Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Revell-Monogram B-25J Mitchell – WIP Part 7

The model was completed this weekend.  I am happy with the result.  Twelve pictures of the finished model are below.

These old kits can be something of a challenge, and much of the work is tedious.  Correcting parts for mold misalignment gets tedious.  Look, I said “tedious” twice.  I guess much of the project was…well…tedious at times.

However, if you want a B-25J in 1/48th scale, you have no other choice.  And the look of the finished model is rather good it terms of its shape and dimensions.  It sure looks like the B-25’s I have seen in a thousand pictures over the years.  So I am quite pleased with it.

The great Duke Ellington said, “If it sounds good, it IS good.”  That is how I feel about any model I see.  If it looks good to me, it IS good.  I feel this hobby is somewhat akin to art.  It is a matter of interpretation and making something that pleases the eye.

The endless “rivet counting” and other carping by Internet Experts just leaves me cold.  Sometimes they are right about this detail and that.  Those are the ones who quote an authority or source.  The ones that don’t cite anything are generally blowing so much smoke.

I am not saying that authenticity should not be a goal.  I research every model I build and strive to make the finished model look as much like the prototype as possible.  But when someone using some weird pseudonym posts some comment about how the intercooler grill has vertical fins and not horizontal fins and therefore the entire model should be smashed with a hammer, I seriously start to doubt the mental status of the writer.

The bottom line is that I am pleased enough with the B-25 that I am starting to wonder about the Monogram B-26 Marauder in 1/48th scale I have in my stash.  That would look nice on he shelf next to the B-25.  And what is a little filing, sanding and filling?

Thank you for looking and enjoy your modeling.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Revell-Monogram B-25J Mitchell – WIP Part 6

Painting has commenced.  I have grown quite find of using Vallejo Model Air paints for my models.  This model is being finished with Olive Drab (71.043) and Base Grey (71.097), the latter matching neutral grey.

Vallejo paints come in dropper bottles, so all you need to do to dispense them is shake the paint up, remove the cap, and put drops into your airbrush paint cup.  (This is much less messy than mixing in standard bottles and trying to pour the paint out, and you waste less of it.)  I usually dilute paint with Vallejo thinner mixed 3:1 or 2:1.  I also have been adding a drop of Vallejo retarder medium (70.597).  This seems to work for me.

I painted the underside of the wings, nacelles and stabilizer with the grey and let it dry.  I then masked the grey off with Tamiya tape and Frog painter’s tape.  The demarcation line between the stabilizer and wings and the fuselage shows a very sharp line.  I think (speculate) that the wings and the tail surfaces were painted prior to installation on the fuselage.  Thus, I wanted the sharp lines as in the original.

I wish I had kept some of that grey foam computer parts used to come packaged in.  That would have made better masking material than the Kleenex I used here.  I stuff little pieces into the opening, and then I wet it with an eye dropper and push it in a little more.  This seems to hold it in place pretty well.


The pre-shading is shown here.  All through this process, I have been concerned that the machine gun barrels would snag on something and break off.  So far, I have managed to avoid that.

The cowlings have been painted a bright yellow and masked off.  The wing tips are white.  Once I make sure that the olive drab/neutral grey looks good, I will remove the masking over the grey, white and yellow, and I will proceed ahead with decal application.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Revell-Monogram B-25J Mitchell – WIP Part 5

Looking over installment 4 of this saga, I see that I have griped enough about the fit of the parts.  Basically, these molds are showing their age.  It is not so much flash.  There is little of that.  It is that the molds are slightly misaligned now, so almost all parts require some shaping.  I wonder how many thousands of kits have been produced with these molds?
We have now gotten to the point where the paint shop is in sight.

My plan was to leave the wings off until after painting.  However, the fit where the wing joins the fuselage was an issue.  There is a significant gap for each wing.  It was just easier to cement them both in place and fill the gaps.

I also decided to mount the Scale Aircraft Conversions landing gear before painting so the model could sit on its landing gear while it was being finished.  I discovered that the SAC landing gear did not fit snugly into the hole provided in the wing.  It was a fairly loose fit.  I decided to use some epoxy to mount the landing gear for strength and to account for the poor fit.  This seems to have worked.

Once the landing gear was set, I put the model on them for the first time.  I was pretty sure the Terry Dean nose weight would do the job, as the model felt very nose heavy.  I was wrong;  it was still a tail-sitter, but not by much.  The kit contains a step ladder that can be placed under the rear crew access hatch as a prop to hold the model up.  I really am not attracted to that.

Some years ago, obtained some lead bird shot and put in into some jars.  I still have a good supply.  It makes excellent weight for models requiring it.  The shot is small enough to fill handy cavities in the model, and it can be held in place with a glue or adhesive of your choice.

I did not think a lot of weight would be needed, so I filled the engine parts.  And they prove to be heavy enough.

Next I cleaned the model with rubbing alcohol to remove latent static, fingerprints and dirt.  Then it was time to apply the many Eduard masks to all the windows.  What a time saver these masks are!  There are several places where they did not fit 100%, BUT all were quite usable.  Masking killed several hours, but without the Eduard masks, it would have been much, much longer.  I am now getting them for all my models where they are available.

I have been reading a lot lately about “black basing”, i.e., using black primer as a base coat and then applying the color coats so the finish is realistically mottled.  (I know I could describe this at greater length, but just for to YouTube and look for “black base”.)
Instead, I decided to use the old tried and true grey primer (Vallejo Surface Primer - I use it on all my models) followed by some black paint over certain features like ailerons or panel lines.  BY applying the final colors very thinly and building them up, some of the black will show through and give a pleasing effect.  It is hard to do with olive drab, but I am going to try.  The black basing crowd is now dissing this older method, but I think they both have merit.

I mixed some interior green into the grey primer and sprayed the canopies with that first.  That should give me a better effect than the light grey would have.  I have a Spitfire where I did not do that, and it is noticeable (but luckily it is in desert camouflage so it is not that noticeable).

One thing I have found is that my spray booth being only about 20” wide is small for trying to maneuver the B-25 in.  There is enough of an air current flowing into it to pull in the overspray, but it is still tight quarters.  The booth is fine for my usual projects of 1/48 and 1/72 fighters, and an occasional 1/35 armor vehicle.

Final paint, markings and finish assembly are next.  Light at the end of the tunnel!