After seeing Ben Fulcher's 1/48 Privateer at the OKC show (and a winner at Nats in Omaha as well), I was inspired to yank my Matchbox 1/72 kit out of the stash. I decided to upgrade a bit - purchased resin engine/cowlings, vac-form canopies and turrets, Quick Boost gun barrels and some aftermarket decals.
Started on the cockpit area - added seat arms and the throttles to the control column, and a few sidewall decals. Then to the turrets. Started with the top turrets - cut the top off the clear part (have to use the bottom for the turret base), then thinned out the bottom section to make more room. I decided I would have to scratch build .50 cal guns, as the barrels alone wouldn't suffice.
This pic shows the original parts.
Once I cut out the tail turret pieces from the set I bought, and tried to glue them together, I didn't like the shape, nor the visible seam cutting the turret in half vertically. As I reviewed ref. photos of the actual turret, it seemed to me that it would be easier to build out a replica of the actual turret using the original kit parts and scratching out what was missing. The original parts (especially the barrels) looked similar to the image above. I began by adding the front piece to the clear part and then trimming it substantially to match reference photos, then closing in the sides where the .50 cals will be mounted, and adding some internal structure between the guns (bracing, gun site, etc.). Here's just the side panels added.
more to come...