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


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Wow………………..with no false modesty, I can say I'm a little embarrassed. There are a CRAP load of talented modelers on this site, and I'm blown away by all your positive responses!


I'm more lucky than anything normally when it comes to modeling, and the big Mitchell is no exception. I really want to thank you all for posting such wonderful, positive and encouraging things. It really is quite motivating to prod me on to finish these behemoth.



On to some significant progress and another major milestone in the build………….


It’s quite large, and really will JUST barely fit in my display case, so I got lucky there. I found out just how large over the last few days, as I have been working quite diligently to get this one across the finish line.


First thing up, I finished up applying all the decals, and then shooting some clear on them for a forthcoming wash.


Got the vertical stab 345th Indian heads on the rudder, with LiL having one side on a field of OD and other just cut out with only an outline of OD. She also had her tail codes in two different colors –






My modeling OCD does help me in some circumstances, as in to get decals in almost the exact same place from side to side…………..its a thing. Can’t have things unbalanced you know. :rolleyes: . Well whatever I did, I must have done it fairly right, as with the rudders removed, things match up nicely –




I then un-wrapped the MLG oleos, in prep for getting the wings glued on permanently. I almost forgot how much I LOVE G-Factor stuff, seeing as the white brass polishes out so nicely with two-stage automotive polish –




Next up, I got a good start on applying the foil to the upper turret (forgot to take pics of that though) as well as getting a good start on the bomb-bay doors. I used the Eduard PE parts here, and man O man what a difference a PE bender makes for this. I put my smallshop.com PE bender and PE roller sets to very good use. They made getting the large bomb-bay liners bent very easy –





I used some thick CA + Micro-balloons to fill the injector pin marks that will be visible even with the PE liner glued on. You can see the upper door filled and sanded and just a start on the bottom one. The CA and MBs are super easy to work with and sand, and unlike filler, dries in a matter of minutes –




They came out way better than I could have ever done on my own, and with the crisp bends made by the smallparts.com equipment, the fit to the OOB parts is excellent –







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Thanks Hans!


Well……………..there really was not much left to do after that until I got over the next and last major step of the build; attaching the wings.




Not as scary as it seems, since HKM provides one of the best locking mechanisms to attach wings Ive seen to date. I know some of you building this kit are going to be (or are planning on) making the wings removable. Me personally with all the little bits on this kit, and the overall size of it, removing the wings for transport on a finished model of this size is IMHO just asking to break something off each time you remove or add them. It takes significant pressure to lock and unlock the wings in their final positions. For those of you who are planning to keep them removable, I recommend some kind of natural lubricant, such as bees wax or other, to lube that area and make getting them on and off MUCH easier.


I attached mine permanently using 15 min epoxy to give me time to get them in position. In the first min or two after applying the fresh epoxy to the area, the epoxy had not had time to start the chemical reaction and become tacky, so it actually acted like a lubricant. The wings slipped on, and locked into position with relative ease.


Here she is spreading her wings…………….and they make her one huge girl –








Now that she has her wings on permanently, I really like the dull/titanium sheen to the foil, and will definitely not be putting a flat coat on. With the toothpaste graining, things are plenty dull enough compared with normal off the roll foil for me; especially after she gets a dark dirt wash, as that will dull things down even more. Shes quite a bit shinier looking in pics than she is IRL –




I also finished up weathering and chipping the nose. I also really like the subtle (for my ham-fists anyway) way the gun blast marks came out too. In this case, it was slightly easier with a period pics of 8 gun nose strafers, and how the blast marks get slightly more prominent with the wind flow going up the nose –








All for now lads……………..shes racing towards the finsh line now boys, more to come over the weekend. I might have this girl complete in the next week or two, depending on my leisure time plans.



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It's hard to describe how big this thing is in person, huh? I was blown away when I got the wings on and stood it up!


Are you bring this to the nationals in Colorado? It would be cool to have a couple of these babies sitting next to each other!




Ps what flat coat did you use on the nose?

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No time for leisure Sir, back to the workbench for you Brian :D


She looks stunning and it seems your OCD serves you very well.


Love it to bits.




Thanks Dan! Yes sometimes it pays to be compulsive............




It's hard to describe how big this thing is in person, huh? I was blown away when I got the wings on and stood it up!


Are you bring this to the nationals in Colorado? It would be cool to have a couple of these babies sitting next to each other!




Ps what flat coat did you use on the nose?


OH Yeah! freakin huge! Unfortunately I wont get a chance to get to the NATs like I wanted. :( I blew all my cash and vacation days on a week long trip on Reno in Sept to see the 50th anniversary of the air races. :D. If not that, then I would for SURE be bringing the Lady to CO.


As to the clears:

After experimenting with about as much different crap as you can, including Future and Gunz, I came to the conclusion that Model Master lacquer "enamel system" clears work better than anything I have found. WAY less temperamental than Future, and is pretty bomb proof.


Neither the flat, semi, nor the gloss are effected by decals set (including teh hotter Solvaset) washes or most any other torture you can put clear coats through. They work SO good its insane (besides the smell that is). After I found the MM line of clears I relegated Future to what its best at; Canopies and floors.





Truly amazing, so much to admire, and the nose decals look painted on, really going to look something else when finished.


Thanks Andy!


That is the look I was going for, and the Solvaset really helped in that dept. :)





Absolutely incredible and totally insane! Simply exquisite work.

Keep 'em coming

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:


Thanks Peter! Very nice of you to say buddy. :D






Looks great, I especially like the nose-art!


Much appreciated for teh kind words. The colorful 345th Falcon head and the lady are two of teh main reasons I chose this scheme for my Mitchell. :D





Awesome work, my compliments Brian!!




Thanks John!






Wow, that looks awesome Brian. :thumbsup: Somethin' tells me you're going to need another roll of foil when you build the B-17. Another bottle of foil adhesive will probably be needed as well eh?






Thanks much Wolf! Not really sure Ill even get a B-17 to be honest. :( Its way big and my interest in marginal VS how much Id pay for the kit.........................+ there are SO many other kits I want need first. :lol:




Cheers for all the very kind words, it does keep me motivated and that a great thing!


This one is winding down and heading to the finish guys. Ill pick her back up on Sat, and hopefully have some more of the bomb-bay doors, and upper turret done. Maybe even get the wash on, which is about the next step...............just need my new bottle of Flory Models wash to show up from SB.com!


Till ur older then gents!

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Thanks guys. :D Nice of you to stop by and look in on me. Always a pleasure putting builds up on LSP since there are so many great people to learn things off of, and share things with.

There really are some talented people on here I took a lot of lessons from!

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More progress gents.


The Lady is now streaking towards the finish line!


I got lots done over the past few days. I started off by dirtying the Lady up a bit with some Flory Models dark dirt wash.

Yucky looking at this stage -




After that I wiped things off with a very flattened moist paper towel. Then I permanently attached & weathered both of the power plants:








Next, I foiled and attached the upper turret:






Next up I removed the Ladies "blinders" (IE Tamiya tape over all the clear windows) , and then fit, and glued on all the flying surfaces. (of course this ALSO reminded me I forgot to glue in the !@#$%ing cross-hairs before gluing the can-O-pee on. :rolleyes: too late now ) :













Finally I did a bit of weathering to the main air-frame, including fuel streaks, oil cooler vent egress marks and engine exhaust marks -





Its really all down to the piddly stuff now, .50 cals, wheels, props, football (merrican football not soccer) antenna, nose antenna w/EZ Line, pitot tube, gear doors and bomb-bay doors...............and then shes done.................I think.




More soon guys, as IF I have the right amount of time allotted to work on her, I just might get her done over the weekend...........maybe.





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