Werner’s Wings/Storm Miniatures

1/35th MH-47E Conversion Online Build

 

Step 15

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A word of advice- Pin EVERYTHING to the structure to keep it securely fastened while handling.  I’ll explain later.

Before I joined the fuselage up I wanted to add the Weather Radar pod.  The fit is good.  The key is to
align the top and keep that flush with the fuselage.  The bottom will have a gap as will the aft portion
where it fairs around the fuel tank.  They are suppose to be there.  I drilled though the fuselage in three
places within the avionics shelves.  This will provide strength and hide the attachment points. 
I faired my pod in with Apoxy Sculpt and Perfect Putty.  There are two attachment points on the bottom
of the pod that I scratchbuilt.  It is a simple mount.  Most will never notice it. 

 

OK it was a moment of truth.  I added the stowage and flyaway gear.  Cargo was strapped down as in the real thing. 
How to do this?  I used some brass PE buckles from CSM Designs. 
They are perfect.  At first I primed them in the hope to paint them….brass.  Duh. 
So I scraped off the primer and was quite happy with the look of the tiedowns.

The floor was attached to the right side as it had the most seats and would be the hardest to get to plus it had
the opening for the heater closet.  I learned that the refueling panel was located in the heater closet. 
See the pictures for where it is located.  I used a Cobra Company
panel from their aft pylon set.  It looked the part and fit perfectly on a sheet of styrene.  Another thing that I did was I
decided to use flexible ammo chutes from the Cobra Company as the chutes provided by Live Resin were too small
to fit from the ammo cans to the breaches of the guns.  Besides the chutes have to be heated and molded into place,
this was beyond my capability.  I was able to maneuver them with a heat gun to get the big curve but without the
guns installed there was no way I was going to get them to fit once installed.  A hint when using the flexible
ammo chutes is to tape the chutes outside the door opening. 

The ammo cans are not attached to the floor by straps.  They are actually attached to a semi-rectangular piece
of aluminum which fits into the tiedowns on the floor.  The ammo cans are then strapped to that, maybe a spare
ammo can and a water can or two.  The MH-47E only had one ammo can per side and no battery boxes. 

They were powered from the aircraft.  The battery box and extra ammo can was added at a later date and to
the MH-47G.  My aircraft did not have the can and battery box. 

One thing that I found out was that the gunners used folding chairs on combat missions.  I used the folding
chairs from the Tamiya Command Group set.  They are old but they look the part.  They are held in place
by bungee chords.  One person has told me that the Task Force aircraft, especially the
MH-47s, are Velcro and bungee chorded together. 

I was also told that every MH-47 that was deployed had an American flag in the cabin affixed to the roof. 
I printed one out on paper and glued it in place.  I’ve seen them tacked in place and also secured with straps.

I used a very thin strip of blue tape which is not very sticky to hold the left side seats up while I moved the flooring
together so as not to break off the legs.  Very carefully I moved the fuselage halves together.  The fit was troublesome,
but not too bad.  The fit of my components was actually very good.  One of the Live Resin rear guns moved slightly
and fouled the fit.  It ended up breaking off.  It was not the only thing that broke off. 

When I turned the model over a few more things broke free, most noticeably the left side ammo can.  This required
me to completely rip off the passageway and heater closet to reattach it.  I ended up leaving out the two water
cans as I couldn’t figure a way to add them after they broke free.  They cannot even be noticed. 
I actually felt better after parts were put back together. 

The fuselage halves were held together with painters tape then glued in place with Tamiya cement and superglue. 
The fit of the bottom was not as good as I would have liked but certainly not anything too bad. 

I’ve seen worse. They were filled with superglue and Apoxy Sculpt.  Once it was all filled up there was.

Painter’s tape holding it together.

Belly after filling

Re-riveting the belly of the beast

Most MH-47s have Fast Rope attachments in the back of the helicopter. 
Since I had the helicopter upside down now was the time to scratchbuild it. 
I used some brass beam and sanded an angle into them. 
After that I used styrene to build up the mounts and the mounts. 
Holes were drilled into the model to accept the attachment at any time. 
I used 90 weight parachute rope for the actual fast ropes.  They come in three sizes on the real
aircraft, 30, 60 and 90 foot lengths depending on the mission. I was really happy with the results.

I will sell the rope to anyone who wants it.  Contact me at fwernerjr@comcast.net
I’ll sell them in scale 60 foot lengths with two per package for $10USD. 

It was time to add the landing gear.  Now I figured that this would be no problem. 
Was I wrong.  The forward gear seems to be made from a very strong white metal. 
That can’t be said for the aft landing gear or the lower part of the forward gear. 
They are fragile and literally fall apart.  I am lucky that I had two D model kits because I
needed both of them.  Even then some I had to be glued to hold in place. 
Overall they went together fine after a breakage here and there. 
I sure wish Scale Aircraft Conversions would come out with a set that wouldn’t fall apart. 

I used Cobra Company’s wheels and brake cylinders as they are nicer and easier to use than the kit vinyl ones. 

It was time to add the back portion of the fuel tanks.  These are easy to add and fair in. 
I did paint the area behind and under them as they would be difficult to get to later. 

That is all with this update.  More to follow as I can get to it.  Next iteration, the cockpit and canopy.

Step 16

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Now that the model had wheels it was time to add the cockpit/canopy area. 
Before that can happen I had to ‘experiment’ with the canopy. 
I polished the cockpit windscreens inside and out with MicroMesh. 

Then they were sprayed with Future.  I couldn’t get my Future to work. 
It was obviously my fault as another modeler, Dave Hoernle, had no
issue after he polished his.  I used Mr. Super Gloss Clear.  It worked out just
as well as Future for me.  I was told by the caster that if you sand the canopy
with 800 or 1000 grit sandpaper that the Future would work as well. 
So it is your call on what you use.  Either one works and it makes the windows clearer.

Once dried the interior was masked off and then painted on the inside.  I used Lifecolor
Deep Cockpit to paint the basic interior.  The rest was painted with Applebarrel and
Vallejo paints to pick out the details.  DON’T FORGET TO REMOVE THE
INTERIOR MASKS PRIOR TO CLOSING UP THE CANOPY.  More on that later. 

 

 

Some research showed that the combat aircraft carried armored side panels in the
lower portion of the door outside the seat and one smaller panel in the lower
chin bubble.  I did both of these with styrene.  The are grey in the pictures I have so
I painted mine Tamiya Neutral Grey.  The larger side panel has stenciling on it.  How
do you replicate that?  Well I’m glad you asked.  The new Werner’s Wings Night Stalker-Part I
I sheet has them and some other interior markings for the Chinook.  They look great and
fit perfectly.  Thanks again to Mason Doupnik.  I added these
panels with a tiny drop of superglue.  Luckily it didn’t fog the area.

See anything wrong with this picture?

 

 

I added the glare shield to the interior.  While I was at it I also added some
photo etch power levers to the overhead panel.  You will probably
not even notice them but I know they are there.

Time to bring the front together, I added the cockpit to the front of the
model with five minute epoxy.  It just has to butt join the rear of the opening. 
After it dried, I checked the fit of the clear nose piece.  The fit was surprisingly good. 
It did need some sanding here and there.  I did add a piece of plastic to the one side. 
The clear canopy was added with five minute epoxy.  The canopy was held in
place with tape and fingers until it set up.  Then any resulting gaps
were filled with Apoxy Sculpt and Perfect Plastic Putty faired in the canopy. 

I primed the area with Tamiya flat black which would be seen on the inside of the canopy. 
This was followed up with Alclad Grey primer.  There were a few areas that neededto be
touched up, but nothing too drastic. These were taken care of and then the area was
retouched up.  Some scribing had to take place as well as some riveting. 
I’ll wait on the rivets until I’m done with the model just prior to priming.

Overall I was happy with the resulting canopy to fuselage join.  Even with a kit canopy
you would still have to fill lots of seams so I was pretty happy with the aftermarket canopy.  Now onto other things.

Step 17

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With the canopy behind me it was time to start doing smaller things that
would bring it all together.  I felt that I had two big hurdles left before painting,
the in-flight refueling boom and the hoist. 

I figured I could work on the In-flight refueling boom relatively quickly. 
I used the supplied aft portion of the conversion and the tube provided. 
The fit was perfect.  Now how to get it attached to the fuselage? 
Utilizing the parts provided in the conversion I added the fuselage attachment points. 
This was a non-issue.  The mounts slip onto the tube easily so I moved them
to the approximate points.  There are four mounts on the front boom mount. 
I figured out that the two middle ones next to the fuselage would work just
fine if I sanded the mounts to allow them to wedge together with the ones on the tubing. 
This served two purposes, the first, and most important, is that
the mount is secure and, secondly, in turn provides the alignment of the tube. 

I did scratch build some things for the tube.  I used piano wire that slipped into the aft mount,
some styrene and Model Car Garage fittings to add the supply hose.  A hole was drilled
into the fuel tank for the piano wire to slide into.  With that, surprisingly the in-flight
refueling probe was done.  I removed the tubing to be inserted later prior to painting. 
Well it was done until I broke the mount off while handling the model. 
Then it was go through the process again.  Such is model building.

I thought now was the time to add the top of the front pylon.  The front pylon required a
little bit of styrene to fill the area around the edge of the cutout that I did early in the construction. 
It was easy enough to do just cut styrene to shape and attach with liquid cement. 
This provides a stable mount for the resin part.  Test fitting the driveshaft cover showed
me that I needed to add some styrene to the aft part of the resin pylon. 
Nothing drastic just cut a piece of styrene and glue it in place.  Once set it was sanded to shape.

With the canopy in place it was now time to fair the upper pylon onto the area.  This was done
with super glue and Apoxy Sculpt.  The area was faired in just like any other part. 
Apoxy Sculpt, superglue, putty and Mr. Surfacer. 

I wanted the FLIR to be a nice addition to the belly. 
I thought it was a little simplistic so I added some connectors and wiring to ‘attach’ it to the aircraft. 

The last really big event was going to be the hoist.  Would I be able to put it on
and keep is secure.  I used .6mm needles and held the hoist in the approximate
position in relationship to the mounts that I added early in the build.  Then I poked
the point into the hoist.  This provided a pilot hole for drilling the hole.  Then it was just
a matter of getting the bottom two mounts to work first to support the weight of the
hoist and then the others were easy.  The bottom mounts are actually 38 and 39 inches
long and 1¾ diameter.  I found the needles worked well in allowing two, and sometimes
three, rods fitting on the same mount.  Surprisingly, the hoist is very
robust.  It would still need to be ‘plumbed’ but that would be later.

One of the salient features of the MH-47 is the myriad of Chaff/Flare
buckets along the sides.  I did have to scratch build the dual mounts,
but the two separate launchers have resin mounts supplied. 
Building the flare mounts is really simple and mounting
them is just as simple.  I added the connectors and the wiring. 
Overall they look very effective. 

Single bucket

Aft bucket mounts

Mid fuselage mounts

 

 

Continue on to step 18 - Coming Soon

 

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