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World War II: USA
Aircraft of the United States in WWII.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
B-24H Libra 1/48 Scale
thathaway3
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 10:04 AM UTC
Part of what helped me is that I spent 30 years as an automotive product design engineer. The experience helped in understanding the most likely function and operation of a lot of the things you can see in the photo, i.e. "what does this thing do and how does it work". And having to come up with a way to "create" something to perform a certain task helps out. Another helpful thing is to be able to "visualize" the likely entire shape of some item you can only partially see in a photo, and then be able to reduce that item into basic "shapes" and scratch build it.

Because I do a lot of scratch building and I'm not very "patient", I have over time built up a VERY large collection of the Evergreen styrene in the rod, tube, strip and sheet with pretty much every thickness, width, and diameter they make. That allows me to grab the size I need right away and have lots of options to choose from.

I have, in the past, scaled the dimensions from a photo, especially if there is something in there I can use as a fixed reference. More often I will just visualize the difference in size the item I'm trying to make compared with the other parts I already have. It doesn't always work out exactly, and I find that when I make a mistake, I've usually scratch made my part too big. And sometimes simply in order to actually MAKE something (especially hinges) they inevitably wind up being out of scale on the large side.

But I've learned to live with the fact that it is impossible to replicate everything you can see in a photo of the real item in a kit.

Even if you tried in a 1/1 scale.
Sammuel
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 07:36 AM UTC
Tom,

Thank you for the insightful information.
I do enjoy the research aspect of it and taking my time when it comes to the actual project.

I do see your point as far as how to represent the model. I have done cutaways with my other builds but only concentrate on that one or two openings.

This time I would like to go a bit more in-depth. You are correct with photos on the web. I can just about get any angle of an area I want to work on. I usually use aftermarket detail sets, but I think I'm just going the work on my scratch building skills.

I'm sure I will be picking your brain.
thathaway3
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Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2020 - 05:55 AM UTC
Thank you so much, Sam. While I didn't work continuously, I worked on this project over the span of about 3 1/2 years and there were lots of times I just got tired and had to put it down for a while.

I've gone back and estimated the amount of time I spent on the project. based on the dates I took and posted my photos, (looking at the number of days between each posting and about how much incremental work I could see). Including the time I spent doing research, it comes out to about 2400 hours. Putting that in perspective, a 40 hour week, times 52 weeks in a year comes out to 2080 hours.

The most challenging part for me, after getting a ton of photos to look at, was deciding WHAT I was going to represent in the build from what I could see, and then figuring out HOW to represent it.

Luckily there are plenty of experts on this site who are more than happy to share their experiences and help.

Please don't hesitate to reach out and let me know if there's any help I can provide!

Tom

(Retired US Army Corps of Engineers)
Sammuel
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Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2020 - 03:04 AM UTC
Good day, Tom,

Your artistry on this project is simply inspiring. I'm a long time modeler and still working on my skills. I have on my workbench unopened a Revell 1/48 B17G. I'm in the research stage of the project but will use some of your ideas on my build. I will do a cutaway in sections.
Your scratch building skills are just precision handwork. Any guidance would much be appreciated.

Very Respectfully
Sam M.
EO1 (SCW/AW)
US NAVY Seabees Retired

thathaway3
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Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2020 - 11:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The taut control cables are especially instructive as to what makes these things tick...



Thanks! The flight manual was particularly instructive in helping to figure out where the different control system (rudder, ailerons, and elevators and trim tabs)ran. The actual aircraft actually has at least twice as many (or more!) actual lines, but these give a rough impression of how these things worked before electronics and computers controlled everything.

I can tell you that having built a fully rigged sailing ship model before was a big help.
GastonMarty
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Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2020 - 07:57 AM UTC
Yes that looks absolutely amazing. The taut control cables are especially instructive as to what makes these things tick... Loved the chart table details too... G.
Dragon164
#226
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Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2020 - 05:49 PM UTC
Congrats! Well Done!

Cheers Rob.
thathaway3
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Posted: Saturday, April 11, 2020 - 11:00 AM UTC
As a result of the stay at home/lock down, I've had a lot more time to work on this project, and I'm really happy to say that other than delivering it to the Yankee Air Museum (whenever that re-opens) after 3 1/2 years, it's finally done.

As I got closer, I sort of got "buck fever" and rather than pause work frequently to photograph where I was, I just kept on working just to get done.

So here are all the photos that I DID take since my last posting. Gotta say it does feel good to be finished at last!

Enjoy! And if you're ever get a chance to visit the Yankee Air Museum, stop by. It's a great place with great docents!


































































thathaway3
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Posted: Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 10:41 AM UTC
Being forced to stay indoors at home has certainly provided the time to put in a lot of work on this project. I finally finished the work on the fuel system. With that I finally feel like I can actually see the end in sight.

I think I'm at the point now where I'll finally put the decals on the right side of the aircraft (where almost all of the detail is) and then do the flat coat finish over it. It'll be a relief to finally get to the point where I'm not handling that half constantly! I've waited to do that until I'm almost done with the interior, but there are a few things I didn't want to put into the bomb bay (like the bomb racks) before I had to mask things for spraying. We'll see.

I've got to do some work in the nose wheel compartment and under the flight deck and then run the cabling down the left hand side (on the outer edge of the main fuselage half).

Once THAT'S done the major work will be finishing the waist guns and installing the ball turret.

Here's the latest work on the fuel system:


























Dragon164
#226
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Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 - 07:34 PM UTC
Very nice! Well done!

Cheers Rob.
thathaway3
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Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 - 03:58 PM UTC
Thanks Tim! Gotta admit I'm looking forward to finishing up! But every time I think I'm there I'll see something else in a photo that I missed and think, "I should do that."
TimReynaga
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 - 03:39 PM UTC

Tom, thee depth and complexity of your detailing is absolutely stunning. Nice work!
thathaway3
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Posted: Monday, March 23, 2020 - 05:45 AM UTC
I hope everyone is remaining safe and healthy! The onset of this pandemic has certainly changed things for everyone! But finding the silver lining, the stay at home/quarantine which has cancelled the end of my grandkids hockey season and the start of spring hockey, has suddenly provided me with a whole lot more time at home, so I've been putting it to good use. I've made quite a bit of progress, and I'm now feeling a lot more confident that I'll be able to either finish or at least ALMOST finish by the mid-May deadline for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day toward which I've been working. But who knows with everything that's going on (and NOT going on) whether those sorts of events will still be scheduled two months from now.

In the meantime at least people can look at work in progress photos from home!

As I've gotten better pictures of the inside of the prototype aircraft, I've made changes to what I'd try to represent. And of course those wind up being additions and not deletions. And often that means taking some things out and moving others to accommodate.



















































thathaway3
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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2020 - 11:48 AM UTC
Finished up the support structure at the rear wing spar area and a few of the items there. Next I think I start the plumbing for the fuel system.















phantom_phanatic309
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 07:49 PM UTC
Tom,
Amazing work on your Liberator! I don't know where to begin, but your work on the turrets, internals and even the wiring has stunned me.
This is going to be something else once it's completed.
18Bravo
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 01:44 PM UTC
As I type this Im sitting on a plane at DFW. Not far from where my he B-24s were built. The plant now produces F-35s. Ive had an invitation to visit the plant. Maybe theyve got some cool old photos around not easily found on the internet.
thathaway3
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 10:50 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Love your build. I just purchased the D model, but I'm converting to a a C-87, so I'll have to add plenty of interior detail across from the cargo doors, and hint at it in the bomb area due to all of the windows. Great work!



Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing that build. This one has been challenging due to the fact that detail in the area over the wings has seemed hard to come by. And the various aircraft which do exist were built differently from each other meaning that "good" photos of one disagree with "good" photos of another.
thathaway3
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 10:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I am continuing to follow your wonderful interior derailing. And I do like the fact that you are doing a 24 from Willow-Run in your home State.

You may have mentioned this before, but where do you plan to display it when it's done?

Brian



I've been in contact with the conservator/restoration folks at the Yankee Air Museum, located at Willow Run (which is only about a 15 minute drive from my house)and they've very graciously to display it there. And since they are planning an event to commemorate VE Day in May, I now have a deadline to work against.
18Bravo
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 06:05 AM UTC
Love your build. I just purchased the D model, but I'm converting to a a C-87, so I'll have to add plenty of interior detail across from the cargo doors, and hint at it in the bomb area due to all of the windows. Great work!
Redhand
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 05:44 AM UTC
I am continuing to follow your wonderful interior derailing. And I do like the fact that you are doing a 24 from Willow-Run in your home State.

You may have mentioned this before, but where do you plan to display it when it's done?

Brian
thathaway3
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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 05:37 AM UTC
Latest work on the rear end of the over head of the bomb bay.





thathaway3
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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 07:22 AM UTC
Thanks so much. Yes I am. As I've been doing additional work I've done some things that now make it no longer possible to put the two halves back together, like the rings I've made for the aircraft R/H side for the turrets to sit in.
Redhand
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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 02:56 AM UTC
Beautiful work. Are you still planning on the "full open" presentation when the model is complete?
thathaway3
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Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2020 - 05:26 AM UTC
Like a lot of us I guess, sometimes you lose enthusiasm when you've been working on a project for a long time, and I put this one aside for a while. But I'm back at it and here are the latest shots. Part of the problem was trying to figure out just exactly what I wanted to do with the bomb bay section and fuel system. But I've come up with a plan I think will work.

The Yankee Air Museum, as always, has been VERY helpful in providing drawings (such as they are!) which has allowed me to figure out what and how to build. As an aside, the lead researcher at the museum told me that once they got into production of the -D model, Ford at Willow run never really totally updated the full aircraft drawing, just making adjustments to accommodate the newer parts being added as modifications.

The museum is planning an event in May to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, and so with that as a hard deadline of completion of the model to be donated and displayed, hopefully that will provide the incentive to keep building

So here's the latest:

















thathaway3
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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2019 - 05:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Leave the left side of the fuselage off, but add the wing and stabilizer back to the right half. Then you have a standing model.



I will be adding the right wing and the full stabilizer to the right hand side, and as you say that will leave a standing model with the nose gear, right strut and the ladder going into the rear hatch.

But there is also a lot of detail on the interior of the LH side and to leave that out would mean I'd also be losing the LH exterior which is where the nose art is.

So I'm really very reluctant to not include the LH side despite the issue with how else to support all of it. I'll most likely just use some clear posts to hold it up.