Author Topic: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!  (Read 5583 times)

Offline Brian da Basher

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1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« on: June 02, 2012, 10:50:05 PM »
Mr Chicken gave me the inspiration from his magnificent RAF B-47 to hunt down one of these:



The venerable 1/144 Academy B-47. I got lucky and snagged the last one available among the usual online sources. I was happy to find it over at Sprue Bros. which meant I'd get it in a jiffy. I started on this a few days ago and I thought you'd like to see the R-37 photo recon before I paint it.











Grafting on the tail planes from a  C-54 was pretty easy. As that last shot shows, swapping out the wings with those from a C-54 was a little more challenging. I'm hoping pin-point precision placement of thin plastic sheet will cover a multitude of sins.

Off to the paint shed!

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: June 02, 2012, 10:51:57 PM by Brian da Basher »

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 10:53:44 PM »
Outstanding!
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 11:38:56 PM »
Great job so far  :)
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Sentinel Chicken

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 05:15:09 AM »
Four-bladed props or the three bladed props from the C-54 kit, Brian? The fact that the B-47 is a design evolution from the B-29 Superfortress means the fuselage looks good even with straight wings and radial engines!

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2012, 07:10:11 AM »
I have something very special planned for the props, Mr Chicken. I'd decided against B-29 or C-54 props and settled on using ones from a Boeing 314 Clipper. Then I found something else even better...

Brian da Basher

Offline RussC

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2012, 07:28:19 AM »
Wow, we're branching into 1/144 these days, I'm impressed and admiring of the trend.

Offline Scooterman

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2012, 07:44:05 AM »
Dead Sexy, Brian!   :-*

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 03:41:05 AM »
In mid-1942 with W.W. II in full swing, Boeing decided on a few tweaks to try and improve the XB-29. Since the new prototype had many parts in common with the XB-29 (namely, the fuselage), it was built quickly. Featuring greater streamlining to the nose and more compact engines (Pratt & Whitney R-2200 Twin-Twin Wasp-Wasps, 2600 h.p. ea.), the new 4 engined aircraft exceeded all expectations for speed (max. 414 m.p.h.), ceiling (max. 42k ft.) and range (4500 miles). One problem was the new "bubble" tandem cockpit which was less than optimal for communication between the pilot and co-pilot. With a war on, every available aircraft was put to use. While not an ideal bomber, the new prototype was an outstanding photo-recon platform.









Christened the R-37, the new recon bird would soon see action over Europe.

continued...

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 06:47:39 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 03:55:22 AM »
Given a quick paintjob of o/d over gray, the R-37 made the flight across the Atlantic to Britain in record time. The R-37 wore no identifying code letters. The only i.d. was the serial number and unit "buzz-letter" O for Observation Wing. As it was the only one built and would fly on detached assignment with established bomber groups, it was unlikely to be mistaken for anything else on the flight line. Taking up station with the U.S.A.A.F.'s 494 1/4th bomb group based at Studley-on-Strumpet near Wicked Marsh on July 4th, 1943. A series of combat "shakedown" flights were made where the R-37 tailed full-scale raids on Hesse, Esse and Wesse, taking strike photos.









With multiple cameras, the R-37 was able to provide the 8th Air Force with the most high-resolution strike photos yet. Now it was time to go from following the action to scouting it.

continued...

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 06:51:46 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2012, 04:11:25 AM »
The R-37 provided valuable intel on the Rouen, Plauen and Sauren raids and was even loaned out to RAF Bomber Command for Operation Hamburger & Fries (missions to Hamburg and Friesland). However, its greatest test would prove to be the Schweinfurter mission at the end of August. Taking off at dawn, the R-37 headed for deepest Nazi Germany.





The target was the Schweinfurter frankfurter factory which fed 88% of the German military. Success meant a Nazi enemy worn down by hunger from missing lunch. The stakes couldn't be higher.





The R-37 returned on two engines with three badly wounded crew and shot full of holes by heavy flak and Luftwaffe fighters, but it delivered the goods. The miles and miles of bomber streams that flew the next day guided by the R-37's photos utterly flattened the Schweinfurter Frankfurter factory. There would be no hot dogs for the Krauts.

Unfortunately, the R-37 was too badly damaged to fly again and its vital mission has been lost to history. However, many German veterans still grumble about "the war without weenies" to this day. While almost forgotten, the R-37 fuselage design would be resurrected in the B-47.

Brian da Basher


« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 05:53:35 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline finsrin

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2012, 04:17:09 AM »
Totally super and cool all around.   :) 8)
Like background story too.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2012, 04:24:09 AM »
I got lucky and found some very nice Aeroclub Airspeed Ambassador white metal props. I think they add to the sleek look I was going for. I also replaced the tail gun with a 1/144 B-36 blister. The waist and dorsal blisters are also from a B-36, the old Revell box-scale kit.





The model is brush-painted by hand in Testors/ModelMaster acrylics. I painted different shades of o/d in sections randomly and didn't worry about the paint being perfect as aircraft in the field were rarely perfect either. The mid-1943 red-bordered markings are from a sheet by Eagle Strike and the rest are from spares. I'm grateful to Tophe for sending me the yellow serials which ended out being the only ones I could find in the decal stash.





I had a lot of fun with this project and a tip o' the pin to Mr Chicken for starting it all!

Brian da Basher
« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 06:56:43 AM by Brian da Basher »

Offline RussC

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2012, 04:53:39 AM »
Really great build and concept/story. The design is reminiscent of the 45'-49' designs for prop driven multi-engine, so placing it forward is even better.

Offline raafif

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2012, 05:41:38 AM »
didn't worry about the paint being perfect as aircraft in the field were rarely perfect

oohh, after the few rants there, you better not say that on Hyperscale >:D

Nice job, Brian -- really looks the part of a late WW2 recon bird :)

Offline apophenia

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2012, 06:49:39 AM »
Brilliant concept and build Brian!  :)

Really great build and concept/story. The design is reminiscent of the 45'-49' designs for prop driven multi-engine, so placing it forward is even better.

I was thinking that too. Something about the R-37 also says Ilyushin to me as well. If you're tempted to build another, BdB, how about Post-War Soviet?
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Offline Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2012, 07:05:12 AM »
That's a great idea, apophenia and if I ever come across another 1/144 B-47, I'll keep it in mind. Those 1/144 B-47s have become scarce lately.

Speaking of post-war Soviet, my next project fits nicely:



Brian da Basher

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2012, 05:40:42 PM »
 :)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

cthulhu77

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2012, 08:26:35 PM »
Very cool !  Love the backstory as well !!!!

Offline Frank3k

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2012, 12:31:50 AM »
It looks fast and sleek! It reminds me of a four engined Do-17.

The PM Yak-15 is an OK kit;  the biggest letdown is the horribly thick canopy, but if you paint it over it should be fine.

Offline John Howling Mouse

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2012, 06:29:20 AM »
Huh, wow!  It's weird because, on the one hand, it appears to be rather eclectic (combination of things such as the props with a modern canopy) and yet, one cannot help but feel that it all flows together with flawless believability.
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Offline apophenia

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2012, 10:46:04 AM »
The PM Yak-15 is an OK kit;  the biggest letdown is the horribly thick canopy ...

Probably not an issue here. You just know that Brian is somehow going to turn that Yak into a 1/144 scale multi-engined airliner from 1934  ;)
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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2012, 11:16:10 PM »
Well that's damn cool. Real damn cool, Brian. The large spinners on the props finish out the look. It does look a lot like some of the intermediate steps between the B-29 Superfortress and the B-47 Stratojet, though!

Offline Tophe

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2012, 12:40:22 AM »
Belated congratulations!

Offline Rickshaw

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2012, 03:33:59 PM »
Perhaps two were actually built and one crash landed in Siberia after overflying Japan?

Offline taiidantomcat

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Re: 1/144 R-37 photo recon inspired by Mr Chicken!
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2012, 10:33:58 PM »
Awesome recon plane  :-* :-* :-* Love props and this is great!!
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