Academy 1/72nd B-24D Liberator MTO

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  • Last reply 4 months, 2 weeks ago
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  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    With some nice B-24’s outstanding builds going on lately. It was time to get started on my next 72nd scale project. Academy’s 72nd scale B-24D. This will be my first Academy Liberator. My 2nd B-24 ever in this scale. My first one was built when I was about 11, the Revell B-24D, in 72nd scale. And it was the very first time using Aftermarket decals and learning the Microscale decal system. The only step I didn’t do was the glossy stage which of course led to silvering on several of the decals.

    Let see what is in the box. Upon opening the lid, is the instruction sheet on top. The parts are in plastic bags. Molded in the standard Lt grey styrene plastic typical of Academy.

    The instruction sheet is a fold out type. Color call outs and parts tree map are within. The small decal sheet is for one B-24 serving in the Africa campaign.

    A set of CE (cutting edge masks) to help mask all that glass and wheels. And a Super Scale Sheet for the decals. This will be “Chug-A-Lug”, serving in the MTO, 98th Bomb Group.

    1st set of sprues consist of the wings. The long tapered Davis wings that is one distinguishing visual aid that set the B-24 apart from other heavy bombers. 4 halves make up the wings, no move able flying surfaces. The wheel well bays are molded into the upper wings.

    Sprue A contains the main fuselage, main wheels, tail rudders,bulkheads, and the flight deck.

    The flight deck and bombardiers station. Forward bulkhead and main gear struts.

    Also the nose wheels, mid ship gunners compartment and the huge twin rudders.

    The engine faces are ok, could be better. The 3 bladed props are good and will be proper for this build.

    Full load of bombs, though I will not use them as this will have the bomb bay displayed closed.

    The horizontal tail, upper lower halves, that support those huge oval shaped rudders.

    Finally a decent clear sprue. Clear nose, canopy, turrets and windows.

    Some pre-painting next. More to follow.

  • Deleted User said 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Looks like a pretty decent kit, Chuck ..(thank goodness for canopy masks, huh?) 🙂

  • George R Blair Jr said 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Good choice of kits and subject. I have built an Academy B-24 before & it has a fit issue here and there, but will build into a decent model. I have always liked the B-24 and will be looking forward to the build.

  • Louis Gardner said 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    This does indeed look like a nice kit…………….. It reminds me of two similar builds that I did as a kid. Both were the old (ancient by today’s standards) 1/72 scale Revell B-24D models . One was in OD Green and called the “Blue Streak”. The other was wearing US Navy markings and was in a Tri Color Blue scheme if memory still serves me……………. Unfortunately they didn’t survive for too long.

    Ironically both of the schemes I mentioned are planes that I want to build now…………. only in 1/48 scale this time. The US Navy version I could probably cobble together with the decals I have in the stash………… As far as building the “Blue Steak”, if I’m ever lucky enough to score some decals for it, I can guarantee you it would hit the bench fairly fast !!! Knowing what I do today, I now realize that this plane most likely had a light blue undersurface……………… and that looks so cool with the OD Green topside.

    OK enough rambling on………………..

    Please keep us updated with your build !!!

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 10 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi Craig-oh yeah the most not fun part of modeling is masking all that glass. At least for me. The mask set makes it slightly easier to do the process.
    Thanks George, thanks for the heads up as I get this started soon. The most concerning part I see already is the nose to fuselage join.
    Louis, thats the very same kit I built, in the standard OD over grey in 72nd scale. And then of course built the Monogram 48th scale B-24 when it was produced. I do have the Academy PB4Y kit in the stash also. That one not sure go with the 3 tone scheme or an Atlantic Gull Grey over white. That will be a long range down the road project. Would love to pick up at least one Hasegawa B-24. And who knows if Airfix will do one.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 8 months ago:

    Been awhile since tinkering on the B-24. In fact time to get started. First thing to address is the fuselage. At this point I would first start by pre-painting the interior bits and pieces first. But this time, I wanted to attach the nose halves to the fuselage halves. After reading a couple of reviews, this is the best way to approach this part of the build. Avoiding any mis-alignment issues if I went with the suggested process in the instructions.

    After test fitting, the nose halves are attached to each fuselage half.

    Once they set. Now I pre paint the interior using US Interior Green. Though in my haste, I didn’t check that maybe that being a B-24D that most likely the cockpit area could be either Bronze Green or Dark Dull Green, not IG. So thats a boo boo.

    Then center section or bomb bay compartments should be Aluminum lacquer, but I will display this with bomb bay doors closed. The rear section of the interior will be IG.

    Next the rest of the interior components, bulkheads, main and nose gear bays are painted IG. Next to start actual assembly. More to follow.

    7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 7 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Now that most of the interior parts are pre-painted, I start to assemble the interior, starting with the rear gunners floors and machine gun mounts. The floor is painted MM Deck tan. The gun mounts will be painted black.

    Next to start to assemble the flight deck.

    72nd scale B-24, you will not see much in the cockpit with the low multi-panel canopy. Besides Academy kept this quite basic. Looked around for a bit to enhance it. But in the end decided to just assemble as it is out of the box. The flight deck floor also has the bombardiers compartment moulded as one piece.

    The seats are very basic, the bombardiers seat is of a pedestal design.

    Next to attach the seats in place on the cockpit floor. Including the bombardiers seat.

    The instrument panel and steering yokes are attach to the floor. Again very basic, I didnt bother to highlight the details on the IP.

  • Jeff Bailey said 6 months, 3 weeks ago:

    It sure looks good so far, Chuck. Good on ya!

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    Thanks Jeff, and sorry for the way too long delay on responding. Caught up in trying to finish the 2 At the movies GB projects. But with those projects almost finished time to update some work on the B-24.
    With the flight deck and rear gunners compartment assembled. It’s time to start work on the bulkheads and nose gear.

    The forward bulkhead is removed and cleaned up. Already pre-painted Interior Green.

    The gunners doors will be installed in the open position. Instead of using the kit windows. I use Testors Clear cement to represent the glass. Good stuff for this. Then they are placed in position within the fuselage.

    Next the instructions will have you build and install the nose gear bay with the nose strut installed. But checking fit I can wait to install the nose strut later towards the end like I normally like to do.

    Next to install the sub assemblies into the RH fuselage half. And then by test fitting the LH side of the fuselage for alignment.

    Then a lead weight sinker is attached with cyno cement to keep the nose down.

    Rear gunners and bulkhead in place and aligned.

    Next to install the bombardiers LH nose window. A defensive .50 machine will be in place here later in the build.

    More to follow.

  • Erik Gjørup said 4 months, 3 weeks ago:

    All things great comes to those who wait! 🙂
    Thank you for this update – it seems to me like a good call to wait with the nosegear till the end. And thanx for the testors glue tip.

  • George R Blair Jr said 4 months, 2 weeks ago:

    I’m glad you are building this B-24. The Liberator is one of my most favorite planes of WW2. I just finished reading a book on the Ploesti Raid and I still marvel at the courage and skill these guys showed on this mission. Your build already has started the itch to build one of mine.

  • Rob Anderson said 4 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Great choice! And looking good so far, I have loved the glass nosed Liberators since the old Revell kit!

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 4 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Good morning and thanks, hope all is good for everyone.
    Erik, despite being 72nd scale, it is still a large model, lots of handling once the wings and tails are attached, very easy to break a strut with all the work still in process.
    George, amazing how resilient yet hit at the right point how fragile the Davis wing was on the B-24. Not too long ago watching the movie about Louie Zamperini “Unbroken” it could just simply fall apart when not properly maintained. It was a specially equipped B-24 (BQ-8 drone) that blew up in midflight with Joe Kennedy flying it in Aug 1944. But like other aircraft used in WWII, there are more positive outcomes than tragedies. Nonetheless incredible stories.
    Rob, it was the Revell B-24 when I used Microscale decals for the first time, just water to apply them. Didnt know anything about Micro Set or Sol. But I seem to remember trying to get them to conform to the rivets around the fuselage, wings and tails. It was my first B-24, this is my 3rd. I did also build the Monogram 48th B-24 also. Memories of our youth.

  • Paul Mahoney said 4 months, 2 weeks ago:

    just found this posting – I am working currently on Academy’s PB4Y-1, which is the same basic kit. I remember building the B-24J when Academy first released it, and don’t remember having such a struggle. It could be I just have a poor moulding, but nothing is really fitting particularly well. The pieces that make up the extreme nose (fits around the turret) are clear and some very poor window definition making it difficult to figure out what remains clear and what gets painted. I’m pushing through as it is a gift for someone, but I definitely have memories of a much better building ‘experience’.

  • Chuck A. Villanueva said 4 months, 2 weeks ago:

    Hi Paul, I have that kit in the stash also for a future project. But I do concur on the awful fit on the clear parts. The B-24D glass nose fit is not very good. The kit itself not so bad. For the smaller windows around the air frame I will use Testors clear cement to fill them in. This works quite well.

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