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The Mother Child ReUnion

Bear with me now, the above picture is the only view I originally intended for anyone, but me, to see. In my original “mental” concept, this is the only angle you were to see the aircraft from. But, I came to think this was a real injustice to such a famous aircraft, and added a few things to the B-29.

I had recently finished the 1/72 XF-85 “Goblin”, by PK, and was wondering how I would display this little plane, and convey to those unfamiliar with it how it came to be.

I had actually posted a photo in the Forums, while working on the “Goblin”, and someone had remarked “Is that a real or ‘what if’ aircraft?” This prompted me to go ahead with a larger project, the Mother Child Reunion, to show the concept and reason for its existence. I freely admit, having long been a fan of this aircraft, that it may well have been the inspiration for the ‘Egg Plane’ models.

This was one of those “projects” where, you work on a particular component until you get the shakes, then you that a break. You then get nervous, because you want to see how things are going to turn out so you go back to work on it. Every step in the process is another chance to really screw it up.

First The “Child” The XF-85 “Goblin” kit by KP
The “Goblin” was a fairly straightforward build. Not a lot of parts, but some nice “extras”. The PE included was frankly wasted on me, as I don’t have the proper tools to work with it, and I don’t do enough PE to justify getting the proper tools. The kit was finely molded and detailed, but being a “short run” with no locator pins, it required some filling, filing, and fitting.

As this was to be a Natural Metal Finish I was concerned that worked areas not stand out. I’d done several NMF’s in the past, but none that required much rework. Some experimentation was in order. As you can see in some of the photos, particularly those showing the area aft of the cockpit, after fitting was complete I buffed the areas with SnF Metalizer Powder. The purpose was two fold, one to show if additional work was needed, and two to provide a smooth metalized underlayment.
(If you think you have gotten an area really smooth, try polishing it with Metalizer Powder, you’ll find out if it’s smooth or not.)

Note to Self: Go back to painting Camo schemes, NMF shows EVERYTHING. Unfortunately I don’t see it happening, as most of my upcoming projects are NMF, just can’t seem to get away from them.
  • Decals
  • Interior
  • Pre_Paint_Polishing
  • General_Construct_1
  • Adapter_hole
  • The_Cart

About the Author

About Chuck Shanley (CRS)

I've been building kits since about the mid 1950's. I've built all kinds of subjects, but for the past 20 years or so I've seemed to focus mainly on 1/72 Aircraft and Armor. Why 1/72, mainly for space conservation I build alot. I build primarily for my own enjoyment, and Armorama has helped to en...


That looks fantastic Chuck. How big is it in size, i remember building the Airfix B-29 when i was a kid and its huge. Some great details added to the whole thing, and the lights definitely add realism to the scene. To tell the truth i have always thought of recreating the parasite/ test aircraft and mother craft, such as the X-15 being carried by a B-52, but i thought of only recreating the wing section of the B-52, so not to distract from the "real" aircraft of the piece. But with so much detail in your dio, I'm having second thoughts (but then again, space is an issue :-) ). Andy
OCT 09, 2006 - 02:57 AM
Howdy Chuck As I said in another thread {you know, the one where I nearly let the 'cat-out-of-the-bag'}, your dio looks superb! I didn't realize that I was giving a 'preview' of your outstanding work when I posted that pic of your Goblin in that other thread.......at least it was the box art and not the actual model You did a great job on the NMF on both aircraft......it really looks great. And the open engine nacelle is well done and conveys a nice sense of 'activity'....nicely done. Your scratchbuilt trough-like bay undernerath the B-29 and depicting the workmen busy around the X-85 is an absolutely outstanding idea!......and one extremely well accomplished! What can I say.....I love it! Tread.
OCT 09, 2006 - 03:18 AM
Hi Chuck Fantastic! I don't know about a "mother and child reunion" - I've been pacing up and down outside the delivery room waiting to see this baby finished! Thank goodness I don't have to pretend I like cigars anymore! :-) Seriously, it is a superb build and diorama - the level you've taken the old 1960's Airfix B-29 to is amazing! And the atmospheric night shots are the icing on the cake! Something's missing! - ohh yeah - I didn't use the word "spectacular"! (in joke) :-) All the best Rowan P.S. I still say it's spectacular!
OCT 09, 2006 - 03:25 AM
Andy, it's 45 x 61 cm there is a reason I build in 1/72 scale A B-52 Dio would be MUCH larger, thought of that one myself but SPACE is a problem. :-) Maybe in 1/144 P.S. Thanks all of you for the Kind remarks
OCT 09, 2006 - 03:45 AM
Brilliant Andy, I like the unusual or esorteric and this one certainly makes the grade. I like the idea of lighting the pit, very effective. W.O.W! Must google the XF-85 - by the look of it it might have been a bit of a handful. Jeff W. ???Andy?? Humble apologies CHUCK!
OCT 09, 2006 - 03:58 PM
Hi Chuck: Wow, just a super well detailed article and a great job of modeling with that very old Airfix Super Fortress kit. Love your diorama idea and how it all came together at the end. Thanks for taking time to shoot all the pix WIP, during the build and for the time involved in this very comphrensive article. Discipline? Wow, you've got plenty of that. Congratulations
OCT 09, 2006 - 04:38 PM
Hi Chuck. This is a great diorama, and while reading the article its easy to see how it evolved and became what it ended up as,,a fabulous work! I enjoyed reading about how you used the metalizers, something I havent tried and it looks really good. What makes this stand out for me though is how youve used lights in the "inspection pit",,it really brings the diorama to life and adds a whole new level to the work generally. Congratulations on a job well done. Nige
OCT 12, 2006 - 04:07 AM
Yes Andy, you can build Dios in smaller scales :-) I just finished this one in 1/144 :-) It's only 11 x 14 inches.
DEC 01, 2006 - 02:08 AM