*** FINISHED *** M.A.D. C.A.T.

Started by CANSO, June 14, 2021, 11:55:30 AM

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I was reading this book recently:

It's about the only USNavy unit during WWII, VP-63 which used the M.A.D.-gear (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) for spotting and attacking German U-boats. The squadron used only "Catalinas" (PBY-5 and 5A) and those were nicknamed "MAD cats".

The MAD-gear is easily recognizable by the long "boom" under the tail:

VP-63 was the first American unit to operate from Great Britain when stationed at Pembroke Docks, Wales between June and December 1943. But the culmination of its wartime efforts came after the squadron was moved to Port Lyautey in French Morocco and started covering Gibraltar.

So my idea is, in some parallel universe (or in a galaxy far far away ;)) similar tactic could be used against enemy midget 1-man submarines, attacking vital routes or stations of the Union Forces in Mare Nostrum. The flying machines with the M.A.D.-gear will be not airplanes with a large crew, but flying bikes or some kind of anti-gravity hovering devices. There are gazillions of jet/AG/Hover bikes in the internet universe and I'll try to add another one as a homage to the M.A.D. Cats.
My flyer will be a M.A.D. C.A.T. though which is to be deciphered as:
Magnetic Anomaly Detection and Computer Assisted Tracking.
As usual everything started (yesterday) with choosing the parts and greebles for the build:



In a difference to my previous 1-week builds, I decided to build several subassemblies, rather than adding many parts to a central body. This will help me to work on more elements simultaneously.
I started with the assembly which gives the first half of the name of the flyer: the M.A.D. (once again Magnetic Anomaly Detector). It has the same rounded end as the original devises but is more elongated in my case. I combined parts from gundams (the big blue part for example was a ridiculous rifle of sort), from an automatic pencil etc.. The cylindrical end is from a Wargame miniature (some Space Marine weapon I guess).
Right side view:

Left side view:

Bottom view:

I started working on the main body as well.
P.S. In 2017 I used 2 Corsair-fuselages for my 1-week build. I still have 2 pairs of wings which I might use... :rolleyes:


Started with another "assembly" today: the seat and "cockpit" area. Two main parts + several greebles. I don't like working with putty and try to match the plastic parts dry before gluing them. This takes a lot of time and at the end putty is still needed, mainly to fill gaps. One of the photos show the position of the "pilot" as well.
Left side:

Right side:

The long part from yesterday (the MAD-gear) will be attached under this assembly.


I'm very intrigued and interested in what's coming out of this... :thumbsup:
"Sticks and stones may break some bones but a 3.57's gonna blow your damn head off!!"


Quote from: DogfighterZen on June 15, 2021, 01:11:34 PM
I'm very intrigued and interested in what's coming out of this... :thumbsup:
It started to take shape. I mated the cockpit area and the main body. Because all parts are from different plastic I can't use modeller's glue or CA only. In this case I opted for E600 (glues all types of plastic) but it needs more time to bond. The rubber bands will help a bit. The nose is just a "fisrt draft" (strafer 8-guns nose from a B-25).
Left side:



Before the end of the second day I managed to build the engines. Since this model is in homage to the real "MAD-Cats" I wanted to imitate the 2 distinctive engines of the "Catalinas".

In my case these are 2 turbofans (sort of).

Each engine consists of 6 parts. There is a second fan/turbine inside of the engine, in the middle dark part. It's visible trough the first fan only.

Old Wombat

Intriguing! :unsure:

The Catalina is such a pretty looking aircraft! :wub:
Has a life outside of What-If & wishes it would stop interfering!

"The purpose of all War is Peace" - St. Augustine

veritas ad mortus veritas est


Quote from: Old Wombat on June 15, 2021, 07:05:14 PM
Intriguing! :unsure:
The Catalina is such a pretty looking aircraft! :wub:
It is indeed. I'm building a real "M.A.D. Cat" from the 63-rd VP as well, but that's not it. :wacko:


Yesterday, before going to bed, I made the gigantic mistake to prime the engines with Testors spray can primer. I don't know what make me do it (maybe the devil tempted me :wacko:), but today I was badly surprised: this thing didn't dry as expected from a primer. It's just another enamel paint and will need 24 hours or so.  :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

So I couldn't work on this vital parts of the model and even worse, couldn't attach anything to them.
Spent the day in filling gaps, sanding, changing some minor parts etc. As I already mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the fine tuning is always the most tedious and time consuming portion of every build.
Just an example:
I created a large opening under the nose of my "flyer" when adding the nose, as mentioned earlier:

Instead of grabbing the bucket with putty I started searching in my "treasure"-boxes (for approx. 1 hour) and found this thingy - here it's already chopped, I forgot to take a photo before.

But what I needed was the nose of it, which has been formed in another part, to match my kitbash (approx. 1/2 hour):

You can't see it, but the small "filler" is stepped on the other side, corresponding to the different levels of the older parts.
O.K. surgery done, time to implant (or was it transplant? :rolleyes:):

Just a little putty in the middle to match the slightly different curvatures. There might be another greebly to make the transition between that "spine" of the grey part and the white one. I'll think about. :o


Today...oops, it's already after midnight...yesterday was a drilling day. All hail to the pin vise in all its forms!

After finishing all the sub-assemblies I had to connect them and put the whole model together. Yep, here comes the drilling. I never glue parts "flat" against each other. Especially if they are from different materials. No glue will hold them together for too long (O.K., maybe some magic glue will ;D).
Here for example is the (changed) M.A.D.-gear for the tail - I didn't like the big one I produced on the first day and I modified it:

The blue and the grey parts are to remain visible. The white tubing is the "pin". I used a plastic tubing and not a steel pin (as for some smaller parts) to create a solid tail which will not break.
The back of the flyer looks like this:

In the construction lingo this is a male-female connection (maybe there are some gender neutral descriptions :wacko: as well, I don't know, I'm an old guy  :angel:). And after I "mated" the 2 parts, here is the result:

The part under the M.A.D.-gear was installed in a similar way.
I did this procedure probably more than dozen times, but mostly with smaller pins. Sometimes I used flat pieces of plastic instead of round pins to prevent a part from rotating.
At the end here is a photo of the bottom of the (almost) finished flyer - nose is bottom, tail is top:

Since this model is to be in 1/48 - 1/50, it's not a big one at all - 9.5 meters (ca.30') from the nose to the end of the tail.
Later today I'll finish attaching of the last greebles I have prepared and will go for a primer.
As for now I'm 1 day behind my initial schedule.


O.K., the process of putting all parts together is finished. Before priming the model I did some photos to know later where does each part come from. Below are some of those photos:
Top view:

Bottom view:

Starboard view:

Port side:

3/4 rear view:

Detail cockpit:

Pilot is not shown. External tanks are not attached yet. Some of the tinniest greebles are left for the end, after painting. There is a small stand in progress as well.
The main body, empennage and fin came from a snap-tite F-4 in 1:100. Engines are combined from several parts, mostly gundam. The belly is a Matchbox die-cast fantasy submarine. This is the antigraviton of the vehicle. In front of the cockpit is the main weapon of the M.A.D C.A.T. - the retro-rockets launcher. I'll give some more details later.
I started counting the visible (and invisible) parts, but gave up around 140-150 - have no time now.
I could make-up for a 1/4 of a day today, so I'm 18 hours behind schedule now. :angry: :rolleyes:
I'll be back...


This looks very "Star Wars" to me.   Really liking it! 
So I got that going for me...which is nice....


Quote from: AeroplaneDriver on June 18, 2021, 02:22:58 PM
This looks very "Star Wars" to me.   Really liking it!
When "Star Wars" came out for the first time, this was The most influential sci-fi vision of my generation. I didn't really try to connect with Star Wars in any way, but O.K., two over dimensioned booms/engines (even today in The Mandalorian), elongated body like a "flying broomstick" ;), antigravity technology and so on, those are icons (signs) from the same language.
My son (who's an industrial design student) told me: All your "Greeble-projects" look like submarines from a cartoon movie. So it be... :unsure:


Some after primer photos from tonight. I added the rider with the armoured back. Yep, this is Rey from Star Wars (the new trilogy), but that's the only part that comes from the saga. Nothing else has been used from any of the existing Star Wars kits, I swear ;)!

Tomorrow in daylight I'll proceed with the camo and God help me with the airbrush! The model became very complex and it won't be easy to spray it free hand.


This is great!  :thumbsup:. I'm boggling at the thought processes that led from a Catalina to this! :o
I don't think it's nice, you laughin'. You see, my mule don't like people laughin'. He gets the crazy idea you're laughin' at him. Now if you apologize, like I know you're going to, I might convince him that you really didn't mean it.