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1/48 Monovell F4U-4 Corsair

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  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
1/48 Monovell F4U-4 Corsair
Posted by M. Brindos on Monday, January 25, 2021 12:28 AM

I've pulled this kit out before intending to just slap it together, paint it, and have it on the shelf. But as I got into it, and after I detailed the pit out, I realized the parts fit was far worse than I remembered it being when I was just a kid. 

So I pulled it out of a box yesterday and realized what a mess I'd made of it. I was obviously in the mind of a different strategy when I put the main wing section together. The fit of the wing intercooler intakes is so bad I have no idea how I was going to fix that with putty alone lol. So a bit of deconstruction was in order.

I'm going to build it up as the night fighter version with the radar pod and the extra fuel tanks, with VMF-214 aboard the USS Sicily in 1951.

So wheels up because I'm going to be hanging this one up and I must address those tail wheel covers and their exaggerated hinges. Some card bits for structure then a dab of Bondo should let me sand it all down flush. 

And then there was this;

Uh... Yeah. There is no way I know of short of vacuum forming a new canopy that can fix this. So I glued the crap out of it and started filling gaps with styrene then used some Milliput on the windscreen to change the angle to match the frame.

So far I've plugged the rocket holes in the wings, shaved off hinge "lumps", used styrene strips to fill gaps and push the intercooler intakes forward to match the wing edge better (less putty later), cut the cowl flap out from the fuselage and generally started hacking things to bits so I can make them fit right. It's a mess right now.

There's a lot of work to be done on this old kit. I'm just hoping I can get her into decent shape to be hung lol.

Thanks for taking a look.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Monday, January 25, 2021 5:56 AM

You sir are a wild man!

I actually almost bought this kit at the LHS on Saturday. Boy I'm glad I didn't now!  Wish you luck though in completing it!  Once in a while I tell myself I'm going to build and old kit, just slap it together--you know just have fun, like when I was a kid--heck, I might even brush paint it... I know deep down inside though that it's not possible....

On the Bench:

  • Italeri F-100D 1/72
  • Monogram 1/72 F-4J
  • Revel 1/72 HH-3 Jolly Green Giant
  • Monogram P-47D
  • Monogram F-14A
  • Monogram P-51D
  • Member since
    June 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Monday, January 25, 2021 7:21 AM

I tried to build this kit in tandem with a Hasegawa F4U-4 a few years ago. The Hasegawa kit made onto the shelf. This kit went into the recycle bin.

Good luck on this build. I hope you win.

OK. On the bench: Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Monday, January 25, 2021 5:13 PM

I know this is a total dog of a kit, and that it has aged so horribly that one wonders how Revell even justifies having it on shelves anymore. Of all the old Monogram kits still being produced this one in peticular is in serious need of a retool. As far as I can recall, this is the only kit I can think of where they molded the cockpit canopy closed with clear inserts in the manner of this kit. There is no doubt the molds for this kit are in very sad shape, especially the clear parts that don't even fit anymore. If it were not for that one thing I believe this kit could still be salvaged as I, and countless others have been able to do with the P-40 kit. With the canopy glass being so out of shape that there is no saving it I'm left with only one choice if I want to build this kit and that is to putty over the clear parts and paint them a different shade of blue to give an impression that they exist.

The rest of the problems with this kit can be overcome with card stock, putty, and a lot of elbow grease. So I will endeavour to make something presentable out of this mess and that why I've chosen a different route for finishing this kit. 

It won't be an amazing build, it will be basic, like the Zero I punched out last year. Just a clean solid build to hang up and enjoy from a short distance. 

I do consider this a challenge and if I get anything good when I'm done, even if it's simple, then I shall consider that a victory. 

So wish me luck and keep an eye on the progress. This should be fun to watch.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, January 25, 2021 6:03 PM

Yeah, it's a rough one and the molds have really suffered over the years.  I did build one recently with my grandson and I did get the canopy to fit okay by sliding it in from the side, it was never going to fit from the top.  It was a puzzle to figure out the right angle to get it in there, especially with the pilot in the cockpit.  It's a long way from perfect and most important it was a good experience for 5 year old Alex and he loves to point it out in the display case.  His only disappointment was that we couldn't put the two bombs on along with the 3 drop tanks and 8 rockets. 

I have another one, or the outer wingless version of it, built in the 60's and it looks like the fit was a bit better then.

 

John

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

 

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Monday, January 25, 2021 6:58 PM

You guys keep talking bad about this kit and you are going to force me to buy one! Of course, I'll obtain an earlier boxing molded in the hard blue plastic.  Fortunately for now however,  the crazies over on ebay think the kit is worth $40, so that should keep the impulse buying urge in check for now.

On the Bench:

  • Italeri F-100D 1/72
  • Monogram 1/72 F-4J
  • Revel 1/72 HH-3 Jolly Green Giant
  • Monogram P-47D
  • Monogram F-14A
  • Monogram P-51D
  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, January 25, 2021 10:37 PM

A much better simple Corsair is the ARII kit.  But it is fun to visit the ones we built long ago.

John

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

 

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 2:25 AM

jeaton01

A much better simple Corsair is the ARII kit.  But it is fun to visit the ones we built long ago.

 

Agreed!

On the Bench:

  • Italeri F-100D 1/72
  • Monogram 1/72 F-4J
  • Revel 1/72 HH-3 Jolly Green Giant
  • Monogram P-47D
  • Monogram F-14A
  • Monogram P-51D
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 9:01 AM

Like John, I built one a few years ago for the sheer nostalgia trip. But -- and as the old saying goes, this is a big 'but' -- having built more than a handful of these over my modeling career, I knew a few steps to take to save myself the grief you're going through now. I cut away the weird canopy frame and went with a Falcon vac canopy...then added a nice resin True Details cockpit set [which I think was for an F4U-1 instead of a -4...but who really cares? It looked great!]

Since it was a 'nostalgia' build, I left the working features like the landing gear and the folding wings...observe the big square holes in the mid-wing upper surface...but I had a blast!

It's oddly refreshing to remember that there was an age before photo-etch and 3-D printed details available for every one of the half-dozen kits of a particular subject on the market Don't get me wrong...I'm more than happy to use all that stuff...but it's nice to touch base with the 'old days' once in a while.

Greatly enjoying your build. You're doing a great job on this old (but much-loved) turkey!

Cheers

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 5:11 PM

Wow! Those are some lovely examples to follow, thank you!

Yes, this kit is horrible now. If I could've found an older, or original boxing of it I'm sure I'd be having a lot less problems. The new boxing is rubbish, but you all know I enjoy the challenge.

I am winning this battle so far, and it's not fighting my methods at all. My approach to use card stock to make sure the gaps were filled before using putty has been paying off. She's getting in shape just fine. 

The only thing up in the air for me so far is how to paint the windows. Paint and mask, or mask then paint? How do I mask something when I've eliminated the seam lines to use as guides? Should I order a mask set? Cut masks now and then set them aside for later?  I'm undecided on how to get the results I'm after. So far the easiest method in my mind is to wait till I've got the main color on and have a final finish before masking and spraying the canopy so it can have a different high gloss finish and not blend in so much. I'm leaning toward a dark brown with Tamiya Smoke for some depth. In my mind that would appear as a dark tint. But then maybe a light blue would be more appropriate because it's classic for old school display.

Like I said, I'm not decided on how best to proceed yet.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2020
  • From: Kansas
Posted by DM1975 on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 5:18 PM

I've got a couple of these in the build pile. One Revell and one of the older Monogram ones. I remember building it as a kid too. I would probably get a vacuum formed canopy. In fact that's probably exactly what I'll do with my two. 

Life looks great at 1/48

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 5:55 PM

Compare the method I've chosen over the one shown above and it's a no-brainer to chose the vac canopy over the stock option.

Make no mistake, this kit will test your skills. But since you have an older boxing you may find the comparison between the two molds quite stark in parts fit.

I admit I was shocked to see how badly this kit has aged. It's not the same dark blue plastic model I remember.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 6:03 PM

I must admit I do have an attraction to building up these old Monogram kits the way I always wanted to when I was a kid. But with my current skills to match the vision I always had.

That's why these are fun!

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 9:18 PM

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2020
  • From: Kansas
Posted by DM1975 on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 11:06 PM

I absolutely love the Corsair. It's hands down my favorite WWII fighter. When I was a kid this kit was it too! Not only could you move the landing gear but you could fold the wings! Wow!!! Lol 

 

Life looks great at 1/48

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 1:50 PM

I remember these features well also. Back when Monogram made this kit in the dark blue plastic I remember all of those features worked well. Sadly, this means a lot more seam cleanup and careful adjustments to make things line up properly now that the molds are so worn out.

I did have the landing gear functioning, but then decided to glue them in place because they were wobbly. But now my plan is just to have it wheels up.

So if you've got an older boxing I'd start with that one first. I have the P-51D in the stash but I also found the old Monogram boxing with the old yellow nose Miss Detroit molded in silver plastic. The older release is in much better shape then the newer Revell release. Super cool markings in the Revell release, but I remember old Miss Detroit well and I'm going to do her justice this time around.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 8:29 PM

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Thursday, January 28, 2021 5:20 AM

The "sprue glue" didn't take as long to make I anticipated so I've already got the gaps and cracks filled in. If this works correctly then I've just "melted" liquid plastic into all of those voids and I should be able to sand it all down and make completely new panel lines as if it were fresh plastic. 

Come tomorrow afternoon I'll be able to start sanding things level and see where the low spots are going to be. After that I imagine I'll have more sanding to do the day after. I think I've got to give this stuff about 12 hours to be sure it's solid. I did lay it on thick to begin with and added layers as it settled.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Friday, January 29, 2021 3:20 AM

Well my sprue glue is still somewhat soft on the outside, but I can lightly push a fingernail into it still so while I've been waiting I painted the propeller.

I know there is a lot wrong with this old kit, but Monogram knew what they were doing when they first made the molds for this propeller. The details are still present and in register. I find this is a constant with these old kits. The propeller hubs always paint up beautifully. 

The tiny decals can almost be read after all of these years. 

I primed it with the high heat BBQ black, sprayed the red, then black, yellow, aluminum, used a small No. 1 brush to block in the prop blades at the hub, and finished it with a Tamiya Smoke wash. After that I used Plasti-cote clear gloss to seal it up, placed the decals, finished with a final matte to seal the decals and give me my final finish, and clear glosses the red center cap.

An easy process with good results.

That's all for now. Thanks for checking in.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Saturday, January 30, 2021 12:47 PM

Mike, what solvent did you use to make the sprue filler?  I've never had it take very long to harden.  But I do prefer Aves Epoxysculpy or Epoxyclay for such large areas.  Or slow cure CA with dental alginate, which can be worked in a few minutes.

John

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

 

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Saturday, January 30, 2021 2:43 PM

I used Tamiya Extra Thin and the sprue from the Corsair kit. I have some Milliput, but for closing those gaps the sprue glue seemed to be a better idea since I had no backing behind the gear doors. I wanted a solid slate to work with. 

If I had thought this far ahead when I started building this kit over two years ago I would've added a backing and shimmed the doors and openings to fit flush first. But I had a different plan then, and it would've been just as intensive as the plan I changed it too. 

In other news I decided to switch out the Dark Prussian Blue, beautiful color by the way, with a custom blue-black that's closer to the Navy's Dark Sea Blue-black they were using around that time. I don't even know if a black panel wash will even show up after the main color is applied, but we shall eventually see lol.

 

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    January 2020
  • From: Maryland
Posted by wpwar11 on Saturday, January 30, 2021 3:15 PM

The propeller does look nice

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Sunday, January 31, 2021 9:42 PM

Thank you. It's probably the best detailed piece besides the wheel hubs lol.

*****

Well tonight's update doesn't include any pictures but I think I'm finally ready to paint it. I've been chasing small cracks and minor fixes al day. What is it about these older kits, that when you go about making sure things fit it includes a ton of putty? I've got three different methods of filler in this project and they all have their flaws when using one of them should've been enough.

I think that's where my problems may lie, but the gaps in the wing folds wouldn't have been solidified with just putty. I know that from experience. 

Anyways, after this fourth... or fifth layer of primer I think I've finally got this to the next step. The only thing left is the pitot tube on the left wingtip to sort out and I can begin painting. First with a unifying coat of flat black, masking the lines for the landing gear doors, and laying the final Navy Blue-black color overall. That should leave me with decals and detail painting before my final finish and then the cockpit windows.

Well at least, that's the plan. 

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2020
  • From: Kansas
Posted by DM1975 on Sunday, January 31, 2021 11:26 PM

That propeller is stellar!!! (Hah!!! I'm a poet and didn't know it!)

But really I think you have to accept a certain amount of flaw with these old kits. If not it'll drive you crazy! Lol 

Life looks great at 1/48

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Monday, February 1, 2021 12:56 PM

Oh I'm no stranger to difficult kits. I do like the challenges they bring and I'm fond of the proud feelings of accomishment when I complete one.

But I just didn't realize how much of a challenge this kit would be lol. This is a tough kit to work with, but not impossible, obviously.

You and I seem to be kindred spirits in this arena lol. Scratch building and taking on the old kits is just pure fun, is it not?

Call me Mike.

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2020
  • From: Kansas
Posted by DM1975 on Monday, February 1, 2021 5:07 PM

Well Mike I'm Steve. I have an ever growing pile of Corsair kits. While I really love the old kits I'm looking forward to the Tamiya and Hasegawa kits and the Special Hobby F2G I just got in. 

I plan on starting with either my Revell or Monogram kit first but I have to cast some parts that I lost out of the Monogram kit over the years. 

I think my infatuation with them was from Black Sheep Squadron tv show when I was a kid. That and that I thought all the planes were painted Ford tractor blue lol. 

Life looks great at 1/48

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Monday, February 1, 2021 6:26 PM

Hi, Steve. 

I have seen both of those other Corsair kits turn out spectacular and I believe you're going to love them. I have the Tamiya Ki-61-Id Hien (Tony) kit and it fell together like a dream. I hear that Corsair does the same thing.

I'd choose the Monogram kit first, as it's likely the parts will fit better right out of the box and use far less putty. The Revell reissue (same as mine) is a real pig of a kit as you can tell from my build here. As my wife would say, "Pick your battles" lol.

That old TV show was what got me into researching Boyington. Turns out he was a local around my parts and started off his career in the Navy before joining the Flying Tigers with General Chenault. Once we entered the war after Pearl Harbor he reenlisted in the Navy.

Fascinating character.

 

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

  • Member since
    December 2020
  • From: Kansas
Posted by DM1975 on Monday, February 1, 2021 6:51 PM

Just because I am a former US Marine I have to correct you. He was actually a US Marine. Not Navy. 

Life looks great at 1/48

  • Member since
    January 2015
  • From: Tumwater, WA.
Posted by M. Brindos on Monday, February 1, 2021 11:22 PM

Well, I'll start with an apology because you're correct.

Gregory Boyington was a Marine. 

- Mike Brindos

Figure Painting Moderator -- Genessis-Models

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