Orlik PBJ-1H Mitchell

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by Bomarc, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Hello everyone.

    I'm somewhat new to the Zealot Forums, having spent the majority of my paper model forum time on Papermodelers.com, but thanks to my time there, I recognize a lot of names here, so perhaps I'm not a total stranger. For those who don't know me or don't visit PM's forums, I'm currently building Orlik's PBJ-1H Mitchell in 1/33rd scale (links appearing below in my signature line which will tell the whole story).

    Our good friend Mr. Taft has suggested to me that an abridged version of this build might be of interest here. I hesitate to do this, as I wish to avoid being redundant, but if there is interest with those unfamiliar with this build, I offer what follows as a "Readers Digest" version of sorts to give you a small taste of what I've been up to over at PM. Started this past August, it's a (ridiculously) long thread over there, and the photobucket folder I use for it currently contains 860 images.

    In a nutshell, I started with a single engine cylinder from the kit:

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    That lead to completed engines:

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    Then cowlings:

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    Propellers:

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    Nacelles:

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    Wings:

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    Fuselage (don't even get me started on the fuselage):

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    Empenage:

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    Nose guns and 75mm cannon:

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    Control surfaces:

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    And finally, cockpit and canopy:

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    This last pic should give a notion on how a lot of the above plays together at the moment:

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    Needless to say, lot's of stuff happened in between. :rolleyes:

    Presently I'm framing the outer canopy using a technique suggested to me by Major Davenport (a member here I believe), wherein one separates the layers of card, leaving a thin printed part behind:

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    Edges painted, applied as normally done:

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    Whew! Sorry for the whorl-wind tour. Feel free to shout out on any thing you'd like expansion on....

    Mike
  2. cmdr199212

    cmdr199212 Member

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    I've been watching this over on the other site, its great!
  3. papastumpy

    papastumpy Member

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    Hey I know you, glad to see you here too, the fellas here will enjoy your thread as much as those on Papermodelers.:wave:Rick
  4. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

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    Let me add a few comments if I may. Mr. Bomarc is entirely too modest. His PBJ is THE finest example of kit-bashing/scratch-building I have ever seen. The cockpit part of his build thread is a classic - not to mention the engines, forward gun turret, fuselage - did he mention the fuselage? - vacuforming canopies, the list goes on. The Orlik kit is known for poor fits in places - fuselage anyone? - and the occasional missing part(s). The tips and tricks, methods and jigs he uses to correct these problems are worth their weight in ink and cardboard, priceless in other words.

    Thank you Peter for the great idea and thank you Mike for taking him up on it. btw I haven't commented on the PM thread because, to quote Mr. Smyfe, I'm simply gobsmacked.
  5. atamjeet

    atamjeet Member

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    Awesome... very neat and clean.....Keep it up :)
  6. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Thank you for the kind words guys.

    Special thanks to you Elliot, high praise indeed. I'm not sure it's all warranted, but I appreciate it none-the-less. Your description of this Orlik kit is spot on. "Gobsmacked" or not, please do chime in when the whim hits you, particularly if you see something or I say something amiss. The participation of the fine denizens of the paper model community have helped me out of more than a few sticky situations on this odyssey.

    Work on framing the canopy continues. I took advantage of the yards of extra colored material Orlik provides in the kit to make most of the framing, with some cannibalizing of the kit supplied frames. Perhaps Orlik should have used some of that page space to provide the parts that were missing (only to be issued in a supplemental PDF on their website). No matter, it comes in handy here, particularly where there is a color separtaion:

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    Some touch up paint to blend in the camo, good to go.

    Mike
  7. peter taft

    peter taft Senior Member

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    Elliot..... you said it all :thumb: Looking at this build from day 1 - Mike always leaves us in awe of his talent. My suggestion for an abridged version of the thread from Paper Modellers is to give the guys here who haven't seen it, the same THRILL we get - share and share alike, who could possibly deny a guy {or lass} the privilege of seeing something so beautiful as this model Mike is building... i too am pleased that Mike took me up on this - Thanks Mike :thumb: Keep it coming :twisted:
  8. ekuth

    ekuth Guest

    jawdropjawdrop

    That... is some simply stunning work! So clean! So shiny! I'm loving the guns and the itty bitty ammo belts... just... all around impressive as all hell.
  9. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Thanks Chris. Nice smileys.....

    Quick update, more framing:

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    Escape hatch on top is last to go.

    Mike
  10. ekuth

    ekuth Guest

    Okay, I'll bite. What did you use or how did you make the dome on the top there? I don't see a mold mark, or I'd guess a bubblegum toy snap container... :confused:
  11. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Here you go Chris. The joys of "cut-n-paste":

    Thermo-formed (doesn’t that sound high tech?) the astrodome tonight (actually a few months ago-ed.). After seeing Ron ("ron0909" over at PM.com-ed.) use that Sculpey stuff on his Albatross, I thought I would try to make my mold plug from it. I bought "Super Scupley" and after I shaped a rough part and baked it in the oven, I turned it down with my electric drill:

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    Not that impressed. I may have kept it in the oven too long (or not enough, I’m not sure), but the consistency was not as hard as I would have liked. Still, I could polish it up fairly well (an important step if you want clear canopies) and it would serve its purpose. Clamped it in a vice, and fashioned a holder for the plastic from mat board and bulldog clips:

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    The plastic I used tonight was .020” thick “Vivak” which you can get at Micro-Mark (link), which I think is a trade name for ordinary PETG, the stuff that 2 liter coke bottles are made from. That stuff gives the clearest canopies, and I’ve had lots of success with it. Just heat it up on an electric burner until the plastic gets “floppy” (that’s the best I can describe it), and plop it on the mold:

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    When it cools, you can cut it out with a scissors:

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    Typically, the hole in the liner part didn’t line up with the hole in the outer shell of the fuselage, so I cut out that portion of the liner and made an oversized replacement “plate”:

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    The plate holds the bubble in nicely:

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    I didn’t get the plate on very square, but you’ll never see it, it's really there to secure the bubble in place. I will gladly made mistakes that can’t be seen all day long…..:)

    Mike
  12. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

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    Great stuff Mike! You gonna submit your build to one of the hobby magazines with a writeup and pics?
  13. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Well, not to sound pretentious, but it may be going to a museum. I answered the call David Sakrison put out to all the paper model forums (including this one) on behalf of the EAA AirVenture museum, and while I wouldn't be able to make the Feb. 1st deadline, they still want it when it's done. Getting it there will be a hurdle I haven't quite noodled through yet, but I'm focused on finishing this beast at the present, and will cross that bridge when I get to there.

    Mike
  14. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Finished up with framing the canopy. Here's a quick tute' on how I manage this mess.

    Starting with the rear of the escape hatch, the first step is to cut out the part and trim to the right size. The kit’s part provided the basic pattern, adjusted to fit this model:

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    Peel apart the back layer of card (a la Major D.'s tip), and color the edges to get rid of the white:

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    Plain old Elmer’s applied to the back:

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    Then fit in place. Egads!!! What a mess:

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    Not to worry. Wipe off the excess with a moistened cotton bulb:

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    Buff up the “glass” (I use an old t-shirt), good to go:

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    Went ahead and applied the remaining frames, did some buffing, touch-up paint, and I’m officially calling the cockpit/canopy DONE:

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    Aft fuselage with tail gunners station next!

    Mike
  15. Elliott

    Elliott Senior Member

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    Nicely done Mike! And a beautiful job it is too! :thumb::thumb::thumb:
  16. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Thanks Elliot

    The tail end has started as a slow burn. I was hoping to just build it straight out of the "box" (or booklet I guess), using the Orlik playbook throughout, but a check of references (always with the damn references) means I have some work to do.

    Also, I realized that this would be the last major assembly that requires finessing, cajoling, and general tweaking to get things to blend in to match with the rest of the model. Yes, I still have the landing gear to do, but those are separate, stand alone components. Looking over the parts, Orlik didn't provided any parts to fair in the ends of the elevator, and only one piece for the stab. What that means is I'll have to attach the stabilizer as part of this whole assembly so I can scratch some elevator fairings (red arrow):

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    Another area is the seat. Here's the Orlik part (built before when I was making the other seats in the kit):

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    And the real deal:

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    Little bit of a disconnect there. I think I know why Orlik used that high backed seat in this area. They made the fuselage formers solid under the stabilizer, when in fact the whole fuselage is open so the gunner can crawl back to his station. Using a high back seat would cover up the solid bulkhead, even though if that were the real setup, the gunner could never get into his seat! So I guess a new seat is in order. To simulate the pass through nature of the aft fuselage, I painted the offending bulkhead black:

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    Then I created a new part to provide a relief of the former in that location, with some details to represent the stabilizer spar that runs through the top of the compartment:

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    Should be enough to convey "open". Now I'm ready to roll the last fuselage skins:

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    Assembly for this section is identical to the main fuselage: Roll tubes, insert formers with flanges attached, join the assemblies together, then cut the top (argh!). If you're familiar with the fuselage assembly of this build, Orlik seems to have a fondness for building something up, then cutting it in half....

    Mike
  17. Padre

    Padre Member

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    Tha'ts one spiffy airplane, and big too. Great job, clean joints, and canopies are some of the best I have seen. I am going to have to do one that size, I usually reduce mine for lack of display room.
  18. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Thanks Padre. If you're the same "Padre" over at PM.com, you posted very early in that thread, and I hope you visit again when I get this done.

    As I mentioned, the assembly sequence of even this small portion of the fuselage mimics what was done for the fuselage at large. The two formers involved require a large chunk of material to be removed. I pre-cut these out and tack glued them back in place. This will give them some strength during assembly, but make it easier to remove the "knockout plugs" when I cut the opening in the finished component:

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    Added the connecting strips and glued to the end of the tubes:

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    Forgive the lime green connecting strip on the larger piece. I had to print a replacement part, and my printer's print head needs cleaning, magenta being finicky. I also printed out another former, glued to mat board, to use as a dummy former to pre-shape the end before joining:

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    Once the top is cut out I can just discard the former. The parts joined:

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    Orlik failed to add some internal parts to the tail gunner compartment (gun mount, turret controls, etc.), which they provided as a download-able PDF file on their website:

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    Curiously, they included the compartment sides and floor, even though those were supplied in the kit. I going with the kit's parts, I think the two tones of green will add some visual interest, at least what will be able to be seen in there.

    Mike
  19. Bomarc

    Bomarc Member

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    Aft fuselage work continues.....

    The tail cone is a modified pedal assembly. Orlik has made this piece integral with the back bulked and a printed canvass boot:

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    I cut all the pieces out as I wanted the tail end hollow to make my own boot around the protruding guns. Assembly of the piece involved gluing tine strips of card down the seam working it into the desired shape:

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    After that dried, I glued in a scratched former to help maintain it's shape:

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    When it dries, I'll "connect-the-dots" with my knife to the four holes you see, then I can knock out the center section. Fits nice on the rest of the fuselage:

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    And yes, the fuselage is back in "Dry Dock"*:

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    I wanted to cut down my handling of the fuselage now that the cockpit and canopy are done. The tail end sticks out far enough that I can work comfortably on it in this manner. Plus since I have to attach the stabilizer during this campaign of the model, it will help with alignment:

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    *For those not familiar with the thread over at PM, while building the first section of fuselage, I built the fixture you see to aid me when it came time to cut the top off the completed assembly. Yes, cutting the top off was by design as it is an actual step in the Orlik instructions It's necessary to access the innards to add more structure and details. The fixture has since been invaluable for other things on this build as you may discern.....

    Mike
  20. papastumpy

    papastumpy Member

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    Wonderful:thumb::thumb::thumb: You get three thumbs up for that last bit on the tail gunners position. Really like the jig f/holding the fuselage while you work on her. Great idea regardless of the build, would work f/all models. Great tip.:wave:Rick