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Everything posted by JayW

  1. OMG Wolf! Am glad you dodged the bullet. Hoping for a 100% recovery that continues quickly. Happy Birthday!
  2. Vac forming - You have it all Peter. I must develop this capability myself! Well done sir.
  3. Hi Peter! Thanks for the gracious comments. For those who don't know what Peter is talking about, I bought another 21CT 1/18 P-51D a few months ago, updated some from the first one. I thought it was a large improvement over the kit I used for the original "Miss Velma" I did years ago. But it actually isn't - it has the same glaring inaccuracies as before, some of which cannot be resolved (mostly shape issues). Yeah - my thoughts exactly Peter. One can get to the point where you just scratch build the entire thing rather than live with inaccuracy. I think my 21CT P-51 is going to go the way of your P-40 - just a total waste of money.... We'll see. Your skills with foam compound, templates, and P-38 and all that is very developed. Must I delve into this also???
  4. Really? The finish line takes high power binoc's to see! Thanks though. The skins - the only really hard ones are the ones with severe compound curvature. If a panel is relatively flat, or with single curvature, none of the steps is difficult. Tedious - yes, but not really difficult. Really helps BTW to view engineering drawings of the panels to sort out fastener patterns and sizes. I try to represent every fastener be it a 1/8 inch rivet or a 3/8 inch flush head bolt. I do not represent spot welds - which the Corsair had thousands of (in real life there was probably some sort of subtle mark). The upper surface of the center wings still has to be done, aft of the main spar. The big acreage panel right behind the spar, in the valley of the inverted gull wing, is compound curved, and will wrinkle badly until I burnish it down same as with the big LE panel in front of it on the other side of the spar. It will be made from annealed stock which isn't as well behaved as the litho stock Airscale provided me with (that stuff is awesome!). Stay with me bro!
  5. Progress on two fronts, slow but steady. First - wing skinning: I have finished completely the skinning of the RH lower center wing: It's just a sparkling sea of natural metal! A shame it is going to be painted. Of note - the landing gear strut was not broken off. Yay!! The damaged gear doors (I managed to break both of them off) have been repaired. Yay! Also, I took this opportunity to rip off the sub-par flap gap doors from many months ago, to make flap skinning easier, and improve on the doors themselves. This pic shows the RH side lower wing and the LH side lower wing, which has not received flap skinning or the new flap gap doors yet, for comparison: Gone are all the trenches and oversize holes representing fasteners. It went well by and large. Next task is to finish the LH lower wing skinning, not a huge task at all. On the second front, I am continuing work on the engine cowls (when my finger gets sore from the awl punch!). Alot of detail remains on the cowl flap ring, although all 18 of the cowl flap fixed support fittings are installed and painted: Magnets are also installed, on the underside of the channel. That is going to be one complicated ring once done. Work has begun on the nose cowl locating fixture: You see the fixture itself (salvaged from the cowl flap ring location fixture), with the existing .75 inch hole for centering the engine, and four towers on the sides that establish the fore/aft location of the nose cowl. You also see a flat silver painted circular plate that serves as a rest for the nose cowl (it sits atop the four towers), and a centering device (3D printed), whose OD matches the ID of the nose cowl opening. The shaft on it slips into the propeller shaft hole on the engine reduction gearbox thus assuring concentricity of the nose cowl with the engine centerline. Here is how it is going to work: First the engine is placed in the fixture - The nose cowl (recall it is a 3D printed part) is inserted into the ID of the resting plate (there is an aligning mark labelled "up"), a nice tight fit - The resting plate and cowl are placed over the engine, and centered using the centering devise (again, the centering devise has a shaft that is inserted into the propeller shaft hole in the front of the engine) - Then the resting plate is bonded to the four towers on the fixture, and the centering devise removed after cure - Presto - the nose cowl is properly oriented to the engine itself, although unattached. From there, some but not all of the attaching ribs will be attached to the cylinder head flanges and the nose cowl, to fix the location of the nose cowl to the engine. This is similar to what was done to locate the cowl flap ring. That will be the most difficult and important step. Once done, the fixture will be broken apart to free the engine/cowl combo, and I can install the remainder of the nose cowl ribs. A picture of a nose cowl rib (3D printed): Corsair efficienados will recognize that part. There will be 18 of them . Man - so much to do! That engine cowl work is really going to be something. I sure hope my removable panel plan works. Many issues. Please stick with me!
  6. Whoa! I have that stuff. What did you thin it with, and what dilution, if you recall?
  7. Re-reading your Corsair build John, and hoping to come somewhere close to your masterful painting and weathering - what paint did you sue for the ZC? I see AK Real Colors has one (RC263).
  8. And then - what do you know. I find a pic of a 55th FG P-51 "Worry Bird" flown by a Captain Coons. If you google it, you will find a metal tank on that aircraft! I think though, if you want the best shot at the most realistic replica you can make, I would go with the 108 gal paper tank. Have fun with the pressure lines.
  9. Another thing Peter - I used to make alot of use of my Unimat mini-lathe and end mill combo, as you know. Not without alot of effort and pressure - it takes time to set up, and cut raw material stock (often an adventure all by itself), and then machine it. Bits wear out and need sharpening, the motor gets hot and must be allowed to cool down. It makes a terrible mess of shavings and chips. I spent much coin on the motor which broke down too frequently. And I have injured myself at times (mostly deeply skinned knuckles from a high rpm chuck). And a failure can be heart breaking, if it happens after hours of machine time. Frankly it's all a bit of a PITA, and I had to sort of gird myself whenever I started a machining project. But I have produced some parts that I am proud of (like landing gear wheelsets and tires). But 3D printing has allowed me to shy away from machining for most applications, where before that was the only good option I had. I feel kind of guilty about it. Kind of the easy way out - just design digitally, get someone to produce it in 3DP, and pull out the wallet. I continue to respect actually scratch building a part. We've had this discussion before... Interesting that you have chosen the machining option for those gear strut parts. Bravo. What is the maximum diameter stock that your lathe can handle? My Unimat can only go about 2 inches in diameter. I have a shim I can put under the head stock, to handle slightly larger material, but realistically it doesn't work well. The chuck jaws go to their limits, the translating table for the bit runs out to its end, etc.
  10. You think so? Thanks! It looks better when I don't use huge thumbnails. See pages 1 - 11 of this build thread if you want to see how it was built up, and how long ago!
  11. Peter - you know I love landing gear. This set is going to be exquisite! Wonder if anyone else has gone the distance with P-40 LG.
  12. Things are moving right along. I am not saying I see the finish line, but I am starting to sense this long project actually will get done one day not too long from now (another 6 months or so?). Ha - famous last words. The cowl flap ring is now completely fixed to the engine aft cylinder row, supported in 18 places just like the real thing. I will show it off to you all after completion of more details, and application of yellow ZC and dirt and weathering. Also wing skinning continues; you will see that too pretty soon. So in parallel with wing skinning work I am starting to anticipate painting. Thunnus, in an act of great humanity, used his home mask maker to make me some masks. Included are the various sized white #7 masks, and the skull & crossbones that adorn the engine cowling panels. He provided some extras, so I wanted to see how they do - namely the highly detailed skull & crossbones. Also, I had purchased some self-etching primer some time ago to apply to aluminum skinned surfaces. I was informed by Airscale and Easixpedro both (if memory serves), that this is required to assure paint doesn't pull off during masking, or just flake off with handling. Here are some skull & crossbones results on the poor FW190 mule: The one on the right is a Tamiya kit look-alike that John made for me, at the right scale. I made some mistakes on it (the biggest one being failing to remove the mask portion that defines the lower jawbone teeth, but it seems promising. It is supposed to have more prominent black teeth gaps, which did not show up well. Those details are very small, and we are clearly at or near the limit of what masks can accomplish. The one on the left is a skull & crossbones of my own making, copying one off the web and making some modifications in PowerPoint. John made that one for me too. I made mistakes on it too - I unwittingly pulled off pieces of mask that were supposed to stay on. So the flag outline is missing, as is the lower jawbone. If one starts with white, and paints on black, one must think in the negative so to speak. It's a brain teaser, at least for me. At any rate, fine detail is a bit disappointing on this one too. I think I can work with the masks. I prefer the Tamiya look-alike - it looks more like the one you see in the period pics of VF-17 Jolly Rogers Corsairs. Peter (Airscale) is also working up a set of decals for me - another act of humanitarian kindness - and it will include the skull & crossbones version that I made (the LH one above). I think my preference is the mask, but if that plan falls flat for some reason, I will use the decal. Or, maybe the decal will be so spectacular, I will use it instead the mask. So I used the FW mule to test out the self-etching primer too. The mule already has several practice aluminum skins on it - that is how I discovered the paint stick problems a few months ago. So I cleaned one off, and applied the primer plus the tri-color Corsair scheme: That paint isn't going anywhere! So the self-etching primer worked. It also sprays on quite well. A load off my mind. OK, onward and upward. Thanks for tuning in.
  13. Niels - first time I have seen any of your work. My jaw is on the floor dude.
  14. Craig - I know just what you mean handing those magnets! Well done sir!
  15. It turns out that my right wrist and middle finger got a little worn out with all that awl pressing for hundreds of fastener heads. I do not want to risk carpal tunnel or some such thing and/or a blistered finger. Alot more skinning to do! So I decided to take a break from skinning for a week or so and do something else while my wrist and finger recover. Next post, I will report on more skinning. The next project after skinning is the engine cowls and cowl flap linkage. I don't know about you, but that is exciting to me. That engine front section has been sitting there for literally years waiting for me to do something with it (the aft section went into the now complete engine accessories compartment, as you know). Here is a shot from the engine cowl installation drawing from Aircorps Library: Note how the nose cowl and cowl flap ring attach to the engine cylinder heads. Originally I planned to start with the nose cowl. But I thought better of it and decided to instead start with the cowl flap ring. As shown, each engine cylinder intake and exhaust lobe has a flange or tab on it specially designed to accept support structure or linkage for cowlings and cowl flaps, regardless of which airplane. Here is a close-up of a typical attachment of the cowl flap ring to the engine cylinder head lobes for Corsair: You see a channel section cowl flap ring, with a cowl flap linkage fixed support fitting bolted to it - it slips into the inside of the channel. What you see is typical 18 places (two per aft cylinder). That cowl ring is also the aft support for the all important engine cowl panels, which have the all important skull & crossbones emblem. So VERY important that it be exactly located. So my challenge was to fit that thing onto the engine with good concentricity to the centerline of the engine, and accuracy fore/aft. To do that I made a fixture: The cowl ring was made from .1 inch wide Evergreen plastic channel section. I used the fixture to assure it is the right diameter. Then I place the ring on the raised portion of the fixture, and drop the engine down into it (the .75 inch hole in the middle fixes the location of the engine). Here: The idea of course is to have the engine and cowl flap ring properly oriented to one another, which the fixture does hopefully well, and then somehow insert and install 18 cowl flap linkage fixed fittings and their 4 each links. And that's the hard part. Here are some of the little tiny fixed fittings, 3D printed (18 total required): And here are the (ridiculously) small links (four per support): .09 inch long, .04 inch wide (and that is too large really), with cut-off .8 mm Meng nuts. 18 x 4 = 72 required. After getting three supports done, I was able to extract the assembly from the fixture, and the cowl ring stayed in place, although very flimsy: See the splice? As each support is built, using the fixture to assure proper location, the ring gets stouter and stouter. Here is what the supports look like up close and personal (four of them): So I have done 12 out of 18 supports so far: Tomorrow I will do some more - it is microscopic work with magnification goggles and readers. With all 18 supports, the ring will be very stout. It's fun to work on the engine again after all this time. Once I get the cowl flap ring completely secure, I will go back to wing skinning. Stay tuned!
  16. Chuck - I have the same feeling I had when Peter Castle insisted I do the aluminum skinning! Like "Oh crap - I don't want to do this!" And then, I was glad I committed to do it, although it is some kind of labor intensive. He really helped me along too, even sending me some litho from the UK. I suspect the same thing would happen once I commit to going with the airbrush. I have always considered myself just a second rate modeler with a first rate ability to make a model more realistic. I have gotten better, true, but I was happy enough with that. Now, more and more I have first rate LSP modelers, like yourself and Peter and John Thunnus (and quite a few others too) advising me as to how to take the next steps for improvement. It is an honor to receive that attention. So, I will look into the airbrush. This after purchasing six Tamiya rattle cans for the tri-color scheme (white, light blue, darker blue)! Wonder if it is advisable to decant them.... As soon as I complete the center wing skinning (pretty soon now), painting will begin on the center wing/fuselage combo. So I will first have to apply self-etching primer on all aluminum surfaces. I have it on high authority that is a must; otherwise paint will not adhere well to the bare aluminum. I have a recently purchased big expensive can of Rust-oleum self-etching primer for that purpose. Do you think that stuff can be decanted and sprayed via an airbrush? Do I need to? If so how does one "decant" a spray can? I was going to spray some paneling on my FW-190 mule to see how it goes on.
  17. I got it! This from the book "The Mighty 8th War Manual" by Roger A. Freeman. i have had this book for some time, and it's a fantastic read. It has a sub-section on usage of auxiliary tanks - both bombers and fighters. It's a really complex story, and drop tank development was mostly centered around the P-47, which along with the P-38 were the bomber escorts at first until the P-51 came along, and the P-47 needed them the most. Drop tanks for P-51's were merely tanks developed for the most part for the P-47. Eventually, as I stated before, P-51 units in the 8th AF all were supplied with 108 gallon British manufactured "paper" tanks exclusively. Freeman says this was from May 1944 to wars end. Prior to that, the 75 gallon tank was generally the most commonly used for the P-51. 55th FG converted to P-51's, from P-38's, in mid July 1944, according to every 55th FG source I have found (see usaaf.com for example). That is a couple months after the 108 gallon tank became the only tank supplied to P-51 units. At that time they were stationed in Wormington UK, and unlike many other units, never moved across the channel. So they used drop tanks regularly (whereas units that moved to the continent often didn't need them). These dates indicate to me that 55th FG Mustangs never saw the 75 gallon metal tank. Tamiya is 100% wet.
  18. Thanks all for the encouraging comments on the wing skinning effort. Greatly appreciated. Wing skinning continues - it is a very big project. A 1/18 scale Corsair wing has alot of acreage, even just the center part inside the wing folds. There is much remaining, but it is time for an interim report out. It is also a stressful project - not so much failing on a skin panel, but the risk of breaking something - a fear I had before I began this work. It is heavy lifting work, requiring vigorous and frequent handling of the big fuselage/wing subassembly I have, moving it into various positions, fitting, cementing, and then burnishing down each panel often with considerable force. Then cleanup. And the landing gear and gear doors protruding like they do, they are just begging to be broken off. Casualties so far: Yup - even the fuel tank hook I just installed a week or so ago was sheared off at its fastening plane by a glancing blow of my hand. The outboard gear doors had no chance at all. Both are broken off at the hinge points, and will require repairs with tiny splice plates, or something similar. And I swear - I am being as careful as I know how. At this point - all I want to do is finish the skinning project without breaking off a landing gear strut. This stuff you see - I can fix that. It won't be very pretty, but I can fix it. A broken LG strut; I don't know. It would not go well. This on features (the LG) I poured my heart and soul into to make them perfect. So, fingers crossed. So what am I getting for all this angst? Some pretty cool skin panels. Some are spectacular, some are merely better than what they cover up. All are worthwhile. They are just out of sequence - the root cause of the problems here. Some example panel details: An easy one - A very hard one (not done at this point)- Not easy, but not hard - That hard one is on the bottom, part of the LE intake box that houses air inlets for the supercharger ducts, and the oil cooler cans. A shot of the process of burnishing it down to contour: Believe me - it didn't want to to become a corner like what you see. Hard work, perilously close to the LG strut. Finished: What I have done so far on the bottom: And the top: As readers of this string know - a concern was whether or not the skinning could be flush with the LE inlet panels. I am proud to say that I have achieved this to my satisfaction. It was done by scraping off surface material just behind the periphery of the LE panel, as required to make that surface approximately .005 inch underflush, to make room for the aluminum skin. Take a look: It may be hard to tell from that pic, but all seven skin panels that butt up to the LE intake panel are pretty darned flush. Corsair wing skins attach to the fuselage skins via "wing/fuselage angle's". A thin one for the wing leading edge, and a much more beefy one for the wing structural box. At this point I was able to fab and install the leading edge angle. I am very pleased with this: Covers up that nasty gap between wing and fuselage. The notch you see - supposed to be there. Provides clearance to one of the Camloc (or Dzus?) panel fasteners. Next post will be more progress on the wing skinning. The remainder of the skins forward of the main spar will be done, and hopefully the main box skins, some of which are compound curved. I really have my hands full! Stay with me - the engine cowl and cowl flaps are on the radar. What a challenge they will be! Thank you for tuning in.
  19. Hoss - I will echo what has already been said by a couple others - - Perhaps the best Tamiya Mustang I have ever seen. - Some of the best photography I have seen. Some photo's could be mistaken for actual pics of the real aircraft. - Your research into what constitutes a Mustang of that vintage, and the paint scheme, appears right on the mark. Quite a while ago I did a 21st Century Toys P-51 modification, and chose "Miss Velma" another 55th FG example. The early 55th FG P-51 paint scheme is perhaps my favorite: There was much discussion as to the color of the long thin red stripe - many think it is yellow rather than red (for Miss Velma anyway). I concluded that any pictures that suggest yellow are simply age faded pics, and that it was always red on all the aircraft. There was also discussion as to the color of the checkers. I believe you (and I) are correct to use a British green, and not light green or OD. Also, I did alot of research into usage of the 105 gallon "paper" tank versus the standard 75 gallon metal tank. It is my understanding that sometime during the war, P-51 units moved to the 105 gallon tank, and ceased using the 75 gallon tank entirely. 55th FG originally was a P-38 unit, and converted to P-51's later on in the war. I believe their conversion was AFTER the date where exclusive use of the 105 gallon tank began. For that reason, I made the 105 gallon tanks for Miss Velma. I am prepared to be corrected by anyone who thinks otherwise, but I invite you to look for any period picture of a 55th FG Mustang with the older 75 gallon tanks. I couldn't find one. Again - just an excellent P-51 you have there.
  20. Hey Pete. What I did on that particular panel, after first tracing the periphery onto masking tape and applying that tape to a piece of heat treated .005 inch thick aluminum sheet, was to scribe a circle onto the flat pattern. I then formed the skin to approximately the right contour, and then dremmeled (and then filed/sanded) the material away to match the scribe line. After the cutout was created, I created the fastener pattern. For annealed skin, dremmeling doesn't work as well, I have found. But it cuts easier so I will just cut it out as best I can, and file/sand it to final shape. lastly, if a cutout is near the periphery of a panel, it is usually best to create the cutout before you trim the periphery - that way you are working with a more robust piece of material.
  21. That is correct, although in my case I actually purchased a roll of annealed aluminum sheet. Know what I wish? That annealed aluminum could be easily heat treated.
  22. And to think you had to make some fixes - serious fixes. It looks like modeling perfection to me John. You have done something worthy of the bad-ass Tempest. Congrats.
  23. Now that would be a battle of the Titans! To my eye, any differences are due to style only.
  24. In my opinion, the pinnacle of model painting. If I can do half as good...... BTW, those landing gear struts are something to behold. 4-bar linkages. Wow. Do you have any idea what provides the spring force and damping?
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