1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO - DA.C
 

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Old 08-25-2017, 09:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Dear fellow DAC members: I would like to introduce you to my current project, which is now in its final stage of construction. C-FAVO: the mighty Curtiss C-46 Commando of the legendary Buffalo Airways. One of the few Commandos’ still going strong as we speak!
This is not a built log, but a description of the work I have done to the model. It's a summary of my log at Modelbrouwers.nl for the one who is not proficient in the Dutch language. I will post it over the next few weeks. I hope you like it.
Or, to say so with the legendary words of Ice Pilot Arnie Schreder: "Hold on your hats, boys!"



Williams Brothers
C-46 by Williams Brothers is not a "shake and bake" kit. But it is the only 1/72 C-46 kit available. Grainger and Larry Williams made the molds for this model in the 1970s and continued to produce these in small editions until 1988.
Both brothers have passed away since and the family did not want to take over the business. Since August 2005 the models are produced in limited edition by Brett Industries, Inc Texas. Distributor is Mel Bromley of S&M models. The kit has been improved on a few points compared to its original edition, but it remains a model that requires many adjustments and scratch work to create something nice.











C-46 Introduction
The C-46 is a transport aircraft derived from the Curtiss CW-20 Condor pressurised high-altitude airliner design. During WW2 the C-46 served in a similar role to its Douglas-built counterpart C-47 Skytrain, although the latter was considerably smaller.
According Curtiss-Wright chief constructor George A. Page Jr.: ”Let’s haul the maximum weight, to a maximum altitude with a minimum number of engines”.

Of the 3.181 aircraft built there are still about 70 airframes left. This year only 6 were active: N78774 “Tinker Belle” museum aircraft and 5 in commercial service. With Everts Air in Alaska: N54514, N8748B, N1822M and N1837M. Buffalo Airways of the Northwest Territories in Canada uses their sole Commando C-FAVO for freight runs. Currently C-GTPO is under restoration (after the loss of C-GTXW) and soon we might see a ‘new’ C-46 up in the sky.



The C-46 had a lot of nicknames: ‘Flying Whale’, ‘The Dumbo-Jumbo’ and ‘Curtiss Calamity’, to name a few. They were based on the difficult handling of the aircraft (especially in cross wind conditions) and its “double-bubble” shaped fuselage. This shape was originally designed to withstand the forces of a pressurised cabin, although the C-46 never flew under pressurised conditions. Nevertheless: the unique ‘8’ shape of the fuselage was the basis for other legendary aircraft designs like the Boeing model 377 Stratocruiser, 707, 727 and 737 and the DC-8 and DC-9 series.



The C-46 has only two R2800 radial engines, which in 1938 was noticeable for such a large aircraft. In fact: it was the second largest two-engine airplane in the world, after the Martin PBM Mariner. Her dimensions exceed even those of the B-17 or the B-24.
The powerful engines provided sufficient performance in the thin air at high altitudes. Therefore, during the war the C46 was used for flights over the Himalaya (‘The Hump’) and it was the standard Sky truck from La Paz, Bolivia (the highest airport in the world) far into the 80's. Today it provides far-reaching areas of essential needs. It can take a large amount of freight into short gravel strips and is able to operate from improvised runways on frozen lakes.



Cheers, VJ
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Scribing
The surface detail of the model is limited to raise panel lines. Only the steering surfaces have some recessed lines. Fortunately, the plastic is soft and with patience I have rescribed the whole model.







I had a lot of fun using Verlinden's scribing template.



After cutting the lines the surfaces are sanded with 1000 and 2000 grit.


Fitting
Not all parts match as good as modern kits do. The most notorious part is the cabin floor that was too small in the original kit. Brett corrected this in the reissue. But for some vague reason the molder simply placed the cabin floor over a crossing of the sprue, leaving large sink marks.



The inclined opening in the engine attachment is characteristic for this kit.









more to follow,
Cheers VJ

Last edited by Vintage Jet; 08-25-2017 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Nice introduction to a very interesting aircraft.

I have the WM Lufthansa 1:200 scale version.

These aircraft were great …

Jean Pierre.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Quote:
Originally Posted by AIR FRANCE 340 View Post
I have the WM Lufthansa 1:200 scale version.
Belief it or not Jean Pierre, that is exactly the same airframe as C-FAVO.



Hence the Kranich as a reminder ;-)

Last edited by Vintage Jet; 08-25-2017 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Quote:
Originally Posted by AIR FRANCE 340 View Post
Nice introduction to a very interesting aircraft.

I have the WM Lufthansa 1:200 scale version.

These aircraft were great …

Jean Pierre.
I like, unfortunately I have no room for large 1/72 twin engine models.

There is a flying C-46 for sale in South America.

I would like to see the 1:200 scale version in some military schemes.
  • Pre-1942 US Army red dot roundel
  • WW US Army roundel - C-46's flying the Burma China "Hump"
  • Republic of China Airforce
  • USAF bare metal with "Arctic red" wing and tail tips
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Propellers
The model includes both four-bladed Curtiss Electric props and three-bladed Hamilton Standard props. Both units should be assembled separately and at the correct angle to the governor. The blades are not correct on scale (to large) and there is a lot of flash on the parts.

That means either aftermarket props, or adjust or scratch build the correct props. For the four-bladed version it's simple: other manufacturers in 1/72 scale have issued B-26 props. These are identical to the C-46 Curtiss Electric props. For the three bladed props it is more difficult: There are no aftermarket 1/72 scaled 15-foot diameter Hamilton Standards available. The DC-3/C-47 props have the same 23E50 hub, but the diameter of the complete propeller assembly is too small (11.63 feet). Also the WWII fighters (with the same engine and hub configuration) have the 13-foot propeller assembly at max.

So I took the hub from an ESCI DC-3 (with incorrect paddle blades after all) and sanded the Williams Brother blades down to correct proportions by means of a scale drawing. It might look like a simple method, but it worked out well. The blades now have shorter tips and a smaller chord.







Engines and cowlings
The model includes a nice version of the P&W R2800 radial engines. The detail is simple, but sufficient. Wires, cables and tubes should be added to get a realistic result. Aftermarket engines do not fit into the cowlings and de engines provided have their cylinder heads already removed (they will not be visible anyway).

First I drilled holes in the crankshaft (actually called ‘reduction gear housing’) and the cylinders for the ignition cables. Then everything was airbrushed. The crankshaft was painted Tamiya XF-18. It was a little pussling what color it was supposed to be, because the housing of the model A, B and C crankshaft have a different tint blue/gray.







Mounted on top of the crankshaft is the black Bendix-Scintilla DF18RN dual magneto with the left and right distributors in a gray housing. Here too, there are many differences between engine types. With 0.2mm lead wire I imitated the Barracuda ignition system. Actually it should have been four wires per borehole (2 for the front row of cylinders and 2 for the rear row) but here was the 1/72 scale my limitation.
With 0.3 mm Christmas thread I made the front spark plugs. First I glued a longer strip and then cut in down to the correct length.
Finally I added the orange/red Teflon tube, which you can regularly seen in the cooling inlet of radial engines. This is (most likely) the ‘Airwolf FRAM-NASCAR’ modification kit.



The next step is the engine housing. I scratch built the cowl flaps, the flap actuators and the oil cooler ducts from a sheet of styrene. Ideally, the sheet material would be thinner. This is the maximum that I can manufacture without creating a mess due to the plasticizing of the glue. The exhaust was made from a 3/32 "tube (2.4 mm) that was drilled (to thin the tube wall) and than stretched to a trumpet with a blunt knife.







According the construction instructions I had to glue the engines in the cowling, leaving a gap behind the engines. That has two disadvantages; gluing a metalized engine to the cowling will damage the fragile paintwork. And through the cowl flaps I’ve made, you are able to see the gap and that’s ugly.



So I constructed a bearing of 3/64” (1.2.mm) styrene tube. That is not correct on scale, but smaller would most probably not to be sturdy. And it is just a small detail through a small opening. Again 1/72 has its limits.

to be continued!
Cheers, VJ

Last edited by Vintage Jet; 08-28-2017 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 09-19-2017, 05:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Landing gear
Since this is a diecast forum, at least a part of the model should be made from metal. The grey plastic is kind of weak. That makes it perfect for scratch work and doing panel lines, but the gear parts might be a bit to weak. So I used a white metal aftermarket landing gear that had to be modified after all.







Flight deck
I also took a lot of effort in creating the right details in the cabin and cockpit. Only parts of it will be visible, so therefore the pictures of hours of work that won’t be seen afterwards ;-)





Cheers VJ
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Building done, now its time to paint, decal, weather and varnish.

Nude model

Base coat

Pre shaded white top, grey belly, Buffalo green cheat line and polished metal wings.

Weathered and customized decals applied. Big thanks to V1 Decals (https://www.v1decals.com) and Attach Before Flight (https://www.facebook.com/AttachBeforeFlight/).

Oil stained belly.

Worn out and dirty wing.

Next (and last) post will be the final photo's when I can catch a ray of sunlight. Thanks for watching.

cheers, VJ

Last edited by Vintage Jet; 09-20-2017 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

He's done: the Big Green Canadian. It was a great project and WB's kit is very worthwhile if your willing to invest some time and effort. Of course, I see again many points that could have been better. But by every model I learn and this one is done for now. I hope you will enjoy it! En lets hope this mighty bird will continue to fly.











Cheers, VJ

Last edited by Vintage Jet; 09-22-2017 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 03:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

Fantastic job my friend.
You can be very proud of what you did.

Will you send pictures of your model to the guys at Buffalo ?
I'm sure they would be very pleased to see such a beautiful model of one of their planes.

Thank you for posting your photos.

Jean Pierre.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: 1/72 Buffalo Airways C-46 C-FAVO

That model is stunning! A real work of art. As Jean Pierre says, I'm sure the guys at Buffalo would be very impressed.

Neil.
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