I picked this model up in the hopes of doing a better build on this attempt than I had on a much earlier effort, it turned into a research project that took me back to my roots and the history of the aircraft I had decided to build as well. Originally it was going to be the military PBY5A as shown on the box top but once research began I found I knew a maintenance technician who had actually worked on "Canso's" (which I was told a long time ago got it's name from the design team debating whether or not it would ever fly... "Will not said one...can so said the other...and it did) Anyway I gained much information from my friend who'd worked on the modelled aircraft in the late 1970's and early 1980's Some of this information including pictures of him working on the plane. I could not pass up this opportunity and so here is "Tanker 9" in Government of Saskatchewan (Canada) markings circ. 1982 I used a resin nose conversion built by Scott McTavish and sold by Uncle Rick of Uncle Bills models (rest in peace old friend) in Calgary AB. I also installed a resin cockpit assembly (of unknown manufacture) and much scratch building. Sharp eyed folks will notice the fabric effect removed from the wing centre section between the ailerons from the rear spar aft. This is in keeping with the prototype having lost it's fabric skinning (in flight apparently) and being re-skinned with aluminum at some point in it's career. I also added the water uptake and outflow vents and many other things, too many to mention. I tracked the real aircraft down with help from John Winter of Harbour Air in Nanaimo (where tanker 9 had been rusting away) and was informed that it had been restored to airworthy condition and was at that very time being flown to the USA to take it's place in a museum.
Building of the model took about a year working on evenings after work supper and play time, with spare time on the weekends also, at one point I got reference pictures mixed up and painted (all markings are painted on) #7 on as the hull number and registration for the sister ship (which has also been restored and is now flying tours in the UK) but ship 7 had a different nose and so either needed a re-paint or new nose...9 was re-painted. The model goes together very nicely with only a bit of work needed to straighten the wing (I used to lengths of brass bar stock as spars super glued and epoxied inside the wing.) White metal undercarriage was retrofitted to the kit after it collapsed one night, the saving grace was, it was the main gear leg away from the edge of the bench that failed, had it been the other way around the model would likely have toppled off the work bench. Why the gear leg failed was my fault having added about 20 ozs of lead weight behind the flight deck and not thinking about the plastic gear not being able to hold the model up. Thanks go to SAC (Scale Aircraft Conversions) for the upgrade to the landing gear. Again, there were many other changes made to the kit, some small, some bigger but the pictures tell the story better than words.
Upon completion of the model it was shown at the local club meeting and then off to the GOMBS show in Calgary, the model was then given to the friend who had helped so much in it's making, who had history with the actual aircraft modelled.
Photos and text © by Chris Parsons