LetLetLet ~ Warplanes

Let Let Let - Warplanes => Aircraft Modeling => Topic started by: GregM on June 21, 2019, 04:51:20 AM

Title: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on June 21, 2019, 04:51:20 AM
 I wasn't sure if my account would still be active but it looks like I'm still here!

I guess I've started most of my posts here with excuses and apologies, and this one will be no different.  When I signed up here I had great intentions of contributing regularly, but outside of the couple things I've posted here I haven't built any models in that time.  In 2014 I had to knock out a B-29 quickly (the same as I'll be building here), along with three 1/48 Navy planes that went to the USS Hornet Museum.  With all of these projects going on at once, their deadlines and other pressures I had going on at the same time, I got burnt out on modeling enough that I haven't really picked it back up since.  Around the same time my passion for making music resurfaced and that has taken up most of my free time since. 

In 2014 I lost a good friend, Master Sergeant George L Voltz. George had an extensive Air Force career flying in many aircraft including B-50, KB-50, KB-29, KC-97, KC-135, B-36, and most importantly with regards to this thread, he completed a tour in the B-29 Haulin Ass over Korea.  He flew 35 missions there if memory serves.  He was later a boom operator, but he flew the radar/electronic countermeasures position in the B-29.  When I learned he wouldn't be around for long I built him a 1/72 scale B-29 in the markings of Haulin Ass.  When he passed away it went to one of his sons and at the time I promised his other son that I'd build him one also; and I had always intended to do one for myself too.  I found out this week that the other son is retiring soon (he's been my employer for almost 20 years) so I now need to stop procrastinating and make good on my promise from five years ago. As I've started  to immerse myself in this again I've discovered maybe part of not having done this already is because I'm still not over losing my friend.

So I've picked up a couple Academy kits...the first one of these I built I used a kit that I already had in the stash which had raised rivets and I've always regretted building it that way.  (and I don't know how a B-29 kit with raised rivets would be designed and approved for production either). 

I had Josh from bedlamcreations.com do the custom nose art decals for me, along with the 98th Bomb Group insignia that goes on the port side of the nose.  Josh does great work and I've used him several times for custom decals.  As you can see I have a huge sheet of these. I may put some on eBay just to spread them around and allow some others to build this plane. 

I also have a couple sets of 98th Bomb Group decals to steal the Square H and US Air Force fuselage decals from, and I have the letters for the wings.  I have some fluorescent orange on the way for the nose gear doors and top of the vertical stabilizer, I realized tonight I may need to order some national insignias.  I bought several different shades of Alclad back when I decided to do this project and hopefully they are still ok - I'm concerned about how much solvent is in some of the bottles.  They haven't been opened but I think some evaporation may have happened over the years.

I ran out of time tonight because of some other commitments and hope to start cockpit assembly tomorrow night. 

(https://i.imgur.com/xsOIuqw.jpg?1)

(https://i.imgur.com/hy5DtpB.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: No.1 on June 21, 2019, 06:21:42 AM
Good to see you are alive and so many things happen in a meantime (not all pleasant)... enjoy build, hope this one will be completed ;)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: Second Air Force on June 21, 2019, 12:04:30 PM
Yes, welcome back to our group. Sorry for your loss of such a good friend.

Keep us posted on progress, we're still here!

Your Alclad should be just fine. You may have to add some thinning agent, but that should be easy to come up with. Your pigments are all in place.
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on June 21, 2019, 04:16:43 PM
Welcome back Greg!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on June 22, 2019, 04:20:43 AM
Thanks, guys!

I got most of the cockpit work done tonight.  The seats will go in once the armrests are dry.  I then have a few pieces that go inside the fuselage before I start painting the interior.

(https://i.imgur.com/4KZ4afM.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on June 22, 2019, 05:51:57 AM
:-ok
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: modellius on June 24, 2019, 07:38:41 PM
Welcome back mate ! Nice work so far !
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on June 25, 2019, 06:05:54 PM
Progress!

(https://i.imgur.com/Vij21fv.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on June 25, 2019, 07:22:38 PM
Good!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 01, 2019, 06:03:58 PM
Stabilizers are on and wings are together.  I will hopefully have the flaps assembled and installed tonight.

(https://i.imgur.com/wfoaR4O.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on July 01, 2019, 08:06:32 PM
:-ok
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 03, 2019, 03:36:18 AM
Nacelles and flaps coming together.

(https://i.imgur.com/zlCjvlx.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 08, 2019, 03:31:47 AM
Quite a few hours this week were spent installing the landing gear doors. They intend for the model to be displayed on it's gear, but I'm building both of these to hang  with the gear up depicting flight, so I have to close everything up.  The gear doors DO NOT FIT in the closed position and it took quite a bit of careful sanding and carving to get each of them in place.  They aren't perfect, but the rough edges will be cleaned up when I'm dealing with seams just before primer goes on.

(https://i.imgur.com/0RkiSUw.jpg?1)

The bomb bay doors are also meant to be displayed open.  I found some old sprue that was flat on one side and made some short tabs to help hold the doors in place while installing them. I'll also have to do the same for the nose gear doors and come up with a plan for the tail skids.

(https://i.imgur.com/GgD834b.jpg?1)


All nacelles are now in place!
(https://i.imgur.com/9UQG7Y6.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: No.1 on July 08, 2019, 06:12:02 AM
Huge work!!!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: Second Air Force on July 09, 2019, 12:54:21 AM
Yes, good work on these--too bad about the gear doors, but I reckon they never intended for these big kits to be built "in flight". You are giving me the urge to work on my Superfort again someday!!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 09, 2019, 02:48:13 PM
Thanks guys!

After these are done I hope to keep rolling on two others - I want to finish that Bockscar kit that I never finished, and I found a set of Kee Bird decals last week that I had forgotten I bought.  I wish that I had ordered three kits to do at once instead of just these two.
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 15, 2019, 02:46:55 AM
I guess it took me a week total, but the bomb bay and nose gear doors and the tail skids are in place.  The flaps are installed on the wings, and I've started cleaning up the seams.  I hope to have the seams cleaned up, wings installed and some primer going on by the end of the week.

(https://i.imgur.com/2uGK8vH.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on July 15, 2019, 05:41:59 AM
:-ok
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 20, 2019, 10:34:29 PM
I lost some work time this week due to migraine and other issues so they won't be in primer this weekend, but they're close.  I need to get the cockpit glass on and the masks done, and some areas need a second application of filler. 

(https://i.imgur.com/8PgDSFA.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: No.1 on July 21, 2019, 04:49:15 AM
Good to see you back, I suffer in past from migraine and know what is the pain :(
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 21, 2019, 05:36:05 AM
Usually when I get a good migraine I can count on having it for three days, it's there immediately when I wake up and lasts throughout the entire day.  We're going through some pretty tough times at work with new owners that we unanimously agree have ruined the reputation that we built over the last 25 years and my blood pressure was so high for most of last week my vision was going hazy, and the stress is what set my headache off this time. 

On a lighter note, I just finished installing the greenhouse glass on the models about two minutes ago.
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: modellius on July 21, 2019, 08:42:43 PM
woah, the two big birds looks great !
 
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 28, 2019, 04:10:54 AM
This was kind of brutal, but I made it!

(https://i.imgur.com/fNyZkj6.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 28, 2019, 05:13:46 AM
And one hour later....

(https://i.imgur.com/6NW8Jyr.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on July 28, 2019, 08:14:23 PM
Nice progress!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: No.1 on July 29, 2019, 07:01:33 PM
With all those glass there, hope your eyes are in place :))
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on July 30, 2019, 01:10:07 AM
With all those glass there, hope your eyes are in place :))

I have plenty of light around my model desk but this was the first  time I've done this for quite a while, and I did have more trouble seeing than I remembered!

I got the gloss black base coat on last night.  Some areas will need some sanding - I've never had great luck with spraying gloss colors. I'm headed to Thunder Over Michigan for four days so I probably won't make any more progress for a week or so.
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: modellius on August 06, 2019, 09:04:49 AM
Very nice progress !
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on August 18, 2019, 06:17:04 PM
Since my last update I've gotten the gloss black base coat down on both models, and neither turned out great. I've left one alone now and am trying to concentrate on getting just one completed first and do the one for myself later on.  I've sanded the black base with 800 grit and applied a second coat which came out acceptable.  My first attempt at spraying Alclad Aluminum resulted in the paint almost immediately turning into pudding in my airbrush. The second test with a smaller airbrush was a little better but it's still spraying grainy and doesn't want to feed correctly. The regular aluminum Alclad didn't seem to fare well being stored for several years - after very much shaking it's clinging to the inside of the bottle differently and smells different than my other Alclad paints.  I've ordered some more which will be here next week.

I've tested the Polished Aluminum bottle, which seems to have had a better seal and made a slight pressure escaping noise when the cap was opened, and it sprays fine. 
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: Second Air Force on August 19, 2019, 12:07:38 AM
I add lacquer thinner to my metalizer-type paints with good results. Try it on a small amount of your Alclad to see if it thins out.
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on August 19, 2019, 05:52:28 AM
I'll give it a shot, thanks! 
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: Second Air Force on August 19, 2019, 11:35:01 PM
Yup, let us know if it is successful. With those big airplanes to spray, you'll need a quart of Alclad anyway!!!!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on August 21, 2019, 12:39:37 AM
That's the truth!  I probably have $100 worth of the stuff sitting here and I don't know if any more than one bottle of it will be usable yet.  Procrastination has cost me money this time!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on September 02, 2019, 04:53:31 PM
Finally something acceptable.  Three coats with Micromesh polishing in between.  I'll move onto the control surfaces next to give this some time to cure better before masking it off to paint the rest of the plane in polished aluminum.


(https://i.imgur.com/ieEafoT.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: No.1 on September 02, 2019, 10:54:09 PM
Huge job here and well done!!!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on September 03, 2019, 06:52:26 PM
Excellent!!!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: modellius on September 08, 2019, 07:08:36 PM
nice job !
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on September 09, 2019, 01:37:49 AM
I'm in trouble.  I masked off the areas that were already painted in order to paint the rest of the plane.  I used Tamiya curved line tape around the nacelle areas  and when I had to move a small section of the tape it lifted the Alclad.  I was done too - all four nacelles and the front of the rudder have the same tape.  I hope to spray the first coat on the rest of the plane tonight, I'm not looking forward to pulling the tape off later in the week and seeing how much damage there is.  Even with careful touchup I think it's still going to be noticeable.  I hadn't planned to do much in the way of weathering, but that might have to change!
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on September 09, 2019, 05:38:09 AM
I had similar problem with the Renard. Maybe the Alclad is a little bit too thick on the location it was removed...
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on September 10, 2019, 01:26:23 AM
I had similar problem with the Renard.
It turned out great nonetheless!  I hope I'm able to salvage mine also.

I got the first coat of Polished Aluminum on the rest of the plane last night.  I'll give this about another day and then hit it with the Micromesh and then put on a second coat.  Not surprisingly, I found a cat hair firmly embedded into the paint when I looked at it tonight.  My cat isn't a big shedder, but her hairs seem to show up everywhere!   It wasn't thick by any means, but the first coat required an entire bottle of paint.  I did the engine cowls last and ran out just as I finished the last one.
(https://i.imgur.com/iqfAlid.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: GregM on September 13, 2019, 03:43:21 AM
I was relieved tonight when I pulled the tape off and found the only area where paint lifted is the area I had already seen.  Since it only happened there I'm now wondering if that area wasn't cleaned well before I painted and adhesion was poor.  I won't be using that tape on Alclad again regardless!

(https://i.imgur.com/quzLNrV.jpg?1)

But now that I see my two color choices together I'm not sure if I like the regular aluminum color. I think it looks good on the control surfaces and not bad on the wing/fuselage section, but I don't like the contrast between the nose and the rest of the fuselage.  I do think it will look better once decals are on and the masks are off the cockpit greenhouse.  What do you guys think, repaint the nose to match the rest, or leave it?

(https://i.imgur.com/tXcCuu5.jpg?1)
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: No.1 on September 13, 2019, 05:10:44 AM
 :-clap :-clap :-clap
Title: Re: B-29 Assembly Line
Post by: draken35 on September 13, 2019, 09:35:29 AM
To repaint is better imho...