Author Topic: This build is to shut Scooterman up! A patrol bomber Spruce Goose. Sort of.....  (Read 15502 times)

Sentinel Chicken

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About 2 years ago at Scalefest Tony Morgan (RotorheadTX) had taken the 1/200 Spruce Goose kit and did it up in RAF Coastal Command colors but out of box as a prototype and unarmed. It was beautifully executed and this past weekend at Scalefest I was kicking around ideas for my take on a patrol bomber Spruce Goose. Scoot then hands me an old 1/200 Spruce Goose kit from the orphan kit table and says "Take it. Do it." Free of charge. So who am I to turn down a challenge when he throws down the gauntlet with a free kit?



It's one of the many boxings of the Entex kit, I think. I was going to build it as a 1/200 armed Spruce Goose but a look over the kit the engines looked like they'd need work and I wasn't up to reworking eight engines. Not to mention the atrocious fit of the fuselage halves. But I had two ideas rattling around in my head- a US Navy patrol bomber in the WW2 Atlantic scheme of gray over white or a USN bird in the three-color Pacific scheme of two blues and white undersides. Then it donned on me as a examined the sprues.

SCALE-O-RAMA!

Cut off the engines and build it as a 1/144 aircraft that would go with the rest of my builds. My original plan was to use the Minicraft B-29 Superfortress kit for the engines and turrets. But even scale-o-rama'd to 1/144, the Spruce Goose is still a big ass bird. It had eight Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engines. Well what else has Wasp Majors? The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser/KC-97. Some quick calculations ensued- a 1/200 Spruce Goose built as a 1/144 means that if it were done in real life, what I had planned would be about 70% the size of the real Hughes HK-1. So I'd need roughly three-quarters the engine power that the real HK-1 one had and that comes out to about six engines.

So the four-engined idea is out the door, I still may make use of the B-29 kit for other parts. Like the tail gunner's position. I have a Boeing 377 Strat in the stash along with a KC-97, so the plan now is to take the engines from those two kits and build this as a 1/144 six-engined patrol bomber. It's not too out the realm of possible. After all, the Luftwaffe flew the six engined Blohm und Voss BV 222 flying boat- 13 were built during the Second World War.

With Dremel rotary tool I made short work of the kit nacelles and then did some putty slinging with Squadron White into the gaps. I put a bit of scrap sprue into the openings first to give the putty something to hold to and give it some strength during the sanding as the wings do flex a bit with modest pressure during sanding:



Each wing has an upper and lower half and they fit about as well as a porcupine in a jock strap. Holy smokes. I can't imagine how they fit together if the nacelles were left on as they were molded into the wings' upper and lower halves. The left and right wings then fit together to form the upper part of the mid-fuselage. This is a big assembly. Probably the biggest I've even undertaken in 1/144. I feel like I'm building the wings to a 1/32 fighter or something:



This was where things stood yesterday. I used some Testors Armor Sand on the leading halves of the wings to help visualize where more putty-foo is needed.

So now I'm thinking of what the wartime designation would be. The idea is that a 70% scaled-down Spruce Goose is built in very small numbers as a very long range patrol bomber for anti-shipping/ASW/minelaying in the war. Maybe the war in the Atlantic or Pacific drags out a bit more before the Axis surrenders and this is the sort of thing the Navy could use to close the air gap in the Atlantic against the U-boat wolfpacks or prosecute the maritime blockage of Japan in the Pacific. A review of Navy manufacturer codes shows that Kaiser did have the letter "K" assigned and Kaiser was an original partner in the Spruce Goose development. That would make my what-if a "PBK". Hughes never had a Navy manufacturer code assigned it seems. So I thought I could get away with a code that fell into disuse and came across "Z". It was assigned to Wilford-Pennsylvania Aircraft in the 1930s and they only built one aircraft for the Navy, an experimental observation autogyro called the XOZ which was based on a Consolidated biplane design. So PBK or PBZ. Guess I got time to mull that one over while I sling some putty.......

Offline elmayerle

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Damn, I missed some of the good stuff at Scalefest.  I'm looking forward to seeing the build-up of this PBK.

Sentinel Chicken

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Just thinking ahead a bit, does the new Minicraft PB4Y-1 Privateer 1/144 kit have the big round nose turret or is it just the standard B-24J nose turret? The box art suggests a B-24J turret.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Wow what a fantastic project, Mr Chicken!

It seems we sort of think alike. I've got one of these in my stash (Minicraft?) and have plans to cross-kit it with a DC-8. Scale-o-rama, of course.

I'll be watching with great interest! Going with six engines is a stroke of genius!

Brian da Basher

Offline ChrisF

  • Doesn't mind rough when he knows its gonna be rough...
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Always enough your builds fella and this one looks like a great one !

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Spruce Goose vibes must be in cosmos.
I have similar Spruce Goose in work right now.
Bill

Offline GTX_Admin

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I would love to see the real bird one day...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
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I would love to see the real bird one day...

It's only a couple of hours south of Seattle Greg, at McMinville.  I'm going there to see it when we do our trip to Seattle this summer.

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
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You need to do it in 1/72 scale SC  -----  :-*

Sentinel Chicken

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You need to do it in 1/72 scale SC  -----  :-*
Heheheh, I need a new scale to start working in like I need another hole in the head. I've seen the glorious aftermarket things you can add to a stock 1/72 kit and I'd suffer from the world's worst case of mission creep. Thankfully for my wallet the scope of aftermarket 1/144 things is much more limited.

Not to mention the size of a 1/72 Spruce Goose. I'd feel like I was building a homebuilt in my garage.

Sentinel Chicken

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Spruce Goose vibes must be in cosmos.
I have similar Spruce Goose in work right now.
Bill
Any ideas on what you have planned for yours?

Offline finsrin

  • The Dr Frankenstein of the modelling world...when not hiding from SBA
  • Finds part glues it on, finds part glues it on....
Spruce Goose vibes must be in cosmos.
I have similar Spruce Goose in work right now.
Bill
Any ideas on what you have planned for yours?

Building as 1/72 (all my builds are).  Have B-17 upper fuselage cockpit, turret, thru upper back window worked into-onto Spruce Goose.  Making it 1/72.  Still playing with engine ideas.

Offline GTX_Admin

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You need to do it in 1/72 scale SC  -----  :-*

Stop thinking small...1/24!!!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
I would love to see the real bird one day...

It's only a couple of hours south of Seattle Greg, at McMinville.  I'm going there to see it when we do our trip to Seattle this summer.

Hmmm...maybe...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
  • I'd rather be dirtbike riding
You need to do it in 1/72 scale SC  -----  :-*

Stop thinking small...1/24!!!

In 1/72 scale the wingspan is 54" [1372mm], in 1/24 it would be 162" [4115mm]  -- yah! I don't think 1/72 is big enough LOL!