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Thread: Tamiya 1:32 F4U-1A Corsair End-to-End Build

  1. #16
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    Be really careful. It's hard to build models well when you're missing body parts.

  2. #17
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    F4U-1A Engine Install, Horizontal Stab and Tail Gear (Part A)

    The cowls are split top and bottom, so I'll leave the top clear and the bottom painted. The clear parts have a slightly frosted texture which tamiya has included on all the skin parts to give it a better paint adhesion. They recommended and I did dip the clear parts in Pledge and will check them out on Monday after they completely cure.

    After studying more images of the R-2800 I noticed two other prominent pipes that could easily be inculded since they're right in the front bottom of the engine and could be seen through the wide open cowl. These are oil scavenge lines that lead from the oil scavenge pump that sits at the bottom of the gear case and goes to the oil receiver at the bottom onf the front cylinder bank and the other goes back through the engine and ends up probably at the imaginary oil tank. The smaller lines is copper colored phosphor bronze and the larger a piece of 0.032" brass, both of which were made chrome by the Molotow Chrome pen. Now the engine's done! Whoops I just noticed that I didn't put on the PE builder's plate. I can do that through the open cowl.

    Name:  F4U-1A R-2800 Oil Scavenge Lines.JPG
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    With the engine complete it was time to install the forward cowl leading edge and the open cowl flap ring. You can have it will the cowl flaps open or closed. I chose open since it shows off more of the exhaust spaghetti. As usual the engineering was excellent in locating the cowls to the engine, but becuase I had painted the lugs that tie the valve covers on selected cylinders to the rings. So the glue was having trouble getting a good grip. I ended up helping it along with CA.

    The remaining two exhaust collectors were put in place and then the entire engine was joined to the fuselage by using tube cement just on the center ring which has the heft to provide a good joint. The cowls varied depending on whether you're doing version A, B or C. The "Big Dog's" Corsair was the earlier B version. This plane had opening cowl flaps at the 11 to 1 o'clock posirtions. These were eventually closed off permanently when the airplane had the habit of fouling the windsceen with leakage from the engine. The B model also had the original shorter tailwheel. It was raised in subsequent models to give the pilot of better view forward over the huge nose for carrier use. The long nose was the reuslt of having the fuel tank in front of the cockpit. A couple of tiny PE pieces help hold in the opened top flaps.

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    I liked how the new exhaust pipes nested into the others that were already in place.

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    This was set aside to dry. While the cowls were setting up, I started on the horizontal stabilizer. Both stabs are the same. It was clear that Vought chose to do this to simplify construction. One side has a series of circular access panels. So one the right side they're on top, and the left they're on the bottom. The trim tabs separate parts as is the linkage that operates them. You can have the elevators in neutral or dropped position using a different hinge part. I chose to have them dropped.

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    When I glued the horizontal stabs in place, again I marveled at the fit. No filler needed. I used tube cement here to give a little more coverage and dwell time. I just put it on the middle of the mounting stub and let the stab push it further towards the junction.

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  3. #18
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    F4U-1A Engine Install, Horizontal Stab and Tail Gear (Part B)

    Next up was the tail strut and wheel. It's a lovely affair with lots of parts, great detail and good engineering. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have glued it in yet since it complicates masking the interior from the white bottom color, BUT... it is held in tightly held by a sandwhich with part M2 that's also a body part. I could have put that part in without glue, painted the bottom, removed it and then glued in the tail gear. But that plane has left the runway and the tail gear is glued in.

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    I airbrushed flat white, painted the hydralic ram with the Chrome pen and then installed it, and glued in place M2. That ring just behind the wheel caster hole is the attachment point for the catapult. It's a tail dragger so I guess they have to link up at the back. The diagonal link ending at the tail is the arresting hook operating lever.

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    I ended the day putting on the tail wheel doors. These too have two version depending on whether you're using the short of long tail wheel. So much of this model is detailed in plastic that you'd have to do with after market or scratch build. I will, however upgrade the wing fold area since I found some good reference materials for some added piping.

    Work begins again on Monday. Have a great weekend.

  4. #19
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    F4U-1A Wing Center Section

    Today was mostly a painting day. It started with the wing center section bottom which has white, Interior Green and Intermediate Blue painting. I painted the white first and then masked and painted the interior green, all by the detail airbrush. I find I'm using this gun more and more since the spray pattern is so nice that I can hold parts in my hand while painting without covering myself.

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    A neat little assembly which will add a lot of hidden interest to the model is the oil cooler/intercooler intake trunk. It was a prominent feature of the early Corsairs. Later models had some of these intakes in the cowl lip.

    Each side consists of 8 parts: 5 injection molded and 3 PE. One of the PE pieces will not be seen when the wing is assembled. This is the inlet facing side that will be seen in the wing opening.

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    This is the outlet side facing into the fuselage and shows that soon-to-be-hidden PE grill.

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    Lastly, I put together the main wing spar in the wing-folded position. Again it has multiple colors including the wing hinge area in the intermediate blue color.

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    It took me almost a 1/2 hour to try and match that intermediate blue color. Tamiya calls out A-20, an aerosol pre-mixed color. I don't want to use rattle can paint in the house for areas as big as the plane so I bought some Tamiya bottle paint to try and get a match. The medium blue I bought which I thought would work as a starting point didn't work. I then tried to lighten the Royal Blue, but that didn't work either. I then mixed up some Flat Blue and lots of white (white was used in all the other mixes too), and was getting closer. I was matching this all to the color sheet included in the model. I found that I needed to add a small amount of red since the color was tending to a blue green. Here's the output from all those tests and the one that I thought was the closest as designated by the arrow. I can probably get it a bit closer and then I'll need to scale it up to make a batch for the airbrush. Or... I might buy some Vallejo that's already matched to this scheme. I'm not a big Vallejo fan since it's more temperamental, doesn't thin with IPA and dries much slower.

    Name:  F4U-1A Color Test.JPG
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    Tomorrow I have some errands to run and won't get so much done, but I will be continuing with building the wing center section.

  5. #20
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    F4U-1A Wing Center Section Inner Details

    Building in the inner details of the wings is a lot of fun. First I did some dirtying up of the oil cooler intakes. I again used the Tamiya Black Panel Line wash.

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    That dirty front lip is hidden behind the fairing that goes on when the wing halves have been brought together.

    I glued in the main spar and all the bulkheads and almost screwing it up by gluing the wing bulkhead in before the spar. It goes on top of the spar and interlocks with it. Luckily, the glue hadn't set and I was able to disassemble the errantly glued part and get it right. I then painted all the wheel well interior parts white. I then masked the white and sprayed the interior green on some parts that will never be seen. I didn't spray the exterior wing joint since this is going to be intermediate blue.

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    There are a suprisingly high number of parts in this sub-assembly.

    The wheel well ceilings were painted off the model so I could air brush the interior walls from both directions. I then glued the ceilings into place. Here's the wheel well fully painted before any weathering. The overspray doesn't matter since this section ends up being white.

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    While there's a ton of detail in the wheel area, what's missing is all the hydraulics. After gluing in the control valve for the wheel door cylinders. The valve and cylinders are there, but no inconnecting piping. So... what to do? The problem is that the valves are glued in place and not easily accessible. I didn't even realize what the valve was when I glue it in place according to the instructions.

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    I can't get the micro-drills in at that angle. I may be able to get the micro-tubing over top of the those little fitting and put the tubing into the tubes. You can't see these details unless the model is picked up, and I don't want people doing that.

    Here's an example of the piping that's missing.

    Name:  Corsair Wheel Well.JPG
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    I know I'm going to add some 3D piping to the wing fold area since it is so obvious. Whether I'm going to do it in the wheel well remains to be seen. The detail is all on the back of the main spar and won't be seen looking from the front. I'll take input from all of you to help me decide.

  6. #21
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    F4U-1A Wing Center Section Completion

    Once again, WAB seems to have suffered a server problem for two days. I wasn't able to load anything. So today's post will be a summary of what's been going on.

    I decided to detail the wheel wells and wing fold areas. In the process of attempting to get some tiny brass tubes onto the wheel door hydraulic valve, I broke the molded wing fold hinge. I thought about and did drawings to make it out of brass, but then decided to try and fix the broken plastic joint with pins and it worked. The upper center wing skin was installed and then the whole deal was attached to the fuze which is where work ended yesterday. As usual, the wing fit was exceptional. I did have some interference with my piping and the flap actuating linkage. But it won't affect much.

    The detail in the oil cooler area is terrific. A little panel line enhancer and the cooler cores really pop.

    Name:  F4U-1A Cooler Fairings.JPG
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    The top and bottom lines go to both ends of the wheel door cylinders. The instructions show the cylinders being glued to the doors first and then the doors onto the plane, but that makes piping much more difficult. I'm going to explore putting the cylinders on now so the pipes can be more easily terminated. The middle pipes pass out of the well to points unknown.

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    The belly has lots of parts including additional fairings insides the flap area, plus that two little hooks for??? (Catapult???). I lost one of the actuator rod faired outlet covers and made one from a piece of sprue.

    Name:  F4U-1A Wheel Bay Piping WIP.JPG
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    The wing fold area has massive detail as did the real plane. Clearly seen is the flap cylinder and control rod for the center section flaps. The outer wing has more detail which some of those pipes are leading to. There's another control rod that also hooks to the same arm that operates the outer wing flaps.

    Name:  F4U-1A Wing Fold Complexity.JPG
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    Wing to body seams are non-existent. Very little filler is needed for this model. It's a pleasure. When a part doesn't fit perfectly, you're putting it on wrongly.

    Name:  F4U-1A Fuze-Wing Join 2.JPG
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    BTW: the clear or solid cowling sides are not glued. They can be removed so it may not be essential to use the transparent parts.

  7. #22
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    So when you do the overall paint job I am curious if you are going to do any weathering? Going to try and post some pictures of a model show on board the Hornet today that I stumbled onto. Got into a discussion over weathering when I remarked that the F-14 was way overdone. Someone disagreed with me. Consequently I had to prove my point.

  8. #23
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    I don't weather very much. I'm going to add it where it would typically be difficult to be pristine, but am not a fan of making models looks like beat up prototypes. I've been studying prototype pics and find that most pieces of apparatus are kept as clean as possible. In aircraft, landing gear are often white so they can spot oil leaks easily. If they were filthy, that would be very difficult. I'll add exhaust streaking, and some minor dirt, but I'm not going nuts with pre-and-post shading, besides, I don't really know how to do it. I'm also afraid of screwing up an expensive model by over-doing it on weathering. I'm doing "Big Dog", the plane of the squadron leader which has a history of being hit by friendly fire in a cloud. Those bullet holes are shown on the model by decals. If I want to include them, I would be, by definition, picking a time when the plane wasn't newly delivered, and therefore, a bit more weathered than what I normally like to do. So I may leave them off.

    The same goes for armor, especially modern armor. Troops when not fighting are doing maintenance and cleaning. I can understand making a tank look absolutely cruddy when mired in muck on the Russian Front, but Israeli amour that's modern and hasn't been in combat in years shouldn't look beat up at all. Sun fading maybe, but tons of dirt, mud, bent and missing parts, not so much. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.

  9. #24
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    F4U-1A Main Gear Build

    Gun… further on the weathering discussion. Lots of guys like to make a big deal about panel lines with pre-and post-shading, line enhancement, lightening panel centers, etc. But, after watching a great vid on re-creating the only flyable F4U-1 Birdcage at a Vulture Aviation aircraft fabrication shop in CA I can see why doing this to a Corsair might not be right. What I found interesting was the lack of panel details: much of the plane was spot welded! It's why it looks so sleek. The video also shows that most of the airframe is being created from scratch. They have the sheet metal technology to do all of it. They also have the CNC machining centers to re-manufacture all the components that aren't serviceable. They have every working drawing from Vought that existed. Also, they were making the wing fold mechanisms. The hinges are high tensile strength steel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1YhnjAxtTI

    So...Happy Monday! Unlike most mortals, I like Mondays as much if not more than weekends. That's because of my deal with my wife where I do nothing in the basement on weekends. So Mondays are when I can build models and that's fun for me. More fun than watching college football of schools of which I care not.

    Picked up the Life Color Sea Blue and Intermediate Blue for the Corsair. And while I was there I was given a present; another Tamiya Corsair. This one was a "Bird Cage" version that was produced by Tamiya a bit earlier. It was not complete and was from an estate. Missing was the cockpit, the lower wing details, and most importantly, the engine. I would have loved to have built another engine to display along side. I did, however, get the wing fold parts (a dollar short and a day late) and the landing gear parts, of which I did use one this afternoon.

    My session today was spent assembling those very intricate main landing gear. Many parts are included and there's a steel shaft that is glued into the two halves of the main strut. This stiffens the assembly nicely and I'm sure that it will support the plane as it should. Being a tail-dragger, no nose weight is needed to have it sit correctly. I drilled the jack cylinder to prepare it to receive the hydraulic lines. Which, BTW, I find that it looks like the middle line from the valve didn't go through the wing bulkhead. Instead, it goes through the main spar and enters the gear chamber. This tells me that it's the one that operates the jack. So I prepared the valve by attempting to pull the solder pipe out of the wing bulkhead and re-route it through a hole in the main spar that I drilled. But the line was too short! So I tried to pull the line out of the brass ferrule, but the middle and bottom ferrules broke free of the valve body. So now I'm in the middle of reattaching everything... and then I ran out of time.

    The gear will be painted off the model since there's a decal that goes on the strut that will be easier to apply when they're separate. There's very little of the oleo piston showing so using the Chrome Pen or Bare Metal Foil is going to be very challenging. You don't have to rig a break line on this model. It's nicely molded by Tamiya.

    We're heading to PA for Thanksgiving so I'll see y'all on the Monday after the holiday. Everyone have a pleasant, happy, satisfying and very safe Thanksgiving!!

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    I don't understand what aspect of this mechanism actually turns the gear the 87 degrees that it goes through to enter the wheel well. Does anyone know how it actually happens?
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 20 Nov 18, at 01:19.

  10. #25
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    I don't weather very much. I'm going to add it where it would typically be difficult to be pristine, but am not a fan of making models looks like beat up prototypes. I've been studying prototype pics and find that most pieces of apparatus are kept as clean as possible. In aircraft, landing gear are often white so they can spot oil leaks easily. If they were filthy, that would be very difficult. I'll add exhaust streaking, and some minor dirt, but I'm not going nuts with pre-and-post shading, besides, I don't really know how to do it. I'm also afraid of screwing up an expensive model by over-doing it on weathering. I'm doing "Big Dog", the plane of the squadron leader which has a history of being hit by friendly fire in a cloud. Those bullet holes are shown on the model by decals. If I want to include them, I would be, by definition, picking a time when the plane wasn't newly delivered, and therefore, a bit more weathered than what I normally like to do. So I may leave them off.

    The same goes for armor, especially modern armor. Troops when not fighting are doing maintenance and cleaning. I can understand making a tank look absolutely cruddy when mired in muck on the Russian Front, but Israeli amour that's modern and hasn't been in combat in years shouldn't look beat up at all. Sun fading maybe, but tons of dirt, mud, bent and missing parts, not so much. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something.
    Panel lines gone crazy on 1/72 model
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  11. #26
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    Weathering Discussion Cont.

    I can't imagine any active-duty Tomcat ever looking so shabby. I've never seen a picture of a prototype that looked like that. Would it even be airworthy? I like them to look more like this:

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    I don't see many panel lines… do you? One of the things that sets American aircraft apart is how well they're constructed. I remember when the Mig 29 was defected to the West and we had our first chance to see this "daunted" fighter up close. It was a very crudely built aircraft. The FLIR was held down with giant slotted-head screws… seriously. They published pictures of it in Aviation Week and I was appalled, especially by the fact that we created four airplanes to deal with these Soviet planes: the F-14, 15, 16 and 18. All of them were perfection compared to the Soviet craft.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 20 Nov 18, at 05:14.

  12. #27
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Nope, not many...
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  13. #28
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    f4U-1A Bottom Completion

    Well I'm back after a nice visit with my son and family in State College, PA. He's building a custom home and we were able to see it almost finished (move in is Dec 14). It was a massive undertaking and I helped a bit by providing some detailed SketchUp renderings of rooms before they were complete to help in the decision making.

    Got back in the shop this afternoon and finished up piping and building the undercarriage. I was able to attach the wheel door cylinders to the doors and then to the plane and still do the piping. I pre-drilled the cylinders to accept the piping while they were off the parts. I then masked the bottom and sprayed Insignia White (Tamiya Flat White an a touch of Flat Black). With that drying I started building the inboard flap system.

    It was good that I took a break from this build since it was not difficult to fix the piping that had come loose, whereas before we left, I was definitely struggling. It's not quite accurate, but it's busy enough that no one will ever see the missing lines. For example, the main gear jack having only a deploy line and not a retract one. I also don't have the right amount of pressure and drain leads going into the airframe.

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    I then was almost ready to spray the bottom, only to catch myself. I hadn't sealed up the holes to prevent Insignia White from getting into that beautiful engine, those neat exhaust pipes and the inside of the tail wheel housing. I used dampened paper towels to plug up the cowl flaps, the engine front and the inside of the tail wheel housing. I trimmed Tamiya masking tape to plug the exhaust opening.

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    I then airbrushed the white on the bottom. Since this is the first layer of the three-color scheme, there's no need to mask the separation line. I will go back and do all the detail painting. For example: the flexible hydraulics are black rubber hoses vs. airframe color for the fixed lines. Some of the gear pivot points are bright metal, and I have to chrome the piston rods and oleo piston.

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    With this drying, I started workingo on the inboard flap sets. These parts have some PE details added to their ends to give even more detail. For dropped flaps you need different parts than retracted flaps, so you have to keep yourself straight that you're looking at the right instruction pages. I've taken a Sharpie and redacted the pages that are not appropriate so I don't accidentally read them.

    I test fit the right-side flap and carefully inserted the actuating rod into the notch behind the PE. It looks pretty good. The underside of these flaps too get painted white.

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    Tomorrow, I'll continue with the flaps and start work on the outer wings.

    I don't know how many planes had non-steering tail wheels like the F4U. The tail wheel was just a caster and the pilot steered with rudder and brake steering.

  14. #29
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Again, I've had trouble with this site. My entire post from last night is not here. I'm having trouble getting pictures uploaded. Am I the only one experiencing this?

    Skipping ahead as a test, most of all the pieces are in place. Wings are not glued in, but piping has been sized. Wings must be off to be able to paint the fold-obscured areas and get all the decals in place. Had troubles breaking off the left-outboard gear door…THREE TIMES. I pinned it with metal, broke it again and put it back on late this afternoon.

    I built a test article out of the fuze parts in the free Corsair kit I was given. Much is missing, but I built enough to practice air brushing the three-tone early Corsair scheme. I can also experiment with masking techniques. This way, I don't have to screw up my expensive kit. I can screw up the test article and THEN screw up my expensive kit. It's one heck of a kit and a stunning airplane.

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  15. #30
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Well…that test sort of worked although none of my previous images showed up in the picture upload window.

    Yesterday I weathered the bottom and painted all the hydraulics.

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