PBY Catalina WIP

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by newmagrathea, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    I started a new project a couple weeks ago building a PBY Catalina. My grandfather was a radio man for a crew for one of these lovely planes in WWII. I've always been fascinated with the plane and how useful they are. Many are still in use today, in fact my grandfather has tracked down his original plane and it's still being flown in Australia.

    For this build I'm not going to do a bunch of mods, just a couple because I want to display it in a water take-off/landing formation. So the landing gear has to be up, but the wing floats down. The kit does not have a spacer for behind the wheels if you want them retracted, so I made one out of some styrene tubing I had laying around. Hopefully this build will go much quicker than my last kit and it'll be mostly painting and weathering.

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    Primer
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    It's kind of hard to tell but I glued in the landing gear doors.
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  2. samster27

    samster27 Well-Known Member

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    I have always loved the Catalina, especially when painted blue and white with lots of weathering. Will be watching this build. Great too to hear this plane has a family link too.
     
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  3. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    It's a true testament to the designs that this and the DC3/C47 are still in use. The military and designers could learn a thing or two.
     
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  4. astroboy

    astroboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Good lord that's a beautiful plane.

    It's the millennium falcon of airplanes
     
  5. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    I have that one and the 5 I converted into a 5A.
    Did full interiors.
    Need to finish them up since they just need final assembly and painting.

    Then it's on to the 1/48 I have in my stash.
     
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  6. astroboy

    astroboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  7. rbeach84

    rbeach84 Sr Member

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    Need some more reference? Google up 'PBY cutaway Naval Aviation Museum' and follow that rabbit hole...

    Regards, Robert
     
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  8. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    I'm going to be painting it the blue and white because that is what my grandfathers plane was painted.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah, apparently it was the stealth bomber of WWII as well. Heavily used in the Pacific, there is a really great documentary that I watched on Youtube recently about it. I'll have to see if I can find it again.

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    Isn't that from a movie, I could almost swear I remember that scene from somewhere. Something to do with forest fires maybe.

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    I'm going to check that out. I've having a hard time finding good paint references for the different paint schemes. Specifically stuff like what the interior was painted and inside of the wheel wells.
     
  9. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    This is what I'm hoping to paint it like. I'm also hoping to figure out how to print my own decal, or find someone that can. I'm going to get the numbers for my grandfathers plane and put them on the side.

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  10. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    Yes, it's from the movie Always (1989) starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Brad Johnson, and John Goodman. It's a loose remake of A Guy Named Joe (1943), which starred Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, and Van Johnson.

    Back to the main topic, I've always liked the PBY so I'll be very interested in watching your progress on this. (y)thumbsup
     
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  11. Jeebee25

    Jeebee25 Active Member

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    I just saw one of these up close for the first time in Oak Harbor near Seattle. Just a gorgeous airplane! Bookmarking your build.
     
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  12. Victor3

    Victor3 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely going to watch and learn from your build!
    I've always loved the Cat, and have this on my 1/72 wish list.

    It's always been a fantasy of mine to get a real one, spruce it up & travel the world, with the kids hanging out by the safely sealed turret bubbles. Land in the ocean by some of those funky islands of the asian Pacific & do some fishing. Not gonna EVER happen, but a nice dream...
     
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  13. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Wasn't the interior spaces of most WW2 planes green zinc chromate (yellow on some), the wheel wells probably would have been that or the exterior color to match. Oddly I found a nail polish to use on small models that was almost the same green as the zinc.
     
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  14. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    You can actually find construction pictures from WWII, some in color.
    Zinc Green seems to be what was usually used inside.

    I have a large archive on my PC from scouring the net for several months looking for pictures.
    Your outside wheel wells will be the same as the side of the fuselage for camo reasons.

    There is a really nice restored museum bird in Australia, a flying one in New Zealand, several others around still doing air shows in Europe.
    Snafu Snatchers is in San Diego IIRC.

    A few years ago I saw someone had 2 planes for sale for $300,000.
    One flying and the other for parts.
     
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  15. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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  16. Betamin

    Betamin Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I used to have a model of a PBY when I was a kid. It's one of my favorite planes.
     
  17. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    A few people tried to do exactly that.
    http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/04/24/all-aboard-the-flying-yacht-circa-1950/
     
  18. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    There used to be a 6A conversion kit. (don't know of it's still available)

    Probably to late but here is the PE set by Eduard.

    Sites I have bookmarked.
    Airliners picture site (good source for still flying birds)
    PBY.com
    Seawings.co.uk
    History of war
    VP Navy
    Catalina Society
    PBY Rescue ( the cutaway plane)
    A few Photobucket pix
    Public Source on Flickr (you will have to skim through a lot ov vintage aircraft photos)
    Kiwi Aircraft
    Prime Portal
    Flying Yacht (Civilian owned PBY)

    Link to my photo bucket pix of the interiors I did on mine.
    Several reference pix I posted
     
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  19. Victor3

    Victor3 Well-Known Member

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  20. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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  21. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Wow, that's an excellent list of references. Thank you sir.
     
  22. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    A little gluing and a lot of primer. All of the large parts are primered, I just need to get the interior painted weathered so I can start assembly. After doing some research I've found that there are two possible paint schemes, a two tone light blue and white or a dark blue, light blue and white (like the pic I posted earlier). I dug around in my paints and actually have the correct green for the interior already, at least the Tamiya version of it.

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  23. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    If possible assemble the full wing before you attach it to the fuselage that way you can make sure it's flat.
     
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  24. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Good tip. I haven't glued the wing to fuselage yet. The instructions tell you to glue the center section of the wing to the fuselage before you glue on the wing tips. But after you mentioned that glueing the entire wing together first to keep it straight, seems like it would be much easier.

    So with that in mind I assembled the wing tip floats and attached them to the wing tips. Wing tips are full assembled now.

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  25. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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  26. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    Very Cool.
    Nice to see she's getting some much needed TLC.
     
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  27. Bioshutt

    Bioshutt Active Member

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    There is one on display here in San Diego in the Pavillion in the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park
     
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  28. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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  29. Lear60man

    Lear60man Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Im not a Parrot Head........but if I was a Billionaire.......my dogs and I would be cruising the Caribbean in one non stop.
     
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  30. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    Isn't the one in SD Snafu Snatchers?
     
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  31. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Yeah, I've found a few PBY's listed as on display and I've seen several pictures of the Snafu Snatchers plane. I like the paint job on Snafu Snatchers.

    Small update. I painted the interior parts that will be seen green chromate. Also primered the floats and filled some seams on the wings and re-sanded those seams. Started prepping the tiny parts that are to be painted black.

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  32. Bioshutt

    Bioshutt Active Member

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    Not that I know of but I could be wrong but here is a good shot of it 18488348058_bc0d72bd66_b.jpg
     
  33. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    That is a great shot, but I don't think that one is Snafu Snatchers. I'm going to use that photo you posted, it's got some angles on parts that I've been having a hard time finding, specifically that nose configuration.
     
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  34. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    If you need any reference let me know and I'll see what I can dig up.
    (providing my computer isn't acting up)
     
  35. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Cool, thanks. I'm specifically looking for color photos of PBY's that were in Alaska in the Aleutian islands. I've found one image on ebay.

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    So I have made some progress, just not big dramatic changes. I've mostly been cutting out the small parts, cleaning them up, and spraying primer on them. All of the parts are now primed except for the clear parts. I'm currently making the masks for clear parts which is a pain in the rear because there is a lot of them and they are tiny. I have done a little bit of painting and weathering on some internal parts, trying to make them slightly worn looking, like paint has been rubbed off and slightly dirty.

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  36. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    Well I looked through my pix and the only color pictures from the Aleutians are the easy to find ones.
    e35a2ed9.jpg
    aleuts1944.jpg
    air_ventura14.jpg
    1716.jpg
    648.jpg

    Now #37 was also photographed over Midway.

    I suggest looking through the Life WW2 photos on Flickr.
     
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  37. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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  38. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Well it's been a while, work tied me up and kept me from my project. I had to remember where I left off, it was the daunting task of making my own masks..... (I did not mean to rhyme, please forgive me). I looked into buying a set but the cost plus shipping to the US came out to be more than the model itself. This is a pain in the rear, these masks are so tiny, but I'm almost done with that part.

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  39. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Time for an update on this project. Work has been keeping me from getting anywhere on this project, but my work load is finally getting back to normal and I was able to resume this project. Over the weekend I finished painting the internal parts (guns, shield, dash, steering). I finished masking the blisters and nose turret except for the part that plugs the hole where the gun barrels come out. These mask are super tiny and very time consuming to make. I was able to glue on the blisters and glue in the landing gear wells.

    Next steps are cut all the tiny clear windows mask and glue them in, get the steering column glued in, motors put in and masked. After all that is done, the major assemble and paint can start.

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    It's getting close to finished.
     
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  40. Krest

    Krest New Member

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    Very nice. I still have a (roughly) 1/24 scale RC Cat lying around waiting to get build. Seeing yours put that back on this winter's build-list.
     
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  41. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    I have one of those too, my grandfather put it together and gave it to me. I'm not sure what brand mine is and I know there is a couple different companies making them. Mine is yellow and blue, not the color scheme that I would prefer. That is another project that I need to get going again. I've never flown the plane, the battery is shot and it came with a really cheap AM receiver and radio. I want to replace the receiver with a DSM receiver so I can use my DX6i.
     
  42. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    A bit more progress.

    I glued in the engines into the cowls, and glued those to the center section of the wing.
    I glued the wing tips to the center of the wing, the wing is completely assembled now.
    Finished masking everything, there are so many little windows on this thing.
    Glued in the steering column and mounted the nose gun.
    Glued the two halves of the fuselage together finally.

    What's left:
    Glue the cockpit in place
    Putty the seams and sand them smooth
    Another round of primer
    Masking and painting
    Decals
    weathering

    I've still got to figure out how I'm going to mount this.

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  43. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    She's got paint. The props and wing are not glued on, I just set them on for fun. Next I'll put the decals on and start the weathering.

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  44. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Active Member

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    Hi newmagrathea, did you figure out?
    If not, I use to buy it from ebay..just search "inkjet waterslide decal paper"
    They are very cool, easy to use, I have been using them with no problem!

    About the low res images from the website which shows your granpa's plane.. I could not find high res photos.. but managed to enlarge that 300x225 to 1250x938 with low detail loss.. now you can see even the plane number and Australian flag.. hope it helps.

    Looking forward to see yours finished.

    ferryFlight high 2.jpg
     
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  45. division 6

    division 6 Master Member

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    Tail numbers are changed when transferred to civilian use and changed again if sold to another country.

    Don't forget the de-icer boots (black) on the leading edge of the wings.
     
  46. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Yeah, I've got a few touch ups and details to paint. I still have to paint the wing supports too.
     
  47. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    Beautiful model. I just ordered on in 1:48 to do Goodman's plane for the aforementioneded film Always.
     
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  48. SpamDaddy

    SpamDaddy Active Member

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    This is really coming along nicely. There were so many amazing aircraft designs in WW2. I just ordered a 1/48 B24D Liberator, my favorite WW2 design just ahead of the P61 Black Widow. I think I just found my 3rd favorite. I didn't even know this plane existed which is sad because I think Consolidated Aircraft produced both craft. Thanks guys!

    Lee
     
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  49. Zombie_61

    Zombie_61 Master Member

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    The PBY-5A Catalina and the Douglas B-26C and TB-26C Invaders were the coolest aircraft in the movie in my opinion. Be sure to share photos with us after it's finished, if not in progress!
     
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  50. Junk Pilot

    Junk Pilot Sr Member

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