Jump to content

Making a DC-7C from Heller's DC-6 (1:72 scale)


Recommended Posts

I've long wanted to convert Heller's classic 1:72nd DC-6 to a DC-7 so I recently took the plunge and ordered the Aircraft in Miniature conversion set from Hannants. A box soon arrived crammed full of nicely molded grey resin along with a comprehensive set of instructions. 

 

The conversion kit gives you fuselage plugs to extend the DC-6 fuse to the longer DC-7, a new wing centre section, a new taller and squarer fin, saddle tanks for the engines, new cowlings and cooling gills (open or closed) as well as white-metal 4-bladed props. All in all a very comprehensive set. 

 

51103347783_b8d83d0e67_b.jpg

 

Looking at the work ahead I have decided to tackle the wings and engines first as these look to be the most demanding parts of the conversion. My first job was to remove the DC-6 engine nacelle extensions that sit over the wing - the new saddle tanks will replace these in due course:

 

51103345773_70d8cd7c86_b.jpg

 

Next I prepared the upper wings for mating to the new, extended wing centre-section by removing the inner section of the wing to fuselage fairing:

 

51103209177_b1bd2c90cf_b.jpg

 

I then added a false roof to the main gear bays as the surgery required to add the saddle tanks will undoubtedly be ugly, and then I offered the lower wings to the new wingbox. The original DC-6 centre-section gives a useful comparison:

 

51103345728_78a30c4918_b.jpg

 

I've encountered a small issue in the fact the chord of the new resin wingbox is greater than that of the DC-6 wing, but a file should soon take care of that...

 

Wing Insert

 

More updates to follow as this project progresses - stay tuned!

 

All the best,

Tom

  • Like 13
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, sroubos said:

I've got this kit and the conversion in my stash as well. Thanks for being a guinea pig ;)

Always happy to take one for the team!:banghead:

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, Tom!  Another big plunge on your part, as if the DC-8 weren't enough!  Can't get enough of that Douglas heavy metal, eh?  BTW: I really enjoyed building the Heller DC-6B SOB and I can see that this conversion is going to be a bit of work on your part.   

 

That box art takes me back to 1985, in the innocent days before the Internet, when (almost) every new release was a surprise.  I stumbled upon the kit while browsing the gift shop at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.  What a find, and I think it cost me $12.50.  Later, Koku Fan magazine broke the news that Heller would release the 707-320B in '86, and I broke hard for jets!   I was "all-in" for big aircraft at that point.

 

I'm sure you know that the rear fuselage curvature on the underside is a little too abrupt, and could probably use some help.  I'm trying to plot out how best to correct that shape before I start my third DC-6, as Air Atlantique's G-SIXC.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Love to see this being build by you Tom...the engine cowl flaps do miss their bulges they should have were the  superchargers are fitted and the props are not entirely correct in shape ...

I have the same conversion but my centersection for this build is totally deformed and is going to need a heck of a lot of work to get corrected as one side is thicker than the other and not being straight as well..

I think I wil be ending up building a new one 🤪

Nevertheless lookin forward to your build Tom as will make it look outstanding(no pressure though)....

 

cheers, Jan

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to see how this goes. I also have this conversion. Eventually will be a stablemate with a Super Connie, might be an unstable friendship.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, SallysDad said:

This looks really interesting. 

Really liked, and still liking your B-52, as well.

Your builds are a class in creativity.

You’re too kind. There’s nothing special about my builds - I just love a challenge and am willing to throw caution to the wind!

18 hours ago, TheyJammedKenny! said:

Wow, Tom!  Another big plunge on your part, as if the DC-8 weren't enough!  Can't get enough of that Douglas heavy metal, eh?  BTW: I really enjoyed building the Heller DC-6B SOB and I can see that this conversion is going to be a bit of work on your part.   

 

That box art takes me back to 1985, in the innocent days before the Internet, when (almost) every new release was a surprise.  I stumbled upon the kit while browsing the gift shop at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.  What a find, and I think it cost me $12.50.  Later, Koku Fan magazine broke the news that Heller would release the 707-320B in '86, and I broke hard for jets!   I was "all-in" for big aircraft at that point.

 

I'm sure you know that the rear fuselage curvature on the underside is a little too abrupt, and could probably use some help.  I'm trying to plot out how best to correct that shape before I start my third DC-6, as Air Atlantique's G-SIXC.

The DC-8 is patiently waiting for better weather so that painting can begin - too much wet and windy weather here at the mo. 
 

Not sure I’ll correct the rear fuselage - I’ll have enough on my plate just getting this together!

17 hours ago, janneman36 said:

Love to see this being build by you Tom...the engine cowl flaps do miss their bulges they should have were the  superchargers are fitted and the props are not entirely correct in shape ...

I have the same conversion but my centersection for this build is totally deformed and is going to need a heck of a lot of work to get corrected as one side is thicker than the other and not being straight as well..

I think I wil be ending up building a new one 🤪

Nevertheless lookin forward to your build Tom as will make it look outstanding(no pressure though)....

 

cheers, Jan

I’ve checked my new centre section and the right wing is thinner than the left.  I’m not going to worry too much about that to be honest as it’s only noticeable from certain angles! I won’t tell if you don’t...

16 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

I want to see how this goes. I also have this conversion. Eventually will be a stablemate with a Super Connie, might be an unstable friendship.

I have done a Super Connie myself and this will certainly look the part along side it. I’m hoping one day Mr Gaunt will take on a Starliner conversion - that’ll get me spending more money!

Edited by tomprobert
Autocorrect gone mad
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, tomprobert said:

You’re too kind. There’s nothing special about my builds - I just love a challenge and am willing to throw caution to the wind!

The DC-8 is patiently waiting for better weather so that painting can begin - too much wet and windy weather here at the mo. 
 

Not sure I’ll correct the rear fuselage - I’ll have enough on my plate just getting this together!

I’ve checked my new centre section and the right wing is thinner than the left.  I’m not going to worry too much about that to be honest as it’s only noticeable from certain angles! I won’t tell if you don’t...

I have done a Super Connie myself and this will certainly look the part along side it. I’m hoping one day Mr Gaunt will take on a Starliner conversion - that’ll get me spending more money!

Would be nice to have a Starliner. I was lucky to get the German conversion, but still haven't made it yet. My opinion, THE prettiest of the Connie family.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

Would be nice to have a Starliner. I was lucky to get the German conversion, but still haven't made it yet. My opinion, THE prettiest of the Connie family.

This sounds interesting - I wasn’t aware of a conversion being available and would love to see some pics if possible. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, tomprobert said:

This sounds interesting - I wasn’t aware of a conversion being available and would love to see some pics if possible. 

It’s a conversion kit by https://www.scalemates.com/brands/kappners-fliegerhorst--7436 new wings, engines, metal props. It came out quite some time ago. If I forgot (have to look for it to) just search 1/72 starliner and you should find a nice one built on a dio on an apron. I was going to try cast the wings but never made anything this large and parts I have made don’t always come out nice. I think I was going to replace it’s engines with ones from Ha-Hen and tweak the exhaust or Plus Model and the props have round tips, I prefer the more common square tipped ones, both are correct.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, busnproplinerfan said:

It’s a conversion kit by https://www.scalemates.com/brands/kappners-fliegerhorst--7436 new wings, engines, metal props. It came out quite some time ago. If I forgot (have to look for it to) just search 1/72 starliner and you should find a nice one built on a dio on an apron. I was going to try cast the wings but never made anything this large and parts I have made don’t always come out nice. I think I was going to replace it’s engines with ones from Ha-Hen and tweak the exhaust or Plus Model and the props have round tips, I prefer the more common square tipped ones, both are correct.

Well... you learn something new every day. I had no idea this conversion existed - thank you for sharing. It appears that they are like hen's teeth, however, so come on AIM!

 

In other news...

 

The lower wing halves were added to the new resin centre section, after the leading edges were filed and reshaped to match the Heller DC-6 wing. As you can see there are some substantial tabs that insert into the the DC-6 wing and these, coupled with five-minute epoxy have resulted in a very solid join:

 

51106607271_781c896db8_b.jpg

 

With some initial sanding, the lower join isn't too bad at all:

 

51106507198_d61120292c_b.jpg

 

The upper wings were braced with a sprue spar as they were weakened from the removal of the DC-6 nacelles, and then added to the lower sections. Here the join wasn't so great but I think this is solely down to the fact I didn't measure thrice and cut once - some plastic shims filled the gaps and then Milliput has done the rest. The wings are now in the process of having their panel lines restored:

 

51106507208_cb41e9e8b2_b.jpg

 

So far, so good...

 

Until next time,

Tom

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Work has continued on the wings of late, and specifically the engines.

 

The resin replacement saddle tanks needed a bit of hot water treatment to get them to conform to the shape of the wing a little better, before they were epoxied firmly in place. A quick lick of Milliput sorted the joints without any major issues:

 

51117001526_fb15347fa0_z.jpgUntitled by Thomas Probert, on Flickr

 

51117001556_c18b61e400_z.jpgUntitled by Thomas Probert, on Flickr

 

Next up was adding the rearmost sections on the engines themselves which include the exhaust stystem and various intakes. These sat slightly lower at the top if the large intake and therefore needed to be built up with some filler, but once sanded everything is nice and level and blended in:

 

51117001531_08896bfbdf_z.jpgUntitled by Thomas Probert, on Flickr

 

51117798820_56771bfd17_z.jpgUntitled by Thomas Probert, on Flickr

 

I think I've gone as far as I need to with the wing and engines now, so will likely turn my attention to the fuselage...

 

Until next time,

Tom

 

 

  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites

That is looking great. I really enjoy seeing your work unfolding.

 

Just a thought on the Stratocruiser (I think), I believe there is a complete kit of this made my Academy, though I can't remember for certain. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tom.  Hope that you are keeping well, I somehow managed to miss the latest opus, but it looks to be up to your usual excellent standards.  I remember the SAS Seven Seas at Heathrow when I was 'spotting' there in the late 1950s and early 60s.   Robin.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, SallysDad said:

That is looking great. I really enjoy seeing your work unfolding.

 

Just a thought on the Stratocruiser (I think), I believe there is a complete kit of this made my Academy, though I can't remember for certain. 

Hey b'ye, an islander. There was a 1/72 Stratocruiser made by Minicraft Academy, whichever. I should've bought one when they were affordable. There was even a P.E. set for it I saw.

Link to post
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...