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BillL

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About BillL

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    Tenax Sniffer (Open a window!)
  • Birthday 08/13/1955

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    http://www.pix.prettyneatinc.com/
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  1. BillL

    1/72 B-25J solid nose

    I started Hasegawa's beautiful new B-25J for a customer. I'm also using Eduard's PE detail sets (interior and exterior). A bit of surgery was required, and getting to this point has taken me quite a while. This will be the solid nose version, with eight 50 cal. guns. Strafing power ! Eduard has included floors for the rear compartment, along with inserts for the entry hatches (a nice touch !). The pilot & co-pilot seats are PE, along with the sidewalls and boxes. The kit's sidewalls are bare. The radio and frame are PE, and are mounted where the instructions tell you to mount the rear seats. The seats actually go on the starboard fuselage side. I tried painting the PE ammo belts, but I didn't like the way they looked. After removing the paint, I got the "brainstorm" to just remove the plating the Eduard uses over the brass. After all, nothing looks more like brass than real brass ! The waist guns have PE ring sights, and I used Krystal Kleer for the turret glass. Probably the most difficult part was adding the tow rings to the gear legs, which were painted with Alcad Magnesium. The guns are Alcad Steel. The bombay is Alcad Aluminum. There is a bicycle seat for the tail gunner, along with belts. These will be added once the fuselage is closed. The seat sits on a pedistal at the belly's centerline. Installing it later will ensure proper placement. I painted the interior with Model Master enamel Interior Green. I mixed MM Insignia Blue with Flat Black for the control panel and boxes. Straight flat black looked too extreme for my eyes. As usual, the washes are mixtures of the base enamels with black oil paint. Drybrushing was done with a mix of the base enamels with white oil paint. I found that I had to be very careful in this small scale in order to prevent the shadows and highlights from being exaggerated. My favorite part? The rearmost entry door's inside cover. For some reason, I really like that detail.
  2. BillL

    Curtiss BF2C-1

    Thanks Jamie, Marcin, Mike, and Mark ! Jamie - I'm by no means an accomplished rigger. I'm going to try drilling holes and using fishing line. If that doesn't work, I'll keep trying until I find something I like. My fingers are crossed. Mike - I like the lines of the between-the-wars aircraft because they represent an art form in transition. You can see the influence of WW I and the precursors of WW II aircraft. One foot in each world, you might say. Mark - if you can get one or two limited-run kits on sale, get them. The experience of needing to work over the parts will increase your confidence in your ability to do so. You need to crave, chop, fill, sand, and swear until it feels like a necessary part of the process. The rest becomes routine. Thanks again !
  3. BillL

    Curtiss BF2C-1

    Thanks Robert, Jamie, and Chris ! It may not look it, but there's been a lot of work done on the little Hawk since my last post. Since the engine is so visible, I decided to add a solder ignition ring and speaker wire cables. I drilled holes in the ring, and added stubs from smaller diameter solder. These were cut to length, and filed flat. Holes were drilled in these to accept the speaker wire. This was the first time I ever tried this, so it took me a couple days. The resin exhaust stubs didn't align with the cylinders, so I cut them off and sanded the collector smooth. I cut sections of solder and glued them to the cylinders. When they were dry, I cut them to length to get the collector aligned. The white metal landing gear took a lot of work to align and glue. After some fiddling, they sit true (what a relief !). It took a bit of work to fit the vac windshield. I glued it in place with Zap-A-Gap CA, and filled it with Krystal Kleer. This meant that I had to touchup with Future, Alcad Aluminum, and more Future. The sliding portion was trouble-free. I applied a dark gray wash to the aluminum surfaces, and darkened versions of the green and two yellows. I'm almost ready to start rigging this puppy.
  4. BillL

    Bill LaChance's Corsair

    Thank you very much Patrick, Mark, and Rick ! Rick - here's what I have on the bench: Classic Airframes BF2C-1 Hawk Classic Airframes SBC-3 Helldiver Classic Airframes Boeing P-12E Classic Airframes Boeing F4B-4 Classic Airframes SBC-4 Helldiver ProModeler Bf 110G-4 Eduard Fw 190A-8 (engine maintenance dio) Soon to come: 1/72 Hasegawa B-25J solid nose 1/72 F4U-1 Corsair (unsure of designation or markings yet) They're all commission works, with the exception of the Fw 190. Got to build something for myself every once in a while. Hope none of them doesn't interfere with your ideas. :) Thanks again !
  5. BillL

    Curtiss BF2C-1

    Thanks Raptor Supporter and Marcin ! I got all the decals applied during a pleasant afternoon of work. There aren't many, but care was needed to keep the black stripes srtaight. And I thought it was colorful before !
  6. BillL

    Curtiss BF2C-1

    Thanks Robert ! I'll have more pics once the decals are applied.
  7. BillL

    Curtiss BF2C-1

    Thank you Jamie and Marcin ! Jamie - you might not notice the difference unless you see color pics of them side-by-side. Most modelers seem to use the regualr "Chrome Yellow" on USN aircraft. I finally have the painting almost finished. I had to fill, sand, and repaint in a few places, and I still have more to do (most noticibly the wheel wells). The Alcad and gloss colors show everything. There wasn't a decal for the Lemon Yellow wing chevron, so I scanned the decal for the one for the other marking (it's red). I printed it, and used it as a template to mask and paint this one. Luckily, I noticed this before I painted the wing. The Lemon Yellow was painted first, then masked when I applied the orange-yellow to the wings. A Lemon yellow decal opaque enough to cover the underlying color probably would have been prohibitively thick. I used Model Master enamel Willow Green on the tail, and Humbrol enamel Lemon Yellow. The fuselage and wings are Alcad Aluminum, The wheel wells are Duraluminum, the prop is Airframe Aluminum, and the engine is Stainless Steel. The upper wing, prop, engine, and cowl are just dryfit for the pic. I still need to sand the engine cylinders more to get it to sit more forward. The cowl is paper-thin, and the seams opened countless times while test fitting the engine. The interior of the cowl will be painted with Alcad (probably Dark Aluminum). Get out your sunglasses !
  8. BillL

    Curtiss BF2C-1

    Thank you Jamie ! Here's a little "teaser" pic of the Helldiver. I'll be painting it with Alcad (once my delivery gets here), and I use Future as a primer. It makes sense to paint the unit markings first, then Future the entire aircraft. I can then mask off the colors and spray the Alcad. I will then be all ready for the decals (always thinking !). By the way, the Army used Chrome Yellow on it's aircraft. The Navy used a shade that was slightly more orange. I used WEM (White Ensign Models) Japanese ID Yellow on the top of the wing. Thanks again !
  9. BillL

    Curtiss BF2C-1

    The building for my "yellow wings" customer continues ! This is Classic Airframes 1/48 Curtiss BF2C-1. This kit builds much more smoothly than the Helldiver. The cockpit is nice. It has a resin floor, seat, instrument panel, rudder pedals, control wheel, stick, and control levers. The belts are cast with the seat. The tubular framework pieces are injection molded plastic, and needed to be reworked in order for them to fit. The rudder pedal supports were broken off in the bag (all four of them !), and were carefully pieced together (some more successfully than others). The fin, tailplanes, and wings are all butt-joints, but they fit very well after dryfitting and sanding. The resin wheel wells needed to have a lot of material removed from their backs in order to fit in the fuselage. Because of the shape of the aircraft's belly, this kit has a very different breakdown of the fuselage parts. The left and right halves are molded without the ventral surfaces. These are two separate pieces (front and rear). There are some interesting compound curves there, and filling & sanding was needed to smooth everything. I used Zap-A-Gap CA to fill the fuselage and wing seams, and white glue for the fin. The tailplanes needed no filler. The interplane struts are somewhat fragile - they will bend if you're not careful. The cabane struts were too long, so I shortened them and glued them to the fuselage. My stock of Alcad ran too low to risk painting right now. I've ordered more, along with all the unit colors I'll need.
  10. BillL

    Welcome to my nightmare

    Thanks Marcin, afterburner, Pete, and Mike ! This is the scheme/markings that I'm going to use: Building a challenging kit is always a learning experience, and it helps keep the skills sharp. After all, who can't build a "fall together" kit? Thanks again !
  11. BillL

    Welcome to my nightmare

    Thank you very much Steve, David, Jamie, and Barney ! Steve - I wish I had gotten that kit when Williams Brothers was still in business. It's such a pretty plane. There will be more "Yellow Wings" coming from me in the near future. My customer has sent these to be built: Plenty of work, abuse, and fun in those boxes. Thanks again !
  12. I'm building Classic Airframe's 1/48 Curtiss SBC-3 Helldiver for a customer. This is, by far, the most challenging kit I've ever tackled. After many days work, I have the airframe assembled and almost ready for painting. The cockpit floor is too narrow for the fuselage, so I cut styrene strips, glued them to the edges, and sanded them until I achieved a snug fit. This is one of CA's early kits, and the plastic really reminds me of an MPM kit. Lots of flash and thick sprue attachment pionts. MPM and CA, along with Eduard and (I believe) Aires, sprang from the same well. There are no locating pins, and the tailplanes are butt-joints. Careful trimming is needed to align them, and all seams required filling (I use Zap-A-Gap CA). The panel lines are fine but faint, so I rescribed them. I then sanded and polished the fuselage, wings, and tail. There are shallow slots in the lower wing for the interplane struts, so I drilled a line of holes and cleaned out the opening with a #10 (curved) blade. The top wing is one-piece, so I drilled out the openings for the struts before gluing the halves together. The most difficult part of this build (so far) has been adding the cabane struts, which are the ones between the fuselage and top wing. They are all about 1/8" too long. I cut off the tops of the rear ones, filing and test fitting until I had the proper length and angle at both ends. I then drilled holes in the ends to accept pins. The forward cabanes were more work, since there is a fairing at either end. I cut the strut above the lower fairing, and repeated the trimming process until I had the proper length and angle. I attached the strut to the fairing with pins also, with more pins at the ends. Sizing and attaching the cabanes probably took four to five hours. Very labor-intensive, but rewarding when the wing can be dryfitted in the proper alignment. If you don't like to do anything with a part after removing it from the sprue, besides gluing it, this kit is not for you. You gotta like the work, and I enjoy it. This kit fights back, but it's rewarding when you defeat it.
  13. BillL

    1/72 FAA Corsair Mk. I finished

    Thanks Su-34 and martin ! Su-34 - I use a Canon PowerShot G-5 camera. I use all manual settings (I dislike auto), and shoot in the RAW image mode. The white balance can be set to the particular lighting (it "reads" the light and makes adjustments), and I use an ISO equivalency (film speed - the camera's sensitivity to light) of 50. All these settings give me the highest quality original image, and I resize and compress the pics with Photoshop. Thanks again !
  14. BillL

    1/72 FAA Corsair Mk. I finished

    Thank you very much aex, Mike, Jamie, Andrew, Paul, afterburner, Menden, and Steve ! aex - my customer wanted it clean, so that's how I built it. I prefer clean anyway, since you can't hide anything. Mike - adding the PE brought it out of the "simple" category, and into the "moderately challenging" one. Eduard did a fantastic job on the detail. Jamie - I found that adding PE in 1/72 was good exercise for skills that I take for granted when building 1/48. When I work on the 1/48 kits I've got "in progress," they seem huge. Paul - if it's 1/48, then Model Master is bottling it's paints by the quart now (see the pic of the entire underside). That would save some money, especially in white. (mmmmm...Alcad by the quart !) afterburner - it's like all their other kits - minimal seam filling. The only part that required work was where the bottom of the wing met the lower rear fuselage. The right inboard flap is a separate part. You need to fill and scribe the panel line to match the other side. The canopy is a little thick to pose open. I left it unglued so my customer has the option to show it closed, but remove it to see the cockpit detail. Steve - I have a very nice camera - Canon PowerShot G5. I use all manual settings so I get what I want. I shoot in the RAW image mode (no, not naked. RAW is a file type), and the pics are about 11.5MB each. I resize and compress them with Photoshop. Thanks again ! I have three more 1/72 builds for customers coming soon. I'm starting to like this scale, but I've got too many 1/48 kits to build for myself to switch scales now.
  15. BillL

    1/72 FAA Corsair Mk. I finished

    Here's a pic of the cockpit before it was installed. I tried to get a good pic of it in the finished bird, but it's just too small. Thanks for allowing me to share this build with you. :wacko:
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