Douglas DC-2
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DC-2 model in 1/72 scale: Pioneer kit modelling report

The famous Douglas airliner family started really with the DC-2 way back in the 1930's. The DC-2 was a revolutionary design with all metal construction.



italeri dc2

The Italeri kit of the DC-3 Dakota is quite good. First I thought to convert the DC-3 3-abreast fuselage to a DC-2 2-abreast one. I removed strips of plastic in the fuselage's top and bottom areas as can be seen here. However, the DC-2 has straight fuselage sides and I could not really achieve a good look despite sanding it flat. So it was a failure, so I set out another course...

crosskit  failure
  the failure on the Italeri conversion: wing and fuselage...

The MPM kit of the DC-2 had been released meanwhile. However, as I had the very old Pioneer kit and the MPM kit is very expensive, costing over 40 US $, I choose to make an improved DC-2 model through combining a Pioneer kit and an Italeri DC-3: the "combi kit"

The DC-2 kit of Pioneer that I purchased years ago is very crude, especially in the engine and wing area. The fuselage can be used however and is the most important difference between the DC-2 and the later DC-3. 

pioneer

parts

compare

  the not used DC-3 kit parts on top and the Pioneer kit parts below



 pioneer fuselage
 Pioneer DC-2 "solid" fuselage, fin still to be cut off

The following "cross kitting" was done:
- 0 - some major surgery was applied, using a fine razor saw...
- 1- the vertical fin of the Pioneer kits' fuselage was cut off. I replaced it with a narrower chord converted Italeri DC-3 fin.
- 2- the central wing section was used of the Pioneer kit but the center wing part reduced in span to dispose of the crude nacelle stubs.
- 3- parts of the Italeri DC-3 inner wing section were to be used and adapted in order to fit the central Pioneer kit's wing section. I had to glue a piece of plastic card also on the lower wing below the fuselage to get a good result. 

joint

- 4- of the outboard DC-3 wing, the tips were shortened to represent the smaller span DC-2 wing.
- 5- the engine cowlings of the DC-3 were shortened about 5 mm and you will have to add scopes and intakes also typical of the DC-2
- 6- the engines were converted to 9 cylinder examples; cut off the 2x2 rows of the Italeri kit engine 7 cylinders and make 2 sets of nine cylinder single row ones. 

nacelle

- 7- the DC-2 fuselage remains solid as the Pioneer kit part is solid; I will used dark paint and decals later on for the windows.
- 8- the horizontal stabilizers of the DC-3 are used, but I removed some chord at the trailing edge.
- 9- more details to be fitted later on.

main

DC-2 model will be finished in a KLM scheme later on, using Dutch decal set 72-15.

dutch decals 72-15 
  Dutch decal set 72-15

profile

 

 
 

 

Some of the KLM DC-2's were given an overall orange colour because just before the second world war a DC-2 was attacked by a German fighter. It managed to get away and as Holland was "neutral", it was decided to paint KLM aircraft orange with large black HOLLAND markings.
up
First a coat of gloss black was applied in order to make sure that all different putty and plastic colours blend later on. 

The model has then been given its first coat of large visibility orange.

low

The lower area can also be seen here. As obvious from this picture, the original Italeri nacelles and other wing sections can be seen, but the cowlings have been modified to represent the DC-2 cowling. 

nacelle

Some exhausts and cooling intakes were added, as well as the corrected engines. 

Colour used as suggested by Dutch decal is Orange Xtracolor enamel XF104 (FS12197) which seemed OK. This was airbrushed overall.

The model will been given painted windows and some details such as the undercarriage and antennas. On pictures, the cabin windows have a white appearance. I also added a layer of Micro Kristal Klear to get a transparent look.

Next, the decals were applied, coming from the Dutch decal/Cloudmaster set. 
The KLM DC-2 registration PH-AKJ called "Jan van Gent" was made.

The decals are OK, but make sure you have a highly gloss surface as tiny air bubbles are easily trapped under the decal film. Some decal lettering is slightly oversize, especially the under fuselage KLM-HOLLAND lettering. Trim away some film and decrease the distance between letters.

Finally, the model was given a high gloss coat of Johnson Future  and an antenna wire was added between rear fuselage and the vertical fin. And there she is.. a very spectacular DC-2 model of KLM in a special orange outfit...

low
 
klm dc-2

rear

dc-2 klm


fwd
A review of the DC-2 of MPM can be found here...
[link to external IPMS site]


References:

- Dutch DC-2: Nederlandse Vliegtuig Encycopledie, Hugo Hooftman, 1977, in Dutch 
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Created this page on October 5, 2001