This model represents a DC-5 flying with Australian National Airways in 1944 made from a F-Rsin 1/144 kit with home made decals
The DC-5 was a rare aeroplane, it might have been very successful and had been ordered by KLM and British Airways. However, the war intervened and only 12 had been completed before production ended so could Douglas meet the demands of war contracts. Of those 12 the four ordered by KLM went to the Netherlands East Indies and were flown there by KNILM. When the Japanese invaded south east Asia three of these DC-5s were evacuated to Australia where they flew for the Allied Transport Command. They were given radio call-signes CXA, CXB and CXC and when they were put on the Australian civil register they were allocated those registrations letters. VH-CXA and VH-CXB were destroyed in accidents and spare parts salvaged from them were used to keep VH-CXC airworthy. ANA began using VH-CXC in December 1942 and it flew without camouflage from July 1943. It was sold to New Holland Airways at the end of 1947 and was struck off the Australian register in July 1948. It later flew in Israel.
This is a simple resin kit with four basic parts, a few smaller resin parts and white metal undercarriage. It comes with a decal set that allows you to make all the DC-5s that flew with KNILM.
The only serious problem in making this kit was the thousands of tiny air bubbled in the resin on the under side of the fuselage. I cut out as many as the holes as I could with a knife and filled them with Tamiya putty. The trouble with this was that when I sanded the putty back I invariably sanded away a small amount of resin and exposed more air bubbles. After three goes at doing this most of the holes were taken care of but getting a final smooth finish seemed almost impossible, so I tried instead Mr Surfacer 500 which I’d read about but never tried before. It turned out to be a good choice and the undersurface was satisfactory to finish after a couple of layers had been applied and sanded back.
VH-CXC flew in ANA’s typical polished bare metal finish from mid 1943, with minimal markings. The usual Tamiya TS-14 Black undercoat with two or three layers of Tamiya TS-83 Metallic Silver gave a good result in replicating this appearance.
The kit propellers were very poorly molded in resin so I used spare propellers from a Roden AC-47 instead (Hannants has been selling them at almost half price). The nose wheel was eaten by the carpet monster and a replacement found in the spares box The only thing still missing in the starboard nose undercarriage door which was missing from the kit. I’ve written asking for a replacement, but no response yet.