Greater New Orleans, Louisiana Area Model Maker

© 2015-2019 by Rieth Creations llc.

June 7, 2019

This diorama is my tribute to the brave men that fought the Battle of Midway June 4-7, 1942. The battle became a pivotal turning point of World War II.

I based my diorama scene on the after-action report of Ensign Albert K. Earnest. Not only did I try to recreate the battle damage to the TBF-1 Avenger aircraft, but I also depicted the injuries to the crew. The Naval Aviator, Ens. Earnest, had his right cheek and neck cut by shrapnel. The turret gunner, AMM3/c Jay D. Manning, was mortally wounded and the radioman, RM2/2c Harry H. Ferrier, was knocked unconscious.

The hydraulic system was hit, which caused the tail wheel to drop, making the stinger machine gun useless. The cables to the elevator were severed, causing the TBF to lose altitude. The pilot dropped his torpedo at the nearest ship, a light cruiser or destroyer, to try to lose weight. He used the trim tabs to level off and was able to crash land at Midway Island, when the right landing gear didn’t lower.

I installed a small electr...

May 31, 2019

This photo was the inspiration for creating the diorama using the 1/48th scale Kitty Hawk F2H-2/2P Banshee with my Rieth Creations Resin Correction Set.

I found it a very interesting juxtaposition ("primitive" to 1950s modern), how the men were working to strip and clean the 20mm cannons, propped up on ammo cans, on the deck of the aircraft carrier, out in the elements of winter, off the coast of South Korea.

Years ago, I had bought the Tamiya WWII U.S. Navy Pilots with Mototug. I always thought it was implausible to have a mission briefing on the deck of the aircraft carrier and not in the Ready Room, so I put it in the stash. For this scene, I had to modify the Naval Aviators, which were wearing WW2 tropical flight suits and "Mae West" life vests, and make them Korean War Aviation Ordnancemen in winter clothes and repositioned their arms.

I built the mototug, painted it yellow and weathered it, as I had seen in newsreel footage. I added the black non-slip areas from a Testors mylar sand...

May 25, 2019

To make this block for a block and tackle, I used Evergreen .25" (6.3mm) Square Tube, 1/8" (3.2mm) Diameter Tube, 1/16" (1.5875mm) Dia. rod, .020" sheet styrene and 26 gauge floral wire.

Cut a .19" (4.8mm) length of square tube. Drill a 1/16 dia. hole in the center of 2 opposing sides. Drill a hole in the top of the square tube for the floral wire. Cut the .020" sheet into a square .1875" x .1875", drill a 1/16" hole in the center. Glue square in the middle of the square tube.

Cut 2 pieces of 1/8" dia. tubing .08" (2mm) long. Slide the 1/16" dia. rod through the hole in square tube, add a 1/8" tube, slide through middle styrene, add a 1/8" tube and slide the rod through the other side of the square tube.

Note: For a little more realism and clearance, use a small round file and make a groove around the circumference of the 2 pieces of 1/8" dia. tubing .08" (2mm) long.

Sand the assembled parts to an oval shape. Twist the floral wire into an eye and glue in the top.

There you go, a quick and e...

May 11, 2019

When I was working on the 1/96th scale Liberty Ship Model for the National World War II Museum Merchant Marine Exhibit, I needed to make a lot of pulleys in short order. I could have ordered pre-made brass pulleys, but for the number I needed it would have gotten expensive.

At 1/96th scale the pulleys were small. This technique can work for larger scales as well.

Materials needed are Evergreen or Plastruct I or H beam (depends on the width needed), tubing and thin styrene sheet. Make 3 discs, 2 large and 1 smaller with a hole in the center for the axle pin. Sandwich the small disc between the 2 larger discs on a pin for the axle and glue together.

Cut some of the web from the I, H beam to clear the wheel (discs) and keep some web, leaving the top and bottom flange. Drill a hole for the axle pin through the flanges of the beam. Sand a half round on the end of the web for a small piece of tubing. Glue the tubing to the web.

April 26, 2019

I was looking for a “pick me up” and coincidentally I needed a 1/48th scale pick-up truck bed for this model project I’m working on. Scratch building is relaxing and is a feel good “pick me up” when the tiny pieces come together with a satisfying result.

I do a lot of online research when model making and so I found a drawing with measurements for a 1940 Ford pick-up truck that would do the trick. I created CAD drawings and laser cut the parts. The fenders, cut from .25” basswood, were sanded to the proper shape, but had to be hollow, so I vac-u-formed two fenders from .010” sheet styrene.

I created the impression of stamped sides and tailgate by sandwiching 3 pieces of sheet styrene, one with the “hole”, one solid and the outer one with the inside of the “hole”.

Some .047” styrene rod, laser cut pieces (for the stake side post holders?) and the end result is a bed for a 1939 Ford pick-up truck.

March 15, 2019

The XF4U-3B resin set is designed to be used with the 1/48th scale Tamiya F4U-1/2, -1A, -1D.

Cut the bottom wing where indicated and remove catapult hooks.

Cut fuselage at engraved panel lines. Sand. Super Glue resin fuselage front.

Subassembly after casting runners and plugs have been removed and sanded flush.

Remove engine crankcase locator on kit part A19 and sand flush for new resin crankcase.

Engine with new crankcase (drill hole for propeller shaft before gluing) and cowl flaps in place.

Make a mark on inside cowl lip for the top panel join line. The mark will indicate the top of the cowling after extension is removed. The cowl panels are not the same size.

The extension on the top of the engine cowling will need to be cut off.

Remove casting plug from base of prop hub. Drill hub for prop shaft.

Draw 2 perpendicular lines or use graph paper to make alignment jig for 4 prop blades.

Assemble propeller. Note there is a flat side on each prop blade to maintain proper blade pitch to prop hub. A...

January 9, 2019

The exhaust cone and rear of the jet engine should have the same diameter. If gluing the flaps in the lowered position, you can see the step. Note: No need to correct if gluing flaps in up position.

Cut 2 pieces of K & S .5625" OD (outer diameter) brass tubing .47" long.

Cut 2 pieces of Evergreen 3/8" OD styrene tubing .15" long. The inside of tubing should taper to inner edge. Outside edge .325" ID (inner diameter), inner edge .375" ID.

Tack superglue .47" long brass tubing to KH parts C45 (exhaust cones).  You want to have the cones and brass tubing symmetrical around the edge.  Apply super thin Cyano glue on inside of tubing/cone join.

Place KH parts C35 and C50 into C45. Slip styrene tubing into cone opening, making sure not to go in too far and interfere with C35. Glue styrene tube in cone opening. Remove C35 and C50. Fill seam gap with super glue.

Sand exhaust cone flush to brass tubing and to inner diameter of styrene tube opening. Use photos of full size Banshee for shape refe...

December 12, 2018

The nose gear fork, B78, needs to be shortened. The square bottom of strut, B57, should be at the front curve of the fork. Parts C56 and C53 also need to be cut to fit. 

The retract mechanism, parts C27 and B80, is actually for the F2H-3/4 Banjo, but since you can't really see it inside the nose gear bay, I didn't correct it.

The nose gear should be farther forward. The U's for the placement of the nose gear strut, on parts C25 and C14, need to be cut off and moved forward and glued like the red U's in photo.

Forward corners of nose gear doors should be cut on an angle.

December 11, 2018

If displaying the Banshee with the gun bay doors open and nose cone off, the nose gun bay needs to be modified to use the resin parts. After cutting slots in Rib Frames of KH parts B34 and B35, glue them together. Remove nose cone lip from front of parts and sand flat. Remove locator pins from inside front of nose, top and bottom and fill holes.

Cut off  KH top of gun bay at engraved line. Note resin gun deck in nose to help with locating the nose gun bay to the KH fuselage for proper alignment of resin part until glue sets.

Resin nose bulkhead has cut-outs for outer gun cannons.

Apply a light coat of super thin cyano glue to the paper card nose frame (I use a large sewing needle with the eye tip cut off). Lightly sand when dry. Super glue to KH nose parts B34 and B35. Sand around edge to fair into nose.

KH part B23 (Ammo Shelf) needs to be cut in half. Note taper of part when cutting. After painting, guns and ammo cans are glued to gun deck and the nose is glued to the fuselage, slide B23...

December 11, 2018

REMINDER: Did you glue the KH cockpit, nose gear well, part C62 and on earlier resin rear fuselage,  part C55 (Arresting gear well) already?

Glue styrene strips to inside of fuselage at leading edge of wing for intakes.

Start by placing the front of the resin lower wing slot onto the tab of KH fuselage. As you lift wing, make sure the top of the wing aligns with the fuselage and the fuse to upper wing tabs and slots.

Slightly bend the rear fuselage to allow resin wing to go into KH fuselage. 

Mark where engraved panel line on resin wing intersects KH fuselage. Measure from wing engraved line to fuselage engraved line. Remove resin wing.

Scribe mark at nose of KH fuselage.

Place the resin wing back onto KH fuselage as before.

Super glue lower wing front and rear to fuselage.

Hold the center wing unit with 2 fingers in intake holes and the thumb pressing down. Tack super glue the front of the wing. Continue to super glue along upper wing joint to fuselage.

Press down on rear wing root fillets wit...

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I built my first model when I was 6 years old. Unbeknownst to me, the kit box had been opened and the instruction sheet and decals were missing. It didn't matter. I had to have a model of the jet that flew over my house as it approached for landing at the Naval Air Station. I built it and painted the markings using the raised decal locator lines. It was messy, but it was mine. And I have had a passion for model making and thinking "Outside the box" ever since.

I was influenced by the film, Star Wars. I liked movies and I liked model building. I had to find a way to combine both into a career. I worked my way through college as a self-employed professional model maker, building architectural and engineering models.

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