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Dirk's 1/72 MPC B-24 Liberator "Sunshine"

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I love the subject of P.O.W. aircraft. For my build i will be doing the B-24 "Sunshine"

I'm not going to get into a history lesson about this aircraft because there is little that I could offer that isn't already known. However I do like this brief description I came across about the Liberator.

The B-24 was built like a Mack truck, except that it had an aluminium skin that could be cut with a knife. It could carry a heavy load far and fast but it had no refinements. Steering the four engine aircraft was difficult and exhausting as there was no power except the pilot's muscles. It didn't even have any windshield wipers.

The Kit

It's an oldie but I'm not sure it was ever a goodie. I have heard that these old MPC kits were once Airfix kits. I'm not sure if that's true or not but this kit has raised panel lines and virtually no interior detail.


The parts are molded in white plastic with a fair share of flash.


I purchased this kit used of EvilBay and it was opened. All the parts seem to be there at first glance but a hand full of the parts are off the trees. Also one of the props are broken. Two of the blades are broken off and one of those broken blades is missing. I'll have to address this at some point later in the build. The clear parts are very thick. I need to figure out a way to vac-u-form my own glass.



The decals look ok I guess but the colors seem off. Not that big an issue as I will be using aftermarket decals.


The subject of my build will be "Sunshine" of 719th BS, 449th BG, 47th BW, 15th AF, USAAF


A few photos i found



Edited by Dirkpitt289
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Sunshine was a B-24H with an offbeat story to tell. In April 1944 she landed at Venegono airport in Italy, and the Germans made a movie showing her "surrendering". The crewmen in American uniforms are Germans, but the undamaged aircraft made the whole stunt look convincing. These photos are from that movie



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My bad, sorry about that. I can't seem to edit the title... Silly me. :whistle:

Click edit on your very first post then click "full editor" unless something's changed that's how you changed title and subtitles.

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It's time to start the build process. Started by cleaning and inspecting the fuselage parts. There are some rough edges and flash to be cleaned up.



It's hard to see with the white plastic and the lighting but just forward of the cockpit is two sink holes that will need to be addressed. Also the shape of the cockpit opening is incorrect.


Panel lines are raised and so are the rivets. Over all I'm not terribly unhappy with it. I may take down the detail a little but I'm not going to go crazy with it.


You can see it needs some TLC around the turret openings




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Next I turned to the cockpit area.






Next I turned to the bomb bay doors. Using a sharp blade and saw the doors came off rather easily



With all the doors removed, and the fuselage halves taped together, this shows the huge void which has to be covered by a scratch-built bomb bay.


Thanks for looking

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Interior, Phase 1 - Rib work

Work on Sunshine has been progressing slowly but still progressing. In this phase I prepped the interior of the fuselage by getting rid of the 14 ejector marks and providing some interior detail. My goal is not to crate an exact replica of the B-24 interior but to just crate some illusion of an interior from the few points people can see inside the aircraft. The biggest area being the bomb bay and the waist gunner windows.

Here I had to remove the mounting point for the waist gunners .50 Cal to make room for the rib work


Measuring out the ribs for the bomb bay


After a few hours this is where we stand. This was very time consuming and of course many doubts and second guessing crossed my mind every time I realized most of this work will go unseen except was shadows from the exterior.

Waist gunner position


Bomb bay


Cockpit and nose


Now that the basics are done its time for a break before the second round of detail goes in. That will include some plumbing, instrument panels, maybe some ammo boxes and such. After that the bulkheads and bomb racks

Thanks for looking

Edited by Dirkpitt289
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Interior, Phase 2 - The Bomb Bay

For those following you'll remember that the bomb bay in this kit is nothing more then a gaping hole. While I'm not trying to recreate the area down to the rivet I just want to have some similarity to one.

Here is what we started with


Work commences

First I applied the base color. There has been a lot of discussion over the correct color of the interior of a B-24 but I've yet to see it nailed down to a specific color. I've read the color also depended on which plant the aircraft was built at. To be completely honest I don't know which plant this particular aircraft was built at and even if I did I don' know what plants used what color. So I took some poetic licence and used Zinc Chromate Yellow. The main reason was because I've had this jar kicking around my desk for a long time and never used it. I figured it looked lonely and decided to give it a go. :ha: ;-)



Time for some Evergreen


Scratching some custom bulkheads




Opps, While I'm not going uber detailed I found out I had made a big mistake. I built the roof of the bomb bay facing the wrong way.


Back on track


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Bomb racks installed



There will be some more touch up work to be done later on after the fuselage is attached. I realized this angle doesn't show off some of the support braces that I put in. I'll post these later.

Perfect? Not a chance. Passable? Should be.

Thanks for looking.

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"There is something about that big old lumbering B-24 that I found reassuring. The B-17 Flying Fortress was easier to take off, easier to fly, easier to land, and had other advantages, such as it didn't break up or sink when it crash landed in the sea. But the B-24 was a man's airplane. It could be sternly unforgiving. It always required, and sometimes demanded, almost superhuman strength to fly. On long missions it could wear out even the strongest pilot. I've seen pilots at the end of the mission that were so exhausted they literally had to be lifted out of the pilot's seat by their crew because they couldn't get up." GEORGE McGOVERN, B-24 Pilot of the "Dakota Queen", United States Senator and a presidential candidate

Interior, Phase 3 - The Cockpit, Part 1

I will return to part 2 of the Bomb bay's once the fuselage is assembled. For now It's on to the cockpit.

Here are the parts

The flight deck and instrument panel aren't much to look at straight out of the box. While I'm NOT going to be adding all 28 gauges that fill out the IP or the 13 leavers of the flight controls I will make an attempt to make it look a little more accurate considering what will be able to be seen through the thick canopy


I started by building up the center console. To do this I used an old Dr Pepper can I had laying around by bench for just this type of situation



Vola, soda can console




Here you can see the stock height of the kit seat (Co-Pilot) and the pilots seat after a bit of modification. As you can see I also added the arm rest to the pilots seat. The co-pilot seat will also get one once I modify the seat height. It looks better raised if you ask me.


Adding more Evergreen to the console for the engine throttle levers


Part 2 of the cockpit build will follow shortly. Thanks for looking

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Interior, Phase 3 - The Cockpit, Part 2

Time to add the throttle levers for the engines. Because none of the Evergreen stock I have is small enough I decided to go back to the Dr Pepper can. Using some scissors I cut some slivers from the can and attached each lever one at a time. I trimmed them down after they were all dried and in place


The control wheels came next. In this kit they came as full steering wheels and needed to have the tops cut off.


Here you can see the wheels trimmed and in place.


Here is the almost completed flight deck





That about finishes off the cockpit. Next we'll turn to the waist gunners position

Thanks for looking

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  • 2 weeks later...

Interesting stuff. I have that same kit in my stash and I never considered scratching an interior until now.

By the way, what is that tool you used to fold the console into shape?

Edited by mustanger
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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

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