Bill, I'm working on an even BIGGER pig to build - the AMT XB-70! I started both of these models back when they first came out, around 1995/96. I got both of them half built, then put them asdie, for different reasons.
With the XB-35, I was originally going to try to motorize the (counter-rotating) engines. I couldn't find motors with enough torque to power a counter rotating mechanism, small enough to fit inside the body, so I gave up on that idea. By then I'd already closed up the L.G doors, so I decided, against my normal policy, to build it wheels up (glad I did!). I painted it gloss black, then started buffing it up to take the metal finish. I put it aside part way through, and then lost interest. It sat there for ~25 years collecting dust.
I actually started the XB-70 in the late eighties. Tired of waiting for a good 1:72 injection model of my favourite aircraft, I bought the Contrail vacuform kit (for some outrageous price!). Probably not a good idea at the time because I'd only built a couple of vacuform kits at the time, all quite small.
In classic fashion, I'd just got all of the parts sanded from the sheets and was in the process of putting it together, when AMT released their 1:72 kit. Damn! So I put the vacuform job aside, and started building the AMT kit, with the idea of building one wheels down, and the other wheels up, wing tips down (my favourite configuration), and NO idea where I would put them when I was done.
I go the 'Cobra' built and attached to the upper wing panel - a TERRIBLE fit! It left a 1/16" gap along the spine that had to be filled. I'd made the mistake of using Squadron Green on the vacuform kit, only to find that it cures as hard as a rock and takes forever to sand, so I tried using Squadron White. Big mistake - it's just as bad! I put that kit aside as well (alongside the XB-35), and all 3 kits languished, collecting dust, for almost 25 years. Fortunately for the XB-70 kit, it proved fortuitous, as the Armoury exhaust nozzle P.E. came out, so I got a set.
With the current COVID situation, and LOTs of model building time, I really didn' have any excuses left. In 2019, I built 3 LARGE display cases (48"Wx16"Dx72"H), so I have the display case. I picked up a really nice spray gun from Iwata (the G6), and new compressor (also from Iwata) which can handle the paint flow required to paint this monster. So I decided to go back to it.
The first thing I had to do, was scrape off all that Squadron White, and re-attach the 'Cobra' to the wing. This time I used Tamiya putty, which is WAY easier to sand. I'm now tackling the biggest problem with the kit - attaching the top and bottom wing halves - they just DON'T fit together. I had to do a whole lot of grinding, sanding, and scraping to remove enough plastic from the top of the bottom wing, and edges of the top wing, but it think it's FINALLY going to fit, with a judiciously applied clamps.
Once the XB-70 is done (another week or so, that will be 36 models I've completed since Jan 1st. That's usually my production for a whole YEAR, and we're not even through May yet! I started the year with 46 WiPs; I only have thirteen works in process left now. It'll be nice to finally complete them and open a new kit without feeling guilty about not finshing the ones I've already started.
10. May, 19:19