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Tamiya 1:48 Birdcage Corsair F4U-1 [WIP]

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  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: the redlands Fl
Posted by crown r n7 on Wednesday, July 8, 2020 6:20 AM

That's some fine detail work 

  

Nick.

  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Saturday, July 11, 2020 2:51 PM

Thank you Joe and thank you Crown. =] I hope you can all put up with my strugglebus lighting setup. I didn't quite pull off the best pictures here. Apologies in advance.


Engine Exhausts

I briefly jumped over to address the exhausts situation before getting too far ahead. Early on it was an area of frustration trying to solve the problem of fitting and matching up the engine to the fuselage and do it accurately. Since I wasn't opening up the cowling cover over the exhaust stacks circling around the engine, I settled for something simplier.  What you see below is the arrangment I came up with. I tried my best to limit any modification to Tamiya's well engineered kit so I wouldn't create more problems to navigate down the road.

Pretty simple. I had the aluminum tube already for uses such as this. I used a no. 11 blade to cut the tube at an angle and brought out a small rounded sanding file to thin down the sides and touch up the interior of the exhaust for any knicks or uneven edges. The aluminum tube makes shaping much easier as it's a softer metal. You can get a small set of sanding files with different shapes to accomodate different curves, angles, and whatnot...handy thing to have.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

I got these down as thin as I could and glued them in with an epoxy so they wouldn't dare move. =] I'm pretty satisfied with this. I plan to have some sort of cover built out of lead foil to make up the "pocket" they drop down into which is part of the bulkhead around the motor mount ring.

Locking up the Front Office

I've finally gotten this part dressed up and ready. I wanted to include a pic with the primer on as it helps to show some of the detail here without all the white throwing it off.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

And here we are with some paint finally.  Early Corsair cockpits were a very dark color. The factory Erection and Maintenance instructions called for Dull Dark Green (FS 34092). According to IMPS Stockholm, crashed examples may indicate black. It's possible these may have been field repaints during maintenance, but it's not clear. Either way I went with the factory specs as I also wanted a bit of color to break up the different planes and shapes that are already going to be hard to see.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

As always, I like to share my paint mixes for anybody using Tamiya paints as there isn't always a better source around for mixing certain colors. I have an app that helps me find a way to arrive at a color without having to eyeball and waste a bunch of paint. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Here are a few ways at putting together a Dull Dark Green. I try to find the easiest way to the color first, but if I don't have the paints necessary then I'll work up some combination with what I do have. The two larger inserts are the two paint mixes I ended up using this time around. The other pink color here represents the Salmon primer that was used on early production Corsairs. Salmon was a tinted chromate primer made by mixing Indian Red pigment with the raw zinc chromate powder. It was also used briefly by the Navy as a color indicator to note surfaces that were double coated surfaces of the primer. The salmon primer color can be accomplished with Tamiya Buff and Red (2:1 respectively) but that doesn't quite get close enough to the FS equivalent. There happens to be two FS shades for this color as there is some discrepancy here as well. I stuck with FS 32356 as it's the lighter of the two color swabs and would be easier to see in dark areas. Vought's early Corsairs called for all interior areas other than the cockpit to be covered with the Salmon primer.

 by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Again, I apologize for my poor lighting. I broke a lamp and haven't been able to replace it just yet. I did the best I could here. My closer view of the cockpit sidewalls aren't even worth showing as the detail with my iPhone can't show any of this with any real clarity due to low light. Since these pictures were taken I did manage some extra lights but I will have to do better to address my setup.

A view of the tail gear bay with some light weathering.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Here is a set of pictures to show some of what's going on here as I piece it all together. I've included some of the necessary plumbing that is visible. I've seen pictures of cockpits that were way more crowded and crammed with cables and cords and some cockpits that were relatively clean. I decided to stop here as at 1:48 it gets real difficult to place every single damn wire or pipe or cable...as I'm writing this...I may still add a few more as I still have the bottom opened up. I know--you don't have to say it.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

And here's how dark it gets after we lock all this away forever in obscurity.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

I am really happy how the throttle quadrant turned out. I am dissappointed that it's too dark to pop better. The fit here throughout was remarkable. I didn't have any trouble whatsoever. Tamiya came up with a fantastic little cockpit here and with a little help it can look even better. None of this is terribly difficult folks. It just requires a bit of patience. You may note a few touch ups here and there through the pictures and as always after zooming in I see little spots I have to go back and fix up. I was a little anxious to get the fuselage halves closed up, but now looking at back through all of this I may show some extra love to a few items I overlooked.  I left off the cover to the folder on the right side of the pilot, a hose popped off the O2 canister, and I may dress up the seat belts just a touch.

Next, I'll be moving on the carburetors and misc internal structures matching up to the fuselage before addressing the landing gear bay.

Thanks for watching. =]

 

 

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Corpus Christi, Tx
Posted by mustang1989 on Sunday, July 12, 2020 7:26 AM

This is just outstanding workmanship going into this bird. I always learn alot from you on your builds Britt. 

                   

 

  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Friday, July 24, 2020 10:41 PM

Thanks mustang1989! Always happy to pay it forward. =]

Carb Intakes

Last time I visited the Corsair I wanted to open up this section to improve the reality of it. It was a little bit crude, but effective. I thinned the back side of the louvers that directed airflow to the carburetor and supercharger and cut into them to allow them to be seen as the vents they are. My first attempt at this years ago left some tiny scratches that are really hard to see, but this time I wanted something cleaner. Also, this route limited how they would be seen as they are curved structures and I was cutting straight into them to open them up. Here's what I decided to do this time around.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

In the first top left frame you see the original kit piece and one already altered. It was a test piece. I sanded the backing of the louvers with a router to quicken the work and slowed down with a sanding stick once I got close. A no. 11 blade opened all of this up. I next repeated the same for the oil cooler intake as this will be going too. For the Tamiya Corsair, the kit piece really is perfectly fine and quite well depicted for the oil cooler. The Eduard PE detail set just happens to have a beautifully rendered part for this that I can't pass up and wanted to include. Otherwise there's really no need to alter this spot...a little wash will bring the oil cooler just fine. The rest of this starts to speak for itself. I slowly work this area open. The louvers I cut were bent slightly before placing in the intake. These were sanded down thin. Pay attention to their staggered placement and angle them backwards as you move closer to the oil cooler.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

The can for the oil cooler was cut from plastic tube. I'll have to double check the size. It was a perfect fit. (7/32" item no. 227)  I'd like to pretend I measured twice and what not but...CoVid...so...I tried what I had and luckily my math was right from way back when I was trying to work it all out. I really didn't want to have to go out all over the place looking for a substitute =P This was dryfitted to ensure propper room for other features coming next as well as kit functions.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Another item that can be addressed is the small rib and inboard/outboard wall to the forward part of the landing gear bay. Tamiya has both of these parts as vertical when they should be at an angle. There is nothing in the way of the engineering that would be in the way of this so I'm not sure why it would be molded this way. Possibly just an error. But also an easy fix. The top left frame shows an overlay of where these parts line up. If you pay attention to how the rivets over the top and bottom of the wing over this section appear, then it's easy to see where the actual wall lines up. The yellow highlighted area shows the angled alignment for where they need to be.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

The highlighted yellow seen here is extra framing that should be deleted. You'll see in the next few pictures where I've corrected it. Sorry for the laziness there. Time is a premium with two toddlers. =] You also see my dryfit testing to check for errors in scale and fit. I decided to leave the outboard wall alone since I'd be covering it up. I wanted it to help stiffen up the wing and figured it wouldn't hurt to leave it.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Of course I've now opened this area of the aircraft up to be seen and I'm now obligated to fill it with stuff. The internal structure here for the intake dam is not so difficult to scratch out. Really, you're even getting help from the top and bottom wing so there's even less to build up which cuts down on scale issues from your construction parts. 

There's a circle I've cut out which is the compressor air intake for the air duct that feeds the supercharger. I'm looking to also place some kind of tube that I can elbow off at 45º or so, but it's looking like it won't be necessary as it's pretty dark in there. Go figure. Also present is a bit of framing and the air dam's back wall. If you look aft of the compressor air intake hole you'll note the thin piece of plastic laid behind it. That's the radiator. I've cut small slices into it lightly and will bring this out with a wash after paint. Currently I put a thin coat of the Detailer for the sake of this WIP to show what's going on. The back wall behind all of this is the main wing spar and framing. This was carefully lined up and cut with the adjoining top wing in mind.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

With this section pretty much wrapped up with added scratchwork, I've moved on to the rest of the gearbay. I was hesitant to utilize the PE part here, but I think it'll be worth it. There is a small bit of construction to fill in here that is absent from the kit. I've also gone ahead and added the wingfold connection that has the interior outboard wall of the gearbay. Be sure to add the extending spar the kit provides to support the wings if you're adding this part at this stage. Holes have been predrilled for plumbing. There's a hydraulic unit that controls the landing gear and doors that's decently molded here. My original plans were to gut everything, but this is represented small enough and well enough that I can work with it.

 

So, that's where I'm at for the moment. Next, I'll include plumbing for the gearbay and a few other extras in the cockpit and exhaust and prime and paint before closing it all away.

Thanks for watching. Questions and comments are always welcomed. =]

 

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Saturday, July 25, 2020 12:15 AM

Nice details, Britt.

John

To see build logs for my models:  http://goldeneramodel.com/mymodels/mymodels.htm

 

  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Sunday, July 26, 2020 6:36 PM

Thanks John. I'd say this is the fun part, but really every part is the fun part.  =]

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, July 26, 2020 7:19 PM

Good Lord, man....

Hadn't even recovered from that cockpit and you go throwing custom oil coolers and what-not around. Wink

Amazing stuff.

 

-Greg

  • Member since
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Thursday, July 30, 2020 10:26 PM

Greg, I've been waiting years to make those custom oil coolers and intakes. It felt good. Side note--it took about an hour for each of those. Of course it never quite seems that long when you're face down in the middle of it. You're hilarious too by the way. I do appreciate it!!

Keep bringing the sunshine cause I just ran into a small fit issue I've no doubt is self-inflicted. But that's for later. I might be able to wrangle it in.

 

Wrapping up the Wheel bay

I made a game day decision on leaving the kit parts alone that include the hydraulics controls for the wheel bay doors and working mechanisms for the landing gear. I'm quite happy with the results. I think next time though I may go ahead and remove the pistons that work the doors for more ease of shoving all this plumbing in there. Leaving it alone required me to cut and paste more than I first planned to do. But c'est la vie. It's in there. I'm happy. Here it is.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

I did make use of one PE part just for the sake of having one extra different diameter set of cables running through here. I was going to pull some sprue real fine, but the PE creates a consistent size without having to make multiple pulls and it's already cut to fit. It's not bad.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

A coat of primer, and then a coat of primer. =P I sprayed the Salmon color down first as this would have been the practice for early Birdcage Corsairs. The gear bay would have been finished in the lower surface color of ANA 620 Non Specular Light Gray. After the Salmon color went on, I came back over it with a quick spray of my wife's hairspray before laying down the Light Gray as I plan to chip away a bit to weather this gear bay properly. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Here I softened this area with a brush loaded with water and allowed it sit a moment. I chipped away here with a toothpick until I was satisfied with the look. I didn't want anything over done. The toothpick allows you to work a very tiny area at a time without scratching into the plastic. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

There are a few extra pieces here I wanted to include to help dress this part up and help it come to life. The kit doesn't include these. It's not terribly hard to come up with but it will take some trimming and matching. 

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

Oil coolers and intakes finding their new homes.

 Untitled by Britt Vallot, on Flickr

And viola.

I'm happy to finally tackle this part, but honestly quite happy to be past it too. I'm very anxious to marry this fuselage to the wings so I can get on all the sanding and fine tuning that comes next. 

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Friday, July 31, 2020 12:49 AM

You are the scratch-building king Britt.  The best I've ever seen.  That ain't no BS.  I look forward to the rest.

 "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
    June 2013
Posted by bvallot on Friday, July 31, 2020 9:07 PM

Thank you Joe. Coming from you that's saying a lot. Very much appreciated. 

On the bench:  

Tamiya P-51D  William Shomo

Tamiya F4U-1  Kenneth Walsh

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Katy (Houston), TX
Posted by Aggieman on Saturday, August 1, 2020 11:28 AM

This is a tutorial on scratch-building.

Simply awesome work on what I suspect is a very good kit right out of the box (I have this kit in my stash but I've built a couple of Tamiya's later variant Corsairs, among the best kits I've ever had the pleasure of building).

  • Member since
    June 2018
  • From: Ohio (USA)
Posted by DRUMS01 on Saturday, August 1, 2020 11:42 AM

It is really enjoyable watching your work progress. Thanks for sharing this with us. 

Ben

I am a Veteran; to all other Veterans thank you for your service. Retired now and living well

PROJECTS:

- 1/350 USS Alabama (GB) - WIP

- 1/24 Lola T89 - DONE

- 90mm Greek Hoplite Resin Figure - Done

 

 

 

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