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Admiral Puff

Preliminary inquiry - correction for Academy Catalina.

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Academy's Catalina kits are nice, but spoiled by some silly mistakes. The most egregious of them is the engine nacelles, which are clearly undersized. I am looking at preparing a set to correct the problem. As I am presently thinking it will consist of an entire new centre section based on the kit parts but in resin with correctly sized nacelles, and new resin engine cowls of the correct diameter. Engines will probably need to be provided separately - I'm thinking from one of the many 1:72 R-1830 sets on the market. I will require a number for my own use, but if there is enough interest I am prepared to run off some extras. To see how viable this might be, I would appreciate some indication of whether there would be any interest out there in such a set, and if so the sort of numbers involved.

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Three thumbs up! I'll have 3 or 4 sets, thank you. Assuming that the cost isn't silly, of course. I've been fiddling around on and off for a few years trying to work out the best/easiest way to fix that issue without spending my limited modelling time in fruitless endeavour. If you're making them, I'll send you money.

 

I'd considered fitting a shaped shim over the existing nacelle then a larger cowl/engine, but a new centre section would be much more repeatable and less long term effort to fit. I'll be keeping my eye on you!

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I've actually been eyeing an Academy Cat for the Pacific Group Build, but knowing the nacelles are

too small, have put it off. The Academy Catalina can be had here for about 1/2 the price of an Airfix or Revell

one.

 

Depending on what the price is, I'd certainly be interested in a couple :thumbsup:

 

Thanks

 

Alan

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Thanks, all. As has been said, the price more than anything else will probably determine whether or not this is viable. I'm still tossing up whether to do the nacelle/cowling correction alone, or include it as part of a comprehensive upgrade pack - the correction, a set of Falcon transparencies and a pair of Vector R-1830s. The complete set would be the ideal, but the cost may kill it - depends on what sort of deal I can do to bulk buy the other bits. We shall see ...

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Sounds like a good idea, I'm thinking I'd likely be up for a couple sets at least.

Steve.

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I'm very interested, I imagine once the word gets out there will be a lot of interest. As everyone say's cost is the deal breaker, but with enough buyers' it should make it more affordable.

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If I can add a cautionary tale, a few years back a European modeller set out to produce a replacement rear fuselage for the Italeri Do.217, which is strangely shrivelled in this area.  The project grew into a full replacement fuselage with superdetailed cockpit, and the price went up proportionally.  I gather a few finally made it to market, but I've no doubt he would have sold more tails a lot sooner but for the attraction of going that one step further, then one more...

 

I can see the attraction of replacement cowlings in this case, and presumably the nacelles as well, but is it really necessary to add a new centre section?  This will add considerably to the cost of the project, not just in terms of resin but also packaging and post.  For a first effort don't run the risk of over- enthusiasm that could damage the basic idea.  More people will buy the basic package and sort out the rest to their own pace and taste, than will buy the super-duper inflated deal.  So there'll be more improved Catalinas around sooner, to the benefit of all.

 

Well, that's my opinion anyway.

Edited by Graham Boak

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I have a couple of these kits and assuming the price is right I would but some naturally assuming that we can make a plan with a courier.

 

Regards:

Shaun

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4 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

If I can add a cautionary tale, a few years back a European modeller set out to produce a replacement rear fuselage for the Italeri Do.217, which is strangely shrivelled in this area.  The project grew into a full replacement fuselage with superdetailed cockpit, and the price went up proportionally.  I gather a few finally made it to market, but I've no doubt he would have sold more tails a lot sooner but for the attraction of going that one step further, then one more...

 

I can see the attraction of replacement cowlings in this case, and presumably the nacelles as well, but is it really necessary to add a new centre section?  This will add considerably to the cost of the project, not just in terms of resin but also packaging and post.  For a first effort don't run the risk of over- enthusiasm that could damage the basic idea.  More people will buy the basic package and sort out the rest to their own pace and taste, than will buy the super-duper inflated deal.  So there'll be more improved Catalinas around sooner, to the benefit of all.

 

Well, that's my opinion anyway.

I agree in principle with you Graham. The trick is getting the right balance of minimised resin and cost versus being easy to install. For every modeller who is nifty with measuring and cutting there are five who measure twice, cut squiggly in the wrong place then glue the new bits in wonky, lather it in filler and decide resin is too much like hard work.

 

"Plug and play" replacement wins there, but the cost can get silly. It's a delicate balance. But, I think that the best resin upgrades find the nearest unambiguous reference points on the parent kit parts and only need straight cuts with a razor saw to make. That usually gives the nicest balance of cost, convenience and confidence.

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I have at least one of these to do, so would be interested in a set.

Falcon canopies: is there a really a Falcon glazing set for the Academy kit? I know they did one for the old Revell kit (which I still rather like, despite its general emptiness)

 

I think Graham's point about setting limits, and sticking to them, is a good one. It's really easy to fall into 'mission creep' and end up with an apparently logical progression of thoughts which leads to the madness of a full resin kit at hundreds of quid.

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I agree with Graham, keep it simple.  No reason to add more than is needed, try to use as much of existing kit as possible and only address the most glaring issue(s).

 

I would look at doing the nacelles as either A: pieces that can be scabbed onto the existing center section after Dremeling off the existing nacelles, or B: two separate plug inserts that include just a part of their respective forward wing center section that you could include a printed pattern on where to cut the openings in the existing kit wing to install the plugs.

 

For some inspiration, look at how the issue was handled by the Cutting Edge PB4Y conversion for utilizing the Monogram B-24 wings...

 

17.jpg

12.jpg

 

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Dependent on price I would be in the market for up to 3.  But I agree strongly with Graham: keep it simple - more likely to happen and more likely to sell.

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Admiral,

 

I was wondering when you were going to get around to doing the correction set. For what it's worth, I agree with JC and Graham about making new cowlings and nacelle fairings to be either placed over the existing kit's, if they are that much larger in diameter and will fit, or to replace the kit fairings after they have been removed from the center section. As props, R-1830's, and exhausts are already available from the aftermarket, I would cast my vote for accurate oil coolers and transparencies- mainly the rear blisters, as nobody has done these. Just my two cents' or  tuppence worth. I would be good for two sets, BTW!

Mike

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12 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

If I can add a cautionary tale, a few years back a European modeller set out to produce a replacement rear fuselage for the Italeri Do.217, which is strangely shrivelled in this area.  The project grew into a full replacement fuselage with superdetailed cockpit, and the price went up proportionally.  I gather a few finally made it to market, but I've no doubt he would have sold more tails a lot sooner but for the attraction of going that one step further, then one more...

 

I can see the attraction of replacement cowlings in this case, and presumably the nacelles as well, but is it really necessary to add a new centre section?  This will add considerably to the cost of the project, not just in terms of resin but also packaging and post.  For a first effort don't run the risk of over- enthusiasm that could damage the basic idea.  More people will buy the basic package and sort out the rest to their own pace and taste, than will buy the super-duper inflated deal.  So there'll be more improved Catalinas around sooner, to the benefit of all.

 

Well, that's my opinion anyway.

Thanks, Graham - point taken - and I well remember the Do.217 exercise! No firm decisions have been taken as yet; I was really just thinking out loud. The appeal of the full centre section is that it adopts the Loon Models "No Cut" idea, giving a part that simply drops into place without further work. The other side of that coin is that the conversion is likely to appeal only to the dedicated modeller who is concerned at the accuracy of the end result, and the task of removing the kit nacelles and replacing them with resin parts should not be beyond such a modeller's competence. Certainly, as you say, a complete centre section would add significantly to the cost, and my aim is to produce a correction which does not cost ten times the base kit (especially allowing for the prices that the Academy kit seems to be attracting in the second-hand market!). And of course if the forthcoming Revell release does turn out to be an Academy re-pop it will increase demand for the conversion ...

 

Ditto the engines. At present my inclination is not to include replacement engines unless they can be sourced at a competitive price, but that is a decision for further on in the process.

 

I will be discussing the project with a couple of colleagues at ScaleACT in Canberra over the weekend, and should have a better idea early next week of where  the project is pointing.

6 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

I have at least one of these to do, so would be interested in a set.

Falcon canopies: is there a really a Falcon glazing set for the Academy kit? I know they did one for the old Revell kit (which I still rather like, despite its general emptiness)

I have the Falcon PBY canopies from Clear Vax Set 11, and from the fiddling I've done it seems that they will fit the Academy kit without too much effort. Again, whether or not they will be included will come down in no small measure to the question of cost.

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This sounds promising, however have you been able to talk to the mainstream manufacturers to see if they have a new tooled Catalina on their ‘potential’ releases list? I’d hate for you to go to all this trouble and expense to only be trumped by a new kit by someone else. 

 

I realise that Airfix (et al) like to keep things close to their chest, but they may be willing to let you know should you venture down this path. 

 

Cheers and good luck.. Dave 

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I built the Academy PBY-5 when it was a new release. It didn’t survive my move to Washington 18 years ago. I would like to do another either as a pre-war -3/4 or amphib -5A so would be interested in one, with the caveat regarding cost

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1 hour ago, Rabbit Leader said:

This sounds promising, however have you been able to talk to the mainstream manufacturers to see if they have a new tooled Catalina on their ‘potential’ releases list? I’d hate for you to go to all this trouble and expense to only be trumped by a new kit by someone else. 

 

I realise that Airfix (et al) like to keep things close to their chest, but they may be willing to let you know should you venture down this path. 

 

Cheers and good luck.. Dave 

We have no way of knowing (or finding out) what any of the Chinese manufacturers may be up to, and someone there could well surprise us. That said, apart from the forthcoming Revell release (which looks to be an Academy repop anyway, if the few pictures I've seen are any guide) there hasn't been the slightest inkling of anyone doing, or even planning, a new 1:72 Catalina.

 

I take your point about manufacturers playing their cards close to their chests, but I suspect that Mr Boeing, or whoever it is that owns the rights to the Consolidated name these days, may want too much moolah to make it worthwhile. Of course, Mr Airfix may give us a new, all singing, all dancing Catalina over the weekend, but if he does I won't have lost much, other than a bit of time! And I'm sure there are lots of Academy kits out there in modelling land that could use the correction set anyway ...

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29 minutes ago, Admiral Puff said:

I'm sure there are lots of Academy kits out there in modelling land that could use the correction set anyway.

 

That's just about exactly was I was thinking as I read through the thread; I've got 4 Academy kits and wouldn't like to think about the loss I'd take if I tried to sell them and buy replacements. Besides, the kit is actually quite nice and apart from the engine errors the faults are easily fixed.

 

We'll expect to hear from you before Christmas then?  :D

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I'd be interested as well. I only plan on doing one cat, but would want it to be accurate.

 

HTH

Finn

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Some objective thoughts:

 

LOVE the Catalina!!  Oh, wait, that's not objective...

 

I like the idea of "plug and play" parts when practical- makes it far more user friendly, even if you ARE good with chopping up perfectly good [sic] model parts.  The Cat's center section seems like a good prospect, IF the nacelles need fixing.  It doesn't strike me as such a big section that it would really cause problems for production/shipping, however I'm very edgy about resin wing panels that are supposed to be flat but turn out not to be.  I wonder if it might be possible to cast two "half-shells" instead, which would use less resin, add less weight to the poor ol' gear legs, and allow for a spar to help ensure proper flatness.

 

As a variation on the "fit new nacelles" approach, if the new one has a larger "footprint" on the wing, clever design of the edges might allow the surgeon modeller to just whack off the kit nacelle ALMOST down to the wing, allowing the new part to settle into place using the original nacelle edge to automatically align it, while also avoiding any need for real precision of cutting.

 

In either case, I urge you, the creator, to do whatever it takes to get precision.  I detest paying a fair amount of money for a "correction" that I then have to attempt to correct by getting warp out, blending it into the kit parts where it doesn't really fit the way the instructions claim it should, etc.

 

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