|NOTES:||Conversion using both kits|
more bizarre AT-6 conversion that I became aware of recently, the biplane
conversion, was rebuilt in
The airplane retained the basic configuration of the AT-6D, with only the cockpit and addition of the upper wing changing its appearance. The additional wing consisted of two outer wing panels from another airplane, and enough struts to stabilize the structure. The wing produced a negative stagger, much like a Beech D-17S, probably to move the CG back so that the spray tank could be made larger, and a heavier load could be carried. Cabane struts braced the center section, and large “N” struts were installed outboard. Ailerons were interconnected by a smaller strut, and some bracing wires were installed between the cabane struts. There were no landing gear doors, and the cockpit was completely open except for the standard windshield. Only the front seat remained. The entire airplane looks fairly weatherbeaten, with an OD anti-glare which is badly chipped, and a very faded “N6435D” on the rear fuselage side. At that time, although not visible in the photos, the plane would have only had a fuselage number, with no other markings on the wings or anywhere else, although there is a hint of a small “Restricted” underneath the cockpit window, which would be regulation for this aircraft. The entire airplane is silver or unpainted. It truly looks like a working airplane.
My source of information on the airplane comes from a set of three black and white photos of the airplane, showing the plane from the front, side, and rear. Years ago, most airplane photographers would shoot three to five views of each airplane, and whoever shot these certainly was helpful in providing the modeler with enough information for a good conversion.
No information provided. Check the Preview Archives on the basic kit.
Although I became aware of another conversion of an AT-6 kit in 1/72 scale after I started the preparation process, I decided to do my research independently. It started with constructing a 1/72 scale drawing of the aircraft. I have a set of 1/72 scale three views of the AT-6, so I cut and pasted to the point that a reasonably accurate drawing was made. This was helpful mainly in getting the wing in the proper location, as mounting the wing was probably the most difficult part of the conversion. Mounting positions of the struts were located on the drawings using the photos as a guide. The photos and three view were used throughout the building process to avoid guesswork.
I detailed the cockpit with sidewall details, using the excellent seat, control stick, and instrument panel. The cowling, however, were hopeless, so I substituted one from an old Hawk kit, which looks very good. The prop is OK, but I substituted a better one from the spares box, although I’m not sure what kit it came from. I painted the insides in “interior green”, leaving the rear cockpit section open. I did use the small bulkhead that the kit provides, although I don’t have photographic proof of its existence either way. However, the wing obscures most of the rear cockpit anyway, so it is not really an issue. I did use the front windshield, cutting it off from the entire canopy unit, and installed it after painting the antiglare olive drab. Quite a bit of filler was required, and some trimming was needed to remove the mounting lugs for the rocket racks on the undersides of the wings.
Once the basic airframe was assembled, filled, and painted, it was time to attach the upper wing. I marked the points where the struts attached, and drilled small holes as anchor points. I had planned to use Tenax, but ended up using small spots of super glue, as this makes, I believe, a stronger structure.
I didn’t have any specialized strut material, so I used plastic rod of the correct size. Cutting the cabane struts to size, and measuring them with dividers, I attached these to the fuselage in the proper locations, allowing them to set up. Since the airplane retained its roll bar behind the pilot’s seat, I used that as a sort of measure to help stabilize the whole structure. I then attached the forward cabane struts, and after letting the whole thing set up overnight, I began on the outboard “N” struts. These I cut to length and fitted individually, a tedious trial-and-error process. But with the mounting holes drilled, it was really fairly easy. The aileron rods were also installed, but as the photos show some kind of fixture on both upper and lower ailerons, I added these first and then glued the connecting struts in place.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
After a last coat of silver, I removed the masking tape from the landing lights, as they show as being retained, although I can’t imagine that they were actually hooked up. I then made the decal license numbers on my computer, spray coated them after they dried, and applied them to the fuselage sides. Also, I used decal stock to represent the wing walks, which were black and quite worn.
Then I attached the bracing wires to the fuselage, and the project was complete.
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