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3 Color Brothers 1/48 B-25 Conversion to PBJ1 and TBM-1C


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The Monogram PBJ(B-25H conversion) and the Accurate Miniatures TBM-1C where built in parallel as best as possible.  They were both test beds as I get ready for my 1/32 Tamiya Corsair, version TBD.

 

Testing included:

1.) Density of floor wax and Tamiya X-20A thinner mix.  Currently 60% Floor wax, 40% thinner spray as needed.  In the past I had been just coating the heck out the subject making a really glossy subject.  I read and learned that such actions can kill many subtle details and is not required for a good decal set.  However, I love the way a diluted form strengthens the base coat and makes decals, sludge wash and oils work on the base coat.  Matching the coat with the sludge wash is a matter of touch.  Meaning that the more wax you put on the more of your sludge will not stick and will come off easier.  The less wax and the sludge wash will sink right in to the paint and you will not be able to remove it from the flat paint.  The PBJ is less wax, the TBM (I would like to think) was almost right.  I am not sure how to scientifically quantify the math in the was vs the sludge wash other than to say experiment.

2.) Sludge was vs Oils.  I haven't been able to get oils in Alaska, outside of internet. However, Michael's just opened and I was able to get true oils and water based oils.  This has lead to a ton of messing around both on these aircraft and on a M4A1 76MM  am also building. 

3.) I had been fighting my airbrush and have finally found the key for my set up.  So I did the PBJ with lose fitted paper to get the over spray control and I did the TBM with masking tape.  I will need these skills for a SEA Phantom II build that's about to kick off.  I prefer to free hand as I believe that this scale is large enough to be able to see the border collision of colors as they are more or less in real life, not a hard boarder in most cases that I have seen. 

4.) Panel scribing was supposed to happen for the PBJ as it had raised panel lines coming from a old beaten B-25H kit.  The panel lines on the TBM that had been sanded out also need to be rescribed.  I did buy a scriber and try to make one but too late in the game and will have to come back to that idea in a future build.

5.) Building my own canopy mask with Tamiya tape.  I was able to that with the PBJ pretty well but it was painstaking.  At times I had a hard time seeing the birdcage and had to vary lighting to be sure what was the boarder.  The TBM was bought with a Eduard Big Ed kit so that made life grand.

6.) Photography.  I know that I need to build a photography stage if you will.  I find that my phone camera betrays me and aids me.  I see all my mistakes with a photo, so I think I will take pictures in the future to knock out what my failing eyes are missing and only after call it done and re shoot pictures.  It doesn't capture the fine details and seems to over emphasize the harsh details.  Missing much subtly my eye sees, maybe I am bias.

7.) Decals.  I am going to move to painting my own as much is possible and reasonable.  There is too many things that are at issue (See right side fuselage star and bar on the TBM and under the underside of the PBJ.).  I have never painted my own at any scale and will need to look at this over the next couple of projects.

8.) The PBJ is a nose sitter thanks to a lot of lead weight secured with testors body putty, no CA.

 

The PBJ was converted from a Monogram B-25H model I got about 10 years ago.  It had been abused and parts lost as I used it as my test spray plane.  I found some parts for it along with a Corsair -5 Radar and stuck that on the wing.  Not to speck but it was a good lesson in moving a fair amount of plastic and building it up to look natural.  One can see on the bomb bay door my lack of floor wax and how the sludge was sunk in more than I would have liked.  I chose not to fix that as I will right if off on a dirty ground crew......:D

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I tried to recreate fuel spill clean up, using oils paints, around the fuel cells.  Its faint and the base matches well with it when seen with the eye.  The top and side Stars and Bars were taken from another kit.  The decal under the wing was from the original kit and is very yellowed despite trying to use microsol to fix it.  Also many of the machine guns barrels are cut up paper clips as the originals were long lost.

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The props are just pressed on, this one started to come off while moving for pictures, didn't see it until I already posted it.  The door gunner windows have gone missing so I set up the waist gunners with a gun post.  The lack of panels looks odd to me but made for good ground to test color variation with the sludge wash.

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The top of the cockpit bird cage was a little rough as was the turret gunner.  Many lessons learned with custom made masking.

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I used thread for the antennas I am going to look in to wire in the future.

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One can see the lack of floor polish under coat didn't match with my sludge wash make up, more dish soap for the sludge maybe, or more floor wax prior to sludge washing....

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I used sand paper and the boiling water method in an attempt to make my own weighted wheels.  I was overly cautious in my first attempt but see how it can work and maybe save a few bucks down the road.

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The TBM was a joy to build with the eduard big ed kit.  I did stop building for awhile and came back after a few months.  This created a few problems in continuity.  I tried the paint brush method to recreate chipping instead of the hairspray method.  I can see it has many advantages.  More practice is needed.

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The eduard interior for this model was very good.  I cant seem to get my camera in there to do it justice.  Worth the buy for this kit.

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I need to learn/practice how to weather munitions. 

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The wheels are after market, don't remember from whom.  Recribing the panels at the joint is a must, a bit of practice is on the way.

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The brush chipping method was a bit of a struggle to get right.  Too much, too little....I found myself looking at a lot of reference photos.

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I left the door open as there is a lot of really good detail in there.  You can see that the stars and bars decal wrinkled a bit and captured air unlike any of the others.  I fought it and made it a little better but never got it it right.  I am not sure what I did or what happened but it has motivated me to try and paint them in the future.  The Plane number was put on before the sludge was but I couldn't get the sludge to match the remainder of the fuselage.  Another reason to start painting. 

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Regardless of the checklist of improvement they were a very fun build.  And they helped me get a little better.  It has made me much more confident for the future Corsair project.  I cant wait to crack that Tamiya F4U box, but also want my skills to be on par with that great kit.  Any advice and improvements very much welcome.  Lord knows I have learned a ton while on this site.

 

 

 

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