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Trumpeter 1/48 C-47 "42-24046"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys, I’m still plugging away on the last bit of wing riveting, but I thought I’d share the detailing I did to the oil coolers.  The ones that come in the kit aren’t that accurate, and even the detail that comes in the Eduard exterior set isn’t great.  


To improve it, I thinned down the rear of the oil cooler housing to better represent the sheet metal the housing.  The inside of the oil cooler should be cylindrical all the way through, but Trumpeter depicts it as circular in the front, but transitioning to a wide oval at the rear.  Because of this, I trimmed more material at the sides so that it looks more cylindrical when I glue on the mesh from the Eduard set.  








The Eduard set replaces the whole rear of the cooler, but it’s still oversimplified.  I trimmed off some of the part, leaving just the round mesh.  The photo below shows the part before on the right and after on the left.  After I attached the Eduard mesh to the kit part, I built back up the area on the sides that I trimmed away with Apoxie Sculpt epoxy putty.



To fix the shape on the engine nacelle where the oil cooler sits, I added some sheet styrene to get the whole surface at the same level.   



Then I added oil cooler mounting lugs from styrene.




Finally, I added corresponding mounting lugs on the bottom of the oil cooler from styrene.  




With the oil coolers in place I can add rivet detail around this area.  

That’s all for now, thanks for looking!


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Thanks Steve and Chuck!  


After studying some more photos of the oil coolers, I realized that Trumpeter got the front of these wrong as well.  All the photos I can find show that the front face of the housing is slanted slightly to the starboard side of the plane.  In other words, the housing is longer on the port side vs the starboard side.  I would have liked to sand down one side of the housing to replicate this look, but it would have made that side too short.  Instead, I built up the longer side with a couple of layers of super glue gel and hit it with CA accelerator.  I also tried epoxy putty for this at first, but for such a thin profile, it wasn't strong enough.  Once the glue was dry, I sanded it to shape.



I also relocated the drain by filling the kit one with rubberized CA.  I then drilled a shallow hole in the correct spot and used a bit of streched sprue for the drain plug.  I also drilled a hole and scribed a panel line in the upper inner section of the housing to replicate what photos show.


Thanks for looking!

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Thanks Steve!


I finally have the panel lines rescribed and re-riveted on the wings.  I also went back and made new vents around the engine nacelles since I removed the incorrectly sized kit ones. 




Also, I went back and added three vents along the length of the upper wings.  They don’t appear on restored C-47’s, but they do seem to appear on most wartime photos I can find.  I think many restored planes have lights in place of these vents.




On the bottom center wing section, I removed the long bolted flanges that run along the center of the wing and under and to the side of each engine nacelle.  Every wartime photo I can find shows these flanges covered by fairings that I assume help reduce drag.  Trumpeter molded these flanges as exposed, as many restored planes are missing these fairings.  In this respect, the Monogram kit is more accurate for a wartime plane, as their moldings include these fairings.  I also drilled holes for the drains in this area.  I'll add the drain pipes later since they could get damaged during assembly.


I made the fairings from sheet styrene carved and sanded to shape.  Once the wings are assembled, I will also need to make longer fairings to cover the flanged joint that runs from the front to the back of the wing just outboard of the engines.  On the plus side, since the fairings will cover this joint, I won’t need to fill any gaps. 






Now that the fuselage halves and main wings parts are complete, I can finally start main assembly!  Thanks for looking!



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Thanks Steve, John, and Tom!  


I have a short update in preparation for assembling the fuselage halves.  I needed to go ahead and install the windows, but I wasn't happy with the kit parts.  They are very thick and almost give a “toylike” appearance to the kit.  Instead, I purchased a pack of Evergreen clear styrene in 0.015” thickness.  I cut separate pieces for each window and trimmed them until they would fit tightly enough in the fuselage opening without needing glue to hold it in place.  I then used a tiny brush loaded with a small amount of Tamiya extra thin cement and touched it to the edge of the window, letting capillary attraction flow the cement into the joint.  I was careful to only let the brush touch the fuselage and not the window, as even a slight touch of the brush on the clear plastic will mar it.  I did miss up a couple of times where the cement got on the window.  Although I could sand and polish out the damage, it would leave a small amount of distortion in the plastic, so I replaced the window if cement contacted it.  You might notice that I don’t have the circular brackets for mounting machine guns in the windows, but I will replicate these later with decals included in the Foxbot Decal set for C-47 data stencils.






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For the cockpit windows, I noticed that Trumpeter made the window frames too wide and made the corners too sharp.  The corners should have a fillet.  I sanded down the edges of the kit frames, leaving material at the corners to create a fillet.  I then glued in my homemade windows.  The outer front square windows can slide open, so they are more recessed in the window frame in comparison to the inner front rectangular windows.  I also wanted to show the side windows to be partially retracted for visual interest, so I just made them narrower than the opening to give the illusion that they were slid back.  The knobs at the top and bottom of these windows were replicated with bits of stretched sprue.  I attached them to the window by drilling holes and inserting the stretched sprue in the hole. These bits were carefully cemented in pace with a bit of Tamiya extra thin with a tiny brush using capillary attraction. 







At this point, I’m nearly ready to assemble the fuselage.  I just need to add some styrene sheet around the edges of the fuselage halves for reinforcement.  I should have the fuselage in one piece for the next update!


Thanks for looking!

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  • 3 weeks later...


On 9/7/2023 at 9:58 AM, A-10 LOADER said:

Excellent work !! Love the cockpit side windows.



Thanks Steve!


I finally have the fuselage together and most of the seam work finished.  In the meantime, I figured I would post a couple of pictures of some of the work.  


Trumpeter made the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer fillet on the fuselage halves too thick.  I carved and sanded away material until the correct thickness was achieved.  The below photo shows the left side complete and the right side untouched so you can see the difference.  This also means that I will need to thin down the inside edges of the kit elevators to match this shape.




Removing this much plastic left some of the remaining plastic too thin to add panel line and rivet line detail, so I cut it away and replaced it with thicker pieces of sheet styrene.  I used sheet styrene to replicate the canvas cover that was used to cover the open area around the glider hook.  The buttons around the cover were replicated with Archer raised rivets.  The kit version of the small light below the glider hook looked oversized to me, so I used a small drop of CA to represent the light instead.



The Quickboost rudder is a must for the Trumpeter kit.  The kit rudder represents a metal skinned rudder, which I have never seen before on a C-47.  Even though the Quickboost version is a nice improvement, I did make a couple of changes to it.  Quickboost has the rudder hinges at the same location as the kit rudder, but they should be relocated about ⅛” higher than the kit rudder.  This requires cutting off the kit hinges, which was no problem for me since they looked too thick.  I used thin sheet styrene to replicate the new hinges.  I made the slots in the rudder for the hinges narrower since they no longer had to accommodate the oversized kit hinges.  Also, instead of relying on the kit hinges to mount the rudder, I added three styrene rods to the rudder to mount it to the model.  I also added a sheet styrene shim to the bottom of the rudder, as there was too much gap between the bottom of the rudder and the fuselage.  Finally, I added rivets to the rudder trim tab, since this part is still metal skinned on the real aircraft.  




As soon as I get primer on all this work and fix the errors, I’ll post final pictures of the fuselage. Thanks for looking!


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On 9/25/2023 at 4:26 PM, A-10 LOADER said:

Your scratch-building abilities, on even the smallest detail, always amaze me, fantastic job Drew !!



Thanks Steve!


At long last, I have the fuselage complete.  Most of what I've been working on is adding the surface detail around the joint line between the fuselage halves.  Below is the detail I added to the bottom of the nose.  Eduard provides the access panel under the nose, but I made my own from sheet styrene since I didn't want to deal with forming a flat photoetched panel around a complex curved surface.  I drilled holes for the antennas and drains so I wouldn't have to add them once the wings and fuselage are joined.




I added small plates along the middle horizontal split on the nose that I think are part of the fasteners of the nose piece.  I'll add more detail here later so it won't be damaged during handling.




The escape hatch over the cockpit took lots of work to get smoothly blended into the body.




I decided to add the navigator's sextant since it's visible right under the astrodome.  Trumpeter doesn't provide one, so I mocked one up from the top of a resin oxygen bottle glued to strip styrene with holes to represent the bracket holding it.  




Once painted, it's a reasonable approximation.  







I forgot to add the defrost hoses above the cockpit windows before I glued the fuselage halves together.  To get them in, I had to knock out the side windows.  Once the holes were carefully glued in place, I reinstalled the windows.




Many wartime photos of C-47's show three vents on the top of the fuselage right in front of the rudder, so I added them once the fuselage joint was cleaned up.




I glued the rudder in place once, but it broke off.  The styrene rods used weren't strong enough, so I switched them out to coppper rods and glued the rudder using 5 minute epoxy.  I added ribbing to the Quickboost rudder by masking off the thin horizontal strips and layering Mr. Surfacer 500.  


For the deicer boots, Eduard provides metal trim, but it I figured I could make them look more realistic from sheet styrene.  Plus, its easier to glue in place with Tamiya extra thin vs gluing photoetch with CA.




Still need to go back and remove primer from the tail light!




For the three lights under the rear fuselage, I replicated their frame by cutting short pieces of sytrene tubing and gluing them in the same location as the lights.  I then sanded them down to a very fine thickness.  




The next area to complete are the wheel wells so I can get the wings assembled.  One step closer to the finish line!


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/5/2023 at 7:02 PM, 11bee said:

Simply amazing work!   


On 10/5/2023 at 7:31 PM, A-10 LOADER said:





Thanks guys! 


I finally have the wheel wells completed.  Trumpeter provides a decent base for the wheel wells, but they definitely looked too bare compared to reference photos.  The first thing I did was widen the tank at the front of the wells by cutting them in half and inserting a chunk of sheet styrene in the middle before gluing the two halves back together.  I also used thin sheet styrene to represent the straps on the tanks and added the PE from the Eduard set. 




Next, I added the structural ribbing inside the wells using stretched sprue and strips of styrene.  I also used sheet styrene to build up the walls on the sides of the wells.  Copper and lead wire was used to represent the cables and plumbing in the wells.  Fine music wire was used to represent the control cables that run to the cowl flaps.  I used Archer raised rivets on the center, thick U-shaped structure in the middle of the wells.














I primed the wells with 1500 Mr. Surfacer before gluing the upper and lower center wing halves together.  On the outer surfaces, I used white Mr. Surfacer thinned with Mr Rapid Thinner so it would dry quickly in case I needed to sand out imperfections during the painting session, but for the wheel wells, I figured the Rapid Thinner would dry the paint too quickly in such an enclosed area, which would create a rough finish.  This would be difficult to fix in a tight, detail packed area like the wheel wells, so I thinned the primer this time with Mr. Leveling Thinner which worked much better.  I used gray instead of white in this case since the gray can cover better with fewer coats, which prevents details from being obscured. 










Once the upper and lower wing halves were glued, I could add the Eduard phtoetch at the rear of the wells and prime them.






I'll go back and paint and weather the wells later.  For now, I want to get more assembly completed.  One step closer to the finish line!


Thanks for looking!



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  • 1 month later...

Thanks so much for the kind words guys!  


Here’s the latest progress I’ve made over the past few weeks.


With the wings and horizontal stabilizers assembled, I used sheet styrene to represent the raised strips surrounding the de-icing boots.  After the strips were glued in place, I went back and sanded them down to shape. 




Although I’m using the Quickboost engine cowls that correct the shape of the kit cowls, I wasn’t happy with the look of the flaps.  I decided to cut them off and make my own from an aluminum soda can.  Each flap was individually cut to shape, riveted, and glued in place.  I positioned them in a slightly open position.  If I showed them fully open, I would have to add detail under the flaps of the linkages that move the flaps.  Photos almost never show the flaps fully closed, but they sometimes show them partially open.  I also added three styrene strips around the inside of the cowl.  These will be used to set the cowling at the correct position over the engine.






I’m using the 3D printed engine faces from Resin2Detail, but I needed to create a surface to mount them at the correct depth in the engine cowls.  To do this, I used the bottom cylinder bank from the kit since I figured it could be visible from behind under the cowl flaps. I sanded down the front surface so that the 3D printed engines would sit at the right depth.  I added three strips of styrene around the engine that correspond to the styrene strips in the cowl to set it at the right position.













My next area of focus were the large lights on the front of the wings.  Trumpeter represents these lights as solid gray plasic instead of clear.  Also, the cutout in the wing that houses the light should have sharp corners, but the kit has curved corners.  I tired to fix this by cutting away plasic to get a sharp corner, but I ended up cutting away so much plastic, I had to rebuild the area with sheet styrene.  Also, I figured I could better represent the light with a 5mm AK white light. 




I then painted the area black.




The kit light covers didn’t seem to fit well and In trying to get the kit light covers to sit correctly, I managed to stress the clear plastic to the point of showing stress cracks.  So I discarded them and tried to find some clear plastic from packaging that would fit this area.  Unfortunately, I spent about three weeks spinning my wheels trying different sources of clear plastic to get something to work, but I usually ended up with more stress cracks in trying to get the plastic to form to the shape of the leading edge of the wing.  After multiple attempts, I came across some clear PET plastic from an elastic bandage wrap that would form to the shape I needed without stress cracks forming. 


Here’s what things looked like right before attaching the clear plastic cover on my final successful attempt:




I used black cyanoacrylate to glue the plastic in place, only gluing a small area at a time and quickly hitting the glue with accelerator to keep the glue from giving off the white residue on the inside surface of the clear plastic.  I deliberately made this section of clear plastic larger than the light housing so I could go back and scribe in the edges of the housing.  To do this, I drew up the shape of the housing on the Silhouette Studio software and cut the shape out on my plotter in Oracal 813. This is stiffer material than Oracal 810 that most people use for masks, but it works well as a scribing template because of its stiffness.  With all of this work, I managed to obliterate some the de-icing boot borders I had added, so I went back and added them back.






Trumpeter incorrectly splits the housing of the wingtip lights between the upper and lower wing halves.  In reality, they should only be on the bottom half of the wing.  To fix this, I sanded away the wingtip light housing on the upper wing surfaces and sculpted new, larger housings on the lower wing surfaces using Apoxie Sculpt.  I used wingtip lights from the aircraft position light set from Aires.




Finally, after coming across the profile of the C-47 “Sugarpuss” in the book “C-47/R4D Units of the ETO and MTO”, I don’t think the air scoop configuration included in the Trumpeter kit is correct for this airframe.  At this point, I really don’t want to take the time to go back and change to the correct air scoop, so I have decided to switch to a different airframe.  Instead, I plan on modeling airframe 42-42046.  Below is the profile drawing from the book stated above:




Based on the profile in this book, the olive drab appears heavily faded and weathered, which should be fun to replicate.  It also has a yellow and black checkerboard pattern on its cowlings, which will add some color to the model.  Even though markings for this airframe are available on one of the old long out of print Eagle Strike sheets, I should be able to paint on all the markings with my Silhouette cutter since there is no nose art or small lettering that the cutter couldn’t handle.


Since I am now modeling this airframe, I added the small antenna bump under the nose.  Not all C-47’s had this, but this airframe did.




That’s all I have for now.  Thanks for looking!

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  • Drew T. changed the title to Trumpeter 1/48 C-47 "42-24046"

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