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The forgotten Douglas Commercial - DC-5 from a DC-3


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Douglas DC-5

1/144

KLM, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), 1940

 

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(Still can't work out how to centralise photos!)

 

I realised a while ago that amongst the stash and completed models I had the potential to do all the Douglas Commercials in 1/144 scale except for that elusive DC-5 (and perhaps the DC-1 but I’m hoping that’s near enough to a DC-2). FRsin do a kit, but my last experience of their resins (a Handley Page Hermes) was such that I don’t want to go there again. However, having bought the Roden DC-3 and realised it was much better than the Minicraft kit that was in the stash, I wondered whether I could use the Minicraft DC-3 as a basis for a DC-5.

 

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Initially I thought I would just use the engines and props and scratch the rest, but then I started to look at chopping up the wings and using them, and eventually the fuselage as well. I cut the wing fairings out and filled the huge gaps with strips of sprue covered with Milliput. I drilled a hole through the top of the fuselage and put a wing spar in place from aluminium tubing, then attached the chopped up wings, etc etc. Huge amounts of Milliput and sanding later I had something that was just about usable. The fin and tailplane were from plasticard (it’s a pity nobody does a 1/144 scale A-20 because the back end of the DC-5 looks just like a Havoc) Undercarriage was from aluminium tube and brass wire with wheels from the spares box. My plan was to hand paint the markings but in the end I cheated and used decals from the FRsin kit.

 

In the end it looked something like a DC-5. I think the fuselage should be a bit fatter and it’s all a bit of an approximation in places but it should look OK from a distance between the DC-4 and DC-6 in the line up. Still got the 1,2 and 3 to build before that though.

 

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Chris

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Wow! Nice  Model! That was a lot of work, but the end result was worth all of the work you put into it!

Mike

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I confess I came here to see HOW you managed to go from a 3 to a 5, but the smoke and mirrors prove to be very effective!  Did you compare against plans at all, or just go with the Eyeball Mk.I?

 

The poor DC-5 really doesn't fit in very well with the rest of the gang, but it probably doesn't deserve to be forgotten, either.

 

Congratulations,

bob

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'I confess I came here to see HOW you managed to go from a 3 to a 5, but the smoke and mirrors prove to be very effective!  Did you compare against plans at all, or just go with the Eyeball Mk.I?'

 

I found some good plans on line and printed them out to 1/144 scale. 

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Chris,

 

My compliments with this difficult conversion of this less known Douglas.  

I like the idea; for using a DC-3 as starting point.  A lot of work but you did a fine job.

 

Thumbs up ! 

 

Greetings,

JohnHaa 

 

 

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Great result!

Have you done any WIP thread on that one? This is something what is in my plans - I have one "spare" DC-3 (Italeri in 1/72) which I think to "share" into two scratch conversions: the wings I want to use for s B-23 Dragon and the fuselage I want to use as base for DC-5.  If you can share with some problems you faced in this conversion it would be very interesting, I hope not only to me...

Best regards

J-W

 

 

 

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Now this is impressive! Nice work, and the conversion work is quite nice. Didn't even know there WAS such a thing as a DC-5...learned something new today from this post! Thanks for sharing. 

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5 minutes ago, JWM said:

Great result!

Have you done any WIP thread on that one? This is something what is in my plans - I have one "spare" DC-3 (Italeri in 1/72) which I think to "share" into two scratch conversions: the wings I want to use for s B-23 Dragon and the fuselage I want to use as base for DC-5.  If you can share with some problems you faced in this conversion it would be very interesting, I hope not only to me...

Best regards

J-W

 

 

 

I haven't done a WIP. It started out just as a test to see if it was feasible. After I had cut out the wing root fairings from the fuselage there was such a big gap that I didn't think I would be able to fill it, but by putting in 'stringers' of pieces of sprue, then filling the gaps with Milliput it looked possible. The Milliput moved the C of G aft quite a bit so it needed huge amounts of lead in the nose not to be a tail sitter. It just balanced in the end. It also meant I needed a metal undercarriage as the whole thing became really heavy. The wings I cut into two sections to make the inner and outer parts. I was left with no upper surface to the inner wing because that's where the wing root fairings would have been in the DC-3, so a lot more Milliput was used. The engine cowlings needed to be shorter than the DC-3s and the angle of them on the wing needed changing. This was all just about feasible in 1/144 but I'm not sure I would want to do this in 1/72. You might have to think of a different method of filling the fuselage gaps in 1/72 or you will end up with a very heavy model. Looking at the plans I think the DC-5 fuselage was quite a bit fatter than the DC-3. I kind of got away with that in 1/144 - mainly because it will be overshadowed by a DC-4 on one side and a DC-6 on the other, but in 1/72 I'm not so sure. The other aspect of the fuselage is the windows (round instead of square) and doors in different places, which again may be a bit of a challenge in 1/72 because you would need to fill the kit's square windows first - no problem in the 1/144 Minicraft kit because there are no separate windows. Anyway, I'm making it seem a bit of an issue in 1/72 but I'm sure you could do it if you really wanted to. Having said all that I think there's a 1/72 DC-5 kit anyway - Planet models maybe?

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4 minutes ago, CT Modeller said:

I haven't done a WIP. It started out just as a test to see if it was feasible. After I had cut out the wing root fairings from the fuselage there was such a big gap that I didn't think I would be able to fill it, but by putting in 'stringers' of pieces of sprue, then filling the gaps with Milliput it looked possible. The Milliput moved the C of G aft quite a bit so it needed huge amounts of lead in the nose not to be a tail sitter. It just balanced in the end. It also meant I needed a metal undercarriage as the whole thing became really heavy. The wings I cut into two sections to make the inner and outer parts. I was left with no upper surface to the inner wing because that's where the wing root fairings would have been in the DC-3, so a lot more Milliput was used. The engine cowlings needed to be shorter than the DC-3s and the angle of them on the wing needed changing. This was all just about feasible in 1/144 but I'm not sure I would want to do this in 1/72. You might have to think of a different method of filling the fuselage gaps in 1/72 or you will end up with a very heavy model. Looking at the plans I think the DC-5 fuselage was quite a bit fatter than the DC-3. I kind of got away with that in 1/144 - mainly because it will be overshadowed by a DC-4 on one side and a DC-6 on the other, but in 1/72 I'm not so sure. The other aspect of the fuselage is the windows (round instead of square) and doors in different places, which again may be a bit of a challenge in 1/72 because you would need to fill the kit's square windows first - no problem in the 1/144 Minicraft kit because there are no separate windows. Anyway, I'm making it seem a bit of an issue in 1/72 but I'm sure you could do it if you really wanted to. Having said all that I think there's a 1/72 DC-5 kit anyway - Planet models maybe?

Chris, thank you. I have to print the drawings in the scale and look carefully. Indeed there is a resin kit, but I prefer sometime scratch over a resin kit. The main problem can be with fuselage diameter, it it is really differet, I hoped they are same. The openings left atre cuted wigg fairing can be filled with rounded plastic card since it is a cylinder I think at this point. The windows and doors are no problem at all. I am thinking on fwe such massive conversions like Bloch 220 from 210, Potez 65 from 540, Piaggio P108T from 108  and quoted already B23 and DC5. We will see if the life is long enough for those plans :)

Regards

Jerzy-Wojtek

 

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I really like the way you made this come together. I suspect that's the only way a modeler will ever get a decent DC-5 because I have serious doubts we'll see an injected molded kit.

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A very laborious endeavour that rendered a beautiful and unique replica.

Thanks for bringing the type back to life in model form!

Cheers

 

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1 hour ago, CT Modeller said:

Having said all that I think there's a 1/72 DC-5 kit anyway - Planet models maybe?

I've checked and there is a kit by Planet in 1/72

https://www.aviationmegastore.com/douglas-dc5-klm-japanese-navy-235-planet-8595593115214-airliner-modelling-kits/product/?action=prodinfo&art=95204

but also by F-RSIN in 1/144 http://www.f-rsin.com/pages/collection/14092.html :) 

But scratch work brings more fun!

J-W

 

 

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38 minutes ago, JWM said:

I agree. I would much rather work in plastic than resin anyway

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A very interesting and original approach to an unusual subject.

 

The DC-5 is the forgotten Douglas Commercial. If it hadn't had been for World War 2 I am sure it would have been a commercial success. However, the massive production run for the military of Douglas's own DC-3/C-47 design (which was really obsolete as an airliner by 1941) ensured there was no market for a DC-5 after 1945.

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