Converting a 1/72 T-6 into the Biplane Variant
At the February Display at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, there will be a group build by NorthWest Scale Modelers (and anyone interested really) of North American T-6 Texans. This will include all variants.
In discussing the civil conversions of T-6's in the Yahoo group "CivilWings", the biplane conversion reared its ugly head. Ugly is the key concept regarding this plane. Why was it ever built? I heard it was a crop-duster, but don't know how true it is. When the guys ask me why it was done, I just say they probably did it for the same reason I did it: to see if it could be done. Either that or it was built on a dare.
I should have painted the anti-glare panel first, masked it, then sprayed the silver (I used Floquil bright silver, by the way) but I simply forgot to do it! I ended up shooting the OD anti-glare panel AFTER the upper wing was on, and masking the silver with Post-Its to not mar the delicate silver. Once the anti-glare panel was on, and not fully cured, I produced paint chips by scraping at the OD with a scalpel and even my fingernail.
After attaching the upper wing to the pylon, I fit and attached brass rod for the cabane struts. I worked inboard to outboard for good access. Moment of honesty: I didn't measure any of the struts. I just cut them to size by nipping off a bit at a time. For the interplane struts, I used Contrail Strutz. I didn't attach them until I had drilled holes and inserted brass rod into the ends. That was dicey. The linkage between the ailerons is brass rod. The strut configuration is remarkably strong. When all was done, I attached the wire bracing to the upper wing using Tippet line.
That is the long and the short of it. I apologize for not taking pictures along the way, but didn't plan on writing an article. Conversions like this one, where it's a heavily weathered jerry rigged plane, is pretty forgiving of errors. Ater all, the real thing is a mess!