Author Topic: USN P-4 Pluto  (Read 579 times)

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Offline TheChronicOne

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USN P-4 Pluto
« on: August 29, 2019, 08:34:11 pm »
I've gone the extra mile. I'm not only making a what-if model, I made a whole what-if MODEL KIT. How many individual modelers go to such lengths just to make a kit for themselves?!

I'm going to just copy/paste most of what I said about this in my blog already as it covers most of it:

----------------------------------------------------

The "story" so far:

It's the late 1950's and after two tragic L-188 Electra II crashes, in THIS alternate world, the production not only stopped on the civil version but any plans for military use also went out the window. This creates a gap where the P-3 would have existed but since that plan is now cancelled, we still need a replacement for the Neptune. In steps the General Dynamics P-4 Pluto.

The Pluto utilizes two rear-mounted Pratt and Whitney JT3D-C (C for "compact") engines which are smaller versions of the larger JT3D family of engines. Approximately 2/3 the size of the originals, the new engines were designated "TF33C" for military applications. Rear mounted due to the low wing, naturally, and different. I could have went with an internal engine...but then, being Navy, I would have needed two and that involved serious modification. This is much simpler and is rather novel so I like it.

Let's see... what else....  Role...  It's role is anti-submarine and maritime patrol. It was designed with this in mind therefore has a compartment stretching across the bottom of the aircraft to contain those little sonobouy things. It also has a rather large fuel tank in the fuselage (gotta stick SOMETHING in there  ;D ) and with the addition of wing tanks and external drop-tanks the Pluto has an impressive range.

Probably sounds pretty stupid to the folks more "in the know" about all this but I did what I could.  :lol:  A lot of this was dictated by what I had available and how the plane itself could be configured. It just wound up being that this stuff fits the bill more than any other things I could think of.


SO, I got a little carried away. I decided it would be nice to have a box to put all these parts in so I found one then decided, "You know what? Why not just MAKE YOUR OWN DAMN KIT."  ;D ;D ;D    So, I made a kit! I still need to throw a sheet of decals in there and some "instructions" but I have "sealed" parts in a box with art work even. What fun!   :laugh:

Here's the parts and then the box. I even color coded the bags... blue one for clear parts and associated such as the cockpit and things by the nose, green for undercarriage because green is the Earth and contact the gear, and yellow for other small parts.











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Fast forward to now.

I think some may have thought I was fibbing, but I wasn't. This is now underway!

I've glued together the wings then sawed away the middle part so I could properly fit them. I needed this to happen so I could plot out where the rest of things go like the cockpit and tail stuff. After a few hours of measuring and consideration I've mocked up what I plan to do: 







I tried to make it nice and tight so I could plan further but some of this is a bit droopy and misaligned. Also, I'm going to further adjust the whole empennage area to make the cruciform tail and rear engine arrangement look/function better.

So, I'm going to triple check all this stuff then mark and cut out the cockpit. I have all the parts to make it. I have a tub, a seat, a control panel, a stick, and plenty of sheet styrene to shore it all in. Nose weight or something after that then it will be more checking and checking then maybe closing up the fuselage to work on the wings.

Long read.  :o  :rolleyes:



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Offline salt6

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2019, 09:10:03 pm »
I like your "kit".   :thumbsup:
Steve B


"The time has come,
         The Walrus said,
     To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships
         and sealing wax
      Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
      And whether pigs have wings."

Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2019, 09:39:42 pm »
 ;D ;D

Thanks, brotha!  I think I have 90% of what I need and through the grace of Mother Putty and Saint Sheet Styrene we'll have us an operational bird.  :wacko:
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Offline Flyer

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2019, 10:34:26 pm »
Looking good :thumbsup:

Personally I'd have the wing's much further back, wing trailing edge at or almost at the engine intakes like a bizjet. Just my two cents...
Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. -Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2019, 11:57:12 pm »
Looking good :thumbsup:

Personally I'd have the wing's much further back, wing trailing edge at or almost at the engine intakes like a bizjet. Just my two cents...

Second that -  would also make sense for the landing gear, the wings appear quite far forward when I estimate the aircraft's CoG, and hiding the recracted legs somewhere is easier in the wings than in the fuselage (would also make a very narrow track). Nice package, nevertheless!

Offline Gondor

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2019, 12:47:11 am »
Reminds me of a Scott Furlong aircraft only they had the wing at the top of the fuselage.


That was a whiff as it was from a TV series in the uk made in the mid 60's called "The Plane Makers"

Gondor
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Offline Scotaidh

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2019, 01:49:29 am »
Very nice!  As a former squid, I approve!   :thumbsup:  (As if that meant anything!  ;) )

An easy add-on would be a high-power search-light. The Nimrod had a Searchwater light in the nose of the starboard slipper-tank (the thing sticking forward out of the wing).  I read somewhere that it could light up a quarter square mile of ocean ... here's a picture of it




 All you need is a spare drop tank shaped thing that you can slot onto the front of the wing, and put a clear bit into the front of it.

I once made a targeting pod that way, by melting a bit of clear sprue - it went all clear and globular, once heat was applied.
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Offline Snowtrooper

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2019, 05:04:46 am »
All you need is a spare drop tank shaped thing that you can slot onto the front of the wing, and put a clear bit into the front of it.

I once made a targeting pod that way, by melting a bit of clear sprue - it went all clear and globular, once heat was applied.
With a bit of skill, even PVA glue can be used to make a clear-ish seeker head or searchlight (just as long it's a brand that dries to somewhat translucent), though you can't (easily) make a very conical shape with that and the illusion is only good for smallish lenses. :thumbsup:

Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2019, 10:35:19 am »
Love to get back here and see some feedback! I think y'all are right, I'll move the wings back some. I just don't want it to be too tail heavy, with the engines back there but then again much of the fuselage is going to be heavy with fuel anyway. Damn fine point about the gear and I'll not have to pack as much nose weight in it this way. Third, again, I think I agree with you all in aesthetics as well, it should look better with the wings back. I can't move them too far back, however, due to the shape of the fuselage. if I go too far back, I'd have to add in a boat load of scratch built and putty-made stuff in order to get the wings straight and bridge the gap where the fuselage gets quite narrow. BUT, I do have some wiggle room so I'll move them back and take some more pictures later and see what you guys think? I appreciate the help!  :thumbsup:

I like the searchlight idea! I actually have some rounded clear lenses and pods and stuff in the stash, I should be able to easily make one or two of these and incorporate them. I was also thinking of adding a third role to this thing and have it be an aerial refueller. I could put two drogue pods on the wings. Why not, yeah? Since this thing will be loaded with fuel, I think it makes sense. They'd probably come to the same conclusion IRL. Hell, if they can turn an Intruder into a refueler then this thing can be, too.  :wacko:
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Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2019, 12:38:07 pm »
OK! Per the advice, the wings have slid backwards.  ;D :thumbsup:



That look alright? Before I was just trying to make it look "of the era" but I suppose it doesn't quite matter here in alternate universe land. I think this looks better, IMO, and yous guys were right about moving the wings but... yeah, opinion?

If this looks alright, then the cockpit looks alright, too, and I can go ahead and cut open a hole for that and try to get the tub in then possibly wonder about nose weight.  :unsure:
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Offline salt6

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2019, 02:24:40 pm »
What about a WSO(s) in the fuselage right behind the pilot, sorta B47ish.

If you do tanks on the wing, they could house the landing gear also.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2019, 02:26:20 pm by salt6 »
Steve B


"The time has come,
         The Walrus said,
     To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships
         and sealing wax
      Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
      And whether pigs have wings."

Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2019, 03:10:57 pm »
I was thinking along similar lines earlier after I considered how much workload I'm piling on this thing. It's a bit much for a single pilot alone.  I like this idea... so.... in order to represent this, i could just add in a couple windows back there or something? 

I like the other idea, too, and would probably be better considering the bulky main gear I'm trying to use. Looks like I'm not done with my parts stash just yet! So...now I'd like to find the stuff to make these searchlights, try to find some side windows, and find some "pods" to use for the refuelling stuff/landing gear bays.

In other news, some progress has been made. I decided the position of the cockpit/canopy was just fine so I went ahead and cut out the area. I found out the hard way that this old Testors plastic is mighty thick, hard, and brittle so things started to break loose and I had to TET them back together but no harm no foul, really. A simple fix. I'm just glad one of the pieces didn't fly away at mach 3 and disappear.  ;D



I guess now I'll start looking at the cockpit tub and interior pieces and try to get them situated.  :unsure:  After that comes the consideration on the side windows for the monkey riding in back........ 
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2019, 04:45:24 pm »
Oh yes, that wing position is a LOT better.

The heaviest part of the aeroplane is usually the engines, and they're waaaaay to the back on the Pluto.
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit

Offline TheChronicOne

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2019, 05:31:29 pm »
I think I was thinking about it backward..   I'm learning! The way I had it would mean the tail was heavy because the center of lift was too far forward, correct?

See, I'm glad I have you all around to help me muddle through this.  :mellow: :mellow:



Last update on actual progress.. I am now in the midst of trying to put the cockpit stuff together. It's proving more tedious than I imagined because I found that I need to have, for instance, the seat sitting at the proper height and proper angle....   in order to address this I've cut little pieces of sprue to put in there and I have "dry fitted" the pilot figure I have in there a few times and placed the canopy on top to make sure he wasn't sitting at a bad angle or too tall or short.  :unsure: 

Left it that. I think I made some decent progress today and I'll get back after it in a day or two.  :thumbsup:
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Offline salt6

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Re: USN P-4 Pluto
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2019, 06:13:13 pm »
I was thinking along similar lines earlier after I considered how much workload I'm piling on this thing. It's a bit much for a single pilot alone.  I like this idea... so.... in order to represent this, i could just add in a couple windows back there or something? 


I'd just scribe a hatch on the lower side and put a small porthole type window over it and call it a day.
Steve B


"The time has come,
         The Walrus said,
     To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships
         and sealing wax
      Of cabbages and kings
And why the sea is boiling hot
      And whether pigs have wings."