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KevinCG

1/24 Scratchbuilt P-38L A retrospective to the present

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Skinning Continued

With the exception of the wing tip the wing could be covered with unannealed sheet which made the task quicker and also meant less sanding to get an acceptable finish.

To finish the lithoplate wet sand with approx 300 grade wet'n'dry and then work down through the grades until i get an acceptable finish. Fine Steel wool used with soap and water also is employed. One side of the finished wing is shown below.

Fg9NNru.jpg

 

 

With skinning was complete I then embarked upon rivet/panel fastener detail. I agonised over this for some time as to whether or not tom incorporate rivet detail. Over zealous representation of rivets  as small divets or holes in the surface spoils many a model. They do not look like this on real aircraft and neither should they be so on models. After studying every photo i could of natural metal machines and examining some in person i decided to 'bite the bullet' and go for a restrained riveting using a radub rivet wheel.

The panel fasteners were represented with a beading tool.

The result on a small section of the wing is shown below. Note the piano hinge for the aileron.

I will let others be the judge as to whether the effect looks OK

 

x76hLIE.jpg

 

The circular aperture is for the fuel filler cap of which there are 4 on the P-38 each approximately 5mm in diameter. They were made from Al sheet and the indentations formed in a female pattern.

 

Nemt6Xf.jpg?1

 

These will be cleaned up and applied once the model is almost complete.

Once again thanks for looking

Kevin

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Beautiful work going on here Kev,

 

Mate what kind of tool are you doing your rivets with ?? I am scratch building a KI 61 Tony just starting a bit of the riveting myself looking at a few methods what's yours ??it really is great stuff your doing here mate.

 

Guy

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Beautiful work going on here Kev,

 

Mate what kind of tool are you doing your rivets with ?? I am scratch building a KI 61 Tony just starting a bit of the riveting myself looking at a few methods what's yours ??it really is great stuff your doing here mate.

 

Guy

Thanks Guy for comments (Gazza also). I used the RB productions riveting tool with a very light touch so that the rivets can be seen but only just.

I also use a needle held in a pin vice where i want a slightly deeper impression, however this is at times fraught as one does not want to puncture the Aluminum skin.

Cheers

Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

 

This is some really awesome work you're doing here! The skinning looks perfect. How did you make the hinge for the aileron? It almost looks like brass.... is it photoetched?

 

Craig

Sorry about delay in replying Craig, been a bit preoccupied with other activities over the past month.

The hinge for the aileron is 0.04 mm nickel silver tube engraved every 1 mm to represent ~1" hinge segments as per the original. The piece was then rubbed with a clock containing some black paint that darkened my etching to produce the effect as seen. To fit it to the wing I routed a small 0.3 mm half-round section in the plastic wing surface and then set the tube in place before attaching the litho plate skin. I hope this make sense.

Cheers

Kevin

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Everything except rubbing it with a clock!

 

Kev

Doh! Cloth :doh:

 

Wing and boom Details

As this will be a large model and difficult to handle without knocking bits on it once assembled I am making as many parts as possible prior to assembly. I have already knocked the fins off the booms which required some extensive rebuilding in order to fit them at a later date. Many areas will also be difficult to access once finished due to the aircraft's configuration.

Unfortunately this requires a fair bit of self-control as the temptation to push on with assembly of the major components is great. It is always a boost to see an aeroplane rather than a series of bits.

However the time is approaching when I can fix the booms to the wing but I want to finish all the details which are attached to these main components before final assembly.

 

The past month I have been painting the wheel wells and making the various doors/gates  for the forward booms and the radiators, the supercharger intake; as well as the fuel pump covers and dive brakes for the wing undersurface.

The first pic shows the completed main wheel bay finished in neutral grey which is about the best around for wheel well interiors on the L-model.

t6pLzYP.jpg

 

The next pic shows the various details mentioned above, constructed mostly from litho plate although the supercharger intakes are yet to be covered. I made a pattern of one and then cast two copies in resin.

The lip was turned from Aluminum tube. The fuel pump covers were formed over a male pattern and then filled with ferropre to give them some rigidity. Parts are numbered for re-assembly at a later date.

OLlbsPe.jpg

 

The next task was to prime the area around the intakes on the boom using an etch primer. This area along with the wing leading edge was finished in silver paint on the actual aircraft. 

03O1jbo.jpg

 

This shows the lower portion of the intakes as primed. Etch priming is essential when painting lithoplate otherwise paint will easily lift.

I also find that this primer which is quite thick acts as a filler of small surface imperfections and is an awful lot cheaper than using compounds such as Mr Surfacer. The primer I use is thinned with lacquer thinners and is available from paint suppliers in Australia as NoRust and is made by Norglass Laboratories limited. It is suitable for a range of metal substrates.

 

Thanks for looking and wishing everyone a great 2018

Kevin

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Beautiful work Kevin! I know the temptation you speak of to want to assemble everything to make it look complete.... a constant battle on my B-17!

 

And thank you for clarifying about the construction of the hinge. I've got to try this one day.... I especially liked the bit about rubbing it with a clock :)

 

Cheers,

 

Craig

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Beautiful work Kevin! I know the temptation you speak of to want to assemble everything to make it look complete.... a constant battle on my B-17!

 

And thank you for clarifying about the construction of the hinge. I've got to try this one day.... I especially liked the bit about rubbing it with a clock :)

 

Cheers,

 

Craig

Yes although unfortunately I've since learnt that clocks make very poor polishing cloths and may well explain why it takes me so long to finish a project. A case of many hands makes more work perhaps.🤔😊 Edited by KevinCG

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The big day

After four years of working on individual components the day has arrived to join the booms to the wings. I am hoping I haven't forgotten anything that would be easier to do or worse still, can only be done, on the components when they are separate as there is no turning back once epoxy resin etc has been applied.

Last task to do before mating of parts was to apply some fine surface detail on the boom intakes. For this I used my beading tool taking great care not to push too hard so as not to over distort the panels.

With some imagination aforesaid details can just be seen in the photo below of the upper and lower surfaces respectively.

 

HcrCkwC.jpg

 

The next stage was to screw the wing back to the booms and recheck the alignment before the glue is applied.

Fitting showed only minor work was required  - mostly removing lithoplate which had overlapped with the area where the wing roots will fit and thus not allowing the wing to sit correctly in its allotted space.

All parts were then covered with tape to protect them from damage and any glue spills.

Epoxy resin was applied to one boom and then it was affixed in place using the screws which had been fitted earlier to hold it in place- again checking before glue sets that it is still correctly aligned and sitting.

Once set the procedure was repeated for the other boom.

JuzkvYm.jpg?1

The model will now be left to sit for the glue to cure before the next phase; which will be building the top surface of the wings, further reinforcing the wing/boom joints (the booms are quite heavy due to the vast quantity of lead required to prevent tail sitting) and building the supercharger trays and units.

 

Once again many thanks for the compliments and likes, and hopefully no "clocks" or other typos this time.

 

Cheers 

Kevin

Edited by KevinCG

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G'day Again - Its been awhile and I haven't died just had a lot on, harvest, preserving, firewood collecting and splitting, painting, some consulting work and of course some modelling.

 

The last post back in January saw the booms and wings joined and the skinning covered with protective paper.

 

The next task involved recreating the area on top of the booms and the one area that I had been mulling over for a long time - the superchargers.

This area needed to be completed so that the aluminium and stainless steel skin could be finished around the wing boom area.

 

To make the top of the nacelles around the supercharger area a channel was first constructed into which the supercharger and its ducting could be installed. This was constructed from 1mm plastic card and affixed to the upper wing surface

z8tTSks.jpg?1

 

The picture also shows the area for the actual supercharger  marked out for removal.

Once this channel was in place was in place on both booms the external skin could be added. This was cut from the piece that was removed from the original vacform of the booms and shaped to fit. It was trhen glued into place and fared into the upper boom contour using epoxy putty.

GBuanog.jpg?1

 

The forward end of the channel for the exhaust duct and heater is flared so a pattern was created out of 2mm card wrapped in cling wrap and then pushed into some epoxy putty to create the correct shape in plan view.

vcoz811.jpg?1

 

Once set the cling wrap peels easily away from the epoxy putty. (I find this a very useful to create male/female patterns that need to be mated together to form a snug fit.)

The next step was to create the supercharger itself. A couple of spare wheels from the spare box served as the basis for the turbine area, however the duct surrounding the blades is helical and not of constant cross-section. This required a bit of filler and offsetting the centre of the turbine using the lathe to create to the space into which the blade structure would be fitted.

 

The blades for the bucket wheel are very fine and for this purpose a number of identical photo-etched pieces were produced for me by Adrian Prassler from Custom Photo Etch in Melbourne.

These pieces are shown below together with the cooling cap which sits on top of the bucket wheel.

fQxZ2Ri.jpg?1

 

To make the bucket wheel and give it some depth three individual pieces were laminated together taking care to ensure they were completely aligned. These were then inserted into brass rings cut from brass tube, which were inserted into a second close fitting brass ring that sits on top of the actual supercharger.

The cooling cap was also a test of patience and was made in two halves from fine brass tube filed in half lengthwise and plastic that were joined together onto a slightly oversize silhouette cut from Lithoplate. This mimicked the actual structure on the real thing. The two halves were then cemented together to produce the piece shown in the picture above. To produce the second piece which is on a horizontal plane and disappears into the side of the channel 2 pieces of  lithoplate was formed around wire to make both sides. They were then cut out and joined together.

To make the slightly domed cap on top of the bucket wheel on which the cooling cap sits.

To make the exhaust duct thick aluminium tube was annealed and then placed between a vice to create an oval cross-section. The tube was then bent to the correct shape and the three steps filed into it to create the impression of a sleeved joint. The forward end was bifurcated to recreate the two exhaust inlets and a slot cut for the intake for the heater intake at the very front.

The waste gate was made from aluminium tube and connected to the supercharger  after a hole was drilled to fit the valve.

The almost finished piece is shown located in-situ below. it only remains to fit the various clamps around the exhaust and waste gate and the valve. The former have been turned from Aluminium tube and again flattened to the sale cross section as the duct itself.

bsCPknU.jpg?1

I am reasonably pleased with result which is good because it hits you right in the eye when you look at a P-38.

Once the skin is applied it should look reasonably smink.

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