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World War II: USA
Aircraft of the United States in WWII.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
Monogram 1/48 B-24J
thathaway3
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Posted: Monday, November 14, 2016 - 11:47 PM UTC
I've decided to take a break from my usual Armor and Ship builds to tackle the Monogram 1/48 B-24J.

Anybody out there already built one of these? I'd certainly be interested in benefiting from what others have already learned and done.
Redhand
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Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 01:01 AM UTC
I did a D many years ago. For accurate and detailed turrets get Bill Koster's B-24 turret set!
thathaway3
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Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 03:50 AM UTC
Thanks, Brian. As it turns out, I purchased that along with the "Big Ed" set, and a whole bunch of A/M sets to spice up the build. (I am pretty much incapable of building anything OOB!) As a matter of fact, the turrets are the first things I'm tackling.

I'm just hoping for some additional photos of some built kits to see how others have handled things, particularly painting some of the details as the B&W photos in most references aren't a lot of help.
AussieReg
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Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 04:16 AM UTC
Sounds like a cool project, I will certainly be following this one!

Best of luck with the build.

Cheers, D
simonn
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Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 05:43 AM UTC
Tom

I built the B-24J years ago. The only issue I had was a warped wing. Not sure if it is a common problem with the kit or just my own doing.
Sounds like a great build with all the PE you will be using. Looking forward to following.

Simon
Redhand
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Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 07:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks, Brian. As it turns out, I purchased that along with the "Big Ed" set, and a whole bunch of A/M sets to spice up the build. (I am pretty much incapable of building anything OOB!) As a matter of fact, the turrets are the first things I'm tackling.

I'm just hoping for some additional photos of some built kits to see how others have handled things, particularly painting some of the details as the B&W photos in most references aren't a lot of help.



Sounds great. Vector also makes fabulous wheel wells and engine/cowling sets for this. Is it to be NMF or OD/NG?
Redhand
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Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 08:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Tom

I built the B-24J years ago. The only issue I had was a warped wing. Not sure if it is a common problem with the kit or just my own doing.
Sounds like a great build with all the PE you will be using. Looking forward to following.

Simon



So far as the warped wings go, I believe this is a characteristic of most of Monogram's four engine bombers from this era. Having built a few of them, I find that the wings "straighten out" reasonably well once they are glued together. It's like the warping on the top and the bottom cancel each other out!
thathaway3
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 12:49 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Is it to be NMF or OD/NG?



That is an EXCELLENT question, and I'm not certain yet. I'd normally lean toward the OD finish as I'm pretty sure I could get a decent look that way as I'm comfortable with painting either by hand or airbrush. If I were confident that I could get a good look in the NMF (never tried it before), I'd probably go that way, since it seems most of the "J" models were that way.

But here's what will decide it. First, I'll need to be able to find decals for the exact aircraft (within reason of course) that I'd like to build.

I live about a 10 minute drive from Willow Run, and I spent 30 years as an engineer with Ford Motor Company, so it's pretty much a given that I want to model a ship built at Willow Run. So the features of the aircraft, turret types, etc., are going to be what would have been built there, and then I'll have to find some decals of an aircraft that was built there. And I'd prefer a 2nd Air Division of the 8th AF if possible.

Has anybody got some suggestions?
Redhand
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 01:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Is it to be NMF or OD/NG?



That is an EXCELLENT question, and I'm not certain yet. I'd normally lean toward the OD finish as I'm pretty sure I could get a decent look that way as I'm comfortable with painting either by hand or airbrush. If I were confident that I could get a good look in the NMF (never tried it before), I'd probably go that way, since it seems most of the "J" models were that way.

But here's what will decide it. First, I'll need to be able to find decals for the exact aircraft (within reason of course) that I'd like to build.

I live about a 10 minute drive from Willow Run, and I spent 30 years as an engineer with Ford Motor Company, so it's pretty much a given that I want to model a ship built at Willow Run. So the features of the aircraft, turret types, etc., are going to be what would have been built there, and then I'll have to find some decals of an aircraft that was built there. And I'd prefer a 2nd Air Division of the 8th AF if possible.

Has anybody got some suggestions?



Simply that, again, Bill Koster did a special conversion set to address A/C built by Ford (at Willow Run). I would definitely look into that.

When you make the decision, let me know. If it were me, I'd go camo. I do have an EXCELLENT (the late, RIP) Roger Freeman book that discusses and illustrates scheme variations in factory applied paints and insignia placement at the various B-24 plants, and I think that's a must for what you're looking at.

There are a ton of B-24 decals out there. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find something out of Willow Run for the 2nd Air Division. Again, if it was me, I'd opt for an early 2nd Div. A/C with large white circle division markings on tail and upper port wing.
thathaway3
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 07:46 PM UTC
This is shaping up to be a fun build. It's funny how just about all my builds go this way, doing a ton of research and getting all the right stuff such as the A/M items which seems to last almost as long as the build itself. (And cost 2-3 times as much as the original kit!

One other thought occurred to me. Since it seems that there are not a lot of pictures of 2nd Division A/C which have the Serial numbers visible on them (thus showing which plant built them) I just MIGHT choose to do one from the CBI theater. I don't know yet if any B-24J units flew out of Chakulia in India, but if they DID, that would be even better. My late father was in a Combat Aviation Engineer Battalion in the CBI theater, and he helped to build that base.

Anybody know off hand of any B-24 units that flew out of Chakulia?
Redhand
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 08:05 PM UTC
Doesn't look like it. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakulia_Airport
thathaway3
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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 11:49 PM UTC

Quoted Text



Yeah, looks like you're correct. He was in the 1877th Engineer Aviation Battalion and it appears that they were involved with initial work for the B-29s before they relocated to the Marianas.

http://www.cbi-history.com/part_iv_eng.html#13

I'll need to figure out how to determine whether a specific A/C in the 2nd Division was a FO build. Not being able to see the serial numbers makes that tough.
KPHB17FE
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Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 03:54 AM UTC
There were a lot of Ford built H's in the 2nd AD. Couple of books that might help would be "Liberator Album, B-24's of the 2nd Air Division USAAF" by Mike Bailey and Tony North and "Consolidated Mess" by Alan Griffith. The 446th seems to have a number of Ford built H's with the circle AD markings.

The H had a rather unique "S" shape to the nose where the turret was faired in. Kosters mod covers that quite nicely. It is a vac conversion but not too difficult.

Decals that I have for Ford built B-24 H's include: Witchcraft, Naughty Nan, FOil Proof, and Sharon D. Also three of the Zodiacs, Libra, Virgo, and Cancer were Ford built but they were in the Third Air Division so may not be of interest to you. I am sure there are others, those are just the ones in my collection.
thathaway3
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Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 08:51 PM UTC
The only reason I was considering the 2nd Division was simply because that was the major unit in the 8th flying the B-24s. However, modeling a Ford built A/C is I think the most important factor for me. Doing an A/C from 3rd Division before they converted isn't really a big deal. And since I'm a Libra.......

Any ideas where I can get a hold of the Koster modification kit? I tried unsuccessfully to find one yesterday. I also had some difficulty with ebay yesterday not allowing me to check out when I tried to purchase the two Vector Resin kits (landing gear and engines). Not sure what was going on with that.
KPHB17FE
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Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 10:38 PM UTC
Purchase direct from Bill. Good guy to deal with. Contact him via email: wkoster22@att.net
Removed by original poster on 11/18/16 - 22:19:43 (GMT).
thathaway3
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Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 - 03:52 AM UTC
Thanks! He responded immediately and I'm arranging to buy the set from him.
Redhand
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Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 - 05:19 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks! He responded immediately and I'm arranging to buy the set from him.



Sounds great. I think Karl's idea of doing a B-24H has a lot of merit. There are some decent decal sets of the 486th BG (Zodiacs) in OD/NG schemes, for example here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kits-World-Decals-1-48-CONSOLIDATED-B-24-LIBERATOR-ZODIACS-Sagitarius-Cancer-/131831895569?hash=item1eb1cb1611:g:U9sAAOSwNsdXS3D4
KPHB17FE
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Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016 - 09:22 AM UTC
A company called IsraDecal does them as well. Both companies decals can be found at Sprue Brothers. I have the Isradecals, they look quite nice although I have yet to use them.
thathaway3
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Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 02:35 AM UTC
B-24H Conversion kit enroute from William Koster: Check
B-24 Engines, Cowls and Turbocharges & Wheel Well Sets enroute from North Star Models: Check
B-24 Decals for Zodiacs (Libra) enroute from Sprue Brothers: Check

I think for my next step while I'm waiting for all the rest of my A/M stuff to arrive, I'll take a drive over to the Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run and see if I can get some additional reference information (especially on colors for interior painting) and also see if they'd be interested and have space to display the completed model.
Joel_W
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Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 04:49 AM UTC
Tom,
Sounds like an exciting build to follow, so I'll be pulling up my chair and following right along.

Don't let NMF scare you off. These days the Alcad2 system is really easy to use. Of course prep work is everything in the painting game.

Looking forward to your 1st update on the turrets.

Joel
dammodeus
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Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 06:47 PM UTC
A good reference book I picked up at an IPMS model show is the book B-24 The Soldier. It has lots of close up color photos. I found it on Ebay too.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XB-24+the+soldier.TRS0&_nkw=B-24+the+soldier&_sacat=267
KPHB17FE
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Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 08:20 PM UTC
Just a note of caution: I believe that book is using the Collings Foundations airplane for reference and you should always take restorations with a grain of salt. The Collings organization has done nice restorations, just might want to check on some details.
thathaway3
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Posted: Sunday, November 20, 2016 - 09:12 PM UTC
Looks like I can avoid the NMF altogether. I believe that all the Zodiacs were painted in OD, so looks like that's the way I'll be going. Yankee Air Museum is closed today, so I may try to go over there Wednesday to see what I can find out.