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Monogram 1/48 B-24J


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Hi everyone. This is my first post on the Site. I hope that you find it interesting. I recently completed building a B-24J model, but since it took 108 hours to finish over a period of six months  I decided to condense the timeframe of this WIP because most modelers would lose interest with a post that lasted six months.

I always liked the B-24J because of its twin tail, high mounted main wing, overhead door bomb bay doors and that really weird nose turret. I also like the "J" version because many left the factory in a natural metal finish. 

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Above is a photo of a B-24 that I made about three years ago. I tried to reproduce a natural metal finish by using Testots' Aluminum Metallizer paint. It just does not look like metal, instead it looks like paint because it is paint. Alclad would have been a better choice than the Testors product, but I didn't have an airbrush at the time.

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When I decided to build a B-24J I figured that I would finish it in Bare Metal Foil (photo above). 

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The model came in a nice sturdy box. Unfortunately, the clear parts were not bagged, so they were scratched. Also, the decal set was really boring. I fixed that later. 

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As usual, I started with the cockpit. The cockpit was painted with Tamiya Cockpit Green. The dashboard was painted black and I used a silver pencil to bring out the details of the gauges. The seats were painted a leather color. Except for some weathering,  I didn't add much additional detail to the cockpit because not much of the cockpit can be seen once the model is finished. 

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I painted the areas of the fuselage that are visible with Tamiya Cockpit green. Again, I did not over detail the interior because not much is visible.

 

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Next, on to the tail. Many clamps were needed to make a tight seam between the bottom and top parts.

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The vertical stabilizers were glued and clamped in a similar manner. Next, the movable surfaces of the tail were painted with Testors, Aluminum Metallizer paint to simulate the painted fabric of the real airplane. The paint was finished with clear flat paint. The anti-icing boots were painted black. All painting must be finished prior to applying the Bare Metal Foil since masking tape will lift the foil. After the paint dried I finished the tail surfaces with Bare Metal Foil. I used two colors. The majority is finished with Matte Aluminum and a few panel was finished with Chrome to add some visual interest.

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Clamps were needed to attach the vertical stabilizers to the horizontal wing.

 

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This is the finished rear wing. The Bare Metal Foil was individually applied to each panel. Each panel then received a single stroke of 0000 steel wool to enhance the natural grain of the Bare Metal Foil.  Appling the foil to the small panels located at the curved areas of the stabilizers was a real pain. After the foil was applied. I added rivets. Well, time for dinner. Tomorrow I'll show how I added piping to the engines.

 

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This is a photo of a real B-24 engine. Note that the ignition wires are in copper colored tubes. I like the way that the copper tubes visually stand out, so I'll added those to my models engines.

 

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First I cut some copper wire to length and then bent them to mimic the shape of the tubes on the real aircraft's engine.

 

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First I painted the engines silver. Then the bulkhead and pushrod covers were painted black. The cylinders were dry brushed with black paint. Last I added the copper wire. A red wire was installed to simulate a red pipe that was installed on the real engines.

 

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Next up are the landing gear. The gear was painted aluminum and was detailed with brass paint. Next the gear were weathered with black dry brush. I used a black wire to simulate the brake lines. 

 

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This is how the engines and landing gear look on the finished model. Resin tires were used instead of the kit's tires. The are a little under inflated, but they look better than the kit's tires.

 

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Fine pieces of modelling you show here and no reason for hiding them just because it's 1/48. This is a non dogmatic place for plastic addicts and the scale dosen't matter. There is a section for non-LSM-work, so feel welcome to show your work. By the way, welcome to LSM.

Cheers Rob

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This was moved to the Non-LSM forum but it wouldn't show up on that forum's index. So, I'm back here.

On to the main wing!!!

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When gluing the engines to the nacelle, Monogram indicates that the prop shaft is NOT to be glued to the engine. It is supposed to held in place by the small pin indicated by the blue arrow. Guess what, the pin is too small and the prop shafts are easily pushed into the wing, never to be seen again. It is best to glue the shafts to the engine. The props are held in place by friction.

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The main wings are warped, which seems to be common with Monogram and Revell large bombers. The trick to making the wing straight is to use clamps and something that is very stiff and will not bend. My architect's scale worked great. Multiple clamps and rubber bands took the warp out of the wing.  

 

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Onto that pesky joint at the middle of the nacelles. Again, this is a common problem with Monogram Revell bombers and is a real pain to fix. First I used Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty. After sanding I applied Tamiya  Surface Primer. 

 

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I moved onto the bombs while the putty was drying on the nacelles. I wanted a rough surface so first I sanded the bombs with a course grit sandpaper to roughen up the plastic.. Next I painted the bombe with flat black. Next came Olive Drab. I held the rattle can about three feet from the bombs and lightly held the nozzle down so that the paint would splatter and sputter . After that came a light coat of tan, again with the rattle can sputtering. I think it worked out okay.

 

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Thanks, Phil.

The next task is making the main wings.

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All painted surfaces must be completed prior to applying Bare Metal Foil. The anti-icing boots and flaps were painted. The interior of the wheel wells and the exhaust pipes received their first coat of paint.  The panel lines on the engine nacelles were highlighted with Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color. 

 

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The actual B-25J had some sort of stainless steel panels on the front, sides and rear of the supercharger and final exhaust pipe. Maybe the concern was that aluminum would not tolerate the hot exhaust?? I can't find any reference to this on the Internet. Now, how to simulate that material on my build. 

 

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I used aluminum duct tape. Not the cloth duck tape, but the high temperature aluminum tape. I think that it looks pretty close to the real thing. If I built this plane again I would cut out that half moon area at the rear of the nacelles. 

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These are the tools that I use to apply foil to an airplane. A metal ruler to measure and cut the foil. Flexible straight edges (green plastic) to trim the foil after it has been applied to the model. Hobby knife to cut/trim the foil. Rivet making tool. Good quality tweezer. Paper stumps to burnish the foil. And last, a wad of 0000 steel wool add grain to the foil.

 

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After many, many hours, the foiling of the top of one main wing is finished. The rivets have not been added yet. Two colors of foil were used the majority of the foil is Matte Aluminum with a few panels foiled in Chrome. At this stage of foiling the wing looks weird. Next comes the rivets.

 

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The tops of two wings are finished, including rivets. I think that the foiled finish without the rivets looks kind of odd. The addition of the rivets really adds a lot of realism to the foiled surface.

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This is the underside of the main wing.

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Thanks for the nice comments. 

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I found this picture on the Internet of a B-17 exhaust. I liked the way it looked, so I tried to duplicate it on the B-24J

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I used multiple coats of a black and rust wash on the pipes. Extra black wash was added to the supercharger exhaust. The wheel well was painted with Tamiya Cockpit Green and weathered with black and rust washes. 

Next, on to the fuselage. What a pain this thing is.

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The bomb racks, cockpit subassembly front landing gear and side gun subassembly need to be glued to one of the fuselage halves. The locating pins are far and few between so a lot of test fitting is required. This is common with all Revell/Monogram 1/24 scale bombers. Notice the blue sticky note that says "weights".  This model is very tail heavy which will result in a tail sitter. It is possible to add weights to the cockpit to prevent this. I added the note so that I would not forget to add the weights.

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I could not get the side gun subassembly to fit correctly, so out came the clamps. However, I still couldn't get the fuselage to close, so I had to hack off the lower corner of the side gun subassembly. That solved the problem. Also notice that the gun yokes are installed, but not the guns. The Instruction Sheet has 34 steps of assembly for this model. The instruction sheet indicates that the guns are supposed to be installed into the yokes at step 5 of assembly.  Notice how far the guns stick out of the fuselage. If the guns were installed at this point of construction they would be broken off in no time flat. The guns should be installed as one of the final steps of construction. They can be installed with tweezers from the outside of the model. Since Revell U.S. no longer exists, it may be impossible to obtain replacement parts for this model.

 

 

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This model is really tail heavy, so weight needs to added to the nose.

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This is how I determine how much weight is required. First I dry fit the entire model together. As you can see, the model is sitting on it's tail. 

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Next I start adding weight inti a small plastic zip bad until the nose drops down. I the add additional weight for good measure.

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I taped together some solid bars and glued them in the bombardier's area. This will not be seen after the fuselage is assembled. A plastic bag filled with lead balls  is glued under the cockpit behind the nose gear.

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The fuselage is glued together with the aid of clamps and rubber bands.

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After the glue dried the anti-glare paint was added and the long fuselage seams were filled and sanded smooth.

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I used precut masks for the cockpit glass and turrets.

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The paper stump works great for burnishing the mask material. Don't forget to mask the back side.

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I used Tamiya Silver to paint the frame of the cockpit glazing.

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I misunderstood the instructions for the front and rear turrets. Eduards does not provide 100% masking and the modeler needs to provide masking for specific areas (blue arrows). Of course I didn't figure this out until I painted the turrets. Now, how to I remove the paint. Scraping off the paint won't work. 

 

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Out came the Purple Power. I use this stuff to remove paint on my models by letting the painted part soak in the purple stuff. 

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I couldn't soak the turrets in the purple stuff because all of the paint would be removed, so I soaked a small piece of paper towel in Purple Power and placed it on the paint that I wanted to remove. I added more Purple Power every so often until the paint was soft. I used a wood toothpick to scrape off the soft paint. I tried to hide the seams in the turrets with Bare Metal Foil, but that did not work too well.

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