Buffing up the BUFF

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by Ashrunner, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    Hey folks...I figure since I am having trouble cutting out parts of Marek's PBY for now, I'd do something a little more challenging or easier, whichever you prefer. I have decided to repaint GPM's B-52D and make it look nice and proper-like. This is my first attempt at something like this, and I am sure the way I am doing it is not only the hard way, but the "where did you come up with that idea" way. It took me a while to figure out a way of doing it and I finally came up with doing the redraw in TurboCAD, saving the redraw lines as DXF, importing to a conversion program I have, saving as a TIFF file, opening the TIFF in Paint Shop Pro, redoing the color, then resizing and saving. Works well for me.

    Anyway, here are some of the problems I have come across with the model. The nose is designed more like the H model than that of the D model which the kit represents. I am working on fixing that at the moment. Aside from markings, which are incorrect -- WWII style insignia is used on the model -- I have mentioned before that the kit model is painted in two browns and one green, whereas the official SEA paint scheme for the Big Belly D models was two greens and a tan -- FS colors 34079, 34159 and 34201, along with a gloss black color on the lower portions. It took me a while to get the correct colors to show up on my system, but I finally did.

    In the process of researching the colors, I found that on the net there are like four different shades of 34079 and almost as many of the other two colors also. Getting the right combination of the right shades was a fun project, so I thought I would post a progress image of the repaint. I also am not happy with the tail gun design and have been looking at it wondering if I should work on it or not. It's not so much the gun as it is the radar. Its a bit short in spots and I think might be more trouble than its worth to redesign. I still need to fix the tail number under the nose. Its in the wrong spot and the wrong size. I just replaced the old 677 number with 674 to get the proper low visibilty dull red color. It should also have a 0 in front of it...0674.

    I chose this tail number, as I was able to locate an image of this aircraft. It was also one of the B-52s shot down during Linebacker II. The crew onboard the aircraft were assigned to Kincheloe AFB which is where I was stationed at the time. They flew with the call sign "Ebony 2." On Dec. 26, 1972, the aircraft was hit by a SAM and crashed near Giap Nhi, North Vietnam. Of the six man crew, two were killed when the missle detonated, the other four were taken POW and returned several months later.

    I have only done two pages so far and have taken a day to do each one. I do make a lot of mistakes 8v) But it has been fun and I hope it continues to be fun. Finally, when I finish the repaint, I will hopefully build at 1:100 scale.
  2. Huey

    Huey Member

    My friend Ashrunner, just keep on what you are doing and do give us the pleasure of doing a build thread on this after all the recoloring and redraw has been done. I'll be watching this thread closely for updates
  3. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    You have renewed my faith in the Clan of the Big Bomber Boys. Count me in as one of the faithful.

    Best regards, Gil
  4. Huey

    Huey Member

    Hi Gil,

    If its not asking too much, maybe you can give Ashrunner a hand on the nose tip of the B-52D :D. I mean, I have gone through a lot of "nose job" on that model and nothing comes close to being a "nose." Aside from the fact that I have to agree with Ashrunner that the nose is not for the D version (should be shorter)
  5. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    See what I can do.

  6. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Took a look at the petal nose of the GPM kit. I'm not an expert on the B-52 but from my perspective this kit has a lots of needs and wants.

    I looked around and found the following photograph on the net. It's purportedly a B-52D nose shot. I've also the 3-views from Don Color which also has the FS color scheme for the D in it's SEA scheme. The only net available line drawings are for the H model which has a somewhat extended nose. One question is whether anyone's built up the nose section to see what it's like? I'll design an anti-petal nose for the right profile..., just need the base, top and side views to do it.

  7. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    Gil...the photo shows the nose of a B-52H, not a D model. The D model was almost exactly like the B, C, E and F models. I have a couple of side, top and front views of it I'll email you...need a good address though. PM me with it. The files aren't too big. The nose section was the first part I tried to build after scanning the kit and printing it out to 1:100 scale. I was so angry at the way the nose looked, that the other errors of the kit started to look worse and worse....hence the repaint. 8v) I definitely would like to have a better designed nose. I tried it yesterday and I just don't have the 3D skills to do it, even though it is extremely simple. My one attempt was unfolded in Pepakura into like a hundred parts that would "Join Edge."

    On a slightly related note, and one I was meaning to ask when I first posted this thread, one of the things I have found out about repainting is if you don't pay close attention to the parts and where the various color patterns begin and end and move to other parts, you have a very misaligned paint job. I have been measuring out the distances and putting the new ones along the edges that way and that is probably the only way to do a repaint when you are actually changing the pattern. However, if someone knows of an easier way to get the patterns to match, any chance of getting a hint or two on how to do it?

    The flu bug has hit me today, so there hasn't been any progress on the repaint. However, I do have a couple of bones to pick with book publishers who print erroneous information. 8v) (Been doing a lot of reading today).
  8. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Very sorry to hear about the flu..., hope it's a mild case and Godspeed your recovery. Email PM has been sent.

    I suspected that this was an H. Can't really complain as it was free. I'm resisting the urge to load up on more reference material if I can help it.

    I think that the model does require a complete makeover as regards the color scheme and could also use a little detail in addition. A gear down with extended flaps would be the quintessential form of this aircraft. Unfortunately the model doesn't have the flaps as an option..., just have to see who's up to doing this "besides me"...,

    All the best, Gil
  9. Atomsk

    Atomsk Member

    Ahh yes, the B-52, a nice little plane. For a good illustration of what Ash is sooting for, take a look at the following drawing from the "Don-Color" site:

    B-52D SEA

    Compare the nose to that of the "low altitude" G models:

    B-52G Modern

    Brian "Atomsk" Clough
    Former Sgt. USAF

    p.s. "little plane"?

    Well, when it was foggy in Sacramneto, and one had to spend the night with us at Travis, the only place they could park them was on the C-5 ramp. In comparison, those "STKs" (SAC Trained Killers) looked kinda tiny.

  10. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    Atomsk...EVERYTHING looks small next to a C-5...including for some reason, its replacement, the C-17. I went to the McChord AFB airshow a couple of years ago and saw the pair side-by-side. Until that point in time, I had never seen the C-17 live and in living color. I retired as it was about ready to come online. Anyway, I was surprized at how the two looked together. Although a large aircraft in its own right, the C-17 seemed to look smaller than ol' Albert. I had always loved watching the C-5 take-off. It looked like it was still trying to get speed when it would suddenly jump up off the ground. It seemed to be going so slow, that it could easily be outrun. However, I have never seen a B-52 next to a C-5. I had always considered the BUFF to be large, since my first exposure to one was at an airshow at Chanute AFB, Ill in 1965. I was 14 at the time and fell in love with the F-104 there, and couldn't believe the size of the B-52. Still love the 104...and definitely love the 52...along with the F-15. Now if only more of the larger Russian aircraft would be modeled...a couple of Tu-22Ms just isn't enough...or am I missing some?
  11. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    OMG! A BUFF next to a Starfighter!! Talk about scale!
    Ash they got a 52 on static display in Mobile next to the battleship. You really do not get a feel of size until you walk under one of those things.
    Walked through a C-5 at the airshow we had here. You can play footbal inside that thing. And now that the Air Guard Unit here has the C-17, I can appreciate the effect of that next to the C-5. Quite a change from the C-141 they were driving around the skies here!

    Can't wait to see the re-paint job. What scale are you doing it in?
  12. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    Five other people and I once took a C-5A flight from San Antonio, Texas to Travis AFB outside of San Fransisco to attend a seminar there. Once the flight got to cruise altitude, one of the crew members came up to the passenger area and asked if anyone wanted to join them in a basketball game downstairs. Smiling, four of us got up to see what they were talking about and join the fun. Downstairs in the empty cargo bay, was just what was needed. A flat floor and a hoop...courtesy of the loadmaster who was laying down the final plank. It wasn't anywhere near the size of a full court, but it was bigger than the "half courts" I had played on before. Needless to say, it was a fun flight. Ever try to hit nothing but air just as the court drops several hundred feet in air turbulance? hehehe

    The BUFF repaint is coming along and is a fun bit of work. When I am finished, I plan to print (after getting ink for my currently inkless printer) to build at 1:100 scale. That will give it a wingspan of approximately 22 inches which is plenty big for me. I also want to repaint and redo the kit to a variety of other B-52s, such as one each of the different versions along with the NB-52s and hopefully the XB-52 and YB-52 models, if I can modify the front end to the tandem sitting arrangement of those two models. When I finish this repaint, I'll work on a little weathering of the paint job and then post a look at the final...but that will most likely be sometime early next year...hopefully.
  13. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member

    I know its tough on y'all seeing me ugly mug two posts in row, but I thought I would pass this on to those who are interested in the GPM B-52 model and some of the errors of the kit. I have already detailed the color and nose, but briefly mentioned the gun position problem.

    Well, I am happy to say that is now "not a problem." I have been doing some measuring and checking and have found the tail gun section of the GPM kit was based on, again, the B-52H. In the kit, there is a part, labeled 16, that is about the size of the extension which was placed on the H model. My measurements show it can be removed and that the tail gun will then have the length (actually just a little long, but not enough to worry about) of the tail gun section of the D model. That makes the redesign of the kit to look more like a D model a lot easier.

    I will also help make my future goal of turning the GPM kit into an H model, since most of all of the work has already been done. It makes the long term goal a greater possibility.

    For a Monday, it has been a good one.
  14. Huey

    Huey Member

    So my friend, what you are telling us here is that the GPM B-52D model is more of a "Frankenstein" model, the nose and tail is H model among others, but GPM is passing it on as a D version. Wow, talk about messing this model. Too bad, the size and scale is just awesome, but it doesn't really represent a real plane. But, I still like it :D
  15. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Taken a look at the D nose material. I don't think there will be any problems designing a new nose section. I'll have to fiddle the finished scale to obtain the right fit, hope the scan is 1:1 otherwise I'll have to scan the connecting nose section to derive the right perimeter fit.

  16. Ashrunner

    Ashrunner Member


    No problem on the size of the nose. TurboCAD has a nice resizing functions and if it isn't just right, I can resize. As long as the edge connecting the nose to the cockpit section is the same length as that on the original part, it should fit. At least that is how I was planning to get it to fit.


    Yes...the GPM model is more of a Frankenstein version of the B-52. However, I guess I should have said the tail gun section resembles more the G model than the H since it still has the quad-.50 gun mount. Either way, removal of the section I mentioned, along with an increase in the length of the gun turret section (the gunner's canopy should be longer) and a minor modification of the radar unit (it just doesn't look like the unit on the D model - can't remember its designation, but thats not important now). Also, needs the ECM horns which are missing from the orginal kit. However, for the most part, the GPM BUFF is a hybrid of all B-52s which will aid in the conversion of this kit to a variety of B-52 models. 8v)

    I am basing a lot of the errors I see on the model with photos of the real aircraft. I have numerous 3-view drawings of the B-52, mostly H models, although I have a decent set of drawings of the D model in Boyne's book. However, even that book, considered one of the best on the B-52, has drawings that aren't right at all and I am surprized they made it through the editing process. There are lots of good words on the B-52, lots of good photos, but drawings for modelers leave a lot to be desired. But its still a fun project 8v) My GPM kit pages are currently so worn that it's no longer a booklet kit, but a loose assortment of pages scattered over my bedspread waiting to be gathered into a pile to await another day of scattering 8v)
  17. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Drawings are generally for reference only. Photographs, atlthough not as convenient, are the best resource to work from. I acquired Squadrons B-52 in Action and it seems to have enough general information along with photographs and the drawings are small but seem to reflect the model they represent to a high degree.

  18. Gil

    Gil Active Member

    GPM 066 B-52D Nose Redesign


    The information has been combined and resulted in the rendering below of the first 3 frames of the B-52D nose. The fit should be good..., took frame 3 from the model and scanned it for the source line drawings. Source for the nose curves is from Squadron/signal publications Aircraft Number 130, "B-52 Stratofortress in action". Although small they seem to be fairly accurate. I also picked up a copy of Squadrons "Walk Around B-52 Stratofortress" for further information (flaps expose the internal structure of the wing).

    The point on the tip cone will be burnished out to achieve a continous profile. The discountinuity where the daisey petal meets the radial bands is caused by the difference in construction. The daisey petal actually needs to be designed slightly smaller than the circumference of the joining part due to the fact that the daisey petal will always be built slightly larger by the builder than what the lines indicate (it's not a lot but it's enough to require being dialed in). I enlarged the daisey petal to cover up the discontiunuity for the render.

    The parts will be developed over the next several days so stay tuned.

  19. Huey

    Huey Member


    Great work, that looks more of the nose of a D version.
  20. Atomsk

    Atomsk Member


    Overall shape's about right, but it's a bit too pointy.

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