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Short Empire from Sunderland using Adrian's vacu fuselage


JWM
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Hi,

A fascinating and ambitious project by @AdrianMF 

of making home made vacu fuselage to convert Airfix Sunderland into Empire has an unexpected extension. I have received one of fuselages made in trials by Andrian to make also Empire from Airfix Sunderland. I am very grateful to Adrian for gift :)

I was thinking on scratch build or rather scratch conversion of Airfix Sunderland into Empire from some years. Rougly from time when Itealeri Sunderland appeared and having Airfix one in stash I started to think what can I do with it after buying Italeri kit... I've got drawing from net, scaled them up to 1/72 and realized than to construct fuselage I will need to cut it both horizontally and verticallly shifitng parts and adding new parts between them. The option with vacu fuselage from Andrian look much better as option.

The staring point is like that:

49641178878_0ec6941bd7_b.jpg

 

However I will not start very fast . Currently I am working on Canadian Stranraer. It is already advanced, prepare for riging:

49641975512_55c514d30c_b.jpg

 

Maybe I will go with both build in paralell.

Anyway it is a loooong series of hydroplans (flying boats, float planes and amphibians) which I started in Autumn of 2018 with Grummans Goose, Duck and Widgeon, then Curtiss Seamew, Seahawk and Seagull, Martin Mriner, Consolidated Coronado, Boeing 314 (vacu), Catalina and PBN Nomad (vacu conv.), Sikorsky S43, Beriev KOR 1, KOR 2, MBR2 M17 and MBR 2 bis , Savoia SM 55X, Walrus, Sea Otter  and not finished yet He 59 and above Stranraer. So the Empire will be no 22 in series...

I will keep you informed on progress

Regards

 

Jerzy-Wojtek

 

Edited by JWM
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What to say? - I put aside Stranraer riging and finish of He 59 and today's evening I devoted to start of inside of fuselage of Empire

Not everythig went perfectly but I will add some putty then

49644923198_29940fbcc3_b.jpg

 

Three in middle were cut from 1.5 mm plate (60 thou if I know what is thou) four others from 0.75 mm (30 thou?)

Regards

J-W

 

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On 3/11/2020 at 5:56 PM, Vesa Jussila said:

Very interesting build.

 

On 3/11/2020 at 10:51 AM, Adam Poultney said:

Now this sounds like an interesting build

Let say - I hope so... Thanks for encouraging!

 

I have change my mind - instead of constructing all frames in one half I cut them by half and start to fill both sides in a mirror symmetry

49653509247_ed0281a6cf_b.jpg

 

Such kind of work was ok in case of build of mine Boeing Clipper 314 year ago. This is intended to have stiff both halves.

 

Airfix Sunderland has construction with last few milimeters of wings moulded together with fuselage. So I have to cut it out

49652695828_3a3c0061fd_b.jpg

 

The wings are not glued together. I have to construct side floats and their riging before I will glue top and bottom halves of wings.

 

I have no drawings to engines of Short S30, only to S23.

45740.jpg

And I am not decided yet which exactly Empire I will build. If anybody can provide drawings of engines (cowlings, inlets and exhausts) for S30 I will appreciate very much.

The scheme which I consider now the most probable is thata one

G-AEUH.jpg

Short%20S23%20Canopus%201939.jpg

Or that one (S30)

710x528_26379641_7935470_1549080803.jpg

31733336151_4980572fbe_b.jpg

 

The patrol bomber is more doubtful - I do not have spare Boulton-Pauld turrets and a lot of details are not sure (no drawings)

Short%20S23%20AX659%20RAF.jpg

 

Regards

J-W

 

 

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I cut out wing fairings from Sunderland fuselage and decided to glue it on fuselage halves of Empire - but after change of angle to make leading edges  less swept.

 

From inside I glued a pieces cut out from 0.75 mm plastic sheet and then another two (on left side) new fairing part ( or three on right side part - difference due to difference in plastic thickenss) Below you may see also drilled holes for 2 mm diameter brass tube reinforcements which I am planning to add in the final assembly,

49658433101_9fa08a091f_b.jpg

From top after adding some Tamiya filler

49658708337_2a2cc91340_b.jpg

 And bottom sides (before any sanding)

49657892028_b8868a4e0b_b.jpg

 

Using tape I made several trials to get right angles

49658433966_d23984e949_b.jpg

49658708867_22e1a8a2df_b.jpg

 

or thefirst time I can see the dimensions, it it smaller than Boeing 314significantly but still it is pretty huge!

 

After some sanding and then careful positioning I glued it on sides of fuselage an add some more filler

 

49657893008_b9e6bb66bf_b.jpg

 

49658709937_4c8544f8f4_b.jpg

 

Meanwhile I started to work on tail

 

49657892668_0f7c2b4fe5_b.jpg

 

I forgotten to buy tube if filler, and I am affraid that due to  all problems caused by Civid-19 pandemy  sanitary regulation the local models shops are closed, so I have to buy in net and wait some days for delivery... 

 

Good new is that Airfix Sunderland canopy is only so  poorly  detailed that maybe it can be used directly for Empire. General dimesions look to be OK at least :)

That is what is done so far, now I am going to finish my He 59 from SCW... Or to do riging of Stranraer...

Regards

J-W

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Itself the very old idea, Brother - I remember discussing it with you in the late 1980s....

At last it became the reality - congrats!

Concerning the engines it is said that of eight Perseus-powered S.30s at least three have been re-engined with poppet-valve Pegasus radials (like the S.23).

Thus you have to examine the photos carefully.

Cheers

Michael

 

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20 hours ago, KRK4m said:

Itself the very old idea, Brother - I remember discussing it with you in the late 1980s....

Maybe reather early 1990s?... I was not  constructing models between 1982 (1983?) till mid 1991...

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Hi,

Today I did some work on side floats. First - the position of floats Is a bit closer to fuselage than in Sunderland, moreover sunce the swept angle of wing is different the floats position is also a bit turned. However the floats themselves looks the same. I used also struts from Airfix box, one I have to do myself - apparently I lost it in some way...

From back it looked like that

49663230638_4588dd8087_b.jpg

 

One can see here (on left)  also the air intakes to oil coolers (? - I guess) - I have added some tubing  to be behind inlet...

 

I had to do riging of float before closeing wings

 

The wings are glued (tops and bottoms). Floats with rigings:

49663230808_7e782a0d76_b.jpg

 

I an closing the rails used in Sunderland to roll out from fuselage the bombs.

I decided not to scribe the pannel lines. I only sand a bit rivets to make them not so emphasized.

BTW -In the end of the day  I am in about 30 % advanced with Stranraer riging and I fought silvering of decals in He 59...

To be cont.

Regards

J-W

 

 

 

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Hi,

I have pause with this project but I have excuse ;)

1. I have finished He 59 B and presented it even on RFI

2. I am ending RCAF Stranraer, it is pretty advanced

49688366246_4b44d408c9_b.jpg

 

regarding Empire there is some progress. I have looked at Airfix engines and the 1960 standard is difficult to be accept today. I think I will keep the cowlings themselves, but I will remove current imitation of engines and the props will be replaced. In my drawer I've found only 3 complete propellers I think from MPM/SH/Italeri Wellingron. The fourth prop has only single blade. So meanwhile I am copying in resin four engines from Italeri Sunderland (so far two are ready) and I've just copied two blades of propellers. Here is what I have:

49688671252_61b83aa7d5_b.jpg

 

Al lthe time I am thinking on ailerons: is there is difference brtween Sunderland and Empire in them? Some drawings suggests, that in case of Empire the aileron leading edge bounds a bit back while going to the direction of wingtip. In Sunderland it is always stright, Is it a real difference?

To be cont.

Regards

J-W

 

J-W

 

 

 

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I removed the "engines" from cowlings and I have already 4 copies of Italeri engines

49697899516_1217819e20_b.jpg

 

I also glued in resin copies of prop blades, to replace two damaged 

49697367638_9f1406c174_o.jpg

The template in background I took from drawer - it is what I did some 15 years ago when I was doing blades for Merlin converson of Airfix Halifax....

 

I have a "beta plan" in case of problems with decals for civil registration (the silver outlined black characters).

I racalled that during my trip to Oslo few years ago I bought some books and booklets on Norwegian airplanes. Among them there is a "Flyhistorie" Nr 35 from 2015.49698204502_297e5855d7_b.jpg

 

Inside there are some interesting  articles. One for example is about catapult airplanes used by Britts in Norway campaign with nice profiles of Fairey Swordfish, Fairey Seafox (!) and Supermarine Walrus, Unfortunatelly text is Norwegian, but photos and drawings are universal, you can understood what is there :) .

The more interesting for me today is article containigs some infos on two Shorts Empire used in Norwegian campaign, as I can guess as transport machine. 

 

There is a photo showing take off (rather then landig ?) of Empire 

49697365463_6eb2bd08af_b.jpg

From the description (please correct me someone who knows Norwegian) I can guess that it shows take of of Short Empire in Bodo harbor on Sunday 5th May 1940, Maybe I am wrong, but nevertheless interesting is that shown here Short Empire apparently has on top of wing roundels "A" not "B", since there are light spots on wings. And no finflash.  Above photo it is said (?) that two Empires were imposed to RAF: the Cabot and Caribou with serials V3137 and V3138, respectively.

On next page there is a nice profile by Kim Brandenberg shoving Caribou in Navy scheme of 1940 with lt. grey underides and EGSG/DKSG upper surfaces, type A roundels and lack of finflash.  On next page there are some takes of damaged Caribou, which confirms lack o yellow outlines on roundels. The lack of finflash is not confirmed here due to damages, however low contrast among upper colors suggests  sea scheme. 

 

 

 

49698204842_5f02557d99_b.jpg

 

Regards

J-W

 

 

 

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@Vesa Jussila, many thanks. BTW - in your status I 've noticed now "Warsaw" Do you mean: that Warsaw? ;)

 

@Ed Russell PM with some data on Aussie Empires. Many thanks for that! I was not considering seriously constructing Empire in RAAF, but now I've changes my mind. This became a serious option for consideration. 

 

I worked a bit on engines. First cowlings - I thinned  the back sides of them:

49702693087_3f69137950_o.jpg 

 

So the elements of engines look now like that:

49701845788_9a636f5295_b.jpg

 

I 've changed my mind also regarding the shape of ailerons. I decided to follw drawings, so I will do a small curve toward wingtips

49701845963_89d4c22276_b.jpg

That is all for today evening

Regards

J-W

 

 

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You are welcome. Your conversion is looking good. Perhaps @AdrianMF might have a niche market for "people who like doing it the hard way"! The late Fred Harris - a local modeller - did a similar vacform fuselage and made a pretty good job of his conversion.

Perhaps the RAAF and Qantas boats are the most interesting of all. They were certainly worked harder than any others and their more dangerous life saw many casualties.When the CMR one came out, we got interested in the military ones and did a conversion.

https://www.redroomodels.com/product/red-roo-raaf-c-class-empire-flying-boat-conv-1-72-scale/

 

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7 hours ago, Ed Russell said:

Your conversion is looking good. Perhaps @AdrianMF might have a niche market for "people who like doing it the hard way"! The late Fred Harris - a local modeller - did a similar vacform fuselage and made a pretty good job of his conversion.

Ed, I think yo are right. The conversion is kind of challange which makes this hobby more interesting.  BTW - I think that my Stranraer build suggests that a conversion set for RCAF variant would be maybe interesting offert on the market. Similar with Shark - the close canopy and Bristol engine with RCAF decals will rise interest I hope...

J-W

 

 

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There is a huge difference between in the distance between cowling and wing leading edge on different drawings, let have a look at those two:

 

Short_S-23_Empire_08_rys.jpg

 

45740.jpg

The lower one of above drawings, very detailed, was for me a reference till yesterday, when I noticed lack of exjaust pipes on them and a lack of carburator air intake to inner engines. So I start to have doubts about the accuracy of it and looking for another drawing I have notice this difference,  

So a photo is needed - it suggests that the true is somewhere in between those two drawings

 

1570507_600_450_83632_1644_fit_0_ecb82a4

 

Similar here (below), but maybe a bit longer? I have to check if there is no difference between S23 and S30, since they have different engines and moreover - maximum take off masses, so maybe position of engines were changed to correct CoG position?

short+cam.JPG

 

And how it is in case of Sunderland?

short-sunderland-flying-boat-raaf-ww2-14

mev-10838912.jpg

 

Looks for me the same as in Coorong (Empire)

 

Any knowledge of experts in this?

Regards

J-W

 

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Although not feeling an expert, but the CG reason should be considered.

Perseus is a Mercury-sized (1520 CID) engine - smaller (stroke shorter by an inch = 25mm) and 10 per cent lighter than a 1750 CID Pegasus.

Mind the Lysander, although there the Mk.II (Perseus) had shorter nose than all other (Mercury-powered) marks.

The reason was of course that poppet-valved Mercury weighed some 50 kg (100 lbs) less than similarly sized sleeve-valved Perseus.

Cheers

Michael

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I believe the Sunderland had the wings pulled back (not re-located, but rotated aft at the wingtips) to correct the CofG so the engine thrustlines were some degrees away from the direction of flight - the photo shows this well.

Sorry I don't know any more detail than this, but may also be a factor in the engine fit?

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Not an expert in this but some links for photos showing the back view of the wings which might show what you're after.

https://live.staticflickr.com/5015/5460523299_c39aa5c3d4_b.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/1c/4e/1f/1c4e1f4de223594b634743549951503c.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/50/5f/38/505f389f3091bf618cf52e1345fd9353.jpg colourised

https://aviadejavu.ru/Images6/HI/HI-5/23-5.jpg

Steve.

Edited by stevehnz
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Thnak you for comments. Of course the Sunderland has wings rotated to get larger swept angle (if it is proper term in English ) of leading edge. I reproduced it by adding a triangular structure (or prism-like or wedge) from back side to cut out from Sunderland wing- fuselage fairings .

 

Steve, thank you for nice photos, especially the New Zealander color photo is great but I am sorry, apparently you've got me wrong. I do not bother on fairings lenght on top of wing but on how long is the distance between cowling and leading edge. This looks to me slightly longer in case of Sunderland than it is in case of Empier. Since the engineers of Short did not corrected the angle of engines losing some driving force of propellers (as divided by cosinus of the angle between direction of  forward and direction of pulling force) ) why they extended the frame on which the engine was mounted?  Moreover, the "Coorong" and "Canopus" are (as I found in Net) both S.23 variant, so there should not be difference and on photos I can see some slightly difference in this lenght.    I have still some time before I will have to glue cowlings on positions, so I hope someone maybe knows it. I have to search on past threads on Empire  in Net.

 

Meanwhile I did some progress.  Currently I have some unusual technical problem with publishing my photos so I will do that in second post later, I hope. 

  

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