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AVENGER 93 Loyce Deen 353

Page 5
And now more fun begins! Brian had asked me to take on his desired Avenger project with the request it be in USS Enterprise markings (I think?). She is in my top 10 all time favorite ships so I was all for that. When the decals showed up you can imagine how thoroughly examined they were. Thankfully, they looked very nice and clean with solid registry and color. They were, however, no spring chickens. I can't remember which year they were printed but it was enough to bring out the bottle of liquid decal film just to be on the safe side. Several aircraft, naturally, were on the sheet so I took this opportunity to test with and without the film. Kudos again to Brian for putting me on to this stuff because they all needed a layer to pull this off. As you can see in the photos a paint mule was clear coated as a test bed. When I showed these to him my jaw dropped at the reply, "That's a 1/72 Corsair isn't it?" Yup the man knows his air-frames.

Happy with the test results I took on the prop markings and while I screwed up the placement of the Hamilton Standard badges the decals went down just hunky dory. Later I would give the prop a bath in brake fluid to redo the entire thing but was still upbeat. The numerals and National Identifiers all went on nicely, although were a bit undersized compared to the wing decals. Figuring we could live with this it was time to put the control surface checkers on. Now I was excited because this added such a cool look to the Avenger and rarely seen in any film clips. So we definitely had something unusual which would stand out on the display shelf. All the checkered decals though were too wide and needed trimming. Not a big deal but it did make me wonder how something like this could have been overlooked. Oh well, onward and upward right? The sheet also included some nice stencils for the sliding windows that were missing from the kit decals. A nice bit of detail and interesting touch to the model.

Whilst blissfully plugging away at Enterprise 33 a question was asked about how I was going to tackle the rocket posts. Not surprisingly my first response was "Huh? Rocket posts?". Then poured in the reference material showing every bird having posts even if they didn't use the rockets. To this day, I have yet to see an Avenger of that time period without those posts, but feel free to send your pictures. Of all the dizzying number of hours spent scratch building other projects these were the most difficult and frustrating. But before they could be made the wing holes had to be drilled. Unfortunately the original model did not call out to drill holes and by the time this subject about rockets was brought up the wings were completed. To get around this a few prayers were spoken aloud and I pulled out the 7X magnifiers, you know the ones that give a nasty headache in return for their use. Long and short of it is I looked for slight warping in the plastic and for the first time ever was grateful for sink marks. Awesome, now that we have holes we needed something to fill them.

Of all the Creative Arts writing is my favorite, as an author that's a good thing, with sculpting being second followed by "making chase, catching and then consuming small rodents" coming in a distant third. Needless to say the kit did not come with them otherwise I'd have elected to make molds and up detail those. but not a chance. The forward and rear masters were sized using diagrams of real rocket posts and then compared to closeup pictures so that science would meet art seamlessly. The reason these were so tough to sculpt was holding on to the bloody things. They were started and left for another day to complete or magically the Arc Angel of MK-5 Zero Length Rocket Launchers would mystically spit em into existence. Yeah right... no fairy-tales here Mister.

It was round about this time when another subject was very delicately touched upon. Something I had shrugged a few times over due to not knowing any better. It illustrates that no matter how much you think you know a subject there's always plenty to learn and don't get me started on these so called "experts". Eh, Em... sorry.

The reason this "subject" was so touchy was because the front cowling had been fixed, painted and would have to be removed. More specially the very front bezel had only the top intake where Enterprise 33 had the later model upper and lower. My reply to his email was wordless. I simply showed him the operating tools and went off to sulk and eat a mackerel sandwich. Later that evening I came up with an idea, why not have both? Display an early TBF/TBM-1C and later have the TBM-3C. This was agreed upon and another change in direction would spring to life and become The Loyce Deen Memorial Project.

Now back to the build! With the brass flaps built they were primed and painted interior green and look real sharp after a subtle wash with oils then buffed. Next was some great fun in working out how to replicate authentic looking antenna components. I experimented using coiled plastic made by my UMM scribers, winding wire and even using bits of old guitar strings. None of this looked right so I settled on stretching heated plastic tubes into even thinner ones and then paint a bit of PVA glue on the tips to approximate insulators and tension springs. Threading them took some doing but the idea was sound enough to save for the final assembly. We came across a photo of a crew next to their bird which showed actual ceramic caps guiding the wire to the radio area. Naturally, I had to do this because it just looked so interesting and it was a challenge. A delightful challenge which adds just that much more depth for the viewer.
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About the Author

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's recently published the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft h...