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Cessna T-50 civil , KP 1/72nd


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Cessna_T-50_NC67094_%25284722764164%2529

(Image from Wikipedia)

 

The sort of chubby, but well proportioned and cute Cessna Bobcat is a very attractive plane, in its own stumpy little way. Created in 1939, it was then bought in numbers to do the ole bang-piff-pow, but fortunately reverted to a civil role later on.

I had recently acquired a nice little 1/72nd Cessna T-50 Bobcat kit made by Kovozávody Prostějov (KP), the thinking being that the plane was -and still is- so common in the civil market that I would have paint schemes galore to choose from. 

A folder was created and many photos were gathered. Recently a fellow countryman sent me a few images of some very tempting machines that operated in Argentina. Problem was, as usual with early and vintage aviation, that the colors could not be properly ascertained. Having several subjects that caught my attention as potential replicas, I remembered that somewhere I had (yet another) vintage FormaPlane vacuformed kit. I dug it out, but to my utter disappointment, the quality of this old vac was dismal. I have built and posted here many vacs, some really basic, but this was unfortunately way too crude and unappealing to qualify for redemption:

 

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Pretty bad surface treatment:

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 The clear part yellowed due the age, and can only be partially restored:

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No spar,  no insertion of horizontal tail, what one would call un-engineering:

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... thus I decided to just build the injected KP kit. The KP kit has a very nice surface treatment, seems correct, the level of detail is good except regarding the engines, that are just a bit basic for modern standards. They can be of course used, as not a lot of them is actually really seen, but better aftermarket ones could improve the final result. No resin or P.E. bits, and, to my disappointment, no masks, that I had to purchase separately. Still, very clear clear parts (not always the case you can repeat that word), and a comprehensive and seemingly good quality decal sheet with many civil options, for which KP has my congratulations. Kovozávody Prostějov is a manufacturer's name that is a source of delight for my otorhinolaryngologist, as after pronouncing it I have to schedule an appointment for him to find my tongue. Then I have to go back again after pronouncing otorhinolaryngologist.

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Contents, clear parts separately packaged and decals inside the instruction booklet:

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Nice decal sheet, with many options, including "Songbird", a nod to the American market:

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Sprues:

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A fair rendition of the inst. pan., but not exceptionally good engines, still ok:

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Nice surface with subtle, refined detail:

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Some attention to the smaller parts:

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Again, fine-tuned hand in the masters:

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Nice clear parts:

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After the customary wash, it's noted that the ejection pin marks should be removed, otherwise they will get in the way of a good fit:

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The wings and vertical tail will most likely need some very careful sanding from inside to avoid a too thick trailing edge and ensure good fit:

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The care for the surface detail is evident, praise should be given:

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Ejector marks being removed. The plastic is on the hard side:

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The props are not that crisp, and the blades are a bit thick, thus there are sanded and polished:

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The mating surfaces need some careful sanding to improve fit and thickness at the tip, but do not overdo it:

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Some parts are being glued before painting them:

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The tail also needed some sanding:

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Ejector marks removed and edges trued:

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Paired parts are given their numbers with a permanent marker before extracting them from the sprues:

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Again, the edges needed truing, and again, don't overdo it:

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Glued, ignoring the instructions, which will have you embrace the engine between the two cowl halves, making sanding, cleaning and painting more difficult:

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The kit wants to you to put a sort of disk as an exhaust, that won't do:

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Small tubes from the craft store will be better:

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The location is drilled and later the tube will inserted. By the way, only one cowl had the exhaust position marked, I had to mirror the other side:

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A nice addition are LG scissors, absent or poorly rendered in many kits. They are quite ok, but many of these smaller parts would have been better as photo-etched details:

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As per norm I tend to really complicate my life with kits, but for this one I will try to make my life easier, as a divertimento, to take breaks from the Fokker F.32 and the Friedrichshafen FF49c, which are complicated enough. But an easy life isn't really in the cards for modelers, and beloved wanted her new gym bike assembled. Pft! only 34,604 parts, weighing a ton, so Xmas day is spent thus:

IMG_5749.jpg

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Following this with extraordinary interest, as I am researching a book on the T-50 and had a hand, albeit a small one, in the development of both the Czech Models 1/48 and KP 1/72 kits.

 

The aircraft in the photo, N67094, was AT-17B c/n 3145, USAAF serial number 42-38936, one of 466 in a batch built for the USAAF to Spec. 215A, Contract W535ac20300 suppl. #1, date of manufacture 20 November 1942. It was sold as surplus 16 July 1946 for the princely sum of $400.00. After civil conversion and award of an Airworthiness Certificate, it was registered NC67094 2 October 1946. As of its last recorded annual inspection (30 July 1953) it had accumulated a total time of 1893:50 (hrs:min) in the hands of eight owners since its conversion to civil status. It was reported to have been written off in a hailstorm in 1960, and the airframe scrapped and engines and other useful components salvaged.

 

I would love to see those photos of Argentine examples for possible inclusion in my book.

Edited by Space Ranger
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Great to see you doing these, Moa. I will soon be starting my KP Bobcat (to be dressed in Wisconsin Central Airlines colors, to go with my Lockheed L10) and will be carefully taking notes as you blaze the trail. 
 

p.s. I have heard the KP landing gear are too long, as if the gear aren’t under load (i.e., the scissors are extended).  You may want to check on that.

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2 hours ago, dnl42 said:

My my! This seems quite modern for your usual subject, no?

 

I have a 1/48 version (I know, very sad) in the stash. I plan on doing it as this shark-mouth LOT aircraft. I have some interior photos sent by the Kraków museum; PM me if interested.

 

 

Well, yes, although 1939 is not that modern. Most likely, though, I would be doing a converted machine from the 50s.

Thanks for your kind offer, but I am going underground livery, most likely 😁

 

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20 minutes ago, Space Ranger said:

Following this with interest, as i am researching a book on the T-50 and had a hand, albeit a small one, in the development of both the Czech Models 1/48 and KP 1/72 kits.

Oh, on this one, you won't be learning anything from me, more likely the way around. I will keep this as simple as I can, very low key.

 

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11 minutes ago, billn53 said:

Great to see you doing these, Moa. I will soon be starting my KP Bobcat (to be dressed in Wisconsin Central Airlines colors, to go with my Lockheed L10) and will be carefully taking notes as you blaze the trail. 

I know, Bill! Looking forward to it!

Still not decided on my subject, but getting closer.

Cheers

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I just could not live with the mediocre props, and replaced them with better resin items from Khee-Kha Art Products:

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After the light sanding of the wings from inside, they still did not "close" properly, especially at the trailing edge, due to some molding particularity -greatly exaggerated in the sketch below:

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Again the scrapers come useful:

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I think I may replace those not-so-good engines for better Engine & Things resin ones, they are more credibly shaped and "see-through", instead of being half engines on a disk with not great definition. This will necessitate the addition of a firewall, but will allow me to thin the trailing edge of the cowl for a more realistic look, separating it as in reality from the nacelle:

(Notice that the manufacturer lists the plane as "Granie" in the leaflet inside the pouch)

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3 minutes ago, mark.au said:

Following along, not so much for the subject matter but your WIPs are a modelling master class.  Getting comfortable and settling in for the duration.

 

Mark, you are indeed more than kind. Now, about the "subject matter"...ts ts! 😁. When are we going to be treated with a civil build by you? 😉

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