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148
AVENGER 93 Loyce Deen 353

Page 3
With the engine attached it was time to add the cowling. What a treat for the eyes to behold when the fit was stunning. And not just the parts but the seam lines and rivets all matched up perfectly. It's hard to image that this is three pieces will many hours of manhandling to remove the material in preparation for the open PE flaps. The only sad part for me was the openings exposed the back of the engine which is void of a carb, magnetos and exhaust assembly. Oh well, the open flaps do look much better than closed.

On both Accurate Miniatures kits I'm doing they have a warp in the tower dividing the cockpit and radio area. Clamp the left and right sides first then after it dries clamp the armored plate behind the pilot's seat.

After masking and stuffing holes the fuselage was ready for paint prep. with a wipe of IPA to clean away any over-spray and finger print oil. Plus, I could double check my seam lines and rivets.

Setting that aside some other work was done such as prime the wings and add some masking fluid to the landing light after a quick spray of AK polish aluminum. This reminded me to use a chrome pen on the pistons of the struts.

Next was the insignia white for the underside of the wings and fuselage. Mission Models Paint have a nice color for this and is accurate to the era of these USN aircraft. I opted to build and paint the three major assembles separately because of ease of handling the kit and it would make weathering and painting each go, literally, smoother. Also, it would make adding decals less challenging. And I was going to need all the help I could get!!! Being 23 years old they, naturally, could not be expected to have held up and did crack in many places. This was when Brian O'Neill reminded me of something. Microscale Liquid Decal Film is something every modeler should have a bottle of. It brushes easily and is hardly noticeable after about 10 minutes. Trust me it's there so cut your transfers real close as normal carrier film would be. It takes a good 3 or 4 coast of Micro SOL to get them to conform. It was pointed out to me that some of these stencils might get painted over depending on the ship they were flown off of. Personally I like as much detail as possible so every effort was made to save these markings.

It was around this point in the build when I was reminded that the current project was intended to have a bomb load and not mixed bombs and depth charges. This also reminded me that we began as aircraft 51, a TBF-1C from the Atlantic, but now are a TBM-3 Avenger in the Pacific... well sorta.

The decal fun continued with the larger ones needing to be changed because of the color variation in the different theaters. Previous ones had to be removed and the new ones did not cooperate, as can be seen in the photos. Off they came and newer ones went down much better. If you've never had to remove decals the one bit of advice is soak and wait then go slow and gentle. These lifted with Microscale Micro SET.

After that gong show was over some time was spent relaxing with a pint of scotch, a few cigars and a call to my doctor to set up a craniotomy. His reply was interesting, "to search for... what?". Yeah, you got the joke too. Instead more weathering seemed fun so some staining was done on the wheel wells along with painting the landing flaps and repainting the clear parts. A paint jig was crudely devised from a cheap pair of "second hands". While it ain't the prettiest thing in the world this would be great help with decals, pin wash and assembling small parts. There would be plenty of those in the near future but it was time to do "TAKE 16" in "The Joy of Decals".
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About the Author

About HG Barnes (HGBARNES)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA

H.G. Barnes is a former voice artist and sales/marketing executive. Currently ghost writing, he's recently published the first of many Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, and Adventure novels. He's been building model kits of every genre since memory to go along with his short stories, yet aircraft h...