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Converting a DH4 to a DH9A, markings advice...

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On 9/19/2019 at 6:45 PM, mackem01 said:

This being my most ambitious conversion to date I decided to ignore the chord issue - I'm not

that skilled. I'll be happy if it has the general characteristics of the particular bird I'm modelling

I will encourage you to go for chord change. You will do nice model but you will feel that not OK due to skipping this chord change. This is not that much difficlut!

Belive me - I did it three times so far - first was lower wing of Polikarpov R-Z  (1/72) . The SH kit has it to large. It was I think 2 years ago. Second was DH9 made of DH9A (Maquette Polikarpov R-1) . Both those were reducing of chord. In case of Polikarpov I cut out middle part od wing in case of DH9 I cut some 2 mm od leading edge. Ofe course there were a lot of sanding and reconstruction of ribs, Here is case of DH 9 :


And here is Polikarpov R-Z


More difficult was extending of chord in case of scratch conversin of Aero A 101 from Aero A 100


I keep my fingers crossed and cut the wings! (both chord and span - to do Dh 9 from DH 9A)




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I've been following this thread for a while and now I can't recall whether the definitive method had been arrived at in 1/72. Having done the 9A conversion from Alan Hall's Airfix article (and the DH9) about 50 years ago (!) I'll add my tuppence worth (pre-decimalisation you see). So here goes......

Mr Hall just used a big lump of balsa (talcum and dope painted/impregnated) with the kit rear fuselage, but even then I didn't like this method and fabricated a new front from plastic card on mine.
The Liberty engine of the 9A makes the front fuselage bulkier overall than the 4, and needed a new hard-carved radiator with prominent horizontal louvres.
The kit rear fuselage needs built up tapering up from the tail to the rear of the Scarff-ring, and the front cockit needs shuffled rearward.
Tailplane, fin and rudder are unchanged, though replacing the 'planking' rib detail is vital!
I followed Alan Hall's suggestion of using the greater span and chord wings from the Frog Westland Wallace (Westland were entrusted with the redesign of the DH4 to 9A originally), but narrowed at the centre section (the Wallace has a wider fuselage). The Wallace's leading edge slats have to be filed off (a task that nearly defeated me at the time!), and I think you need to make thicker struts - the inners being thicker than the outers! Longer U/C legs need to be fabricated too.
Don't know if this is any help at all for a 48th scale build - I will say that I saw a DH9a conversion at a show keeping the smaller DH4 wings and it just didn't look right.

Personally, I'd just buy the Russian 9A or R-1 kit now!  I did - both - and have enough bits left over from 1969 to build a DH16 airliner using the Wallace wings I kept in the loft all these years.


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Following on from previous questions I'd like to ask advice of the cognoscenti - were the roundels used on the DH9a the same colours as the ones used immediately before WW2? I'm labouring under the belief that the blue was a lighter shade in the '20s. Am I mistaken?

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