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  1. All- When I left you last, I was finishing up the forward turret. I have since completed the turret, and sealed the halves: 117122746_312562269983226_8167892514025512063_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 117225214_749147109261129_5768932312431124410_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 117597172_632388224374044_1691775739841017005_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 117645106_607605849957330_6287595375774356453_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr A little smoothing out, and then some paint hopefully this weekend to round it out. Getting something on the kit "completed" helps the mojo! After finishing the turret, I turned my attention back to the forward nose, specifically the bombardier's station. I was humming and hawing about which bomb sight to use... the kit Mk.XIV, or scratch build a Mk.IX CSBS. As I studied photos more, I realized that I had already installed the computer for the Mk.XIV, so I went ahead and decided to use the kit part, with some alterations. I'm not sure it's accurate for Phantom at the point of the war I am modelling, but it's what I am going to go with: 116877587_2931106913662259_5240486897092291091_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Another very, very weak part on the kit (and quite visible!) is the bomb sight mount. The kit part as supplied is a bit of a clunky beast: 117295036_285405739426375_5407417053890889489_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 116909249_578262852838472_2922658167582022953_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr So, out came the saw, and the plastic rod, for something more accurate: 116839265_307034260732013_7966114306502428928_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 116878754_220872905933860_8354700899743658530_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Feeling much better about this guy than the kit part. It may not be completely accurate, but it's much, much better. While I was on a roll, I started tackling the bomb bay. I figured that I needed to get the majority of the bomb bay basics completed and installed before I started laying paint on the cockpit area, as I didn't want to handle the kit too much and ruin the paint in the cockpit. It was a good idea. For those wanting to tackle the Eduard set for the bomb bay, you must have a micro chisel in your arsenal. Without it, I never would have been able to accomplish the removal of ejector pins and the kit bomb mounting hardware. my Dad used to say, "He doesn't know whether to sh** or go blind." I know what he meant by that now. So tedious, but totally worth it: 117292318_1875523899256791_7985159970135171811_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Now, I just have to build and install 16 different bomb carriers to install. Each one is about 10 pieces. Can't wait :-p While we're on the topic of bombs, I understand the Cookie in the kit is undersized. Does anyone make a proper sized one for a Lancaster Mk.I/Mk.III? I know of a resin one that is the larger Cookie, but it is intended for Lancasters with the bulged bomb bay. Or, does anyone make 1/32 SBC's (Small Bomb Canisters)? I would love to have those to hang inside. But, I am not aware of any. That's all for today folks! Hopefully next time, I can greet you with some paint getting laid down in the cockpit and bombardier's station. As always, comments and critiques are most welcome. - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  2. Folks- Wow, it's been a long time since I gave an update! I think it's about time. I had shelved the Lancaster after getting frustrated trying to sort out the ammo chutes for the .303's in the turrets. The kit molded parts have the ammo chutes going in a funky direction, and I sanded them off fairly quickly with the intent to create something more accurate. I was having a hard time scratch building them, so it went to the SOD for the last 6 months or so. I pulled out my Tamiya 1/32 Mosquito the other day, and observed that I had purchased the Eduard Brassin armament set for it, which contained resin ammo chutes for the nose .303's. The were perfect! They were structured correctly, and even had the correct bend in them. I was able to heat them in boiling water, shorten the curve a little bit, and then trim to fit. Viola! They worked perfectly. I ended up ordering two more sets from Barracuda Resin to complete the upper turret, and also to replace the ones I robbed from the Eduard set. While the Eduard set is pricey and covers the entire gun assortment, the Barracuda set covers only the ammo chutes. It's also significantly cheaper to boot. 115984721_574545806570140_1501663275536710403_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr With the ammo chutes sorted out, I could move forward with the rest of the scratch building in the nose turret. This consisted of new ammo box covers with the circular cutouts (complete with .303 ammo inside), the turret locking lever, and various pipes and hoses. 115908154_745118143004819_7613127090577830365_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 116420309_603844623657521_4125874062612944937_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 116347576_285479516092194_2984050289915380796_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Another missing piece of the turrets are the spent casing bags. These were scratched using Milliput, and wiggled inside the turret mechanism. They aren't very flattering, I must say... 116274594_1152592251793364_6747290124345493417_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Another missing piece, and quite visible, is the framing on the rear of the turret dome. The piece is molded in clear, but it is metal on the rear bird, so being totally neat here wasn't a problem. The stringers were added, along with a passable oxygen regulator and associated hose: 109449528_933406410490108_712335263458866913_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 116353671_700797260553173_7143077821224813437_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 116345491_289098379005505_2976607860387803828_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr With that sorted out, I could start adding some paint. This is only a basic painting with interior black and flat aluminum, with further details and whatnot to be added later. Best I could muster with 20 minutes at the bench this morning before work! Feels good to get a little bit of paint on this beast. 116702278_327074281806705_2974317843926589177_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr The only other piece I intend to scratch build for the nose turret is the metal backpad at the rear of the turret opening. I am planning to fashion this out of tin foil, as its a complex curve. Here's to hoping it works! As always, comments and critiques are welcome. Thanks for tuning in. - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  3. The lower set :-) - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  4. Looking good! Out of curiosity, do you have the A-8 lower wing inserts that you aren't using? I'd love to take them off your hands if you do, as I need them to convert an A-5 kit into an A-6 for a museum piece... those A-6 kits sure are hard to find nowadays :-/ - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  5. It's been stalled for a while, as other projects jumped into the queue. I keep looking at it though... thinking about starting it up again here shortly, after... I finish a few other projects :-) - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  6. All- Now that the cockpit is mostly complete, it was time to toss it into the fuselage: 97406311_846319215857617_3469131508311130112_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 97075843_1173439076328510_7828689885467770880_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Then, it was time to seal up the fuselage with the conversion bits. The resin fit pretty darn good, and needed only a little trimming and shimming to fit: 96380852_862252397592628_6188029880387502080_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 96127966_1284335878424213_2476945143257628672_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 96510914_331690721134464_7932332218028916736_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 97285969_967691020358095_466595600540893184_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr She's starting to look the part! Once the nose piece gets installed, it'll be time for elbow grease. Fitting the nose might take a little time... the new resin lower fuselage/cockpit part is warped, which is twisting the entire front of the aircraft. I'm optimistic that fitting each part individually, one join at a time, will help square it up and pull everything into place. Time will tell! 96857499_2619605041646427_7462565213636657152_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Thanks for tuning in folks! - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  7. Small update today: Work continues on the cockpit, which will hopefully lead to the fuselage being sealed up this weekend. The resin bits from AIMS are super nice, and the plastic parts mate up to them wonderfully where appropriate: The resin pilot's armored seat needed a little grinding to open it up a little bit, but nothing too crazy. It certainly looks the part nestled into the cockpit: That's all for today folks! Hope to post another update early next week. Thanks for checking in! - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  8. All- I have this nasty tendency to have several irons in the fire, but since I finished off a 1/48 F7F firebomber conversion, it was time to start cracking on another project I have wanted to get started on in quite a long time. As most know, Revell's 1/32 Ju-88 series (A-1, A-4) were quite impressive kits for their value at the time. Great detail out of the box, and impressively large when completed. However, Revell only ever kitted two versions of the aircraft, of which there were several versions. AIMS came to the rescue, and have released conversion sets to do just about every single version of the Ju-88 in existence. Pastor John's research is thorough, and his parts are top-notch. If you haven't invested in any of his stuff, do it without hesitation. A few years ago, my brother and I were contracted by a flight museum that will be opening up in Salt Lake City, UT, to build several large-scale display models covering the air war in Europe, most notably the bomber campaign. As part of the project, we are not only building large-scale allied bombers (B-17F, B-17G, B-24D, B-24J, Lancaster), but also their escorts and the fighters that opposed them. While the Lancaster is slowly under construction, I was itching to get this Ju-88G-6 night fighter started, so it hit the bench. Pastor John recently released some new resin bits to update the original G-6 conversion set, so I snatched those up as well. Included is a really nice one-piece cockpit pedestal and lower fuselage piece: Here, I have added some of the associated kit parts to the resin, as well as a little scratch building to affix the radar screens: After a coat of Vallejo RLM66, everything blends in wonderfully: I also added the wing tip extensions, as well as the new resin tail. I am trying to get some of the more basic assemblies done to speed up the build process, so that I can focus more time on the detailed portions: Everything fits really well, considering the size. Parts that don't fit quite so well (resin engine inserts onto the wings) are easy enough to work on to fair them in. By and large, this conversion and kit builds fairly quickly. I have discovered that the resin replacement nose is quite a bit smaller than the front of the fuselage, so I will have to get a little creative there. As it sits, I have it flush with the lower fuselage, but there's a considerable step at the top (think 1mm). I am a bit of a novice when it comes to vac-formed parts, and this conversion has several. It has less now because of the new resin bits, but there are still a few spots to work out. One of those being the directional antennae on the spine, which wasn't part of the early A series. The conversion set comes with a complete vac-form spine to replace the kit part, but I wanted to use as much of the kit parts at possible. The location of the antennae is situated in a square panel etched into the kit spine. So, I ground out a circle to accept just the vac-form clear "window" over the antennae structure. The conversion kit would just have you attach a piece of photo-etch to the bottom of the clear piece to depict the unit, but I wanted something a little more accurate and representative of the 3D antennae housing. I found that a wheel half from the Special Hobby 1/32 Yak-3 kit was just the right size! My boxing of the Yak has resin wheels, so these are spares at this point. I always try to look around the spares bin and the hobby room before I start scratch-building things. Why not, right? It even has a raised portion right in the middle of it, which I can affix the photoetch antennae to. Piece of cake! That's where we're at for now. And here's where I am headed: Thanks for checking in! Hopefully my next update will include the completed cockpit, and the fuselage closed up. - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  9. The kit provides a small cover and frame, but some of it will be visible. Think similar to the P-47. Besides, I know its in there ;-) - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  10. Fantastic resource! I will be repainting my radio gear tomorrow to a more accurate grey color :-) - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  11. Small update today. The cockpit was completed to the point where I could join the fuselage to the wing structure, thus preventing any opportunity to damage the cockpit structure as it sits atop the wing! 49784676357_e05950b576_o by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr The wing to fuselage joint was outstanding. I did some preparatory sanding and shaping before I even started the cockpit structure a while back, and it paid off: 93845679_1619875454803127_3821891152450158592_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Additionally, the extra details added to the back of the instrument panel are suitable and visible, and will look good underneath the gun sight mount and small panel coaming: 94030929_1408037246071416_6114131665229971456_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr I'll give this a day or two to dry, and then start on the seam work for the fuselage and wings. There's a few small steps, but nothing major that I shouldn't be able to tackle in a day or so. The tricky part is going to be the large steps between the stabilizers and the fuselage tail fairings, as they are a little gnarly. So far, it's the biggest let down of an otherwise outstanding kit. Thanks for checking in! - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  12. All- When I finished the ICM I-16 Type 24, I got the itch to add another Russian bird to my stable. I had the Special Hobby Yak-3 lying around, and thought I would give it a go. This photo is from a few weeks ago, showing some basic assembly. These "shorter run" kits sure need a little more TLC than your regular mainstream kit. I hadn't built a Special Hobby kit before, so this has been a good test of my modelling mettle. No locating pins, and some tricky fit. Overall, however, I hear this is one of their better kits, and it shows: 91333975_142289907212755_8130728409677430784_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr I'll be building it out of the box as a Normandie Niemen bird, specifically White 4, as I enjoyed the subtlety of how the lower bar of the 4 blends in with the fuselage arrow/lightning bolt: 94123561_2526312217617408_9053937093151031296_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr This particular boxing has some nice resin bits included, such as exhaust and wheels: 93289194_2528418514141333_1345492505126240256_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr It does have some tricky spots, however. Here's the starboard horizontal tail surface, showing the join with the fuselage... 93244309_709871689818304_7985295834872807424_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr And here is the port. It has a nasty step between the fairing the the horizontal, which I have added some styrene strip to in order to blend it in later. The step was approximately 1mm in height difference, so pretty substantial: 92721076_234721047612389_6567481483550785536_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Here's where the cockpit is at as of this morning: 93199301_1100238910343032_151979466468360192_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 93412116_705007240302237_1683063482754269184_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr I also added the instrument panel, and am working on the rear of the dials, which are visible through the windscreen: 93844133_630966841079505_3084194647795302400_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Hoping to have the fuselage added the wings later today. From there, it's just lots and lots of filling and sanding. Fortunately, it was a mostly wooden construction, which is fairly forgiving when it comes to blending everything together. Time will tell! As always, comments and critiques are most welcome. Hope everyone is staying safe. - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  13. Here's my latest completion, ICM's 1/32 I-16 Type 24. I added an Eduard interior and seatbelt set, Armory wheels, and just a little bit of scratch building in the cockpit to round in the fuselage beneath the seat and floor. Vallego acrylics airbrushed along with Montex masks, Tamiya weathering pastels, an acrylic wash, and some paint chipping with enamels rounds out the finish. It was a lovely and quick build, and very enjoyable! Highly recommend one of these kits. DSC_0339 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr DSC_0339 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr DSC_0345 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr DSC_0343 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr DSC_0342 by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr Comments and critiques are most welcome! Thanks for stopping by. - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
  14. All- Small update today, as bench time was pretty limited over the last week or so. I have completed the basic internal structure of the rear Frazer-Nash turret, which was missing from HK's kit parts. They provide a good start, but some of the additional bracing needs to be added to be more accurate. I used the great CAD images from Wingnut Wings to outfit the structure. Now that it is completed, I can refine it a bit with some filing, and add additional detailing. It's coming along nicely: 80005875_1702651516537895_5785239266023964672_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr 78885941_448994522679680_2971810420404256768_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr And she fits nicely inside the solid glazing: 78679787_433133367359067_3684887150316224512_n by Dennis SAuter, on Flickr That's all for today folks! Hoping for some more bench time this Monday, if the wife doesn't fill the day with tasks. Happy modelling! - Dennis S. Thornton, CO USA
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