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[Yet Another] Tamiya 1:48 F4U-1A WIP

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  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • From: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Posted by Hunter on Thursday, January 04, 2018 6:37 PM

Johnny,

Absolutely wonderful work going on there. The pit is amazing...looks perfect.

Hunter 

      

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Friday, January 05, 2018 10:16 AM

Toshi: thanks!

I'm excited to dive into it, though honestly a bit daunted as well: cleaning up and gluing in 18 cylinders and however many parts for the exaust manifold, the magneto and distributers, plus adding in another 18 push rods (or 36 if I decided for some reason that I have to do them for the back row), drilling out the connection points on the ignition ring and then adding 36 wires for the harness... oh, and painting/weathering. 

Actually, that sounds like my kind of thing exactly. But at the rate I build, it's hard to see how I can get it done before spring... And that's okay. :)

Hunter: Wow, thanks! 

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Friday, January 05, 2018 3:37 PM

This build is just crazy good!! It's one of those posts I will be keeping tucked away for reference if I ever get round to building mine!

 

In the queue: 1/48 Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), P43 Lancer (RAAF), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b

 

Chris

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Monday, January 08, 2018 10:39 AM

Thanks Chris! I hope you do get around to it... I bet it will be all kinds of awesome. You'd do it in RAAF markings?

-J

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 10:38 AM

I got both the flu and strep throat (feeling much better, thanks), which derailed building activities. So slow going, but I did manage to sneak in enough bench time in the past week to warrant an update. 

Which is the Vector engine? Next to the Tamiya, there’s just no comparison. 

Mr Surfacer 1500 prepares the surface while also temporarily giving the machine a fearsome Steampunk-Vader vibe.

The ignition ring gets a pass of Alclad Aluminum.

While we’re at it, the cylinders get a gloss treatment, courtesy of Tamiya X-22 clear gloss over the black, and then once that had a bit to settle in, Alclad Aluminum.

To prep for losing it’s all-black bad-assery, I carefully masked the ignition ring with small bits of Tamiya tape. Now it looks a bit like an Elizabethan nobleman.

Mr Paint Neutral Grey, MRP-141, gives a pretty good gear reduction housing finish. I built up the color slowly in thin layers to hopefully give some depth and dimension to the finish.

The exhaust pipes get a light treatment of XF-64, Red Brown, allowing the black to sneak in here and there, and then a brushing of reddish oxide and umber pigment. These won’t be visible at all from the front, but hopefully there will be tantalizing glimpses through the open cooling flaps on the cowl. I’m not going to detail the back of the engine beyond this, since there will be literally no way to see it. 

Even this was probably overkill, but I used it as an opportunity to do a proof of concept for a potential future build I’m considering.

Assembled, posing with the Tamiya engine (top left) and Quickboost (right). I’m pretty happy with where we’re headed. There’s really no comparison at all with the kit engine, and while the Quickboost is really nice if small, the Vector is just that much nicer.

Finally, a coat of Future to ready it for oil washes. I really hate it when we have to gloss stuff up. I know it’s for a good cause, but still, I’ll be glad when we’re back to matte. (Yes, I know the gear reduction housing and pushrods were glossy on the real thing, at least coming out of the factory. But I don’t think anything stayed glossy for long in the South Pacific.)

A note about assembly: I added the front row of cylinders first, placing and then gluing with a tiny dab of thin CA on the backside, where you won’t see any errant globs. The back row is a bit trickier because of the exhaust manifold. What I figured out is that it’s better to alternate cylinder/exhaust pipe and work your way around so you can make sure everything is aligned correctly before committing. The push rod procedure is the same as with the Quickboost (back in November).

Next up: wiring the ignition harness. 

Thanks for looking

-J

 

Tags: R-2800
  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 3:25 AM

It's somewhere down the list after a couple of Spitfires (MkV Malta, MkVIII RAAF), a P39 (RAAF), and a Martin Maryland (Malta, Adrian Warburtons aircraft). The plan is to do an RNZAF one.

That engine is looking really good. Gotta do the one on my Boomerang soon!

In the queue: 1/48 Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), P43 Lancer (RAAF), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b

 

Chris

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Monday, January 22, 2018 9:23 PM

ChrisJH666

It's somewhere down the list after a couple of Spitfires (MkV Malta, MkVIII RAAF), a P39 (RAAF), and a Martin Maryland (Malta, Adrian Warburtons aircraft). The plan is to do an RNZAF one.

That engine is looking really good. Gotta do the one on my Boomerang soon!

Thanks! And I hope it creeps it's way up that list, as I do likes me some RNZAF Corsairs. 

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Monday, January 22, 2018 9:26 PM

While I work my way through detailing the R-2800, a bit of an aside. 

I recently came across a letter my grandfather had written to the writers of a book published by the Department of Defense in the mid 90s called “No Easy Days: The Incredible Drama of Naval Aviation,” wherein he sets out to dispel what he saw as myths about the F4U with respect to bouncy landings and stall characteristics.

He pushes back on both points with humor and aplomb. A typical quote:
“Whether it was the British satisfaction with the F4U aboard ship or Navy pilots' chagrin that the Marines had a superior aircraft, in January of 1945, the Navy took back the F4U's, giving the F6F's to the Marine Groups that were going aboard CVE's with their own Carrier Air Service Detachments.”

He never missed a chance to take a swipe at either the Navy or the F6F... 

Since there are a few Corsair enthusiasts here, I figured I’d share:

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 5:45 PM

Quick update on that R-2800.

 

I've given it a nice wash, courtesy Humbrol, added the harness (0.010 copper wire, annealed and painted) and am working my way through adding the harness clips (wine bottle foil). The latter kind of falls into the category of "life's too short" because it's extremely fiddly and time-consuming work, but it's the kind of thing that, if I get it right, can also push it over the top. Not sure if I'm getting it right enough, but I'm mostly through it, so there it is. Once they're all on, I'll probably do another wash or something to get them to 'sit down' a bit. 

 

I'm also determined to get the PW logo painted, thought that might be more sheer stupidity than anything. 

 

 

Thanks for looking

-J

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by BrandonD on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:08 PM

It's too bad you're just slapping this together. I'd like to see one with some real detail in it.

Kidding, of course. Holy WOW that's amazing so far!

-BD-

  • Member since
    August, 2016
Posted by Keyda81 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 9:51 PM

I need some lessons from you!  Can't wait to see it all together!

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Cleveland, OH
Posted by RadMax8 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:13 PM

The engine looks phenomenal. Almost looks like you could just fire it up and fly away!

The letter from your grandfather is a riot! The zinger for me? “I’ve worn the tape out boring my children...” Oh my, that’s rich!

Keep up the great work, and thank you for sharing tidbits from your grandfather!

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:39 PM

BrandonD

It's too bad you're just slapping this together. I'd like to see one with some real detail in it.

Kidding, of course. Holy WOW that's amazing so far!

-BD-

Ha! Thanks, Brandon. 

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:45 PM

Keyda81

I need some lessons from you!  Can't wait to see it all together!

Thanks Keyda. That's so nice of you to say, and much appreciated, but I've seen your builds and don't think you need lessons from anyone—you consistently crank out really respectable work at a rate I have a hard time comprehending.  

-J

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 10:56 PM

RadMax8

The engine looks phenomenal. Almost looks like you could just fire it up and fly away!

The letter from your grandfather is a riot! The zinger for me? “I’ve worn the tape out boring my children...” Oh my, that’s rich!

Keep up the great work, and thank you for sharing tidbits from your grandfather!

Thanks RadMax! 

Yes, that's a great line. Not sure it's entirely true, but who's to say...

But the next time anyone tries to say that a Corsair was hard to handle, remind them that a tail first attitude would put it down like a limpet. (I had to look up 'limpet'—a tightly clinging marine mollusk.)

-J

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Parma, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 11:09 PM
Awesome!.....

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 11:25 PM

 

"I'm also determined to get the PW logo painted, thought that might be more sheer stupidity than anything."

 

 

 Johnny,

 

Are you talking about this:

 

'Cause if you are, you're not stupid, you're just insane Wink.

 

This may not be the exact R-1800 on your F4U but it's a very, very tiny little label as far as I can see. Best of luck with it.

 

BTW, fabulous job on the engine!

 

 

 

 

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Thursday, January 25, 2018 7:52 AM

lawdog114: thanks!

1943Mike: Thanks! And oh no, it's far worse than that. That's the data plate, which Vector has molded on, and I've painted (you can kind of see it in the pic above—I'll try to get a better shot of it, though I need to clean it up a little). 

The logo sits at the base of the gear reduction housing: 

That's also molded in, with the ring and eagle in relief. My plan was to try to partly fill in the cavity of the background with light blue, then brush over dark brown for the ring and eagle, and finally add a tiny dot of white for his head. Pretty silly...

  • Member since
    August, 2013
Posted by Jay Jay on Thursday, January 25, 2018 6:32 PM

I gotta give my 2 cents and reiterate that the engine is amazing. Really good work Mate

 

 

 

 

 

 I'm finally retired. Now time I got, money I don't.

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Saturday, February 03, 2018 11:07 AM

Jay Jay

I gotta give my 2 cents and reiterate that the engine is amazing. Really good work Mate

Thanks Jay Jay! 

With the engine wrapped up, it’s time to finally turn my attention to the airframe. I got the fuselage buttoned up, which feels momentous. Huzzah! I had been holding off on that until completing the engine in case I had to do something surgical to mount it. As it turns out, all that needed to happen was cutting off the flange on which the kit exhaust manifold part mounts and then filling in with styrene. 

I’m not sure this is all that important, but to give more surface area to the connection point of the engine, I cemented .040 styrene sheet across the inside, and then .040 and .010 discs laminated together on top, so that it’s flush in front.

To fill in the void left by cutting off the rudder (way back in October!) I roughly cemented styrene sheet, and then filled in with Milliput. It’s going to take a bit of back and forth to get the rudder to fit in snug with the vertical stabilizer. 

I also got the some of the details picked out in the wheel wells to get the wing root subassembly ready. This looks pretty good from a distance, but the detail is a bit mushy up close from insufficiently controlled application of CA. I’ll probably try a wash and maybe a little chipping here and there to at least give the illusion of crisper detail. 

As always, thanks for looking, and any comments/tips/pointers, etc. are appreciated.

-J

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 6:16 AM

That wheel well is insanely good! As for your badge on the engine casing, when I saw that I thought "I've got two of those on my aftermarket Boomerang etch!" My excitement faded rapidly when I looked at them and discovered that, although the design on them is the right shape, they are just blue and white and will need some careful overpainting! Grrrr!

In the queue: 1/48 Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), P43 Lancer (RAAF), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b

 

Chris

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Wednesday, February 07, 2018 12:53 PM

Thanks Chris!

Would you even be able to see it on the Boomerang? Between the big spinner and smallish cowl opening, there isn't a whole lot of engine visible. (I recognize that may not be the point at all, and far be for me to question anyone going down a rabbithole!) 

-J

  • Member since
    August, 2004
  • From: Forest Hill, Maryland
Posted by cwalker3 on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:31 AM

Amazing build!

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 1:51 PM

There's rabbits down this hole???? Explains a lot!

In the queue: 1/48 Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), P43 Lancer (RAAF), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b

 

Chris

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:40 PM

cwalker3: thanks!

ChrisJH666

There's rabbits down this hole???? Explains a lot!

Rabbits? I'm pretty sure there's weasles, ferrits, pythons, and a fellow with a funny hat down this hole.

In the meantime, I've traded in my subterranean workbench for a bit of tropical fresh air:

We'll get back to the ongoing adventures of mangling Tamiya's perfectly lovely F4U next week...

-J

  • Member since
    October, 2016
Posted by Jerry Strobel on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 6:56 AM

Or you could try these if you're of the inclination.

http://fundekals.com/RadialEngine.html

1/48 Pratt & Whitney logos.

Your F4U looks great by the way.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Northeast Bavaria, Burglengenfeld, Germany
Posted by kielers on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 7:17 AM

You're getting it right.  This is amazing detail

"To stand upon ramparts and die for our principles is heroic, but to sally forth to battle and win for our principles is something more than heroic." -- Franklin Delano Roosevelt. "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." -- Winston Churchill

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Wednesday, March 07, 2018 3:14 PM

Jerry Strobel

Or you could try these if you're of the inclination.

http://fundekals.com/RadialEngine.html

1/48 Pratt & Whitney logos.

Your F4U looks great by the way. 

Thanks Jerry. Whoa! Amazing. I immediately went to order, but sadly, it's out of stock. I have an email out to them to see when/if it will be back in stock.

I have to make a couple custom decals anyway for the squadron logo, so I guess worst case is I could make a P&W logo as well. 

-J

  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Monday, March 12, 2018 11:33 PM

kielers
You're getting it right.  This is amazing detail 

Thanks Kielers!

Between a family vacation and upheavals at work, I’ve barely moved this project forward. We’ll get to the build in a minute, but first I hope you’ll indulge me:

The night before we left for Guatemala, my boss announced to my counterpart and I that he was leaving the company, which meant our team was facing an uncertain fate in the big game of Corporate Org Chart Shuffle. Therefore, I couldn’t really check out as things got worked out over many conference calls. One key discussion was with our global CEO, who was in Thailand at the time. He wanted to have the call before dinner, and Thailand is 13 hours ahead of Guatemala, so while I had to get up at what seemed like an entirely unreasonable hour, I did get to watch the sun rise behind a volcano over a beautiful lake.

File under: could be worse. 

Getting back home has meant long days at the office. It’s all basically good, even as I have Corsairs flying in my head while I’m meant to be focusing on this or that. Grown up stuff getting in the way of kid stuff, I guess. Anyway, thanks for the indulgence. 

And all is not lost, as I have managed to sneak in a bit of bench time here and there, and I’ve even managed to document a little of it, so away we go.

In my excitement over detailing the business end of the wheel wells, I completely overlooked the other end. Holy smoke, that chasm is awful. The illusion of scale is at least as much about the worst bits as the best, and something like that will instantly kill any sense of veritas. 

Please excuse the appallingly terrible photo. 

Paul Budzick has almost completely scared me out of 'normal' putties, so I first tried sliding in stock styrene, but that didn’t work. A much simpler method ended up being stuffing in some Milliput and smoothing out a little with my pinkie. I was later able to sand, and now it’s all smooth. I don’t have a pic of the end result handy, but it looks like it will be plenty convincing when it gets a coat of paint.

I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess, and so decided to drop the elevators. To separate them with that 90 degree angle in near each end, I first cut the long ends with a JLC razor saw, which is capable of extremely fine cuts (super handy! Via UMM), and then scored the short end and snapped. The elevators will get their leading edges built back up with .040 styrene strip, and then be filed and sanded to shape. More on that later.

One issue I have with the engineering of the whole turtle deck scheme is that it means there’s inevitably an awful gap between the bulkhead and the fuselage. To fill, I first used gap filling CA. But naturally, didn’t sand it all the way down quickly enough, so in the process of smoothing/flattening/feathering, I ended up gouging the bulkhead. To repair, first I tried vigorous filing and sanding. And then I slathered on Mr Surfacer 1000, and gently sanded and buffed, which helped. It looks miserable here, but in the end, it cleaned up okay. 

  

And here we are. Some Mr Surfacer 1500 for checking seams gives it a slightly charred look, but it’s starting to look a bit like an airplane. 

 

Next time: raising the flaps. 

-J

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 2:57 PM

Good to see you are actually human after all!! Looks like it's still coming on nicely though

In the queue: 1/48 Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), P43 Lancer (RAAF), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b

 

Chris

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