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RAAF CA-58 Mk II Copperhead May46

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Hopefully I'm not too late on this thought I missed out....anyway to the story (maybe a bit long.....).

After the loss of the USS Indianapolis to a Japanese Mini Sub in the port of San Francisco the US loses the majority of it nuclear weapon material for the strikes on Japan. As a result the US finds itself being in a stalemate with Japan with conflict stalled on the outer islands around Japan. Japanese suicide bombers wreak havoc with US fleet and ground forces.

Tensions between Allied forces in Europe reach breaking point after the Soviets and the US accuse each other of plundering Axis secret technology, which result in small clashes in Berlin and surrounding areas.

September 45, Soviet forces after weeks of small skirmishes launch an attack on Allied forces whist the US is distracted in the pacific.

13th September war is declared on the Russia by remaining Allied forces.

2nd October former German forces are admitted into the Allied forces against the Soviets.

With the US Japanese conflict at a stalemate the Soviets leave Japan alone to tie up the US forces in the Pacific and launch a second front in the unprotected Persian Gulf. This is campaign for increase dominance and resources with the ultimate aim to make Europe and Asia one big Communist state with Stalin as its leader. The Soviets pushed down through the sub-continent into SEA Dec 45/early 46, arrived Burma Apr46.

US supplies of new aircraft were slowing down due to the deteriorating conditions in Europe with the escalations of hostilities with the former Allied partner Russia. The Australian government wanted a new long range attack aircraft to counter the Soviet advance into the SEA region following the withdrawal of the Japanese Imperial army from Burma and Thailand. This resulted in old and new designs from England, the US and newly acquired German design being developed for RAAF and RNZAF service in SEA.

One of the designs acquired under this new program was the Lockheed XP-58 which was developed as a heavy Long Range Bomber Escort Fighter. After the program was cancelled rather than scaping it was given to the Australian Government in July 45 along will other projects as a good will gesture. The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) chose this project over others for further development as a replacement for the aging A20 Boston/Havoc’s and to replace Beaufighters and mosquito’s lost in service.

The aircraft was rushed into service after an accelerated development program late January 46 under the designation of CA-58, owing to it Lockheed roots. With the Mark I being an Heavy/Escort Fighter and the Mark II being the Ground Attack version with the Mark IIb entering service a few months later as an Anti-Shipping version.


Could have chosen (maybe should have!!!) something a bit simplier for a first effort/post, but if i'm going to do this I may as well jump in head first!

Only just looked at the Pro Resin XP-58 last night, been away for a few weeks. Looks pretty good, will just have to see how we go. I will be building it pretty much stck, but may add a few extras along the way. The decals are still to arrive, but will be painted up 22Sqn Green over Gery, which was pretty much the standard camouflage for aircraft in service here at that time.

If I get time have another "project" in mind, total kit bash this time using bits leftover from a P61 Blackwidow tp F-15 Reporter conversion, "CA-23 Mk II Funnel Web"! :winkgrin:

Ok here are the bits....


oh well here we go!!! :banghead:

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Love the back story and the aircraft itself looks beastly. Very much a P-38 on steroids.

Also love the fact its an Aussie aircraft! :D

Looking forward to seeing this one finished.

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It must have been a big aircraft, very much the size of the P-61 Blackwidow!

First update, after a few hours removing bits off the castings! Why did I choose resin again..........

Started with the main fuselage, lots to tidy up and needed a bit of persuasion fit, but generally was impressed with quality of moulding and detail. As with most resin kits I tend to build them a little bit different to plastic ones. I generally prefer to assemble the main sections first before painting the interiors. May not get the fine detailing, but makes assembly much easier plus with the sanding and filler required you often lose all the hard work you did on the detailing!

Next I started on the booms, again a bit of persuasion was required, on one boom part of the radiator was damaged, so will have to rebuild this up from scrap.

The rest of the build should (maybe???) straight forward, though am a little worried about the undercarriage! It is meant to have wire cores for strength, but a quick look shows otherwise. With this being a real “tail sitter” and requiring 60g of weight.........yes.


some of the excess moulding.......into the spares box with it


The major assemblies, on the completed boom you can just see the damaged section near the intake, needs to be rebuilt up.

Next second boom and lots and lots of resin dust..........

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Brilliant story. Excellent choice of aircraft. Cracking colourscheme.

Welcome to the GB and off to a good start already :D

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Decals arrived yesterday........they are AWESOME!!!! :yahoo:


Am going to choose the 22SQN aircraft, 93SQN is really cool but green all over is a wee bit boring, though will have to build a Beaufighter now!!!

Will choose the 22SQN 44 scheme but with the spinners and front of cowling Copper, similar to the Beaufighter. Plus on a side note a 22SQN pilot received the second only VC ever given to an active RAAF pilot, unfortunately he and the crew did not survive the mission! :poppy:

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ok update......

well it has been eventfully....... very nearly ended up in the special place we all have for those projects we rather not talk about!

had been all going very well until the major assemblies came together, decided for some reason this time not to use a jig for the assembly process. After 20 minutes of turning the air blue and the only thing sticking together was my fingers. I managed to stay together, forgot the accelerator for the super glue.

After a good night's sleep I inspected the damage......wasn't quite as bad as expected. After careful preparation it turned out that the wing mounts weren't square so the tail was to narrow for the elevator to fit, this was most of the trouble and with no jig really needed 10 hands to hold it correctly, plus again no accelerator....you can imagine!!! :wall::rant:

Anyway all was not lost, plus I also found out that one rudder was a little bit warped....so a bit of surgery was required to sort out, sure it was ok to start with!!!! So after lots of filling and sanding it's starting to look the part.

Plus to top it out forgot to add weight to the booms, all is not lost though, will have to drill out the front of the booms and add lead shot....just have to remember!


as mentioned those little (and big) bits of resin do come in handy


with primer to help find the gazillons of small bubbles in the resin........more filling more sanding.....


it's a big sucker, note Blackwidow body in the background, was to be part on scratch build project for this build (the CA-23 Funnel Web), but seemed to have lost the other bits I planned to use! Will have to have another think about this.


The fun stuff, will add drop tanks but will come from P-61 kit, tubing for guns 50cal and 37mm cannons (there are 4!!!!) plus big stuff for exhaust pipe. Seemed this version of the XP-58 had extra 50cal's in the nose on top of the 4 37mm's. Another variation had 2x50cals and a 75mm cannon!

Hey you can never have enough guns!!!! :evil_laugh:

From here on in things should start to get a bit easier......would want to, this is almost like work!

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ok an update, gee this one has been hard work!!!! :wall:

Have had just about every issue you could have......plus wing fell off! Don't ask!!!

Bubbles in the resin by the billions....think you got the bugga's then more show up.......

Rear radiators covers were photo etched brass, would have thought they would have fitted nicely, nahp.....two hours and a sleep later nearly put the hole thing in that "special" pile for another day, but finally got them sorted though not as I would have liked.

Canopies are acrylic, haven't told anyone but I HATE ACRYLIC CANOPIES!!!!!! :rant::fuyou_2::angrysoapbox.sml:

Needless to say I actually managed to get them cut out and test fitted......but there is still time to............

Gave the beast a quick coat of primer to help fine bubbles, yeap found more, plus to find any areas that need touchup, yeap plenty, so will have my work cut out!


Still after everything else, it does look the part......would have been nice if they had decided to build it!


Captain Scarlet just decided to come along for the ride, don't think he'll be flying!

You can just see the rear radiator louver panels........and no you will not be getting close ups! The spots on the boom are either dirt or water drops (appeared when painting a few hours after drying!!!!!! :owww: )

As mentioned canopies are all done so just need to be fitted once final cleanup is completed then painting!!!!!!!! Will be so happy nce thats done!


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Ok have progressed with this one, and didn't have a wing fall off either!

About to close up the canopies, have almost finished the hole filling, what an epic job!

Had some fun and started laying out the weapons, will fit 5" air to ground rockets (pinched for a Mosquito), 4 on each wing. Not sure if i'll add bombs, maybe just tanks. With four 37mm cannons in the nose you don't need much else! Plus it was intended to be a heavy attach aircraft, not a bomb lugger!

Am feeeling alot happier now with the build at this stage than earlier!

NO MORE RESIN FOR GROUP BUILDS................maybe!

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Good progress thats looking like a lovely bird, your a better man than me taking on a resin kit like that.

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Ok after much frustration (and breaking a wing off again, and a rudder, and an engine louver....) have finally made some real progress.

I do like the colour scheme, not quite as bland as the one for the Funnel-Web, again just to break up the overall scheme I have painted the cowls and spinner copper. Maybe a bit bright, but should settle down once the clear coats are finished.

The props a massive, be similar in diameter to that of a B-29, have one floating around somewhere, will place alongside if I find it (more like if I remember!)


Still just a couple of details to sort out paint wise before the clear coats.

I used aluminium “pointer” tubing for the exhaust “stacks”, the resin bits were horrible.


Have marked up the rockets positions, still have to sort out the other main pylons, one each side of each boom. Near the far wing tip are the main drop tanks I will use, prob mounted on the inside with a 250/500lb bomb on the outside (may change with more thought).

Really does need a “wash”, again not sure how much weathering I want to do, actually do want to finish this one this year!



As mentioned on other post, about to head off to work for two weeks. :tumble:

Will be a bit frustrating not being able to do anything....will just have to watch how all the other projects a coming along.......plus plan 109 group build project! Sucker for punishment! :mental::lol:


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ok back from my tour of duty out in the middle of nowhere!!! :tumble:

now time for the big push......

Managed to get lots and lots done today, though as usual this baby is not going to give in easily.

Decals went on pretty well ok, though it does help if I read the diagrams, had the codes all messed up, so had two attempts to sort out. Decals are very delicate and even though they were going on ok I decided to use some decal softening solution :doh: , toasted another decal.......

Once everything had settled down, gave it a coat of matt. Still very undecided if I will weather it at all.

Fun time now, started to fit all the good things that go bang or boom! Due to the size of the props the rockets are mounted a fair way out. Still have to finish off the drop tanks and bombs. Plus the cannon pack in the nose, 4x37mm + 2x50cal, an awful lot of lead going somewhere quick, wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end! :mg:

Have attached a cool picture showing two of the layouts, though about 75mm but would have required even more work.


As suspected it is a real tail sitter, early on I decided to take out most of the weight I added, was over 100gms and it still didn’t sit on the nose wheel (so much for the 60gm in the instructions!). The resin under carriage just wouldn’t have supported it (was meant to had wire strengtheners but it didn’t), and in the time I have I don’t want to build a metal gear, maybe later on.


props are just held on with blue tack, helps to hide monster holes used for loading weight.....then unloading...



test fitting drop tanks, plus anti-tail sitting device! :whistle:


With luck I’m in the home stretch, just some tiding up to do, am quite pleased of the results, though it wasn’t the easiest of builds at all!!!

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A very purposeful looking bird. Lovely work

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thanks everyone....

had a wee go at adding some weathering....now wished I hadn't, no harm done, just time wasted.

She's still giving me grief, now keep knocking off wheel covers, it's a but hard to handle! I have added a few bit more to it. Should have this baby done and dusted tomorrow. story for this one won't be quite so long!!

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Looks good in that scheme Rich. Very nice work.

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Ok it's finally time to put this baby to bed as well........

This definitely was the harder of the two builds, mainly due to the actual model itself. Beginning a low volume resin kit this meant that lots of things just didn’t fit right, and required extra work, plus lots and lots and lots……………and lots of resin bubbles! :rant:

But that aside it is an awesome beast, and it turned out pretty much as I wanted it. The only unfortunate thing is it is a real tail sitter, I just was game enough (plus there was no more room) to fit too much weight to it as the resin undercarriage legs weren’t up to the task. Time permitting I probably would have made up some metal replacements……still might at a later stage.

Anyway, some more pics, will post this baby up in the galley with a revised story, plus a link back to here.



arrr no the props are only held in place with Blue-tack as I haven't a place for it to go at the moment and resin blades are a bit fragile!






Edited by trickyrich

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It looks like the RAAF would have upped the ante with Pacific strafers - four 37mm cannons!?! Wow

I also like the copper forward nacelles and spinners, a great call back to the CAC's involvement with the Beaufighter.

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