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Hello fellow modelers. I now embark on my 4th and final 1/18 scale mod project - an F4U Corsair. My past efforts have been a P-51D (Miss Velma), a P-38J (Lucky Lady), and a P-47D (Glen Eagleston's Eagle). You can find articles on the P-51 and P-38, and WIP and RFI posts on the P-47 on this site, if interested. All three took more than two years each, and I expect the Corsair will too. At least. Here are the customary "before" shots: Cool huh? I obtained this toy/model a few years ago along with the P-38 at a local hobby shop where a whole bunch of these large toys were donated by an estate. As you all probably know, these things are no longer manufactured. The manufacturer is Blue Box (probably originally 21st Century Toys). The date on this one is 2005. To my eye at the time, it looked realistic enough to be a good mod project. My plan is to greatly improve the following items: Engine (all new scratch build, including back section) Engine compartment including engine mount Cockpit Landing gear Gear bays Wing fold mechanisms Flaps Ailerons Elevators Rudder And there will be smaller projects as well too numerous to list, similar to what I did with the other aircraft, except even more ambitious. I hope my eyes are not bigger than my stomach here - it is entirely possible I run out of steam somewhere along the way, or not get up to speed at all. After all, I just finished the P-47. But I think not. I'll take my time and try not to put any pressure on myself (yeah right!). So when I sat down and really inspected this toy, I saw things I like, and things I don't like. As usual there are lots and lots of inaccuracies that are fixable - I expect that. Here is what I did not expect - I was very disappointed to see that the engine cowling is not correctly shaped. I mean it is deal breaker to me unless I can fix it. Here is what I mean: The engine cowling has a round cross-section just like it should. But it should also have a slight taper as shown in this side profile (drawing VS-33001): Can you see it? The taper is slight but noticeable (at least to my eye). Now look at the toy model: From the cowl flaps forward, this cowling has a constant cross-section. No taper at all until you get to the front end. This sticks out like a sore thumb, makes the nose look bulbous. So what to do. Well, this model is going to get a complete engine anyway, with removable cowl panels. So the cowl flaps and panels over the engine will be replaced anyway. The nose cowl must be salvaged (I know not how to make one). The fuselage aft of the cowl flaps is just fine shape-wise. The typical gage of the plastic is .08 inch - robust. After some research it turns out that if the nose cowl could be decreased in diameter by about .08 inch (.04 inch on the radius), and reshaped to blend out the shape, I would still have about .04 inch gage to work with on the nose cowl, and I would get the slight taper I want. Some of you know I own a small desktop lathe (a Unimat). So I decided to try to turn the cowling on the lathe. To do this, I had to lop off the cowling: I was thinking at this point if this blows up in my face, I will just not do this project at all. Here is the cowling on the lathe chuck: Ha! My lathe is intended to work with raw material no larger than about 2 inch diameter. This cowling is a bit over 3 inches diameter! I had to put a large spacer under the head stock mount (see it - its that silver spacer). I had to mount the cowling very carefully - no wobble allowed. Then I rotated the head stock about 2 deg and proceeded to turn material off the nose: Then I removed the nose cowl: Success - that worked way better than I thought. So I am off to the races. I guess the engine is going to be first on the list. The Corsair was powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 double wasp, as was the P-47 Thunderbolt. For the P-47, I dedicated about 6 months of my life scratch building a R-2800. And it didn't include the aft section. This time, I intend to make use of 3D printing in some way. At the very least, the cylinders will be 3D printed. So perhaps it will not take so long and not be as tedious. Hope you can look in from time to time! See ya!
So, if someone needed a couple of C version Pratt and Whitney R2800 engines for a 1:32 model project, how would the Collective suggest he goes about sourcing them? Scrap a HobbyBoss P61, maybe? All suggestions gratefully listened to! Me? Nooooo, not me. A mate, honest! I've got too much on my plate already....... Tim