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Dreaded tailsitter- KC-97!

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Dreaded tailsitter- KC-97!
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, October 26, 2017 10:17 AM

Got this Minicraft 1:144 kit in a white elephant gift exchange at local model club Christmas party last year.  Delighted, always like NMF planes. Box said new molds- that must only have applied to fuselage and small pieces, which were great- wing and nacelles not so much!

Biggest problem was nose weight.  Nothing on plans indicating weight needed.  My experience with Minicraft models is that they typically need a ton!  They must dope the tail pieces with lead alloy plastic.  I crammed in as much as I could, nearly half an ounce!  I also taped fuselage together, temporarily stuck horizontal tailplanes in place, noted where gear would be relative to fuselage while I balanced on a dowel.  Two rolls  of the pinebox derby weights I used seemed to balance.  Figured nose gear and props would add a little for margin.  Forgot about tail boom and operators cab!  You can see the results!  I'm building a base now that I can glue it down to.

I really fault those kit mfgs that do not indicate how much weight a tri-gear model needs!  Better yet, love those kits that include cast heavy metal noseweights!!

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:46 AM

Aside from the tail-sitting your tanker looks very good. The different sheens on the NMF really catches my eye. Yes  It's hard to believe that this is only a 144 scale, you made it appear a lot bigger somehow.

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Thursday, October 26, 2017 11:55 AM

I made the Rareplanes vac form version and it was necessary to put two .490 lead muzzle loading bullets along with some lead bird shot to avoid tail sitting.Luckily it came with robust landing gear!

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, October 26, 2017 12:01 PM

It's a real pity, Don - you put a lot of effort and lead in that model, and now you have to fix it to the base anyway - a bit sad. Looks good, though. Good luck with your modelling projects and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 26, 2017 12:03 PM

I think adding weight in the nacelles is pretty useless. Just not enough moment arm.

AFA weight, try steel instead of lead. I always figure that my models end up in the landfill.

And it's cheap. I have a bag of short 3/4" bolts and nuts.

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • From: providence ,r.i.
Posted by templar1099 on Thursday, October 26, 2017 12:08 PM

But she came out beautiful Don.

"le plaisir delicieux et toujours nouveau d'une occupation inutile"

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 26, 2017 12:32 PM

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Thursday, October 26, 2017 2:06 PM

GMorrison

 

Wonder if the engines were off for repairs or sale. I think the -6 and -7 were pretty tailheavy without engines.

As far as steel weight for nose, the stuff I used was not lead- not sure of what it was.  It was a package of weights sold for pinebox derby cars.  It was pretty shiny, like pot metal, but hard, maybe cadmium plated steel. I cut the cylinders in half to make shorter cylinders, and it was a bit of a job cutting with hacksaw. 

Love to get ahold of some old type metal.  When print shops were turning to electronic printing or photolithography, I contacted some small local print shops to buy their old stock, but folks had already beat me to it.  That stuff cast so nicely.  I guess on future Minicraft trigear models I'll have to make patterns and cast my own weights.  They need so much there is not room for a space-inefficient assemblage.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 26, 2017 2:14 PM

That's an active duty SAC C-54 at Goose Bay, Labrador. The hard point looks to be a permanent fixture. Because the cargo door is so far back from the CG, I wonder if they did that early in the loading sequence to avoid any unpleasantness.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:09 PM

Your model is really well done. I have three of the 1/72 Academy models in the stash, a KC, a C and a Civilian transport. I don't think I will ever build them as they are just huge, like the two B-50s in the stash. 1/144 just makes sense.

There's a great scene near the end of the movie "Strategic Air Command', where the wing is flying their new B-47s to Kadena from the Continental US. They go through a refuel up north near I guess Mt. McKinley.

My Dad spent some time in the early part of his engineering career at UAL trying to solve the overheating vs. airspeed problem with their B377s on the SFO - HNL route.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
  • From: Eleva, Wisconsin
Posted by Greatmaker on Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:28 PM

Holy cow had to re-read that was 1:144.  I thought it looked at least 1:48. As previously mentioned the variations in the NMF are outstanding.  Thanks for sharing!

Everybody's cute, everybody's cute, even me. But in purple I'm stunning

  • Member since
    April, 2015
Posted by Mopar Madness on Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:42 PM

It really is a beautiful build though.

Chad

God, Family, Models...

At the plate: 1/35 Tamiya Nashorn

On deck: 1/48 Hobby Boss Me 262

In the hole: Probably something in 1/35 scale!

 

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: hamburg michigan
Posted by fermis on Thursday, October 26, 2017 3:46 PM

A thought...so you don't have to glue your model to a base...

It's a bit tedious to do(especially on a tiny 1/144 wheel!)...but you can drill a small hole in the nose wheel, angled forward...drill a small hole in the base where the nose wheel will be, angled backward, and glue in a small wire pin. Slide the nose wheel down the pin. The angle of the pin will keep wheel planted. The angle doesn't need to be drastic at all, 75-80 degrees is plenty.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Friday, October 27, 2017 8:49 AM

fermis

A thought...so you don't have to glue your model to a base...

It's a bit tedious to do(especially on a tiny 1/144 wheel!)...but you can drill a small hole in the nose wheel, angled forward...drill a small hole in the base where the nose wheel will be, angled backward, and glue in a small wire pin. Slide the nose wheel down the pin. The angle of the pin will keep wheel planted. The angle doesn't need to be drastic at all, 75-80 degrees is plenty.

 

I do plan to do something similar. I intend to make three hooks, like an inverted cane, that I can hook over the axles of the dual wheel assemblies and insert this in a matching hole in the base, then glue the hook in the hole.  I am worried about transporting the model to club meetings and contests with just the wheels themselves glue to the paper backing of the foamcore, the base's pavement.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    January, 2010
Posted by CrashTestDummy on Friday, October 27, 2017 1:36 PM

GMorrison

 

They did that a lot with the old tricycle-geared birds back then.  Some didn't need them unless it snowed, then the snow load on the tail and back part of the wings could cause them to be tail-sitters.  So you'd tend to see them in more normal climes, like WPAFB. 

Gene Beaird,
Pearland, Texas

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Friday, October 27, 2017 3:27 PM

Even with the issues of tail sitting, you did a fantastic job on the NMF.  As mentioned, I can’t believe this is a 1/144.  

Toshi

 

Retired due to work related injury

Married to the most caring, loving, understanding, and beautiful wife in the world.  Mrs. Toshi

 

ON THE BENCH:

Revell B-17G Flying Fortress 

NEXT BUILD:

Mrs. Toshi just purchased for me a Tamiya 1/48 Ki-61 via eBay, when it arrives, as always, I’ll do a WIP.  Thanks to M.Brindos and Model Maniac for the heads up and the inspiration in obtaining this kit for my next build.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Friday, October 27, 2017 3:43 PM

Don, there is a photo of a KC-97 with a tail stand at an airshow back in the '60's located on CRAP (Central Repository for Aviation Photos).  It is located in the Boeing group under C-97.  I am presuming that it is just like the red KC-135 tail stands. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/133697406@N05/albums/72157654310413991

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    June, 2017
Posted by Chemteacher on Saturday, October 28, 2017 11:10 AM

Tungsten fishing weights, though kind of pricey, work well for nose weights. Tungsten is denser so you can get more weight in a smaller size which would allow you to stuff more in the tiny places of the nose. Only drawback is tungsten is not as malleable as lead.  Your build looks great, by the way. Awesome job on the NMF. 

On the bench: Revell P-51D

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, October 28, 2017 12:35 PM

Okay, finally have it fastened down.

My J-hook idea worked fine.  I fastened a set of J-hooks from steel wire, about 3/4 inch long, looped the hook ends over the axle of each gear set, then glued the long end into small holes in the base.

For those who are suggesting various metals, the problem was that I did not know what weight was needed, and an attempt to estimate that weight apparently was off.  Seems to me the kit mfgs would know that.  A little late after you get it done and find what you put in wasn't enough.

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, October 28, 2017 12:43 PM

Did the Wisconsin decals come with the kit? 

Very nice model.

When I was young we flew into Santa Barbara CA quite a bit. There was often a Guppy aircraft across the way over by the hangars.

I think a KC-97 ditched in the Atlantic and floated around for a week before the Navy sank it.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Saturday, October 28, 2017 3:54 PM

Yes it can be difficult to determine the proper amount of weight to prevent tail sitting.On the larger aircraft I have had to replace the plastic nose gear with brass tubing due to the amount if weight required.The 1/48 Revell B-25 really needed a good amount to keep it sitting right.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Sunday, October 29, 2017 12:28 PM

GMorrison

Did the Wisconsin decals come with the kit? 

Very nice model.

When I was young we flew into Santa Barbara CA quite a bit. There was often a Guppy aircraft across the way over by the hangars.

I think a KC-97 ditched in the Atlantic and floated around for a week before the Navy sank it.

 

Yep, the kit came with markings for two ANG units, Utah and Wisconsin.  They were very nice decals too.  In fact, everything was great on the kit except for the wing casting in the nacelle areas.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 10:18 AM

You have to admit it is a great looking aircraft.  

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 12:03 PM

philo426

You have to admit it is a great looking aircraft.  

 

Yes, indeed.  Sleeker than the Douglas competition, but it couldn't quite compete.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: Malvern, PA
Posted by WillysMB on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 12:26 PM

By the way, a recently restored C-97 landed at Reading airport last week where it will be permanently based as part of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum joining their C-54, both in Berlin Airlift markings.

  • Member since
    March, 2005
Posted by philo426 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 2:34 PM

Yes I have heard that they were  expensive to operate.

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