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EVERYTHING UKRAINE GROUP BUILD IS NOW UNDERWAY.

FPL Avenger


TJTX
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I blame Ernie, I blame him entirely for this adventure.   If it goes well, he can take all the credit.   If it goes wrong, well....

I felt like I was in a rut, nothing I built stood out and I felt as though I wasnt progressing anymore in the hobby.  Then I saw Ernie's Lanc in person.  It was beautiful, inspiring, and I knew what direction I needed to go.  Modifying a kit to make it my own, one that no one else has.  Initially i thought about a TWA B-17, but that big of a build just isnt "me". Then I saw it and knew instantly what the build was.  A big ugly, ungainly, yet mesmerizing fire bomber.   The TBM Avenger converted to a firebomber.  There are a few decal sets out there but both of companies and schemes that did not work for me.  I wanted something iconic and Conair is that.  They are a company deeply rooted in Canadian aviation and firebombing in general.  So, this is my attempt to bring some more Canadian aviation history to light down here in the lower 48.  Thankfully, I have an agent with some connections up in Canada to help this poor American find the answers he needs, and it ain't Martin! Jeff has been an absolutely invaluable resource in helping me track down information for this build and he has just scratched the surface so far! Once I can compile the information I've gotten I will strive to share it here along with my build.  We have the complete history of my chosen airframe, and we are in contact with some people that may have some absolutely amazing photos and information for us.  I can not thank Jeff enough for all the energy he has already provided and I emplore him to chime in as much as he'd like to share information in this thread.  I also ask for any and all help from everyone going forward to make this one to be proud of.  

 

The base kit will be Trumpeters Avenger.  Mark was kind enough to work out a trade with me for it and I thank him very much for helping out! Also below is the chosen subject.   CF-IMK as it was when flown by Conair.  I need to convert it from US Navy, to RCN to Conair.  I HOPE to have her at Nationals, but this is a very complex conversion for me and I will not rush it.  Again, any and all advice and information will be immensely appreciated.

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Tony, this is AWESOME, and I'm glad you're doing it. You'll clobber this one out of the park.

One thing to think about. Regarding the RCN turtledeck modifications. There are ZERO conversions out there, so if you are thinking of developing one, consider working with someone to make it available commercially.  Much like the RCAF Lanc, there's plenty of takers out there assuming the special bits are available.

I was and still am considering the iconic RCN sub hunters of the 50's for my Avenger of choice.  These aircraft had service lives far, far beyond what Grumman or the Navy had dreamed even in their wildest dreams. Like a DC-3, the Avenger found it's niche and the only replacement for an Avenger was another Avenger.

Slow, uncomfortable, ugly, and noisy, but it'd carry anything you could load into it, and do it again and again and again and again.   If it just had one more engine it would have been the perfect firebomber.

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Ernie, I think that's a neat idea.  However, I've actually not had much luck in the help department thus far with that type of stuff on another project so this will be my own thing I believe.   My current plan as of now is to try and build the back end very closely to how it was built on the actual aircraft.   I'll build the framing and fill that in with plasticard where the windows were.  I've found some good back end photos of the RCN birds and their mods.  Jeff also pointed out a few things I'll need to tweak to being her over to a -3 from a -1. I'll get to work on those as well.  We have some really good photos headed our way that will help in building the rear portion of the greenhouse.   Luckily,  the first 2/3 is pretty standard.  I may use a balsa block as a basis for forming the framing, but I haven't worked any of that out yet.  The biggest goal for now is to get the engine built up to a standard I'm happy with while we (Jeff!) keeps finding all the gems he is.  

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9 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

I was and still am considering the iconic RCN sub hunters of the 50's for my Avenger of choice

Ernie, how close does this conversion get you?

https://www.aviationmegastore.com/grumman-tbm3w-avenger-aew-conversion-set-trumpeter-bz3002-braz-models-bz3002-aircraft-modelling-conversion/product/?action=prodinfo&art=159023

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Carl, that IS cool.  But like Mark said, it’s not a tough conversion and I can make a plug and pull it myself as well as anyone else.  

I’m just lazy, that’s all

 

 

Sho ‘nuff is ugly, though.  Although they all weren’t quite as wild as these.

292C38C2-52C4-4017-822E-77EB0EF578BC.jpeg

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Although he's currently not taking orders, Mike West at Lonestar Models makes a TBM firebomber  conversion in 1/32. It contains a resin plug for the canopy area, and the boxed bomb bay. I used to have one, but sold it a few months ago. You might try and source one. Great project! Will be following along :-)

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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3 hours ago, HubertB said:

Cool project. And, btw, the conversion is not only in the canopy area, but also at the bottom, where you need to modify the bomb bay.

:popcorn:

Hubert

Yup, we're tracking down the specific information for the tank that was put into the bomb bay to carry the retardant.   I hope to share that information here.

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2 hours ago, Dennis7423 said:

Although he's currently not taking orders, Mike West at Lonestar Models makes a TBM firebomber  conversion in 1/32. It contains a resin plug for the canopy area, and the boxed bomb bay. I used to have one, but sold it a few months ago. You might try and source one. Great project! Will be following along :-)

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

The problem with that conversion is I believe it was a different type of greenhouse mod than mine carried.   Theres a shorter upper canopy version which is what the Draw decals set shows and then ones like the Conair bird that still carried the RCN greenhouse. 

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18 minutes ago, TJTX said:

The problem with that conversion is I believe it was a different type of greenhouse mod than mine carried.   Theres a shorter upper canopy version which is what the Draw decals set shows and then ones like the Conair bird that still carried the RCN greenhouse. 

After reviewing it, if you can find one, it might save you some work. The rear portion appears correct, and you would just have to convert the kit clear parts for the center canopy section to capture the more prolific glass on the RCN bird. It's worth a shot! And, you get the firebomber bomb bay to boot.

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

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2 hours ago, Dennis7423 said:

After reviewing it, if you can find one, it might save you some work. The rear portion appears correct, and you would just have to convert the kit clear parts for the center canopy section to capture the more prolific glass on the RCN bird. It's worth a shot! And, you get the firebomber bomb bay to boot.

 

- Dennis S.

  Thornton, CO USA

I looked again and I believe you are correct.   That does appear to be the proper rear end that I need.  Hopefully I can find one and save a ton of work.

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14 minutes ago, Clunkmeister said:

Tony, did you ever find out if they just sheeted over the standard RCN greenhouse, or is it an entire new rear section?

We're still digging,  but it appears in photos to just be the standard back end either painted or the glass being replaced with metal.

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4 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

Tony, did you ever find out if they just sheeted over the standard RCN greenhouse, or is it an entire new rear section?

Investigation continues, I passed the question on to my contact that will have the answer...... will let you know as soon as I get the answer myself....

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4 hours ago, Clunkmeister said:

So maybe the same as the front turret on my Lanc. Sheeted over

 

That's what I'm leaning towards.   I have some thin plastic sheeting I should be able to use on the back end.  The trickiest part is the very back curve.

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3 hours ago, TJTX said:

That's what I'm leaning towards.   I have some thin plastic sheeting I should be able to use on the back end.  The trickiest part is the very back curve.

Tony, just use Apoxie Sculpt over the glass, then sand, carve, and whittle it to shape. 

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