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chuck540z3

KH T-6/Harvard Kicked Up A Notch: Feb 13: Front Cowling

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January 10/20

 

Happy New Year!

 

Below is my assembly and detail of the main fuselage, but before I get into that, I’m learning more and more about the T-6 and Harvard from the reference book I have in my first post by Dan Hagedorn.  This book is very thorough on the history and development of this aircraft, but unfortunately there are almost no close-up pics that we modelers can use as a reference.  Having said that, it has some good info on some details, like what the differences are between a Texan and Harvard, depending on the version. 

 

Two months before I started this build, I ordered an aftermarket rear canopy assembly, because I heard that all Harvards had it and it was a defining feature of this version.  Well, sort of, as can be seen on Page 93 of this book. 

 

FMS4oP.jpg

 

According to this reference, early Mk IIA and III Harvards had the same rear canopy as supplied in this kit, while other Harvards, like the one I’m trying to replicate, had the modified one on the right, which has a much shallower angle to the rear.   Also note that the baggage compartment door and roll-over cage are different.  This kit has the early door with the angle on the left side cut off, but the roll over cage is an “N” and not an “X”.

 

Fortunately, I’m not too worried about exact and “correct” details as mentioned many times before, because after almost 4 months of waiting and a few emails to the supplier who did not even ship the part for 60 days, this canopy part never arrived, so I got my money back from Paypal.  Had it arrived earlier, I would have cut and modified the rear of the fuselage to accommodate this part, but now that I have everything glued together, it’s too late, so I will just use the kit parts and pretend I’m building an early Harvard Mk III I guess.

 

As I found in other builds of this kit, there are two fairly big fit issues with the fuselage.  At the front, there a noticeable step at the rear of the top part D5 and the overall fit is a bit crude.  Some have squeezed these parts together and glued them with clamps, which I have found is almost always asking for trouble.  With any stress this join can fail later leaving a big crack, which always seems to appear after painting.  Further, there is a lot of raised fastener detail that can be easily sanded off trying to fix these joins.

 

Khkr1w.jpg

 

At the rear is part D-6, which is too small for the spine, leaving bit gaps that need to be filled and presumably rescribed.  Lots more raised rivet detail as well.

 

ODYP7C.jpg

 

eT4xpa.jpg

 

The bottom has its own challenges.  How do you fix that seam without destroying the circle and panel detail?  As you will see below, you don’t worry about any of it.

 

fCmAZ5.jpg

 

Now the good news.  After checking many references, none of the raised fasteners are real.  There are big slot fasteners, but they aren’t raised, so I can sand at will and replace them.  Here I have re-done the front fuselage, rescribing every panel line and repunching every rivet with a needle in a pin vice and replaced the large raised fasteners with impressions made with my Mega Tool.  I did this for the entire fuselage, then used Tamiya Panel Line Accent Color like I usually do to check for flaws.

 

After extensive surgery.  Some panel lines were added and some removed and several holes were drilled for vent holes, etc., according to references. The two holes on this side are for the exhaust heater.

 

1g0r3T.jpg

 

My subject has a panel just aft of the front foot support, so I made one from brass.

 

UHSJxF.jpg

 

A small brass screen was also added to the front of the side intake.

 

3r0W8F.jpg

 

This was especially good news at the rear, where I also found that part D-6 does not replicate any panel lines that I can find at all, so the gap should be completely eliminated, while other panel lines should be added later.  Using CA glue to fill the gaps, the first bits of sanding aren’t pretty.

 

nAVw1Y.jpg

 

There are curved panels around the horizontal stabilizers that should be visible, so I used curved vinyl tape to guide my scriber.

 

NNAYJ7.jpg

 

Eduard brass plates were used at the back to house the rudder control arms I’ll be adding later.  You can still see the ghost outline of D-6, which was filled with clear CA glue.

 

JWUXB1.jpg

 

8Rf6Gc.jpg

 

My subject has an oval antenna of some kind at the back, so I added one made from sprue.

 

CJAeoV.jpg

 

Now some interesting info I found about the tail wheel.  As Mozart pointed out to me earlier, it should have a housing around it with a shock absorber at the rear.  Here it is on the real deal with the shroud removed and the wheel in the forward position.

 

DAqtkd.jpg

 

Most of the reference pics you can find of the tail wheel will show it in the forward position, as the aircraft is pushed from the front backwards into a hanger, etc.  Note that the wheel housing hangs down a bit and is fairly prominent.

 

lJLrKE.jpg

 

In the reverse position, however, the housing seems to tuck up into the fuselage more, becoming less noticeable.  I found this to be true in just about every pic of the tail wheel when the aircraft was moving forward- but not always.  Sometimes it still hung down a bit.

 

POE9Tu.jpg

 

So I made a little gizmo from the stash that looked somewhat similar and glued it into place.  In order for the tail wheel to clear this housing I added a pin to the top of the axle.

 

SxsGla.jpg

 

This worked out really well and the fit is snug enough that I don’t need glue to attach it later.

 

2DeT2H.jpg

 

Back to the bottom.  I ended up sanding everything off, then replacing what I removed with brass.  I’m glad I did, because those little circles are recce or recognition lights that should be red, yellow and blue from back to front, according to the decal instructions, so I drilled holes for them.   Here I have dry fit clear plastic lenses from my stash that will be painted later.

 

Before:

 

 

fCmAZ5.jpg

 

After:

 

 

dS7oMy.jpg

 

Looking at my close-up pics above I still have some clean-up to do, but I’m now really feeling some traction with this build.  Next up will be control surfaces and all sorts of new detail.  Thanks for checking in

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Pity you're engaged in a bit of a battle, but the results, particularly on the undersides, are all better for it, shame regards the canopy - I emailed them a couple of months ago to ask if they had a particular product in stock, received no reply, only one way they're going. 

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Hello Chuck,

 

Great build. With some extra work it builds into a nice Texan/Harvard. I recently finished my Texan AT-6 in Dutch Marines livery. I used Brassin tyres but I changed the thread in a tarmacversion using styrenestrips. Keep up your fantastic work on this beautiful aircraft.

Hope you don't mind I posted a picture of my Texan.

 

Eric

 

a0t6Xo.jpg

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Thank you very much Gentlemen!

 

4 hours ago, ewestra said:

Hello Chuck,

 

Great build. With some extra work it builds into a nice Texan/Harvard. I recently finished my Texan AT-6 in Dutch Marines livery. I used Brassin tyres but I changed the thread in a tarmacversion using styrenestrips. Keep up your fantastic work on this beautiful aircraft.

Hope you don't mind I posted a picture of my Texan.

 

Eric

 

 

Thanks Eric and that AT-6 is beautiful!  If anybody else wants to post a pic of their T-6 or Harvard here, please feel free.  The more we can see as references the better.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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Thanks.  This is one of two rear canopies supplied in the KH kit (2 windows at top & rear, triangular sides, high angle rear sill) which many have been saying is wrong for a Harvard.  For the Harvard Mk. IIA and III, it's correct, at least according to the Hagedorn book.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3

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Those two canopy pictures are amongst the ones that I took of the Royal Navy Harvard in the Fleet Air Arm museum at Yeovilton.  I believe that particular one is a Mk III or IV but certainly the canopy is right for many RAF Harvards that were flown in S Rhodesia for instance during the middle to late war years.

 

Mwusst.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Alain Gadbois said:

Hi,

According to your own book reference above, it seems the longer rear canopy section is on conjunction with the longer exhaust pipe. Might be good to check this...

 

Alain


I’m sure it is, which is why I tried to order the modified aftermarket rear canopy in mid-September, 2 months before I started this build.   Unfortunately it never arrived after 3 emails to the supplier, so I got my money back and I’m stuck with the kit parts, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Accuracy for once, is not a priority in this build, so I’m now free to do whatever I want for a change.

 

Cheers,

Chuck

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