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Marcello Rosa
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Six turning, four burning, a lot of masking: Roden 1/144 B-36 D

May 15, 2023 · in Aviation · · 25 · 0.6K

Here are some photos of my recently completed , representing a plane (01086, “Miss Featherweight”) based at Carswell during the early 1950's. This model was built using the 1/144 kit, with a few scratch built details. I used an aftermarket decal set from Caracal, and wide-base display stand from Academy was used to represent the plane in flight. My additions were the gun barrels (segments of tungsten rod, in place of the kit plastic), rigging (using UNI-Caenis thread) and a very basic set of crew figures, created from Milliput (the kit comes with no interior whatsoever). There is also no provision for representing the plane with the undercarriage retracted, so some of the wheel bay doors had to be created with Evergreen sheet.

This was not an easy build. Cutting a very long story short, basically every single step was accompanied by a lot of filling and sanding to avoid unnatural-looking seam lines and mould sinks. I have shared pictures of some of the worst offenders in my web site (, but here today I want to concentrate on the positives!

This was also my first experience with attempting a natural metal finish. It was a steep learning curve, not helped by the fact that I chose a complicated scheme that combined the metallic surfaces with anti-flash white (the latter, in some parts of the bottom surfaces). This meant a lot of masking, particularly keeping in mind that even at 1/144 this B-36 model still manages to be longer, and to have a wider wingspan than my 1/72 Privateer (Itself an elongated version of the B-24 Liberator). Just shows how insanely large the B-36 was, for its time.

The anti-flash white bottom surfaces were painted with SMS white followed by a bit of insignia white. Panel lines were suggested by running a fine pacer along them, before the last coat of white paint was applied.

Pictures of the B-36 suggest two main characteristics of the metallic finish. 1) The crew compartments (aluminium, front and back) look more reflective than the middle parts (magnesium), and 2) there is some variation in shade and reflectiveness between panels. I tried to evoke similar impressions by using different Alclad paints, and by using different final coats after the decals (Vallejo semi-gloss for most of the wing and fuselage, very glossy floor polish for the front and back crew compartments).​

I really wanted a B-36 in my collection, and the Roden kit did provide the materials to build a correctly shaped one - albeit almost driving me crazy, in the process. Unless you have the real estate required to accommodate one of the increasingly rare 1/72 Monogram kits (I don't), as well as the willingness to splash money in the litres of metallic paint required by that kit (also not me), the Roden is the best option available. Just don't think it will be a quick and relaxing build.

The last picture is the closest I will ever get to seeing a B-36 flying over my house...

Reader reactions:
21  Awesome 1  7 

16 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. STUNNING! Well done, Marcello.

  2. As the new buttons on iModeller suggest, this is awesome.

  3. Remarkable build and finish. WONDERful.

  4. Brings back memories. Saw one in flight as a kid, and who can forget the flying shots in the movie Strategic Air Command. Nicely done job on this model

  5. Fantastic! Even at 1/144 that has to be a large model. Your work really paid off - looks great!

    • Thank you. It is in fact the largest (in terms of length and wingspan) airplane in my model collection, even though it is currently the only one in 1/144...

  6. Amazing work Marcello, this is the most eyecatching post I've seen here in a long time, really well done.

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    Walt said on May 15, 2023

    Looks like all that work was worth it. I looks great and shows also how big the plane really was when it is that big in 1/144th scale. Great work on your first endevour into the NMF world of painting. I like seeing the turrets out, definitely adds to the build.

    • Absolutely, I agree about the turrets! I know they did not work as well as planned in terms of mechanical reliability, and also that they became obsolete in the missile age, but noting beats having these poking out, in terms of a menacing look.

  8. This is an absolute WOW, Marcello @marcellorosa1
    Despite not being an easy build, the result is superb.

  9. This is stunning Marcello !

  10. Excellent work on this, Marcello.

  11. Conjures up in my mind the stunningly majestic take off scene from Strategic Air Command. Beautiful work!

  12. Well done, Marcello (@marcellorosa1). You have really captured the look of this monster.

  13. Just gorgeous!

  14. Really nice @marcellorosa1. very realistic and you really nailed the multi-hue NMF.

    I'm old enough to have seen a couple B-36s in the flesh, including maybe the first airplane my dad took me to see - the B-36B that came to Denver for hot-and-high tests that couldn't get off he ground for a week when the temperature hit 80 and the density altitude went to 9,000 feet; it was shortly after that that the "four burning" were added. This really reminds me of the ones I saw sitting on the field at Lowry AFB at the two different Armed Forces Day events.

  15. Amazing job, Marcello! Your NMF attempt is a total success, as it looks excellent, absolutely realistic!
    Congratulations on this wonderful result over the challenging Roden kit!

    • Thanks Spiros. Now, the irony is that I had planned this as an easy and relaxing quick build, which did not happen. I really need to learn to choose my battles better.

  16. Excellent result on I guess what is a difficult kit.

    Thanks for the heads up on the Roden kit. I didn't think it would be easy, but I also didn't think it would be that much work.

  17. Looks good Marcello, well done.

  18. Beautifully done! the outside shot looks interesting.

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