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!

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