I’ve had several days off from work and with less then great weather, was able to make good progress in the build. Basically the interior is completed, has been dry fitted and awaits joining the two fuselage halves together.
This is the bombardier, navigator, cockpit and bomb bay area.
This is the bomb bay, radio operator and waist gun position.
This is the waist gun position after completion. The wooden box to the left of the gun is where the .50 cal ammo was stored. A flexible chute ran from the box to the gun that channeled the rounds into the gun chamber. This gun is shown in the stowed position. The yellow object is the oxygen tank for the yet to be installed ball turret that hangs from the trunnion.
This provides a better view of the ball turret trunnion.
Well, this is what I hope will be the center piece to the Project. It’s being built for 2 of the men in the group. One was a flight engineer/ top turret gunner I’ll refer to as Mr B and the other was a co-pilot who will be named Mr C. The model will carry the markings for the 381st Bomb Group of which Mr B was assigned being of the two men, Mr B has most of his faculties intact where as Mr C is sadly too far gone to realize much of anything. The model will have sections on the port side of the fuselage that will be clear, enabling a view of the inside of the aircraft. Extensive photo etch will be added to enhance the detail. It will be by far my most ambitious build yet.
This is one of the Wright Cyclone engines before being enhanced with metalized silver paint.
And this is the engine after the enhancement
The wings gave me as much grief as I expected but I found with some patients and looking at the problem from a different angel, I made it work.
The top photo shows the “canyon” between the upper and lower engine nacelles. Lots of cement and clamps and a rest over night took care of most of the problem, but further work was still required.
Here are all 4 engines and above them, their cowlings they will be fitted into. The cowlings will be painted interior green chromate which was used as an anti corrosive agent on most aircraft interior areas.
And here they are as they will appear before any painting is done.
And as they will appear on the wing. The portion of the engine nacelle facing the aircraft (in this case the area on the left) will be painted with an olive drab anti glare panel. All aircraft that were left bare metal reflected the sun, so the anti glare panels were added to reduce and eliminate the reflection. The light areas between the engines cylinders is the rear fire wall that will also be painted interior green chromate.
Literally hours were spent filling and sanding the upper and lower wing joint. These may be the best wings I’ve ever done. The different shades of grey is caused by paint brushed onto the seam to make and flaws stand out. There are none.
I have photos of the model with the recipient. The cargo (stowage) has been added.
It’s been awhile since my last entry but with good reason. First, we’ve been having one hell of a summer here in Michigan. Temps in the 90′s and low 100′s are not conducive to building and painting plastic model kits. It’s not so much the glue that’s effected by the heat but the acrylic paint. When airbrushing acrylics, the temps and humidity tend to make the paint dry before it even hits the model. I have drying retardant but that only does so much. I also have a/c but that’s only adequate enough to keep the house comfortable, not to mention the amount of electricity that the house would use with fans, 2 a/c units, lights and an air compressor all going at the same time. The heat also takes a toll on me. While I’m not outside in the weather all day, I’m out in it enough to have it wear me down. Unloading deliveries from my truck and pushing my delivery cart any distance runs me down. By the time I get home I’m pretty trashed and don’t even go to the gym, if I’m too crapped out to workout, I’m too crapped out to build.
The most notable reason for the lack of updates has been my drive, or lack there of. You see, the hero I built the Medics jeep for passed away. I wish I could give names but as I said in my first posting, I’m obliged to confidentiality. He was really a very nice man and one of my favorites in the group. He was very generous, caring about his fellow man and a true inspiration to others who also wished to give of themselves. He had a neat sense of humor and whenever he was asked if there was anything he needed, he’d answer; “Yes, cash.” He grew frail and weak so quickly. His dialysis was stopped when cancer was found. He spent only a very short time in hospice but I guess that’s a blessing as he passed away rather quickly. Personally, the thing I’ll remember most is his eyes lighting up when he saw the model jeep. Thirty nine straight hours of building and painting was more then worth it to see his smile and hear him say; “How about that! How about that!” At least I have the knowing he got to see his tribute model before he left us.
I miss the ole guy.
Back to the subject at hand; the Deuce and a Half. The only thing lacking is the driver figure and all the cargo that will festoon the cargo bed. There will be fuel drums, ammo crates, gasoline jerry cans, bed rolls and maybe even some extra tank parts. From what I’ve gathered, the Navy Sea Bees had ‘US NAVY’ stenciled on their vehicles later on in the war. In the early stages, they just used hand me downs or what they could beg,borrow and steal from the Army. All the same, I’m sure the recipient will like it.
Here’s some pictures. Feel free to leave a comment!