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Heather Kay

It’s alive! - 1/72nd Airfix Do17E conversion to Do17P Frankendornier

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1 hour ago, dogsbody said:

The Revell kit I have is, I believe, a copy of the old FROG kit. It's okay in my opinion, but the old Monogram kit is the better of the two.

This boxing, 20 years old or more now, is definitely the Monogram kit. I can tell because there's a socking great MONOGRAM moulded into the display stand! 

 

Memory fails me, because I was utterly convinced there was a Monogram logo moulded on one of the control surfaces, but I can't find it on the parts now. Old age, I guess. 👵

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13 minutes ago, Heather Kay said:

This boxing, 20 years old or more now, is definitely the Monogram kit. I can tell because there's a socking great MONOGRAM moulded into the display stand! 

 

Memory fails me, because I was utterly convinced there was a Monogram logo moulded on one of the control surfaces, but I can't find it on the parts now. Old age, I guess. 👵

I think it's confusing because Revell reboxed both the FROG and the Monogram kits under their own label. Built the Matchbox boxing myself some 25 years ago as one of my first airplane models - have very fond memories of it. I think that was the FROG mold.

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My Monogram kit:

 

42128701272_b5e1e82f2b_b.jpg

 

 

My Revell kit:

 

42128701282_649b603d1f_b.jpg

 

 

 

Chris

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I found an unexpected day to myself. Saturdays are generally spent at my model railway club, but for various (non-Royal Wedding related) reasons it was all off. So, after some domestic chores I decided I was in the mood to do some measuring and studying.

 

The plan, if it's not already obvious, is to convert the Airfix Do17E to a Do17P, mainly by grafting the wings from a Revell Do17Z kit to the Airfix fuselage. I have selected the photo reconnaissance over the met variant because I actually have a drawing of the former. I needed to know if major surgery was required for this to happen, and if any obvious differences existed between the Do17Z wings and engine nacelles and the way they ought to look on the older type.

 

The most obvious difference I could see is the 17Z has a fairing at the trailing end of the nacelle which is attached to the flaps. On the 17P this fairing doesn't exist, and the rear of the nacelle is rebated to allow the flaps to drop. I reckon I can do that bodgery fairly easily. I just need to see if I can find some good photos that show what I need to end up with.

 

Next, wings. Thankfully, every kit of this plane has followed the same basic design. The wing upper half is moulded in a single piece, with a central bit that goes into a slot on top of the fuselage. It seems every kit maker has decided to use existing panel lines for this feature. I measured the Revell wing centre section, and it came to 30mm wide and parallel across the fuselage. The equivalent slot on the Airfix fuselage was 29.7mm at the wing root, tapering to 30mm at the centreline. Some judicious filing will see one slot into the other. Hardly major surgery, which is pleasing. Where there might be issues is the wing roots. I think a bit of filing and filling will be required to make the area look like it was meant to fit together.

 

The rest of the Airfix fuselage parts can be used, and the tailplane and basic cockpit interior fittings. I've already decided to get an Extratech PE detailing kit, and Falcon has a set of vac form canopies. There's also a resin main and tail wheel set available. 

 

Let's look at what other surgery may be required.

 

28343254588_7b248fc056_b.jpg

 

I don't recall where I got the photocopy of the drawings by Björn Karlström, but allowing for some scaling irregularities they are as close to 1/72nd scale as they can be. The top of the fuselage, then, will need some work where the Revell wings are fitted. I may well sand off the rivets and scribe a few panel lines in their stead. A lot of the pimples will be lost in sanding operations anyway, so in for a penny. The DF loop on the 17P was mounted on the port upper wing, so I'll need to make a new fairing for it. Otherwise, apart from transparencies and minor details, it looks very achievable.

 

42215960821_b71eac5b83_b.jpg

 

Underneath is a slightly different matter. There are two hatches on the port side under the wing root. It looks like the forward one is too far forward. I have chosen to ignore this as too much work to move. Who knows, perhaps the drawing is wrong! :winkgrin: There is a hole for a lower defensive position transparency and gun. That will need to be filled, and a crew access door scribed in just ahead of it. It's not quite visible, but the port side rear bomb bay door isn't moulded at all. Now, I'm building the photo recce version, this area would have the camera windows in it. Does that mean all the bomb bay doors were removed or sealed up? I shall see if I can turn up further information one way or the other. It strikes me that the forward bay doors might be retained, but it's unlikely a plane meant for high altitude photo reconnaissance would still be capable of carrying a bomb load. Research required, then.

 

42169733492_d9f21bcdd0_b.jpg

 

The engine nacelles. It does look like, the rear fairing and wing root adjustments aside, I can get away with all the Revell parts here. That will include the main undercarriage, engines and props. 

 

I reviewed the Airfix transparencies. Sadly, the nose cone was short-shot, so I will have to use the Falcon vac form parts. I rather doubt I'd find spare canopy parts for this kit, even though it only disappeared from the Airfix catalogue a couple of years ago. 

 

Well, I'm still encouraged FrankenDornier can arise from the boxes of bits. I'll sort out getting the aftermarket bits and bobs, and look to start major construction in due course. I'm looking forward to this project. I hope you are too!

 

 

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I'll keep popping by if I may.

I'm very impressed indeed by what I saw of your previous work.

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2 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

I'm looking forward to this project. I hope you are too!

I'm liking the story so far, and I am definitely looking forward to this project!

 

Cheers

 

Terry

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10 hours ago, Pete in Lincs said:

I'll keep popping by if I may.

I'm very impressed indeed by what I saw of your previous work.

Thank you. I hope I can live up to my previous efforts! 🙂

9 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

I'm liking the story so far, and I am definitely looking forward to this project!

I will apologise if the story takes a while to unfold. The aftermarket bits are ordered, so I think some more "day job" time is needed to fill the hole in the bank balance!

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I'm onboard because I just love Dornier 17s, no matter what shape they are!

 

First one I built was the Revell boxing of the Frog kit (as seen above) circa 1982 at the age of 13. Painting the canopy lines drove me nuts. Funny that Revell re-boxed the Monogram kit as well. Personally, I like the Frog kit a bit more, due mainly to the incorrect wing chord of the Monogram kit being a bit of a pig to fix (very apparent in your plans photo)

 

Liking the idea of a 17P, so will be along for the ride with my popcorn!

 

Steve

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41582995434_d4d4c70a9f_b.jpg

 

Upgrade parts, so I suppose I should think about actually beginning the conversion. 

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Looks nice! :)

 

Håkan

 

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2 hours ago, Heather Kay said:

Upgrade parts, so I suppose I should think about actually beginning the conversion. 

No excuses now!

 

Martian 👽

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There might be progress over the coming weekend. That’s assuming I don’t get distracted. 🙂

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Enough beating around the bush. Time to start this project in earnest.

 

27497664527_e006f88707_b.jpg

 

I thought it might make sense to assemble the Revell wings. Of course, there was some preparatory work required, and I made the decision to attempt scribing the panel lines first. Scribing is a skill I'm still trying to feel comfortable with, but with suitable tools I followed the raised lines on the upper and lower wing parts. Once satisfied with the scribed lines, I sanded the raised ones off. Having scribed the wings, the fuselage and tailplane would also need doing, but that could wait.

 

Rejigging the rear of the nacelles was next on the agenda.

 

27497664197_2c9caa4f1d_b.jpg

 

Hacking out the rear section that telescoped into the nacelle when the flaps were lowered left a rather large hole. While I cleaned things up, I pondered on how to deal with this. Not only would the nacelle need plugging, but the flap itself would need repairing. You can sense this will be coming back to bite me, but then I didn't expect this conversion to be an altogether easy one.

 

27497663807_73f109d2ff_b.jpg

 

In my usual "bodge it and see" way, I found some nice thick styrene sheet in my scrap box, which I formed into plugs that could be cemented into the nacelle. I had an idea that enough material filling the hole would allow for some carving and sanding to gain the shape of the nacelle on the Do17P series. What I failed to do, of course, was to check my stash of photos gleaned from the interweb for the actual shape I was trying to achieve.

 

27497663357_a56eb7e66c_b.jpg

 

A bit later I had made plugs to fill the flaps as well as the nacelles. A smear of filler here and there, and some work with files and emery boards might just work.

 

41464889425_dc897e633c_b.jpg

 

Well, perhaps not. The problem is the Do17Z nacelles - as someone has already pointed out up thread - are a bit fatter than the Do17P. I had failed to spot the shape of the nacelles, which come to a sharp knife edge, as well as being cut back to accommodate the flaps. I got the latter shape about right, but the knife edge was a step too far. To do the thinning properly I really needed to literally fill the entire rear of the nacelle to give me something I could shape. By the time I realised this, the original green plastic was disappearing into dust, leaving more holes I didn't want. Time to put this to one side to consider some alternative schemes.

 

What's that saying about battle plans being worthless once contact has been made with the enemy? Yeah, that.

 

42367220401_1ea8f7db8e_b.jpg

 

I turned my attention to the fuselage. Very much of its time, there were the classic Airfix pimples all over the place. They were actually quite restrained, but nestled oddly among them were recessed panel lines. A very odd combination, neither fish nor fowl. I decided to select certain rows of pimples which had fine raised lines with them, and scribe those alone. All other raised detail was carefully sanded away. I also had a think about where the camera bay might have been located in the bomb bay, but how I work that feature out might be best left until the fuselage is glued together.

 

40559751720_0b786f10f9_b.jpg

 

Happy with the overall scribed work, I decided it might well be worth sorting out how the Revell wing assembly fitted on the Airfix fuselage. I marked a square line perpendicular to the flat wing roots, and carefully filed and sanded away until the Revell upper wing seated fair neatly. Something going right again. This won't last. There will be a requirement for some filling and sanding, but that isn't unexpected.

 

40559751550_a76936e678_b.jpg

 

There is a difference in the wing chord of both kits. The Revell wing is deeper than the Airfix one. I decided the easiest way to sort this out in due course will be to adjust the grafted wing to the fuselage, rather than the other way round. Other adjustments, such as a slight misalignment between the upper wing and fuselage, ought to disappear when things are glued in place.

 

I got a little dispirited with the failed nacelle bodgery, I have to admit. I won't be touching the build again for a day, as we're off out to a big model railway bash on Sunday. An idea of how to sort the nacelles out is already forming, essentially chopping more of the nacelle away and creating a solid plug that can be sculpted to the right shape more easily. There's also an idea of cutting out the butchered flaps and replacing them with sheet material, but I need to let it all fester in the old noggin for a bit before I tackle any of that.

 

The PE detail set is mainly aimed at the cockpit area, with some external fixtures and fittings. As the fuselage halves will need some careful sanding and alignment, this might turn interesting if I need to make up and fit most of the interior before I can make the joins neat. This whole thing might turn into a long-winded build that spends a deal of time on the shelf, and I may well end up kicking out several other more straightforward kits before before my FrankenDornier gets completed. I hope you don't get bored waiting!

 

 

Edited by Heather Kay
Errant typo.

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Late to notice this but mightily impressed by your work so far Heather.

Great narrative too!

Tony

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Thanks Tony. I can say much the same for your Flying Boxcar build, which has me enthralled. 

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Last weekend I found three seventies Airfix magazines at the car boot sale.

They made very interesting reading, and, having seen your nacelle problem

may I suggest going old school and the use of balsa for the basic shape?

The same might work for the flaps too in that it will be easier to gain an

aerofoil shape rather than just flat card.

Pete

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Good thinking Pete. Happily, the flaps are effectively flat, so plain styrene sheet will be sufficient I think.

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Good progress IMHO. It's a challenging project but taking it step by step will deliver results I'm sure. I've not done very much scribing of panel lines as I find that quite daunting, but the more I do it, the more confident I get. I liked your approach of following the existing raised lines on the Revell (Monogram) kit. I tend to avoid old monogram kits as although they are largely quite superb, even by today's standards, raised panel lines are a no no for me. Your approach is making me re-think that.

 

Pete's idea of good old balsa is always worth considering. It's all we had once (a long long time ago!). You can always use it as a core, and cover with plastic card to ensure any scribing looks effective.

 

My builds on here are slow as you can see, so I for one will not get bored waiting for each instalment of this one!.

 

Some great stuff here Heather.

 

Terry

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Some very neat surgery there and the rest is nothing that Dolgellau's finest can't sort out.

 

Martian 👽

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I like Airfix’s old ‘17E, pimples and all.  I’ve been wondering if you’d not have been better keeping the Airfix wings and fuselage together and transplanting the Monogram ‘17Z engines and (modified) nacelles.  I can’t remember if plugging the back ends of these with Milliput has been mentioned: I’ve used it to form a bulged bomb bay for a 1/72th Mosquito before now and it was dead easy, even for a ham-fist like me, to get a decent result that stayed attached to the rest of the model with no trouble.

 

Enjoy your show today; looks like you’ve got decent weather for it.

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3 hours ago, stever219 said:

I like Airfix’s old ‘17E, pimples and all.  I’ve been wondering if you’d not have been better keeping the Airfix wings and fuselage together and transplanting the Monogram ‘17Z engines and (modified) nacelles.  

I did consider that option. I can't recall why it was rejected now. I think the 17E wings are a slightly different in shape to the later radial-engined variant. Mind you, aside from the slight mods to the fuselage to accommodate the Revell wing top section it might still be possible to do it. I'll review the idea in the cold light of Bank Holiday Monday.

 

We had a splendid day out. We visited the Risborough & District MRC RAILEX show at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Aylesbury, Bucks. It's usually an excellent show, with good trade support and high quality exhibition layouts, and this year was no exception. I didn't spend a lot of money, for a change. :winkgrin:

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Oh my. There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since I last posted here. 
 

I think it is time to pull the dusty and be-cobwebbed box from the Shelf of Doom and get it moving again.

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Yes please! I've only just caught up with this thread - but have enjoyed the read.

Hanging from my study ceiling is a 40 year old Airfix Do17 - complete with the short shot nose glazing that you refer to...!

I think the Dornier design is the most attractive of the German bombers - personally I like the in-line engine versions, but appreciate that this doesn't fit your theme...

I shall await developments.

Cheers,

Nick.

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Aha, a restart! I'll follow along if I may :) 

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