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dmjung

Disney TWA Moonliner

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I thought I would build the Masterpiece Models TWA Moonliner next as most of my building in the last twenty-something years has been in rocketry. How hard could it be? Well...the molds must be getting a little tired as the fuselage halves weren't quite circular and didn't match up well. And there's a bit of a wasp waist to boot. I had some Squadron putty on hand which I worked with a little, but decided to order in some Evercoat Rage Ultra body filler to test and finish it out. If it works out, I'll try it on some flying rockets.

 

TWA Moonliner:

 

post-879-0-99846000-1466387390_thumb.jpg

 

What I've been building instead of plastic:

 

post-879-0-03267800-1466387627_thumb.jpg

 

 

Whatever I build after this needs to be something easy...I'm open to suggestions.

 

--David

 

 

 

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Looks like you've got a good start on it. Good luck!

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Picture doesn't really show the unevenness, but at least half a tube of Squadron putty and still not there. Its really too big an area for Squadron putty and that stuff started setting up before I really got a chance to get it smoothed out. But it gave me an excuse to try out the Evercoat. :)

 

--David

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A couple of body filler applications/sanding and almost there. The darker is the filler showing how far out the two halves were from each other. The other side isn't any better.

post-879-0-18814500-1466977061_thumb.jpg

 

I have a dusting of primer on it now and will block it tonight or tomorrow to see what's left. I know there are seams on the tail and nose that need some attention.

 

A longer Dura-block sanding block has come in handy with this...anything shorter would have followed the hills and valleys. This is the first time I've used Evercoat filler...don't quite have the touch for how much hardener to add so was a bit too quick setting up on the first application. Fortunately I saw a youtube tip to use a shaper file to get the filler knocked down and shaped while not fully cured in order to cut down on the sanding. Sands really nice though. I can see why some of the auto body guys swear by it.

 

--David

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Fortunately I saw a youtube tip to use a shaper file to get the filler knocked down and shaped while not fully cured in order to cut down on the sanding.

You can also carve away the not-quite-cured filler with your hobby knife.

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Fortunately I saw a youtube tip to use a shaper file to get the filler knocked down and shaped while not fully cured in order to cut down on the sanding.

You can also carve away the not-quite-cured filler with your hobby knife.

 

Absolutely, but there's so much area in play here I needed the long shaper file to help keep the long lines somewhat straight as opposed to my ham-handed knife skills gouging great valleys in unwanted places. :)

 

--David

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I think I'm almost there getting the main fuselage in shape. Nose is mounted...instructions said a spacer would be needed and I have about 1/8" of styrene in there. It's difficult to say if that was too much or too little since the nose seemed to not be completely symmetrical. Kind of like the fuselage. :(

 

This is the first time I've use an actual guide coat product so we'll see how that turns out. It's just carbon black...sprayed in this case.

 

post-879-0-91203700-1467473437_thumb.jpg

 

The guide coat will get mostly sanded away to tell me if I have any low spots. And I have to decide if the pointed nose is really in the center line or not. If not, maybe some heat will coax it there.

 

Turns out this kit design was originally an Atomic City kit and now Masterpiece Models has it. This could have been a fairly easy build if the molds were up to snuff.

 

--David

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Tail shows a weird patchy flair between the landing gear bays--not seeing a flair in pictures of the actual Moonliner. A little putty and fix some low spots on the gear bay edges and I say that end is shaped.

 

post-879-0-08992500-1467479350_thumb.jpg

 

No pix, but the nose actually looks a bit better than I thought. Curved transitions between the nose and tail to the main straight fuselage need a little love. The low patches in the tail appear to be the worst.

 

Should I light this booger's port holes? Oooh, and strobe warning lights on the launch pad. (This is why I never finish a model....)

 

--David

 

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Tail shows a weird patchy flair between the very bottom of the landing gear bays--not seeing a flair in pictures of the actual Moonliner. A little putty and fix some low spots on the gear bay edges and I say that end is shaped.

 

post-879-0-08992500-1467479350_thumb.jpg

 

No pix, but the nose actually looks a bit better than I thought. Curved transitions between the nose and tail to the main straight fuselage need a little love. The low patches in the tail appear to be the worst.

 

Should I light this booger's port holes? Oooh, and strobe warning lights on the launch pad. (This is why I never finish a model....)

 

--David

Edited by dmjung

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This particular spray-on guide coat was not significantly better than plain spray paint in terms of loading up the sand paper, esp the 220. The dab on carbon black powder would presumably be better. Experimenting with different techniques...another reason I never get a model finished.

 

--David

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First Primer/Filler Coat. About as tall as the sink cabinet and that's without legs and the base.

 

post-879-0-22803000-1467583584_thumb.jpg

 

Pin holes...believe they're from the fillers and not the kit resin. A couple of minor sanding/filling imperfections also showed up that will need some attention.

 

--David

 

 

 

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Looking good! That appears to be the same height as my 1/72 scale Space Shuttle with Boosters. Nice job so far!

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Thanks, Mark. Other than flying rockets this looks like it may end up being the largest model I've built.

 

Pin holes...lots of them and they weren't all mine. The high-end body filler didn't have many and the few it did were kind of large...a shade smaller than 1/16". The Squadron putty had a bunch of smaller pin holes which was a little surprising since I used a proper putty blade and tried to lay it down without introducing any air. The resin...where I had to do some heavy sanding to get something approaching a circular shape exposed a lot of really fine pin holes. Just a bit too big for the primer/filler coat to handle.

 

Used some Tamiya White putty and a soft rubber brush to attack the pin holes.

 

post-879-0-82182000-1467657640_thumb.jpg

 

The other side isn't any better.

 

There's a problem along the edges of the landing gear bays which I've been trying to ignore, but they haven't gone away yet. Its supposed to be a corrugated pattern under the skin of the rocket, but its broken through and exposed in a number of places. (Came like that and sanding/shaping probably exposed some more.)

 

post-879-0-67599900-1467658255_thumb.jpg

 

All three bays have edge problems and I'm not sure how I'm going to fix this...all my thoughts so far are going to involve a lot of very tedious work. Any ideas?

 

--David

 

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Been working on the landing gear bay edges that are messed up. The real object is a corrugated section between the floor of the bay and the skin of the rocket. I'm trying the rebuild the edge and hope there's not too much cleanup for the corrugated part.

 

post-879-0-16366200-1468079949_thumb.jpg

 

Taped off the edge and gooped Tamiya filler onto the edge. If this doesn't work out I'm not sure what my reasonable options are...I'm really not wanting to have to skin this area as its mostly curved and a good part of it curved in multiple axis.

 

--David

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Well, ended up lining the sides of the landing gear bays with sheet styrene. I may go back with a strip and/or some corrugated plastic, but smoothing it all out may be good enough. The Disney Moonliner was supposedly more of a model/mock-up of something larger so a model of a model of something never built means I'm going to take whatever liberties I want to at this point. :)

 

post-879-0-08408000-1470508309_thumb.jpg

 

You can see on the left the saw-tooth pattern where the original corrugated side had broken through to the top. Probably 3/4 of the edges had this problem. And some of the corrugated patterns were a little dodgy as well.

 

--David

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that's quite the undertaking, how are you planning on displaying it?

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Greg,

 

It does have three legs and a base...may end up sitting next to the high-power rockets or at work.

 

Decided to prime coat again as it was getting difficult to discern the shapes and issues with all the colors. Into the back year on an old, broken cymbal stand...with the central Texas heat today didn't take long to get dry enough to move into the garage to cure.

 

post-879-0-80176300-1470606880_thumb.jpg

 

Looked like I uncovered more pin holes getting the shape sorted out, but I think the heavy sanding is out of the way.

 

--David

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Have a bit of a pinhole dance going on with the fuselage so decided to set it aside and work on the base. Pinholes there as well, but not as many.

 

Flat surfaces are not very flat.

 

Decided to spread West Systems epoxy and let it settle out. First attempt was OK, but I need the low viscosity hardener so ordered that. Put the base aside and take a closer look at the three legs which I know have a few issues.

 

Seriously? Started poking everything that looked suspicious and opening up anything that looked like a void.

 

post-879-0-09324900-1471310587_thumb.jpg

 

Picture makes it look better than it really is. <sigh>

 

For this much money and and resin casting isn't exactly a new thing...kind of discouraging. Fortunately, its mostly on the side facing the fuselage, but is visible if you care to look.

 

Setting everything aside until the new hardener comes in later this week.

 

--David

Edited by dmjung

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Very nice work on an apparently very rough kit. I would notify Masterpiece, that's not what I usually see from them. Looks like their pressure canister wasn't working that day. Sorry 'bout, that, but you're doing a fine job.

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Kev, it does look they weren't getting a vacuum that day...assuming they do that with these big pieces. I think the body is just rotocast. This is actually my first resin kit build other than small add-on bits so I didn't think to check for voids...the major alignment issues had my attention from the get-go and I didn't get zeroed in on these until now. :)

 

So the slow hardener came in yesterday instead of Wednesday. Don't know why vendors generate a shipping label and then don't bother shipping for several days....in any event, this levels out much better for the purpose of filling low spots and filling holes. Not quite cured from the pour last night, but I can probably take a sander to it tonight. If not, the heat gun gets plugged in.

 

post-879-0-35703800-1471701046_thumb.jpg

 

I should have done a better job of wiping it off before the pour. Just used a brush instead of a cloth. It'll sand out... :)

 

There was a nub for the landing gear foot at each corner about the size of two stacked nickels that I sawed off to make leveling this thing easier. In their place, I drilled some marker holes that you can see which I'll use to peg a replacement back.

 

Note to self...if you mix up X amount of epoxy, you don't have to use X amount of epoxy. I should have squeegeed off more of it, but I hate wasting that stuff.

 

--David

Edited by dmjung

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Not to make excuses, but I have a friend who's a caster and he is having fits trying to get his orders out in this humid weather (he's in NJ). Says the trick is to make small batches. It takes longer but the bubbling is minimized - he also roto-casts.

 

But anyway, you are certainly making a silk purse out of that sow's ear!

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This thing keeps staring at me while I work on the Gundam, so I decided to prime the base and see where I was. (Weather hasn't been cooperative for outside painting is my current excuse for the lack of progress.)

 

post-879-0-98469100-1472933834_thumb.jpg

 

Not too bad--down to three pin holes and a bit of a gouge/valley near one of the corners. I'll put the orb sander back on it tomorrow and reprime.

 

I'm debating whether to fully coat the airframe with epoxy rather than the patches I have now over the pin hole groups.

 

--David

 

 

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Thats the good thing about models and modeling - when a kit starts getting on your nerves - temporarily put it on the side and work on something else for a while. I do it quite often.

But taking a step back and speaking of Materpiece I just received one of the newest kits from Fantastic Plastic casted by... you know who, and it';s gotta be the worst kit I've seen FP release. But thats for a different thread.

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My problem is almost every kit eventually pisses me off and gets set aside. I have easily started way more model kits and miniatures than I've ever finished. Flying rockets are easier to build.

 

I have a number of FP kits I've picked up over the years in my build stash (i.e. storage unit). Hopefully the older ones are OK as I didn't check them.

 

That's a shame as I was kind of interested in their Atomic bomb kits, but I'm really gun-shy at this point about trying another one without a physical examination before the purchase.

 

--David

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My problem is almost every kit eventually pisses me off and gets set aside. I have easily started way more model kits and miniatures than I've ever finished. Flying rockets are easier to build.

 

I have a number of FP kits I've picked up over the years in my build stash (i.e. storage unit). Hopefully the older ones are OK as I didn't check them.

 

That's a shame as I was kind of interested in their Atomic bomb kits, but I'm really gun-shy at this point about trying another one without a physical examination before the purchase.

 

--David

 

I don't want to sidetrack your build thread, I've been buying FP kits since he first opened his store. The kits are normally very good to terrific. This is prolly the first time that I thought an FP kit was crappy. The good thing is that when he pre-announces a kit on his site, he lists who the developer, the caster and the guy who does the decals. From now on, I'll make sure to check who is casting it, and/or wait until I see build reviews on SSM and other forums.

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