Author Topic: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Finished!!!  (Read 16527 times)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 11/8
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2015, 10:48:47 PM »
Someone's stolen the wings! :o


Oh, no, there they are! I thought they were the fitment stubs! :-[


Very nice constructing there, mate! :)
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Offline b29r

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 11/8
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2015, 11:53:27 PM »
Great job so far, loving this!  :-*  You are doing a masterful job of blending all these sweet components together  :)  Love the M61 concept too . . . when Dad worked at Boeing Wichita back in the day, I seem to remember him mentioning working on a similar project, tho it may have been the 30mm variety  ???  The memory is always the first to go.  Looking forward to more fine work of course!

Best regards,
Kem

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 11/8
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2015, 04:32:05 PM »
Great job so far, loving this!  :-*  You are doing a masterful job of blending all these sweet components together  :)  Love the M61 concept too . . . when Dad worked at Boeing Wichita back in the day, I seem to remember him mentioning working on a similar project, tho it may have been the 30mm variety  ???  The memory is always the first to go.  Looking forward to more fine work of course!

Best regards,
Kem

they did have some cool projects for rotary cannons!!

Someone's stolen the wings! :o


Oh, no, there they are! I thought they were the fitment stubs! :-[


Very nice constructing there, mate! :)

amazingly the incidences of the wings could be varied, guess they had to do something to make up for their small size!

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 11/8
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2015, 04:38:40 PM »
Well another busy day at the office and another of the major items can just about be ticked off and another one to be added!!

Most of the day was spent on two chores, contouring the nose and building the Pave-Gat system.

I started rubbing down the nose section but immediately came onto a problem, with the two small exhaust vents getting in the way and slowly getting miss-shaped. So these were removed to be replaced later, though while researching other stuff I found that Italeri had actually gotten them in the wrong spot in the first place. They should not have been on the radome section of the nose but slightly further back on the fuselage (on the B-57).  With them removed it was easier to clean up all that filler…I do tend too use too much. Then a second lot of filler was applied and left to dry.

Once the second lot of filler was cleaned up, everything was given a light-ish undercoat to see how it looked and what further work was required. All in all it all looks very nice, not to much work required to finish this part off. Re-doing the panel lines will be a fairly big job unfortunately and I hate that job!!!






The forward wheel well was fitted and small fairing strips added to the forward and rear section, I’m quite happy how both wheel wells turned out, so much better than the stock ones!



The tail looks good, though while researching other stuff I found that the brake-chute pod was missing from the tail! So one task completed and another to be done!



Ok the Pave-Gat system, this took up most of the day, as the information is so confusing, the building was actually quite quick! There are very few detailed photos of this system fitted or not, plus there appears to be a very early prototype version fitted to a test frame which looks nothing like the one actually fitted to the aircraft. There appear to be two versions of this weapons system, the TAT-161 (and it was officially called the Pave-Gat) and and earlier(?) version the TAT-157.

The TAT-157 had the M61 fitted at the rear of the pod/platform with the ammunition drum forward of the gun, while the TAT-161 had the M61 fitted to a turret forward of the ammunition drum. Most common photo of the Pave-Gat system shows a B-57B fitted with the TAT-161 system while the B-57G is shown fitted with the other TAT-157 version.




So for this build I will be going with the later version which if the numbering system is correct probably the more advanced version.





The M61 was rotated rearwards for storage when not in use.

It looks pretty good but after a closer look at the photos I may change the turret the holds the M61 slightly, as it does need some azimuth movement. But that won’t take long and that bit will be completed.

Offline finsrin

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 12/8
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2015, 04:59:37 PM »
Whatz not to like?
Assembling that M61 kit is its own feat :icon_surprised: :)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 12/8
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2015, 03:09:05 AM »
Wow!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 12/8
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2015, 05:09:52 PM »
Well lots more progress has been made though not too much to show, a lot of it involved sorting out final positioning of things, plus I rebuilt the Pave-Gat!

I spent quite a lot of time trying to figure out how the new cockpit was going to fit and how the canopy would fit.

So once the general position of the cockpit was worked out cuts were made for where it was going to sit, I didn’t need to change these. The height was the issue, as I wanted the canopy to be quite low and not appear to have been “stick on”!! I was lucky in still having two bulkheads still in place, so these were shortened as required until the cockpit sat just right.



The canopy for sometime had worried me as I like the look of it but the frame profile was all wrong, it had quite a pronounced curve on it (to match the B-57’s nose profile).



But I didn’t need or want this, I wanted an almost straight frame. So out with the scalpel and nail-polishing file and off to work we went (plus a quick dip in some oven-cleaner to remove paint). I now have a canopy free of framework and pretty clear and scratch free. Just needs a quick going over with 12000-grit micro-fibre, polish, and a dip on acrylic floor polish and she’s done. I can now have the framework I need to suit the fuselage profile. 




Ok the engines were fitted next, they went on trouble free, though I did use lots of thin CA glue and accelerator. This made the join cleaning up process a breeze with very little filler required.




Next was the cut-out for the Pave-Gat, I probably should have done this before I fitted the engines as it would have made the process a bit easier, but……  I faired off the rear section just so it didn’t quite act like a brick. The gun platform is fixed, so this is a permanent modification, the rear section of the bomb bay is now an additional fuel tank.



Ok the Pave-Gat itself, as mentioned I was quite happy with the look of it after reviewing the drawings and photo. So I pulled it all apart and gave it proper 2 axis movement, as it should have had. It looks much better now and a bit closer to the actual unit. The initial coat of paint looks a bit sad but it’s just an undercoat.



It does look pretty cool once fitted but there is one issue! Unless the aircraft is really moving quick there is a chance that ejected shells could hit and damage the port engine, so an additional strengthening plate has been added to that engine. Good old aussie engineering at work!  ;D




The bodywork is now pretty well completed, I just need to finish painting the cockpit and fit. The work required to profile and fit the canopy is quite minor compared to what has been done! The wings will be next, they just need to fit smoothly, no filling required, because the wings or the real ones could vary their incidences. The tail will be the last piece to be fitted, as that would be the first piece I’d knock off!! Plus I have started painting up undercarriage and engine bits.

Gosh at this rate I’ll be finished soon, then what would I do!

Offline Artoor_K

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 14/8
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2015, 07:30:24 PM »
Nice work :) I'll keep an eye on this :)
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Ignite the fire within you

Offline LemonJello

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 14/8
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2015, 08:12:30 PM »
Wow...just, wow. 

I can't think of the appropriate superlative(s) for this project.


Offline ChernayaAkula

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 14/8
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2015, 11:06:08 PM »
Loving this! A lot!  :-*

Great to see that you found reference material on the Pave Gat installation. All my Google trawls regarding that system over the years haven't been able to produce anything worthwhile.
Cheers,
Moritz

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Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 14/8
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2015, 08:56:48 PM »
yeah info in the Pave-Gat system was really hard to find, though it can be expected as there was only two aircraft ever modified. Though the program and what was learnt form it had an significant effect on the success of the AC-130 program!

Well just a quick update as I haven’t had a lot of build time the past couple of days.

So I finally completed painting the cockpit, it actually doesn’t look to bad, the quality of the resin cockpit wasn’t up to Aries or likes standards.



With this done I and fitted I could now concentrate on the cockpits fit.



First off plastic sheet was added to the underside of the cockpit, this will allow me to make most of this new work out of plastic.



Next the correct position of the front of the cockpit was set again with plastic rod this time. Plus the rear section of the cockpit was filled in with some sheet to regain it’s original shape. In some ways it would have been nicer to have fitted the cockpit first before closing up the fuselage rather than the other way around as I did, less of the original fuselage would have had to have been removed! Anyway!




Another drop tank was sacrificed for the rear section of the canopy.




I am now very happy with the shape of the new canopy, so now it’s just a case of filling in the gaps with plastic sheet of rod and hopefully just a wee amount of filler. I am half tempted to vacform (or slam mould) a new canopy... will have to think about that one.

The main wheels are pretty crap, even painting them didn’t help.



So a trip to the spares box and a set of 1/48th P-51 wheels look like they maybe the answer.



Unfortunately I only have a pair...so a quick a quick casting job (why has it taken me so long to discover or at least try it!!) and I now have another set, plus additional pylons I need and the missing half of a LGB I needed as well!



Well unfortunately work will start to slow down a bit of this build as I have to start working for a living again...sort of! But I can actually see the end insight already on this project, which is quite amazing!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 09:02:14 PM by trickyrich »

Online Logan Hartke

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 18/8
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2015, 08:32:14 AM »
Looking great! Keep up the great work!

Cheers,

Logan

Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 18/8
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2015, 04:27:18 PM »
This is golden, great job!

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 18/8
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2015, 07:29:22 PM »
Just a quick update tonight, did a little bit of work on her and decided I needed more work!!

First up started tiding up the canopy, have decided to stick with the current one and not make another….well for the moment! With the tape covering the “glass” bits it now has the look I am after. Just need to spend a bit more time on the rear cowling to get the shape right, but this task is nearly done.



So really it’s just the wings and tail to go on till painting time!!!

Arrr the wings…….This was going to be an easy bit until started to do some test fitting and positioning, or to find the port wing sat about 5mm lower than the starboard one!! So it would need to be moved up so they would be even. About now I started to think more about the wings and their size. The wing loading on this aircraft was really high, around 102 lb/ft2 (495 kg/m2) about the same as an F-104 and a lot more than a Eurofighter Typhoon! I want to drop this a bit and give her a bit more of an evolved look.

Plus being Australian it can’t quite be normal, we just love to modify things…….so time to add a big wing to her (well it worked on the F/RF-111C!). So a little bit more fuel, lower take-off speeds, plus she needs to have a smoother ride at medium altitudes for precision bombing and the Pave-Gat! So a wing job it is!

I did a rough drawing of what I’m after, longer tip and a small increase at the wing root for stage 1, stage 2 is to increase it half as much again. Will have to see how it looks after the first stage to see if I go any further.



It’ll look something like this.



So new wing root extensions added first, these will match two pieces a plastic strip I’ll add the fuselage so I can get a better bond with the fuselage (the two strips on the fuselage will be tired together with plastic rod through the fuselage, all will make sense in a later update).



Next a quick check where the tips have to come off.



Then off with yee tips with yea!!!!



A wee bit of plastic to help give me profile.



A wee bit of laminating which will make the shaping process a bit easier and require less filler!



Now that looks better, just need to wait for the glue to harden.



….and a trial fit to see if it will look any good!




That does look amazing, going from something that looked a bit odd and stumpy, to something that has a real modern look to it!! We aussies know how to make things look good!!

Now what else can I modify……….

Online The Big Gimper

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Update 18/8
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2015, 09:04:17 PM »

Now what else can I modify……….

Did you update the crew relief tubes to ensure a snug fit without chaffing or causing undo discomfort?  :o

BTW I do not have the courage to do what you have done to date.
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