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The Final Build For The Radio Section

My Story


I wanted to build a life-size diorama that could complement all artifacts found that belong in the setting as they were in life. Some objects scattered within the museum display cases were added to the exhibit to fill out the effect in a purposeful meaning. Beginning with blueprints, pressed wood was cut in the fuselage shape for bulkhead -5 (R.L), and bulkhead - 6 (R.L). A silver sheet of material was laid over the walls and tacked down with small nail-tacts simulating rivets, 3,000 plus tacs were used.

The radio operator's table is constructed from wood to the correct size to fit the width of the wall, which is in reality quite narrow.

Control cables were also added to run through the room in the upper ceiling.


Having recovered some of the K-21 camera and film, I cut a hole in the floor to display it along with a K-20 camera from the museum. I had to install it in this area as the camera well is normally under the floor between the two halfs. As we have to have a walkway, this was my solution, wich turned out quite well with the added indirect lighting.


Tacking down the side wall was a real joy, they did not want to bend in shape without a fight, but the result was worth the trouble in the end as it came out as planned.


This is the bomb bay side of bulkhead 5. It is intended to convert this section into a bomb bay display with what there is in the museum and pieces from the wreck. A bomb rack with 5 replicated 500lb bombs made of fiberglass is planned for this area. These five copies will be accompanied by a real 500lb bomb and a 1000lb bomb. Electrical relays and isolators were reattached to the wall, all recovered from the site.


The right side holds the command radio sets in front, and at the rear, I have displayed the various antennas found such as the VHF, R-42 reel antenna, the radio compass antenna, the radar jamming antenna, and a few insulators. The emergency crank is also fixed to the back wall.


The right side of the radio room is also used as a display for the survival gear found, along with museum artifacts on hand. The equipment was stored above the bomb bay area but was released inside the radio room by a pull lever to open the outside covers when evacuating the plane on the water.


The photo shows the left back side of bulkhead 6, I installed the fuse panel and control pullies. Wireing from the panel runs inside the wall and back up the radio room to bulkhead 5.


An added prop to the room was the oxygen monitoring panel. The only original part is the blinker and the DIM/BRIGHT lite. 

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