IPMS Gent modelbouwclub

Flying Boxcar

Start: December 2007 – Finished 28/03/08.

KitC-119C Flying Boxcar
ManufacturerItaleri
Scale1/72
TypeInjection moulded
PaintHumbrol, Vallejo
AccessoriesBalsa
References


De Luchtmacht, uitgeverij Lannoo
The Belgian Air Force, John Pacco, JP Publications
Brussels Air and Space museum
Own Picture's
Internet: http://belmilac.wetpaint.com/page/Fairchild+C119F-G+Flying+Boxcar+(Packet)

Introduction:

C119 Flying Boxcar Internet is a wonderful thing, the world is becoming smaller and people all over the world are able to contact other people or associations. Our association IPMS Ghent (B) can also be found on the web and due to that we were contacted by a man in search of a modeller willing to make an aircraft model for him. That man, Danny, is an ex-Belgian Army paratrooper who is a bit homesick to his youth and his time as a soldier. He was in search for a model of the aircraft from which he once jumped: a Flying Boxcar. He bought a kit of that aircraft but he wasn’t a modeller so he went looking for one on our site. I decided to help him out.

History:

The Belgian Air Force made use of the C-119 Flying Boxcar in the troop and cargo transport role and for para dropping. The C-119 was an updated version of the Fairchild “Packet”; one of the first post WW2 transport aircraft with a double tail and wide opening rear doors.

Belgium bought the F-version, sold some to Denmark and upgrades the others to G-standards. Finally we would purchase some ex-USAF machines and use these till the beginnings of the ’70 untill their replacement by the C-130 Hercules.

The Belgian Royal Aviation Museum owns one C-119. It concerns code number 46, the last one in its series, which ended its active career on Koksijde airfield were it was stocked outdoors. After being neglected for many years, a group of volunteers dismantled this aircraft only to be transported to the Brussels museum where it was restored and presented in static.

Danny and I agreed on building this “46” for the simple reason that I had the opportunity to make as many pictures as I wanted of this aircraft but in the end it would turn out I would build the “37” OT-CBQ being the aircraft Danny flew in on its jumping practice trip to Corsica.

Preparation

C119 Flying BoxcarWe agreed that the rear opening doors would be positioned in their closed position. The Dodge Weapons Carrier provided in the kit would not be used and the aircraft would be placed on a simple base in static, nothing more or less.Taking a look at the kit’s parts I could see this is a re-edition of an earlier Italeri model. All parts necessary to build an F-variant are provided but not those for a G-variant that had other engines, a double nose wheel and additional tail parts. The necessary engine parts and the double nose wheel do make part of the kit but it is stated that they are intended for a C-version and the extra tail parts are still missing. I needed to find a solution for this and decided to build them out of balsa wood. Reading other modeller’s description on the build of several C-119 kits I read that they all encountered problems when trying to fix the cockpit or on positioning the bigger parts and the landing gear. It slowly started to show why so few Flying Boxcar models are shown non shows and contests. Apparently I was up to something

Construction

Construction starts as always with main body and cockpit. As it won’t be a show going model I don’t need to spend much time on the interior.

The cockpit is rather simple and consists of a base and bulkhead, dashboard, two control columns with two steering wheels, four chairs and a plate that finds its place halfway the bulkhead. Another control panel located above the mains dashboard makes part of the glass part.

All parts are assembled and painted as per instructions. The bulkhead part in the cargo bay area receives a floor plate and a top plate. These are all spray painted Interior Green followed by a coat of Klir (Future) and a Vallejo German Camo Blackbrown wash.

Inserting the cockpit in the right hull and inserting as much lead as possible in the nose posed no problems but this is where it all ends. As soon as both halves are put together things go wrong in the nose part where the seam always opens up. It was necessary to adjust the dashboard on both sides until the nose part would fit and the seams close. The general form of the aircraft didn’t make it possible to use any form of clamp and use of the good old tape was necessary hoping it would hold.

Once both body halves are glued we can start filling and sanding the seams but this has to be done very carefully because the kit has raised panel lines. Those that get damaged need to be re-scribed. The top central wing part needed some adjusting as did both tail booms and the main tail piece.

Referring to pictures taken of the real machine I sawed two tail pieces out of a block of balsa wood and sanded them to shape. These parts received a coat of putty and were sanded smooth with water abrasive paper. They are than glued with cyano acrylate glue.

C119 Flying Boxcar The glass part of the cockpit only fits to one side and it can’t be replaced by any form of glue destined to replace glass (like Clearfix). This left me no other option than to cut the glass into four parts: the side windows left and right and the central cockpit window sawn right trough the central post en the mid top console. This allows us first to fix both side windows and than one of the central halves. This half receives a small piece of clear plastic glued partly on the inside of the cockpit glass. I will make the join between the left and right halve of the cockpit glass halves.Once the second part is glued, the left over gap is filled with thick clear glue from Zap-A-Gap that dries up clear. The upper part was than filled with Green Putty because it’s about the same as the inside colour of the cockpit. Sounds complicated but is, in the end, a rather simple although time consuming conversion.The rest of the cockpit now needs to be filled and sanded until all seams are even. Do not forget our aircraft will be painted aluminium / silver and the slightest mishap will be seen.

The C-119 is a big aircraft and is difficult to handle because of its wingspan. The aircraft’s letter code must be applied onto both sides and it is better done before the wings are added. There is no Daco decal sheet for the C-119 and the one provided in the kit is intended for use on US and French aircraft. The ones I do have in the spares box are too small or do have the wrong shape or colour. By coincidence I encountered a 1/48 Daco letter sheet and these proved to be of the correct measures and type and so they changed hands.

C119 Flying BoxcarThe cockpit windows are than protected with Tamiya tape and those in the main body receive Humbrol Maskol. A coat of Humbrol 1 matt grey primer is than sprayed on as base coat and the last imperfections are reworked. A first attempt using a Tamiya silver spray can proved unsuccessful when the can started to splutter. I had to rub off the paint and to sand it very gently all over again. A second attempt this time using Humbrol 11 and the spray gun turned out real fine. After one night drying time, the paint was sealed with a coat of Klir (Future) after which the letter code OT-CBQ could be applied on both sides as well as the red propeller warning stripes from the kit. Seal with another coat of Klir. The number code 37 was the next thing to work on. When comparing the type of figures used on the aircraft I saw that I had the same type in stock but in white lettering. I therefore used these decals being convinced it would be easy enough to paint them by hand in black. I definitely was wrong on that one. Once the sides covered up with tape, I spray painted them black and all seemed to work out fine until I wanted to remove the tape. The decals kept sticking to the tape and became unusable. An attempt in using self adhesive lettering also went wrong and finally I had to use those provided on the Daco sheet I used earlier on. They are more of US type, squared, but need breaks law and so the Daco “37” was used. Seal them with Klir. Time now to focus on the wings and tail pieces that need some adjusting when fitted and sanding afterwards before being painted silver (Humbrol 11).

C119 Flying BoxcarNext paint job are the double horizontal stripes on the tail pieces and the nose emblem (green circle and wings) on the nose cone. There is no decal available and I needed to cut out a template. The colour used on the “46” in the Brussels museum is a strange type of green that resembles much the Model Color US Intermediate Green. A few mishaps resulted in leaving only the green circle on the nose and leave out the wings. This was in fact no exception on those aircraft as many of them, if not all, started with the green coloured nose before the wings were added. Both green stripes on the tail were taped up and painted by hand. A couple of black squares are painted on the tail booms and left to dry whilst the engines, propellers and landing gear are constructed. The air intakes in the wings are painted black and this almost spoiled the complete aircraft. I wanted to use the Model Color black paint because this acrylic paint can be removed rather easy when mistakes have been made. But the paint didn’t want to leave the bottle an a bit more pressure resulted in the cap exploding from the bottle with the end result that everything except the air intakes was covered in black paint. I urgently washed the aircraft hoping the decals could still be used. It is on moments like this that the use of Klir (Future) can be regarded as a blessing because the paint could be washed off without leaving any trace on decals or silver paint.

Or how a rather cheap household product can save you from a lot of misery. But I had enough setbacks for the moment and decided to leave the C-119 aside for a week. Experience learns that a big aircraft with a nose wheel landing gear almost never can receive enough weight in the nose to make it stand on its wheels without risking of becoming a tail sitter. I found a piece of canvas in the spares box from a 1/35 scale M113 Command Vehicle and decided to fill up the open space with lead. Once glued in the cargo bay it could pass as part of the cargo.

So, this part was slid into the cargo bay and glued on the floor plate using white glue. The rear doors are added in close configuration. Each of these has a separate entrance door that was also painted silver with a yellow band around the door edges. Both doors are fixed in open position. The flaps are accentuated by a black wash. The aircraft is now prepared to receive the other decals that are partly found in the spares box because the kit doesn’t provide Belgian markings. Belgian aircraft carried dayglo red coloured warning stripes on top of the body and the wings but lack of these forced me to use the black ones provided in the kit. The letter code OT-CBQ was recuperated from the Daco sheet; the Belgian nationality markings are found on an old Jack Peeters Modelbouw decal sheet. Humbrol Decal Cote 1 and 2 and Daco decal setting are used before they are sealed with Klir.

C119 Flying BoxcarPositioning the landing gear poses no problems. You just need to be careful when positioning the front landing gear doors. In our case you must use the four small doors of which the first two must be glued in closed configuration. The big 4-bladed propellers are painted black for the blades with aluminium strips and yellow tips and a green hub. They also receive a decal on each blade. They are fixed to the engine before the engine compartment is put in place and glued. The kit provides two different types of exhausts and in this case you need to fit 3 exhausts an engine. They are first painted black and receive a drybrush with rust but do not exaggerate. Soot traces are applied using pastel powders. Once the aircraft rests on its wheels and the engines are fixed we can start adding all the smaller parts like the cockpit astrodome, the cockpit staircase, landing lights and the different antenna’s on main frame and nose. Lastly comes the antenna wire running from the left tail piece to the U-formed antenna.

The base

The base consists of a picture frame measuring 40 x 50 cm with a collage of colour copies of a Verlinden concrete landing strip. Nothing more, nothing less.

Conclusion

C119 Flying BoxcarThis certainly isn’t the simplest of kits and even the rather easy conversion to a G-type by adding the rear lower tail parts was easier said than done. After more downs than ups a rather fair result was achieved: not a competition model but something that can be looked at. Once more the confirmation that a kit, not often seen on shows or in competition, certainly can’t be an easy one. I think more than one C-119 model took his last flight into the dustbin without ever being constructed to a decent standard degree. The work involved to make the cockpit look good won’t be strange to this. But Danny’s smile, who was very pleased with the end result, was a more than enough compensation.

Keep ‘m building

Erwin Bovyn
IPMS Gent


 

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