The beginning
Surfing the net for anything DC-3 related I ran into a website that gave a detailed account on building a giant scale dive bomber, The SBD-5 Dauntless. The builder, Tom Pierce is an artist in creating lifelike airplanes and I spent a weekend reading all the details of his build. I was so thrilled I started looking for giant scale DC-3's and found a couple of builders and suppliers. I was hooked and had to build one myself.
In Europe, I am from Holland, there are a couple of companies that offer these giant scale airplanes but most come from the US. Prices are high for kits and there are big differences between the kits and plans. Some require building entirely out of wood, some provide epoxy or fiberglass fuselages and styrofoam wings that have to be sheeted with wood or epoxy. All are meant to fly by remote control. Radio control flying is not my thing (yet) and learning to fly a big twin engined model, although it must be spectacular, would cost me years so my model will be for static display only.  I will make the gear retractable and have functional flaps.
I decided to buy a fiberglass kit from Quality Fiberglass in Tennessee but  on the same day I wanted to place the order I found an epoxy fuselage on Ebay being offered in Germany. That's around the corner for us Dutch.
The fuselage on offer had already been started on but some mistakes were made by the previous owner.  The passenger windows sat to high, he didn't use the correct shape for the cockpit windows and built the rudder and elevator according to plans for a radio controlled model. These were not "scale". They were about 10% to big and the shape wasn't correct. So I will have to change all of these items. But I did have a very workable platform.
Since this is the first time I will be building anything this size and the first time I have to build a lot myself I will be making mistakes, will suddenly stop what I am doing and start on something else because that seems wise at the time. I did build plastic model airplanes in size 1:72 but that is a different ball game entirely.
When the beast was in my little workshop, 3,5 x 3,5 meters, I began having doubts. It measures 2,52 meters in length and the wingspan is 3,60 meters. Where to start, can I do this, how much detail, what finish, do I do the inside, civilian or military? So many questions all of a sudden. So many worries.
The answers will be on the next pages. I will try to give out as much detail as possible, including my sources and thoughts. I will be adding as the project evolves. So check back regularly. The bug has bit me and I work on the beast often.
AMSTERDAM, January 2005.