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Messages - Second Air Force

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Aircraft Modeling / Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« on: April 06, 2010, 11:20:35 PM »
I used Liqui-Plate on the vacuform F-89 I started this thread with. That was the product I couldn't remember the name of...... :-roll It worked pretty much the same as the other products as I recall all these years later. I still have the "How To" book that came with the Liqui-Plate and it is quite thorough. I don't think I used Rub N Buff but I do remember the name.


Aircraft Modeling / Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« on: April 06, 2010, 11:06:36 PM »
Auto lacquer should be a good sub-surface finish for the Testors products. I use lacquer auto body primers, both grey and red oxide, as the base for the Testors Metalizer Lacquer. If you spray the Metalizer directly onto bare plastic use a very light dusting coat first to "seal" the softer plastic from the Metalizer thinner. The Testors materials are all very "hot" and will etch plastic easily if you lay it on thickly. Don't ever spray Metalizer over enamel--it will lift the enamel just like an application of paint stripper. (I know from experience....... :-red)

It's actually quite hard to spray a thick coat of this paint as it is extremely thin and covers well. The fact that the coats should go on thin makes it very important to handle finished models with cloth gloves--the Metalizer can be affected by the oils in our skin and frequent handling. One of the good things about these products is that it is relatively easy to fix little problems by overspraying worn areas with a new coat and burnishing/polishing it to match the surrounding surface.


Aircraft Modeling / Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« on: April 06, 2010, 09:34:32 PM »

I once used silver paint with a tiny touch of light grey in it to darken it. It did change shades a little bit but it seemed to lose the "metal" look in the process.

I have had good success with these Testors metal finishes. I don't know if you're able to buy any of these products in Europe, but they work really, really well. All of these products (except the "Silver" on the top left) are ready to airbrush right out of the bottle. You MUST use a perfectly clean airbrush and bottle with a screen on the pickup tube, and it will take several bottles of paint to do very large models. The sealer is recommended if you're going to mask over the paint, but I don't always use it as a final clear coat.

Here are two more products. The small bottle of Metalizer gives much the same results as the Testors products. The SNJ system is a bit different in that it consists of the spray on material and a bottle of actual aluminum powder that you apply and rub in to the surface to give the aluminum finish.

And my favorite, the BareMetal Foil.


Warplane Art / Re: Italian P47 remake
« on: March 23, 2010, 07:16:57 PM »
I want you to know I'm going to the hobby shop soon to get a P-47 so I can build one of those RAF machines!  :-ok Great work on all of these!


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 23, 2010, 06:14:54 PM »
I got a bit more accomplished on Sunday. Again, I find that the more I study the photos and drawings the more I learn about the YBs. While working on the nacelles I noticed that the landing light wells in the wings are quite different than later models. Here is one wing modified with the unmodified one on the right, with a photo of the YB landing light between them:

I got the right exhaust fairings roughed in also. These will be removed until the wings are nearly finished so I don't knock them off or bend them while I'm doing the rest of the wing bodywork. They'll be permanently installed and faired in with putty much, much later......

Here is one engine/cowl/prop set after the cowl mountings were fabricated. The engine will support the cowling as on the real airplane so that the cowl and nacelle opening will have the proper gaps:

I also finally sprayed a bit of primer on several pieces so I could check the fit of various window plugs and modifications. Notice the darker grey spot shows a low area that must be corrected. This area will need to be filled, sanded, contoured, reprimed, and re-block sanded until the shape is consistent. It did feel good to finally put some primer on this project!


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 21, 2010, 04:14:41 PM »
Yes, Samuraj, it is K&S Products brass tubing. The outer walls are too thick and will need to be filed down to thin them to a more "in-scale" profile before I'm finished. I would have preferred using aluminum tubing but the brass was all I had.


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 21, 2010, 05:20:57 AM »

Here is the first of four intake ducts that go into the nacelle scoop. The little divider in the center of the duct was a door that could close off the ram air duct if selected by the flight crew.

And here it is roughly mounted in the #2 position--still a bit of work to do but you get the idea:

I also managed to construct the #4 exhaust fairing and am working on the #3 fairing right now. We had some snow (quite unusual for Oklahoma this late in the season) so I may have more time to model tomorrow. :-cool :-jump


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 19, 2010, 07:40:01 PM »
All of these details are pretty rough at this point. I still have much to do to blend everything together. Interestingly most of these details will be unseen after the airplane is built, but at least we'll know the parts are in there!  :-cool


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 19, 2010, 07:22:42 PM »
Here is an early update on the forward fuselage interior. I first built up the cockpit floor and instrument panel front piece. This had to be finessed and shortened to adapt to the shorter forward fuselage and new bomb bay bulkhead. Then I started adding detail parts to the kit pieces, including the lower bulkhead enclosure and the floorboard that runs down the middle of the belly. The putty on the aft cockpit bulkhead will later be smoothed out and some details added:

Once that was all fitting as it should I moved on to the bombardier/gunner section. A floorboard was added for the gunner to stand on and the instrument panel/lower bulkhead were fitted to the fuselage halves:

Since it was decided a long time ago to open the forward entry door I had to add details to the lower fuselage area. I've spent enough time in this part of Chuckie to be able to build the floorbeams from memory. I hit my head on them enough last summer to leave a lasting impression.  :-roll

Here is a shot of the floor supports and right-side frames and stringers. I built the stringers this way so that I can slip them into the main fuselage in one piece. Once all the preliminary fitting and adjusting of the entire fuselage is complete I'll glue the three left and three right fuselage sections together at the joints. Then painting, detailing, and final assembly will go forward much like any kit, left and right halves.


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 18, 2010, 06:27:00 AM »
The bombardier station has been a question mark since I first contemplated doing this conversion. I decided to simply get out the grinder and start removing plastic. The first photo is what's left after I removed the chin turret fairing from the forward fuselage.

The G fuselage really works pretty well to build the YB because the new bombardier sighting cutout goes exactly where the chin turret was.

This is the plug that I came up with. It still needs some adjusting before I glue it down, but you get the general idea of how it will look.

Figuring out how to get the correct window size and shape by adjusting the two side fairings was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. :-think


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 17, 2010, 06:03:15 PM »
I thought I would jump from the nacelles to the fuselage for a little update on that part of the model.

The forward fuselage of the "shark fin" Fortresses was 18" shorter than the E and later aircraft. The surgery was quite easy, just cutting the section out with the trusty razor saw. This photo is the first fit check of the shorter nose, using the propeller arc as an informal guide to the length I wanted. I used the prop arc and the aft rectangular window as reference points in order to confirm the dimensions were equivalent to the drawings I have.

Here is a bit of progress on the window configuration of the YB. The Koster kit actually provides a clear section to fill the cheek window but I decided to use plastic sheet instead. All the other windows, of course, are located differently than the B-17B and later.


Aircraft Modeling / Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« on: March 17, 2010, 06:55:41 AM »

And the Fokker-100  :-love

I used to work on the full-sized version of that little fellow, in fact, on that actual tail number several times.


Aircraft Modeling / Re: HOW TO: Natural Metal Finishes
« on: March 16, 2010, 06:13:35 PM »

Here's how I apply Bare Metal foil. Sorry about the photo quality, and the foil I have is probably ten years old, so this is a poor representation of the process. As the foil ages on the backing paper it seems to become more fragile and tears easily when removing it. New sheets fresh from the hobby shop should give good results. I use "Chrome", not "Ultra Bright Chrome" because it is more representative of shiny alclad and conforms better. "Matte Aluminum" is good for alternating panel shades on relatively flat surfaces. I use Alclad or Testors Metalizer for various areas depending on shading, shape, etc.

First, and most important, is a perfect, glass smooth surface. Any seams, scratches, etc will really show up when the foil is smoothed out.

Next, use a metal straight edge and a BRAND NEW X-acto blade to cut a panel to roughly the size you require:

Now pick up a corner of the foil with the BRAND NEW blade and carefully peel it off the sheet:

Apply the foil to the area you want to cover, being very careful not to fold or kink the foil in the process:

Now smooth the foil carefully across the entire surface, and I use a fingernail to slowly insert the material into all panel lines:

This step is a bit more difficult on vacuform models due to the panel lines on vacuform being less distinct than on injected kits. If you're careful, you can use a flexible ruler to wrap around the fuselage in order to maintain straight panel lines. I use the fresh blade to trim down the panel lines on the kit and remove the material not needed:

Simply repeat this process to add panels across the airplane, being careful to smooth the foil with a soft cloth from time to time. In this example I used Chrome and Matte Aluminum to get the varying panel coloration:

If you aren't satisfied with a particular area, you can carefully remove the foil with a fingernail or soft tool. Clean off all adhesive that may remain before putting on the next sheet:

There you have it, one guy's way to do NMF aircraft. Practice makes perfect as in any hobby, but I've had good luck with this system. Three things to remember: Absolutely smooth surface; BRAND NEW X-acto blades; and fresh Bare Metal foil.

Here is a Fokker 100 done with the BareMetal method:


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 15, 2010, 06:18:16 PM »
Letipapa, I had to construct that support structure from plastic rod and sheet. The YB and 299 had these tubes in the nacelle to support the engines and the outer skin fastens to the cage. The thicker piece at the top of this photo is the trough that the exhaust system sits in on the original airplane. All later Forts had a fully monocoque nacelle and eliminated the need for this support basket.

That red piece is just a part of the plumbing that will be in the nacelle when it is complete. That is actually a piece of electrical wiring that happens to be the correct diameter for the tube I was replicating.


Aircraft Modeling / Re: Boeing Y1B-17 Project--1/48th Scale
« on: March 15, 2010, 03:08:55 AM »

I have a pretty accurate three view drawing of the YB but no actual dimensions or blueprint. I overlayed the YB overhead drawing with a B-17G outline and determined the dimensions that way. If it will help I'll get you the material I have.

While I'm here, a couple of photos of the main landing gear. The Y1B-17 used pneumatic brakes rather than the later hydraulic type. On the Monogram kit there is a small container molded to the gear leg. This is a "debooster" and varies the hydraulic pressure being applied to the brake. I removed the deboosters in order to have room for the small fairings that the YB's had on their gear legs. The retraction jackscrew and motor/gearbox are made from aluminum tubing and some spare B-29 main gear door actuators from the spares box.

And a shot of the gear in the nacelle:


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