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Douglas C-47

by Vern Gwin

Douglas C-47



I n t r o d u c t i o n



This is my 1/32 scale C-47.

I don't know where to start describing the construction. Someone said I was crazy to even attempt this but I had been toying with the idea for a while.

Building started on Boxing Day 1997 and the model was completed mid-April 1998. This required about 8-10 hours each weekend and 2-4 hours each night. Surprisingly, I managed to stay married during this project!

The quest started loosely with a Guillows balsa kit used primarily as a pattern, along with a lot of drawings and maintenance manuals from work.

Balsa, brass, aluminum, resin, sheet plastic, epoxy, green and white putty and CA glue are all included in the materials list.



C o n s t r u c t i o n



The seats are made up of plastic sheet, solder, lead foil etc. The throttles are brass. The instruments are Reheat decals. The interior of the cockpit also features headsets and maps.





Cargo Cabin

The prominent cargo floor and radio operator station were added. All bulkheads, ribs and stringers where hand-cut. Doors were positioned open to show these features to best effect. The clear astrodome was heat formed from acetate over a marble. The cargo load includes a jeep, barrels, knapsacks and rope bundles made from thread.


A skeleton of balsa and plastic was skinned with Evergreen styrene sheet. Various putties were applied and Gunze "Mr Surfacer" smoothed the resulting surface.

Window were cut individually from polycarbonate. Wing tip lights were sourced from model railroad jewels and the landing lights were taken from the handle of a plastic toothbrush.


I used the powerplants from Engines & Things as a rough basis for the final product. After cleanup they were given additional details including pushrod tubes made from stainless steel pins. The ignition harness is fuse wire.

Engine nacelles have open flaps and exhaust made from brass.

Landing Gear

Tires were built up using balsa, plastic and CA glue. The scratchbuilt gear was made out of brass wire and tube, aluminum tube, plastic strips, lead foil and an assortment of wire for plumbing.







P a i n t i n g    a n d   M a r k i n g s



I applied several coat of Johnsons' "Future" before painting the colours to assure a smooth surface. All paints used were Gunze.



De-ice boots and invasion stripes were masked and painted. All decals were hand cut. The nose art was custom printed on to decal paper and the nose art lettering was painted by my wife onto decal paper also.





C o n c l u s i o n



Would I do it again? Yes.

Am I going to do it again? Yes. A B-24 and B-17 are already in the planning stages!


Article, Model and Images Copyright 1999 by Vern Gwin
Page Created 20 June, 1999
Last updated 26 July, 2007

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