Well, I’ve been working on this for awhile, and decided if I posted to a WIP thread it might keep me from getting too distracted and laying it down, as I can now see this is going to take more elbow grease than I initially thought.
When I saw Ben Fulcher’s 1/48 Privateer at a contest earlier this year (which subsequently took home some trophies from IPMS Nationals in Omaha), I was inspired to pull out my old Matchbox offering. I wanted to upgrade it a bit, so after some research, bought two sets of Squadron canopy replacements for all the turrets and glass, a set of QuickBoost barrels, and a set of engines/nacelles, along with some decals. Here’s the kit:
As I got to looking at the kit-provided turrets, I realized I couldn’t just replace the clear parts and the barrels, as what was included with the kit was a laughable post with broomsticks sticking off of it, along with a gunner. So…time to fire up the scratch building. Here’s a look at the kit provided upper turret (sorry – don’t know why it’s going in upside-down – Martin…?)
Here’s my work so far on the two top turrets. I cut the original clear part in half to use the bottom section, filled in the gun slots as they don’t run all the way down, thinned the walls to try to make more room for scratch building, and glued that to the base. I had attached the crosspiece to the base and then sawed off the “barrels” to provide something to affix the scratchbuilt .50’s to, then filed that section down quite a bit before connecting the clear piece to the base. Next inserted the gunner before attaching the guns, as I knew I would have to trim my guns a bit to make everything fit. Once those were in place, I build up the other elements of the internal structure matching as closely as possible reference photos. After heat forming that curved section in front of the gunner, I used a piece of left-over clear from the Squadron canopies to cut small gunsights. To create the shell bandoliers, I cut small lengths of copper wire and laid it on a strip of crepe art tape, then laid another thinner strip of tape on top of that, then trimmed the wire off. From a distance it at least gives the impression of a belt of shells!
This is the finished turret with the clear piece just setting on top of it. I haven’t polished it up yet, nor done any work to highlight the plexiglass seams (still debating how I’m going to do that).
I’m almost done with the tail turret. Here are a few of the early pics. I decided not to use the Squadron clear parts for this, and instead cut down the yoke, and then began adding all the internal structure using the yoke as my attachment point. I’ve almost got it finished – had to find a spare pilot as the kit didn’t provide a tail gunner – and will post a few more detail pics shortly.
I just began the teardrop turrets last night – that’s going to take some work! And I haven’t even pulled out the Eco ball turret for the nose yet…