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Heavy Mod - 1/18 21st Century Toys P-47D Razorback


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  • 2 weeks later...

I am at work on the fuselage, starting aft and moving forward.  I am drilling and filling along the seams of the bottom fairings, to simulate the removable fasteners and countersink washers.  Not that interesting but needed to add realism.  Also, the toy model did not come equipped with a spike antenna (VHF antenna), so I proceeded to make one, plus some robust support structure for it:




The white pieces on top constitute the antenna support.  Here is the antenna itself:




Note it is off center.  Also note I have filled in the big gap for the sliding canopy.  That is not present on a real aircraft.  


Next was the intercooler exit doors and ducting.  Here is a diagram of the turbocharger and intercooler system on the Thunderbolt:




Of interest is item #6 - the intercooler air exit.  The toy has it modeled like this:




It shows the exit door in a closed position, an d poorly done at that.  Most pictures of P-47's I have seen show this door open, especially on the ground.  To model that requires me to fabricate the ducting at least locally, and then fabricate a door.


As usual, these parts are well defined on the engineering drawings, and I only need to figure out how to simply model it.  In this case I used .020 plastic sheet almost exclusively:






Installed it looks like this:


Inside - 




And outside -




I will continue next post.

Edited by JayW
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   The LG covers and that vent is just some awesome engineering.  I have to say the work on the LG covers is something I never would have expected to do.  I think if I had a kit and found that I might have freaked out.  But seeing that you can do it, and do it well, gives me hope for future builds.



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Continuing - the door itself is pretty simple:




In real life the upturned flanges are steel, with complex shaped slots to accept fixed rollers on the duct.  These tracks and rollers control the motion of the door as it is actuated open or closed.


Installed, in open position, it looks like this:








And that is probably the largest remaining project for the fuselage, but certainly not the last.  And this feature is very Thunderbolt - has to be right.  Stay tuned - the aim here is to get the fuselage buttoned up and then install that big engine, the cowls, and the cowl flaps!

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We all love modeling right?  But do we love all aspects of modeling?   I find the real repetitive tasks distasteful, and I am testing my sanity with the creation of Dzus fasteners for all the fairings on the P-47 fuselage which are either poorly represented, or missing altogether on the model as it is (or was).  It helps to cry out to my fellow modelers!  For skin fasteners, my plan is to accurately depict all the large removable ones (mostly Dzus type) by "drilling and filling" with rod stock, use simple drill starts for screws, and ignore all the rivets.  I essentially did same on the P-38.


On this post I will show you modest progress on the fuselage - work on the waste gate, centerline bomb rack, and fairing dzus fasteners.  As a reminder here is a picture of the unmodified fuselage for this beast:




Several things I would bring to your attention - The exhaust waste gate is very poorly represented, the centerline bomb rack is also poorly represented, the dzus fasteners for the engine compartment cowls are simply circles, and there are no dzus fasteners at all on the wing fillet fairings.  All that has to change.


First dzus fasteners.  As most of you know, all or nearly all removable fairings on airplanes, especially of this vintage, have large quarter-turn flush head fasteners in large holes to account for tolerances, and assure part interchangeability.  Wing fillet fairings are a good example, as shown in this P-47 pic:




In the case of the P-47 this is also true of the entire bottom of the aircraft which has stainless steel fairings covering the exhaust pipes that travel aft from the engine to the turbocharger.  I decided to show the dzus fasteners for all these panels in addition to the wing fillet fairings.  This picture shows the effort partly finished:




From the inside:




No particular skills involved here - just drilling 0.047 inch holes, cutting little slots on the ends of 3/64 plastic rod, cutting to a decent length, and pushing them into holes until flush with the skin.  The challenge is the motivation to continue!  There are hundreds of these things.  Thus I cry out to you for reassurance.


Interspersed with the drilling and filling, I improved the waste gate and centerline bomb rack (at least made preparations for a more accurate rack).  This picture shows the bomb rack area:




I tore out the simple part that was bonded in there, cut four rectangular slots, and puttied up the damage.  Later I will fabricate the four sway braces - not now because they will just get broken off.   I promise you, once done the centerline bomb rack will rock.  You also see a big hole that obliterates the exhaust system waste gate swivel valve. 


Filling that big (5/32 inch dia) hole is this exhaust pipe and swivel valve:




In the background is a photo of an actual wastegate fairing.


Installed, it looks like this:




That looks more like the real thing, or it will when painted up and weathered.  The unoccupied rectangular depression in front of it is for the oil cooler door.  You should see that next post.  BTW, for those who do not know, what you see here is basically the exhaust pipe for the P-47 (it has an opposite one on the other side).  It works simply as an exhaust pipe with the swivel valve open.  But with it closed (as it is in the pic), exhaust gasses are routed aft to the turbocharger to spin it up and provide compressed air to the carburetor (that's what turbo's do!).  


These are monotonous days, but fuselage join and engine installation are around the corner.  I look forward to showing you that before long.  Stay tuned!

Edited by JayW
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"wastegate looks much much better!" says Shawn.


Could look better still, but that's all I am going to do.  Thanks man.  On the real Thunderbolt, the waste gate fairing (IMHO) looks like a band-aid afterthought.  Not very elegant at all as the above picture shows.  I also notice on real Thunderbolts that the exhaust gasses from the waste gate cook the front edge of the landing gear door.  To the point of discoloring it significantly.  I have seen this on the FHC P-47 "Tallahassie Lassie".  No steel on those doors either - aluminum.  Oh well - if it was really a problem I guess there would have been a design change of some kind - and there wasn't.



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If I were to guess, the WG fairing was to prevent back flow from the oilcooler outlets or to reduce the turbulence/ drag there.

In regards to the above pic, "most" restored P-47's dont have the turbo on them and dump the exhaust out the WG ports instead.

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Very nice work. I just remembered I have this plane unbuilt and special aftermarket decals in 1/72. It was featured in a book I had since I was 4 and it has always been on my to do list. Will you preserve these markings?

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