Jump to content

P-43B Lancer A56-5, 1 PRU RAAF - completed


Recommended Posts

Well I wasn’t going to build another model for the GB as I have quite a few on the go already, but everything is where it should be, so why not. This is one I have wanted to build but haven’t found a build for her.


She’s a bit of a rarity in RAAF service, we only had 8 of the Reconnaissance models , 4 B models and 4 D models, 6  arriving in August 1942 (2xB & 4xD). The only difference between the standard P-43A model and the B’s & D’s were the addition of side mounted cameras, the B’s were Ex-Lend-lease aircraft and the D’s were Ex USAAF stock. They were already considered “restricted for combat use” when the RAAF received them.


They underwent extensive testing at 1AD and 1 PRU and for a while the D models were considered for ground attack aircraft and were fitted with wing pylons for tanks and bombs. But they suffered problems, besides being a bit underpowered and their brakes had a habit of failing.  


They were only in RAAF colours for less than a year after which the survivors were returned to the US in June 1943, they ended up being scrapped! 


The base model is a Classic Airframes model which is becoming very hard to find and expensive when and if you do.




And it is Classic Airframes at their greatest.......or should I say worst! This is one to really scare the kids, and some adults as well!


It’s quite basic...






...even has some niceish resin bits, though most of the small parts were broken off.




The decals are toast, but I’m not using them, I’ll be using the leftovers from the P-39D. I’ll be doing her in a 1 PRU scheme of Olive Drab over Neutral Grey with blanks over the camera ports.




Ok the issues......


I’ve seen less flash on some really nasty resin stuff! The moulds for this must well and truly be dead, but you can’t complain when it’s the only game in town!




As you can see I’ve made a start on her cleaning up the parts.




The U/c legs were really bad.




The prop blades not much better.




This should be a fairly quick build, I’ve been all over her and there doesn’t seem to be any nasty surprises, she’s just like a resin model, only just made in plastic instead.


  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes I am!!


It's as bad as it looks, but I'm treating her like a resin model and there's always stuff to clean up on them before you do anything! After that it really is a straight forward build.


I would like to be able to glue the fuselage together first then insert the cockpit later, I';ll have to have a look to see if I can. The cockpit is very basic but there again you won't be able to see much later anyway.


 It would make it a lot simpler. Unusually for a Classic Airframes model the resin wheel wells block actually fit quite nicely without the need of major surgery!!


I'm actually looking froward to building her.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

Wow, those parts look rough. I am sure you will make them look like Tamiya precision part Rich :D


Whos decals are you using?

:D yeah they are pretty crap! I've pretty much cleaned them all up now.


No one does decals for her, so for the main ones I'm using the second set for may RAAF Airacorba, they look to be just right. The rest will be made up from what I can find.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't make out the landing gear strut from the flash, you need a medal the size of a dustbin lid, i'll watch in amazement as you produce your regular high standard from this kit

All the best


  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

hmm I don't remember seeing them either! :D  The U/c sits in a slightly odd place to begin with, not against the edge of the opening but in a bit, more than normal. The struts and any other stuff like that I'll make with plastic or aluminium tube.


The only thing on her that won't be from the box, other than struts and stuff, will be the camera covers on either side of the rear fuselage, as I have no detailed photos of this area other that those with covers on.


I've built enough resin stuff with blobs for parts so it really doesn't phase me any more having to do heaps of tiding up. Though I will have a good rant if it occurs on a model from some who should be doing better...... 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

it’s been ages since I’ve updated this build and all the others, it’s been a busy couple of weeks with little modelling time even though I’m on leave.


I’ve spent a couple of good sessions on her and here’s where I’m at.


The wings were the first thing to do. I had thought initially that everything would fit nicely, but as usual with the resin wheel wells in a Classic Airframe model they don’t. After lots of sanding and fiddling they do….but boy that resin is now paper thin!






The wing detail is really light so I needed to do my least favourite job and re-scribe them. The ailerons now don’t look like they a solid part of the wing!






The fuselage was next to go together, I found I could fit the engine and cockpit later, which is great and the opening for the engine needed some work shape wise. Plus I added the inside cowling for the air intake as it looked so empty in there, this is the initial bracing for it.




Speaking of the engine, I assembled it as well, it turned out to be poorly moulded and I had a lot of trouble getting the cylinders to fit. I manage to break a few, but I can repair/hide most of the damage. Plus I had to file off the tops of the side cylinders just to get it to fit!




Now everything in there looks a bit better, I'll add some extra detail to the engine before finally fitting it.




The cockpit, engine and wheel wells were given coat of Neutral Grey…hmm  it may be Dark Grey, I forgot what I used.




…then some light coats of Interior Green.




I’ve progressed a little bit more on her but will post those photos in the next update. She’s actually going together really nicely, there are some issues but they all seem to be easy fixes……unlike those on some of the other builds!


  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well this baby is coming along very nicely. I was worried that it may have had some fit issues but really it’s been a breeze to build.


I’ve finished off the engine, I hadn’t planned to add or fix any of the damaged detail but....... I just couldn’t leave it like that. So I replaced the missing push rod housings and added ignition wires. You really can or won’t be able to see much when fitted but at least it is fixed. 




So I could now fit the engine into the fuselage, the prop is completed as well.




I finished off the cockpit and fitted that...forgot to take photos of that and again you can’t and probably won’t be able to see much detail.


With those fitted the wings could go on. They went on without any issues and will require next to no filler.


As can be seen in these two photos, the wing joins came out great. The only area needing some work is the forward section of the wing where it meets the fuselage, the wing profile appears to be too big. Some careful sanding and shaping will sort that out.








She’s starting to look like a plane now...a slightly odd one. Like a Thunderbolt that has shrunk in the rain. 






The next main bit of work is to cut and shape some covers for where the Recon cameras are. I’m not 100% sure of the actual shape as I only have some off centre photos to work from...but it’s not a biggy.


A couple of good sessions and she should be done with luck. 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

oh dear it’s been a while since I’ve updated this one!!


Well I have been doing little bits an pieces on her in between other builds.


I’ve very close to closing her up and painting. All the wing/fuselage joins have been tidied up and even though they weren’t the best to start with, came out nicely. Very little filler was required.






The elevators have been fitted, I had to drill & pin these, as they were just plain butt joins. Only issue is I didn’t use metal pins…that could come back to haunt me!!




The canopy has been cut out, luckily they supplied 2, the first I cut out thinking it had the sloping back the same as a P-47 Razorback….it doesn’t! 




I now just need to make the fuselage camera covers and close up the cockpit and I can start painting her. Hopefully not too much to go on her.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm actually quite surprised just how easily it's going together. There are still the "Classic Airframes" build quality but nothing too challenging.


I tell you one thing she very much looks like someone has left a Thunderbolt out in the rain and its shrunk!!!They were on to something with this design, pity they stuffed this one up....or maybe we're glad they did! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

gosh I’m getting close to painting stage and probably would have if the asking on the P-39 hadn’t taken sooooo long.


I had her all set for painting yesterday then discovered that there are another set of U/c doors which are normally closed on the ground. She looks to have a really complicated folding mechanism, appear that the tops of each leg moves outwards as the leg folds??? It’s the only reason I can see for these outer doors. Anyway I had make these as I some how managed to loose the originals! :wall:


Right she was finally ready for a coat of Alclad Micro-Filler Primer.






I’m pretty happy with the bodywork, just a few spots to tidy up and then she’ll be done. I’ll be using Mr Paint for all the work on her so in the one sitting I’ll be able to do the final priming, pre-shading and lower colour. If it wasn’t for the demarcation line I could have almost done the upper surfaces as well.


Gosh I’m looking forward to completing her, maybe by next weekend, then I can go full time on the F-14!! :yahoo:


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work on a nasty kit Rich :goodjob:

I've always thought of this machine as a sort of pre-production prototype for the P-47, a proof-of-concept design, that led on to greater things. Didn't know the RAAF had a few.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah we had 8 of these horrors! They were already listed as RP-43's when we got them, The "R" standing for "Restricted form Combat Use"!!! But at that stage of the war we were desperate for aircraft so took whatever was offered.


We even managed to fit them with pylons for bombs and drop tanks. They were barely in service for a year, 5 were either damaged or lost in service and only 3 (I think) were returned serviceable to the Americans.


But gosh they do look like a P-47 or one that shrunk. It's hard to believe they went from this disaster to the magnificent beast the P-47 was.


But I'm glad I'm building one, we need to remember these aircraft no matter how good/bad they were. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

this one is still progressing, just stuck at the moment in the what seems never ending priming, filling, sanding, priming.......etc endless loop! But I'm very close to being ready to paint her, I'll be using Lacquer based acrylics so I should be able to do the whole almost in one sitting!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finally the P-39 is done, huge relief there! So I can get on with this one.


After days of forever it seemed, sanding/filling/priming I’ve finally painted her. I’m using a wide range of paints this time including a new brand that I was interested to see how it went on. Plus some masking putty!




SMS (Scale Modellers Supply) is a local brand that I’ve heard good things about. They have a huge range of stuff and their paints are Lacquer Based Acrylics and I have to say they go on just as nicely as the Mr Paint ones, though maybe they’re just a tiny bit thicker.


The one slight issue though was the actual colour scheme as there are no complete photos (that I could find) that show the pattern or the correct colours used. The 8 aircraft were repainted in Australia from their original USAAF schemes, RAAF Sky Blue for the undersides, from Neutral Grey. The upper surfaces are where the issues are, they were Olive Drab with another colour. It is commonly thought the second colour was Earth Brown but knowledgeable reckon this is wrong and the second colour was more likely Foliage Green. This by then was starting to become the standard colour for Australian built aircraft, plus the 3 P-38s the RAAF had at that time were painted (re-painted) by the same Aircraft Depot in Foliage Green/ Olive Drab / Sky Blue. 


So that’s the way I went……boring part over, so how does she look?


The underside was done first and it came out spot on!




Next was the OD followed by the Foliage Green, both these paints go on so easily. The SMS paint as mentioned is a wee bit thicker and provide less layers for a nice coverage and has a nice flat finish. Though I do prefer the more glossy finish of Mr Paint.






The OD does look a bit brown against the Foliage Green so I can see where the confusion with the colours comes from.


I tried the Masking Putty for the demarcation lines….gosh it’s weird stuff!!! It works well but it’s different to use and in the heat it’s very runny. But it works well and leaves no marks.


She does sit very nose up, not helped by the fact I’ve lost the tail wheel assembly, though it was cast in resin and probably was pretty poor. I’ll have to source a new one from the spares box.






I have a couple of minor overspray’s to fix on the underside then I can give her a clear coat ready for decaling. There is a good chance I’ll have her done by the weekend with luck.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a wee update as I haven’t really been doing to much on her.


The painting was completed and she was given a clear coat so time for markings. I had planned to use some spares from a RAAF P-39 pack but discovered one pair of roundels weer to small and the tail flashes were wrong as well. Luckily I had some leftover masks from my old Boomerang build plus I made up a couple.






They look good and it’s sort of the way they should be applied but I’m still left with this annoying faint edge to them. I probably should really paint the marking first then do the main colours…..of well maybe next time.


The panel lines are all done I just need to make up the decals for the rego number and she can then be given a coat of flat. I’ll try to finish her before Christmas but will have to see.


  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...