it sands and blends really nice. Q2: Great pilot figure. Did it come with one of your donor kits? Q3: At one point I thought you were vac forming your canopies (thought I saw this in another thread) , but the ones in your pictures here look like they are clear parts from a kit. Is that correct? Sorry for so many Q's :) Just trying to learn new stuff here...
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