Ahhh…Thanksgiving. The best meal oriented holiday of the year. So far, today has been great. I slept in until 8:00am (I’ve been getting up at 4:20am this week so 8:00am is great), my awesome wife brought me my coffee, and topped it off by getting deeply involved with the B-26. I would definitley call it a massive success.
The main triumph this morning was the fuselage halves being put together. The downfalls presented themselves quickly. The fuselage doesn’t have the greatest fit with a good size gap just abaft of the canopy. I’ve certainly had worse but it wasn’t an encouraging sight to see this early on. Now that the fuselage is together I can feel the true weight of the ballast. I over did it a bit. As it sits, I think if the stock landing gear struts were used, they would certainly fail under the weight. With that realized, I ordered a set of pewter landing gear from Sprue Brothers this morning. I also found a set of True Details resin wheels in one of my drawers to use.
After the fuselage was positioned and secured with tape, I moved on to the wings and engine nacelles. The wings look great but the engine nacelles do not. To make it a little more challenging, they look even worse attached to the wings. This will be a sanding project for sure. I filled all of the gaps after the glue set up and thankfully it looks like it won’t be too big of a problem. The engine cowlings were the next hurdle to be discovered. Between the flashing and the dimples, I will be busy shaping these out.
So I have lots of work to complete on the B-26 but I knew that coming into the build. It is, after all, a Revell kit. I’m determined to keep this kit at the forefront instead of leaving it while I attend to the easier kits. The B-26 will be my main focus until I can get to a more stable level.
The rest of the crew sits pretty decent with some degree of filler or primer on them. The Skyraider is leading the pack with only a little bit more sanding to go before I can get the wings attached. The Bronco is also doing quite well with the undercarriage getting attached and filled. Primer was sprayed this morning so I think I can get the wings on soon. The MiG-29 has a problem seam that I just can’t seem to get correct. After I conquer that, the wings and intakes will be my next focus. The Voodoo and Skywarrior are bringing up the rear with some long gaps to take care of. They’re big airplanes so it’s expected a little bit. All in all, even with the B-26’s issues, I’m encouraged with the status of all six builds. I really don’t think it will be long before they’ll all be moving on.
This past weekend was the most productive weekend that I’ve had in a while. I was able to work on all six builds and make substantial advancements in my progress. Not every weekend performs the way this one did so I’m certainly counting my blessings here.
After all the fuselage halves were affixed on all but the B-26, my main focus was to not leave the B-26 behind like I did with the B-24 build. So I sat down last night and put some quality time into catching up. I started by installing all the interior glass. The fit wasn’t great, requiring a slight trim around the edges of the openings. I used packing tape to hold them in and I will mask the outer side this afternoon.
The main event was the ballast. The normal lead weights that I use are small which would require a good amount to complete the task. My vision was to use something bigger like nuts and bolts. While I was scrounging around my toolbox, I found a locking lug nut from a car that I haven’t owned in five years. I don’t know why it ever was saved in the first place but I’m happy it did. I glued it in behind the cockpit and let it dry. After that, I filled the hole of the lug nut with lead weights and added some more around it to be safe. The result seems perfect. I might actually need to purchase a set of pewter landing gear to support the weight. I’ll cross that bridge a little later. For now, I will continue on and get the fuselage put together tonight.
The Voodoo and Skywarrior builds were my biggest issue yesterday. They’re not too bad so I’m very happy with them. There are just two spots on the Voodoo and one on the Skywarrior that needed filled. That’s fine by me considering they are both long aircraft. I’ll get them sanded tonight and shoot some primer on.
The Bronco, MiG-29, and Skyraider came out of sanding looking pretty good so I masked the cockpits off and put some primer on. Hopefully I’m good to go and I’ll start getting the wings on. If not I’ll add some filler and go from there.
Yesterday was a perfect way to get the weekend going. All cockpits were installed and aside from the B-26, all fuselages were wedded together. Needless to say, I’m very happy with Saturday’s results.
This afternoon will be an endless grind of sanding and filling. The MiG-29 looks to be the best out of them all and should sand up well. The Skyraider and Voodoo don’t look too bad either. The Skywarrior has a few areas of concern but nothing I haven’t faced before. The Bronco looks decent and should sand up nicely. All in all a good group of builds so far.
The B-26 will be my main focus today. I need to install the glass and more importantly, the ballast. I’m thinking there will be plenty of room behind the cockpit to add a lot of lead weights. I should say I’m hoping that there will be enough room. Coming off the B-24 build, I know that there needs to be an overage of weight added so I will put it wherever will be hidden. After all that, I should be able to put the fuselage halves together and start sanding the seams.
Construction has been slower than I’d like it to be but the holiday season is roaring in full force. I’ll use that as my excuse for now. Today should turn out to be a solid work day so I’m not too concerned.
From the looks of things, these six builds should be my last of the year. As it turns out, my count was incorrect and the B-24 was my fifty-first build of the year making the F-86 the fifty-second. When I add them all up, I go through the gallery on my side bar. The Saetta that I built months ago mistakenly wasn’t added, causing my count to be off. It’s not such a bad problem to have but I just like to be accurate.
Onto the build front, I’m not where I hoped to be but I am in a good position. All cockpits are basically finished. I need to add a little detail to them but can certainly be installed today. Other items on the agenda today are the external fuel tanks and engine nacelles. I have still been unabable to complete this task and I will finally tackle it today. I will let them dry and get them sanded this afternoon. The fuselage halves on all builds should get assembled today putting me in a great spot for another sanding parade.
Generally speaking, all is well at the workbench. I have been able to advance with the cockpits and they are ready for their various details. Today will be a decal and fine detail day. The engine nacelles and external fuel tanks haven’t been assembled like I had originally planned on so that will be another point of interest today.
The dilemma that has been stated comes with the carrier deck section. It may not even be an issue as I need to research this a little more. As you can see in the picture, the Skywarrior will sit too far back with the current setup, blocking the blast shield. My only hope is that the aircraft catapult has different positions for the various airframes being launched. If so, then I can move the Skywarrior up a little and problem solved. If not, I’ll ditch the carrier deck build and save it for something that will fit correctly. So for now it’s at a standstill until I can figure out the positioning of the Skywarrior.
This afternoon was basically a meet and greet with the new builds getting them set up on the workboards and beginning preliminary painting. I may try to get a little further on the cockpits tonight but we’ll see. What I will definitely get to tonight is the assembly of all the engine nacelles and external fuel tanks. They might even get sanded tonight. It’s just basics for a few days which is fine by me. I will take my time and address the cockpits, landing gear, and ordinance at first. I like to get all of the small areas finished before I start on the fuselage.
So I have kind of added a seventh build into the mix if you want to call it that. I have been looking for a reason to build Italeri’s 1/72 Carrier Deck and the Skywarrior is that reason. I was thinking of doing an F-18 or F-14 at first but when I grabbed the Skywarrior, it clicked. There are more “kits” to come along with it that I need to dig out. I will need to grab Fujimi’s Flight Deck Crew kits for personnel and maybe a fire truck. This will end up being an extensively detail oriented build. There will be a lot of parts to keep track of which doesn’t sit well with me after my most recent ordeal but this could be my learning experience. I have containers at the ready to accept all the small parts. I will try to break the flight deck open tomorrow and get started. Once again, there is quite a bit to keep me busy this month.