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    1. Kit: , by (Active Member) Shel is offline
      Builder Last Online: Feb 2011 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/8 Rating:  Thanks: 0
      Started: 02-22-10 Build Revisions: Never  
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      Allison V-1710 V-12 "F" Type Aviation Engine

      I just finished this model and thought that it may be of interest to someone else interested in this engine.

      For quite awhile I have wanted to build a model of the Allison V-12 in its basic "F" type aviation configuration. There are several resin kits on the market in 1/72 and 1/48 scales but they are too small for me to work comfortably with and have some issues with accuracy. The only plastic kit I know of that was commercially offered in a larger scale is the early 1960's AMT 1/25 Custom-Competition kit #3007. However, it is not a model of the aviation version of the engine but is of the engine as it was modified for use in the early Unlimited Hydroplanes and possibly some drag cars of that period.

      I was intrigued with the idea that maybe the AMT kit could be modified to create a fairly accurate model of the basic "F" type aviation engine. It had to be done with very limited modeling resources and as little added expense as possible.

      After purchasing several kits on eBay I studied one and saw that overall the accuracy was good and that the basic central core of the engine - crankcase, cylinder blocks with heads, intake manifolds, etc. - was true to the aviation version. The changes needed were predominately at the front and rear, the gear case at the front being the biggest job. It required considerable reworking from an overdrive boat style unit where the driveshaft (boat prop shaft) exits the case below the crankshaft centerline to an underdrive aviation unit where the prop shaft exits the case above the crankshaft centerline and shaped as close as possible to the proper shape of the aviation case.

      The supercharger housing and carburetor mount, carburetor, and starter also needed considerable reworking. The starter gearcase needed to be removed (not used on the "F" type engine); a generator, vacuum pump, exterior coolant tubes and manifolds, an air intake scoop, and a number of other small parts added. In the end I reworked to some degree almost every part in the kit in order to achieve the desired outcome and proper scale appearance. There is a photo of an aircraft museum display engine of the correct version, left front view, which can be used as reference when looking at the left front view photo of the model to get an idea of what I was trying to achieve with the front gear case.

      Also, since I had a second kit I quickly rough assembled it (using mostly two-sided tape) in its original kit form and included a photo of it placed next to the finished model for comparison.

      I did not fit exhaust manifolds to the model as can be seen. The manifolds in the AMT kit I believe are supposed to represent P-38 aircraft manifolds as commonly used on the early Unlimited Hydros which was what I wanted. However, they are not accurate to the originals. So far I have not been able to fabricate anything that I like so I left them off. The exhausts are an on-going project.

      I made two engine stands since I was not sure which style I would prefer.

      There is a photo of an engine as installed in a Curtiss P-40. Initially when I started to build the model I intended to build it representing an installation as pictured with the motor mount frame and the corresponding plumbing, coolers, etc. I found though as I got into it that working in this small scale with my limited resources it was difficult for me to reproduce those parts properly in scale that looked correct, at least to my eye. So I decided to just concentrate on getting the basic engine correct which was a sizable challenge in itself.

      I think a larger scale of 1:12 would probably be about ideal for this type of model. It would offer a compromise between a comfortable size for accurate scale detailing and an affordable price for the basic kit.

      There is also a photo of my small workstation. It is just a 14 x 11 cardboard box with lid for tools and a 17 x 11 green hobby mat to work on. Also a 2.5x Opti Visor and a 4x eye loupe. Since I don't have a dedicated workspace for hobby projects this arrangement allows me to have a mobile station that I can work out of and store away when finished each night.

      Once this basic version is built there are a number of other versions of this engine as used in different aircraft that could be modeled. Four with two-stage supercharging and the turbocompound version. All in all a fun but challenging project.

      Shel

      Build Photos

      1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-amt-allison-1-25-scale-model-kit-3007-1-jpeg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-rs-quarter-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-left-front-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-stock-engine-left-front-jpeg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-left-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-left-rear-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-rear-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-1-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-2-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-front-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-top-view-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-tube-stand-rf-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-stands-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-original-amt-kit-version-1-jpg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-allison-1710-p40-installation-jpeg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-tools-construction-jpg 


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  1. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Jeffrey
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    Great job on that Allison, Shel. It's a really nice size and takes the detail very well. You really nailed the color of the block dead on. I remember that kit from the 60's. Wow, only 69 cents for all that accuracy. You can't even buy a good bottle of paint for that now.

    If you really want a cool challenge, you need to take a crack at good ol' Big Al from TDR Innovations. That baby is a full whopping 1/8 scale. I've got one but I haven't started on it. It's a superdetailer's and weatherer's dream. I'll be building mine in the aviation configuration also. I don't know how many nuts and bolts I need but I know I need a lot, and I do mean a lot. I have some great close up reference shots that Rick sent me. Also, check in the motorcycle section to see what Daytonatim did with his. It's absolutely gorgeous.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    #2

  2. Shel's Avatar Active Member
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    Thanks, HFC.

    I brush painted the model and used the old style Testors enamel in the 1/4-oz. bottles (the same that I used over fifty years ago when I started modeling). The block is #1138 Gray. I think it's also available in a 3-oz. spray can #1238 for those that prefer to spray. I keep using the Testors because of its relatively low cost and it still works ok for me. I've looked at two real engines in an aircraft museum and at hundreds of color photos of engines from all over and most seem to be various shades of gray. However, I believe in an earlier post of yours regarding Daytonatim's build that you described the gray color as having a bluish tint. I think you are correct.

    The attached photos may offer some proof of that. One is a photo of a rack of, I believe, factory new, zero-hour engines (REALLY BIG $$$$$!) taken within the last couple of years at the Fantasy of Air aircraft museum in Florida. They belong to the fellow that owns the museum. To me the color of the majority of them is the color as you described it. The other photo (origin unknown to me) appears to be of a pair of new factory (P-38?) engines (note factory shipping stands including P-38 exhaust manifolds, factory style exhaust port and prop shaft covers used during shipping) that also are of that bluish gray color as you described. A guy would have to do a little mixing to get that color but I think it is probably the correct one and should look good on your Big Al.

    You're right about the TDR Big Al. It would be an interesting and challenging build. I've been watching its development since June, '08. For me though it’s always a matter of cost. I have to try to do a lot with a little.

    Shel
    Attached Images Attached Images 1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-kermits-rack-allisons-jpeg  1/25 scale Allison V-12 "F" type engine-allisons-stands-jpg 
    #3

  3. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Jeffrey
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    Those are outstanding Pictures, Shel. I can't believe that guy owns all of those engines. I've never seen so many in one place at one time. That's definitely what you call new old stock. The other pic is definitely of 2 P 38 engines. I downloaded that same pic myself. That's where I got the pattern for the stand I made for the TDR 426. When I build the Big Al, I'm going to make another stand and this time I'm going to stain it down so it looks more natural and older. I just wish I could stick 2 big Als in a 1/8 scale P38 but my workshop is too small.

    As far as the color is concerned, I mixed some Tamiya acrylic, Light and Intermediate Blue. Both are semi gloss and really look great when dry and weathered. It has just hte right amount of shine without looking funny and it weathers up very nicely. I used the same mix on my Pratt and Whitney 2800 for my T bolt.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    #4

  4. Shel's Avatar Active Member
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    I like the color of that mix. It looks very good on your P&W 2800. I think it would look just right on an Allison. Interesting that you achieved it without any gray. And you are right about the amount of shine. Semi-gloss is almost always the best finish. The paint on my model is too shiny and doesn't really look scale authentic but I was trying to do the whole project using just the materials I had on hand which, when it comes to paint selection is very little. When I build another one I will follow your lead and try the Tamiya acrylic mix of Light and Intermediate Blue semi-gloss. I have wanted to try acrylic paints.

    Regarding the photo of the 'wall of Allison's': I don't think it shows them all. I believe he has more than that. I read that once he was asked if he would sell one and he replied (I'm paraphrasing, I don't remember the exact quote) "Yes, but not for something "silly" like a boat or car." He's an aviation purist through and through!

    By the way, in one of your past posts I believe you mentioned looking at an Allison in a P-38 museum display that you are going to use as reference in your TDR Allison project. Do you have a picture you could post of it?

    Shel
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  5. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Hey Shel. The Allison at the Air Force museum near the P 38 is not a good reference model. It has too many cutaway parts to show the internal structure. However, Rick has sent me some good research pics which I will send you. Hopefully, they'll show you the way.

    The reason I didn't use any gray in that paint is because the original colors were loaded with gray already. It was just a matter of getting the tint a little darker. The Tamiya Acrylics are one of the best I've seen. Also, Floquil does a great job. I just wouldn't mix the two brands in case there's a compatibility issue. They both dry really fast especially if you brush it on. If you try to apply a second coat while the paint is still wet or just dried, your brush will pull chunks of paint off the surface.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
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  6. gbritnell's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Excellent work on your engine. I know working in detail on something that scale is hard. It's good to hear that AMT got the basic molding fairly accurate. Usually that stuff is close because at some point they figure who's going to check.
    gbritnell
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  7. Shel's Avatar Active Member
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    Thanks, gbritnell.

    Yes, it can be a challenge to work on the smaller scale models. Perhaps even a little more so as we get older.

    The Allison AMT kit is all-in-all a good kit, a couple of accuracy errors but considering its original cost a good effort on their part. Too bad the Allison has not been modeled in plastic by anyone else since that early AMT effort. A 1/25, or even better 1/12 scale, [U]aviation engine display series [/U]consiting of for example the Allison, the RR Merlin and Griffon, the big P&W radials and Curtiss-Wright radials, etc. would, I think, make an interesting collection. Odd that none of the model companies, especially the aviation ones, haven't done at least the RR Merlin considering what a following it has.

    Shel
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  8. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I'd love to take a crack at a 1/8 scale Packard Merlin like they had in the P51. I have a bunch of great research pics I took at the U.S.A.F. Museum. A P&W 2800 or a Wright Cyclone would be great too.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
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  9. Nortley's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    A row of engines on the shelf sounds real good in itself, but just to indulge some what-if fantasies, one of the Daimler Benz inverted V12s has possibilities, say a mega roadster with the driver sighting down either side of the crankcase. Since Trumpeter came out with their 1/24 aircraft, have any of those engines made it into cars? I'd really like to see any that have.
    Scorpio - Builds models the way the prototype should have been built.
    #10

  10. Texas's Avatar Active Member
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    Mike
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    Great Job On The Engine....Very nice looking model.

    Texas
    #11

  11. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nortley View Post
    A row of engines on the shelf sounds real good in itself, but just to indulge some what-if fantasies, one of the Daimler Benz inverted V12s has possibilities, say a mega roadster with the driver sighting down either side of the crankcase. Since Trumpeter came out with their 1/24 aircraft, have any of those engines made it into cars? I'd really like to see any that have.
    I know that engine. That's the upside down 605. I've never even heard of one of those in a 4 wheel job.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    #12

  12. Shel's Avatar Active Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas View Post
    Great Job On The Engine....Very nice looking model.

    Texas
    Thanks, Texas, for the kind words. Building a reasonably scale-accurate model in that scale was an interesting challenge.

    Shel
    #13

  13. Shel's Avatar Active Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hot ford coupe View Post
    I'd love to take a crack at a 1/8 scale Packard Merlin like they had in the P51. I have a bunch of great research pics I took at the U.S.A.F. Museum. A P&W 2800 or a Wright Cyclone would be great too.
    HFC,

    You and Tim mentioned awhile back in his Allison Powered Trike thread that the TDR 1/8 Allison sure had a lot of nuts and bolts to install. A 1/8 Merlin would REALLY keep a guy busy installing scale hardware!! I'm sure you noticed all of those many small bolts on the U.S.A.F. Museum Merlin. If a 1/8 Merlin kit were offered it would be a real challenging, but fun, project and require [B]A LOT [/B]of scale bolts, etc. A project not for the faint of heart.

    In one report I have the author (Daniel Whitney, P.E.) states "…the V-1710-F3R [Allison] had 7,161 parts by actual count, but only about 700 "piece" or different parts. The competing Rolls-Royce/Packard [I]Merlin[/I] V-1650 had about 11,000 parts, with some 4,500 "piece" parts." Compared to the Allison the Merlin was a very complex and problematic (maintenance wise) design and in the beginning difficult and labor intensive to mass-produce. Whereas the Allison was developed with a "…modular design philosophy …, to maximize interchangeability and adaptability." It seems to me, when looking at the two engines, that the British had a philosophy that if three medium bolts could successfully hold a component together than they would use nine small ones.

    Shel
    #14

  14. hot ford coupe's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Hey Shel. You better believe both engines had a ton of bolts. I haven't counted how many places I would need to put bolts but I'm sure it would cost a fortune. I had no idea how complex a Merlin was. 11,000 parts is insane.
    Sometimes a handful of patience is worth more than a truck load of brains. Have the courage to trust your own beliefs. Don't be swayed by those with louder voices. W.S. Maugham :)
    #15

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