Top Flite B-25J Mitchell Project

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Page 16

       The nose gunner cabin floor was assembled and glued to the fuse as the manual suggested. I used 5 minute epoxy for this job.

       The cabin interior was assembled and installed on the cabin floor. I used the Poly-Zap to assemble the ammunition cans and holder tray.

       I trimmed the bulkhead to match the former on the fuse as to not interfere with the canopy later on. Unfortunately the green pant on the bulkhead chipped off easily at the edges so I touched up the paint using some Liquitex emerald green acrylic artists paint (Cat #2002-450).

       The front edge of the cabin floor was painted with the emerald green paint to match the green on the interior piece.

       The interior piece was screwed down to the floor with five #0 x 1/4” screws.

       The cabin interior set came with an odd little trim piece that the manual does not describe. I chose to install it at the front of the cabin as seen below, it just seemed to fit there.

       The next step was to assemble the gun barrel assembles. I used the Poly-Zap for this as well

       I had earlier glued on the gun retainers to the inside of the nose gunner canopy. Rubber bands hold the nose gun to these retainers.

       After the CA had fully cured on all of the nose gunner parts (24 hours) I mounted the canopy over the cabin.

       I prefitted the cockpit windscreen to the fuse and screwed it in place for the time being.

       The side gun blisters were next to mount. I pre positioned the gun blisters to best match the covering and contour of the fuse. I then traced the outline of the blisters with pencil so the covering could be removed.

       The covering was removed on the inside of the pencil line leaving about a 1/16” border. I removed the covering very carefully with a hobby knife being careful not to cut into the sheeting.

       Thick CA glue was used to attach the gun blister to the fuse. The glue was carefully applied to both sides before joining them.

       Next up, the machine gun turret assembly. I decided to mount my turret gun to the top of the fuse with a screw instead of gluing the gun down. This way you can install the turret more easily. I started out by cutting a 1/2 x 3/8” basswood block piece to fit inside of the two plastic gun mounts as seen below.

       I then drilled a 3/32” hole in the top of the fuse at 130 mm back from the cockpit back. I aligned this hole to be in the middle of the top stringer strip in the fuse.

       I used a Allen head “servo” screw to temporarily attach the machine guns to the fuse from inside of the fuse up as seen below.

       The turret canopy was next to mount. I layed out the canopy to mount about 65 mm back from the cockpit bulkhead and marked it’s position with pencil.

       The turret was then pre drilled with twelve 1/16” holes for the mounting screws. I tried to lay the three center holes out so they meet with the three middle stringer strips in the fuse for added strength.

       The machine guns were removed and the turret was temporarily mounted to the fuse.

       With the canopy removed I could prepare the fuselage to be painted.

       Blue painters tape was applied just outside of the screw holes on the fuse.

       The fuse was masked off and a fine grit foam sanding block was used to scuff up the Monokote covering.

       Testors flat black paint (Cat #1249) was used to paint the turret area in two fine coats.

       The same flat black paint was used to touch up the wood block on the machine guns.

       Finally the machine guns and turret were mounted to finish the assembly. A small amount of thin CA glue was used in the turret screw holes to help hold the #0 x 1/4” screws in place.

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