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BillL

Welcome to my nightmare

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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.

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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.

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You gotta like the work, and I enjoy it. This kit fights back, but it's rewarding when you defeat it.

:explode: I salute you Bill.

I'm tempted to try their F-5.....I hear that's a very "special" experience to build......which is something I would enjoy. I just finished a 10 day build of the Willaims Bros Amelia Earhart plane in an in-flight diomama.....with a baremetal finish. The BMF required plenty of effort on this kit. It was a model for my daughter's social studies report and she did plenty of the rough sanding.

Steve B

Edited by SBARC

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Way to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, Bill! I shall enjoy watching this thread immensely!

:cheers: :)

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Another Aeronut who likes to abuse himself...and I though that I was the only one here. :worship:

As for the F-5...it is not too bad with only a few minor glitches...such as the tip tanks need a bit of reworking and the gear well centre section needs some work. And the underside scoops are missing as is that tailhook

Barney

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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:

ywings001.jpg

Plenty of work, abuse, and fun in those boxes.

Thanks again !

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To be such a challenge, you really make it look great, Bill. There's just something really cool looking about the plane. Thanks for the pics!

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There is that name; Classic airframes, again!

Looks good Bill. It is always rewarding to beat the beast and have a win. Well done!

:cheers:

MikeJ

Edited by madmike

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Thanks Marcin, afterburner, Pete, and Mike !

This is the scheme/markings that I'm going to use:

3_3.jpg

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 !

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After all, who can't build a "fall together" kit?

Thanks again !

Me!

There are times when I am capable of completely messing up the most foolproof of Tamiya kits (like the P-47, for example! :) ) But I am improving, really I am! :lol:

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Looking great Bill....stick with it!

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Looking great Bill....stick with it!

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