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Old 01-14-2011, 10:23 AM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"

After being taken hostage by the holidays, I'm finally back on track and will be starting this build thread for the recent release announcement of the B-24J “The Dragon and His Tail” by designer John Dell.

I'd like to give a special thanks to John for asking me to do this test build for him, it was great fun and an honor to be asked to do the build. I only had pieces, no instructions or diagrams to start with, but if I encountered a problem, John would supply enough of a hint to get to the next step.

I had never been a big B-24 fan, but have always found the art that was painted on these aircraft to be intriguing. I've learned a lot about the B-24 and it's history in general, none more so than “The Dragon”.

I had initially planned on my just adding this build onto his original Kit Announcement Thread but decided that it made more sense to start a whole new thread here, in the Model Builds-Aviation section.

I took over 850 pictures of this build and I've found that I still missed photographing some steps!! I've cut it down to about 200 images that I plan to post here. If you'd like to see a step from a different view, please ask. If I have another view, I'll post it.

I hope you all get something useful out of this build thread, ask questions, make comments or suggestions on how I could have done something different. I'm here to learn too.

I'll try to make at least one posting a day, please be patient. I'll do my best.

Enjoy,
Swampfox
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:32 AM
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This is a "contact sheet" of the pages I worked with. I have no idea if the format will remain for the final kit.

These are 17 sheets that I received.
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B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-d-t-thumbnail-sheets-copy.jpg  
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:36 AM
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willygoat willygoat is offline
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Man! I can't wait for this release. My old build of the Liberator has saggy wings. Quite the opposite of the fine lady on this model
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Old 01-14-2011, 10:40 AM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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Opps!

I already forgot a page!!

B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-bombs.jpg

The Bombs;-)

Make that 18 pages!!

SFX
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:21 PM
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A little history

I've come to realize that many of the members here like to know a little of the history of the model they are building. I've taken some info that is included with the Intro Sheet of the kit and present it here. If your not interested in it's history, you can skip this comment.
__________________________________________________ _______________
Some historic aircraft are remembered for their accomplishments, such as flying the fastest, the farthest or the highest. Others are associated with specific events or the historic missions they flew. The aircraft known as “The Dragon and His Tail”, was best known for the artwork it was covered in.

Built at Consolidated's San Diego factory, the soon to become “Dragon” made it's first flight on June 3rd 1944 and was delivered to the AAF several days later. This B-24J was assigned to the 5th Air Force's 64th Bomb Squadron, 43rd Bomb Group, based on Le Shima Island near Okinawa. One of the men stationed on Le Shima was Sarkis Bartigian.


B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-1-ssgt-sarkis-e.-bartigian-.jpgThe Artist


Bartigian was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, in 1906. He joined the USAAF at age 36 or 37, having previously studied art and working as a commercial artist painting murals for restaurants and movie theater marquees. Initially stationed at Lowry AFB, he trained to use the Sperry bomb-sight, where he later used his own illustrations to instruct others. It was after being assigned to the 43rd Bomb Group that his artistic talents were put to dramatic use.


The B-24's flat sided fuselage made a perfect canvas for nose art and Sgt. Bartigian liked working big. His art filled the entire nose of the aircraft and as on the “Dragon” stretched down the length of the fuselage. He was kept busy painting nose art murals for many aircraft, including “Cocktail Hour”, “It Ain't so Funny”, “Michigan” and “Mabel's Labels. The Mabel in “Mabel's Labels” was actually his wife.


The Dragon and His Tail” flew 85 combat missions and survived the war along with Sgt. Bartigian. Sadly, they both met early demises. Bartigian was killed in a motor vehicle accident in 1955, at age 49. The “Dragon” ended up at the aircraft boneyard at Kingman, Arizona. The story goes that the men working at the reclamation plant were so impressed by the artwork the it was the last B-24 to be scrapped at Kingman.


B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-2-dragon-his-tail-kingman-az-600.jpgStripped of it's engines and guns, waiting to be scrapped.


But the story is not over.... The “Dragon lives on in the form of numerous die-cast, plastic and now a paper card model. In 1989 the Collins Foundation undertook a multi-million dollar restoration of the only flyable B-24J left in the world and painted it as “The Dragon and His Tail”.


B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-3-collins-foundation-dragon-700.jpgThe Collins Foundation B-24J


An artist's greatest desire is to have others appreciate their work and Sarkis Bartigian's art lives on and is still appreciated today.



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Old 01-14-2011, 12:53 PM
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Leif Ohlsson Leif Ohlsson is offline
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Looks like I'd better sign in from the beginning this time. Looking forward to it, SFX! - L.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:38 PM
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Rubenandres77 Rubenandres77 is offline
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This will be interesting.

I know nothing about the B-24, and this will be a good opportunity to learn about the plane, and of course to learn from your building techniques and process.

Thanks for sharing the story of the plane!


Ruben
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:45 PM
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airdave airdave is offline
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I know I'm watching!
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Old 01-14-2011, 03:27 PM
jobeaux jobeaux is offline
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I'm certainly watching! Thanks for including the history from the intro sheet. Every aircraft, even a "mundane" general avaition, has a story to tell, and I always find myself wanting to know more about an airplane's particular history when I build a model.
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Old 01-15-2011, 03:13 PM
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Swampfox Swampfox is offline
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Nose Turret parts

I started this model on sheet 1 and tried to build it in the order it was numbered in. For the most part, it worked out just fine that way.

These are some of the sheets included in the kit.B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-001a-test-build-pages.jpg click to enlarge

The nose gun mountsB-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-1.jpg

I used thin strips of Blue Painters Tape, (low tack).B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-2.jpg

Here they are after gluing, before retouching.B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-3.jpg

Nose turret piece.B-24J "The Dragon and His Tail"-4.jpg
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