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Tanker 74

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  • Member since
    June, 2008
Tanker 74
Posted by lewbud on Friday, April 14, 2017 6:47 PM

Don't normally post here, but thought you guys might be interested.  The kit on the bench at the moment is Airfix's classic 1/72 A-26 Invader.  She'll be marked as tanker 74, as flown by Rosenbalm Aviation, Inc. Medford, Oregon from 1968-72.  She'll be overall white with a black anti-glare panel.  Cowls, nacelles, wing tips, vertical and horizontal tail surfaces will be painted red.  Decals are from Red Gecko Productions Fire Tankers No. 2 sheet.  Here she is so far.  The kit is a mid to late 70's issue, so cockpit detail is minimal, landing gear bay detail is non-existent, most flight control surfaces are separate, and as par for Airfix of this vintage, covered in rivets.  With the exception of the flight surfaces, all of this was expected.  The nose up top is the eight gun nose, with the gun ports filled in.  A trip to the LHS tomorrow, will provide sandpaper to remove the rivets, and some .005 strip stock to close up some of the more egregious gaps in hinge areas on the movable flying surfaces.  Here's the pic of today's progress.

I don't normally do a lot of research into the model I'm building.  However for grins and giggles, I googled the tail number N74874.  Not only did she survive her career as a tanker, she lives in an air museum about 2/12 hours from my house.  Looks like a road trip is in order.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, April 14, 2017 6:58 PM

Hello!

That's interesting, I'll be watching! Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

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

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    June, 2007
Posted by jrb53 on Friday, April 14, 2017 7:23 PM

Thank you for the eye-opener about the A-26.  I know nothing about fire-fighting so an additional search brought up this site:

http://napoleon130.tripod.com/id6.html

which provides some great info about the fire-bombing planes and techniques.  Will be following your build to completion. Thanks again for sparking the the history lesson.Smile

Jack

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Friday, April 14, 2017 8:01 PM

Hi,

I just looked up Tanker 74 on the internet.  It looks like a really interesting topic for a build.  Can't wait to see what you do with it.

Pat

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Friday, April 14, 2017 8:11 PM

Thanks Pawel and you're welcome Jack!   Early fire fighting aircraft are a great way to break out of the rut of building US WW II and Cold War Aircraft, not to mention they will add some color the OD, natural metal, and gray aircraft on display.  Just about every type of  WW II medium and heavy bomber was used as a tanker at some point.  Now they're using DC-10's and 747's to fight fires.  Don't think I'll be adding those to my collection, at least not in 1/72. 

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Saturday, April 15, 2017 10:15 AM

That Is a novel idea!  A WWII aircraft converted to a fire fighting plane.  This is a very unique idea.

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
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Monday, April 17, 2017 3:52 AM

Progress on Tanker 74.  The pit is in, and the fuselage is buttoned up.  Ready for putty and a good sanding.

The pit.

The pit installed.  Very basic, but you can't see much any way.

The fuselage.

Not worried about the glass in back as it was usually painted over.  The glass in the bomb bay was usually replaced or faired over with sheet metal.  For those that are interested, my first tanker.  Monogram's classic 1/72 F7F Tigercat.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, April 17, 2017 9:54 AM

If you haven't already, you must watch the classic Spielberg movie "Always".

It's a remake of the old movie "A Guy Named Joe".

Steve Hinton is one of the film pilots.

Two A-26s were used in the film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxJys2XKjJA

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Monday, April 17, 2017 11:23 AM

Watched it again this weekend.  Decals are available from Draw Decals for Tanker 59 and the PBY, but not Tanker 57.  It's possible they had them and once they sold out, decided not to restock.   I've got an order in to Lone Star Models for their B-25 conversion, TBM tank sets, and a tank for a  radial powered S-2, along with Red Gecko's Fire Tankers No.1 sheet.Thanks for the link.That's probably my favorite scene in the whole movie.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, April 17, 2017 11:50 AM

I'm really pleased to watch you build this. There used to be a pretty strong fire eater contingent around this site.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 9:36 AM

A couple of great movies- Always, and the original, A Guy Named Joe.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:02 PM

GMorrison

If you haven't already, you must watch the classic Spielberg movie "Always".

It's a remake of the old movie "A Guy Named Joe".

Steve Hinton is one of the film pilots.

Two A-26s were used in the film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxJys2XKjJA

 

 

Hey Lewbud,

I'll be watching this build with interest.  I have an Italari A-26 waiting to be built as an airtanker.

A little scuttlebutt about Always.  I was on a hot shot crew in Montana in 87 and 88.  On a big fire up near West Glacier, we had both the A26 and the Privateer doing drops.  They would go back to Kalipsell to replenish.  The airport would close down all commerical traffic to allow the airtankers to hotfuel and take off.  The big rumor going around was that Speilberg was in town and his flight was being held up and was observing all the action.  On duty were Two A-26s. Two Privateers, a CL415, a C130, and a number of C310s and helicopters going in and out.  It really felt like a war zone.

Another story was that he was in Great Falls and not Kalispell, which was extremenly active with prop driven water bomber activity during the 88 season, when the Yellowstone fire was getting a lot of news.  Anyway, I think this tall tale is spun among firefighters as to how Always ended up being a story about retardant bombers.  

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Friday, April 21, 2017 2:59 PM

Scottrc, thanks for the background.  I wonder if one of the Privateers is the one at Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston?  According to IMDB, the tanker base scenes were shot in Libby, Montana and the tanker school scenes were shot at an old air base in Ephrata, Washington.  They did use scenes of the 88 Yellowstone fire in the movie.  Both Tanker 57 and 59 survived life after the movie and fire fighting. Tanker 57 was sold to a guy in Florida, and it now wears Navy colors.  Tanker 59 was kind of left derelict, but has recently been sold to a guy in Texas. The cockpit sections used for filming the closeups with the actors were destroyed. Don't know what happened to the PBY.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Friday, April 21, 2017 3:56 PM

The Privateers and A-26s that worked many of the fires I was on were Hawkins planes.  Some Google research shows they were sold off to GossHawk avaition and will become airshow displays.  They deserve it.  The B-24's stepdaughter.  I'm glad I got to see them fly as working aircraft, well, maybe not as glad at the time, since I usually was on the receiving end of what they deployed.  Seeing all these old planes will be much more enjoyable at an airshow then from a trench on some mountain side. 

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Monday, April 24, 2017 12:24 AM

She's looking like an airplane now.  Shot some Tamiya matte black for the interior canopy frames.  She's now under a coat of primer to see if I've missed anything.

Scottrc, 

Glad to hear that the Privateer and A-26s might be going to good homes. The Italeri kit will make a great fire bomber for several reasons.  One, it's a modern kit, no rivets.  Two, it's got the correct canopy.  Three, the STOL conversion is already part of the model.  I look forward to your build.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Monday, April 24, 2017 1:52 PM

Its hard to tell from your photos, so you primered gray the whole plane, then have sanded it?  Its looking quite real.  The movie plane, and working planes, had a weathered look to the metal and if that is what your going for, its looking great.

The A26 would go in low so it would get gritty.  Not anything like the dramatic scenes in the movie however, but it was a tactical bomber, and was good for precision drops into snow chutes and canyons, areas where the high downdrafts and turbulance require speed and power.  This role now has been filled using the P2 Neptune, CL415, and Turbo Tracker.

I am happy I got the Itareli kit.  I tried building one from the Monogram 1/48 kit about 25 years ago, but there was too much that needed change that I didn't have the resources for.  

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • From: Streetsboro, Ohio
Posted by Toshi on Monday, April 24, 2017 8:16 PM

Looking good sir!

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
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Monday, April 24, 2017 10:35 PM

Thanks Toshi.  

Scott, actually it's the other way around.  I sanded it first, then hit it with the Tamiya primer.  The plastic is silver, so after you've sanded off the rivets and panel lines a ghost image remains so you can rescribe if you're so inclined. Makes it easy to rescribe when you can see where you're going.  I found some spots that needed some more filler so I hit those with some Squadron green.  The holes in the wings were filled with sprue.  I whittled the ends to a dull point then glued them in place.  When I get home, I'll snip them flush then fill what's left with putty.  I've already started planning my next fire bomber, Tanker C30.  A Privateer that now lives at the Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston.  Unfortunately, the people on evilbay think there is gold in that kit as prices are unreasonable to say the least.  The Privateer you mentioned is actually doing a limited flight show schedule on the West Coast.

 

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Monday, April 24, 2017 10:39 PM

PM sent

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 1:11 AM

Very cool, I'll watch this close. 

I just ordered a 1/72 hasegawa S2 off of ebay and the Draw decals for the fire bomber stationed in my local town. 

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 5:51 PM

keavdog

Very cool, I'll watch this close. 

I just ordered a 1/72 hasegawa S2 off of ebay and the Draw decals for the fire bomber stationed in my local town. 

 ....

Hi,

I hope you post pics of your build too.

Pat

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 7:47 PM

Keavdog,

I look forward to your build.  Wolf Models out of Germany offers the turbine conversion.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:24 AM

I do like the looks of the Turbo Tracker.  Hmmmmm, how about a "what if" turbo A-26?

  • Member since
    March, 2008
  • From: Charleston, SC
Posted by kg4kpg on Thursday, April 27, 2017 9:02 AM

I've built Tanker 59 from Always with the Revell kit. With it'ts faults, I'm happy with it. It was damaged in my recent move so I'm going to put her on a stand gear up dropping retardant. Some pictures I saw of the plane showed some modification to the leading edges of the wings, not sure if I'll go back to replicate that or not.  "Always" is one of my all-time favorite movies so I had to build it.

Chris

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, April 27, 2017 9:57 AM

Love the build KG, thanks for sharing.  I built mine from the same kit you did about 1992 and it got crushed in a big move in 1995.  All that survived was a prop and two wheels.  Mone was not near as nice as yours.  I had issues with silver and the blue not wanting to get along.  

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:51 PM

I did some modeling work with a fellow who did the models for always.  The A-26 definitely had leading edge cuffs to improve low speed handling.

John

To see build logs of my models, go here: http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

  

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, April 28, 2017 11:13 AM

lewbud

Keavdog,

I look forward to your build.  Wolf Models out of Germany offers the turbine conversion.

 

Thanks.  Already on order!

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Saturday, April 29, 2017 4:51 PM

scottrc

I do like the looks of the Turbo Tracker.  Hmmmmm, how about a "what if" turbo A-26?

 

Scottrc,

Your post post got me to thinking.  Since the turbines are so much lighter than the radials they replace, a fuselage extension is usually necessary to keep the cg the same.  While it would be easier to do to an A-26, I was thinking more along the lines of the F7F Tigercat.  The trick would be adding the extension without destroying the lines of such a beautiful aircraft.  That's a project for another day.  

Kg,

Your Tanker 59 looks great.  Should you decide to do another tanker, Monogram has the answer.  If you can find it, Monogram released a version of their A-26 in Airspray's colors.  You can't​ miss it, it's got a big yellow A-26 on the box.  

Keavdog, 

I look forward to pics when your conversion comes in.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, April 29, 2017 5:46 PM

"Always" trivia.

Audrey Hepburn's last movie.

  • Member since
    June, 2008
Posted by lewbud on Saturday, April 29, 2017 5:51 PM

Time for an update​.  The fit of the nacelles is pretty bad, probably the worst of the kit so far.  There's no bay detail, and you have to add the mains before gluing the nacelle halves together.  However, you have to glue the engine mount to one of the nacelle halves first.  This gives you a better gluing surface and better purchase when holding them together.  The result is a nacelle that will go on the wing, but one with a good sized gap.  I didn't have any strip stock to provide a back to the gap so I used thick super glue to partially fill the gap from the back, hopefully providing a base for the putty that was used to fill it. The gaps on top of the wing are atrocious.  May need to hit the local beauty supply store and get some new sanding sticks.  Got the nose on and it's full of lead.  The Italeri kit calls for 20 grams of weight.  Using it as my guide, I used 3 quarter ounce bullet nosed sinkers. Had to cut a little off the noses, and cut one in half to get them to fit.  Hopefully the bomber nose on the Airspray aircraft will give me enough room for all three without cutting them.  I think I will be okay as I left everything aft of the cockpit out.  I need to order some resin wheels as the kit wheels are horrible. It may seem like I'm complaining about the fit of a kit that's almost as old as I am. I am, but I anticipated it.  This is for your benefit, as the Airfix kit is the most common. It​ was originally popped around 1970.  The kit in this build was popped in 1975, and the USAirfix kit I have for the bomber nosed Airspray Tanker 11 was popped in 1979.  It's been rereleased several times by Airfix since then, and was also imported by MPC for awhile. Italeri has done an A, a B, and a K, and Revell Germany has an A, and B.  I don't know if the RG kits are their tooling or are the Italeri kits in different boxes.  It's been a couple of days so the putty should be good and dry.  The next pics should be of a plane ready for paint.

Buddy- Those who say there are no stupid questions have never worked in customer service.

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