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  1. Hi all. Getting close to the end but had to take a breather due to my wife's surgery and an airbrush blowing out on me. Now for this installment: Williams Bros doesn't give you any of the small antennas and masts, which is probably a good thing. This is primarily because of the immense variety that were employed on the C-46. They do provide some reasonably decent patterns on the instruction sheet and tell you to fabricate them from scrap plastic and wire. What they don't tell you is that one of the 'masts' holds a pitot tube at the bottom and you will need two of them. It also doesn't hurt to have experience scratchbuilding minute details and an OptiVisor will be an absolute necessity. This photo shows the two pitot tubes/masts that I built from .030" x .060" Evergreen strip and .016" music wire. The finished pitots/masts are too thin to drill a hole for a mounting pin, so I cut mounting holes in the fuselage. Check you references closely for proper location and keep your eyeball computer nearby. The best I can offer for location is about .40" aft of the rear canopy edge and .90" below the bottom canopy edge. Each mast angles out so that the two form a wide V when viewed from the front. When properly installed, this is how they should look. Incidentally, they are not leaning back. That's the result of the camera angle. You want to be sure that they are perfectly vertical when viewed from the side and form a V when viewed from the front. Almost finished with the basic paint job. Model Master FS34087 O.D. uppersurface and FS36270 Neutral Gray undersurface. With the basic paint job done, a gloss coat of Future (aka PFM) is sprayed prior to decal application. Before the decals go on, I'll also have to install the gear, as well as paint the deice boots and fine details.
  2. They say it's all in the details, so let's get down to the nitty gritty: Last installment I told you the photoetched tailwheel doors were folded along a center line to provide interior detail. What I didn't include was a photo of a tool that makes the job very easy. That tool? A little item called the "Bug" that is produced from The Small Shop. It takes a lot of the pain out of working with photoetch. One of the obvious features of the C-46 nose is a large opening that leads to the lower fuselage interior. I have no idea what it's true purpose is, but if anyone knows I'd appreciate being enlightened. In any event, there is a recessed structure evident from head on photos. I cut a short length of .190" (3/16") diameter brass tubing and inserted it into the hole, recessing it enough to match the appearance of my reference photo. The RDF housing mounts on the bottom centerline about even with the canopy frame that separates the two bottom side cockpit windows. To make sure it doesn't come loose, I drilled a .016" hole into the housing's mount. Then installed a short piece of .015" music wire. By the way, the best tool for cutting music wire all the way up to .040" is a Hard Wire Cutter made by Xuron. The wire was installed using BSI IC-2000 black rubber toughened CA. A matching .016" hole was drilled in the C-46 centerline and the RDF housing installed with more IC-2000. Four masks from the Eduard mask set actually proved to be useful. The discs that masked the main wheel photoetch details will make painting the tires absolute simplicity. Incidentally, if you're looking at the tires and wondering why I didn't flat them, it's because my client didn't want that feature. Getting ready for painting, the props are given a shot of primer. If you use a Nitrile glove and hold the prop by the shaft, you do a very nice job of masking the shaft without having to use tape.
  3. Installment #13 of my William Bros C-46 build series is now available in the Builds sub-forum. Comments welcome as usual.
  4. Hi all, I'm almost to the painting stage for my C-46 build and discovered that I don't know what the gear well color for a WW-II bird is. Worse, I've been unable to find the info anywhere on the internet so far. If anyone knows, I'd appreciate the help.
  5. Installment #12 of my Williams Bros C-46 build series is now available in the Builds Sub-Forum. Comments welcome as always.
  6. Hi all, Here we go again with more C-46 progress and getting close to the end. I'm gonna be glad to be done with it and I'm sure my client will be! Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy this next set of photos. Comments are welcome as always. The True Details vacuform canopy, masked and about ready for installation. I started out intending to use the Eduard mask set as a base, then filling in with blue tape. That proved not to be a good choice, so I switched over to only blue tape. A light touch and a brand new #11 blade is essential to mask a vacuform canopy, but it can be done. And, yes, John, I know one of the windows is too small. That was corrected before installing the canopy. With the canopy installed, the familiar contours of the C-46 become apparent. I still need to finish fairing in the canopy, then go over the entire airframe for a final cleanup before moving it to the paint shop. The photoetch detail that installs on the outside of the wheel will be interfered with by the Scale Aircraft Conversions axle length. All you have to do is use a sprue cutter to nip the axle flush with the wheel, as seen here. On the left is the shortened axle versus the original on the right. The kit struts have a very poor mounting design, basically a butt joint that relies on the other links and yokes to provide the necessary support strength. You'll find the same problem in the SAC metal replacements, which is not their fault. The replacements have to duplicate the kit parts in order to fit the model. However, there is a way to improve things. I used a 1/16" drill bit to create a small depression or dimple in the top of the metal strut, then switched to a 3/64" drill bit to drill a deeper hole. You'll need a Dremel to do the job since the strut's metal makes for very slow progress if you opt for a pin vise. With the hole drilled, I cut a piece of .047" diameter music wire to about 1/2" long. A toothpick was used to place a small amount of BSI IC-2000 CA in the hole and added the wire. It'll take a couple of minutes or thereabouts to set, so keep making an minute adjustments in order to guarantee a vertical alignment. You'll also want to make sure that no CA accumulates above the top of the strut. If it does, remove it before it sets hard. For those who don't know, BSI (Bob Smith Industries) CAs are a private label product. Whoever you buy it from will have their name (hobby shop, hardware store, whatever) on the front, but the label design and product name...IC-2000 in this case...will always be the same. If you want to be sure it's a BSI product, look at the fine print on the back label. I'm finally at a point where I'll be using that second fret of photoetch...or at least most of it. Before adding the wheel photoetch detail, I ran a 1/16" drill bit thru the wheel axle holes and also did a test fit of the metal axles. Satisfied with the results, parts 31 from the second photoetch fret were added to the back of the wheels. On the right is the stock wheel , with the photoetch part installed on the right. Gator's Grip Thin Blend was used here and the operative application word is thin. It doesn't take much Gator's Grip to hold the photoetch and you don't want to use so much that it'll squeeze up thru the perforations. When the photoetch is dry on the back, the wheels were flipped over and parts 27 were added. Installed detail is on the left and stock wheel on the right. You can see in this shot why the metal axles had to be shortened. The stock main gear doors already have some fairly nice detail molded into them, but the addition of parts 23-26 add a lot. Note that these are handed, so pay attention to the photoetch instructions. A kit door is at the photo top with the photoetch enhanced version at the bottom. As with all photoetch detail used for this build, Gator's Grip Thin Blend was relied on for installation. Williams Bros chose not to provide any extra tail wheel doors, instead requiring you to carefully remove the molded-in doors and reuse them. The photoetch fret provides both replacement doors and interior detail in one. At the bottom of this photo is one door as it comes on the fret. When you bend the part along the center line, you get what you see at the top of the photo, a complete door with interior detail. Since the metal props my client provided did not come with shafts of any kind, some had to be created. I had already planned to sleeve the props so they would be removable and the engine inserts had been previously modified for that purpose. So, I used a 1/16" ...or .060" if you prefer...drill bit to enlarge the hole in the back of each prop. Then a 1/2" long piece of .060" brass tubing was inserted using IC-2000 CA. That's it. All that remains is to paint the props and they'll be ready for installation.
  7. Installment #11 of my Williams Bros C-46 build series is now available in the Builds Sub-Forum. Comments welcome as always.
  8. Hey all, Here we go with the next installment. Last time the wing fillets had been puttied and then sanded smooth. Close examination showed a few little pits and cavities that needed attention, so that's were we begin: The starboard wing had the most flaws. Not surprising since it required the most corrective work. The port wing wasn't near the problem. More sanding followed by a light coat of primer and the starboard fillet is finally looking good. Same for the port fillet. Progress! All that's needed for a complete airframe is the canopy and horizontal tails. The port horizontal goes on without a problem. But the starboard horizontal is another questiion. In this case, the horizontal sits about .020" too low, so it needs to be raised. I started by shaving around .020" off the top of the horizontal tab opening. Note that it doesn't have to be perfect. A piece of .020" styrene is added to the BOTTOM of the horizontal mounting tab and trimmed to match the tab shape. Done correctly, it should be a snug fit.,
  9. Installment #10 of my Williams Bros C-46 build series is now available in the Builds Sub-Forum. Comments welcome as always.
  10. Hey all, After time out for Thanksgiving and a visit to the E.R. for pneumonia, I'm back and making more progress on the C-46. Things are beginning to speed up and with any luck at all, it'll be completed and shipped to my client before Christmas. So, let's see where we are: Shown here is the port wing fillet area that's been roughly coated with Squadron White Putty. Believe it or not, it was simply smeared on with my finger. The starboard fillet misfit was the worst one, so a lot more putty was needed. Just as I did with the fuselage centerline, blue painters tape was used to protect the rest of the wings from the sanding I would be doing. More putty on the belly joints and more blue tape to control the sanding area. Finger application was used here as well. After sanding with 320 down to 600 grit, as well as sanding sticks. the starboard fillet is starting to look pretty darn good. And the port wing after the same sanding treatment. Finally the belly seams. It won't be long now before we have a complete aircraft on our hands, except for the landing gear and props, which are waiting in the wings.
  11. Installment #9 of my Williams Bros C-46 build series is now available in the Builds Sub-Forum. Comments welcome as always.
  12. Hello all, Sorry for the delay but I've had to deal with a death in the family (sister-in-law) and an upper respiratory infection. Now, back to the C-46. Once the cowls were mounted on the wing, I used a 3/64" (.095") bit in a pin vise to drill out the prop shaft hole. Then a short piece of .095" brass tubing was installed. Later on I'll create a prop shaft from .0625" (1/16") tubing and end up with removable props. Definitely an aid when it comes to shipping the model. At this point you'd think things were about to pick up speed. Not so. In fact, the worst...and hopefully last...major problem was about to rear its head. When you start to mate the wing assembly to the fuselage is when you discover that the wing stubs integrated with the fuselage halves are not symmetrical. The starboard stub sits several thousandths higher than the port one. While that doesn't sound like much, it makes for major trouble as you're about to see. Align the wing center section with the bottom of the fuselage and the wing/stub joint won't line up. Align the wing/stub joints and the fuselage/wing alignment will be cockeyed...and you'll have major filling to do on the fuselage bottom. I chose to align the wing with the bottom of the fuselage and modify the wing/stub joint. This photo shows the port joint. Believe it or not, this is the better fitting one! The starboard joint is the real nightmare. Worse is the fact that the wing airfoil doesn't follow the airfoil contour of the wing stub. Fortunately that error, which is uncorrectable, won't be noticeable when all's said and done. That gap on the port joint is fairly easily resolved. I shoved a piece of .020" plastic into the gap, outlined the wing contour with a pen, removed the plastic, cut the piece off and reinstalled. Then added a little Squadron White Putty before an extended sanding session. Now for the starboard beast. After filling the gap with plastic, I still had a major step to deal with. I cut a narrow strip of .010" or .015" styrene and glued it down on an angle running from the top of the wing stub to the top of the wing. It's that stage you see in this photo. Then that was followed with multiple applications of solvent slopped on to get the styrene good 'n wet. Then White Putty and more sanding...putty and/or plastic where needed....more sanding...and more sanding...and..... Incidentally, if you're wondering why I'm using Squadron White Putty, it's because it doesn't crack when slightly stressed.
  13. Everyone, The E2C that i'm building for a client has thrown me a very large curve. The canopy has a short shot on the starboard side just aft of the side window. It's too short in height and also curves in at the rear. No idea of where my client bought the kit and I need a canopy ASAP. Does anyone know an importer who could provide a spare canopy? BTW, I'll also suggest that everyone with one of these kits check the canopy for a possible short shot. Any help y'all can provide would be greatly appreciated since this model is supposed to be delivered before Christmas! Also, rather than posting here, I'd appreciate it if you would reply to my personal email at tennexican@gmail.com Richard
  14. Installment #3 of the Kinetic E2C 2000 build series has been posted in the Buids Sub-Forum. All comments welcome.
  15. Here's the latest on my client's Kinetic E2C 2000. The cockpit is very nicely detailed. Too bad that most of it will barely be seen when the model's finished. Still, this shot shows the central console and seats installed in the basic tub. Only thing really lacking is seatbelts, but we'll take care of that in a bit. All the raised detail is done using an old technique I'm rather fond of. After painting all the panels flat black, a Prismacolor White art pencil is used to lightly rub over the raised detail. Then a shot of Testors Dullcote seals the white and also pops it out. Doesn't compare to color photoetch, but still quite effective. Control yokes and instrument have been added. So have seatbelts and buckles. Another view of the finished cockpit. Seatbelts and shoulder straps are nothing more than painted blue masking tape. Buckles are .15" Evergreen styrene strips cut to size and painted with MM Aluminum Metalizer. While I'll be installing the cockpit in the starboard fuselage half, I'm showing the port half here for clarity. The cockpit tub needs to be installed so that the front edge butts AGAINST the backward L, not on it. The side of the tub will fit on TOP of the long raised rib. You'll know when you're positioned correctly when the nose gear well matches the cutout in the bottom of the fuselage. The next photo will show the cockpit in place and everything should become clear. When properly installed, this is how the cockpit should be positioned. And yes, I know it goes against the grain but the bulkhead does not fit at the back edge of the cockpit opening. Do that and the gear well won't line up with its fuselage opening.
  16. Installment #8 of the Williams Bros C-46 build is now online in the Builds sub-forum. Comments are welcome.
  17. Here's the latest for your viewing pleasure: The kit exhaust pipes left a little to be desired, along with the fact that I would have had to drill them out. So...I planned to replace them with brass tubing. For starters, I drilled out the mounting hole with a 1/16" bit in a pin vise. Note that I angled the bit in order to allow the tubing to fit into the kit's recessed groove. Each of the exhaust pipes was a .30" long piece of 1/16" (or .625") diameter brass tubing. Since no tubing cutter I had on hand would handle tubing that small, I simply scored the tubing with a #11 blade, then snapped the piece using a pair of pliers. In order to avoid having to clean up the cut end, I cut each piece from the finished end of the tubing. Needing four stacks, that approach required two pieces of tubing. Fortunately, tubing that small comes packaged four pieces on a single card. Incidentally, instead of CA for installation, I used Gator's Grip, giving me time for minute adjustments. With the exhaust stacks in place, the cowls were mounted on the wing. Why now instead of later? Because I anticipate problems aligning the wing and the cowls will help get things right. Beyond that, it's easier to get the cowls properly aligned now. Keep in mind that the center section is dead horizontal with the dihedral not starting until you're outboard of the engines. Finally, and probably most important, because of gaps, seams and contour corrections that I would have to deal with, those problems would be a lot easier to handle if the fuselage wasn't in the way, This top view of the cowls after they've been installed. You can see some of the problems I'll have to tackle. With the cowl properly installed, this gap has to be dealt with. There's a slightly smaller, but similar, one on the other cowl. For reasons no one understands, Williams Bros left this flaw in their mold, along with those oddball gaps on the sides of the wing/engine housings. All of this has to be corrected before joining the wing and fuselage. Incidentally, the cowls don't mount to the wing without doing some adjustment to the inside of the cowls. I can't tell you exactly how to do it because it's probably slightly different on each kit. Just keep a knife nearby and do a lot of test fitting. Because of the size of the cowl/wing gap, I glued a piece of .15" x .20" Evergreen strip over the gap, then brushed over it with Same Stuff until it melted down. When dry, I could sand everything smooth. Some areas required small applications of Squadron White Putty, while others would be taken care of with Dupli-Color Sandable Filler & Primer. Of course, various grades of sandpaper and sanding sticks were used as well.
  18. Just a quick note to let you know that another installment of the Kinetic E2C 2000 build series has been posted in the Buids Sub-Forum. All comments welcome.
  19. For those who are interested, linstallment #7 of the Williams Bros C-46 build is now online in the Builds sub-forum. Comments are welcome.
  20. Hi all, Here's the latest for your viewing pleasure. The port outer wing panel trailing edge didn't line up, so I had to fill it with a piece of .020" Evergreen strip. Also, in order to attain the correct dihedral for the outer panel, I had intentionally left the bottom seam unglued. A piece of .020" styrene was shoved into the seam on each side, adjusted by eyeball so that the dihedral would be equal and slopped on some solvent. When that dried, the styrene would be cut down to match the wing. At long last, the fuselage halves were joined. I had to do it a few inches at a time, starting with the top seam and slowiy working my way around. Rubber bands, wood spring clothes pins, metal clips and anything else that would work were used. In spite of that, I still wound up with steps in some areas of the seams that would have to be addressed. In order to protect the surface detail, a strip of blue masking tape was laid down paralleling the seam step that needed to corrected. Squadron White Stuff was used to fill the step, then sanded down with 120, 320 and 600 grit sandpaper. The photo shows the putty already sanded down. Incidentally, the tape allows you to get a near-featheredge before removing the tape. Here's the bottom seam after being filled and sanded. Strangely, the short portion aft of the tail wheel well turned out to be the worst step area. In order to finish feather-edging the putty into the fuselage skin, I laid down another couple of tape strips just slightly out from the edge of the recently sanded putty. Then I went over the putty with 600 grit paper to finally fair the putty in. The bottom seam was finished out the same way. And there you have it. The step has been eliminated and smoothly faired in to the kit's surface. After a shot or two of DupliColor Sandable Filler and Primer, I can move on to the next problem. Incidentally, The cockpit has been merely masked off, due to the extreme thinness of the vacuformed canopy.
  21. Just in case y'all haven't checked the Builds subforum, I've started a second series. This one features the Kinetic 1/48 E2C Hawkeye. Since the C-46 is not yet finished, I'm now working two builds at the same time. Check in from time to time to see how things are going and don't hesitate to comment.
  22. Hi all, Here's the next batch of progress shots. It's been a slow road, but things are beginning to speed up a bit. Right now, though it doesn't show in this installment, I'm mating the fuselage halves. Now on to the photos: Small rectangles of .020 were used for the main cowl flaps. Even smaller pieces were used on the inside to cover the Vee shaped gaps. Here's a before and after shot of the cowl flap installation. Note that the individual flaps are a butt joint where the mount on the kit cowling. Due to the .020" thickness, you'll need a light touch and patience. Whlle the flaps were drying, I installed the windows. Some of you may prefer to sand the windows smooth and then polish them out. Do that and you'll either have to rescribe the entire model or sand it smooth. My client preferred to retain the raised lines and use the windows as is. The cockpit as seen here is nearly done. Control yokes had to be shortened and there were a number of other problems, but the end result is satisfactory. All in all, not bad when you consider it's a Williams Bros kit. With the addition of the overhead console, I'm finally ready to close the fuselage! Incidentally, I would suggest the use of black rubber toughened CA from BSI to attach the overhead console.
  23. Hi all, It's been a long road from Part 4 to Part 5, but now I'm starting to get back into it. Even the CPAP is proving not to be all that bad. Now all (!!!!!) I have to do is catch up on all my commissions. So, let's see if we can make some more progress on the C-46. When closed, the cowlings show five cowl flaps. If building yours closed, be sure to eliminate the seam on the middle flap. Since I'm building this kit with open flaps, it's time to remove the molded flaps. Whie it's the old school approach, multiple scoring passes with a #11 blade along a raised (or recessed) hinge line works as well as anything. Here's a before and after shot showing the flaps removed on the cowl nearest the camera. Before creating the new cowl flaps, the cowl intakes need to be drilled out. You'll need a #64 drill bit, new #11 blade and a lot of patience. I did it the hard way; after the cowls had been built up instead of before adding the cowl rings. While a little sanding is still needed to clean things up, the drilled out intakes add a lot of realism. A rear bulkhead was cut from scrap styrene and mounted against the back of the floor.
  24. For those who have wondered where I vanished to...particularly my client who has already been informed...and to steal a quote from a Looney Tunes cartoon, I've been sick lately. And frankly, sicker than I ever had any desire to be. I have learned, since the first part of May, that I have severe sleep apnea...but I didn't know it. Sure I snored like mad when sleeping, would go to sleep at the drop of a hat, talked in my sleep and moved around constantly when sleeping. But I always considered that to be normal. Silly me. It wasn't! How I learned about this, in a nutshell, started to become apparent on April 25, 2017. My wife picked my up at church and when I got in the car, I told her to take me to the E.R. What's interesting is the fact I don't remember that...or anything else for the next four or five days. As I've been able to reconstruct things, when I got to the E.R., there was essentially no oxygen to the brain. This resulted in my being intubated and medically sedated for 3 1/2 to 4 days. I got out of the hospital after 8 days. Strangely enough...and thanks to the grace of God...my brain still functioned and there has been little if any brain damage. If you want something that keeps you humble...or that will make you humble if you haven't been...is that fact that most doctors, nurses and P.A.s that I've had contact with since waking up in the hospital keep referring to the fact that my mind still exists and functions normally as a 'miracle' and 'fortunate'. Me? I keep looking up from time to time and saying "Thank you." There is a lot more I could tell you, but the bottom line is that the completion of all of my model commissions have been slowed way down, many of which will end up as builds on this forum and possibly as more detailed ebooks as well. How soon will they all be done and I will back on something approaching a normal schedule? I can't say but I'm working as fast as I can. The C-46 should be the first post-illness project finished, so if everyone just hangs in there, the C-46 should be done in the next couple of months at the latest.
  25. Hi all, Here's some more shots on the C-46 build. Enjoy. In this shot, I've cut a door in the bulkhead so the pilots can get out of...as well as into...the cockpit. When properly installed, the door should be on the right hand side as you face the aircraft, left hand if you're IN the aircraft. By the way, those two truncated cones were molded by Williams Bros to serve as mounts for the seats. They will eventually be removed. One of the photoetch seat mounts has been assembled. You see it here, along with one of the kit seats and both of them shown next to a dime for size comparison. Believe me, you WILL need an Optivisorf! The stock instrument console in the process of being modified. Photoetch pedals replace the molded ones. Left pedals have been removed with the right ones waiting their turn. While marketed by Maestro Models, the photoetch was actually produced for them in 2012 by Eduard. As such, the instrument panel and overhead console, along with several other smaller pieces are produced in color. Also, the panel and console use a sandwich style construction. When the panel sandwich is completed, the result is beautiful. If you wish, you can add a tiny drop of clear on the instrument faces for even more realism. Except for three small details intended for the cockpit, the second photoetch sheet won't be used til a ways down the road. It gives you details for the gear doors, complete tailwheel doors and detail overlays for the wheels. Since the kit contains precious few or useable locator pins, it helps to install tabs....I opted for long strips....along the fuselage centerline. Either .010 or .020 will work.
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