1/32nd scale Mosquito FBVI conversion.

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by Airframes, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    DH Mosquito FBVI, coded YH-Z, serial number HR348, 21 Squadron RAF, 1944.

    This aircraft was flown by my friend, American pilot Bob Kirkpatrick, who, after joining the RCAF, arrived on 21 Sqn in September 1944. On the night of December 24 - 25th, Bob was sent to bomb a bridge in the Ardennes, in Belgium, during what came to be know as 'The Battle of the Bulge'.
    As he dived down to the target, "all hell broke loose", as a Panzer Battalion, hidden in the forest, opened up with everything they had! Banking to avoid the flak, Bob saw his bombs explode near to, but not on the target, and got out of there rapidly, but not before taking some hits and sustaining damage, making a forced landing in England after crossing the sea on one engine.
    Bob was later to make a further emergency landing, after flying one of the FPU Mosquitos during the famous low-level attack on Gestapo HQ in Shell House, Copenhagen, in March 1945. Again hit by flak, his aircraft sustained damage to the nose, starboard engine and hydraulics and, although he was able to lower the landing gear, the aircraft was without brakes or flaps, and coasted to a halt on the runway of the first airfield Bob saw back in England, at Rackheath in Norfolk, a USAAF B24 base.

    The kit used here will be the re-boxing, by Modelcraft of Canada, of the old Revell 1/32nd scale Mosquito BIV bomber, with this example being moulded in Mexico.
    This kit was very kindly and generously sent to me by our very own David (vikingberserker), and I must publicly thank him once again for this very thoughtful gesture - Thanks David !

    The kit arrived with a little bit of damage to the starboard nose, easily repairable, which actually aids in the preparation of the conversion, and this will take a lot of preparation before construction proper begins !
    This is going to be quite a long job, as the only conversion parts which were available, by Paragon Productions, are now long out of production, and this will mean constructing a new nose from scratch, moulding a new canopy, and a lot of scratch-building and corrections. However, having used this kit many years ago, to produce a PR XVI example, I reckon the scratch-building, of the interior at least, shouldn't be too bad.
    The pics show the first stage of preparation.
    PIC 1. A painting I did for Bob back in 1996, showing his 'Mossie' over the target in the Ardennes.
    PIC 2. Kit instruction sheet.
    PIC 3. This is a 1/32nd scale plan I prepared, again in 1996, showing the differences between the fighter and bomber.
    PIC 4. The damage done to the starboard fuselage half in transit.
    PIC 5. A tracing of the FBVI entrance hatch was made, cut out, and taped in position on the fuselage section, ready for scribing the shape of the door.
    PIC 6. The nose section overlaid over the FBVI plan, showing the re-shaping required. This will be done once the fuselage is completed, using a balsa wood 'plug' and Milliput.
    PIC 7. The position of the door has been scribed, using the tip of a pair of dividers.
    PIC 8. Holes were drilled around the periphery of the door, inside the scribed lines, to simply cutting. the outer arc of each hole can then form the required curves.
    PIC 9. A razor saw and scalpel were then used to cut through the relatively thick (1.25mm) plastic, and the unwanted part removed.
    PIC 10. The cut out hatch, ready for filing and sanding to final shape. Note that the upper part of the nose cracked during the final cut, probably due to this area already being stressed after the previous damage, but this was easily repaired, and will not be seen on the finished model, especially after all the putty goes on !
    Next step is to tape the fuselage halves together, and modify the shape of the cockpit opening to match the 'straight' windscreen of the fighter-bomber. A balsa 'male' mould will then be carved, checking for fit as it progresses, and a new canopy moulded from clear plastic sheet.
    Apologies for such a long introductory post, and I'll post more pics as the work slowly progresses over the coming weeks ... er.... months !
     

    Attached Files:

  2. woody

    woody Active Member

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    This look's to be a interesting build Terry.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I think it might be - if it goes to plan !
     
  4. copcheck

    copcheck Member

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    Can't wait to see this one. Looks like a challenging yet fun build.

    Best of luck.
     
  5. hawkeye2an

    hawkeye2an Active Member

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    Quite an ambitious project. Looking forward to it.
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks guys. I'll be doing the work as and when I can at first, until I really get under way - whenever that may be !
     
  7. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    Cool Terry!I have this one in the stash for alot of scratch to be done if it occurs.So I will have to watch and bookmark if necessary.
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Looking forward to this Terry. The break looks very clean - surpising really as I would have expected some deformation. Apparently a brittle plastic that may need some extra care.
     
  9. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  10. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Sweet...look forward to your conversion my friend!
     
  11. fam43

    fam43 Member

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    #11 fam43, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
    Hi Airframes,
    you are using the pinch bar don't you! :D
     
  12. ozhawk40

    ozhawk40 Active Member

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    Subscribed! I can't miss this one - not a bit!
     
  13. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks very much for the interest guys !
    Andy, yes, the plastic is very brittle - hence the second crack, above the door, as I made the fineal cut !
    I still have some parts left over from the original Revell kit from the early 1980s, which was in a pale blue, almost white plastic, and much more resiliant.
     
  14. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    #14 Wurger, Aug 17, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
    Terry, if I might...... it's better to drill these holes for cutting out doors, hatches, etc.... a little bit inwards , I mean farther from the panel line you engraved for these door. A such way of drilling lets saw these "bridges" between holes easy and protects from cracking of any parts. Then using sandpaper or jeweller's files, the correct shape can be accomplished.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I normally would my friend, but I wanted the outer curve of each hole to help form the curve of the opening, which is why I used a larger drill bit. The scribing of the outline was actually made a little inside the traced outline. If you look closely at the bottom of the scribing, you will see a light, roughly scribed line, which marks the actual edge.
    The remaining rough parts will first be carved flat, then filed and sanded to final shape.
    The crack above the door literally happened as the very last cut was made, about 2mm long. The plastic is very, very brittle, and I think that the damage done when in transit to me has also stressed this area of the starboard fuselage half - small stress marks can be seen inside, where the part has obviously bent before breaking. no problem though, as the repair is easy, and will be reinforced by the scratch-built internal structure.
     
  16. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    I understand pal. Keep the nice working up.
     
  17. Jayl

    Jayl Member

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    Another interesting build I'll be following. I also like the painting you posted.
     
  18. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Thanks Jelmer. That painting is now hanging in Bob's 'den' in his home in Iowa.
     
  19. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    More basic preparation has been done. The 'fighter' canopy has to be moulded and checked for shape and fit before any construction can begin, as this is probably the most important aspect of the whole conversion, and this means cutting the correct shape of the opening before proceeding further. Once that is done, construction of the cockpit can commence, which will include the internal canopy 'tubular' frame work.
    The basic shape of the nose can be carved from balsa and checked, but final shaping and blending can only be done once the fuselage halves have been joined, which is some time away yet !
    PIC 1. Shows the entrance hatch now filed and sanded.
    PIC 2. The heavy raised detail around the 'bomber' belly hatch and camera port has been removed, and the hatch outline will be filled and sanded smooth later.
    PIC 3. The shape of the 'fighter' cockpit has been cut in the port fuselage half, shown here in comparison with the 'bomber' version on the starboard half.
    PIC 4. The overhanging portion of the bomber nose has been removed to facilitate the fitting of the balsa 'plug', and the raised detail around the windows removed. These will be 'plated' internally and filled when the 'fighter' nose is made.
    PIC 5. The completed shape of the 'fighter' cockpit.
    Thanks again for your interest, and I'll post some more progress pics soon.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

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    Great stuff Terry. Looking forward to seeing your nose - er - you know what I mean.
     
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