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Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

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Old 11-29-2011, 10:32 AM
  #1
lovetoflyguy
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Default Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

I decided that after 7 years of fun with my MB.5, it was time to strip her down and refurbish her. I fly it at a lot of airshows and in the name of safety, I felt it was time. It wasn't until my entry for Top Gun this year fell through due to the owner backing out that I decided to take my own plane to Top Gun and stop relying on other people (it rarely works out). After much deliberation (mainly on what airplane I think I could have ready) I decided to pull the MB.5 down. I have 5 Meister-Scale planes and seeing that I am the Meister rep, I should fly one of those. Well, the only plane that is close to being ready to fly is the MB.5. We've spent a great deal of time upgrading the Meister line and I just haven't had the chance to get anything remotely close to competition status.

Some of you might remember, I built a Meister-Scale P-47 in a little over 4 months and cataloged my build here. The paint was "drying" in the trailer on my way to Top Gun and I promised I would NEVER put myself through that again. Seeing that the MB.5 was already built and I have had 7 years experience on her, it was the logical choice. With that said, I have a great deal to do.

The Martin Baker company is world known now for making the ejection seats seen on many modern fighters. I know the F-4 used them solely as well as many others. However, many might not know that they got their start during WWII designing and building many types of planes. The last one was the MB.5 that out performed anything for its day. With the new technology and the new idea of turbine power, this fantastic airplane gave way to the more modern jet powered planes. Sadly to say, the Martin Baker company only produced 1 MB.5 and when she was no longer needed, was used for gunnery practice as with many other aircraft of its time.

This version was built by a good friend of mine Fred (Check6 on RCU) and sold it to me 7 years ago. Man can he build a beefy plane! It has a 90 something inch wingspan and a 100 something inch fuse. Yes! The fuse is larger than the wing...whoo hoo! Makes for interesting landings! It is powered with a ZDZ 80 and custom Robart Retracts (back when Robart actually made retracts! ) I have really enjoyed flying her and have really spent a lot of time at the field trying to explain to people that it is not a P-51 but a totally different airplane! My good Friend Ronnie Weiver started just telling people that it started out as a P-51, but we got water on the plans and continued building! It always brings laughs.

So, what I plan to do is sand it back down, look through the whole plane and start over. The first few pictures are of the real............oh I'm sorry, full scale airplane as well as a picture of my model. So, here we go!
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:41 AM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

So, where to start first?

I felt with the amount of work ahead of me, I would start easy. With that thought in mind I decided to start stripping the wing down. I had to strip off the stickers, sand and fill 7 years worth of banging and bumping the plane around, then put a tone of primer on just to stand it all away. After I was happy with that, I placed 1/64 chart tape down for my panels. Once I was happy with the location of my panes, I then sprayed primer over all the tape. After wet sanding the primer, I pulled the tape and had nice recessed panels. Finding some documentation on the plane, I made my rivet lines. This plane had flush rivets so by heating a brass tube the size of the rivet, I was able to "burn" flush rivets in the wing.

Now there was a rather large hatch that allowed access to two cannons on each wing. I simulated this by using .010 G-10 fiberglass sheets you can get from Frank Tiano. This stuff works awesome because you can cut it with a blade or scissors. After I got the correct size, I was able to glue that in place and then I used #0 screws and yes had to counter sink every one of those little guys!

You can really tell the rivet detail once I painted the undercoat with silver. After the silver is applied, I can then paint the scheme. After it is all painted, I will then use different methods of steel wool and wet sanding to get the silver to come back through in certain areas.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:47 AM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

With the wing in silver coat, I decided to move on to the fuse. This would take some real work. I needed to remove the old canopy. If you notice the canopy is sort of "blended" to the fuse. This plane was designed for speed. I had to actually cut the canopy away from the fuse as well as remove the guts from the old cockpit. I will be scratch building a new cockpit so I wanted to just clear that stuff out. After I did that, I sanded the paint down as much as I could and started filling areas where I saw bumps and bruises. As you can see from the first two pictures, it looks like she has freckles! After sanding down my filler, I layered the first coat of primer on. Wow did I have a long way to go! After several coats of primer with wet sanding in between, I was finally happy with the over all look. Now for the detailing.
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:52 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

If Fred built this, you have a masterpiece and a Tank. I remember when Fred haad this up for sale. I have 2 of his planes. Looking forward to the refurb
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:28 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Hey PJ and Tony,
Thanks for the comments. PJ the refurb looks fantastic. I first built this as a proof of concept after speaking with Dan Parsons the original designer. His plane had a 60 in. span and I wanted one that was Giant scale legal at the time. I didn't spend a lot of time with the finish but I wanted it to look real. PJ you are doing a fantastic job. Can't wait to see it finished. Tony get that Mig and Hurricane flying. Talk to you soon.
Fred Menna Check6
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:38 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

PJ,

I have some really nice drawings of the MB-5 that show lots and lost of detail if you need them. Just send me an email and I will send the drawings.

Chad
cvnkv@aol.com
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:41 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Hey guys,

Thanks for the words of encouragement! It really means a lot.

I got some extra work done of the fuse today. I was able to get some panel lines in, rivets, and if you look at some of the real photos, the whole side of the plane was put together with large panels that were screwed and counter sunk into place. Guess what? Yup, I had to do it as well. I am going to use the original hatch that Fred had in the nose to stow all of my electronics, as well as my air line and fuel refill. The only difference is that I am going to go with music wire hinges so I can just open and close it without screwing it in place. Just for kicks, I decided to paint the whole inside with "zinc" and use G-10 on the inside and paint that with aircraft grey, the same grey that is inside the cockpit.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:43 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Chad,

That would be great! Anything you can send my way would be awesome. Of course for Top Gun I have to pick a plane they only built one of......
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:02 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Dude get your priorities straight... Victoria Secret fashion show is on.. All of this could have started tomorrow BANANA!
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:40 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish


Quote:
ORIGINAL: jeff naul

Dude get your priorities straight... Victoria Secret fashion show is on.. All of this could have started tomorrow BANANA!
I'm with you on that hehe [8D]
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Old 11-30-2011, 09:55 AM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish


Quote:
ORIGINAL: lovetoflyguy

Chad,

That would be great! Anything you can send my way would be awesome. Of course for Top Gun I have to pick a plane they only built one of......
Just need an email addy and I'll send the drawings your way.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:02 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Hey Chad,

Email sent! Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:28 AM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

I've been able to get some more work done on the MB.5 As you can see from the pictures I've finish setting all of my panel screws. I have to tell you, that was getting to be a long and tiresome project! However, after several movies and evenings in the shop, I was able to get the panels, rivets, and screws on the plane. Of course, none of these things you will see as she is flying by.
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Old 12-02-2011, 06:33 AM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

The elevators on this plane were metal, however the rudder was covered in fabric. Fred had covered the rudder in fabric already, but I wanted to simulate the fabric stitching. This was going to be a tricky process. I didn't want to remove the rudder because as said before, ole Fred builds a tank and it ain't coming off without a fight! So I worked the stitching with the rudder on. It took a long time and a whole evening to get everything to lay right, but I do feel once it is painted it will have that scale look I want. I simply used fabric to lay my lines, and then mixed wood glue with some micro-balloons and placed small lines on top of the fabric to simulate the actual stitching. Once primer is on, it gives a great look and is simple! I am so glad that is done. Now on to the cockpit......
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:56 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Some more work today. I put a small coat of primer on the rudder to see how it looks. Its hard to see in this picture due to low light, but it looks good enough for me.

Now as far as the cockpit goes, there is a bunch that goes into this airplane. Apparently, there is a lot to check during operation! I'm starting out with a cardboard cut out of the main panel From here I will be using mostly G-10 and instruments "here and there" I've acquired over many years of building. There are a lot of switches so I will be simulating those as well.

I start off with the main dash. This lays the basic "6" pack of instruments. From there I will move outward and down the sides.
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Old 12-02-2011, 03:01 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

The "6 pack" actually sets a bit forward of the rest of the dash. I accomplished this by forming balsa and covering it in .001 G-10 From there I could fix instruments. My instruments were between different "kits" and the internet. So far so good. The main back plate was made of G-10 that I cut small holes in and set other, secondary instruments in. Before "too" long I was able to see a complete front panel.

There is a small "upper panel" that needed to be made. As you can see, there isn't too much that goes here. I was able to layer G-10 to simulate overlapping aluminum and with the use of screws and a few switches, I think it came out okay. I used a very small brush with aluminum paint to sort of wear or show chip marks in the black paint. My first trial fit with the two panels is really starting to look good! or at least I think...
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:03 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

So, spending more time on the sides, I think I have it all done. Going by as many pictures as I could (around 4) It looks like the cockpit had the same tone of grey in and around as many of the early jets. It does make sense seeing that this one is so close to the jet age. Not really much more to say than what has already been said. Same technique as before. I'll let the pictures speak.

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Old 12-04-2011, 03:07 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Next I needed to set the canopy. Fred told me that he used the Century Jet Spitfire canopy. Looking at the shape in the pictures, it is a real close match. Everything was very streamline on this plane and this was going to be sort of difficult for me to match. By using Fred's original design, I glued the canopy on and used a tone of body filler to get the shape I wanted. I masked off areas where I wanted the canopy line to hit the fuse. After much sanding, I was very happy with the over all look. A tad bit more filler here and there, and I had the shape I wanted.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:11 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Just to jump off of the build for a minute. I thought you might be interested in seeing some old pictures of the plane flying. This is what she looked like in the past. I found these tonight and it really got me pumped to keep on going!!!

Hope you like them.
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

P.J. Thanks so much for including me in the email distro for your build. AWESOME. You are the master. I have gotten great comments on my "new" fleet since re-doing (i.e. weathering and detailing) them all thanks to being parked next to you at Macs and your scale BUG crawled into my camper one night and bit me. Anyway, thanks again, and can't wait to continue following the build. Good luck, and keep up the GREAT work.
You-Da-Man. Jeff
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:07 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Hey PJ,
Plane looks awesome!! Keep up the great work, you're making me look good. LOL
Later,
Fred Menna Check6
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:16 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Jeff,

I'm so happy I could help however I did. Remember, you did all the work on your planes! All I did was show you techniques that were shown to me over the years! I can't take credit for all I so called "taught you"...it was all taught to me as well. I hope I see you soon! Can't way to fly with you soon brotha!!!
PJ
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:19 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Ha Fred,

Couldn't have done this project without you. You built a great plane....All I'm doing is adding detail to an already awesome build.....you did the hard work!

I am buttering you up cause I would like to get a copy of the plans some time!! lol, but I do mean what I say! You did the hard work my friend. I'm just purdying it up a bit!!!

Pj
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:26 PM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

man thats looking good!
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:02 AM
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Default RE: Martin Baker MB.5 Refurbish

Could you enlighten me? what is G 10

Thank you so much Larry S.
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