- Product Name : B-29a "Superfortress"
- Product Number : 12528
- Manufacturer : Academy
Hallo, my dear colleagues!
Having read so many articles on aluminum tape in modeling I’ve decided to try my hand in this field.
The results of this experiment are Airfix C-47, the Lockheed Model 10 “Electra” by Special Hobby in 1 / 72nd scale.
After mastering this technick, I decided to build a B-29a “Superfortress”, from the Academy in 1 / 72nd scale.
For the prototype I chose the infamous B-29a Bockscar aircraft.
The prototype is kept in the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
I spent a week studing pics of the aircruft. Since the model is large and could hardly be placed on my desktop, assembled it part by part, then after toning and applying traces of operation, finished the work.
To get started, in addition to the basic tools of the modeler, I needed some special tools for working with curved surfaces and smoothing foil. These are special stacks for sculptors with balls of different sizes at the end, knitting needles of different sizes, nail scissors, cosmetic awl (loop), flexible ruler, preferably transparent and a model knife. The knife must be sharp to cut aluminum, not tear it apart.
For the upholstery of the plane, I used a roll of aluminum tape on a paper backing, which is sold in hardware & building stores.
Actually, the process of pasting itself is not very complicated.
A strip of foil of the size suitable for a dashboard or a porthole is cut out with some allowances, than removed from its backing and glued onto the model. Smoothed, pushed through with a stack along the contour of the joining parts (with the ruler), cut with a knife along the contour of the jointing and smoothed again to let the air under the substrate come out.
You can also paste over large surfaces and then push through them with a stack and cut along the contour of the joining otherwise the surface will bubble which will ruin the facade of the model.
Started working on the model as usual: with the cockpit.
Painted with “Master Acrylic”paints of “Zvezda” manufacturing, to make the cabin true to life in addition to the basic decals included in the kit, I applied decals in the form of various plates from my own stock. Added “scuff” elements, paint chips on the surfaces.
Then I covered it with glossy varnish Tamiya X-22 and added a Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color washing element of black color. Matted with matt varnish Tamiya XF-86.
The model was meant to be with closed bomb bays and a closed rear heel. The assembling was not too problematic but glazing of the cockpit caused me way of trouble. The glazing area is slightly narrower than the fuselage itself. The fuselage at the point of attachment of the cockpit glazing had to be ground down with a polishing sponge Tamiya 320 to the required size.
I placed the cargo in the first bomb bay, and in all four engines. The load is plasticine and air gun bullets.
The niches of the main landing gear were fully empty. I had to remake them by pasting thin pieces of polystyrene, imitate the wiring and add some hatches.
Puttied the upper and lower fuselage joints with white soil from Tamiya.
The primer perfectly fills cracks and after applying the aluminum tape, the seams are not visible. It is not necessary to putty the entire model.
As I already mentioned, the parts were pasted with aluminum tape (foil) using the technology described above.
I applied the rivets as soon as the parts were made. I used narrow adhesive tape from Tamiya and reviter.
After applying the rivets, I made necessary hatches of various sizes. Using a sharp pencil, I applied them to the metal using templates, then cut them out with a knife and glued them to the right places.
Then followed the process of metal polishing.
I polished the metal with Goya’s paste and microfiber (a cloth for cleaning the lenses).
After polishing the metal and applying 3 layers of glossy varnish, I continued painting the model. All deflected surfaces and parts of the aircraft were painted with grey Tamiya XF-83 paint, which I saw in the pics at the beginning of my work.
Engines, exhaust pipes, propellers, wheel rims, antennas are painted with Tamiya X-11 metallic.
Engine hoods, louvers under the branch pipes, rear turret guns in Tamiya XF-56 metallic.
Wheels, propellers with black paint “Master Acrylic”.
Side air navigation lights with varnishes Tamiya X-25, Tamiya X-27, underwing headlights Tamiya X-26.
Applied all the necessary engine covers.
After painting the parts, I covered everything with glossy varnish and started applying decals. I welded the decals with Tamiya welding fluid.
Again I applyed glossy varnish and polished all the details with polishing pastes. The process took several hours.
Highlighted all surfaces with a black wash Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color.
The next step was complete assembling of the model and tinting it with watercolor pencils. I did not apply too much tint on the model ,as the plane is clean in museum photos and all other pics do not bring home to the viewer the degree of deterioration.
This is my third model made this way. It took five months to make it. It’ll be followed by the B-25 “Mitchell” bomber produced according to the technology of polished metal.