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Dpgsbody55

P-47 D Thunderbolt, by Trumpeter

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Posted (edited)

Back in early 2016, I started the build of Trumpeter's P-47D Razorback.  I bought a whole stack of Eduard etch, along with some Zotz decals and the whole thing had cost a few bucks, thinking I was going to build something special.  I like early Thunderbolts, so all gung ho, I piled in. 

 

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I like LSP's to have a nice engine, as this is as interesting to me as the plane itself, so this is where I started.  First up, I glued the cylinder rows together and painted them, together with the rear gear train and drives, pushrods, induction manifold, reduction gear and magnetos.  Everything here has been brush painted.

 

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I also started on the supercharger ducting.

 

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After a few weeks, I'd got a bit further and more or less had the ducting complete, but the engine was going badly.  First of all, I messed up the rockers and oil pipes at the top of each cylinder, so these were removed and replaced with an alternate set that the kit provides.  Annoying, as they're the wrong ones (I think) for this engine.  Then I started having fitment issues, the worst of which was that there was no way I could line up the cylinder rows when dry fitting, so that both the rear drive case and front reduction gear would line up.  Don't ask me what I was doing wrong, as I had no idea.  I could get the centre baffle, both cylinder rows and induction manifold together, but the rear drive case and front reduction gear would not line up properly.

 

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And I wasn't happy with how the plug wire collector ring would fitted either.  All in all, after hours of trying to figure it out, I was getting a bit depressed with this build, and from previous Trumpy builds, I was not as impressed with their kits as I once was with their kits.  Then I looked at the Eduard etch, and all those plug wires and thought "Sod this for a joke.  The Shelf of Doom is where this kit belongs, alongside their P-51B".  And that's where it's been ever since, and I got on with my Meteor Mk IV instead which was far more enjoyable.  The P-51B is still there, along with slightly less Eduard etch and more Zotz decals, and likely to stay there until the archeologists dig up the remains of my house.  There's hope for the Zotz decals, however, if ZM ever release their P-51B.  I'm not a big Mustang fan, but I would like to add a nice B or C model to collection.

 

The P-47, however, was a different kettle of fish as it's a much better kit than the 'Stang, and something I wanted to build eventually, so after the last of my Russian planes I built for the Eastern Front GB, I decided to cautiously take a look at it again.  I think my modelling has improved in the last four years, so I feel a little more confident that this won't be returned to the SOD.  Over the last two or so weeks, I've been working on that engine.  I'm still not promising that I'm going to complete this build this time, as I still think this is the worst kit I've worked on since 2016.

 

But it's after 1.00am now, and I have an early wake up tomorrow, so I'll present my progress another time.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

 

 

Edited by Dpgsbody55

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So for almost two weeks now, I've been tinkering with the engine of this kit.  I decided not to use the spark plug wires in the Eduard etch kit, and cut my own from scrap wire.  These would have been too fiddly, especially combined with the cooling tins, and anyway, mine are round.  I also wanted to use the cooling tins from the etch kit, and this is how I went about it.

 

Firstly, all the bits in the last picture in the post above were joined together, after a new alignment slot had been cut for the reduction gear housing.  0.7mm holes here drilled into the ignition harness collector before it was glued into place, and there's only one spot on the collector ring to do that.  Then 0.3mm holes were drilled in the appropriate places and wire glued into place, starting with the back row, then the front.  Here's that result, and yes, it is standing on it's own plug wires :lol:.

 

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Next, I slowly added the cooling tins over a number of days starting with the front row, then the back row.  As these were fitted, the rear plug leads for each row were fed through the holes in the cooling tins, then the tins that fell off were glued back into place.  :BANGHEAD2:.  Repeatedly...  :BANGHEAD2: :wacko:   Then all plug wires were lead forward through the engine and over further days, these were connected up to the ignition collector ring, starting at the bottom cylinders to try to stabilize the ring.  And more recalcitrant tins glued back into place.  :BANGHEAD2:.  An in progress shot:

 

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And the finished result of all this wiring.  There's 40 wires in total.

 

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Next up, I've fitted the exhaust, which came in four pieces, two per side, top and bottom, nine pipes per side.  Test fitting showed that the easiest way to get each side into place, wiggling it all past the cylinders, was to fit each top exhaust set then the bottom, snapping each half together as I went.  So I painted up all four pieces separately with burnt iron dry brushed with steel silver, and assembled accordingly, and since this picture was taken, I've patched up the join.

 

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While this was going on, I did some more work on the supercharger ducting.  The supercharger drive pipes that connect to the exhaust were painted silver, and dry brushed with burnt iron, lessening the effect the further away from the engine the pipes travelled.  Red pipes made from electrical wire have been added for the oil system, and there's more to be added which will connect to the engine.  I'm basing this on what I can find in pictures of restored planes, so it's likely the pipes weren't red on war time Razorbacks, but as I've no idea what they were, I'll be leaving them as is.  Plus, they'll probably be too hard to paint once in place.

 

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I will also be opening up access panels on the fuselage sides, so you can see some of this.  Right side was done before the kit had it's sojourn on the shelf of doom, and I'm starting on the right side now.

 

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Wish me luck.  :D  I'm presently feeling a little more happy with the build, and a little more hopeful that it will get built.  The engine was the big hang up and I'm now happy with the way it's turned out.  Sometimes, you just have to take a break from these things.  So I'll be continuing on with a little more engine work and it's installation onto the supercharger ducting before I start work in ernest on the cockpit and interior of the fuselage.  I think this kit is going to take a while, but that's OK.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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Posted (edited)

More slow progress on this kit, but I think now that the most difficult bit is behind me.  Plenty more to go, though.

 

The cowling mounts on the engines came up for attention next.  The front one went on easily enough, but the back one was a bit painful.  It needed lots of filing at the attachment points to get it to fit, then I had to glue it in stages.  After that, I could mount it to the supercharger ducting.  The engine mounts on via the exhaust pipes at the bottom, and by the intake ducts at the top.  Here it is at that point.

 

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After that, I connected up all the oil lines.  There are three sets - engine to oil cooler, oil cooler to tank, tank to engine.  I've also added wiring to the back of the engine through the bulkhead and the main connection to the engine, plus a throttle linkage.  This took me quite a bit of time and I put it down after each wire to let it set so I didn't knock it out fitting the next one.  Then, there's a brown tank on top, which I believe is water injection.  These engines on the D model were OK to a maximum of 51inches manifold pressure dry, and 58 inches MAP with water injection.  Here's the results.

 

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If you look at the picture above, in the exhaust pipe immediately behind the oil cooler outlet, you can see a shot pipe at right angles to the exhaust pipe that goes to the supercharger.  This is the supercharger bypass, which is normally open.  In these P-47's, pilots rarely used the supercharger below 7,000ft, as this is the height at which you can no longer reach maximum manifold pressure and decreases further at higher altitudes.  The pilot's throttle quadrant has four levers, the extra one being the lever that operated this bypass.  Operating it gradually closed the bypass, causing the supercharger to speed up as the pilot advanced that lever.  The pilot would also open the intercooler gates and monitor supercharger speed and temperatures to stay within parameters.

 

And here it is mounted in one half of the fuselage to give some idea of what I'm trying to build.  In the picture below, you can see exactly how this bypass matches up with the exhaust outlet behind the oil cooler.  So you should have three exhaust stains on you model; one on each side for the supercharger bypass behind the oil cooler, and another behind the supercharger outlet below and behind the intercooler vents on the side.  Unless the pilot has left the intercooler vents set at trail, these would normally be shut to reduce drag at low altitude as it wasn't usual to operate the supercharger below 7,000ft unless in combat, and then very carefully for fear of damaging it.  It's also not usual to have them open during take off and landing in case of go around, to keep the plane as clean as possible.  These planes were not quick to accelerate on the ground, or pick up speed fully laden after take off, and the pilot's work load was quite high at that time, to be having the added complication of a supercharger running which could easily have caused excessively high manifold pressure, and the possibility of engine failure that could ensue.  That's a pilot's worst nightmare, being low and slow with a sick engine!!

 

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That's it for the moment.  Next up, I'll be hacking off the left side rear cowling, opening up another hatch in that side too, then I can splash some interior paint about and start on the cockpit.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

 

 

 

 

Edited by Dpgsbody55

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Great work on this so far!  I had no idea that this kit contained the full turbocharger setup as well as the detailed engine.  I think I'm going to have to get one of these...

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That's part of what attracted me to this kit originally.  That, and it's a razorback too which I prefer to the bubble top.

 

Cheers,

Michael

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My opening line of my last update almost became famous last words.  During the build of the left side cockpit wall, I almost put this back on the shelf of doom, such was the grief caused by the throttle quadrant.  So I walked away from it, then went on a holiday for two weeks and I'm back into it again.  This isn't going to be a quick a build as my previous three Russian jobs.

 

I had actually started the cockpit back in 2016.  Here is as far as I got back then.  The green paint on the front wall is just me experimenting with colours.

 

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Here's the major components finally completed last week.  After some research, I decided to go with green zinc chromate as being more appropriate to the plane I'm building.  The throttle quadrant was the hold up as this took many goes at it before it would finally stay together.

 

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Close ups:

 

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Next, I started assembly, gluing the right side and rear wall to the floor.  I also added a length of 0.3mm wire for the tail wheel lock operating rod, though the map box got in the way a little.

 

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The next step was to add the seat.  Here's the progress shots of that.  Once again, I had troubles with the seat belts, so please excuse any deficiencies there.  Definitely not my thing :BANGHEAD2:

 

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Then the left side was added, together with the control stick and instrument panel/rudder pedals assembly.  Lots of photo etch on both the IP and rudder pedals.  The instrument faces were enhanced with a drop of clear gloss to give the appearance of glass.  The gun sight and cockpit coaming have not been built yet.  I plan on doing them later and adding the windshield straight after to protect the gun sight.

 

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As you can see, I've also painted the exterior of the cockpit tub as this will be visible through the access panels I've cut into each side of the fuselage.  I have no idea whether any of this or the turbo ducting will be visible, but it's part of the kit so I'll give it a shot.  Since I've cut a panel out of each side, sufficient light may get through to make it worthwhile.  I'm hopeful I'll get the fuselage together soon, so we'll know then.  But at least I have the photos :D.  Here's the cockpit mounted in the engine/turbo ducting assembly, finished yesterday.

 

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I may add some wiring to the outside of the cockpit tub as I think this will be visible through the left side access panel I've cut  from the fuselage half.  Here's a shot of that together with the repairs I've made to all the access panels and engine cowlings after I hacked them off the original fuselage parts.  Thankfully I made a better job of the right side.

 

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So my next job is to spray the inside of the fuselage and wings etc with yellow chromate, add in the aforementioned wiring and perhaps see about making the canopy slide.  Then I can glue the fuselage halves together and I'll begin to have something that looks like a plane.

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

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Thanks for the encouragement.  It's needed as this kit continues to throw up roadblocks. :(

 

While preparing to spray the yellow chromate last night, I found that I was missing an important part of the wing assembly.  The kit has inlays for the lower wing for landing light variations and one of mine is missing.  I've decided to make my own rather than contact Trumpeter and ask for a new one, so we'll see how that turns out. 

 

 

Cheers,

Michael

Edited by Dpgsbody55

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