With construction complete and bench time stuck in the interminable hell of filling and sanding, I decided to shift gears on the Trumpeter P-47 and knock out the kit’s Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine.
This proved to be something of an experience.
The Problem(s) With Trumpeter’s Engine
I will give Trumpeter this – the R-2800 they provide with the P-47 is one heck of a detailed piece.
That said, it suffers from three problems.
Problem 1 – It’s not entirely accurate. This isn’t a super-big deal to me, since the engine is all ensconced within the cowl anyway, but several small details appear slightly off. If I were planning to display this monster with the cowl off, that would definitely be a point of frustration.
Problem 2 – It doesn’t all fit. The exhausts and collector ring just don’t fit. Seriously. They just don’t. I seem to remember very early on having them somehow fit perfectly, but when it came time to revisit the engine, there was no way to get things to line up.
Problem 3 – Trumpeter’s whole engine mounting scheme is a giant middle finger to buildability. Most engines mount to some massive peg on the fuselage assembly, or seat right into the cowl. But that’s not good enough for Trumpeter. No, they would ask the builder to hang the engine by a few flimsy plastic rods doing duty as engine mounts, plus the two tubes of the exhaust collector ring.
This is NOT a secure mount, especially considering the need to stuff thing into the cowl.
Fortunately, I got around all three problems. The first by not caring and the second and third by taking a few shortcuts, since the engine’s going to be stuffed into the cowl and all that really matters is the face of the thing.
Let’s Do This
I started things off by painting the cylinder banks first black, and then Alclad Magnesium.
Next I painted the divider thing (technical term) with Alclad Aluminum, the ignition ring with Airframe Aluminum, the cylinder rods and engine frame with black, and the crankcase cover with a mix of Gunze Neutral Gray and Engine Gray.
One this main paintwork was done, I glued in some 0.5mm nickel alloy tubing from Albion Alloys to pull duty as spark plugs.
Small-size Ultrawire was used as the ignition wires.
Next up came weathering. I started with a wash of raw umber artist oil, followed by applications of MIG Oil and Grease Stains. This was dabbed on in some places, then loaded up on a brush and spattered about by blasting the brush with an airbrush. I’ve made a before and after compilation to show the effect of the weathering.
And the final engine…
As to the final question of how it fits. Before I started in on the wiring, I did a test-fit into the cowl and guess what? The engine frame mounts very securely into the cowl and there is absolutely no need for all the futzy crap on the aft side. So if you’re building the Trumpy with the cowl on, take note – there is precisely zero need to screw with the collector rings or the engine mounts.
Coming up next – and finally – paint!