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sovereignhobbies

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Everything posted by sovereignhobbies

  1. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    It's been a while since I started a build thread, and I have been intending to start this one for a long time. Indeed, I have spent far too much money gathering bits for this kit and I think I have reached the point where I feel more guilty about the amount of money spent on unused aftermarket stuff than I do about starting another model. That leads us to here then. The Monogram B-29 is basically accurate. It's a kit of its day and features some nice (for its day) detail moulded in. It's not all the sharpest, and I personally find that makes it a bit hard to paint well and make it look convincing. In addition, it has raised panel detail outside. There is a school of thought that this is more realistic than recessed surface detail. I make no comment on that but what I will say and would happily argue to the point of exchanging punches in a carpark however is that raised panel lines are a real chore to work with. They are the first things to get obliterated when parts need remedial work to fit well and reinstatement is not easy. It's also difficult to work with when trying to achieve more than just rubbing paint over it with a brush or hosing the model down with an aerosol can. I have not yet decided what I will ultimately do about that on this model. I find rescribing about as much fun as a day at the dentist so this will be a balance of what annoys me most. The Monogram B-29 is basically accurate. However, the aircraft which Monogram measured up was one of the Silverplate aircraft of which 65 wartime airframes were built (hence why Little Boy and Fat Man bombs are included in the kit). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverplate This means that the Monogram kit is not appropriate for any 3,905 normal B-29s though. To rectify this, I spent a considerable wedge of money on Flightline Engineering's B-29 Super Update Kit which is beautiful, if expensive, and is available on and off when the guy has sufficient interest to warrant another set of resin casting moulds: http://www.flightlineengineering.com/b29-kit.html This set includes new, glorious engines with a million pieces each. Whilst that sounds like a hassle, it should hopefully make spray painting a dawdle without the need for any masking and I will not have to pick up a paint brush which pleases me greatly. I hate brush painting and can feel veins swell on my forehead just typing the words. The set also includes nice resin wheels with separate tyres and hubs which is excellent for exactly the same reasons as outlined two sentences previously. The correct propellers are included consisting of separate blades, hubs and an assembly jig. New turbochargers and exhaust pipework is included which looks lovely compared to Monogram's admirable yet dated relief moulding effort. Lastly, new engine cowlings are included which, with the uncuffed propellers, are the key external visual differences between a standard production B-29 and a Silverplate. On to the wings next. These are, well, big. The Flightline Engineering set requires that I partially cut away the nacelles in order to use the turbochargers which I fully intend to. The cutting will require careful measurement and careful cutting though. I'd have liked a set of flaps and these are available but again expensive. I am mainly concerned about structural integrity though. These wings are big. Despite the kit including around 10 inches of wing spars to somewhat stiffen the wing-to-fuselage joints, when picked up and put down the wings are going to bend. Separate flaps will weaken them, exaggerating this and I am quite concerned that I will have trouble keeping brass flaps attached at both ends long term. Also, they will be very vulnerable on something so, well, big. I do have the Eduard set covering the wheel wells etc though: Lastly then, the fuselage. The B-29 is known for its big greenhouse of a cockpit glazing. I have toyed with the idea of getting vacuum formed replacements to improve clarity, but am worried about getting a perfect fit all round with the fuselage. I have Eduard's seat belts set and front and rear fuselage sets. Some of the front fuselage set is highly unlikely to be used - e.g. those big quilted insulation pieces intended to go into the cockpit. The chances of those brass plates achieving a double curvature to fit in the cockpit are between slim and none. I may hammer them over my car panel-beating dollies with hammers just for a laugh, but there is no way on this earth I'm going to hack out the interior detail in the kit fuselage sides before I prove myself wrong by forming the brass. Likewise the pressure domes in the rear fuselage set. The PE parts look nice, but they are unlikely to work without sheet metalworking skills (which means hammers and a dolly to stretch the middle more than the edges forcing the metal to dish out into a 3-dimensional shape). Lastly for now, the markings. The B-29 is most famous for the only atomic bombs ever dropped on cities. That topic is best not discussed on my thread as it is the subject of much heated debate, but due to the prevailence of Enola Gay and Bocks Car as modelling subjects I wanted to do something different. The aircraft became a bit more colourful after the second world war and into the Korean conflict there are some nice schemes and decals available. I bought this sheet: I quite like Command Decision with the Disney Dwarves and the globe. The overall colourscheme looks quite attractive and balanced. I also quite like Kee Bird though, if only because the International Orange tail is bright and eye-catching, that I have International Orange in the Colourcoats range which I have yet to use myself, and that Kee Bird is also quite famous in that it was almost recovered from the ice by a team led by a man who is not kindly regarded by the aviation world these days. Indeed he has received some severe criticism for unprofessionalism during the attempt and how he just walked away and left the burnt out wreckage after the aircraft caught fire, burned out and sank with 4 new, borrowed, R3350 engines and propellers which were loaned for the purposes of recovering the aircraft and to be returned afterwards. Any interest in the big Superfortress?
  2. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Hi Steve, I haven't but it looks very useful - I'll get some ordered, and thank you! Some Alclad aluminium has been sprayed in the nose wheel bay ...which will next receive some subtle oil washes just to pick out the details and add some variation.
  3. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I've been an idiot. I tried the nose weights in place and re-weighed the tail, then used the new residual weight on the tail for the moment and took credit for the nose-weights already in there again. I've had to re-do that. I might be able to get a bit more in at Position A2 above using lead shot instead of wheel balance weights. That will require me finding my bottle of the stuff in the big shed outside.
  4. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I'm maybe not a million miles away unless I have my sums wrong... Hopefully this is now fairly self-explanatory
  5. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    This will be an absolute last resort, but for reasons I can't articulate it will feel like it undermines all my efforts on detailing the cockpit.
  6. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    It would need motorised propellers and a crew for that Dear Col, plus a tripod of a stand liberated from someone's funcy DSLR camera setup
  7. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Some more thoughts on weights... Unlike most I have straddled many camps within a wide world of model making and there are things that the well-seasoned modeller of one camp takes for granted as common sense that seldom occur to well-seasoned modellers in other camps. One of the things I've done before is design, build and fly radio controlled aeroplanes. Like real ones, they have to balance or they don't fly. Every pilot/builder of flying models knows that the correct way to balance a model is to lighten the tail, not fill the front end with lead. Doing the latter results in the total weight going through the roof, the power to weight ratio dropping and the wing loading increasing. The somewhat dimmer aeromodeller tried to offset bad building by fitting bigger engines, but that does nothing to help the high wing loading and high stall (and therefore takeoff and landing) speeds. To arm myself with some data (me coming back to my Engineering roots here) I have inspected the rear fuselage and tail parts from the kit. These are very substantial mouldings and must be close to 2mm thick everywhere. Ignoring the wings for now, I taped the fuselage halves and tailplanes & elevators together and balanced the fuselage on the point where the main wheels coincide. The tailplanes have relatively massive locating tongues which overlap inside the fuselage. Even like this with interior parts missing and no wings, the tail is weighing over 90 grams on the scales: So why am I making such a fuss about the thickness of plastic back there? Because Engineering, that's why... Here are the moments about the Centre of Gravity (which needs to be at or ahead of the main wheels for this thing not to sit on its tail striker) The scale of the drawing is irrelevant because the moment arms only need to be in proportion with each other, not true to life - the results are the same regardless of the scale. The moment about the CoG at the tail (which I have labelled T and which is where most of the excess beef in the tail planes, elevators, fin and rudder are - there is more redundant weight ahead and behind) is the the mass on the scales times the distance from the CoG. The mass needed either immediately behind the cockpit (which I really don't want to do) to balance this out with only half the leverage (48mm ahead of the wheels) is as near-as-damn-it double, or 179g which needs to be considered an underestimate because paint, guns, some PE in the aft compartment etc is going to tip this a little further aft. Point B above the front lower turret is worse still needing 210g placed there to offset the tail's moment. The moral of the story is that for every 1 gram of redundant mass I can Dremel out of the back end of this thing, I save the need for an absolute minimum of 2 grams of counter balance up front which means the finished model is 3 grams lighter than it would have been had I left the tail as-is. If I am to have any chance of getting this thing to sit on its nose wheel without spoiling the interior I have to do this, and the main undercarriage will thank me later when I do. With the nose weight already stuck to the cockpit floor inserted into the fuselage, the same experiment on the scales still shows a residual weight of 60 grams on the tail.
  8. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Building up the other side reveals that the Eduard details clash with the Eduard details - note that the folded box when correctly positioned on its marked space on the main etching clashes with the nose-gear bay roof structure, and as a result daylight is visible along the joint where it shouldn't be. I will try relocating these, and if that doesn't work one of the boxes will be omitted. I find this a lot with Eduard PE so it's not really a surprise.
  9. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    One of the nose wheel bay side walls is done (and so is the sanding board that you are all no doubt wondering about)
  10. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Done. Right - I want that big sanding board now...
  11. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I got distracted and started making bottles to go on those mounts... there is supposed to be a similar set on the other side. The parts are included on the PE set but they aren't mentioned on the instructions. I found some scrap sprue (sorry injection moulding professionals) that was slightly too big to fit inside the PE retaining band clamps and attacked it with Infini Model's excellent sanding stuff - firstly reducing the diameter and correcting out-of-roundness by spinning it in an electric drill chuck using the 220 grit soft stick, then putting a domed end on it once it was a snug fit inside band clamps. It was then finished up with the 800 grit sanding sponge. Whilst these make rapid work of sanding tasks, it's difficult to accidently sand a flat on to something using the sponges which is ideal for this sort of thing. I added the nozzle for the tubing from brass tube after drilling the end of it once it was to final shape. Now to simply do exactly the same again - not my strong suit!
  12. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I may try lightening the tail end a bit. That could be a more natural solution particularly given the long model the tail has and the short moment the nose weight would have. The result would be lighter and less likely to squash the main undercarriage. The Dremel could come in handy! This morning though I have made up another piece of photo etched detailing. I'm going to take a break from this and make up that sanding board I mentioned. Too much PE can result in burn-out.
  13. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Squadron has always been the default choice for vacformed canopies and indeed they have the B-29 covered, if I do go that route I've spent some time today procuring GU10 LEDs to replace the halogens in the house (paranoid about those things now and the heat they generate). I also picked up some A4 sheets of 240 grit wet and dry to make a big long sanding board, as I am thinking of building a vacuum formed kit very soon and it might be the 1/48 Avro Shackleton I've had sat unloved for donkey's years. I also spent a few hours on the old Jag X-Type today and have now got my replacement transfer box in (from an older model so it has a viscous coupling centre differential), the torque reaction mounts and propshaft bolted back up and the offside driveshaft back in. I've done a bit of B-29 though. This doesn't look like much but there's quite a few pieces involved and most of them are folded, some at 90deg to make a flange and others doubled over back on themselves to make thicker parts. I've spent a bit of time checking the fit of the surrounding major pieces. The sides have needed a little fettling in general but mostly because of the additional thickness of brass laminated on. I wanted to make sure it was all going to slot together before adding the PE stiffeners on which will make adjustment of the overall fit very difficult without obliterating the brass assembly. The bulkhead at the aft end is not represented in plastic, but is included in the Eduard set. Eduard shows it as being simply glued in place but this seemed a high-risk strategy for closing the fuselage halves later on, so I have backed it with plasticard. The avoid displacing the bulkhead 1mm forward due to the plastic thickness though (which I'm guessing would haunt me later), the plastic only comes down as far as the step in the plastic kit part.  Clearly I have started checking the fit in the fuselage halves too and began sticking car wheel balance weights inside.
  14. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Morning folks. It turned out that it was good enough to just go straight for the Mr Surfacer last thing last night. I gave that a rub down this morning. I think I can proceed now.
  15. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    I agree this is a model and a half, and Col at this point I think I'd rather have had a PE floor I could use than quilted insulation panels I can't. You have to wonder how much trial assembly these sets actually get.
  16. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Hi Col, I'll be glad to have you along I'm glad I checked the cockpit PE set. This looks quite violent...
  17. sovereignhobbies

    Monogram 1/48 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

    Time to cut plastic. I had to start somewhere, so I have started in the fuselage using the undercarriage PE set. The first step according to the instructions are to remove the raised structural detail under the cockpit floor. This was tackled with two modelling chisels. I needed the pointy one to get the most-forward stiffener off the floor, leaving the bit moulded boss for the nose leg intact. I needed to make two 90 degree folds in the PE overlay before I could check the fit. Much like I used to think I was clever driving around on summer tyres in the snow to prove my car control prowess, I used to think everything in the world of photoetch could be achieved with two blades. There's no denying that having winter tyres is just hugely superior in Scottish winter road conditions though and likewise having a photo etch bending tool does make bending parts without twisting them a quick and easy affair too. To my surprise, it does actually fit really well around that boss. The next step here is to add a load of folded PE stiffeners to all of those relief-etched lines. It should look great when it's done. I am getting careful in my advanced years though and before I glue that brass down and add fragile bits, I'm going to open the forward fuselage interior PE set and find out what butchery Eduard expect me to perform on the other side of plastic floor.
  18. sovereignhobbies

    BA Landor Colours

    Xtracolor makes them
  19. sovereignhobbies

    Tamiya 1/48 Vought F4U Corsair

    This started off as a hairspray chipping experiment, but I decided to push on and finish the model before the end of the year. I don't "do" New Year so have used the time today finishing this off. There's a replacement bomb on the way for it and I will improve the bomb cradle and add them both later - but this is it for now. I hope you like it. I gathered a lot of photos of beaten up USMC operated F4U-1s and 1As in the Pacific and have tried to take inspiration from a number of them. The 100 mission markings on the particular aircraft here indicates that it was quite a well-used machine and indeed the photo I found of it online indicates likewise. I've been asked via a social media page post already what I used for this colour-wise so here are the main ones shown. The dark blue wasn't used as-is but instead was blended with ACUS08 - ANA608 Intermediate Blue to fade it towards a blue-grey.
  20. sovereignhobbies

    Sovereign Hobbies

    Hi everyone, and thank you all for your support. The following is quite a lengthy post; my apologies. Thankfully our house is quite big and being an architect's project it is more a small serious of little buildings joined together. Part luck and part judgement, we got the combination of open and closed apartures bang on which changed the Incident Commander's position from letting this part of the building burn down to trying to save it. It's where our bedrooms are. At breakfast my youngest daughter (aged 6) wandered off and came back saying she smelled a smell like a blown out candle through in "the cottage". She's wild that one, but as sharp as a razor so we went through and agreed but couldn't find the source. We had one particular ceiling light in our ensuite which worked intermittently. I turned the lights on and it glowed, dimmed, then glowed brightly. I turned them off and could then see orange flickering above/through the fitting. We entered the loft space with an extinguisher and opened the velux windows for ventilation. It was clear that access to that lamp from above couldn't be achieved quick enough, so Gill called 999 and got the children out whilst I went back to the ensuite and tried discharging the extinguisher up into/through the fitting. I have some burns from burning/dripping plastic coming down. This did dampen down the visible flames but not entirely, and by now I could head faint crackling from above. I abandoned the house then closing all doors in the living space, but I didn't go back up into the loft and thus left the velux windows open. I left the loft hatch and ladder open/down into my eldest daughter's bedroom. I am quite angry at myself that my first action was not to prise the fitting out of the ceiling where it could have been extinguished and denied a cozy nest of timber and insulation to allow it to build up its heat. The fire service told us that they had first intended to let the cottage burn down and try to prevent it spreading to the porch and through to the open plan living area which has a wing with bathroom and guest bedroom and a mezzanine level where the Sovereign office and my modelling area is. However, upon realising we had left rhe veluxes open there was no back-draft risk to the firefighters and because we'd closed all the doors there was a lot worth trying to save downstairs. 4 fire pump vehicles and 1 height vehicle came, plus 2 marked cars and we also can 2 unmarked and 3 marked Police turn up. All of the Sovereign stuff is completely safe - we just have no power due to extensive wiring damage and the fact that the main isolation is in the damaged part of the house. Likewise, our water is electrically pumped from our own well and we have damaged pipework. If anyone's interested, here is the sort of mess a relatively well contained fire makes that was caught very early before it properly got going. I'd like to think I was fairly anti-kneejerk reaction however I will take this opportunity to point out that the ceiling mounted smoke alarms in the living space didn't go off until smoke was pouring from the eaves and flames were emerging from the extractor fan vents on the roof tiles. The progress of the fire at the point at which the 999 call was made would have been entirely different had Penny not sniffed smoke and thought it worth telling us. I therefore suggest that people consider fitting an additional smoke alarm in the loft space. The cost is minimal but in the event of an electrical fire in the ceiling or wall cavities, it's the loft which will fill with smoke long before the living space smoke detectors will activate. We live in a very remote area. It had crossed my mind before that in the event of a fire we'd be left with a charred patch of land. These were retained crews about 8 miles away. From 999 to them arriving took around 20 to 25 minutes which objectively is bloody good time. I will admit it feels like forever when standing watching the smoke thicken and find new ways out, then see flames appearing. This is/was the ensuite where the fire started This is the loft space where I first tried to get access from above to try the extinguisher on it Our thanks to Scottish Fire and Rescue Service who were outstanding today. We took our childrens' absolute favourite teddy's with us. The fire service removed stuff like Kindles, photographs etc as they found them. The rest of the house is completely unharmed. Whilst the insurance loss adjuster won't be there til Tuesday we haven't touched anything to avoid giving the insurers any excuse not to pay. From a look around though, most of our personal stuff might be ok. Their toys etc seem no worse for wear but are a bit smelly. Our clothes were all in old-fashioned free standing drawers and wardrobes so whilst the walls have had some filtering with Tamiya Smoke and the cream carpets have perhaps been over-weathered with a carbon black wash, the clothes, most toys and most books seem ok. There is water peeing down through light fittings in all of the rooms but if the plaster board doesn't fall down then fingers crossed, we might be able to cheer up the children a little. A new razor, new toothbrushes and some new clothes from Tesco tonight will get me to work on Monday. It's very disruptive this...
  21. sovereignhobbies

    Tamiya 1/48 Vought F4U Corsair

    Thank you Darren, that's very kind
  22. sovereignhobbies

    Colourset improvements

    We've been getting some useful feedback that whilst customers generally know what the schemes they're planning to use look like, the vast majority (the silent majority?) don't know what the correct terminology is and usually don't know the proper names of the paint colours used. As such, our written format names are missing the mark for most potential customers. As a result, we're investing some time (we have no budget to pay people to do this) drawing illustrations and designing more graphic labelling for our sets. Hopefully these are a little bit more visually appealing and crucially help customers both at model shows and online simply identify the scheme they want to model and have confidence they're getting the right colours to do it. It's when you start an exercise like this that you realise how many drawings are actually required! Gulp! We hope you like them
  23. sovereignhobbies

    Colourset improvements

    Regia Aeronautica Mid-War set. Verde Oliva Scuro 2 over Nocciola Chiaro 4 camouflage on the upper surfaces with Grigio Azzurro Chiaro 1 on the undersides. Enamel model paint
  24. sovereignhobbies

    Colourset improvements

    Colourcoats Set US Navy WWII Pacific 1943-44 Colourset ANA606 Semi-Gloss Sea Blue ANA607 Non-Specular Sea Blue ANA608 Intermediate Blue ANA611 Interior Green ANA601 Insignia White ANA605 Insignia Blue. Tri color scheme. Enamel model paint
  25. sovereignhobbies

    HMS Prince of Wales 1941

    HMS Prince of Wales must be a contender for some of the most botched schemes ever applied to models. That said, given the number of conflicting sources that's perhaps not surprising. Some sources even reference paints that would not be available until 3 years after the ship was lost. Others, such as Tamiya's instructions, seem to assume that the Royal Navy's camouflage was a free for all using all sorts of random colours. In any case, HMS Prince of Wales was extensively photographed in mid-late 1941, albeit in black and white. These photographs alone consign many proposed schemes to the bin because the photographs show light tones where the suggested scheme shows dark, and vice versa. We can also dismiss any schemes featuring paints which did not exist at the time - those cannot be well considered if the author suggesting it did not know his paint colour timeline! Study of the black and white photographs allows an accurate map of the camouflage demarcations to be assembled. Furthermore, it is possible to count five separate camouflage colours on each side. Thus, we can eliminate suggested schemes comprising of four colours. That leads to the remaining schemes which are plausible tonally. HMS Prince of Wales was however filmed in colour, just once and very briefly at that, in summer 1941 not too long after the paint was applied, and this gives us an invaluable insight into the hues present. All considered, here's what we have come up with:
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