Sep 24, 2017

Club Build-1950's


Edited: Nov 9, 2017

This will be my entry, if nothing terminal happens during the finishing process. This is the old AMT/ERTL boxed kit of the 1/72 Northrup B-49 Flying Wing. I must say that for an old kit, it has not had one fitment issue. I have built newer kits offered by more 'prestigious' manufacturers that hade more fitment issues than this one. There is more excess flash present then we see in newer kit but is easily delt with. For a 1/72 scale aircraft, the cockpit has alot of detail that, unfortunately will barely be seen. I will be doing the bare metal finish using the Alclad process, by the 'book'. Meaning, I will be following the Alclad instuctions, both the video and printed instructions. I say this because of our recent discussion at the club meeting on this subject of metallizing and the products to accomplish a good durable finish. My intent is to build a Tu-95MS with a metalized finish but utilizing a less expensive, easier to apply and reportedly more durable method. Mean while back at the Wing.

After assembling, little to no fillers were required. I did spend much more time polishing all the joints and surfaces. I used MicroMesh polishing cloths thru the range 4000-12000. I used the Alclad Black Primer Microfiller. Alclad says to put 2 thin coats on, sanding with 4000-8000 Micro Mesh. This is the point I am at presently and reflected in the below photos of the first coat primer, pre-sanding. One thing I would like to add, a model this size really requires using a small spray gun to get a good even base coat. You will note in the photo below of the 1st coat of primer that it was applied with an air brush and not a spray gun. I do have a spray gun that I have not attempted to use yet but it is the plan to try it out soon, possibly on the Tu-95. Please check out Paul Budzig on You Tube on the subject of Airbrushes Vs. small spray guns, it is insightful.















Kenny Gregory
Sep 26, 2017

It's going to look awesome when it's done!

Oct 8, 2017


This is a close up of the final coat of the primer just after final sanding with the micro mesh cloth. But the purpose of the photo was for me to print out on regular paper. My intent is to 'map' or make notes on the structure panels with Alclad paint colors codes. I will then use the map to aid masking the required panels after the base metalizing is done. Aircraft panels from this era aircraft used different aluminum and steel panels for different purposes regarding stress, strain and heat resistance. There may have been other types of material, fiberglass comes to mind, that were used also.

Well back to the classroom. (My name for the former hobbyroom, as I have found that each time I start modeling, I learn something new or relearn something old or forgotten)

Oct 26, 2017Edited: Oct 26, 2017




In the first photo it is showing tamiya tape masking panels. Even though the Tamiya tape is relatively low tack I did not want to take any risks of pulling the Alclad of the model. I initially did a pull test with basic Tamiya Tape (t/tape) over unprotected Alclad. This was unsuccessful as the alclad did pull off. For my next test I clear coated the Alclad with their Aqua Gloss Clear. This will also give me a base for decals. I wanted to detack the t/tape. This was done by sticking to my forhead, cheeks and chin. The skin oil was enough to detack the t/tape but not interferewith the alclad. I used 6 differant Alclad colors. The photo number2 shows only a few shades. In person the color/sheen shifts are much more evident. The last photo shows the numerous stips of tape. I did reuse them a couple times which worked out well because the tackiness was highly reduced and would not pull the Alclad.

Around the upper surface there is a black stripe demarcating walk areas. The kit comes with no decals for them. They indicate that the modeler get a sheet of black decal sheet and cut a set out. I am opting for masking and painting the walk way. It will be a bit more work and run the risk of pulling the Alclad. I have taken the extra precaution and applied another complete Aqua Gloss Clear coat. If it works, which it should, the results will be better than decals. Stay tuned, my intent is complete The Wing for the next model meeting in November. And I mean 2017.....no sub jokes.

Oct 30, 2017



'NO STEP' area demarcation masking started by taking PMA ultra thin masking tape. I got this from Sprue Bros. 2mm tape was used as a guide to establish the width of the black demarcation. First I put it down where I wanted the line to be. Then, utilizing 10mm Tamiya tape, I put this on either side of the 2mm guide tape. Just a side note, in an attempt to eliminate or minimize the potential of Alclad lifting, even after clear coating, all of the tape was detacked as mentioned in my previous post. Once the side masking was done I removed the 2mm tape carefully. Tamiya Acrylic NATO black was used as the demarcation line color. Minimal drying time passed before I removed the rest of the masking. With all the precautions taken to avoid Alclad lifting I did have one small section that did lift. Recovery/Repair process for Alclad requires that the base black coat be applied over the damaged area for an undectable repair. With all the precautions taken I thought that no lifting would have occurred. Reality 1, Kurt 0.

The results of the masking tape-a-thon. I am happy with the results. I was really thinking I would not put the demarcation line on the model, either tape or decal stripping stock, but I felt it was necessary regardless of the work masking. I am happy with the results.

Next decals. The decals that are in the kit are dated 1995 and are a bit yellow. I am not going to gamble with them and have ordered new ones. Beacuse there are none specifically for the XB-49, I will use some B-36 decals. There are only basically 4 decals used, 2 each of the USAF, and 2 each the STARS. On both of the upper-outer verticle stabilizers there are also USAF markings. I think the B-36 decals will have all I need. I can not use a heavy setting solution on the Alclad as I have read that it will mar the surface even if it protected with a clear coat....go figure. Decals should be here in 2 days and I will proceed.

Nov 6, 2017Edited: Nov 7, 2017

Well the decals came in. Reviewing them I found the unuseable for this application. They had no stars and bars that would have worked. I opted to cut the carrier away from the USAF and stars and bars that I used on the upper wing surface. I experimented using an un trimmed USAF on the lower wing surface. It was OK but not what I wanted. So I proceded to use the kit's 1995 vitage decals.

My plan is to finish putting the fiddlybits on today, fix some minor faux-paus and put the final finish on the Wing today.




Nov 7, 2017



All I have left is to do a bit of touch-up and install the landing gear bay doors. Ignore the base it is sitting on. It is an 1/48 aircraft carrier deck. I feel for a 1995 model kit it went together good. My intent on this build was to check out Alclad metal finishes. My conclusion that it is very delicate to work with. Prep time is longer than a traditional paint finish. Masking has to be approached carefully to avoid 'pulling' the finish even with proper surface preparation base coat. I like the outcome but even that is a bit unpredictable as far as sheen and color.

My next natural metal finish test will utilize tradional Model Master enamel aluminum as the base color over Tamiya primer.

I have traditionally tried to avoid metal or white final finishes. I have no plan to attempt a white finish. I am very ready to get back to building something with a propeller and WW2 German. Back to my comfort zone. Mmmmm, an AR-196 sounds kool....float plane...BMW engine......this may be it.


Nov 13, 2017

Excellent build article, and a fine looking result of all that elbow grease (oh wait - I mean forehead grease...)!

Nov 13, 2017

Thanks for checking it out.

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