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1/32 Wirraway

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Hi everyone, a newbie on the forums here, returning to modelling after a 30-year break.
My chosen project is the CAC Wirraway (haven't decided which Mark yet), converted from the Kitty Hawk T-6 Texan kit. Two of these arrived last week, along with a few accessories still coming from overseas. The Kitty Hawk T-6 Texan kit is an impressive piece of work, and there will be many usable parts for a Wirraway conversion.
When this kit came out several years back, Peter Malone wondered who would be the first to convert it to a Wirraway, and maybe this will be the first, as I haven't seen any others yet. Peter suggested the following:
Let's see now:
New, shorter fuselage.
New interior details with space frame, observers cockpit and equipment etc
New fin and rudder.
New tailplane.
New outer wing panels.
New engine and cowling.
New prop.

That leaves wing centre section, U/C, and canopy from original kit. Not sure if the latter can be used without modification either.[/size]
I think his assessment is pretty close to the mark, but I'll be working on converting a lot of the parts, rather than needing new parts as listed by Peter. I'm also going to be trying some resin casting, so wish me luck!
First, I checked if the fuselage frame was going to be re-usable, as the welded steel tube frame in a Texan is almost identical to the frame in a Wirraway.
Here's how it compared to my drawings...
IMG_4483 by Derek Buckmaster, on Flickr

As you can see, apart from the tubes being a bit chunky, several of them are out of place, and the detail along the lower longerons is not anywhere close to reality. Plus the molded panel sections on the upper longeron look like they will be difficult to remove, so I've decided to start from scratch.
Since there are two side frames which are mostly identical, I'll make up a jig, the pieces of which are shown below...
IMG_4494 by Derek Buckmaster, on Flickr 

This is cut from 1mm styrene card, as the tubes will be made using 1mm diameter styrene rod, which matches the diameter of the 1.25" tubes in the framework. Some of the tubes are smaller (1" and 0.75") and some are larger (1.5") but I'll live with 1mm for almost all of the tubes.

Edited by DerekB

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Hello DerekB.


:post1: :punk:.


Sounds fascinating and interesting.. I will follow along since history is attached to this one.


Nice to have you on board. :yahoo:




{for a second I thought(you were...) it was the other Derek B .... :unsure: }

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Step 1. Celebrate.

Step 2. Follow topic.

Step 3.Continue celebration while wishing the good gentleman hello and good luck. :)


"Morituri te salutant."

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Working my way through the parts in the kit, to see what is usable. The wheels are good!


In fact the 8-spoke wheels in the kit are perfect for a Wirraway, although the number of spokes will be academic once they are covered over. When Wirraways were in service with the RAAF they always wore wheel covers, fairing over the spokes and reducing the drag of the retracted wheels just a little. They were also fitted with drum brakes. Most people may not realise there were 8-spoke wheels under these covers, and that all the restored Wirraways restored to airworthy condition are fitted with 10-spoke Mustang wheels fitted with disc brakes.


Here are the wheels in the kit (inboard half on the left, outboard half on the right):


IMG_4489 by Derek Buckmaster, on Flickr



Here is the outboard side of a full-size wheel, with its fairing cover in place (A20-10 at Moorabbin, prior to its restoration in 2014):


P1010834 by Derek Buckmaster, on Flickr



And here is the inboard side of a full-size wheel, with the brake drum cover in place:


P1020027 by Derek Buckmaster, on Flickr



With the fairing cover removed from the outboard side, you can see the 8 spokes (A20-10 being collected from CAC in 1964, a crop from a Neil Follett photo):


A20-010 p1171-0030-071 1964-06-05 Moorabbin AARG (Follett) crop by Derek Buckmaster, on Flickr



And finally, a pair of "imposter" 10-spoke Mustang wheels on a Wirraway restored to flying condition (but no longer flown, A20-652 at Queensland Air Museum in Caloundra):


P1010887crop by Derek Buckmaster, on Flickr


Mustang wheels were also fitted to the CAC Ceres in production, and since they are easily available and the disc brakes work better than the original drum brakes, its understandable that restorers went this way...

Edited by DerekB

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Welcome Derek,

Yes, the fuselage is totally different as are the outer wings, which will be the difficult parts to redesign...  but apart from an all - new fuselage, the other challenging bit will be the canopy - which is totally different.

I think you'll be remastering these. Adjusting existing parts will require major surgery - close to butchery!

Will be following!


Edited by Piprm

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Super project Derek! My great uncle was killed in a Wirraway ... so I've been building up my courage to doing a tribute build once I have the skills.


Looking good so far.






What was your great uncle's name Jim? 

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