Sunday, 9 September 2012

Hasegawa B5N2 Kate Part 4. Undercarriage plus BOMB WEATHERING!

Blimey, that bomb has caused a bit of a stir on the forums and my email inbox!  However, before I go into all that here's a small update on how the model is progressing.


As I mentioned last time, I feel doing all the danglie bits when the model is practically finished is a bit of a chore and to be honest, I like to strike while the iron is hot and the motivation is sky high.  So, the next bit tackled was the undercarriage.

There are some prominent mould seems in the main legs which is a chore to clean up as it's very easy to obliterate the detail.  I tried my best but rather inconveniently there are also some ejector pin marks right on the compression strut.  I think the only way to really get rid of these is to replace the strut with some aluminium tubing but I haven't got any and besides, I couldn't really be bothered!

To help with the glue adhesion, the brake lines (lead wire) were glued on first.  Then, the whole lot got a mist coat of Vallejo steel.  Sorry for the exposure of the photo, it was quite hard to photograph.

Next up was a wash to highlight the raised detail and to impart a bit of grime.  For this I used the ubiquitous Abteilung Shadow Brown oil paint thinned with white spirit.

Here are the finished legs.  The brake hose has been painted with Vallejo black and super glued into place.  They'll get a matt coat when I do the airframe and they've been glued in place.

A surprise inclusion on the etched fret is a tail wheel steering arm.  It's of very similar design to the ones we use for the Lynx I used to fly.  It was very fiddly to put together and very fragile so I beefed up the structure with some Albion Alloys .45mm brass rod.

OK, that's it for the update on the model, it was my birthday on Friday (same day as the Luftwaffe first bombed London in the Battle of Britain and I share a birthday with Elizabeth I, cool!) so I haven't got much achieved.

Bomb Weathering

Ok, here we go.  I have received a number of emails, comments and forum responses to the bomb and specifically, the amount of weathering.  The correspondents did what I think is a pretty gutsy thing, they stated as fact that no bombs ever weathered as much as how I have depicted and that I have over done things.  Hmm, I think being so forthright and convinced that NO bombs EVER weathered as much as this and I've gone too far is opening up yourself to being proven wrong.  Being so adamant online is risky as someone out there WILL be more knowledgeable than you and will prove it!

Now, I am not putting myself on a pedestal to say I am more knowledgeable than any one of the respondents, but after 5 minutes at our favourite search engine I found loads of examples of heavily weathered ordnance.

One has to bear in mind how these things were stored during the Second World War.  More often than not they were left outside at the mercy of the elements.  In many cases, they were relatively stable until the fuses were in place and whilst treated with respect, they were not treated with kid gloves.  That's probably why every now and again there were accidents!

Ok, enough waffle, here are some photos starting with an example of the one on the model.  It's not quite as weathered I admit but it's not exactly pristine either!  (Note also that some are modern bombs!!).  (I also have to thank Marcus Nicholls of Tamiya Model Magazine who posted the Life picture on Missing Lynx.)

Courtesy of Marcus Nicholls who posted this in Missing Lynx 

There we are, as far as I am concerned the great bomb weathering debate is closed.  I am correct in weathering my bomb in the manor I have according to the photographic evidence.

Once again I have next week off and finally we get to start painting the model and specifically the paint chipping.  Stay tuned for updates.

Take care.


  1. Was the particular Kate you are modeling carrier-borne or land-based? Your bomb looks appropriate for one stored outside in the weather like the photo of the pile of US WWII bombs. I would though expect bombs stored in the bomb magazine of a carrier to be pretty clean ans not very rusty.

  2. Right on Brother! :o) For someone to say that ordnance never got weathered is silly, look at examples of Luftwaffe aircraft getting bombed up on the Eastern Front. Nuff sed really :o)

  3. @Brian. Look at bomb photo 2, that's a US Aircraft Carrier weapon magazine! Anyway, this aircraft will be a land based version though.

    @Andy. Thanks mate.