The plan is to have the nose, top and tail turrets rotate and the guns elevate. Do to balance concerns, the tail turret will be static for flight. The ball turret will not move other that to extend and retract.
Consolidated A6-B Turret
I started on the rear turret a long time ago but never got around to finishing it up. Now that the building phase is done I can finish the turrets and have some fun with styrene. Building the turrets is like scratch building a plastic model from a picture. I picked up an assortment of styrene at the local train hobby shop, got out some reference pictures and got to work.
To make the front turret I copied the rear turret but did a better job getting the guns move up and down. It's very scale like and the guns move with the control handle. I'm so pleased with it that I will redo the rear turret gun mechanics so they will also move better. A micro servo in the turret will actuate the guns. I painted them with interior green and then lightly sprayed with olive green to give them a better scale look. A little silver in places for wear and they're done.
The .50 cal. guns
The first pair of .50 cal guns I made were pretty scale but a lot of work and the barrels are heavy brass. I thought about using them to make a mold and make the rest of the guns with resin but decided I didn't need that much detail. I settled on making the other 4 guns from styrene. Using 1/4" x 3/8" rectangle stock for the body, 5/32" tubing for the cooling jacket and 3/32" for the barrel I was able to build four guns pretty fast.
I made a jig to drill the holes in the cooling jackets by drilling a 5/32" hole through a piece of wood for the tubing and drilling a series of holes on through the long hole. The tubing slides into the hole and rests flush with the 1/8 spacer at the end. I drew a line on the tubing end for alignment then drilled the holes. The tube is then moved in flush with the block and rotated 90 degrees and the other holes are drilled. As with all jigs it takes a bit to get it right but after that I can crank out gun barrels.
Martin AC-3 Top Turret
The top turret. The guns move up & down. I found some gun belts packaged with a toy solder at the local Rite-Aid store that look great after a little Poly-scale "Scale Black" paint. I think the scale black really made them look good. A little white mixed with black would do the same.
I used a Cirrus CS-6.5 micro servo on the guns and a JR 241 for the turret rotation. The whole thing weighs 1.7 oz. After I got it mounted into the fuselage I powered her up and got it moving, fun! Eventually it will get it's commands from a microprocessor and will be autonomous.
Briggs A-13 Ball Turret
9/27/05 - The ball turret was originally going to be a ball but after making the two halves and test fitting I decided that I don't really need to make it a ball because only the lower half is seen, and seen only in the air at that.
Pretty simple - since the ball turret is hardly seen, not much detailing needed. I epoxied some plastic tubing inside. The guns barrels slide into them. It will get painted silver instead of wasting flite-metal on it. Many months ago I made a mechanism for raising & lowering the turret but I am thinking of using a lighter and simpler method like a cable because of balance concerns. In any case, I'm waiting until the finishing is done to mount it into the fuselage.
10/04/05 - Worked on the nose turret today. After spending some time cutting out the slots for the guns and adding strips to the guns so that when they move up & down the slots will be covered just like the full size turrets are, I abandoned that route and probably will not have the guns moving on the front turret. Too much work to get it to work good and look good too and I need to stay focused on getting this thing flying first. On the first turret I made, the guns don't move so good so I'm using that for the nose turret. I got the two halves on the turret plastic glued together. While waiting for that to dry I worked on the tail turret a bit. For now I'm using the open turret on the back. The guns move up and down but I'm not putting servos in it to keep the weight down back there.
10/6/05 - Worked on nose turret. Widened the gun spacing. Since I had to re-do the gun mounts, I made it so they could move up and down. Also, drilled holes for the guns. The nose turret is now ready for aluminum. I think it's going to be tough to apply flite-metal to the thin plastic but I'll try.