T Bolt's 1:1 P-47 Cockpit

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by T Bolt, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #1 T Bolt, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    002.JPG 003.JPG 004.JPG 005.JPG 006.JPG 007.JPG 008.JPG Well…. Here Goes

    I first came to this website a few days ago by chance while looking for references and stumbled on Gary’s (Geedee) thread about his building a full scale P-51 cockpit. I replied to his thread with a couple of photos of my own build and Gary replied, urging me to start my own thread and letting me know of other guys here involved in similar projects, namely Darryl (Tony Hill) with a Spitfire and Tony (Rocketeer) with a Spitfire.

    I’ve been building plastic scale models ever since third grade (the P-47 wasn’t my first, but Monograms 1/48th bubble top was the second) In June 08’ I began work on a panel and then it spiraled out of control from there until I restricted myself to a length of 28” so I could get it out of the basement (and in order to remain married, she kept asking when the wings were arriving).

    It’s based on a later model Thunderbolt, a P-47D30. I don’t have any experience with the building or repair of the real thing so I used methods of fabrication that were familiar to me, namely woodworking and structural steel members. Along the way I’ve also gotten pretty good at bending aluminum as long as it’s not a curved part.

    The basic frame is made of Unistrut steel members bought at the local home improvement store and for the most part will not be visible when completed. The fuselage ribs will be plywood (forward 2) and poplar with aluminum bolted to it where it shows as I have no way to bend aluminum on a curve. It has many original components from the 47 including windscreen,and throttle. I hope to wire up some components such as panel lights, cockpit light gun sight.

    Well then, here it is:

    Part 1 The Panel

    Picture 01: Cutting complete on panel
    Picture 02: Genuine Thunderbolt windscreen that had been sitting on a shelf collecting dust for 60+ years. The edges were rather beat up and I had already starter to try to straighten then out.
    Picture 03: Panel primed with zinc chromate. Nasty stuff. Only spray outside wearing a respirator.
    Picture 04: Panel painted
    Picture 05: Panel decal design using a spread sheet and printed on white decal sheet.
    Picture 06: Decaling underway
     
  2. Geedee

    Geedee Well-Known Member

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    Wow Glenn, that is really a great project you've got on the go there and thanks for starting a thread to show us all your work to date !.:thumbright:

    Hadn't realised just how much you actually made yourself, top marks mate !. I see you've made your own cockpit placards (amongst other things), what did you print them off and mount on ?. I've been buying a few from varios '51 specialists in the US but am dreading the cost for the bigger placards.

    That web site you mentioned where you got the windshield assembly from , I had them on my favourites on my main PC (before it went t*ts up) and intend to one day not only get the original bullet proof front glass but also the two 'quarterlight's' made from Lexan. All I need is around three and bit grand first ! Gulp.

    Keep us updated on your progress and if we can help in any way, hey, just ask !
     
  3. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #3 T Bolt, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    011.JPG 012.JPG 013.JPG 015.JPG 016.JPG 017.JPG 018.JPG 019.JPG 020.JPG 021.JPG 022.JPG 023.JPG 024.JPG 025.JPG 026.JPG 027.JPG Part 2 The Frame
    Picture 1: One of a pair of T-33 rudder pedals that I found. They look close enough to the ones in the thunderbolt. Note the linkage I fabricated so the brake function of the pedal would operate. I thought about how to get that to work for quite a long time.
    Picture 2: Unistrut frame starting to take shape with rudder pedals test fitted.
    Picture 3: Panel test fitted
    Picture 4: Seat and parachute pack I picked up. The chute pack is original. The seat I was told was from a “Martin”. What kind of Martin I have no Idea. If anyone can identify it let me know. I know it has only a slight resemblance to a 47 seat, but I thought it was close enough and I had figured out a way to attached it so it could be easily removed. The real deal attaches to the rear bulkhead so even if I had one I wouldn’t be able to use it. It’s a place to sit anyway.
    Pictures 5 : The frame after disassembly for painting outside and then reassembled again. If I had to do it again I would turn off the furnace pilot light and send the wife on a trip for the weekend so there wouldn’t be any paint smell complaints, and do it right there in the basement. What a job!! I have also fabricated and installed the front two rib frames at this point.
    Pictures 7-8: Making sure the curve of my rib frames matches the curve if the windscreen with the help of my son.
    Picture 9: Stick and plywood floor installed. Stick is made from a cut off piece of the top rail of a chain link fence with some Bondo to make a nice taper at the top. Still thinking about the grip. I’ll probably carve it out of wood and use a rifle stock checkering tool on it. The floor will be clad with aluminum.
    Pictures 10-12: K-14 gun site mount fabrication and installation. I’m getting pretty good at bending aluminum at long as there aren’t any curves.
    Pictures 13-15: Seat painted and fit into place (for the time being as it gets in the way) and the windscreen fit in its proper place. The throttle quadrant is also in place and the aluminum cladding of the floor started. Starting to look like a Jug….. Well kind of....

    Stay tuned for part 3
     
  4. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    :shock: Man....that is awesome work..:thumbright:
     
  5. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    So, we've got:

    Tony's Spitfire
    Gary's Mustang
    Glenn's Thunderbolt

    can we expect a 3-ship flypast in Aviation Videos anytime soon? :)

    Great work Glenn, some master craftsmanship there 8)
     
  6. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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  7. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #7 T Bolt, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
    Thanks Gary

    The placards aren’t really placards, they’re decals applied directly to the panel. I made them using a spread sheet and printed them on white decal film on my color ink jet printer. The decal film can be found in the internet at hobby supply sites. Just pick a font that’s close and use white lettering with black background in the spread sheet. The printer prints the black background leaving the lettering blank which shows on the white Decal sheet. Just a few things to remember: (1) Make the black background bigger than needed then cut them to side, (2) make sure you put some kind of clear coat on the decal sheet before cutting them out or the ink will disappear when you put it in the water. I used Future floor wax, I think they call it Johnson’s Clear over by you, but any clear coat will work (3) make sure the surface you apply the decals to is slick. (4) It takes a lot of black ink but its still way cheaper than having them made. I haven’t done it yet but for the placard on the fuselage sides I’m going to try clear decal film applied to thin aluminum flashing.

    That web site does have a lot of stuff, but pricey although I didn’t pay to much for my windscreen as the fairing was pretty mangled before I beat it out, and the bullet proof is cracked at the bottom corner.

    Keep plugging at it
     
  8. mudpuppy

    mudpuppy Member

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    Thanks for posting the pics, Glenn. its a great looking project!
    Derek
     
  9. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #9 T Bolt, Mar 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    030.JPG 031.JPG And let’s not forget Darryl’s Spitfire IX for that four ship fly-by.

    Now for more progress to date photos

    Part 3 Various Bits

    Some bits and pieces I’ve acquired over the last few years. Sorry about the awful color in the next 9 pictures but I was using my new digital SLR which isn’t as idiot proof as the old point and shoot and I had the white balance set wrong.

    Picture 1: Various radio controls
    Picture 2: Fuel tank selector valve lever and cockpit lamp
     
  10. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #10 T Bolt, Mar 27, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    032.JPG 033.JPG 034.JPG 035.JPG 036.JPG This should bring me up to date…. Finally!!

    Part 4 This is how it looks at present

    Picture 32: Floor with aluminum cladding well under way.
    Picture 33: Throttle quadrant installed. It’s the same type used on the Jug if not actually from one, although it’s the style from an earlier model D then my D30.
    Pictures 34 - 36: The whole thing as of last night.
     
  11. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Outstanding work!

    I've been enjoying Gary and Tony's progress, this adds another 1:1 scale project to the watch-list.

    Thanks for posting the pics of your project!
     
  12. Rocketeer

    Rocketeer Member

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    excellent stuff Glen.....I have sent you a pm
     
  13. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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  14. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    i want one !!!!!
     
  15. Tony Hill

    Tony Hill Active Member

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    Fantastic work mate!!! I know what it is like to gang drill, cut and file all those ROUND guage holes!!! Well done. The pit is simply stunning and the fab wok on the gunsight holder very nice indeed. Thanks for the photos, great stuff.


    Am developing a SERIOUS hatred for you guys with floors and interior lining though :twisted: :)
     
  16. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    Nice pictures and a great project you got. I cant wait to see more of your progress as it comes along.
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great stuff Glenn, looks superb. Now, we need to persuade someone to start building the rest of the fuselages etc to fit on the back of the Spit, Mustang and 'Jug' cockpits!
     
  18. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    My wife keeps asking me when the wings are going to come, but I haven't seen any come up on ebay yet :lol:
     
  19. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    This is fricken awesome!!! What's the website you fellas keep talking about for the parts???
     
  20. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    warbird-parts.com They have a lot of stuff but a lot of its pretty pricey. Got my windscreen there but most of the other stuff was off ebay over a period of a few years.
     
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