Author Topic: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72  (Read 850 times)

Offline KiwiZac

  • Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« on: March 20, 2019, 06:37:26 AM »
A while ago I received a care package including an Airfix Dauntless kit - I'm so sorry I don't remember who sent it - but I had no idea what to do with it as I'd previously received a started example and done it as an RNZAF example. Then the other day I remembered a custom decal sheet for a CAC Ceres - an Australian WW2 aircraft-based agricultural aircraft - in the colours of Wanganui Aero Work, the company I used to work for and I think the oldest topdressing company in New Zealand.

So.

Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr

After WW2 the method of using aircraft to spread fertiliser over New Zealand's hill country meant every war-surplus DH Tiger Moth was snapped up, converted to carry fertiliser, and flown by mostly ex-RNZAF pilots to give new life to the country's vital agriculture-based economy. However the little biplane was hardly the best tool for the job and industry leaders began to seek out new, purpose-built aircraft designed specifically for New Zealand conditions. Others persisted with finding and converting other war surplus types.

Wally Harding, head of the growing Wanganui Aero Work aerial application company, purchased the last ex-RNZAF Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless dive-bomber before it went to the scrapper and had his engineers convert it into a topdressing aircraft. The forward-facing gunmounts and front cockpit were removed and replaced with a fertiliser hopper and the cockpit controls moved to the rear. Originally the plan was to keep the front cockpit and put the hopper in the rear however this was ruled out due to centre of gravity issues. The upper dive brakes were disconnected, fixed in place and faired over, a taller tailwheel leg and larger wheel fitted to help with ground visibility, and the main undercarriage were fixed in place and the bays faired over. Finally a WAW-designed hopper box and fairing were fitted below the centre section, with a sturdy actuating handle fitted to the lower left of the pilot's seat.

Its sword-to-ploughshare conversion complete, the one-time NZ5062 was rolled out as the civilian ZK-BSQ in an attractive silver and red paint scheme and flew from Wanganui Airport in early 1952. Initial trials showed the aircraft handled well when fully loaded and performed well on the job. However the one-off nature of the conversion - and that there were no more Dauntlesses left in the country to convert - meant that ZK-BSQ remained the sole example of the "dung-dusting Douglas Dauntless". By 1955 the Fletcher FU-24 had been developed and chosen to form the backbone of the WAW fleet and the Dauntless was retired and broken down, only a fuselage panel and the tailfin surviving into the 1970s in the spares department.

Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr
Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr
Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr
Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr
Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr
Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr
Untitled by Zac Yates, on Flickr

This is the third time I've built this kit but the first time I've realised it has no exhausts. Nice one, Airfix! Anyways there's no way I can ID where most of the extra bits came from but that doesn't matter...it looks cool, and I had a lot of fun "designing" and building this thing. I hope you like it and it's a bit of a change from the military stuff.
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 09:11:06 AM »
 :smiley:
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Online The Big Gimper

  • Any model will look better in RCAF, SEAC or FAA markings
  • Global Moderator
  • Cut. Cut. Cut. Measure. Cut. Cut. Crap. Toss.
    • Photobucket Modeling Album
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 09:15:05 AM »
Excellent work Zac. I am sure the insects never saw it coming as it was dive dusting the field.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2019, 09:23:31 AM by The Big Gimper »
Work in progress ::

I am giving up listing them. They all end up on the shelf of procrastination anyways.

User and abuser of Bothans...

Offline elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2019, 09:33:24 AM »
Beautiful!!  And the back story is quite plausible, too.

Offline kerick

  • Responsible for all surrendered booty....Arrrr!!!!
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2019, 11:05:51 AM »
Whew! I thought at first it was a story about a Dauntless being used as a chicken coop!  ;D
Very nice work and great story too!

Offline Frank3k

  • Excession
  • Formerly Frank2056. New upgrade!
    • My webpage
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2019, 11:47:09 AM »
It looks great with the red trim. Where's the canopy from?

Offline Camthalion

  • The man has done a pink tank...need we say more?!
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2019, 12:42:14 PM »
very nice

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
  • Global Moderator
  • Hulk smash, Brian bash
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 04:11:28 PM »
I like this one a lot! The new canopy looks great and the titles are especially well done!

Great stuff, Old Bean!

Brian da Basher

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
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 03:03:16 AM »
 :smiley:
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 04:50:20 AM »
Totally believable ... and a helluva performance jump over the Ceres  :smiley:  Now I've got dive-bombing crop-duster operations in my brain  ;D
"And loot some for the old folks, Can't loot for themselves"

Offline KiwiZac

  • Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 06:13:12 AM »
Thank you all! I was hoping this would be interesting to some folks.

Where's the canopy from?
From the Airfix 1/72 SBD Dauntless! Front windscreen and pilot's sliding segment, plus half of the last segment.

Totally believable ... and a helluva performance jump over the Ceres  :smiley:
Ceres aficionados will recognise the registration worn by the Dauntless  8)

the titles are especially well done!
Thank you for your kind words Old Man! The decals are for Wanganui Aero Work's CAC Ceres and were created by a friend for his own build some time ago. He was kind enough to send me two sets, one of which went into a RW Ceres build about ten years ago and the other you see before you today. They still worked perfectly!
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
  • I'd rather be dirtbike riding
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 07:20:32 AM »
Terrific job  Zac  :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: Love it ---  Crop duster buzz around my property every summer

Offline KiwiZac

  • Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 04:00:44 PM »
Lovely! We have a handful of Pawnees left in NZ but I'm pretty sure they're all glider tugs now.
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2019, 09:54:12 AM »
I'm curious, any Cessna Agwagons down there?  I worked on those, among other single-engine Cessnas, "once upon a time".

Offline Robomog

  • Would you buy a used kit from this man?
Re: A Douglas Dauntless goes to the farm in 1/72
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2019, 10:22:24 AM »
Plausible concept nicely modeled, looks good

Mog
>^-.-^<
« Last Edit: March 23, 2019, 07:40:03 PM by Robomog »