1/72 Consolidated B-32 Dominator
Refer to my
I received this kit to finish on a
strict deadline just as I had to go on the road for two weeks of work;
fortunately I was driving to my jobs, so I could take the kit with me.
The first thing to do was to prepare all of the parts,
first by removing pour stubs, then by sanding.
Although the surfaces of the B-32 kit as given were
generally good, a few parts, notably the right fuselage half, the
halves, and the stabilizers had a pebbled appearance that needed to be sanded
I did a lot of sanding on this model using 400 grit paper and sanding
sticks over several nights in front of the TV and was able to remove nearly all
of the surface imperfections.
Once I was home, construction began
The partially drilled-out mounting holes for the
stabilizers and wings were drilled out in full.
I replaced the resin wing stubs with new ones made from
5/32" brass tubing; since the model was going to be part of a traveling display,
I thought it important to make the wings removeable.
The metal spars were first cemented in to the lower wing
halves using epoxy.
Using A+B epoxy putty, I trapped the spars between the
lower wing half and the upper wing half; the epoxy putty also steadied the two
halves, so that gluing the seams was much easier.
heavy tail surfaces presented a problem for weight and balance.
I used some high school physics to calculate the minimum
nose weight needed to keep the model on its nose.
Because of the short moment arm of the nose weight
chamber Anigrand provided, I made a new nose weight chamber by installing
bulkheads just behind the pilots' seats on the flight deck.
Nose weight was installed on both sides and once dry,
the flying surfaces were fitted to the taped-together fuselage to confirm
adequate nose weight.
The flight deck area was painted
Interior green with the instrument panel and control yokes done in black.
Seats were Interior Green with a medium brown used to
simulate the leather cushions.
The nose area was painted black.
Since this was a commission build to show what could be
done using only the parts in the box, I added no other details; modelers
building this kit for themselves might add throttle quadrants, seat belts, and
at least an instrument panel decal for best appearance.
mentioned in my preview, the left fuselage half was 2mm shorter than the right
The misalignment appeared to start behind the wing root.
Using Dymo tape, I carefully taped off the intended cut
line, then heavily scribed the cut line into the resin.
I finished the cut using an X-acto razor saw.
the cut surface to a circle template, I determined that the diameter of the
fuselage was 1 1/2 inches; this would be helpful later on.
The left rear fuselage half was glued to the right rear
fuselage first; panel line alignment was excellent on the top, but way off on
the bottom; I didn't fill and rescribe due to time constraints.
The left front fuselage half was then glued in place.
The resin has enough "springiness" to allow for exact
apposition of the edges, except near the nose gear bay; I glued that part last
on my model, and ended up with a huge contour fault to fix!
Learn from this reviewer's mistake: start gluing your
halves behind the nose gear bay, then you can line up the edges easily after
The gap between the forward and aft fuselage halves on the left was
filled easily using sheet plastic, cut in a half-circle of 1 1/2 inches.
then turned to the engines and nacelles.
The Anigrand engine fronts are inaccurate for the B-32
(or any other aircraft, for that matter) but, following terms of the commission
build, I used them.
Two of the engine fronts disintegrated when I tried to
drill out the holes for the propeller shafts, and a modeler friend rescued me by
sending me two Academy C-97 engine fronts for replacements, which looked very
much like Anigrand's items.
After painting the engine fronts (Floquil Old Silver
cylinders with a heavy black wash, Navy Agressor Gray crancase covers, and Grimy
Black between the cylinders) these were installed in the nacelle halves.
The nacelle halves were then cemented together; it took
some heavy-duty clamping to get the inboard nacelle halves into full apposition.
The inboard nacelles had some large
gaps between the nacelles and the wings.
To improve the fit, I first applied Micro Mask to the
lower wings, covering the area where the nacelles fit with good margins.
Micro Mask dried, I used a large amount of toolmaker's epoxy on the nacelles,
and fitted the nacelles to the wings.
After allowing the nacelles to dry overnight, the
nacelles were popped off the wings; the Micro mask enabled this to take place.
I then sanded the epoxy fill flush with the outer
surfaces of the nacelles.
This enabled me to fit the nacelles definitively without
needing to fill a huge gap.
outboard nacelles didn't have as huge of a gap, but the raised bases for them on
the lower wings were too wide.
Using the nacelles themselves as guides, I scribed a
line on the bases and carefully carved away the excess.
A bit of filling was required to
clean this up, but it worked well.
I then used the "smash" method detailed above to tighten
up the fit.
nacelles in place, I tack-glued the main landing gear struts to the nacelles and
fitted the wings to the fuselage to check dihedral; the struts were there to be
a visual aid to ensure that they would be perpendicular to the ground when the
dihedral was right.
I had to make some adjustments to the tubing using
pliers to get the dihedral right, and that left me with gaps on the wing to
Using the "smash" method, I added putty to the base of the wings
up the fit.
horizontal stabilizers fit well, but note that the mounting holes on the left
are different from the right; when test fitting, if the stabilizer doesn't fit
well, it's probably on the wrong side!
For the vertical tail, I used the "smash" method to
tighten up the fit, but I left the vertical tail removeable for ease of
Clear parts received attention next.
Holes for the guns had to be drilled out on the two
dorsal turrets, and the provided holes needed to be opened up on all other
None of the provided machine guns, as cast, matched the width of the
holes for the turrets, so all needed adjusting.
The provided guns were used, but, again, a modeler
building this kit for themselves will want to replace them as the kit items look
rather clunky and oversimplified.
As for the clear parts, they responded well to sanding
and polishing on the outside, and I had some success using Tamiya polishing
compounds to smooth out the interiors of the clear parts.
Note also that the resin clear parts are
VERY sensitive to CA glue fumes.
I found this out the hard way on the windshield, which
up on me badly even though I had coated the inside with Future.
At least the sparse interior wasn't so obvious then!
landing gear was painted Floquil Old Silver for the struts and wheel hubs, and
Floquil Grimy Black for the tires.
The gear assembled easily, but the tires really looked
too wide once they were installed.
True Details makes a set of resin B-29 wheels that are a
more scale width, and I would reccommend using those for your own model.
Anigrand cast the propeller hubs separately from the propeller blades, the parts
came together easily; the propellers were the easiest thing about this build!
major structures together, it was time to paint.
After masking off all clear parts, the
entire model was painted with Mr. Surfacer 1000 from the spray can.
The first coat of primer revealed many, many, areas to
fix--nothing like Mr. Surfacer to teach a modeler humility!
I had another road trip, so I took the model with me and
did all the fixes on the road.
Once home again, I repainted with Mr. Surfacer 1000
using an airbrush, and noted that th
airbrushed version of Mr. Surfacer dried more glossy than the spray can version!
So I ended up doing a lot of the outer surfaces with the
masked off the detail areas for painting: de-icer boots, cabin windows,
antiglare panel, and dorsal turret orbits.
The de-icers and dorsal orbits were painted with Floquil
Grimy Black, cabin windows with Floquil Engine Black, and the antiglare panel
was painted with Testers Olive Drab (Faded).
Once these areas were dry, I masked them off to start on
the metallic finish.
Alclad Aluminum as the general shade for the entire model, with Alclad
Duralumin, Alclad Dark Aluminum, and Testers Non-Buffing Aluminum used for
The Alclad generally adhered very well to the Mr.
Surface, though I did get a few chips when pulling frisket paper for the
Once the metalizing was done to my satisfaction, it was
time for decals.
to tell here!
Only six decals were provided: four insignia and two serial
The Anigrand-provided decals tended to irretrievably wrinkle when
MicroSol was applied, so I avoided using Micro Sol for the fuselage insignia and
The decals performed fairly well with Micro Set, used according to
instructions; still, I'd consider replacing the insignia with items from the
spares box for your own model.
gear was epoxied in place, and the gear doors were added; note that the forward
door on the nose gear bay slides forward, much like the nose gear door on a
I then set the model down on the gear, and to my horror discovered that
I hadn't put in enough nose weight!
There wasn't anything I could do about it at this late
Fortunately, Anigrand has the builder cement the ventral turret in the
deployed position, rather than in the retracted position as it would be for
ground operations--so the ventral turret on my model is also doubling as a tail
All of the turrets were cemented in place, using white glue.
This was a
big, challenging kit to build, and it took almost all of the spare time I had
for the better part of 6 weeks to get it done.
I would definitely not recommend this kit to anyone who
isn't experienced with all-resin kits, but with care and patience, it does build
up into an impressive model.
Just be sure you overdo it on the nose weight!
sample courtesy of
You can see this model on their display table at the
IPMS-USA Nationals in
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