Author Topic: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat  (Read 2230 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Sometimes you come across something and it all seems to click pretty nice so you've just got to dive right in. It was like that with a bagged eastern bloc 1/72 RPM Beriev Be-4 Soviet rescue seaplane a good friend sent me recently. Granted, the brief history is a bit hard to parse...



Hmmm, never heard of this maker before. Luckily, the sprues are simplicity itself.





Of course, since this will be a 1/72 to 1/144 bit of Scale-O-Rama© some extras are called for:



I just got most of the major assemblies together without gluing my fingers to my forehead (for once). Updates after things dry.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 02:12:17 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

  • Unaffiliated Independent Subversive...and the last person to go for a trip on a Mexicana dH Comet 4
  • Global Moderator
  • His stash is able to be seen from space...
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2019, 02:21:59 AM »
A subject with some class on par with Porco Rosso in some respects. 

Scale-O-Rama or OOB, I am sure you will do this subject justice with the finished model. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Frank3k

  • Excession
  • Formerly Frank2056. New upgrade!
    • My new webpage
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2019, 03:18:25 AM »
I have this kit, Brian; ehen Squadron sells Eastern European kits at a deep discount... there's a reason.
 Good thing you're going to re-scale it, because it's not a good kit when built as intended.

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2019, 12:43:27 PM »
Well those modern, space-age adhesives are now dry and this bird is ready for Stage II.



I ended out substituting a few parts. That's allowed, right Ref? Ref?



Oh wait, I am the ref. D'oh!

The kit's horiz stabs come in thick upper and lower halves and work well enough with just one half, so I wanted to squirrel them away. Opportunities for biplane horiz stabs being quire rare, I swapped them out with some P-40 parts.



I found some bean-shaped Me-109 drop tanks and those guys don't need the gas so I swiped them to use as engine nacelles.

I also hoarded those lovely wing tip floats and went with stabilizing sponsons made from cast-off sub fins (hello Bill!).



I also couldn't resist bombing it up. Inside I think I'm still around 7 or 8 years old.

My trusty JLC razor saw performed flawlessly thank goodness.



However, I performed far less flawlessly and dropped the whole thing and had to re-attach a wing, strut and opposing sponson.

Which explains this late post.



Operation Paint the Beast starts in the morning.

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 12:51:42 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2019, 01:03:29 PM »
Masterful parts mix.  You are on a roll....

Offline Robomog

  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2019, 04:18:00 PM »
Looking good Brian, Open cockpits or have you found some glass to fit ?


Mog
>^-.-^<
Mostly Harmless...............

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2019, 09:47:35 PM »
I'm glad you asked, Mog.

"Clear" parts will indeed be used and they "fit" rather "well" considering the person that designed them apparently wasn't on speaking terms with anyone else involved in engineering this kit.



The back piece can be managed with tactical application of Elmer's glue. The cockpit canopy thoughtfully gives me the option of either a yawning gap in front or in back. I think I'm going to with the gap in back and hope Elmer can save the day. Fingers crossed...

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 09:49:29 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 01:57:45 AM »
Instead of heading off to the paint shop, I decided to add some navigation aids.

First, the old-fashioned kind:



Now going a bit more high-tech:





I also added a bow hatch made out of a biplane wheel hub and put a shim behind the cockpit:



This helps the "fit" of the canopy enormously.



I'll have to rely on Elmer to clean up things in back.



Off to the paint shop now. I swear.

Actually I've been swearing enough already...   ;D

Brian da Basher

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

  • Unaffiliated Independent Subversive...and the last person to go for a trip on a Mexicana dH Comet 4
  • Global Moderator
  • His stash is able to be seen from space...
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 02:15:57 AM »
Glad to see that you have found another purpose for those pesky submarine model stands.  Brilliant!  :)

Your scale-o-rama reduction does not look out of place with regards to proportions and overall appearance. 
"Every day we hear about new studies 'revealing' what should have been obvious to sentient beings for generations; 'Research shows wolverines don't like to be teased" -- Jonah Goldberg

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 07:56:30 AM »
Back from the paint shop...



The old hairy stick was trotted out and loaded up with Poly Scale SP Lettering Gray acrylic. The "clear" parts were done with Model Masters Insignia Blue and given a top coat of Liquitex gloss medium.



Model Masters Insignia Yellow was used on the ordnance and the engines were given a custom mix.



You can see in this shot where I broke the pitot tube off. Those more sharp-eyed may also notice the new antenna that replaces the original which snapped off into another dimension.



On to the decals next.



It's the home stretch.  :D

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 05:34:38 PM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Frank3k

  • Excession
  • Formerly Frank2056. New upgrade!
    • My new webpage
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2019, 08:36:09 AM »
Looks good Brian! Did you mask the canopy?
You've gotten further along with this kit than I did with mine!

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2019, 05:32:20 PM »
Frank, I masked off the major lines on the "clear" parts and did the rest free-hand. Funny how cockpits get smaller when you do that.
This build is an example of "don't let perfect be the enemy of good". It's got a few issues I'd deal with if I took it (or anything else) seriously.

Fingers crossed for the decals. I just realized that most of the ones I chose are a bit iffy...

Brian da Basher

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 03:35:32 AM »
Looking great Brian! And somehow has a pre-war Consolidated look about it  :smiley:
"How many moles do you suppose they're keeping?;
Don't make a sound they're not dead, just sleeping"

Offline arctic warrior

  • Newly Joined - Welcome me!
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2019, 02:58:52 AM »
Looking great Brian! And somehow has a pre-war Consolidated look about it  :smiley:

Just my thought. Or kind of Grumman Goose/Widgeon!  :smiley:
Really looking forward to the decals being applied and the back story!  ;D

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2019, 05:20:53 AM »


Boeing is not a firm known for military flying boats. In fact, their most famous flying boat was the globe-girdling civilian 314.



However, before they built the record-setting 314, they worked on this far less well-known precursor.



Design studies were begun initially on a commercial venture but the customer, Pan American, bailed. Fortunately the Navy's Bureau of Aeronautics became interested and ordered a service-test batch straight off the drawing board.



Development time was necessarily protracted due to Boeing's far more lucrative B-17 contracts. By the time the five Boeing long-range patrol flying boats were delivered, they'd already been made obsolete by the Consolidated PBY Catalina.



The five XPBBs were duly assigned to long-range Patrol Sqn. 5 (Test) conveniently based in that secretive U.S. Navy enclave near Seattle, Washington. The tough crews put them through their paces even though it was a given no more of these aircraft would be ordered.



Known as the XPBB Brigantine in official U.S. Navy parlance, the Boeing aircraft's stiff, heavy controls led to exhausted crews calling it the "Brig" as it was less like flying and more like serving a sentence imposed by court martial.



Things went by rote for this obscure Navy test squadron who continued submitting progress reports on the Boeing XPBB which were apparently circular-filed in the upper echelons of BuAer. Long-range test flights out past the coast and over the vast Pacific continued with yawning regularity that would make milk of magnesia proud.



That would all change in the war panic that took hold of the country after December 7, 1941. From then on, every serviceable aircraft was needed to hunt the enemy who were rumored to be preparing an invasion. Thus the five Boeing XPBB "Brigs" were alerted for action.



Enemy submarine activity was reported in a proportion far exceeding their actual numbers off the American west coast. Looking back over these voluminous reports, modern historians have determined Keokuk, Iowa may have been the only major U.S. metropolitan area not to file a sub sighting.



Of course the vast majority of these panicked reports would come from the area closest in proximity to the perfidious enemy, the U.S. Pacific North West which included the Seattle-Portland-Pacific defense zone. Press of the day offered breathless coverage.



The brave, sore crews of long-range Patrol Sqn. 5 (Test) put in many long hours scanning the vast expanse of ocean for the enemy. Most searches would prove utterly fruitless yet these determined men persisted, intent on defending their shores from attack.



Finally on March 3, 1942 one of the "Brigs" made contact with the enemy. While bombing was ineffective, the crew returned with vital photographic intelligence captured during the brief action.



The Navy quickly mobilized to take out the threat. All five "Brigs" from VP-5 (Test) flew sorties attacking the enemy. Even though no hits were recorded, it's possible such aggressive tactics spoiled the enemy's plans.



This would be the high point of not only the enemy's submarine onslaught but of the Boeing XPBB's service as well. Sightings tapered off through the spring of 1942 and by the time of the Battle of Midway, ended almost entirely.



The strain of constant ops and long flights took a toll on the "Brigs" and by the fall of 1942, they were grounded for structural fatigue as the more capable PBY Catalina replaced them in service.



Nothing exists today of what would be Boeing's last navy flying boat except this obscure 1/144 scale model kit, only one of which is known to have been ever been produced or built.



Still, for one brief, brave moment the XPBB "Brigs" defended the U.S. west coast from the enemy under the most dire of circumstances even if the so-called "experts" deny the whole heroic story as just another whale of a tale.



Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 06:49:21 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2019, 06:14:12 AM »


Well those decals turned out to be not worth worrying about. Not at all.



They were from a Hobby Boss sheet intended for a 1/72 Wildcat. I've not had great luck with Hobby Boss decals so you can understand why I was a little nervous.



The codes on the nose were from spares. The letter was a B which I turned into a P with a dab of paint.



The main kit was an eastern bloc 1/72 RPM Beriev Be-4 with a new, nameless wing that I don't know where it originated but it looks like 1/72 scale as well. The engines and cowlings were from a 1/144 DC-3 backed by nibs of 1/72 Me-109 drop-tanks.



The bombs were swiped from a 1/72 Monogram B-36. The stabilizing sponsons were re-purposed 1/350 sub fins (hello Bill!).



And the decals were all 1/72 scale. So it's a true Scale-O-Rama© in many respects.



It only took four days for me to put this all together and once I figured out a few problems, it was a lot of fun.



I'd like to thank Bill for his thoughtfulness in sending me this cool Beriev model. I couldn't have done it without him!

Before I forget, here's a couple of "money shots" (U.S. penny for scale):



This aircraft is pretty small, regardless of scale. The whole time I worked on it, I pitied those cramped Be-4 crews.



I hope you enjoyed the Boeing XPBB "Brig" and reading a little more forgotten aircraft history even if it seems like a whale of a tale.



Brian da Basher

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2019, 07:41:03 AM »
Gripping back ground story to Boeing XPBB.  One of those readings ya can't put down.  Fascinating.
Looks exactly right for the time and roll down to Boeing's expedient and R&D money saving use of P-40 tail wings.  :smiley:

Offline elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2019, 12:54:18 PM »
Beautiful model and backstory; talk about making a silk purse from a sow's ear.  Bravo!!

Offline Robomog

  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2019, 03:59:47 PM »
Another cracker Brian, the pre-war stars set it off a treat.
 :smiley: :smiley:

Mog
>^-.-^<
Mostly Harmless...............

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2019, 05:23:43 AM »
Great stuff Brian! Love the Brigs' backstory  ;D
"How many moles do you suppose they're keeping?;
Don't make a sound they're not dead, just sleeping"

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2019, 04:22:24 AM »
What a hoot to see a re-pop of this kit reviewed over on Modeling Madness today:

Linky

Hahaha yeah it's not recommended and is practically unbuildable.

Unless you commit the crime of Scale-o-rama that is.

Brian da Basher

P.S. I think that re-pop has less flash on it than mine. I wonder how that happened?

Offline Frank3k

  • Excession
  • Formerly Frank2056. New upgrade!
    • My new webpage
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2019, 06:40:39 AM »
That's the boxing I have. At least you can dissolve the extra flash in acetone and use it as plastic putty. You may be one of the few people to actually complete this kit - in one way or the other.

Online ericr

  • He's like some sort of Dr Frankenstein of modelling...
  • Has something for red, yellow or blue...
Re: Operation Beriev or Bashing a 1/72 Be-4 into a 1/144 Flying Boat
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2019, 10:59:51 AM »

nice transformation !