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Hi all,

being quite a fan of air racers I through in the only P-47 (almost-) racer that I know of: Bill Odom’s YP-47M “Reynolds Bombshell”.

A brief history (no guarantee whether it is all correct): The pilot William P Odom (1919-1949) Captain of the US Army Air Corp was quite famous in the forties for some breaking some record flights. He made two record around-the-world flights in an Invader (April 1947 with Tex Salee and Milton Reynolds & August 1947 solo flight with auto-pilot) and made a solo flight in an early Beech Bonanza from Hawaii to Teterboro New Jersey (6th-8th March 1949).
In 1949 Odom raced a Mustang named “Beguine” in Cleaveland and won the SOHIO race but fatally crashed two days later in the second lap of the Thomson race (see my Beguine build here: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234963769-1-48-icm-xs-models-p-51-beguine-in-flight/).

Two years earlier Odom planned to start the Bendix race with a P-47M called “Reynolds Bombshell”. He bought a YP-47M in July 1947 (Serial #: 42-27385 – a P-47D-27-RE which was converted to a YP-47M in October 1944) and attached two huge 315 gal underwing tanks to it. These tanks were used as ferry tanks on P-38 and it seems there also existed a ambulance pod for the P-38 based on this type of tank with a Perspex nose to look out. The tanks were available as surplus – some may know the belly tank salt lake race cars which were build using these surplus tanks.

The speed of the M version and the extended range provided by the additional 630 gal of fuel promised a short flight time and good chances to win the Bendix race.

Sponsors were the same as for the RTW flights in the Invader in the same year: Milton Reynolds (a ball pen manufacturer), Dallas Aero Service (they did the race conversion) and Lear (auto-pilot manufacturer).
The certificate of airworthiness was released in August 1947 – the month of the Bendix race.

However on the morning of the race a huge puddle of kerosene was fund under the P-47M and Odom withdraw from the start for obvious safety reasons. The plane was never entered in a race again and sold on to Earl Reinert in 1948 ( who wanted to enter it in the Bedix race as well but did not in the end - I do not know why not) and received different liveries over the years. It now resides in Yanks Air Museum, Chino, CA converted back to its original configuration and livery. It is the only P-47M which still exists.

Here is a pic of Reynolds Bombshell (I found it on the Yanks Museum webpage) which also shows the different colours on the nose and tail quite good:

Reynolds_Bombshell_zpsujbebuhn.jpg

For this build I will have to deal with the following:
• No decals for Reynolds Bombshell exist. No readily available ones at least, so I have to make them myself.
• I only found a few photos of this plane and all are b&w and of low quality. So the colours are guesswork.
• No 315 gal tanks exist in any scale. Again I have to make these myself somehow.
• One picture shows the plane with two different tire profiles.
• Military equipment was removed – so some minor surgery is needed.
• The wingtips were shortened – again a minor change.

I have this build on my list for quite some time so the good news is I have the decals done last year already and also started work on the tanks some time ago. Getting information on these is tough to say the least.
Wheels with different pattern are readily available – I bought some from Ultracast.

Regarding the colours my current idea is that it was over all white with blue cowl and Text on the sides. The tail was a different colour – I suppose red is a good call. The race numbers were either black or blue as well – I am not sure but think black is more likely. The wingtips seem to be the same colour as the tail so red for me. Droptanks NMF. Any suggestions welcome.

Off the shelf I use the fantastic Tamiya P-47M kit; Eduard Zoom set (contains mainly parts for the cockpit); Tiny Land fuel caps (for the DIY tanks) and Ultracast wheels of two different thread patterns. I once primed some parts with colour as I had my airbrush loaded for some other project. Some of these colours need to be overpainted however:

47m1_zpsgi01zaw0.jpg

To be continued very soon.

René

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Some may have seen the post I made in the reference thread. Based on this I decided to give the pit sidewalls a somewhat vivid colour. Needless to say I had to mix it myself. Still I have no ide if this is what the P-47 colour looked like but it makes a nice variation from the usual green interiors:

47m3_zpsn6iaoie5.jpg

On Reynolds Bombshell the armor plate behind the seat was removed, so I scratched a new rear cockpit wall from sheet and aluminum tape. I did not went to town with this as most will be hidden by the seat...

The instrument panel is from the Eduard Zoom set.

47m4_zpsn3er0xe2.jpg

Hmm - I forgot to take more pictures of the cockit before I assembled it and closed up the fuselage. But I tell you it look aaaawwwwwsome ;-)

47m5_zps37uorsjq.jpg

Rene

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Major update today - all that has been done so far and over the weekend.

Below is the masked and painted canopy. I used DIY vinyl masks for that. This was done before this GB started. "New" is only the aluminum colour inside the cowling which was painted zinc chromate yellow before:

47m7_zpsvbgufbtn.jpg

Now for the work from last weekend:

47m6_zpstp8bfrya.jpg

47m10_zpshllrg1te.jpg

47m9_zps6rxyvzs5.jpg

And finally some work on the engine:

47m11_zpsjfbxrf5y.jpg

I should really learn to check my reference when I build - I had he computer shut off and no pic of the engine so I build the ring and wires from memory which certainly differed from the real thing. I will however not correct it as the engine is deep in the cowling and not much more than a good impression is visible once assembled. This is what I will tell everybody.

Next I will attached the wings which strangely need a bit of sanding or they will leave a small gap. Otherwise the fit of this kit is excellent and a real joy. I could already start thinking about painting but have to find a suitable place for this as my man cave is still in work - but I finally finished plastering the walls yesterday. Maybe I take chances and use a rattlecan outside. :shutup:

Rene

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Good to see you in this GB with a rather interesting project. :popcorn:

Your attention to detail should make this a superb build to follow. Very nice work so far.

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Thanks PlaStix. Yesterday I attached the wings - the "bad" fit (a slight gap) was caused by some sprue attachment points which were not yet sanded down and on of the wires for the wheel well plumbing which stood a bit to far out. After I fixed that the wing fit perfectly:

47m12_zpscqqe14iw.jpg

Next I filled the gun ports with stretched sprue and also attached the antenna on the fuselage - only to fill the mounting hole. Both are now sanded and got a coat of disolved putty which is currently about to dry.

47m13_zpswbzce2he.jpg

I will now resume work on the 315 gal drop tanks. These huge tanks were used on some long range P-38 missions (like on"Operation Venegance" were Yamamoto was shot down) and on the F-82 Twin Mustang "Betty-Jo" which made a record flight from Hawaii to New York. There even existed an ambulance pod based on this drop tank which could be mounted under the P-38 to transport wounded soldiers. These pods had a clear front dome. However ther is no 315 tank available that I know of (also the Minicraft kit of "Betty-Jo" does not include one), so I have to scratch build these. The fun part starts when you try to get any information, drawings, dimensions on this but in the end I think I got what I was looking for and made sveral drawings and even tried to make a 3D file to print these - but I still need to learn to get a good result. So I returned to one of my earlier masters:

47m14_zpstrfzur3m.jpg

As you can see above the end tip looks quite different fron the picture. I can either use Milliput here and start sanding or try to solve the shape issue by using the back end of the small kit tanks.

When the master is finally done I need to decide wether I cast it or wether I make a vacuform mold. I actually prefer the latter option. Maybe I try both.

René

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Small update. The engine was completed and installed in the cowling:

47m15_zpsg84gyy5r.jpg

The prop blades were sanded thinner and the prop was assembled (OK - it is just two pieces...):

47m16_zpsfsojga3i.jpg

Rene

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René,

Brilliant thread, I shall be watching this one with interest.

Wez

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Interesting build.

And finally some work on the engine:

47m11_zpsjfbxrf5y.jpg

I should really learn to check my reference when I build - I had he computer shut off and no pic of the engine so I build the ring and wires from memory which certainly differed from the real thing. I will however not correct it as the engine is deep in the cowling and not much more than a good impression is visible once assembled. This is what I will tell everybody.

Next I will attached the wings which strangely need a bit of sanding or they will leave a small gap. Otherwise the fit of this kit is excellent and a real joy. I could already start thinking about painting but have to find a suitable place for this as my man cave is still in work - but I finally finished plastering the walls yesterday. Maybe I take chances and use a rattlecan outside. :shutup:

Rene

Not only is the ignition cable assembly ring missing, but Tamiya also tells you to use the wrong distributor housing in the instruction!

P-47M-421108-28.jpg

Here I changed them with the correct version which are as per your above picture of the real engine!

Cheers, Peter

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Thanks guys.

Peter - were did you find the distributers? I realized that Tamiya instructs to use the wrong ones ("turtle type") and I thought the correct ones will be on the sprue with P-47M parts but found nothing there which looked like those in the picture. Or it was too late...

Rene

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Hello Rene,

The kit contains parts for the early and late R2800 engine including the early front part which does come with the ignition cable assembly ring which I added to the later front.

P-47M-421108-29.jpg

The Tamiya M kit is basically the bubbletop D kit with extra parts for the M, so the correct distributor housing has to be on one of the M specific sprue. I read about this error in the instructions after I assembled the engine, but was still able to change it.

Cheers, Peter

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Peter I searched the trees right after work and did not find the parts. After your second mail above I decided to looked into my Razorback box in my stash - I was start thinking that I may have put some of the M parts in there. I finally found the parts on sprue C. That is the sprue which is two times in all of the P-47 boxes. I was looking for two parts but as it is on sprue C there is only one part on each of these two srues. The correct carburetor parts for the M engine are C 15. Thanks a lot for pointing this out Peter so I could correct this.

I already dismantled the engine and will use C15 now. Pics will follow.

Edit: Here is a pic of the revised engine:

47m17_zpst2szg7dn.jpg

Regarding the drop tanks I pulled my F-82 Minicraft kit from the stash to double checked that the droptanks are not the 315 gal ones (knowing me I would find out after hundrets of hours work on my scratch tanks, that the Minicraft ones are a much better representation). Actually they are larger than the common 150 gal. tanks but not as large as 350 gal tanks must be. So I guess I have to continue the work on my scratchbuild ones. Again pics will follow.

Rene

Edited for the photos above and the typos caused by a malfuntioning laptop keyboard (I really need to replace it).

Edited by Caerbannog
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Went back to those tanks and followed my cunning plan:

47m18_zpshitofyyh.jpg

Thus encouraged I started to brush paint ( :shutup: :shutup: :shutup: :shutup: ) the fuselage in Tamiya flat white. Plastix shows such awsome results in metalic that I just said "what can possibly go wrong?". I am about to find out. If I spoil it I can still dig out my PaintKiller bottle. The reason to turn to the hairy stick is that my spray booth, airbush and so are still boxed because of my man-cave renovation. I fear I will not meet the dead line if I do not turn to desperate measures.

While we are at it: Regarding the drop tank I will have to see wether I can cast it in resin as I found my RTV and resin to be a bit dated and I am not sure it will still work. I am also considering makeing a simply plaster mold for vacuforming - maybe this will be the better option anyway. So I will start with the plaster mold as this does not need further detailing on the master and after that I will check if a resin tank is still needed.

Rene

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Hi Rene. Good luck with the painting! The drop tanks seem to be progressing well. Looking forward to seeing it with some paint on. :thumbsup:

Kind regards,

Stix

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You can also try a Spray can with a spraybooth from a old carton paper box?!

Nice job you are doing sofar. :thumbsup2::thumbsup2::thumbsup2:

Cheers,

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Hi Rene, I'm so sorry I completely missed this build!!! I haven't been on to the base thread of this GB for a couple of weeks and have missed some late entries!!

What a really interesting choice, I haven't seen a Thunderbolt racer before!

You've done some really nice work to get to where you are now! You custom work is really nice, well done.

I'm glad you could make it for this GB, I will I had be a bit more observant of the base thread!!! Well keep up the good work Rene, you'll make it in time.

Oh and my spray booth is a old large box as well, thats really all you need, it works a treat for me!

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Thanks guys!

I was looking to the paint as well Stix - but your brush painting skills are so much advanced... I have to say I failed - see below.

Yes a card box and a rattle can were something I thought about Arnie - but I only have a white automototive paint which is a bit rough (I used it on a resin Sci-Fi kit last year) and if it went wrong it would be hard to remove so I chickend out. Would not be the first model I spoiled with the quick and easy solution :banghead:

No problem Rich - with so many entries I bet it is easy to miss some. AFAIK it is the only Thunderbold that was to be used as a racer as the common P-47 is a bit on the heavy side I assume. Well in the end even this never raced.

Regarding the drop tanks I currently went the resin route as my tests with the RTV and my resin showed that both still work. So I cut very thin stripes of Tamiya tape to mark the datum of my tank master. Then I build a LEGO frame for the mold, pushed some modelling clay inside. Added the master so the datum tape was horizontal and filled with clay till the datum tape - so half of the tank was buried in clay. I then poured RTV over the other half of the tank.

After the RTV set I removed it from the mould and filled it with resin:

47m19_zpsa78pwzms.jpg

The removed resin tank half are sanded down to the datum, filled and sanded by now. Two halfs will be glued to thin plastic sheet and then this sheet will be sanded to follow the shape of the tank cross section plus 1 mm to represent the joint of the real thing. Then the second half will be glued to the sheet. This will be shown in the next post I guess.

My brush painting efforts were to no avail (but at least I tried...):

47m20_zpskuwdf7bi.jpg

As this became obvious I decided to speed up my work in the man cave and get my spray booth and airbrushes to work:

47m21_zpsu8e5yq56.jpg

There is still a lot of furniture-Tetris ahead of me as the space is quite limited with all shelfs, etc. in the middle of the room. Still it looks a whole lot better already with the reworked walls and the remaining work is less dusty and over all nicer. Soon there will be a workplace agian. :yahoo:

Thanks for looking.

René

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That is an impressive looking setup you have there Rene! With regards the paint - it may have been because you were brushing Tamiya paints - I can't get along with them at all. Perhaps you could try some Revell or Humbrol Acrylics? I find they cover really well after a few coats.

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Thanks Stix. I once bought 4 bottles of Tamiya white because I read somewhere that it is one of the best covering whites in the market. Mind you this may be 6 or 7 years ago. It works OK with the airbrush but even then I guess there must be something better available. Next time I will use a white primer first.

The drop tanks take shape. I primed and sanded the cast parts, glued one half each to sheet and sanded the sheet to shape. Then I glued the other resin half to the sheet as well. I found this easier for aligning than to add both resin halfs before shapeing the sheet:

47m22_zpsg4cfu3gp.jpg

One tank is now assembled, but I found one resin piece to be still soft in places and I casted another one this morning as a replacement. Once this is in place I will add the etch filler cap parts and paint the tanks aluminium. Regarding the colour I am a bit uncertain. The tanks seem to be NMF, which makes sense as these would be dropped during the race. So why invest? On some pictures they also look to be dull aluminium but on others they could also be white. To add to my confusion the rim around the tanks where the two shells are rivited together seem to be painted a dark colour (red or blue?) - I first though this would be just a shadow but I am not sure now. However I decided to go with NMF dull aluminium for now.

In the mean time I also finished the prop. I was brush painted with Revell Aqua Aluminium. Next time I will do such jobs with the airbrush again. It is OK but you can see some brush strokes and the paint build up where the masking tape was is a bit heavy (although I saned it down). To mimic the various metals I just mixed white or dark grey to the aluminum colour:

47m23_zpsi5vfjklk.jpg

And finally a pic of the flat white Bombshell. After another sanding with polishing cloth I will give it a gloss coat before I add dark blue to the front and red to the tail and tips:

47m24_zpsng4pcxpd.jpg

Because of some birthday parties the next days my next update will be after the weekend I suppose.

Thanks for looking,

René

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Wow this is great work Rene, I love the mounding work you have done.

You were very brave to try and brush paint her! I agree Tamiya Matt White is just awesome, actually it's hard to go past Tmiya acrylics for anything.

I do hope you can get this one finished in time, she'll be great to see in the gallery.

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(...) I do hope you can get this one finished in time, she'll be great to see in the gallery.

I am quite confident. Just a few coats of Alclad gloss (because it is great stuff and dries quickly), then mask for Revell gloss blue (which is awful as it dries slowly... but I matched my decals to this colour :( ), Tamiya gloss red (should be good :pray: ) and then decals. Prop is done wheels are 90% finished, tanks seem to be no more problem... Ok it is not quite on the home stretch but it should be workable. :unsure:

René

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Good to see more progress - it all seems to be coming together rather well. Hope the parties are fun!

Kind regards,

Stix

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I am quite confident. Just a few coats of Alclad gloss (because it is great stuff and dries quickly), then mask for Revell gloss blue (which is awful as it dries slowly... but I matched my decals to this colour :( ), Tamiya gloss red (should be good :pray: ) and then decals. Prop is done wheels are 90% finished, tanks seem to be no more problem... Ok it is not quite on the home stretch but it should be workable. :unsure:

René

you'll be fine........or else!! :fight::D

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