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DC-6 SAS - withdrawn

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Now that the East of Scotland Model Show is over and my Donaldson International Britannia is well under way I’ve decided to start another build. Sticking with the propliner theme my second entry will be another Roden kit, the original "short" DC-6 in SAS livery using F-DCAL’s gorgeous sheet FD144-037S


I’m using the “Independence” version of the kit rather than the standard Delta issue because it includes the Curtiss Electric propellors which are necessary for the SAS aircraft. They are noticeably different from the much more common Hamilton Standards.


The box contents are entirely conventional...




… the Curtiss props on the left




As I’ve already said, the decals are gorgeous...




The DC-6 is one of Roden’s earlier kits and isn’t to the same standard as the Britannia or VC-10. The plastic is hard and brittle and likely to be difficult to work. Generally the engraved detail looks good and it’s actually finer than the Brit although reinstating anything lost in sanding is likely to be a challenge. I’m not confident I’ll finish it before November (the Britannia will always take priority) but since I was going to build it anyway I thought I might as well add it to the Group Build.


I’ve got some more work to do on the Brit and once that’s finished I’ll get the DC-6 underway.

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How is this progressing??

Er, I haven't actually begun it yet! I only started the thread yesterday and as I made clear in my first post I have some work to do on my other entry before the DC-6 gets underway. That should happen in the course of next week although life, work, death, the end of the world or some other annoyance might get in the way.

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I've taken some time out from the Britannia to have a closer look at the DC-6. It's hard to believe the kits are by the same manufacturer. The DC-6 is more reminiscent of early Minicraft although the engraved detail is pretty good.


There's a fair bit of flash:






The photos don't show them very well but there are some fun-looking sink marks on the stabilisers:




There's going to be a fair bit of filling and sanding and I hope I don't regret choosing an overall natural metal finish :hmmm: It will certainly challenge my finishing skills!

More soon.

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With the Britannia now in primer it’s time to get build number two underway and keep Paul J happy. :winkgrin:


My trusty nail buffer dealt with the flash on the fuselage and once it was removed the fit of the halves wasn’t bad although nothing like as good as the Britannia. It was necessary to file a tiny bit off the trailing edge of the fin on the right fuselage half to make sure it didn’t push the alignment out further forward.




The right hand section of the fin is thinner than the rudder so a tiny shim of thin plastic was inserted to take care of this.




The fuselage was assembled the same way as the Britannia using lead strip for nose weight and will now sit for a couple of days to let everything cure properly.




I omitted the rudimentary cockpit bulkhead and floor which Roden provide. The nose undercarriage “bay” is a very poor fit and only extends about two thirds of the length of the opening. I blanked the open area with a piece of .010 plastic sheet to stop the see-through. A proper modeller would, of course, have scratch-built a beautifully detailed nose-wheel bay but at my age life is too short to worry about stuff which won’t be seen on the finished model under normal viewing conditions.


Roden unhelpfully represent the astrodome with a blob of grey plastic which you’re meant to glue in place. (They seem to have an issue with astrodomes because the one in the C-47/DC-3 is rubbish as well). Once I’ve got the fuselage seams cleaned up I will need to fabricate something a bit more accurate. I expect that to be fiddly rather than difficult.


Back soon, hopefully.

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A quick request for information (if anybody is reading this!)

I've come across a couple of illustrations which show that early SAS DC-6s carried some kind of fairing on the left front fuselage like so:


I can't find any mention of this in the AirlinerTech book which is my main reference source. Does anybody know what it is and where I could find a clearer image? It seems to have been removed by the time the white top livery was introduced.

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Very interesting Dave, I had a look in one of my DC-6/7 books and there is a picture of SE-BDG being operated by Transair Sweden and caption states it is a radar.

I found some other DC-6s online sporting this same type of radar including those used by the RNZAF, TEAL and British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines. Turns out these are all the same aircraft, started with BCPA, went to TEAL and then to the RNZAF. Something learned for the day....



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:thanks: Ray, that's brilliant!

I'll have a rummage around on the net and see if I can come up with a view from below. If I can't get a clear idea of the proper shape I might take the soft option and change the livery to white top!

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Having managed to stall the Britannia by running out of steel wool (my default tool for polishing primer) I’ve made a bit more progress with the DC-6.


The fuselage has been cleaned up and the joints are actually a lot better than I’d expected. A little superglue was used to smooth over the top and bottom fuselage joints. I also used a spot of Milliput in a couple of other places. Re-scribing should be minimal, thank goodness.




I added some thin plastic to reinforce the rear of the wing-fuselage joint.




The three-piece wing has been assembled, not forgetting the separate mounting points for the undercarriage which have to be installed before adding the upper halves. The lower right wing was a bit warped but that straightened out OK.




The fit of the wing halves isn’t outright bad but it certainly isn’t great and there’s going to be a fair bit of filling and re-scribing on the bottom.


The engines have been assembled. Quite honestly these are a bit crude and the engine fronts needed sanding before the cowling halves would close. Once they’ve been cleaned up I’ll mount them on the wings before joining the wings to the fuselage - tidying up round the engines is much easier that way.




A test fit of the wings to the fuselage - not too bad especially on the bottom and the worst of the gaps at the roots will disappear once the wings are taped into the correct dihedral






I’m still looking for reference material showing an underside view of the radar fairing (why did photographers in the 1940s not consider the needs of modellers in 2016??) and I’ve still to work out a way of replicating the astrodome. Plenty to keep me occupied!

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Looking OK so far. More detail on the wing and fuselage surfaces than the Minicraft offerings.

I love that image of the RNZAF DC-6!! Hmmm...

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  • 3 weeks later...

Back from holiday and picking up where I left off. I've been concentrating on the Britannia so only a little progress with the DC-6.

I've cleaned up the wing leading edges and attached the engines which was rather more difficult than I'd expected. There are no locating pins or anything, it's a simple butt-joint between the nacelle and the wing. Apart from making sure that the engines were properly aligned the right wing gave no problems.


On the other hand when I tried the wing on the fuselage the left inner engine looked like this ...




... which certainly isn't correct!


Off it came and some thin plastic was used to shim the joint:





The left outer was even worse:




I'll leave everything to set properly before getting to work with filler and sanding.

Once that's done I'll make the missing astrodome although I have still to work out the best way of going at it.

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Thanks Jessica. All the photos I can find of SAS aircraft in overall natural metal show the fairing in place. It seems to have been removed when the white top scheme was introduced. I'm still concentrating on the Britannia just now but I think i should be able to guesstimate the size and shape of the fairing from photos once I get round to thinking seriously about it.

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I like Roden kits but I think I will stick to the Minicraft kit.

Don't forget that the two kits represent different aircraft. Minicraft's is the DC-6B while Roden's is the original short fuselage DC-6 of which only 177 were built compared to 527 other DC-6 variants. If you want a short DC-6 building the Roden kit is a lot easier than converting the Minicraft -6B.

The Roden kit isn't bad and the detail is far superior to Minicraft especially on the wings. It represents their original standards rather than what they're capable of nowadays but apart from the squint left engines it hasn't given me any serious trouble so far.

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A tiny smidgen of Milliput on the engines!




I think I've solved the astrodome question by liberating the clear section from a deceased Minicraft DC-4. Here is the start of the base on the fuselage:




Still concentrating on the Britannia at the moment and only doing bits and pieces on the DC-6 when time permits. I'm not looking forward to sanding down all that Milliput!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a quick update to prove I’m still working on the DC-6 although the Britannia remains my main focus just now.


The engines have been sanded down and finished with Mr Surfacer which has also been sanded.  They’re looking a lot more respectable! 




I’ve filled the sink marks on the tailplanes and added them to the fuselage.  The joints are poor and will need significant attention.




I think I now have sufficient information from photographs to make a start on the radar fairing so that will be the next job when I fancy a break from the Britannia


There has been interesting side-show in relation to the decals.  After I took the original photos at the start of the thread I realised that F-DCAL hadn’t sent me the separate sheet containing the registrations.  I’ve been a regular customer since they started in business so I assumed a quick exchange of e-mails would solve the problem but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case.  I sounded off about this in another thread and my post was noticed by Viking (John Stokes) who kindly offered me some surplus Lima November decals which included enough letters to produce several DC-6 registrations.  Big thanks to John for his help.

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  • 4 weeks later...

With the Donaldson Britannia completed it’s now time to give some serious attention to the DC-6.


Generally I like to model an individual aircraft rather than just “a DC-6” with a random registration shoved on at the decal stage so this is going to be SE-BDB “Agne Viking” which was one of the (slightly) better documented SAS DC-6s.  


The ventral radar fairing has been created from Milliput.  I don’t claim 100% accuracy.  I must have looked at every DC-6 photograph on the internet :hypnotised: and I failed to find one which gave a clear underside view so it’s a bit of a guesstimate.  If anybody says it’s seriously wrong I will expect production of photographic evidence.:fight:




The poor tailplane joints have been cleaned up ....




.... and the wings fitted taking care to establish equal dihedral, something about which I’m mildly obsessive.  The joint on the underside was pretty good as was the right wing but the left wing joint was very poor and needed packing with plastic strip before the application of Milliput.




I’ll leave everything to set hard before doing any more work.


It’s looking a bit unlikely that the model will be finished in the next four weeks.  I’m run off my feet with my so-called part-time employment to the point that I’d be as well to un-retire, if there is such a word!  I don’t want to mess SE-BDB up by rushing it, particularly with an overall natural metal finish, but I’ll keep plugging away with fingers crossed (if you see what I mean!) and hope for the best.


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I've just discovered that Postimage, which has been my image host for some time, appears to be in serious trouble and is likely to shut down.  I'm going to have to re-upload all the photos in this thread and the Donaldson International Britannia which must amount to about 80 images.  Please bear with me! 

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