1:1 Scale P-40 Control Panel Project

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by T Bolt, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #1 T Bolt, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
    I was doing through the parts I've collected for My P-47 cockpit project last weekend and realized that I had enough left over instruments to complete another control panel, although not one as large and complicated as the P-47 one. Making a P-40 panel seemed to be the one to build as it had been a close second choice behind the P-47.

    Now the hard part. Which model of P-40 to build? The panels differ greatly from model to model. I think I have it narrowed down between the P-40B/C or the P-40E. Both have advantages and disadvantages. For instance, I have all the instruments right now to make up a P-40C Panel. If I make a P-40E panel I could use the N3C reflecting gunsight that I have, but I would have to get an 8-day clock, and those are expensive.

    I have made up dimensional drawings for both panels and posted them below. I did this by pasting a head on picture of them into an excel document, and knowing the diameter of the instruments, I blew it up until it was exactly ½ scale, then measured out all the other dimensions with a scale ruler right from the computer screen. I used this same method to layout the P-47 panel.

    This is going to be a long term project as I will be working on The P-47 cockpit more than this one, but I wanted to start this thread so I can record the work as I do it. I am also going to confine it to the panel itself and possibly the gunsight and not let it get carried away as the P-47 panel did!
     

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  2. hub

    hub Member

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    Glen

    Should be interesting project when you get time
    I had a tracing of a P-40E or N panel somewhere, I ll have to digit out and check your measurements
    Cheers
    Mike
     
  3. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Neat choice Glenn

    Confession time: I've been working on a P-40 panel of my own for some time. I've collected all the parts for the instrument panel and the electrical switch panel below. Just need to build the lower electrical boxes and paint 'n' placard.

    Here's a photo I took a while back. Good luck with your project, and happy to help out with info if you need it.

    Cheers

    Peter p-40 panel so far - small.jpg
     
  4. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Mike, I would welcome any help with dimensions. If you see anything wrong with my numbers let me know.

    Wow Peter, that looks like some real nice work! I’m kind of leaning toward the P-40E panel right now and I’m sure I’ll have a lot of questions for you. One I can think of right now is how did you make the curved back edges around the perimeter of the panel? I did something similar for the small primer pump panel on my P-47, but I don’t know if the method I used would work with something as large as the main panel. Also, what was the thickness of the aluminum you used?
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Nice work on the drawing Glenn, and great work on the panel so far Peter.
     
  6. hub

    hub Member

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    Glen
    I found the tracing I took years ago turns out to be a P-40N by the look of it :oops:

    Looks very much like this one I found on the web

    Mike
     

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  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Very Cool stuff!!
     
  8. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff Glenn and Peter..I envy you guys!! :)

    Although I prefer the look of the -E panel, maybe the -C would be more interesting, being more of a rarity Glenn..?
     
  9. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    ???? :confused:
     
  10. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Here's the one in my 47 panel Jan. You wind them up and they keep going for 8 days..... supposedly. Mine goes for 5 or 6 days, but then it's over 60 years old. These clocks were in most of the U.S fighters and are big collectors items so the price is usually pretty high. I think I payed $70 for mine, but I never saw a working one go for that low of a price before or since. I've seen some go for several hundred dollars.
     

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  11. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Aluminium was 3mm thick. The curved edges were formed by v notching and bending. I then had them welded up and followed on by filling them smooth. Not as good as a complete pressing, but effective. Under paint you would never know.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  12. THeMaNRJ

    THeMaNRJ New Member

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    Hi Guys,
    From time to time I search the Internet for P-40 stuff and from time to time I stumble across a forum where people ask for information about the P-40 instrument panel. I'm, almost literally, obsessed about it. My quest today, or for most of the last 3 years, is to build a 1:1 panel of a P-40E. I have everything I need, except the panel itself and the flight indicator adapter. Below is a drawing I made of what I would want to accomplish. All the gages are the real ones I have, including the warning lamps.

    I have all the measurements one needs to build one. I can't, because I don't know how and I don't know anyone that could do it for me. I have asked, at least, 10 different persons, from museums to restoration projects, and not a single soul offered some help in spite of the fact I was willing to pay. So I'm stuck with a lot of gages and nowhere to put them.

    Glenn, if you need the measurements for the P-40E panel PM me with some e-mail address so that I can send it to you.

    And if ANYONE knows where I could buy this panel, PRETTY PLEASE tell me. 3 years is a lot of time to accomplish something and I'm just getting older and older. :|
    Cheers,
    Joe.
     

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  13. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    #13 ozhawk40, Apr 24, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
    Joe

    Thanks for posting. I've sent a PM - private message with a lead to the panel.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Nicely done Peter. Looking forward to the finished article Glenn.
     
  15. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you're at the same place I'm at Joe. All the gages and nothing to put them in........ Yet.
    I'll be making my own panel so those measurements will be very helpful. I've sent you a PM with my email address. Making my P-47 panel wasn't that difficult. If you have a drill press all you need is bi metal hole saws of the right sizes. You might even get away with one of those adjustable hole cutters. I used one for one of the odd sized holes and it actually made a cleaner cut than the hole saws, but half way through the second hole it became so dull I couldn't finish. Maybe I just bought a cheep one and a more expensive one would work better. I know some guys do cut the holes with just a regular drill, chain-drilling holes in a circle and then doing a lot of fileing. That sounds like a lot of work though.
     
  16. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Yeah righty....Glenns Vulture Squadron is taking another step nearer completion methinks !! :lol:

    Seriously, thats a cool looking setup you have there. :thumbleft:
     
  17. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    There another alternative, if you have the plans. Take them to one of those Laser or water jet cutting places. Shouldn't be too difficult for a professional mob. Then theres just the bending to do. Depending on required accuracy, you can probably skip that, provided the material is thick enough. Although pounding Ali into shape was a bit therapeutic. :D

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  18. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    That's sure something to think about Peter. It would save me a lot of work. I did a google search but couldn't find any idea of how much something like that would cost. $100? several hundred? anybody have a rough idea? up to $200 would be worth it, but that would be my limit. I'm afraid a one-off custom job like that would be way more than I could afford.
     
  19. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    #19 ozhawk40, Apr 25, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
    Never know to you give it a go. Email plans to a couple of places and get quotes. My advice was more aimed at Joe really. A fellow I know used such a place to do half dozen P-51 panels. He was selling them a couple of years back for (I think) $220 AUS painted, so you may find someone with reasonable rates, if you consider this an option. You're right though - a once off will always be more expensive.

    Cheers

    Peter
     
  20. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's just such a cool idea fellas.
     
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