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Trevor

Czech Models Cessna T-50/UC-78/JRC-1/Crane...

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I've wanted a 1/48th scale Cessna Crane (yes I'm Canadian) for years, even going so far as to start making a balsa master for a resin garage kit using the Paul Matt drawings. The reason was simple, back in 1946-1947, my late grandfather owned a Crane and used it in his flying business.

So, I snapped up the first example to hit my brother's store shelves (it helps that I have my own key), and immediately set to work.

The airplane in question was a Cessna Crane, bought war surplus from the RCAF. As such, my first order of business was to figure out the differences between a T-50, a UC-78 and a Crane. So far, I have the Crane with both types of overhead windows and no baggage door. Most Cranes had fixed-pitch wooden propellers, so I'll have to find them somewhere. I still have to find out what should be inside a Crane's cabin. Every surviving (save one) has been in civilian hands for 60 years - meaning there's lots of chance for changes. The only non-civilian Crane that I've located is in the National Aviation Museum. I sent them an email last week to see if someone can shoot some photos of the inside.

crane_00.jpg

A colourized photo of my grandfather's Crane. Its really silver and red-orange with black trim.

I'm quite impressed with this kit. As others have said, there's a bunch of options, resin and photo-etched goodies too. There's noticeable flash around all parts, but a little sanding or scraping will clean this up quickly. Once that's done, the parts fit together very well. I can already tell I'll need a small touch of putty around the wing-to-fuselage jont, but that's expected. What I am disappointed in, is that will all the optional parts, Czech Models has ignored including the Crane's wooden props, or even decals, thereby reducing their market by probably 50%.

On to my build... Part 1

crane_01.jpg

Like I said, I jumped right in. This photo shows the end of about 3 hours of work.

- The wings are together, sanded, filled and sanded again.

- The landing gear were installed, painted, and enclosed inside the lower nacelle halves.

- The cowls glued, sanded, filled and sanded some more (panel lines still need repairs).

- The tails have been cleaned up, glued together and the filling started.

- The seats have been cleaned up.

- The cabin floor and rear bulkhead assembled and slightly sanded to improve the fit of the fueslage halves.

- The first photo-etch, the cabin's lower sidewalls have been super glued into place.

crane_02.jpg

The base of the vertical stabilizer is slightly wider than the mating surface on the horizontal stabilizer. The filler I've added is Gunze's Mr. Surfacer 500. Dry fitting the assembly to the fuselage looks really good.

crane_03.jpg

On the outside of the fuselage halves, I spotted some minor surface irregularities. Simce my model is going to be silver, I've started filling them with Mr. Surfacer. Czech Models also includes photo-etched handles on their sheet, but they're so small, I can barely see them. I drilled two holes with a micro-drill and will bend my own handle from copper "witness wire" I brought home from work. I'll use the same wire later on for the brake lines.

crane_04.jpg

There's a bunch of flash along the seam lines of the landing gear legs, especially in the x-shaped upper portion. Since the wheel well opening is only 1/4" by 3/4", I didn't bother cleaning that area up. The legs themselves are positively located using a slot in the wing. The nacelle halves are assembled around the landing gear. I opted to glue the front of one half, then the next, and then join the rear joint together. I don't see any reason that you shouldn't be able to glue both halves together first, and then slip them over the leg.

crane_05.jpg

The secret solution to the Crane conversion - a wooden propeller. The prop from a 1/35th scale (Bronco) Piper L-4 Cub makes a perfect replacement for a 1/48th scale Crane. I just so happen to have two surplus props from my L-4 kits. I'll see if I can cast these in resin - anyone interested?

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Trevor, your model looks to be coming along nicely!

Isn't that what we used to call a Bamboo Bomber?

Sure looks familiar... :woot.gif:

There was one of those kits discussed in a forum I saw somewhere(LOL)

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Trevor: I have a Crane on order from Finescale Hobbies in North Vancouver and it will be finished as per the 1/1 scale RCAF version in Moose Jaw. If you are casting new props, please put me down for a pair...and of course I'll send you the necessary... :salute:

Barney

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Hi Trevor,

Have you made progress since your first posting, which I found very helpful as I proceed with my build. Any of your added photos and comments will be helpful, I know.

Also, have you worked with those resin wheels yet? Mine are a mess. Way, way out of round with no prayer of getting right. I sent a note to Quickboost today asking if they'd consider doing up a new set for us.

Bails

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Hi Trevor,

Have you made progress since your first posting, which I found very helpful as I proceed with my build. Any of your added photos and comments will be helpful, I know.

Also, have you worked with those resin wheels yet? Mine are a mess. Way, way out of round with no prayer of getting right. I sent a note to Quickboost today asking if they'd consider doing up a new set for us.

Bails

I removed the wheels from their molding blocks, and yes, they do look a little out of round, but I can't see anyone making a correction. To me, the bigger oops is that the wheel hub is larger than it should be.

I haven't made any major progress since the last update. I polished my sanding marks and that's about it. I sent a request to the (Canadian) National Aviation Museum to see if they could shoot some photos of their never civilianized Crane. Those just arrived and I'll be should be able tot share them on ARC via the Walkarounds page. I've also taken advantage of some (marginally) above freezing temperatures to start building a deck in my backyard. Its got to be done before winter, so its my priority. I'll post pictures.

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Hi Tevor. Thanks for your comments. I'm about where you are in my build. I hope to have the fuselage buttoned-up this week. The wheels are not good but I found no replacements on line, the closest being True Details' covered hub wheels for Spitfire I and IX. Roll Models has these at a good price.

I look forward to future photos and notes from you on your build.

Bails

PS I have decided to go with the Sky King version of this model.

b

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After traveling out of town, and taking some time off to build a 10x34' deck, I've returned to my Crane build. Last night I made some good progress.

I started by drilling and pinning the main landing gear leg that I broke. That's the first time I've tried pinning things like that.

Then I spent about 2 hours assembling the photo-etched bits for the cockpit. I've really like to meet the guy who thought "Hey, it would be a great idea to do all of this in micro-scopic, fiddly photo-etch." Then I could smack him upside the head. I mean, a box, a plain, ordinary box about 1/4" square, it would be perfect in plastic, or even resin, but no, lets give them a flat piece of metal, have them bend it up and then try to affix it in place with a bonding surface as thick as a piece of paper.

The frame work under the cockpit seats is a very noticable feature inside the cockpit, but the photo-etch is so fragile its almost not worth putting it in. First, the instructions show that the aft edge of the photo-etch should be attached to the plastic main spar. If you do this, the photo-etch sits too low, and like me, you end up having to trim away all the supports. If I was doing it again, I'd take a couple pieces of styrene rod and build the framework. It would take half the time and be so much easier to glue.

Likewise all the map cases and boxes on the fuselage sides. Why give me a photo-etched part when a single piece of resin would have sufficed?

Big points down to Czech Models for the engineering on this area.

I snapped a photo to show just how much photo-etch is in this model up to this point. Keep in mind that my grandfather's Crane didn't have all the radio boxes on the rear hat rack, so I've left off another three or four photo-etch "boxes".

crane_06.jpg

I started painting things afterwards, but didn't take a shot.

Edited by Trevor

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Hi Trevor. How is your model going? I have mine painted and ready for the Songbird decals. I must say, this has been quite a project. Lots of work at the wingroots, upper and lower, as well as getting the "step" out of the belly. Even though I glued it a bit at a time, there was still a bit of a step to deal with. Also, the windscreen was a poor fit even after some shaving here and there. Had a step at the top/rear attachment to the fuselage, also on both sides at the fuselage. Careful sanding took care of most of it but there's still a bit of a step which could not be taken out without ruining the top window panels. All that said, she'll look just fine in the showcase......from about 18 inches!

I will be interested in your comments on the fit and how you deal with any problems you encounter.

Peace,

Bails

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Happy New Year everyone,

Its been a while since my last update, but that doesn't mean I wasn't working. I decaled up a 1/72nd scale Labrador helicopter, built a 1/72nd scale Spitfire Mk.Vb, and have puttered around on a couple other projects.

Since my last update, I've painted the interior, and assembled the fuselage. Last night, after several applications and sandings of various types of putty, I decided to give the Crane some wings. Like Bails says, there is a pretty good step at the wing roots, and I have some significant gaps to fill using putty. For the upper surface, I'll probably be using the old cotton-swab and nail polish remover trick.

On the fuselage, I discoveed a couple things I wanted to pass along.

1) Who ever had the "bright" idea of making half the interior out of photo-etch should be given a black eye. What a royal pain in the ***.

2) Don't waste your time on the photo-etch instrument panel, throttle quadrant or rudder pedals. None of it fits when you go to put the interior into the fuselage halves. I wasted a couple hours trying to trim mine to fit, and ended up going back to the basic plstic pieces instead. Guess what? They fit.

3) The edge of the upper fuselage halves have a significant step to them. I sanded mine down a bit before gluing them together, but as you'll notice in the photos, I had to apply putty to both side of the seam to dress it out and make it look like the proper fabric scallops.

crane_07.jpg

crane_08.jpg

crane_09.jpg

Now, back to more filling and sanding.

Edited by Trevor

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Good progress, Trevor. Mine in painted and ready for Songbird decals. Wish I could send photos but don't have that capability yet.

Suggest you take plenty of time/patience on the clear parts, particularly the large piece over the cockpit where I found the fit lacking.

Keep us in the loop on your progress. Yours is looking good.

Peace,

Bails-In-Minnesota (brrrrr)

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Hi Trevor.

Have you made anymore progress on the Crane?

I'm watching this build with interest, as my father flew Cranes in Canada in 1944/45 whilst training as an RAF bomber pilot. I'm hoping to build a model of one of the Cranes he flew, so this thread and the photographs you've posted elsewhere in the forum are very useful.

Regards,

Mitch.

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Nice progress Trevor. I just got the kit today, as well as the True Details interior and control surfaces.

Did you get around to casting props? I might be interested in a set.

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Wow - its been a long time since I posted an update here huh? Building a deck, a garage and stone flowerbeds will certainly dig into your spare time, to say nothing of having a new son tossed in the mix too.

Anyhow, I dug out the Crane and should hopefully get ti finished soon. The front canopies took a fair bit of effort to get into place. the lower U-shaped piece can be squeezed to better fit it to the grey fuselage sides, but if you do this, the top piece won't fit perfectly. I ended up having to sand and polish my canopies to get them nice and smooth.

There's been a fair amount of filling done between the upper canopy and the upper fuselage. I've been using Mr. Surfacer, but I've had to go pretty slow because I don't want to sand away all the fabric details.

Hopefully I'll lay down some primer soon.

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I just took some A-to-A photos of the local CAF UC-78, a couple of weeks ago. Great looking project you've got going. I didn't even know a kit existed.

Keep up the great work.

Jeff

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