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WIP: Part 3, UPDATE 11-26-17 (Almost finished!!!) Building the Revell 1/48 scale B-29 in Bare Metal Foil

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  • Member since
    March, 2015
WIP: Part 3, UPDATE 11-26-17 (Almost finished!!!) Building the Revell 1/48 scale B-29 in Bare Metal Foil
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, November 26, 2017 3:43 PM

Well, I have been working on this model off and on for almost a year. I used 10 sheets of Bare Metal Foil. The only thing left to do is foil the bomb bay doors and landing gear doors. Next will be the final assembly. The following photo was taken last week. I included a P-51 to give you a sense of the size of the B-29.

These are links to my eariler WIP posts.

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/174977.aspx

http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/175141.aspx

Following are updates since my last post in July.

NOSE WEIGHTS

The main landing gear is located under engines two and three. There is a whole lot of plane behing the landing gear, so a lot of weight is required to keep the plane from being a tail sitter.

 

First I added weights to the underside of the cockpit floor. There really is not a lot of space for weights under the floor, so I decided to add weight in the flight engineer's area behind the pilots (outlined in blue). Once the fuselage is assembled this area is hidden from view.

 

 

I temporarily assembled the model including the landing gear. I then kept adding "Zig Zag" split shot that I purchased from Cabela's to a small plastic bag until the nose of the plane tipped down. The bag is located above the flight engineer's area. A lot of weight was required.

 

Next I filled the bag with white glue to keep the shot from moving around.  I placed the bag into the model and noticed that the bag was visible through the opening in the wall behind the pilots and the flight engineer. Now what? I could paint it black, but I didn't like that solution. I looked on line for a photo of the wall behind the flight engineer. I printed the picture, cut out the image and glued it behind the opening. Problem solved.

Finally, I glued the bag in place with white glue and used a wire to hold it in place just in case. I painted part of the  bag black so that it would not be visible when looking through the small side windows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Sunday, November 26, 2017 3:55 PM

Wow! ETA on the finish date? What's the weight of the lead shot in the flight engineer station?

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Sunday, November 26, 2017 8:18 PM

Yes very clever idea about adding the picture.  This is going to be one fabulous model.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, November 26, 2017 8:35 PM

fotofrank

Wow! ETA on the finish date? What's the weight of the lead shot in the flight engineer station?

 

I added almost half a pound of split shot weight to the nose. That does not include the weights glued to the underside of the cockpit floor.

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, November 27, 2017 4:04 PM

JohnnyK

...NOSE WEIGHTS

The main landing gear is located under engines two and three. There is a whole lot of plane behing the landing gear, so a lot of weight is required to keep the plane from being a tail sitter...

First I added weights to the underside of the cockpit floor. There really is not a lot of space for weights under the floor, so I decided to add weight in the flight engineer's area behind the pilots (outlined in blue). Once the fuselage is assembled this area is hidden from view...

Next I filled the bag with white glue to keep the shot from moving around.  I placed the bag into the model and noticed that the bag was visible through the opening in the wall behind the pilots and the flight engineer. Now what? I could paint it black, but I didn't like that solution. I looked on line for a photo of the wall behind the flight engineer. I printed the picture, cut out the image and glued it behind the opening. Problem solved...

I wonder if we can stick some or all of that weight into the access tunnel.  It'd be forward of the landing gear, and it'd be completely out of sight.  Same goes for putting weights in the engine nacelles.

My solution back in the day was to use a small machine screw, sandwiched into one of the front wheels, because it was fastened through a diorama base.  For a shelf model, of course, that's not really a solution.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Monday, November 27, 2017 5:11 PM

I wonder if you can add weight to the engine cowlings?

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 11:06 AM

The area  where I added the weight (flight engineers office) is about 5 inches from the landing gear. The engine cowlings are about 2 1/2 inches from the landing gear. That means that twice the amount of weight (one pound total weight) would be required to prevent the plane from sitting on its tail. The closer the weight is located to the landing gear the more weight is required.

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 1:26 PM

JohnnyK

The area  where I added the weight (flight engineers office) is about 5 inches from the landing gear. The engine cowlings are about 2 1/2 inches from the landing gear. That means that twice the amount of weight (one pound) would be required to prevent the plane from sitting on its tail. The closer the weight is located to the landing gear the more weight is required.

 

 
Yeah, I understand the fulcrum and lever effect, but I'm thinking about how you had to have weight in a visible area.  Your solution to cover it is great, but I'm just thinking about alternatives.  The forward end of the tunnel is only a little behind the engineer's station, so that's why I wondered whether it'd be useful to use that spot, too.  Well, I've got two in the stash, so I can experiment with them and see.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 2:56 PM

Great idea about adding the picture to conceal the weight bag.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 4:21 PM

Whoda thought you'd have to do a weight and balance to build a plastic model airplane.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 6:59 PM

I am not sure that there would be enough space in the tunnel to ad enough weight. If you intend to build the model with the bomb bay doors closed, you could put the weight in the front bomb bay. HOWEVER, the model is not engineered to have the bomb bay doors in the closed position. There is nothing to hold them in place!!!

  • Member since
    July, 2012
  • From: Douglas AZ
Posted by littletimmy on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 7:26 PM

Can you put weights in the bombs ?

                      Dont worry about the thumbprint... paint it rust and call it "Battle damage" !

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:23 AM

This is a picture of the underside of the plane. I temporarily installed one wing and one landing gear. The yellow line represents the centerline of the weights that I installed. The bomb's centerline is red and the landing gear's centerline is blue. The bomb is about half as close to the landing gear as the weights that I installed. That means that twice the amount of weight would be required. I don't think that that amount of weight would fit into the bomb. However, it might be possible to install enough weight in the bomb and engine nacelles. Keep in mind that the additional weight would put a lot of stress on the landing gear.

Just for fun, I weighted the airplane today. The fuselage and nose weights (no wings) weigh one pound and two ounces. The fuselage and wings weigh one pound and fourteen ounces.  An additional seven ounces of weight would be required if the  the nose weights were moved back into the bomb and nacelles. That would mean that the total weight of the plane would be two pounds and five ounces. 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:32 AM

the Baron

   Well, I've got two in the stash, so I can experiment with them and see. 

Baron,

Keep in mind that this kit has a number of issues.

  • The main wings are warped
  • There are no mountings pins or lugs to align the engine cowelings to the naceles
  • Poor rendition of the engine exhausts
  • Raised panel lines and no rivets.

It took a while, but I eventually figured out how to fix these issues. I'll make sure that I post the solutions.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:30 PM

When I made my JU287 I had room under the cockpit floor to add two 410 grain .50 caliber muzzleloading bullets which I thought was enough weight...it was not!So I had to drill a hole in the rato rockets under the fuselage mounted engines and that did the trick!  

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:38 PM

Long aft fuselage!  

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 4:50 PM

Now that is one odd looking airplane.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Wednesday, November 29, 2017 5:09 PM

Yes it was a hastily thrown together test bed of the forward swept wing concept, flight reports were surprisingly good!

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Thursday, November 30, 2017 1:13 PM

BUILDING THE FUSELAGE

This is an old Monogram kit and there are few rivets. So I got out my rivet making tool and added rivets to the fuselage. I used photos from the Internet as a guide.

 

This is the fuselage straight out of the box. It has raised panel lines and no rivets.

 

Fuselage after adding rivets. I added rivets to all surfaces of the airplane. As one can imagine, this took a long, long time. A little bit of Woodford Reserve helped.

 

Next thing to do is paint the rudder and elevators. The covering on the rudder and elevators on B-29's were made of painted fabric. Monogram embossed a fabric texture to these surfaces. Unfotunetly, the texture is too heavy, so I lightly sanded them before painting. I used Testors' Metalizer Aluminum Plate on the elevators and rudder. I did not buff the metalizer because I wanted a matt finish. After it dried I sprayed it with Testors' Metalizer Sealer.  Bare Metal Foil was used on the aluminum areas of the horizontal stabalizers. The rivets that I embossed on the plastic clearly shows through the metal foil. I used two different colors of BMF, Matt Aluminum and Chrome. 

  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, November 30, 2017 2:21 PM

JohnnyK

 

the Baron

   Well, I've got two in the stash, so I can experiment with them and see. 

 

Baron,

Keep in mind that this kit has a number of issues.

  • The main wings are warped
  • There are no mountings pins or lugs to align the engine cowelings to the naceles
  • Poor rendition of the engine exhausts
  • Raised panel lines and no rivets.

It took a while, but I eventually figured out how to fix these issues. I'll make sure that I post the solutions.

Thanks!  I've built it, too, back in the day.  The only thing keeping me from building them now is finding room to display them when I finish Wink

I want to try applying a NMF using aluminum foil, too.  There was a build some time ago, either at ARC or Modeling Madness, of this kit, and the builder used the cheapest grade of kitchen foil--because it's the thinnest--and he used white glue to adhere it.  He also used the technique to discolor some pieces, around the exhausts, for example, of boiling the foil with eggshells.  The minerals in the shell imparted different colors to the foil.  Looked pretty cool.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v233/HansvonHammer/Humor/th_MonogramMafia.jpg?t=1296972087

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, December 01, 2017 3:32 PM

FUSELAGE

I put on as much Bare Metal Foil as possible until I had to assembly the two sides of the fuselage. The plastic side windows were manufactured too smaller thatn the openings, so there was no way to securly glue them to the window openings. I had to cut new windows from clear plastic and glue them into the openings. Unfortunetly, the  two side gunner observation bubbles are mounted to the inside of the fuselage and they are a poor fit with a gap between them and the window opening. I filled the gap with clear cement. The two sides of the fuselage fit pretty well. 

I used tape and clamps to hold the two sides together while the glue cured. It is important to remeber to install the tail skid before glueing the two sides together. The main wing spars make the fuselage really clumsy to handle after the fuselage is assembled.

The next step is to fill and sand the long seam on top and bottom of the fuselage. You can see how large the gunner observation bubbles are. It is important that they are securely glued to the fuselage so that thay are not accidently pushed into the model which would be a major bummer.

 

The next step is to paint the area of the fuselage between the blue tape with a flat aluminum paint. This area was painted on the 1:1 plane. Again, I used Testprs' Mettalic aluminum plate and Mettalic Sealer. I covered the fuselage in plastic wrap prior to painting. Much cheaper and faster than using tape.

 

It took some time, and many sheets of BMF, but I finally finished the foiling of the fuselage. AFter I place the foil on the model I lightly rub it with 0000 steel wool. It adds a nice grain to the foil.  I put the model on a large foam block so that I could keep the spars out of the way turn it on its side. 

Finally it was time for the decals. I used warm water with a drop of dish soap to soak the decals in. The soap makes it easy to slide them around on the model.

 

 

 

In the past I have had problems with silvering of the carrier film. Check out the letters USAF in th above photo. To solve that problem I removed as much of the carrier film as possible to reduce silvering. I cut the numbers on the tail apart into individual numbers. 

 

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Friday, December 01, 2017 4:08 PM

Shaping up to be a beautiful build, Johnny! With as much Bare Metal Foil as you have used here, I sure hope the manufacturer has given you some stock in their company! Really nice work!

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Friday, December 01, 2017 8:11 PM

Ha ha! Nope, no stock in the company.

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, December 02, 2017 3:01 AM

Looks fantastic.  Do you use soap to float the bare metal foil as well?

I've only done small surfaces in the past and spent a lot of time burnishing with a toothpick.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Saturday, December 02, 2017 7:52 AM

Simply outstandng Toast

It will look impressive when completed. I'm really impressed!

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, December 02, 2017 9:32 AM

keavdog

Looks fantastic.  Do you use soap to float the bare metal foil as well?

I've only done small surfaces in the past and spent a lot of time burnishing with a toothpick.

 

I do not use water/soap to float the foil. All I do is cut the foil slightly larger than the panel that I will  be covering and burnish it with a burnishing stick/paper stump

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Saturday, December 02, 2017 9:49 AM

MAIN WINGS AND ENGINES

Okay, it's time to deal with the biggest problems with this kit: warped main wings, poor joints at engine nacelles, bad looking engine exhaust pipes, and really bad engineering regarding glueing the engine cowling to the nacelles.

  

The main wings are really large and are noticablly warped between the outside engine and the wing tip. The way I fixed the problem was to clamp my architect's scale to the winge as the glue dried. The architect's scale is very stiff and will not bend as it is clamped to the wing.

This worked really well. The wing is straight as an arrow.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
Posted by JohnnyK on Sunday, December 03, 2017 10:05 AM

It seems that Revell and Monogram big bombers have the same problem regarding the nacelles. There is a really large, ugly joint running down the middle of the nacelle. I guess that Monogram thought that the B-29 was such a big model that it derseved a really big joint. It is hard to believe that Monogram would have allowed this to happen.

 

This joint can be reduced by getting out the trusty sanding stick and going to town.

 

The joint is gone after glueing, clamping, filling and sanding.

 

 

Photos of the real plane indicate thet the middle section of the main wing was painted to protect the alluminum aloy from corrosion. Only the top of the wing was painted. So it's time to get out the blue tape and mask the top of the main wing. Once again I used Testors Metallic Aluminum Plate with Metallic Sealer.

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Monday, December 04, 2017 12:50 PM

Skillfull save on the nacells mate, well done

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Monday, December 04, 2017 1:14 PM

What a massive undertaking! I certainly admire your patience and determination.

What was that patience liquid you occasionally use?

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