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Scale recommendations for aircraft over an HO layout?

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Scale recommendations for aircraft over an HO layout?
Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, August 27, 2015 10:16 PM

Hi everyone:

I just purchased a 1/87th model of a Douglas C-47 (DC-3 with bigger side door). I thought that it would look great hanging over my yet to be HO layout. However, once I got my hands on the kit I soon realized that it looks huge even though it is to scale. I had not taken into account the forced perspective that is required to make an airplane look like it is high in the sky.

My question is what scale(s) would you suggest would work better to give the desired forced perspective? There are lots of DC-3/C-47 kits and models available in smaller scales. Everything from 1/100 to 1/600. What do you recommend?

I should mention that the train room only has a 7 ft ceiling so I am limited in terms of how high I can hang the plane in the air.

Thanks

Dave

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Thursday, August 27, 2015 10:44 PM

This old aircraft type would recommend the smallest possible size, and hang it about three inches below the ceiling.  The object is to force perspective, and not have the featherless bird detract from the ground-level railroad and its surroundings.

Consider that the FAA would like pilots to remain at least 500 feet above the terrain unless descending for a landing or climbing out on takeoff.  In HO scale, that means five feet nine inches above the hilltops - pretty hard to do with a seven foot ceiling unless your tracks are at floor level.

In all honesty, I am not a big fan of hanging aircraft models over a layout.  Aircraft move, rather quickly.  Unless you're modeling a hovering helicopter or the Goodyear Blimp, it wouldn't just stay there.  And even the helicopter and blimp move over time.

Chuck (Retired USAF maintenance tech modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Thursday, August 27, 2015 11:11 PM

Hi Chuck:

Thanks for your recommendations. The question is now moot because I just found a 1:250 DC-3 in Canadian Pacific livery for a reasonable price, and I figured it was now or never. I'd have been ticked if I let it go.

I understand your point about not liking aircraft hanging still in the sky but that is something I can live with. I think we all have things that we don't quite agree with in modeling. I will replace the props with clear styrene discs to simulate running engines like I think Mike Lehman does. As for altitude, I'll just have to say they are "on approach".

The reason I wanted a DC-3 was because I flew in a couple of them many years ago in Sweden compliments of the Swedish Air Force. The first one was polished like good silver. The second one looked like it had been in the crapper for several years. The crew joked that it was on its way to the scrap yard as soon as our flight was done!LaughLaugh By the way, I experienced the worst rough weather ride I had ever had in the shiney DC-3. We ran into a storm front (I'm pretty sure the pilot did it deliberately), and we dropped far enough and fast enough that we rose out of our seats and the seatbelts, which were not in use, stood up on their own for a couple of seconds. We teenaged Air Cadets laughed our heads off! That was only 44 years ago.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by crhostler61 on Thursday, August 27, 2015 11:52 PM

I currently have a 188 Electra dangling over my layout that is in 1:144 scale. It works well because the smaller scale adds to the illusion of altitude. I imagine that somewhere well outside the realm of my layout there is an airport guiding my Electra to the tarmack.

:-)

Mark H

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Posted by mlehman on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:01 AM

Dave,

There's a discussion of several of your questions and lots more in a thread I did on my aircraft a couple of years ago.

http://cs.trains.com/mrr/f/88/t/228279.aspx?page=1

One of my favorite builds was the little Osborne DHC-2 Beaver, an aircraft I'vge always wanted to own...but I could only afford a layout.Laugh

Here's a pic of it towing a glider, also in HO.

Mike Lehman

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:06 AM

Depends on the scale of the antiaircraft gun.Whistling

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by crhostler61 on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:20 AM

Depends on the scale of the antiaircraft gun.Whistling

 

20 mm works quite well...oops...scale, BB's maybe. Whistling

Laugh

Mark H

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:31 AM

crhostler61

 

 
 

Depends on the scale of the antiaircraft gun.Whistling

 

 

 

20 mm works quite well...oops...scale, BB's maybe. Whistling

Laugh

Mark H

 

I´d suggest 88mm (remember the infamous 8-8 FLAK gun?) Smile, Wink & Grin

On the serious side, I can follow Chucks arguments against hanging anything above the layout. There is something "artificial" about any objects, be it on land, on sea or in the air, which are in a state a a "frozen" motion. I even try to avoid figures with a frozen motion!

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, August 28, 2015 2:23 AM

Sir Madog
I´d suggest 88mm

Sadly a very good suggestion.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile, Wink & Grin

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by zstripe on Friday, August 28, 2015 4:35 AM

 

 
Sir Madog
I´d suggest 88mm

 

Sadly a very good suggestion.
Cheers, the Bear.Smile, Wink & Grin
 

Or....this one!!!Whistling

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, August 28, 2015 8:50 AM

I'm partial to the slow-moving blimp, preferably in U.S. Navy livery, to represent the WWII through the 1950's time period.  My dad worked for Goodyear, and was involved in building the control gondolas until he retired in 1973.

Or maybe a balloon.

Tom

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Friday, August 28, 2015 9:30 AM

ROCO makes a 1/87 8.8 cm FlAK 36/37...

 

 

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

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Posted by mlehman on Friday, August 28, 2015 11:02 AM

ACY

I'm partial to the slow-moving blimp, preferably in U.S. Navy livery, to represent the WWII through the 1950's time period.  My dad worked for Goodyear, and was involved in building the control gondolas until he retired in 1973.

Or maybe a balloon.

Tom

 

Tom,

Hmmm, am I remembering right that Walthers or someone else offered a blimp model at one time? They are awesome to see. Always had a soft spot for the blimps (seen the Goodyear a couple of times passing in transit) and their rigid big cousins, the zeppelins. Waaaay too big for most layouts, though.

Mike Lehman

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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, August 28, 2015 11:35 AM

Mike:

Glencoe Models has a U.S. Navy K-class blimp in 1/330 scale.  It's about 11" long. I believe K-ships were the most common of the Navy's patrol blimps.  Don't know whether the kit is still available.  The box says Copyright 2006.  I haven't built mine yet, so I can't say anything about the quality of the kit.

I think you know the terminology, but maybe others don't.  Lighter-than-air craft that are long and narrow, and can be steered, are referred to as airships or dirigibles, although those terms are not usually applied to blimps as far as I know.  Zeppelins were invented by Count Zeppelin, and were large enough to require a metal frame to maintain their shape.  That's usually what we mean when we talk about airships or dirigibles.  Blimps have no internal frame because they are smaller and don't need one to maintain their shape.  During WWI, Britain used unframed small diriigibles and called them "Limps" because of their flexibility.  The most common type of British Limp was the B-Limp.  Thus the name Blimp.

Modern blimps are usually in the 200-300 foot length range.  The really big airships like the Hindenberg, or the US. Navy's Akron and Macon, were in the 800 foot range.  The fire-related crash of the hydrogen-filled Hindenberg, and the structural failures of the helium-filled Akron and Macon, meant that the age of the really big airships ended in the 1930's.  But the U.S. Navy used blimps throughout WWII and well into the 1950s.  The last variant was the ZPG-3-W, which carried a radar screen inside its balloon.  It was retired around 1959 or 1960.  We used to see blimps flying around Akron a lot when I was growing up in the 1950's.  Saw two flying around Akron when I was there about 2 weeks ago, in fact.

Also, there are, or have been, models of the Graf Zeppelin, Hindenberg, Akron, Macon, Goodyear blimp, and possibly others on the market.

I know.Off Topic

Tom 

(several edits)   

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:02 PM

Tom:

I don't mind when people go off topic, especially when the information is interesting like yours is.

I'm modeling the late 50s so blimps might be a bit of a stretch, not to suggest that I haven't stretched a few other things that aren't exactly right for the time. The 1:250 DC-3 will be a bit of a stretch because it has the CP Pacman livery but that I can live with. I suppose I could repaint it if I could find the right decals.

Bear and Ulrich:

I'm not planning on modeling anti-aircraft guns on the layout, but I do have a great substitute! My son just gave me a sling shot for chasing the blackbirds and squirrels away from our bird feeder. Don't worry, we are using dried chick peas as amunition, and we don't pull it back all the way. The chick peas are a bit hard to shoot straight because of the irregularities in the surface but they get the message across just fine.

There Tom, hows that for Off Topic?

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:10 PM

Mike:

How did you make the disc that models the moving propeller?

Thanks

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by tomikawaTT on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:26 PM

Still Off Topic, but on with the thread...

During my career with the USAF I worked on both the Beaver and the Gooney Bird - in fact, one of the gooney birds was gussied up to carry Lady Bird Johnson around Texas.  (She only used it once!)  Neither type was designed for ease of maintenance, so neither makes it to my list of favorites.

As for AA weapons, I'm partial to the quad mount M2s on a half track, and to the twin Bofors on a tank chassis.  My father commanded the 142 AAAW Bn, which had both at the time (1948-1952.)  But, if you want serious bang for the buck, you can't beat twin-mounted 5"/38's.  Proximity fuses, you know, and effective anti-ship weapons as well.  (Check Battle Damage, IJN Kirishima, and the Battle off Samar.)

The M1A1 main gun is NOT an effective AA weapon.  Insufficient elevation.

Chuck (Retired MSgt modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, August 28, 2015 1:53 PM

I'm kind of curious what threat the CP DC-3 poses, that requires the use of AA in the first place.  Is Canada planning to invade?  Just curious.

Tom 

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, August 28, 2015 2:17 PM

Tom:

Maybe if some terrorist cuts the string holding the DC-3 over the layout!Smile, Wink & GrinLaughLaughClown

I'm glad you are all taking this so seriously!Smile, Wink & Grin

Dave

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, August 28, 2015 2:38 PM

While I don't normally have an aircraft over the layout, I usually attribute aerial photos of my layout (to illustrate track arrangement, structure placement, etc.) to Secord Air Services.  A fisherman on the Maitland River managed to snap this shot of Barney Secord (owner and sole pilot of SAS) flying under the Erie Northshore's bridge.  (Must've been a pretty fast shutter speed, judging from the look of that prop.)

 

While one wheel of the landing gear appears to be contacting the water, Barney somehow avoided crashing on this particular occasion, but there have been other "incidents".  Smile, Wink & Grin

Wayne

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Posted by hon30critter on Friday, August 28, 2015 3:30 PM

Wayne:

Is that called 'bridge storming'? Clearances are a little tight don't ya think - like suicidal tight?!

LaughLaughLaugh

When I was in Sweden in '72 with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets I won a draw to get taken up in a Saab 105 which is a training jet very similar to the Tudor jets that the Royal Canadian Air Force Areobatics team flies. They look the same except the Saab is high wing. Anyhow, I got the thrill of a lifetime for 45 minutes. We started flying in a formation of two, with us being #2, literally at ground level. We were so low that we had to go up to get over the tree lines and hydro wires. I was scared out of my wits because my pilot wasn't looking where we were going. He was focused on the wing tip of the lead jet which was right over his head. That was only the first couple of minutes. I could go on for hours describing the other stunts that he pulled, but the last one was spectacular. On our landing approach we came in over the runway upside down! Yup! Upside down and close to the deck to boot. My pilot was the Commanding Officer of the Swedish Airforce pilot training operation. He knew his stuff!

Anyhow, Steven is likely going to shut us down if I go Off TopicOff TopicOff Topic any more!

Dave

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, August 28, 2015 4:08 PM

As has been mentioned elsewhere, going off-topic can add needed interest to many threads, and the discussion here is, after all, about planes.

Wayne

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Posted by "JaBear" on Friday, August 28, 2015 4:42 PM
Waaaaaaay Off Topic
I’m not sure where, when, or who originated the practice, perhaps it was Barney in his Stearman, but water skiing aircraft down the Nile was a must do for Kiwi Ag pilots working in Egypt and the Sudan in the 70s and 80s.
Here the South Africans take it to a new level!!!!

 

Cheers, the Bear.Smile

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Posted by Southwest Chief on Friday, August 28, 2015 5:25 PM

hon30critter

The 1:250 DC-3 will be a bit of a stretch because it has the CP Pacman livery but that I can live with. I suppose I could repaint it if I could find the right decals.

 

Vintage Flyer Decals may have what you need.  They have lots of great airline decals in multiple scales.  They make some great (and authentic) Santa Fe decals I got for my Walthers C-47.  Just haven't gotten around to painting and lettering it quite yet.

Hmmm, after a quick check I didn't see any CP decals for a DC-3.  However since they already have DC-4 CP decals they might be able to do a run for the DC-3.  Contact and find out.  They did a custom DC-3 in the later Santa Fe Skyway lettering for me, and now it is offered as a regular set.

 

Or you could get this awesome 1:200 model...although kinda pricey:

Canadian Pacific DC-3 DieCast Model

 

Or this even cooler 1:200 CP DC-6:

Canadian Pacific DC-6 DieCast Model

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
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Posted by mlehman on Friday, August 28, 2015 5:45 PM

Southwest Chief
Or this even cooler 1:200 CP DC-6: Canadian Pacific DC-6 DieCast Model

Gotta love a RR that has its own air force.Big Smile

Mike Lehman

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 29, 2015 2:30 AM

Matt:

Thanks for the lead on the decal supplier. Unfortunately, as you say, they don't have Canadian Pacific script in 1:250.

I wonder if an N scale CP script decal in black, if there is such a thing, would come close enough? Once I see the model I'll be better able to judge the size needed. The stripes could be fudged with regular decal striping.

Anyhow, this won't be a high priority project and I'm probably nuts for re-painting a $35 Cdn model anyhow.

Dave

Dave

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Posted by hon30critter on Saturday, August 29, 2015 2:37 AM

Bear:

Those South Africans were nuts! I guess it's kind of like barefoot water skiing.

You were not off topic at all. You were providing a prototypical example of Wayne's plane flying close to the water.

Dave

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Posted by BATMAN on Saturday, August 29, 2015 1:15 PM

mlehman
Gotta love a RR that has its own air force.Big Smile

A navy as well!Captain

http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/cp.shtml

 

Brent

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Posted by Uncle_Bob on Saturday, August 29, 2015 4:04 PM

My two cents is, if you plan to have a warbird on or over your layout, make sure it has good-quality nose art!  Cool

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Posted by zstripe on Saturday, August 29, 2015 5:17 PM

tomikawaTT
The M1A1 main gun is NOT an effective AA weapon.  Insufficient elevation.

Hi Chuck,

The tank was put in for fun! Rather have a Quad 50 or a ''Duster''.

BTW: It is not a MIA1....it is a German Leopard 2, RC Firing 1/16 scale projectile tank (30m) with sound and Led's,working suspension, main gun recoil. Believe it or not......sounds better than some of the DCC w/sound loco's I've heard...LOL.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

  

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