Skyorama Part II
The Skyorama is now finished and is hung above my West Central Nebraska model railroad. I learned a few things painting these planes- got some much needed practice with an airbrush, and got to compare two identical models built twenty years apart.
My B-52's, Calamity Jane and Urban Renewal, are chasing a KC-97, D-Cup, over the Nebraska Panhandle. Calamity Jane was built in 1982 from a Revelle kit and brush-painted using flat conventional enamels. The remaing two planes were recently completed, airbrushed with flat acrylic enamels. The B-52 with flaps extended, and the tanker were built from Academy kits. All three are 1/144 scale. Calamity Jane got her Hound Dog missles repainted to match those on Urban Renewal.
In painting this project, I discovered a new (to me) product called "Photo Frisket". This is a masking material, a thin plastic film with low-tack adhesive on one side. I bought this after the base green paint on Urban Renewal was lifted by the masking tape.
At first, I thought the Frisket was pretty pricy at about $16, but you get 10 sheets for that price, and you can do a lot of models with that. It solved the paint lifting problem 99%. The package states that it will not leave adhesive behind, however, on only one of the paint colors, Testors' Model Masters Dark Tan, it left a lot. I tried to remove this with dish detergent and water with little effect, but found that rubbing alcohol applied with a cotton swab does a good job of getting it off without affecting the paint.
The only real limitation with the Frisket material would be getting it to stick to a very irregular surface, but this seems to be a problem with any masking medium.
Attached are pictures of the completed planes on the table, and in my 1968 sky.
WIP by Les Foran
My Work in Progress is a sort of aerial diorama that will hang above my West Central Nebraska N-scale model railroad, providing a little action in the Nebraska Panhandle sky. There will be three players in the skyorama, a Revell B-52H that I constructed 20 years ago (and has been "hanging out" over the railroad since), and two new additions, an Academy (1993)
B-52H and an Academy (1998) KC-97G. Like any good diorama, there is a story here: two B-52's chasing a tanker. In the
tradition of the Strategic Air Command, I have assigned my own names to all three aircraft.
In the first photo is my completed B-52, "Calamity Jane". Calamity was built in 1982 to represent a display aircraft on an NTRAK module (NTRAK is a modular N-scale railroad concept for portable display layouts). She was inspired by an actual B-52 on display at the Air Force Academy ("Diamond Lil"). To display the model when the NTRAK was not set up, I hung it over my home model railroad. In the second photo, Calamity shows off her 20mm tail stinger.
The model originally had no external weapons load, so I installed some short racks. Later, when I wanted to add cruise missles, the proper racks were long gone. I remedied this by cutting down the extra SRAM (short range attack missle) racks in the Academy kit and installing them on Calamity. See photo 3.
Her missles (Hound Dogs, staying in my 1968 era time frame to match the model railroad) are being refurbished to match the new ones in the Academy kit.
Picture 4 shows my new bomber under construction. In keeping with my 60's theme of destruction, I have named this aircraft "Urban Renewal". If you can remember the urban carnage wrought on priceless historic buildings during that sad era, you may agree that this is an appropriate name for an engine of wholesale destruction.
Picture 5 shows my partially constructed KC-97 tanker. Notice the bulbous lines of this Stratocruiser, even more pronounced in the tanker version by the addition of wing tanks and a boom operator's turret. I have named her "D-Cup". Need I say more?
The last two pictures show how they all fit together. In the completed scene, Urban Renewal will have her flaps extended, hoping to nuzzle D-Cup for a shot of JP4. Calamity Jane cruises on, waiting her turn on the tanker. All three models are in 1/144 scale.
When this Work in Progress becomes a Completed Work, I'll send over some action shots.