Author Topic: B-25 Mitchell  (Read 10105 times)

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Balsabasher

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2011, 04:12:14 PM »
Ken a most impressive model and it has come along leaps and bounds as well,your love for the B-25 has really come through with this project,best of luck with the markings and decoration which will be a challenging task but you can do it.
Barry.

lastvautour

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2011, 06:35:03 PM »
Great looking Mitchell Ken. I await the painting guide.

lou

Mothman

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2011, 02:25:20 AM »
Nice work, Ken, but please tell me it's either the photo or my old glasses, but I find that the wings seem to droop downwards towards the tips.  Can that be?

Martin

Ken Pugh

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2011, 06:07:56 AM »
It is an optical illusion, just like on the real plane.  The inner wings have dihedral, but the outer wings are straight.  The illusion comes from the tapering thickness of the air foil towards the tip.  I have seen planes made with anhedral and have read people describe it as anhedral, which is incorrect.  At this small scale, I was not able to get the tip to take that upward appearance from the bottom, which is also due to tapering.

The droop appearance is more subtle when viewed in person, but it is still there.  It took a lot of work to make sure it was visible.  When the wing looked straight, I knew the taper was not correct and the wing was too thick.  Once I finally got the wing thin enough, the droop appeared.  This is one of the nice quirks of the B-25 and a great potential conversation topic to someone viewing the model.  Much like the shape of the Corsair's wing.  It's fun when someone knows the Corsair wing is that shape because of the prop, but then you get to discuss that it is much more complicated than that, especially when you tell them the Corsair and the Hellcat had the same propellor.

Ken Pugh

Mothman

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2011, 06:17:17 AM »
Well, that told me then!
Thanks Ken, it's a strange effect, but your knowledge of it convinces me!

Cheers,
Martin

Ken Pugh

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #50 on: September 21, 2011, 10:15:25 AM »
Original shots of the prototype B-25 shows it had simple dihedral.  That plane had a big problem with Dutch rolls.  They cut the wings at the break and put them on straight and that got rid of most of it.  They made other changes that were not as visible and the B-25 ended up as the most stable bombing platform of WWII.

Ken Pugh

Ken Pugh

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #51 on: September 21, 2011, 10:28:50 AM »
While on the subject of the real thing, B-25 gunships are a little difficult to track down unit markings.  The B-25J is the main gunship model.  Nose guns were tried in the field in the Pacific and North American actually liked the modification.  That was an achievement because they did not like many of the improvments done on their airplanes in the field.  The J model incorporated some of these modifications.

North American also offered factory modification packages for nose guns that were very popular.  Sometimes the planes were modified with nose guns, then modified back with glass noses, as the mission dictated.  This makes things even more complicated for scale modelers.  There were different cheek gun pods and some noses got the 8 .50 cals while others got a cannon in the nose that went under the pilots seat.  The cannon was extremely effective against ships.

The B-25 was heavily modified by North American throughout its service because there were a lot of problems with it.  They were not very experienced with building bombers and many of their ideas did not work.  The main thing it had going for it was that was an excellent flier.  If it had the handling problems of the B-26, it probably would have been cancelled, but the pilots loved the way it handled and taking off from a carrier didn't hurt it's reputation either.  It's bomb load was too small to be a good 2 engine bomber, but it's progression as a gunship made it outstanding as a ground attack plane in the Pacific and it's bombing accuracy was very popular with the pilots.

Ken Pugh

Oceaneer99

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #52 on: September 21, 2011, 09:23:33 PM »
Ken,

If you run across any B-25J with bats on their noses, they are from 499th Bomb Squadron, 345th Bomb Group, the "Bats Outta' Hell".  My late great-uncle was a bombardier/navigator with them in the Pacific.  There is an excellent book titled, "Warpath Across the Pacific" that is about the unit.  I have the book, and will take a look at it to see how much information they have about markings.

Garet

Ken Pugh

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2011, 06:05:11 AM »
Garet,

I have seen that marking on a plastic model.  Don't remember which one.  I am doing one with the green and yellow eagle looking marking on the nose and the Indian head on the tail.  I have the nose painted but am still wrapping my brain around the tail.  One of these planes is in a museum in Kalamazoo, MI.

Ken Pugh

Oceaneer99

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #54 on: September 22, 2011, 11:45:08 PM »
Ken,

Excellent!  I'm looking forward to seeing that.  I think the markings you've described are also part of the 345th, just a different squadron.

Garet

Ken Pugh

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #55 on: October 18, 2011, 10:49:00 AM »
Here's a work in progress shot of the paint.  I am working on the tail now.  This side is done and need to reverse for other side.  I welcome all criticism.  I have a long way to go on this stuff.

Ken Pugh



http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pid=6406

lastvautour

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #56 on: October 18, 2011, 11:21:16 AM »
Very nice work Ken. Your details on the engine cowlings is great.

Lou

Mark Braunlich

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #57 on: October 18, 2011, 11:36:29 AM »
Very nice Ken.  I can't imagine painting the markings as you're doing and I wouldn't normally criticise except you asked us to.  The white bars of the national insignia should not be centered on the blue circle ....they should be raised above center.  The tops of the white bars should be in line with the tops of the white star points.

Mark
« Last Edit: October 18, 2011, 11:53:57 AM by Mark Braunlich »

cliff strachan

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #58 on: October 18, 2011, 12:29:37 PM »
At 1/72 scale Ken that's a remarkable job. I'm referring primarily to the hand painting that your model entails. I wasn't even that steady of hand years ago let alone now! Nice work.
Cliff.

Ken Pugh

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Re: B-25 Mitchell
« Reply #59 on: October 18, 2011, 03:05:40 PM »
Thanks, guys.  Yes, at 1/72 this gets very tough.

You're absolutely right, Mark, about the alignment of the stars.  I had to check this thing again.  There might be an optical illusion in the pic because they are aligned as you said.  Two of them actually have the top of the star a little above the line of the bar and I will go back over that by hand and try to fix them.  The alignment was way off before I touched them up.  This gets back to the annoyance of trying to cut masks at this scale.  The masking material moves under the knife as I try to cut it, and I am using VERY sharp knives.  I usually notice I am cut when blood shows up on my work.

I had to do a lot of touch-up painting with the national insignia to make up for the flaws in the mask.  Because of that, I am thinking of no longer using them, though that sounds crazy to me.  It seems they will be much easier to paint without a mask.  The next time I do this, I plan to just use straight pieces of tape and brush them by hand instead of airbrushing them.  Using two pieces of tape, they can be masked out well enough to get the job done.  In future, I will probably spray a blue section, hand paint the stars and bars, then mask the outline of the insignia and paint the base color.

This paint scheme has a lot of thin striping, mostly in white.  I thought this would be very difficult to do but it actually was quite easy.  The trick was to only mask one side and let the brush thickness do the rest.  For the nose, just outline the aft edge and run your brush along the mask.  After you remove the tape, you can touch up the line thickness and paint coverage.  For the circle on the tail, same thing.  Cut a circle for the outline and run your brush along.  You only have to make sure you have enough thickness, not that it is the correct thickness.  After you lay down this color, touch up with the base color to get your line thickness right and to correct wherever you bleed under the mask.  I have always been intimidated by striping but now consider it as manageable.

For painting unit insignia, visualize it in layers.  All your painting will be in layers and can be corrected as long as you have the paints available that you have already used.  For the Indian head, I first layed down the white.  Again, there was that very thin outline of white.  No problem, just lay down a layer of white in the outline of the head and block it in.  Go over it enough times to get the color coverage right.  The next color was the brown.  That put in more of the face.  You then go in with a layer of black, forming the brown and white edges.  Detail comes next, facial details and the brown lines in the headdress.  Take your base color to edge the outside of the white again to get your stripe thickness right and you are done.  It's actually easy once you try it.  Shaking is sometimes manageable, unless you have a condition that you shake uncontrollably.  You need to brace the model, your support hand, and your painting hand, just don't support them on your belly where breathing and heartbeats make everything move.

I didn't do it enough for this one but something that is very important is to practice the marking by sketching.  Keep sketching it over and over again at actual size on paper until you get it right and have a plan in your head.  It will go much easier when you do this first.

Another thing that is crucial is the brush.  It is not important for the brush to be small but it is absolutely critical to have a good tip.  If the brush is too small, you won't have enough paint on the brush to do the job.  The tip has to come to a point.  That point has to be even (on the flat brushes) and can't be a thick, abrupt, ending of the hairs.  This gets to brush selection.

When chosing a brush for this kind of work, I prefer sable.  Nothing else works for me.  It needs to be an artist's brush, not a Testor's modeling brush.  Get yourself a small bottle that can be sealed and put some water in it.  Go to the store and choose the size sable brush you need for your collection.  Dip each candidate brush in the water and draw to a point on scrap paper, which is usually available in the store near this section.  Look at the tip.  If it is properly formed, buy the brush.  If the tip won't behave, don't buy it.  Don't dip the brush in your mouth because you don't know where the brush has been or what chemicals it has been exposed to.

I am not using a good white with this project but I have ideas on how to fix that.  Flow improvers are great for this work.  White is a very difficult color to work with.  The one I am using clots with the flow improver or thinner.  I am thinking of using quality artist acrylic, Winsor & Newton, in the future.  Their paints are expensive but they are very good.

Paint today is rarely made up of pigments.  It is usually a white base with dyes.  Old school and high quality paint use pigments.  Some of them get very expensive.  Also expensive are finely ground pigments.

We can't always use the best materials but we can definitely find ways of doing the best we can with what we find.

Ken Pugh