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Northrop BT-1

by Bernhard Schrock

 

Northrop BT-1

 


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Introduction

 

Here is a series of photos of perhaps my most challenging modeling project to date. This aircraft is: the predecessor to the famous "Slow But Deadly" SBD - the Northrop BT-1.

About nine years ago I saw an article by Ferris Brown in Fine Scale Modeler magazine. He looked forward to a BT-1 kit for many years, but none of the manufacturers fulfilled his wishes. He therefore finally decided to build his own BT-1 based on Monogram's Dauntless.

 

 

Construction



I started my own conversion nine years later. I decided to use the Hasegawa kit in 1:48. The BT-1 was only completed after many, many hours work - up to 120 hours in all.

The most visible differences are:

  • the fuselage (narrower than by the SBD to match te smaller engine),

  • different engine (P&W double row R-1535) in a smaller cowling (from Testors Travel Mystery ship; I went the same way as Ferris).

  • The shape of the rudder is different, it is more round than by SBD and the rear fuselage has a no fin.

  • The BT-1 elevators are deeper and shorter.

  • The landing gears retract only half in the fairings (I sand a core from balsawood and vacuumformed the fairings).

The engine was based on a modified R-1830 crankcase from Hi Tech in 1/48 scale, and cylinders from R-2600 from Aires in 1/72. I corrected the ailerons too: they are deeper than the pendants by the SBD and have rounded inner-tips. 

 

 

The landing gear-legs have a 90 angle to ground, but the kit wheels can be used. I filled the wheel wells and the "bomb bay" in the belly and modelled a new stiffeners from a half-rod.

The cockpit consists of modified kitparts, different aftermarket parts (Verlinden and Aires) and scratch built parts. As an example, the instrument panel is assembled as a sandwich.

 

 

The most challenging aspect of the project was the front of the fuselage and the cowl. I used bulkheads from 1 mm sheet (the shape of them are copies from FSM-plans) glued in correct distance from the rest of the fuselage with "longerons". I filled the remaining areas between the "longeron" and bulkheads with Mikrobaloons, super glue and sculpted the end-shape of the fuselage with putty.

The last major action was the construction of the "core" for the very different canopy.

 

 

Painting



I picked a aircraft from a old color photo in a Wings magazine.

 

 

The model was painted with Humbrol paints and a mix of Sealer (approx. 30%) and aluminium Testors Metalizer.

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click the thumbnail to view the larger image on this page.


Text, Images and Model Copyright 2001 by Bernhard Schrock
Page Created 30 September, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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