B-24D "The Blue Streak", Bond Tour Veteran, Monogram 1/48th

Started by Walt · 219 · 2 months ago · 376th Bomb Group, 41-11613, B-24, Florine JuJu, Halpro, Halverson Project, Monogram, Ploesti, Teggie Ann, The Blue Streak
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    Walt said 1 year, 3 months ago:


    I promised myself I would start this kit during the month of February, and while this may not be technically a start to the kit, it is a start. I am jumping back into another 1/48th B-24D and Ploesti veteran “The Blue Streak”.

    I remember way back when I was in the 5th or 6th grade and just beginning my life long love affair with models when I built the Revell 1/72nd scale B-24D in the markings of “The Blue Streak”. As I remember it for my skill level and experience it was a pretty good job, and I proudly showed it off to one of my dad’s friends when I was encouraged to do so. That visitor offered me some very kind but constructive criticism and encouragement. My next model was no show winner but it was better.

    During that time and all through high school and college I read my history books an built models, and also came to appreciate and like the B-24 bomber, more than its streamlined B-17 partner in high altitude precision daylight bombing on the part of the United States.

    The model is again the Monogram B-24D kit that I used for building “The Squaw”. I have chosen to incorporate the some of the same upgrades I used before including the Vector Resin Engine Nacelle and Main Gear Struts and Well kits. I will also be doing some scratch building and using my own resin improvements. I will not be using the Lone Star resin B-24 wheels that I used before. I ordered a set and when they arrived the wheels had voids and worse, they weren’t round. I was sent another set at no cost, and while they had no voids, they still weren’t round. I have since ordered a set of Armory AW48341 Wheels from the Ukraine. I am hoping the will arrive before I need them later this year.

    “The Blue Streak”, B-24D, 41-11613 originally named “Florine JuJu” it was one of the original 23 B-24’s of the Halverson Project, more commonly known as Halpro. This group of planes were originally built for the British under contract but taken over by the US. Sources agree about the top color being Olive Drab, which when delivered would have had the Earth Brown added to for the British two-tone scheme. There is disagreement on the bottom color though. Some say it was Neutral Gray and other say it was a US interpretation of RAF Sky (Blue), called Deep Sky Blue. Dana Bell describes it as a “light pastel blue”, which he states is “reasonably” similar to the 1930’s temporary Light Blue camouflage color. That color is listed as FS-35109. On my monitor that blue does not look very pastel, but more in the Blue-gray range.

    Color issues aside, this group of planes was supposed to fly from the US to China by routing through South America and Africa so that it could bomb Japan. Prior to shipping out some modifications were done. The pitot tubes were moved from their high mount to the earlier lower side mount. The waist gun positions had twin 50 caliber machine guns installed, and two machine 50 caliber machine guns mounted in the floor of the nose section. These two guns fired through the glazing near the bottom. They were controlled by the pilot.

    The initial mission was canceled and when the Japanese Army over ran the bases the B-24’s would have launched from. Instead, the Halpro B-24’s ended up in North Africa and became the foundation of the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group. “Florine JuJu” was later renamed “Teggie Ann” but another “Teggie Ann” showed up in the group and a new name was assigned “The Blue Streak”. This name may in part be explained by the blue colored bottom of the plane.

    It is that final name and eventual markings is what I am planning on building. This plane had an incredible story and record. In short it flew 110 missions without losing a crew member in combat. During it’s time in service it was credited with:
    1 Destroyer
    1 Merchant Ship
    1 Oil Tanker
    23 Enemy Fighters
    110 Missions (297 Tons of Bombs)

    During that time it required 19 engine replacement and due to damage had two new wings and one new rudder.
    The one good thing about such a famous plane is that there are lots of pictures showing this plane in various stages of its life in the US Army Air Corps. I know from my research that the national markings started as the simple blue circle and white star. Later a yellow outer boundary was added then white bars and a red surround and finally the red was overpainted in blue. I have a picture showing the damage wing presumably about to be replaced with the yellow surround. All this means is that the possibilities are endless for markings, and painting will be very subjective. Did the new wings get painted blue on the bottom, or were they Neutral Gray because that’s what they were painted from the plane they were pulled off of. If they painted it blue, I am sure it didn’t match exactly. This is a chance to have fun with painting and colors, and get away with a lot on a truly war warn plane in a very harsh environment.

    Partial list of references other than websites with pictures.

    Books

    Bell, D. (1979). Air Force Colors Vol. 1 1926-1942. Illustrated by Greer, D and Stern, R. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications.

    Bell, D. (1980). Air Force Colors Vol. 2 1942-45. Illustrated by Greer, D. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications.

    Birdsall, S. (1975). B-24 Liberator in Action. Illustrated by Greer, D. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications.

    Birdsall, S. (1973). Log of the Liberators, An Illustrated History of the B-24. Color Illustrations by Preston, J. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc.

    Freeman, R. (1983). B-24 Liberator at War. Osceola, WI: Motorbooks International

    Kinzey, B. (2000). B-24 Liberator in Detail. Detail in Scale. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications.

    White, I. (2014). Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Warpaint Series No. 96, Includes Color Artwork and 1:72 Scale Plans by Caruana, R. J. Bletchley, Buckingshamshire: World Class Publications.

    Periodicals

    (May, 2011). History: Mission Centurions. Info Eduard, Vol. 11, Issue 5, pgs. 17-20. https://www.eduard.com/out/media/InfoEduard/pdf/info-2011-05EN.pdf

    5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

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    Spiros Pendedekas said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Yet another wonderful project, my friend @luftwaffe-birdman!
    This bird has an amazing story. Cannot wait to see it built!

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    John vd Biggelaar said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Great entry, Walt @luftwaffe-birdman
    An impressive history about this aircraft indeed, looking forward to it.

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    capt. R said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Impressive project!

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    Louis Gardner said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    I’m on board with everyone else here Walt. This is a plane that I have always wanted to build. I’m definitely excited about watching you do your magic on it.

    I can remember building a 1/72 scale Revell Blue Streak as a kid. I think I had it done in a day and it was brush painted. It hung from my bedroom ceiling for years.

    I’m sorry I have not been working on Tubarao lately but I wanted to get my Preddy Mustang done before Christmas Day. Then I tried to get the Ashmun Corsair done by January 3rd and then we got really sick.

    Life has a way of interrupting my best laid plans.

    Thanks for starting this one. It just might be the inspiration for me to finish up with my B-24.

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    Tom Cleaver said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Definitely another really interesting project on the way here @luftwaffe-birdman.

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    capt. R said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Very interesting Liberator to build!

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    Walt said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    I didn't get as much modeling time as I wanted too this weekend, but decided to jump into the B-24 and get started even if other projects aren't done yet. First off, as can be seen, I have the same Vector Brand Resin. I haven't even opened the bags yet, but while it is a lot of work I think the sets are worth the effort.

    When digging through my kits I found my old plugs for vacuum forming new parts for the B-24. When I built "Sunshine" I needed a different lower glazing under the turret to convert the 'J' model to an 'H' model. Long ago I also wanted to build a B-24D before Monogram released it, so I had made a my own nose glazing plug for vacuum forming. I had forgotten that I had done that because shortly afterwards I go so involved in college, cars and my future wife that modeling fell to the side for a number of years. I was happy to find that my carving looks very close to the injection molding. It also compared favorably to the Falcon Vacuum Form canopy and nose that I purchased for this kit.

    I spent time earlier looking for ways to improve my panel lines scribing, and one of the things I found is Dspiae Tape, at clear PET tape, with graduations marked on it. It comes with various widths and works as a guide for scribing. I bought 5mm and 2mm widths. I have to say this tape seems to be a game changer for me. It was the best $16 total for the two rolls, which each have 30M of tape on them. The adhesive is strong enough to hold the tape in place but easy to remove and reposition. The tape is thick and strong enough to guide your scribing tool without getting cut or giving way. I also have to thank my friend Ed again, he had sent me a copy of the Warpaint Series books on the B-24. It had 1/72nd scale drawings for various versions of the B-24 in it. I scanned and scaled them to aid me in laying out the panel lines and in the future the rivet lines.

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    Spiros Pendedekas said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    The resin stuff surely needs a lot of quality job that you will carry otu in your usual superlative manner, vac plugs look great and this scribing tape attains fantastic scribing results, my friend @luftwaffe-birdman!

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    John vd Biggelaar said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Great you found that old material, Walt @luftwaffe-birdman
    That definitely should have brought back some memories.
    All the resin will require some attention but I'm sure you will deal with that superbly.

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    capt. R said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Looks very promising!

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    Erik Gjørup said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Quite a DIY session Walt! - lots to take in here.

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    Walt said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Spent some time finishing the scribing of the first wing and scribing the second wing upper surfaces. These are the easiest to do and give me the chance to try out a new product I bought. As I mentioned previously I purchased scribing tape, from a Chinese company called DSPIAE, which for me is about impossible to pronounce and is really just stands for: D(ream), S(trive), P(erfection), I(nnovation), A(dvance) and E(xcellent). I saw some videos of a guys doing Gundam using this tape and thought I would give it a try, as an alternative to rulers and Dymo Tape. I bought two roles on eBay for less that $16 and have to say it was money well spent! This stuff works great at being a guide for straight lines, you can reposition it. I used one long piece to guide all the lines on one wing. The adhesive grabs nicely and releases but doesn't fade like the Dymo tape. The graduated lines do help some with alignment when laying it out and the tape being clear helps in being able to put it down where you want to.

    I also bought a new riveting tool from RB Productions. It is by far the best one I have found so far. The ponce wheel is sharp stainless steel you use a small screw with a nylon locking nut to attach it to the holder which fits into an X-acto knife holder nicely. It is accurate and easy to control.

    I drew my lines out on the wing with a fine tip marker and then drew the lines free hand. As you can see, they are pretty straight and very consistent. I will try the long runs tomorrow and see how it goes.

    8 attached images. Click to enlarge.

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    Spiros Pendedekas said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    Wonderful progress, my friend @luftwaffe-birdman, great use on the tape and scriber!
    Thanks for the input regarding their effectivity.

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    John vd Biggelaar said 1 year, 3 months ago:

    This riveting result is awesome, Walt @luftwaffe-birdman
    Thanks for sharing the materials you used to achieve this.