My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The paint is Very Dark Drab from Jeeparts. This was used from late 1944 onwards. With my Dodge being August 1944, and having found a dark colour on the body under the reflectors, I guessed it was originally VDD in colour. I preferred this to the more brown olive seen on earlier vehicles. After a good mix, out came the brush and roller.

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There's lots of awkward seams and indentations on the Dodge, so I figured it would be easier and less chance of missing anything, to brush the paint on, then go over it with the roller to remove the brush strokes. The paint went on well, but it's quite thin so is going to need a few coats for good coverage. I started on the rear panel, then moved anti-clockwise around the truck, along the right side towards the front.

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Steve Carr

Dodge WC51 - 'Follow Me' Jeep - '43 Ford GPW
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Everything was given one coat except the fenders, as I'm waiting for the new bolts to arrive. I finished on the tailgate. The paint started out matt on the rear then by the time of the cab had gone a bit glossy. I don't know whether that was anything to do with the temperature or my application, rollering a bit earlier or later after the brush application. What was clear is that it was a very good match for the original paint on the seat frames.

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The patchy sheen doesn't really matter for the first coat, as the truck needs at least another two coats. Down the left side I spotted several chisel marks which hadn't showed in the matt primer, but did show up in the wet olive drab. I'll give them the fine surface filler treatment and a sand before the next coat of paint.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

It's a shame I needed the fenders loose to paint the body behind them as they make useful seats to reach to the top of the hood! The top of the hood was painted with the hood closed and then it was propped open with a piece of wood to paint the side panel and its hinge.

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I painted the left side of the rear body, starting at the back and working forwards. Being right handed, it gave me dry bodywork beside me where I was squeezed between the Dodge and garage wall. I finished the front with the radiator cowl and bumper. The last job after that was one coat of olive on the tailgate.

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Around two and a half weeks work and the Dodge is now mostly olive drab again, even if it is just one coat. Still a way to go as the repaint is only stage one of my plan for the Dodge, but let's just get this bit done first!
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 4th - Painting Again

The left side chisel marks were filled first thing to give them time to dry and be sanded later in the morning. A heater in the garage helped to raise the temperature to speed up the drying time. As soon as the filler was sanded, it was given a prime so that could dry ASAP.

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Amongst all that, the coach bolts arrived in the post, so I'll now be able to get on finishing the fender repairs. The filled areas looked better with the thin coat of filler, so I was happy to go ahead with the olive drab again. To give a little extra drying time, I started on the other side of the tailgate and the rear of the truck which hadn't been filled. The second coat of paint went on well and gave a more dense finish, where as the first coat was a bit thin in places.

The second coat was also drying with a more even satin finish despite stirring the paint the same and applying it in the same way. I don't mind a slight satin finish as I have wartime pictures showing the darker late war paint being satin. If it is a little too glossy still once complete, I'll let the paint harden a couple of weeks and give it a light scuff with a scotch pad or fine wire wool to take any excess sheen off. Once the olive was done and left to dry, I took the radiator grille and lamp guards into the workshop to prepare for paint. I could make mess and dust without affecting the wet paint. The grille needed the second side painted with primer while the light guards needed the white stripping off and priming.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 5th - Fender Repairs Completed

The day was interrupted a bit by having an electrician doing some work in the house, but my day's work was focused on the fenders and the doubling plates. The bolts arrived the day before and most of the pieces of metal had been primed or painted. The first job was to fit a square peg in a round hole! The coach bolts have a square collar just under the head and I needed to file the holes in the doubler, fender and hat channel to match so the bolt would fit fully flush. I had several square files, but only a short one was small enough to fit in the hole. It took quite some effort to file out all twelve holes through the three layers of metal, but eventually all the bolts fitted.

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The edges of the doubling plates were then tweaked to close up the gaps to conform to the fender shape. On the left side, the hat channel threads and its bolts were quite rusted, so all were cleaned up and re-threaded with an imperial tap and die set. The left side doubler hadn't been primed on the outside, so that was done before lunch and left in my curing cabinet to harden a while.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The mastic came next. Incredibly sticky, stringy stuff that got all over my hands, so no photos were taken until I got cleaned up again! I put insulation tape on the fender around the doubler to contain the mastic where it squeezed out when the bolts were tightened. Excess was wiped away with tissue paper and white spirit and then the tape peeled away, leaving a fairly neat edge.

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The heads of the bolts were given a splash of primer and the job was done and most of the day was too! I finished up cleaning and priming the depressions and fittings where the headlamps fit and giving them a coat of primer and filling some more dings and scratches in the tops of the fenders. They should be ready for a quick sand tomorrow and then receive their first coat of olive drab, along with the grille and headlamp guards.

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Steve Carr

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Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 6th - Fender Painting and Stripping the Screen

I started off in the workshop, cleaning off the rust from the bolts for the lamp guards, then took the bolts, guards and the grille to the garage ready for painting. It took a while to warm the place up, but I had the filler on the fenders to sand while I was waiting. The fenders were painted and while there was paint on the brush and roller, I went around most of the truck again for another coat. I couldn't paint everything however.

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The fenders were resting on blocks of wood, which in turn were resting on the steps; so the steps couldn't be painted. The two sides of the hood were also left open and out of the way and the front bumper wasn't painted as I was doing lots of walking passed it. Most of the grille was painted by painting the back first, then leaning it against my sand blaster to do the front. The lamp guards and lamp mounts were painted on a piece of card resting on top of the Ford. With everything drying, it was time to move on to the windscreen which was in the workshop.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

I began by stripping off the various accessories such as the vacuum wipers, mirror and the canvas fasteners. With those out of the way, the inner screen was separated from the outer and set to one side. I started work on the outer. There wasn't many layers of paint on it, just the white, one coat of olive and primer. There were a few patches of rust that looked bad, but once gone over with the rotary wire brush, the whole screen frame came up looking very clean and new. I'm wondering whether the outer frame has been a replacement. Almost all of the outer frame was stripped to bare metal, except on the inside between the two tubes where it would be difficult to access. They looked in good condition anyway, so were given a light sand to provide a key for the new paint.

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The inner screen wasn't touched today, but initial looks suggest it is a little worse condition than the outer. Water appears to have got between the rubber seal and frame, causing rusting which is pushing the frame out away from the glass. I'll get some more olive on the truck tomorrow and then have a look at the inner screen.

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Steve Carr

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Roset Trailer -- B-17G Fortress BO-1 #42-31035
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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

October 7th & 8th - More Painting

To look at it, it appears that progress on the Dodge has slowed down, when actually it hasn't. It doesn't change much for another coat of paint, but it's all steps along the way to completion. Most of the main bodywork of the Dodge has now had four coats of paint, with a few parts such as the fenders, tailgate and steps at two to three coats.

On the 7th, after another coat of olive drab on the Dodge, including lamp parts, grille and lamp guards, I moved on to the inner screen frame. It was stripped to bare metal and was red oxide primed both sides along with the outer frame. It was in a poor condition in places due to water trapped behind the rubber seal that holds the glass. I think I can make it last a while longer, but evertually it will loose its fight against the rust. All the grille, lamp guards and fender bolts were cleaned up and primed which took a while.

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On the 8th, the frames were painted olive drab on one side. The photos show the rot in the inner frame now the inner to outer rubber seal has been removed. It had been rusted into place, but I managed to free it today. After the inner frame is fully painted and dry, I'll look at reinforcing the frame, possibly with epoxy and using silicone to seal the glass to prevent further water ingress.

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Steve Carr

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

Both mirror arms were stripped and primed today, more olive drab on the Dodge, all the bolts so far removed had their threads re-cut and the steel plate over the front right locker was primed on the outside.

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I have also been investigating the chassis number. The original build card from Dodge shows it to be 81722458, built in August 1944. However, a closer look at the stamped serial shows a second number, in a slightly smaller font, which appears to have been stamped over the original number.

This number is 81681824, which according to one file I have, was from May 1944. I don't know if this was stamped during the war, or post war in Norwegian Army service when I know the Dodge had a rebuild.

It all started by trying to track down the original US Army hood registration number, based on the chassis number and build date. I've narrowed the number down to a range of 173 vehicles using the August 1944 build card serial. I think I'm going to have chose one from the range between 81694364 to 81694537.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

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October 9th/10th - Stencils and Markings

More painting of smaller green bits on the 9th; the screen frames, mirrors and arms, some bolts and the inner screen stays for when it is open. I also started trimming un-needed pieces of wood from the framework attached to roof bow number one. There was some slight delamination of the ply which also needed gluing.

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While the paint was drying on everything, I then started on the graphics for the stencilling. A few test prints were made to check the sizes against the space on the Dodge and all seemed good. The paper prints were tack glued to some thin card and out came the scalpel for a few hours cutting. Not all the stencils are made yet, there's still the Left Hand Drive and No Signals for the back.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

I started on the front bumper. The Dodge's new identity is still with the 100th Bombardment Group to match the rest of the fleet. Partly inspired by the Ordnance Depot Jeep markings, I checked up on the 100th BG website and found the ordnance unit there was the 1776th Ordnance Company. This gave me the new bumper markings of "8 * 100BG 1776-O 2" - 8th Air Force, 100th Bombardment Group, 1776th Ordnance Company, Vehicle 2 ( vehicle two simply because the Dodge was the second military vehicle I bought ).

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The stencils were masking taped in place and the paint applied with the end of a 4 inch glossing roller; dabbed on. The paint was painted onto card first, then the roller dabbed onto the card to pick up some paint without overloading it with paint.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

After the bumper markings had been given around three thin coats, I painted the white blackout markings on the tips of the bumper.

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The Army registration on the hood was next. Research showed I had a range of 173 possible vehicle numbers, based on the chassis number. It lay somewhere between 2253695 and 2253868, but there was no way to be sure. When I was sanding the bumper down, I found a number ending in 833. I don't believe it was the original number, but it fitted into the range I had, so my stencil was cut to give 2253833.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The USA and hood number were then painted in a similer way, but using a small piece of sponge foam to apply the paint, as that was more managable on the small stencils.

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While the first hood number was drying, I moved to the front for the Prestone antifreeze marking. I still had the stencil from my first Jeep and reused it on the Dodge. Co-incidentally, the Dodge coolant system is still using Prestone antifreeze. Amongst all this, the rear body side stars were added.

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Re: My '44 Flying Control Dodge

Post by armyairforce »

The last stencilling for the day was on the tailgate. The irony is that most of it will be hidden behind the Pioneer tool rack when it is refitted, but parts of the stencils will be visible.

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I'm very pleased with the new look and new identity. I can see some additional ammunition crates being made in the future to fill out the back of the truck. The tailgate was hung by the chains for a quick photo.

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The rear bumperettes need painting while then receive their stencils. After that, it's the hood star, no signals and LHD stencils to add, plus the name repainting once I've finished painting the screen. It all needs a while to fully harden before I start bolting it all back together, so in the mean time, I'll continue with the front roof bow wookwork.

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Steve Carr

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