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Next in the Paint shop...


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What follows is an abbreviated build log of CRM's 1/144 JRM-1 Mars, or, as the boys in my club dubbed it last night, one big (explative deleted) hunk of resin! Overall, there's not too much to the kit. Aside from a couple seats, control yokes and an instrument panel no one will really see, there isn't an interior. Which just leaves some fit challenges to deal with, along with trying to get everything lined up with no locating pins, and those fit challenges!


First up is fitting the stabalizers. The fit here was pretty bad, and being a butt join, I decided they should be pinned. But there wasn't much to pin to with the relatively thin fuselage walls. So I laminated up some card stock and CA's it into both fuse halves where the stabs mount:




To get the stabs set with the proper 7 degrees of dihedral, I taped the fuselage halves to my bench and cut a template from foam core board:




Which left me with this:




You can just see one of I think 7 pins I used on each stabalizer. I knew the gaps were going to be huge, so I used a bunch of pins to help support the epoxy putty I filled most of the gap with (think rebar in concrete). I was hoping to avoid a lot of sanding, but still had to fill some final gaps with CA mixed with Baby Powder. All in all I think I spent a couple hours getting the stabs on, filled and sanded. When I cut them off the pour stubs and noticed the really poor fit, I thought I must have done something wrong, so I asked Rob Stevens at West Coast Hobbys if he could get me some replacements. When those arrived, I was really careful with cutting them away from the pour stubs and ended up just as bad off the second time. I still don't know if I did something wrong, or if there is a problem with the masters there.


Here is what I ended up with:




From there it was on to the tail. Again, the fit was a challenge and I used 5 minute epoxy again as well as pinning it. Here it is in the jig I built from foam core:




Notice the relatively nicely masked canopy glass? Well, it was a little wide, and the raised detail for the framing was pretty heavy (pretty understandably so) so I decided to just sand it all off as I faired the glass in and I'll replace the canopy framing with decal strips at the end of the build. So I started sanding and ended up with this when I polished it back out:




Note to self, make sure the canopy is competely sealed to the fuselage with NO GAPS BEFORE sanding, otherwise some sanding dust WILL work it's way under! Another email to Rob solved that problem.


Then came the wings. Two issues. Getting them set square with no dihedral or anhedral (Jig to the rescue) and how to secure them. The fuselage halves are pretty thin castings, and there are again pretty big gaps where the wings fit. And the wings are each solid castings and heavy. I didn't think I wanted to trust just the glueing surface afforded where the wings met the fuselage edges. Long term, I didn't think it would be secure, and short term I knew I'd have some pretty heavy sanding to do. So I epoxied a piece of foam core into the fuselage and cut it off level with the opening for the wings:




I also drilled holes through the wings that round tooth picks would fit through. As I set each wing into place with, here it comes again, 5 minute epoxy, I also pushed an epoxy slathered toothpick through the holes in the wings and into the foam core (I also made sure in advance that the epoxy wouldn't melt the foam core). It was then another couple hours filling and sanding CA mixed with Baby Powder to get to here, The beast in the jig, and you can see the tooth picks sticking up before I cut them off and sanded them flush:




And out of the jig, looking like an airplane:






Mike Moore

Edited by MikeMoore
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And here is the completed build, ready for the paint shop:








Getting the wing floats on was a bit fussy as the locating mark isn't real precise, but some guess work and lining them up with the old Mark I 47 eyeball seems to have worked out.


And finally, to get a sense of scale, here's a picture of the model, with a 1/144 F-15 sitting on it. This was a BIG airplane:




This thing should hit the paint shop this weekend. Hopefully the primer won't reveal too many problems that need to be addressed before the real fun starts...trying to make all that GSB look interesting!


Mike Moore



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Quite the project there. Kudos to you for taking that one on. Looks great so far...



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Wow, that is just a LOT of work! And boy that is a biggun! Hope you bought your 5-minute epoxy in bulk! :smiley17:





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Amirable work here, Mike. Thanks for sharing the project with us and looking forward to seeing more IP shots and the finished masterpiece. Model on, Brother of the Liquid-turned-solid Sprue. :smiley20:

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