Trumpeter 1/48 C-47 (Navy R4D conversion)

Bzzymatt

Stayin Bzzy :P
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
105
Hello to all!!

I can't remember the last time I have been on this forum, but I'm back and ready to present to you my next project that I am determined to finish by April.
Long story short, my grandfather, who is now 94 years old, served as a pilot for the U.S. Navy during WWII and the Korean War. The primary aircraft he flew during WWII was the R4D for the Naval Air Transport Service VR-7 Squadron and VR-3. My grandfather was also with the VR-6 Squadron during the Korean War flying the R5D and R6D. I have been wanting to build a 1/48 scale replica of his R4D for a long time, but had little on photos and documentation on the aircraft he flew. One other neat thing to mention is upon reading through my grandfather's logbooks and other documents, I found that one of the R4D's he flew during WWII is on display at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida. The aircraft on display is known for being the first aircraft to land in the Antarctic, so go check it out if your planning a trip to Pensacola!! Anyways, on with the build!!!

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The kit I selected for this project was the Trumpeter kit. I did look at the Revell kit, but found that Trumpeter was more detailed and all the parts were very crisp and fit exceptionally well compared to the Revell kit, where much filler and glue would be needed.

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I will say the only thing I can say is you will need to trim and sand almost every part you cut off the sprue before assembly, because the stem on the sprue sticks out on the inner edges of each part, so you can't just simply join the parts flush until you sand off those little sprue nubs. Right now I am trying to assemble anything I can at the moment. I have ordered almost every single detail set for this kit because I am picky with details!! I have so far received in the mail my corrected rudder and cowls, which I am very satisfied with.

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The stock rudder for this kit has been molded with rivet details, which of course we all know that this aircraft had a fabricated rudder, so the resin replacement is a must in my opinion!!

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The cowls also had some minor issues, so some custom resin cowls were ordered, and I am very pleased to say that they came in the mail without needing to cut off any excess resin!!

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I have coming in the mail the interior and exterior photo-etch sets from Eduard, which I will review on this page for you as well, along with resin exterior antennas from Voyager Models. I will continue to keep you all informed, because I will be working to have this model completed by the end of March, so I have a very little window.
 

Go Flight

New Member
Joined
May 11, 2009
Messages
174
Nice catch with the fabric rudder. I don't I would have noticed the difference. :p
Looking fwd to your next WIP segment.
 

Bzzymatt

Stayin Bzzy :P
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
105
UPDATE:

Since I am awaiting the interior and exterior details sets from Eduard to come in the mail, I am pretty much trying to assemble anything I can. There are plenty of interior details that will be touched up once the Eduard sets arrive, along with the engines and wheel well assemblies. I've painted the interior Sky Grey. I am still debating whether to paint the cabin Interior Green, since many of the R4D's were converted from US Army C-47's (any comments on this would be helpful before I seal up the interior for good!!

The R4D I am building (BuNo 17203) was built as a C-47A model for the US Army, but was then converted to a Navy R4D-5. My grandfather flew this particular plane several times according to his logbooks.

I have assembled the cockpit seats, navigator's station and radio station.

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Trumpeter has separated the wings into three sections, which is convenient for anyone who is needing the space to store models of this size when not displayed or for transport purposes. The wings went together fairly well with only little filler needed. I was irritated with how trumpeter tells you to attach the ailerons. In the instructions, it tells you to attach several hinges, but I was having to file down almost every single hinge because they were too big!! I was not planning on positioning the aileron in any fashion, but leveled. Upon dry fitting the ailerons without the hinges, they fit snug and crisp. I cheated this part of the construction by attaching the hinges to the ailerons and then cutting them off just enough so that they appeared to be attached to the wing (made things more convenient)

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I do want to point out that Trumpeter did not say in the instructions that flaps were optional. They have the instructions drawn up to have the flaps deployed. I decided I wanted the flaps up because the Eduard flap set would require me to cut out the already pre-molded, pitted flaps. The flaps do fit very nicely and crisp not deployed as shown in this photo below.

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I did get my Voyager antenna set in the mail the other day, so here is everything that comes with the kit. The instructions are very self explanatory and the parts look great!! My reason for actually buying this was to get my hands on a second radio compass loop antenna housing to be attached to the underbelly. The R4D I am building had 2 of these housings. the details on the parts are very well detailed, and there are 2 photo etch antennas as well for the top of the fuselage.

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Bzzymatt

Stayin Bzzy :P
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
105
Update:

So after all the waiting, I finally received my interior and exterior detail sets!! I wanted to start with the interior because I wanted to go ahead and get the fuselage closed up and ready to go!!

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Before I started adding my own touches to the cockpit, I wanted to show the stock assembly of the instrument board. Although a lot of the board won't be noticeable once you close it all up, i still wanted to stay true with the details. Trumpeter provides a clear part for the board and a film with all the instruments. I wasn't fond of this, so the self adhesive photoetch will do.

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For the rest of the interior assembly, I did not put a ton of effort into. I've read from others that once you close up the cockpit, the radio and navigator stations are pretty much never going to be seen again. As a way to show appreciation for my grandfather, who flew the R4D, I placed a small map of the Florida coast along with a flight computer on the navigator's station. My grandfather mentioned he also did plenty of navigating in his navy career. His primary route during WWII was from Miami to Rio transporting primarily cargo.

Along with that, I have decided on a different BuNo for the R4D. The photo below is the R4D that I mentioned is on display at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, FL. Based on what I can see, the aircraft is painted up Olive Drab with a Medium Grey underbelly, and Yellow for the numbers on the nose. Do note that my grandfather did fly this aircraft!! This is the only known photo of this R4D taken during WWII.



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The photo below is what the model will look like. It won't look exactly like this because I am going to try and work with the reference photograph above.

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arohk

New Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2012
Messages
510
This is going to be a cool bird don't see many building the navy one. A few things about the R4D I seen with the ones they used in the TV series The Black Sheep Squadron which were accual Navy ones, the interior is green and laid out the same a the C-47 except the large cargo door on the left sid is not their they only have a small drop down door to allow passengers in and out. The paint sceam varied but most were white tops light grey bellies. As far as the one that went to the South Pole here are lots of pics of that one the Que Sera Sera. I read a few books on the exploration of the south pole and have seen this aircraft in numerous photos.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=Navy+R4D+aircraft&biw=1366&bih=673&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj724HGhK3LAhVG0mMKHUeYDZYQsAQIPQ#tbm=isch&q=Navy+R4D+Que+Sera+Sera
 

Bzzymatt

Stayin Bzzy :P
Joined
Sep 17, 2011
Messages
105
Update:

So the project is coming along in a way. The fuselage has been joined, but has a rough fit to the point that I do have some gaps. I have been in the process of filling and sanding, and I think within another week or two I will be closer to airbrushing on some primer. After more research, I've found one major feature, which I have already taken care of. The R4D I am replicating has no astrodome on the forward fuselage, so I took a piece of styrene sheet, cut it down to size and filled it all in.

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I have started assembly of the wheel wells. I had to go with my experience and go against the assembly instructions for this part of the build. Trumpeter has it to where they want you to assemble the whole well before inserting it into the frame of the model. I really had to just take the two center wing halves and tape them together to ensure the wheel well assembly was flush. I did mention that I had purchased an exterior set from Eduard, and of course they have some photoetch details that go into the wheel wells.

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Painted the wheel wells with an interior green and will come in with a brown wash later on into the build.

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