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HPH DC-3/C-47 build threads?


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I’ve seen a few comments both here and elsewhere over the years about how horrible a build the HPH C-47 is.  
I’ve done several Google searches, and other than a couple LSP threads that barely got past pre fitting the big parts, there’s absolutely nothing out there. 
Ive heard stories that the internal bulkheads are too small, (ok, shim the edges), to things are cast backwards. 🤪 (hard to believe), but nothing that sounds insurmountable or earth shattering. 
Can someone point me in the right direction here?  I think there’s many C-47s just waiting to be built around here,…..Mine included. 

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32 minutes ago, smitty44 said:

Shall we shift to mythbusters mode?

Sounds like a good idea.  I’ve seen all these negative comments, (not here, but on other forums), and it gets me to wondering. 
The main airframe dry fits perfectly.  It’s a resin kit, so some very small gaps are to be expected.  If there’s big gaps afterwards, then you didn’t do YOUR job as a large scale modeler when fitting the internals.

Speaking of internals….  I’d have the cargo door open, and maybe the hamburger door as well.  That way, some of the front internal detail can be seen. 
But if you have gobs of internal detail that’ll be invisible forever once you close it up, do what we do with ZM kits: eliminate it.  It’ll make the build quicker, easier, and less stressful.

I think the PE flap option is absolutely necessary on the C-47. Because included with that set is a gorgeous stepladder for the cargo door.  DC-3’s and C-47’s are never parked with the flaps down, but that stepladder is ubiquitous.  That, and wheel chocks. 

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I was sure Martinn would far more efficient than me to find the threads on the Czech modelling forums :) 

Thank you my friend 👍

And I also found out that the HPH C-47 FINISHED build is featured in Canfora’s Wingspan #4, which I duly ordered (My wallet does not thank you, Ernie 😡 )

Hubert

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By the way, Mirek O’s build thread of the DC-3 on Martin’s link shows the difficulties to be expected with the kit, namely the seams of the wings leading edges, the underside of the fuselage, and the wings-to-fuselage fit and seams …

Hubert

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I looked at Mirek’s build, and it’s stunning. I’m not afraid of a bit of filling and shimming at the wing roots and nose. It’s doable. 
 

What does strike me as odd is his choice of a Russian cockpit green in the radio room, and armored pilot seats for a Continental Airlines DC-3.  Those pilot seats are unlike any I’ve ever seen on a civilian DC-3 🤣

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It doesn’t look bad at all.  Hubert, you and I, heck, EVERYONE here has struggled with, and powered through, fit issues much worse than that.
Just wondering what all the fuss is about? 

 

So many expect Tamiya drop fit build ability right OOB, but that is not always the case. Adapt and overcome.  John’s Helldiver build is a perfect example.
 

 

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One area I’d consider improving, if I decided to open the hamburger door, is to improve the cockpit bulkhead rear. 
That mess on there is the hydraulic control system for your landing gear and flaps. That is all molded on the bulkhead. It would be a fairly easy thing to redo that entire mess in brass wire and Evergreen shapes.  Have it stand proud and detail the snot out of it. It’d look stunning, but a total waste of time unless you open the hamburger door for viewing. 

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10 hours ago, HubertB said:

I was sure Martinn would far more efficient than me to find the threads on the Czech modelling forums :) 

Thank you my friend 👍

And I also found out that the HPH C-47 FINISHED build is featured in Canfora’s Wingspan #4, which I duly ordered (My wallet does not thank you, Ernie 😡 )

Hubert

Haha Hubert. 🤣

To model most of our postwar DC-3s in the USA and Canada, we need to start with the C-47 kit because of the cargo doors. They are very noticeable on postwar aircraft, even if they’ve been rendered inoperable. 
I’m going to contact HPH and see if they’ll sell me the passenger compartment castings to use in my C-47.  If not, I’ll scratch them, no biggie.

Speaking of the DC-3,…..  if you’re a purist like me, most DC-3s are prewar production, and ALL prewar DC-3s used single row Wright R-1820 radials, the same as used on the B-17.   C-47s we’re re engined with double row Pratt R-1830s because the Army was worried about Wright being able to supply enough engines for the B-17 and the C-47.  I guess they thought Pratt could manage B-24 and C-47 supplies….

The single row Wright engined DC-3 had VERY different and unique cowlings. Flagship Detroit Foundation is flying an original Wright engined DC-3 today.

If you’re doing a prewar DC-3, OR a DST, you will need Wright cowls for some AM engines. 

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THIS is an actual, original, never screwed with, American Airlines DC-3 that was rescued and restored to brand new. Notice the cowls and exhaust.
Hamburger door generally stays closed. 
Another thing.  Notice these aircraft always have the flaps UP.  They are raised immediately after landing because the props toss gravel and detritus into them, damaging them.  NO DC-3 pilot who wants to keep his job dares taxi his airplane off the runway with the flaps down.

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Notice the differences between the DST and the DC-3 day plane? DST has one extra window per side plus the distinctive upper eyebrow windows for the upper berth sleepers.

Also, American Airlines insisted in right side doors to standardize with their Fords then in service. 

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3 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

Haha Hubert. 🤣

To model most of our postwar DC-3s in the USA and Canada, we need to start with the C-47 kit because of the cargo doors. They are very noticeable on postwar aircraft, even if they’ve been rendered inoperable. 
I’m going to contact HPH and see if they’ll sell me the passenger compartment castings to use in my C-47.  If not, I’ll scratch them, no biggie.

Speaking of the DC-3,…..  if you’re a purist like me, most DC-3s are prewar production, and ALL prewar DC-3s used single row Wright R-1820 radials, the same as used on the B-17.   C-47s we’re re engined with double row Pratt R-1830s because the Army was worried about Wright being able to supply enough engines for the B-17 and the C-47.  I guess they thought Pratt could manage B-24 and C-47 supplies….

The single row Wright engined DC-3 had VERY different and unique cowlings. Flagship Detroit Foundation is flying an original Wright engined DC-3 today.

If you’re doing a prewar DC-3, OR a DST, you will need Wright cowls for some AM engines. 

Well, the engine issue is not a big deal anymore for me (drops casually Mr Superboaster 😁 ).

This is what stopped me dead in my tracks on the venerable Monogram Gruman Gulfhawk, especially when I found that the replacement Vector engine that I bought had an uneven distribution of the 9 cylinders around the crankcase, to leave room for the bottom oil sump 😡 ...

Since then I got equipped with a 3D-printer and have designed 3 1/32 radial engines (a Wright J6-9 for the Mystery Ship, a R-985 for ... well whatever used this one, starting with the Gee Bee R-2 and Sikosrsky S-39, and a G&R Mistral 9 Kdrs when I thought it could have been installed on the PZL P11c 1932 prototype at the Paris airshow (so now I am left with designing a MS-225 to go around the engine). So another radial ... 😎

And, in fairness, since then, many AM manufacturers have released R-1820s, like Eduard, AIMS, and others I can't remember...

Ditto for the cowlings, not that difficult to design and print.

Tell me what HpH did for the supply of the civilian seats. Otherwise, I am sure we can find a way together.

As for the fit, ofcourse I am sure it can be worked around. What bothers me more is not to loose the surface detail that HPH have included. Those rivets were a prominent feature of the DC-3, especially with the polished aluminium fuselage, and around the outer wings junctions.

Take care, my friend.

Hubert

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Hubert, Kitty Hawk offered a stellar 1820 on their T-28 kits, except that the company is now defunct.  Resin2Detail may offer a decent engine plug to be used for the HK B-17, which might make it a bit more date specific than the late 50s when the T-28B was first conceived. 
Looking at Mirek’s build photos, the HPH passenger internals look promising enough.  One thing’s for sure, the Day Plane will be a much easier build than the C-47 in WW2 troop carrier trim. 
My ULTIMATE dream is a DST.  Almost nobody has even heard of a DST. Now, everyone who reads this thread certainly does…

Funny thing, there was an article a couple years back about a guy who located a DC-3 that was threatened with turboprop conversion.  What made him notice it was the odd placement of the door.. During his examination of it, he then noticed skin riveted on in patches above the passenger windows.  Yep, it was an actual DST.  He had to find and swap out a similar regular C-47/DC-3 in order to rescue the DST from the modifiers knife, but he got it done with plenty of time to spare and the ultra rare Douglas Sleeper Transport is now on its way to a full, accurate, and flight worthy restoration.  They literally have to reconstruct the entire interior from scratch, and source all the early Douglas production components that have long been tossed to bring the airplane up to C-47 standards. And yes, a cargo door had been Mickey Mouse’d into the fuselage side. 

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11 hours ago, ScottsGT said:

Wasn’t there a similar story with one about to get converted and a guy discovered is was something like the lead C-47 in the D-Day invasion? 

That’s All Brother. If you attend the Nats next year, it’s based at San Marcos.   An absolutely priceless treasure. 

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Battle of Britain Memorial Flight has a C47, here is her history……

BBMF Dakota ZA947 was constructed as a C-47A by Douglas at Long Beach, California, USA, in 1942. It was delivered to the USAAF on 7th September 1942, 75 years ago this month. A little over a week later, on 16th September, it was transferred under the Lend-Lease agreement to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), re-designated as a Dakota III and allocated the RCAF serial number ‘661’. During the Second World War Dakota ‘661’ served entirely in Canada.

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My kind of history with the DC-3…

Did you know that if you park a DC-3 between the hangars and the parked aircraft at Churchill airport, you could sneak EVERY freighter that operated there except a C-46?  And they knew it and STILL did it! Pricks  

 

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Well, I received the Canfora « Wingspan 4 », ans quickly scanned the contents.

First, it’s an excellent book from first to last page. In today’s world where we are used to see kits’ build threads on the net, the book is a very worthwhile buy, with clear pics, detailed comments, and very high production values. In short, highly recommended, all the more so as all chosen subjects are 1/32.

As for the C-47 build specifically, the author, whose name rings Czech, Slovak or Polish, is rather elogious of the kit and its design. He confirms the fit issues and the need to add a strip spacer on the underside fuselage, but HPH’ s choice of specific PE parts to cover the half-fuselage joints is vindicated here. In looking at the pics, the surface detail provided by HPH certainly is not lost during the construction, and seeing this is a great relief for me, and puts the kit higher on my - long-to-eternity - « next build » list. In short, not at all as bad as I had read elsewhere, but then again, even if they can be genuinely challenging, it seems a common fad on a lot of forums to bash HPH kits.

The Wingspan 4 book is certainly worth buying and reading, given the choice of subjects covered.

Hubert

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Hubert, I’m looking online for the book, now. 

HPH, like Kitty Hawk, has long been a favorite target of the naysayers and online bashers, and to be sure, I have found exactly TWO HPH kits that need some extra help in their construction.

One being the Tigercat, as was demonstrated by Brian over on LSP where he found the upper and lower wing surface scribing didn’t match.  HPH tacked it back to a slipped ditch plate during the mold making process.

and TWO being the Walrus, also aptly demonstrated by Brian as having absolutely NO alignment jigs or tools to align the off center thrust engine and upper wing.  Not insurmountable, but certainly it’ll mean building your own jig. 

Other than that, they build up beautifully, IF you take your time and plan ahead. 
 

edit:  ordered

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