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

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by dirkpitt289, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    #1 dirkpitt289, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
    All these great builds going on involving much older kits such as the two Airfix Halifax's and I believe the soon to be started Short Sterling has me motivated. I went through my stash and believe I've found just the kit and subject. MPC's B-24 Liberator. Like the real Liberator this kit has no refinements and should prove to be a challenge for my skill level. :oops:

    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.

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

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    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.

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

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

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    A few photos i found

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  2. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Very cool Dirk, looking forward to this.
     
  3. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    #3 dirkpitt289, Jul 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2012
    I can add a little history about this aircraft.

    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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  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice one Dirk, and good background info.
    Yes, this is the old Airfix kit, from the same era as the Halifax kit, and earlier than the Stirling. It's basic by today's standards, but fairly 'upmarket' for the time it was released, in the early 1960s. It's another one which can make a nice model, and fairly easy to add interior detailing, but again, not much can be seen of the inside.
     
  5. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    I agree not much will be seen so i won't be going crazy. I'm trying to decide if I want to open the bomb bay doors or not. That decision will be determined if I can find some good drawings or not.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Shouldn't be too difficult Dirk. The doors were 'roller shutters', which 'rolled up' into the fuselage, so, once cut out, you would only have to add strips along the top line of the open bay, to represent the bottom of each roller shutter. The catwalk and bomb beams should be fairly straightforward to make, with a bulkhead at each end of the bay. Note that, on the ground, the bays were left open, or opened a few notches, to prevent build-up of fumes from the fuel.
     
  7. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Thanks Terry. My first thought was to make them open and it should be relativity straight forward. I just need to find some diagrams. I just went through all the B-24 books I have (5) and none of them have any diagrams. I'm searching the web as we speak.
     
  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'll see what I have in the way of photos and diagrams. I know I have pics of the inside of the bomb bay, along with other interior shots if you need them.
     
  9. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Any bit would help. Thanks
     
  10. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Wooohooooo! Looks like we're having a bit nostalgia theme going here, in Start to Finish Builds! Awesome! Found another two old Airfix kits at Kingkit, that I'll snap up later, I also have to say that I'm more eagerly awaiting my old Airfix Short Stirling, than I was on the 1/32 F4U-4..

    :lol:

    Looking forward to this one pal! :thumbright:
     
  11. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Thanks Jan, I'm digging the current nostalgic builds we got going on here. Some good old fashion modeling where the outcome depends highly on the skill of the modeler, eh? No shake and bake here.
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Here's some to be going on with - should have more somewhere, so I'll check and post when found.
     

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  13. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    You can see it needs some TLC around the turret openings

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    More to follow shortly
     
  14. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    As part of the cleanup I cleaned the edges and thinned out the openings around the turrets. I think over all it looks better.

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    Next I turned to the cockpit area.

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

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    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.

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    Thanks for looking
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice work so far Dirk. Like the Halifax kit from the same era, the moulds are showing their age.
     
  16. dirkpitt289

    dirkpitt289 Active Member

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    Very true, Terry. Two different kits but very much the same.
     
  17. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Hey Terry, Is that a pee-pee tube on the right there in the third pic?
     
  18. michaelmaltby

    michaelmaltby Well-Known Member

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    "... Is that a pee-pee tube on the right there in the third pic? "

    AKA a "relief tube"

    and this photo would be of what ... ? Dumpster doors ...?
     

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  19. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    No...silly boy...that would be Doodie Doors!
     
  20. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    :rolleyes: Alright, here's your coat Vick. :lol:
     
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