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Foiled HKM B-25J Strafer - 345th BG Air Apaches - Lady LiL


Out2gtcha

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Mornin ladies and germs!

 

It’s been a bit of more scarce and scattered updates on the big lady as of late. Its party because of that thing called life that seems to interrupt our hobby and partly because I’m at one of those stages of the build where it’s just SUPER tedious…………………AKA scribing, sanding and filling………………..and on this big girl there is a LOT of it!!!

 

 

 

It’s not the kit, it’s just the nature of the beast when you want things smooth, and detail naturally gets sanded away. There is just a lot of plastic, and a lot of joints to smooth out. Things can get overwhelming quick. I'm just trying to get this stuff over-with as this stage is CRUCIAL to getting a good looking foil finish.

 

Im hoping to get the big Lady wrapped up soon so I can move onto doing a build review of her for PCM and HKM. Thanks once again to Ken and the team at PCM for the build review sample.

 

First thing I noticed initially when starting the kit was the fabric surfaces. They (compared to the 1:1) are way, WAY overdone. In order to correct this, I layered on several layers of Tamiya fine primer, let dry…………..sanding………………….more primer………….let dry………………sanding, until I got to a point where I just shot on some dull aluminum and called it good. Its not perfect, but the under stated nature of the real fabric surfaces is NOT captured by the OOB parts.

 

You can see how HKM depicted the OOB fabric covered surfaces:

 

1+32+HK+B25+Wings+and+tails+control+surf

 

Here are my modified parts, with the one on the right having received a coat of flat to depict the flat and worn look over most all of the natural metal and painted surfaces of the 345th strafers based in the humid sun baked Philippines –

 

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Its kind of a crappy pic, but you can see here overall the effect on the painted surfaces I modified. The effect of the subdued fabric surfaces is even more evident in person, as the pics don’t really give the full effect. I'm much more pleased with this, (as imperfect as they are) than the overdone side of things –

 

DSC01344.jpg

 

After sanding smoothing, priming and painting the flying surfaces, I got to work on re-scribing detail and panel/rivet lines lost on the wings from smoothing in the wig nav lights. I then painted the white tips –

 

DSC01347.jpg

 

My NEXT project after that was the one I had been dreading for quite a while, and that’s sanding, smoothing and re-scribing the fuselage. The gun bays were a total PITA, but got them knocked out, sanded flush and all the pertinent rivets put back as best I could. This was no job like Peter did on his Sea Fury, but its about as good as I'm getting. Harder to tell in pics without highlighting the rivets but was out of gas by the time I took these and couldn’t be bothered. The rest of the fuselage, wings and the two power eggs are also complete. This whole process took the better part of two weekends at the speed I move. The fuse still looks scared up, but its not, its just the white filler standing out on some places that needed it –

 

DSC01345.jpg

 

Lastly, after finishing off the re-scribing on the two power eggs, I masked off the front cowl rings, to get the insignia yellow painted on both. The two power pods will both have all of their side cowling panels foiled –

 

DSC01349.jpg

 

Hopefully, after hashing out some more minor things like getting the cowl flap pushrod assemblies figured out, and getting some finish sanding and riveting done Ill actually be READY TO FOIL!!!!

 

YAY! It will be about #$@*ing time too. I'm ready to get back to something on this build I enjoy doing. :rolleyes:

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I got the cowl rings cleared, and have just now gotten a start on finishing the canopy that I chopped some erroneous windscreen braces out of.

I also got a good start on the gun sight, with some of the Profimodeler PE and resin, along with some of my own additions................

 

Im hoping to have the wind screen fixed and interior painted before the weekend so I can get started on the foiling!!

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Excellent work going on here! Especially looking forward to the foiling process as I've been experimenting with foil in for the last 8 mos. I have followed yours and Foilers tutorials. You guys make it look easy....it ain't.

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Thanks Radial. Considering some of the outstanding builds of yours (the Waco comes to mind instantly) Id say taking any model up to your standard ain't easy.

 

 

Yeah, Ive been experimenting with how to lay the foil down myself. The airbrush technique does work, but its spotty. I think in part its due to the properties of the glue itself going through the air brush. Im still experimenting withe the bondo filler applicator method too.

 

I have found for spraying through the airbrush I find a ratio of slightly more than 50% foil glue to water seems to keep the mixture from shedding off the foil as easy. I also found that restricting the airflow while shooting the mix is critical (I use an AM tail section to my airbrush to dial in how much spray comes out)

Im going to do some more experimentation with shooting the foil glue and water mix through the brush for the Lady..............and see if I can refine the process so the layer comes down as one, like a paint layer, instead of occasionally pooling.

The OTHER issue with the airbrush method, is if you get enough of the mix flowing out, sometimes it pools...........if you restrict it more to get a smoother layer, then you really dont have enough of a layer of the glue mix down to make the foil stick well enough. More experimentation to come on that front...........

 

Ive got to get the canopy knocked out in order to start the foiling process; or at least Id like to. Thats the super cool part about foling an airfram like the built em in the factory; you can foil just certain sections and leave others unfoiled..........and if you dont like it, just remove it and do it over!

 

Cheers,

Edited by Out2gtcha
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Looks pretty great Brian. I like the re-scribing and riveting you're doing to make it all look right. The little splashes of color will also quite help.

 

 

Quick question for you though, does your windscreen come with the extra cross-brace in front of the pilot? The bomber kit doesn't have it, and I need to add it to my kit.

 

 

 

Matt

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Thanks for all the positive feedback guys!

 

 

 

Looks pretty great Brian. I like the re-scribing and riveting you're doing to make it all look right. The little splashes of color will also quite help.

 

 

Quick question for you though, does your windscreen come with the extra cross-brace in front of the pilot? The bomber kit doesn't have it, and I need to add it to my kit.

 

 

 

Matt

 

 

 

Matt, your saying your B-25 glass nose needs the extra braces in front of the canopy, and does NOT come with them?

 

 

I ask because both my strafer kits come with the cross braces in front of the pilot, but Lady LiL has NO braces in front of the pilot, so Ive just spent the better part of 2 days filing, sanding and polishing those braces OFF.

 

As a matter of fact, I have found little documentation to reflect that very few of the J models had those braces. Seems like they were mostly on the H models. The glass nose you are modeling has them?

Edited by Out2gtcha
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Thanks for all the positive feedback guys!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt, your saying your B-25 glass nose needs the extra braces in front of the canopy, and does NOT come with them?

 

 

I ask because both my strafer kits come with the cross braces in front of the pilot, but Lady LiL has NO braces in front of the pilot, so Ive just spent the better part of 2 days filing, sanding and polishing those braces OFF.

 

As a matter of fact, I have found little documentation to reflect that very few of the J models had those braces. Seems like they were mostly on the H models. The glass nose you are modeling has them?

 

 

yes, Ave Maria has the bonus frame plus an armor panel beneath it. So I'm currently figuring out how to attach the frame without ruining the plastic. I'm thinking using Future right now.

 

 

Sorry that yours does not need it. For some reason the bomber kit does not come with that brace, even though I've found a fair amount of the Corsican based Mitchells had them.

 

 

Keep up the great work on your kit. I'll try and catch up.

 

 

Matt

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Another small update.........................

 

The last few days have been dedicated to tediousness toward getting the glass on the fuse. Thanks to a boo-boo on my part (leaving the elevator to fuselage joint with a small step) I had to slather the rear tail gunners position in filler and Mr Surfacer 1000.

 

The canopy will not need so much work, but DID need to be finished, (AKA polished from opening the pilots window and removing the eronious braces) then futured which I did. While the canopy is drying, I got to work and unmasked and painted the cowlings and weathered them with some chipping. This will be toned down with a flattener later, but still have to paint the OD inner anti-glare panels -

 

DSC01354.jpg

 

DSC01355.jpg

 

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DSC01359.jpg

 

 

Before the canopy glass gets glued in position for the final time, I not only need to finish the interior of it up, (still need to add some PE, and paint the inside) I also needed to smoothe the unfinished dash seem. Before that could happen I needed to get the hole in the dash cut for the strafer gunsight. I used a small 32nd template to cut the oval-ish shaped hole, then used micro-balloons and CA to fill the center seem. I then masked it up to spay some flat black, then weathered with some Floquil "weathered black" -

 

DSC01353.jpg

 

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You can also see I got the gunsight cross-hairs folded up, but not painted yet.

I figured since I had the hole cut, dash painted, and cross-hairs almost ready to go, I had better get cracking on with the gun-sight itself.

 

Gun-sight is mostly done, with only the glass (Squadron thermoform) and lens (MV Lens) left to be added -

 

DSC01352.jpg

 

DSC01351.jpg

 

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Im pushing on with the Canopy tonight, got a lot of different new rolls of foil, a new bottle of foil glue, and am going to prep to start the foil stage tomorrow on the wings! YAY!!!!

 

I just need to "wipe the slate clean" so to speak and get the clutter cleared off the bench before the foil stage.

 

 


Cheers till ur all older!

 

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Sooooooooooooooo

 

 

Im working along on the canopy..................NP. All is going swimmingly, and I had everything masked up on the inside.................all polished up and Futured and ready to go.................

 

Until..................

 

Right before I was about to put paint on the inside of the caopy, I was holding it upside down.............and put a might too much pressure on the outside.........and the whole *@#7ing thing cracked down the middle.

 

So I very gently put the canopy down, looked it over, not believing what just happened………….then very gingerly took my fist and smashed it as hard as I could right into the table –

 

DSC01362.jpg

 

Very rewarding considering what just happened, and all the work that just went down the drain. I don’t to anything ½ a$$ed.

 

Thankfully Matt is sending me a replacement in trade that should be here relatively fast I hope. For now Im SOL on getting the main canopy on, and wont be having a sliding window open on the pilots side, as I cant be asked to cut out this next one

 

 

:( SIGH

Edited by Out2gtcha
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Sorry about the broken canopy Brian.. Dealing with busted parts can really put the brakes on a build.

 

 

 

Your new canopy without the added brace should get there quickly, so you can get back on the progress. Thanks for offering to trade canopies with me.

 

 

 

I really liked how the gunsight came together, it looks really cool. If mine had a gunsight, I would have used it as a template.

 

 

 

Matt

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I got your canopy packed up and ready to ship. Ive got some fathers day crap tomorrow but Monday Ill drop ur braced up canopy off for you. :)

 

 

Thanks Brian. Super nice of you to do that. Will make my life much easier in the long term, and my canopy will hopefully enable you to finish this build. It's been looking spectacular, wouldn't want a broken canopy to spell the end for it.

 

 

 

Matt

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