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Fairchild F24 in Australian Service - Finished

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During WW2 the RAAF found itself, like many air forces, lacking in communications aircraft. Accordingly they impressed into service a number of civilian aircraft including four Fairchild 24's.

The cute little AZ model even contains one such example (A36-1) but unfortunately it is lacking in a couple of areas. If you want to make one in its colourful Red and Aluminium livery help is on the way but you will have to be patient.

The box looks like this



Parts for the Ranger inline engine are provided in the radial boxing but not vice-versa. The kit looks like this


The RAAF example in the Ranger boxing needs new decals and a new cowling which are being worked on.

In the meantime it seemed like a good idea to do one of the others, no less colourful. VH-ABZ was impressed as A36-2 and probably had its fuselage repainted in Yellow. All of these Fairchilds were camera-shy and few pics have turned up of any of them.

A36-2 is in the background of a Tiger Moth picture


and has been rendered by Steve Mackenzie of IPMS NSW like this




More discussion on this later but let's get to work

First mark the inspection ports with a beading tool which makes an engraved circle. Locations are shown in the Fairchild manual.


and drill out the strut locating holes for a firm connection


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  • 2 weeks later...

The main difference between the Fairchilds impressed by the RAAF and the plastic as supplied is the model of Ranger engine, which affects the cowl. I believe the USCG is similarly affected by this difference.


I modified a cowl to have the slightly more bulbous appearance of the ones I am planning to model and cast up some resin ones.

The modified cowl is on the left in these pictures. To aid in attachment it has a plug fitting which matches the fuselage interior.




The next step was to assemble the fuselage as per instructions. According to Fairchild documentation, ones originally painted yellow (Loening Yellow) had green interiors but there is some evidence that this one was originally Red, in which case it should have Gray trimming. I suppose a greyer green would have been better but believe me, it can't really be seen with the doors closed. I'll do the next one with doors open!



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  • 2 weeks later...

The next step is the cowling. The upgrade set will come with the appropriate Ranger engine cowling as above, which is attached to the fuselage. Here it is just loosely fitted. Do as I say, not as I did, which was to attach it at not-quite-the-right rotational angle. The consequence was that I had to razor-saw it off and make new side pieces. You won't do that of course...... you will mark the centre point of coaming and cowl with a pencil mark.


However this particular one (A36-2 as above) needs a lower extension for the earlier Ranger cowling, which is the white resin piece at the bottom - bottom picture in post above.


It looks a little raggy here but even the nicest casting will need to be blended into the resin cowl, so this should not be a problem. So, we cement it to the lower edge of the cowling.


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Hey I'm glad someone is watching. Despite their ease, it doesn't seem as though 1/72 light planes are very popular here.

Now the cowling lower part is being blended in to the main cowl




As I said previously, I attached the cowling and then started this step. Unfortunately it was attached at an angle so I had to cut it off (just cutting around the edge with a razor saw) and re-attach it.

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The next step is to paint the wings. Although the profile above has them yellow another photo shows a reflection of the fuselage roundel on the lower wing thus I conclude they were aluminium dope.


Test fitting shows a bit of a gap at each end of centre section which is filled with plastic strip



It's going to be a good idea to mask the windows before attaching the wing.

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Windows masked with a fine version of Tamiya tape. It looks a bit messy but it will work okay. I will put a thin coat of Future around the edge of the tape to seal it.

It's also a good idea to clean out dust and other bits from inside before sealing up the cockpit. A urethral swab is about the right size.


Ask for a few spare (new) ones next time you visit your local STD clinic (:>)


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This aircraft has been described as painted in either a delivery colour (Loening Yellow) or repainted in presumed Trainer Yellow. As there is some evidence it started as a red or maroon aircraft i decided to use a standard MAP Yellow. Humbrol 69 is a good match


So the wings were also masked off and the fuselage painted. Obviously the light conditions for the photos above and below are vastly different - believe me they look the same side by side. It's no wonder colour is such a controversial subject.


Not forgetting the struts and wheel pants of which more later



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Next we add the main struts to keep the whole thing rigid and then the decals


The roundels are from the spares box and in some cases, where they started as "A" type roundels, they have their centres painted white then a smaller red dot added


The lettering appears larger than the 'normal' 8 inch serials and is done using a standard font on the Alps printer


Next the undercarriage............


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Thank you - you may reconsider after this post!

Okay, it looked simple to add the undercarriage. Obviously a stalky structure like this is going to need pinning, so appropriate holes were drilled into the end of each main leg, the fuselage and the wheel spats and the whole lot assembled with soft copper wire and a touch of PVA. Why use PVA? In order to be able to jiggle the struts around to get the right angles and orientation..... they would then be secured with a drop of cyano cement.


A good plan but it didn't work.........

It all went together nicely but the result was a ground angle of about 15 deg. A bit of simple measurement showed the flat underside of F.24's is about 10 deg. it looked a bit like a Fi156 ............ %^$#&* etc.

Silly me - I assumed the struts were the right length - beginner's error. I have some plans somewhere...... I need a jig (and a jigger of something).


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Amongst my collection of Fairchild miscellania is a front view


which will enable me to make a template to set the struts as far as length and angle are concerned.

It's difficult to say whether this drawing represents the F.24 in the air or on the ground. Looking at photos there isn't a great deal of difference between the struts in the flying or ground positions.


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So I have made a jig and used it to set the angle of the strut to wheel pant join. The legs and pants were drilled and fine copper wire used to strengthen and set the join.]41895322242_bf9e3ea48a_b.jpg

A similar jig can be used to attach these assemblies to the fuselage


Note that the joins have set here and the jig moved a little so you can see it.

Next step is to unmask the transparencies and complete the strut assemblies.

Several people have asked (politely) why this is taking so long.... well a combination of a slow modeller and simultaneous Lancaster

(Insert picture of half-built Lancaster here - still half built in 2018 - shameful)

makes for slow going......... and I have been making my contribution to the festive season...

(insert picture of fruit mince tarts here)

A Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014 to all watchers!


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I have put in an extra effort in last few days and it's finished.......

unmasked windows, retouched paint and painted lights

re-shaped and added propeller

added last few wheel assembly struts

added tailwheel, pitot, radio aerial, cabin steps, wheels, lens for landing light

I could put some pictures in RFI if anyone is interested.

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