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HPH PBY-5 Catalina


gfiend
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Hello,

 

I've been viewing all sorts of builds on LSM for quite some time now and I must say I'm blown away by the level of talent shown. There's certainly no shortage of inspiration. In addition I'm absorbing all sorts of new techniques.

 

However, looking isn't going to help unless I actually start building something and applying what I've picked up.To that end I've made a start on the HPH PBY-5 Catalina. It's an ambitious long term project but I really like a challenge and am looking forward to seeing what I can create.

 

Why the Catalina? I'm not really sure I have an accurate answer for that. HPH certainly make wonderful kits and the Catalina is no exception. Also, my neighbour was an RNZAF navigator in Catalina's during the Pacific war and that certainly has had an influence. (Yes, I'm leaning towards an RNZAF paint scheme.)

 

I'm not entering the Pacific War Group build, as much as I'd like to participate, because with a young family and a busy career I don't have a whole lot of spare time and I don't think I could finish a project like this in the space of a year. And a project like this deserves having time and care taken. There's also the possibility I may deviate into some smaller, less involved kits where perhaps I can try out a technique without risking the Catalina.

 

To begin with I'm going through the kit and marking off all the parts to make sure everything is there. At the same time I'm going to break down those parts into build modules, cleaning and assembling (where practical)  the parts up as I go. I'd appreciate feedback and comments - it can only help make a better build.

 

9418060769_8e8993a385.jpg

 

Here's a picture of the box on initial opening. First, there's lots of parts and second, it's really, really big!!! That's a twelve inch rule just below the fuselage.

 

As I progress with the parts break down I'll post more pictures to better show the kit. I'd also appreciate it if anyone could recommend some good books or websites that show various detail pictures, particularly of internal equipment. (I also need to spend some time myself having a surf on the web.)

 

Paul

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Hi all,

 

Thank you very much for the welcome. I only hope I can do this kit justice.

 

Dave J - thank you for the links and your pm. I'm looking forward to what you think when your kit arrives.

 

Doogs - you're right, the wings are really big. I have no idea how I'm going to display this once complete. My first impressions though, are that despite the overall size there is a wealth of micro projects with loads of detail.

 

Rick - thank you, I just hope you have a lot of cold beers available for my glacial building pace. On another note, I really liked your Rufe build/conversion. You did a fantastic job!!

 

Rich - thank you for the link. I'll follow up on that. Yes, this kit has a huge amount of detail but I've been following your B17 and that is insane!! Talk about attention to detail...and you've scratch built it all.

 

I've watched all of you with various builds on this and other forums and have been inspired by you skill and artistry. I have a lot to learn.

 

Paul

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OOhh!  I'm in !!  I've loved the Catalina ever since I used to see one flying over the bay in Majorca every morning.  I love its awkward looks and the fact that it's a sea-plane - thank you for bringing this to LSM so we can all enjoy what appears to be a great model.

 

<< NOT jealous all ... Not jealous ... Not .. Oh! b*gger it.... Hell yes, of course I'm jealous!>>

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This is going to be one impressive sight when completed. The 1/48th scale kit is enormous and impressive enough in it's own right, so I can imagine the real estate this one is going to occupy. Looking forward to it!

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Hello,

 

I had plans to spend some time on the Cat this evening but, as fate would have it, I've been called into work. The best layed plans...

 

Grant - I agree, the Cat is an odd but impressive machine. Years ago I remember watching the New Zealand based aircraft carry out touch and goes off tga water on Lake Taupo. I occasionally see it out now flying (lumbering) round south Auckland.

 

Hi Efrick - I'm looking forward to getting into this kit too.

 

Hi Doogs - I've also gotten hold of the Walrus and I can say that the Cat is definitely up there.

 

theseeker - My intention is to post pictures of the sub-assemblies as I go so hopefully that will give you an idea of what the kit consists of.

 

At some stage I've got to decide whether or not I model a machine from the RNZAF. If I do that will mean no landing gear as I beleve our airforce operated only the flying boat version.

 

Hopefully I'll get some workshop time tomorrow.

 

Paul

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Greetings Gfiend;

 

 

 

 

 

A 1/32 scale PB-Y........ Unless the builder messes up....................... it would have to be a killer..........  doggyh10.gif

 

 

 

............. standing by...........  popcor10.gif .......... popcor10.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best of luck,

 

 

 

Mike

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Hello,

 

Time for an update. Though life has been busy over the past few days I've managed some time at my work bench.

 

9420827910_2f16d78043.jpg

 

The first job is to start assembling the bulkheads, which eventually leads to fitting the stringers in the fuselage. As you can see each bulkhead comes in it's moulding as cast (Top left hand of picture - bulkhead with bulkhead doors and door handles below.) and needs to be cleaned up before being glued back to back with it's facing member. You can see some cleaned up bulkheads ready to be glued in the middle of the photo.  I'm probably being pedantic but I think it's well worth while taking time and care during this procedure as it should aid fitting further down the track. I've also sanded the faces to be glued with 600 grit sand paper. Not only does it clean the part but it should provide a nice keying surface for the glue.

 

With respect to glue I'm leaning towards CA, however, this has the disadvantage that the part must be positioned right first time.....and we know how often that happens!! I'm also considering 30 min epoxy to give me a good working time, though I'm open to suggestions.

 

On checking the parts I've found one of the bulkhead pairs to be missing. I need to finish checking off the parts list before I contact HPH but I can't see it being a major issue. (Fortunately it's a duplicate bulkhead and I'm thinking of trying my hand at scratch building.)

 

Another topic of consideration relates to the wheel wells. (Top right hand of picture) From what I've read so far the flying boat version did not have these fitted (makes sense really) but it does mean remodelling the former wheel well area.

 

Mike, Paul and Cees thanks for dropping by. Nice to have you on board.

 

Paul

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Could someone please enlighten me as to where I could purchase a copy of one of these kits? 

 

Cheers

Sean

 

Hi Sean,

 

You can buy them directly from HPH Models. They are made to order, process takes around 3-4 months... The price isn't cheap either... Its a Total of 600 Euro + shipping. 200 Euro down as a deposit and then the rest once complete.

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Hi - for glue that dries rock hard but not instantly, you could do a quick google search for the Gator's grip range - there's more than one kind though!  It gives you a few minutes to reposition stuff, but once it dries you are never getting that part unstuck!

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Hello,

 

No pictures today unfortunately. 

 

Rich and Doogs - thank you for your suggestions. You've raised some good points.

 

In the end I opted for slow cure epoxy. Given that I spend an hour every other day at my work bench it doesn't slow me down to have to wait for the epoxy to cure. And there's plenty of other parts preparation to be carried on with at the same time. It also means I've got plenty of time to correctly position the parts before clamping. I found a very thin coat of epoxy on one surface worked really well.

 

Once again I've got work commitments over the next couple of days but all going well I'll get some more done after that and be able to post some more pictures.

 

Paul

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Paul agrees with Paul. Don't hurry on this bank account dinger. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I heard Gator Glue expands as it dries. Wives Tale?

 

Gator Glue does expand. It foams up as it dries because it's a wood glue (the foam is supposed to penetrate the wood grain and seal up gaps).

 

Gator Grip is another type of glue completely. I know this because I tried to buy Gator Grip after reading recommendations and got the one that expands instead :P

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Gator Glue does expand. It foams up as it dries because it's a wood glue (the foam is supposed to penetrate the wood grain and seal up gaps).

 

Gator Grip is another type of glue completely. I know this because I tried to buy Gator Grip after reading recommendations and got the one that expands instead :P

 

Gator Glue, the woodworking glue, also make a CA that has a rubber component in it. This glue is way less brittle than regular CA and is more shockproof. Give it a try.

 

Paul

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Hello,

 

I meant to do a small update last night but ended up repairing my four year daughter's drawing that had been torn up by her two year old brother - the things you do as a parent.

 

First I'd like to say thank you for the previous posts that have been made with respect to glues. It's this discussion that makes this site so great.

 

My intention is to make notes and observations about the construction process of this kit as I progress, so I hope I'm not overstating the obvious at times.

 

I've managed to achieve a small amount in the last few days. Here is the first of the assembled doors. There is a total of six in all and the hinges appear to be handed so one needs to be sure about where the door is being positioned and how before assembly.

 

9468339433_05fe7c6910_z.jpg

 

You'll also notice from the photo below that the door is from pressed aluminium (my assumption), so the challenge is to replicate that with the door above....not a five minute job I'm guessing. I'm treating this project like many small projects and "eating the elephant one bite at a time" so to speak. (The photo below is from the Seawings site and is of the cut away Catalina in the Pensacola Naval Museum. I don't know what the protocol is with photos from other sites but I hope it's OK to demonstrate a point.)

 

20.jpg

 

As you can see below I've made a start on the bulkhead halves that weren't supplied in the kit. (Just to reiterate, I haven't contacted HPH about this discrepancy but I'm sure that they would rectify it. I just want to try my hand at some scratch building.)

 

9471120276_bca2d29f37_z.jpg

 

I've also included a picture of the bulkhead in the actual aircraft. (Picture from Seawings - USN Pensacola Cutaway Catalina.) You'll notice that there is no split down the centreline of the fuselage unlike the bulkhead supplied in the kit. I think the intention of splitting the bulkhead was to allow each half to be mounted in it's respective fuselage half with it's landing gear wheel well interior. Of course this means each bulkhead half must be very accurately mounted so that when the fuselage halves are joined the bulkheads meet in the centre. There is also the issue of a split down the centre when, as you can see below, it is very much a single heavy structure. If one is making the PBY-5 flying boat I'm sure the bulkhead could be assembled as one unit and installed as per the other bulkheads.

 

Ultimately, I guess it comes down to what the builder is comfortable with. I do enjoy these challenges as it gets me thinking.

 

007.JPG

 

Until the next update.

 

Paul

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