Author Topic: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” Finished!!!  (Read 18987 times)

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 »

Offline 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……….

Offline 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.
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2015, 09:39:30 PM »
Great work! That's some serious talent! You could always go the engine pod modification route that Talos and I did.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline LemonJello

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2015, 09:43:56 PM »
Jaw-dropping.  This is sure to be an absolute stunner when all is said and done. 

Offline finsrin

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2015, 03:54:55 AM »
Keen eye for wing mods and building skill to match :)
My skin took on a green hue.

Wonder what other kit OOB wings might work.  1/48 F-86 to large ?
Many choices to consider.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2015, 06:14:18 AM by finsrin »

Offline Frank3k

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2015, 06:03:59 AM »
Amazing job! Is that a Brad Parker handle in the background?

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2015, 06:10:05 AM »
Amazing job! Is that a Brad Parker handle in the background?

no it/they are just something cheap I found at on of the local hardware chain stores. They're really nice to use and hold. Unfortunately they only had them in stock for a little while but I managed to get two, one for the scalpel and one for the mini razor saw.

Offline Steve Blazo

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2015, 10:50:40 AM »
Odd looking bird, but it does have certain beauty to it, looking good !!
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Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2015, 09:19:12 PM »
This is just superb  :-* excellent skill
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Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” "Wing Job"
« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2015, 07:09:12 PM »
Today’s update will be called one-step forward and 2-3 steps back!!! 

Ok the good stuff…

The wings are pretty well done, just a couple of spots to tidy up and they can go on. So to get to here…

From the last update, the tips were given a good sanding to get their profile right.  Laminating with plastic sheet was certainly the way to go as it made this process so much easier.



Next some filler in the gaps and around the original wing/new wing joint. There are some noticeable hollows in the resin towards the tip, think it was a result of where the tip gear is. Anyway after a good sanding again it starts to look very nice.



Ends were fitted to the wing root ends and this section also cleaned up and profiled, This is a much later photo as I forgot to take one while doing this!



Next up the flap fairings needed to be fitted….there should and use to be 6 of them, in three different sizes! But some how I have managed to loose the 4 smaller ones….knowing my luck they’ll show up after I have finished it. So I had to make up some new ones, one sanded one not.



Now she’s all sweet, a final lite rubdown and done.



Ok the tail, it still shared a similar outline to the old wings. I had thought of completely redoing the tips but as it was complete and pretty well finished I decided to cheat a bit, so out with the big sanding stick. The tips were squared off, then it was given a smoother leading edge curve, while the trailing edge was slightly reduced. A subtle change but it matches the wings a little more closely now.



So with the wings and tail pretty well done as mentioned……at this stage I was getting ready to fit the wings, but things started to go down hill at this stage!

Now the backward steps, I’ll go from no so bad to crap!

Ok I had some plastic strip cut to the profile of the wing and was going to fit it to the fuselage first with CA glue and pinned with plastic rod through the fuselage. Then with pre-cut out holes the wing I would have a nice plastic to plastic join for them…..that was the plan.

During the test fitting stages it turns out the port wing is 5mm lower than the starboard one! No drama I just had to ensure that my alignment holes were correct. This all went together perfectly, the joins were good and everything was even. Then during some more test fitting I notice that the wings were completely level with the fuselage! They had the correct droop 6o anhedral but their incidence was nearly dead level 0o, which is not right. They should have some while on the ground, even in flight they still have some. So the original alignment holes on the RHS were in correct (maybe the LHS ones were correct…I don’t want to think about that!!!)  So all my lovely work was in vain and now I had to remove the ones I had glued on with CA glue!! So after much cursing they’re fixed, not as clean and tidy as before, but at least they are where they should be!!



Ok now to the crap………

I had been finishing the final shaping of the canopy surrounds and had a quick peek under the tape just to check how things were inside (I had head something rattling inside. To my shock and horror the canopy had lots of hairline cracks in it along with half a ton of dust! There was nothing to it but to remove the canopy, which did little damage to the surrounding area. Looking closely at the canopy you could see lots and lots of small cracks. What to do, well there was some cursing and the dust bunnies probably learnt few words they didn’t know before today! But it’s really not a biggie, just more work I didn’t want to do, but the canopy wasn’t the best to start with so I should have figured something like this may happen.!

Polishing and dipping in floor polish didn’t help. I tried the smash mould a new one but just couldn’t get it right, and I have managed to put a small dent in it now!



So after some searching Falcon VacForm has come to the rescue, they do a canopy set which includes a canopy for the B-57. Worse case I may just have to buy another B-57 kit and use its canopy! Though they would look nice together!!!

In the mean time I will redo the canopy frames, which should be easier now that I have positions to work from.



I have a semi-reasonable canopy I made that might work, as I think I will leave the canopy open now. So for this I will have to make a custom frame up…..will just have to see how time and motivation goes.



If I hadn’t had the canopy issues that wings and tail would have been on now….but why would we want to make life so easy for us!

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 25/08 update
« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2015, 12:09:47 AM »
If we wanted to do that we ... we ... well, we wouldn't be whiffers! :o
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 25/08 update
« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2015, 05:43:11 AM »
Excellent explanations thanks! Sorry for the bad luck in some places :) Looks well handled though
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Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 25/08 update
« Reply #40 on: August 28, 2015, 05:38:13 PM »
I had pushed this one aside for a while I wait for the new canopy to arrive (still haven’t decided if I’ll buy a B-57 as well). But while I was waiting for bits on the Arado to dry I did a little bit more on it.

I finished off the wings, they’ve had their final rub down and I’ve managed to get a nice smooth finish on them, which is great.

So with that done I couldn’t help myself and decided to fit them! I will start by saying the logical way would have been to fit these before fitting the engines (a big hint to anyone building one of these!!!). This would have made life sooooooooo much easier, but because I was working with a plastic-to-plastic join it hasn’t been that difficult.

The biggest job was getting the anhedral right, which wasn’t that easy! I made up a jig with balsa and locked down the fuselage, then after 40 minutes of measuring and fiddling I was set to glue them.  With the wings in place I initially used thin liquid glue to join them. There were some gaps (Anigrand has the original wing angle wrong at closer to 10o rather than the correct 6o, it doesn’t sound much but with the extended wings there is a big difference!) so into the gaps went some CA glue, this just locked everything in place. The remaining gaps, all under wing luckily, were filled with plastic strip.

The end result was very little sanding was needed to get some nice top joins, the lower ones will be nicely hidden by the engines and won’t normally be seen, but they too will clean up nicely. Not much filler was required either.





those are terrible files marks! Not sure how they got there, but they're gone now!
 
Next up while the wings were drying, the Arado was still drying and the Skyshark was…… just sitting there, I had a look at the tail!

The lower section of the rudder and base of the tail had a curved trailing edge to it, this just didn’t look right when compared to the more squared off tips on the new wing and elevators. I wanted this now to be more squared as well, so out with the sanding board.



This now has a much more squared off look, which matches the rest of the plane.



One other thing is with the tail on, the elevators tilts upwards, from the nose, where they should be inline with the horizontal axis of the plane. The whole tail needs to be tilted up slightly, once done it looks more natural. I may have to adjust that trailing edge of the rudder to make it square or I may just leave it with a slight slant.



I was struggling to get a photo that showed what I meant clearly



That new section though will make a perfect spot radar-warning receiver!


There is actually not a lot left to do on this at all now, once the replacement canopy arrives, all should progress very quickly to the painting stage!

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 28/08 update
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2015, 05:16:25 PM »
Ok just a minor update today.

I have fitted the tail and completed the modification to it! Just needs the usual final tidy up and she’s done!

As I mentioned previously I didn’t quite like the look of the tail or how it sat, I think it needed to sit up a bit more at the back, so that’s what I did.

The tail and body were drilled in two places and plastic rod was used to get the tail in line with the centre axis of the fuselage plus to lift it up a bit, plus give it strength. Next the gap was filled with green putty, I just couldn’t be bothered yesterday with filling the gap with plastic card.




After curing over night it was given a good sanding back and some basic profiling of the tail as well. Plus I added a small bit of card so as I could get a nice sharp trailing edge. Now the fine filler was added.



You can clearly see what was required to fill the hollow in the fuselage behind intake #2!!



Once this filler had cured everything was given a good sanding back and the tail was finally profiled to shape.



Looks pretty good now, though I don’t like the bump on the top of the tail anymore so that will go, to be replaced by a rearwards facing radome below the rudder, and above the brake chute door, which needs to be added!





I think it looks much better now and suits the new lines of the aircraft. As I mentioned it’s pretty well complete now just sand final touching up and the tails complete, actually the same can be said of everything else. It’s almost to the stage that I could start painting now. No more modifications as I run the risk of breaking something…notably the wing tips!

Offline LemonJello

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 30/08 update
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2015, 08:26:10 PM »
Just an absolute tour-de-force in kit conversion and modification!  Can't wait to see it with some paint on it. 

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 30/08 update
« Reply #43 on: August 31, 2015, 09:07:04 PM »
Just an absolute tour-de-force in kit conversion and modification!  Can't wait to see it with some paint on it.

Thanks, if I hadn't had the trouble with the canopy it would have paint on it by now! I am trying very hard to resist doing some painting, but with the canopy work to go it would be silly. The new canopy is coming from the UK, so hope it gets here nice and quick. Plus that it will fit/work, else I'll have to buy a B-57 kit! 

Offline trickyrich

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 30/08 update
« Reply #44 on: September 06, 2015, 05:21:56 PM »
Ok this is really a small update as I haven’t had much modelling time……work it interfering again!!

The vacform canopy hasn’t arrived yet, but I have decided to buy a B-51G as well, the canopy from this will be used for the build and the vacform one used on it.

I fitted a new radome to the base of the tail as well as removing the hump I added to the top of the tail, this looks much better in my opinion.



The whole thing was given a coat of acrylic Lt Grey, this was a chance to look at the completed plane. As well The main gear was temporarily fitted. Fitting the gear will be fun, especially to get it even and level!







It has such a good look to it, completely different to the squat look the B-51 has.

I’m glad to have finished all the main work, just the final tiding up of joins and she will be ready for painting….once the canopy is fitted!

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 06/9 update
« Reply #45 on: September 06, 2015, 10:00:54 PM »
That looks great, Rich! You've really done justice to the concept! Great work!

Cheers,

Logan

Offline LemonJello

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 06/9 update
« Reply #46 on: September 06, 2015, 11:17:50 PM »
Jaw-dropping just in primer...this is really going to turn some heads when all is said and done.

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 06/9 update
« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2015, 02:24:03 AM »
That looks great, Rich! You've really done justice to the concept! Great work!


Wot he said.
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Offline Old Wombat

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 06/9 update
« Reply #48 on: September 07, 2015, 05:45:28 PM »
That looks great, Rich! You've really done justice to the concept! Great work!

Jaw-dropping just in primer...this is really going to turn some heads when all is said and done.

Wot they sed! :)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Martin B-51G Panther “Tropic Moon III” 06/9 update
« Reply #49 on: September 07, 2015, 09:06:30 PM »
Can't wait to see the finished product, were there licence produced in Aus like the Cranberry, or bought from the States like the F-111?