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Eric Mc

Douglas DC-3 Minicraft 1/144

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Second DC-3 in a year, but this time in 1/144 scale rather than 1/72. I want to add a DC-3/C-47 to my airliner collection and have a few Minicraft 1/144 kits in the stash. This was one I bought not that long ago and comes with a set of markings for an FAA machine. However, as I like doing classic airliners of the 1930s to the 1970s period, I will be finishing it as an Aer Lingus Dakota as operated by them just before they were sold off in 1962.

I am using a set of decals from Maxdecals which allows a number of different DC-3 options from the Aer Lingus fleet. I'm tempted by EI-ACE as it was probably the last ever DC-3 ever built.

Looking into its history, it was left unassembled when the production line closed in 1945. It had been earmarked for completion as a C-117/Super DC-3 for the US Navy but instead it was finished to DC-3 standard for Aer Lingus. It is unusual in that it is closer to a pre-war DC-3 rather than a C-47 as it features a passenger only door rather than the enlarged cargo door associated with the C-47 versions.

The kit came out in the early 1990s, so to my mind, is quite modern. Some say its shape is a bit suspect but it doesn't look too bad to me. It comes with engine cowlings to depict either a Pratt & Whitney or a Wright powered aeroplane, which is a nice feature.

 

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Good start Eric, that Aer Lingus livery looks something special.

 

Like you I don't think that there is anything wrong with the kit, it certainly looks like a Dak to me................. unless you stick the wings on back to front ......................which you have not by the look of things ...................

 

regards,  adey

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Since you raised the point, the shape is more than a “bit suspect” - it’s plain wrong. Does it look like a DC3? Yes it does. Does it look like an accurate DC3? No it doesn’t. It’s your model and if you’re happy with the Minicraft shape that’s fine but the Roden kit is superior in every respect and that’s not just my opinion.

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Yes - I had a feeling it was "out". However, for many years it was the only 1/144 injection moulded DC-3 around and  as a result, I acquired a few over the years. I have since acquired a Roden one as well which I will build some day.

 

I suppose I could have spent a lot more and made an effort to build a Welsh Models vacform but my attitude to vac forms is that I will have a go at one if there is absolutely no alternative.

 

At the end of the day, I'm not after perfection - just something that is good enough to satisfy me. 

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A little bit of progress has been made on the DC-3. I've added the white cheatline decal on fairly early on the proceedings as the passenger cabin window aircraft name decals need to be applied on top of them. The longer they have to settle down and adhere to the fuselage, the less likely they are to move about when laying on the additional decals.
 

 

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On 14/07/2018 at 13:27, Eric Mc said:

............It comes with engine cowlings to depict either a Pratt & Whitney or a Wright powered aeroplane, which is a nice feature.

Does anyone know how many of the Minicraft kits (DC-3 and C-47) have both P&W and Wright engines and cowlings on the sprues?

 

Mike

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I've got about three of these in my stash but I've only ever opened the box of the one I'm actually working on. My guess is that they all come with the two engine choice. Top be honest, there isn't a hiuge difference in how the two sets of cowlings look. The Wrights are a bit shallower I think. Minicraft didn't really mould in very good detail on the cooling flaps on the Pratt and Whitneys.

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Thanks Eric,

the reason I asked is that I have two early Minicraft's on the go at the moment but, for some inexplicable reason, I've mislaid the engines and cowlings for both! :doh:  I don't think the carpet monster got them, I think I put them away for safe keeping some time ago and now can't find them anywhere. :undecided:

 

Mike

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I could send you a pair of Wrights if you are planning on doing a pre - war genuine DC-3.

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Yes please, I am doing them as civilian versions for an airport diorama.  I should think they would look OK at 1:144 scale?  I've found information of the following that used Birmingham airport in the 1950's and 60's:

G-AMJX British European Airways

G-ANTD British Midland

EI-ANK  Aer Turas

9G-AEC Ghana Airways

EI-AHG AER Lingus

 

I shall send you a pm shorly.

 

Thanks


Mike

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Happy to send them to you. Note though that EI-AHG was a C-47B - so would have had the Pratt and Whitneys.

 

Have a look at some DC-3 images from their early days (American Airways era) and you will see what the Wright cowlings looked like.

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This one is now completed and in the Ready for Inspection forum.

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