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Tamiya F4U-1A as a BPF Corsair IV - 6 May 15 update

don f

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1/32 is not my preferred scale.  The last kit in this scale I built was decades ago.  The Tamiya F4U's, however, proved to be irresistible. The F4U-1A kit was received and examined. Was I impressed.  After reading and studying the instruction booklet and being inspired, a project was selected, some after market parts were purchased and assembly started.  Progress pictures of my project are posted with some hesitation given the exquisite craftsmanship of the projects posted here. I'm out of my lane.  Anyhow, here goes.


So that I don't forget where I started (just in case the project stalls) and the expected ending of this project, here's my project notes:


Corsair IV KD244 X-135 1842 Sqn. BPF


Build flaps up, elevators down, wings extended, cowl flaps closed, cockpit open.


FG-1A equivalent.


- 13' - 4†narrow chord prop.

- R-2800-8W with ADI, keep door on B24.

- Fill in port wing landing light.

- Upper starboard wing light.

- Sutton harness.

- No lower fuselage window. Use R21.

- Long tail wheel strut, R13.

- Rear fuselage scoops with vent on lower rear fuselage.

- Clip outer panel wing tips 8†each side, ref. wing sta. 149..

- Modify cockpit with British equipment (radios, flare gun, oxygen system).

- No switch box on starboard instrument cowl, T11.

- Use Duramold fuel tank.

- Use Barracuda resin diamond pattern tire/wheel set.



Here's the AM stuff:





The only significant exterior modification is the clipped wingtip.  The “Dash 2†states:


“This tip is attached to the rib at wing station 149. The tip is attached to the outer panel beam and attaching plates and strips by screws.â€


The wing tip and stations drawings from the “Dash 3â€:






With the wing tips clipped eight inches each side and the outermost wing station of Sta. 159, by my ciphering that leaves 2†remaining or about 0.063†in 1/32.


The kit wing tips were cut, shaped and primed to check for flaws.  Here's the result:




A little extra material was left at the leading edge of the modified wingtip to allow for fairing in a new clear lens for the wingtip lights. Looks okay to me. This picture shows what was left of the kit wing tip:




The next step is to begin the process of finishing the removal of the landing light.


Here's my comments regarding EagleCals set #163.  This set was purchased to provide the markings for X-135. The proportions and size of the decal BPF insignia seemed a bit strange to me.  I drew up a set of BPF insignia using the 48/18 blue/white roundel, white bars proportioned as US insignia and 3†white and blue surround as specified.  These images show the EagleCals insignia don't match my drawing.







I guess that I will be painting my own insignia.  More to follow.




Edited by don f
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Wow, it's absolutely raining Corsairs here at the moment! As well as Jorge's and this one, there's mine and one from Phillipos too. This one looks like it'll be very interesting to follow.



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  • 4 weeks later...

After studying here what the other builders of the Tamiya Corsairs have done with their kits, a little progress was made on the Corsair IV project.  To begin, the initial dilemma was the surface of the kit.  The kit is covered with orderly rows of tiny pockmarks that are presumed to represent flush rivets.  The F4U had many spot welded assemblies, including the fuselage and empennage.  And the wing center section and wing outer panel "D" section  were filled and surfaced for aerodynamic smoothness.  The choices are to laboriously fill, sand and prime to remove the unwanted pockmarks or leave them as is.  Since the model was dark blue, the decision was to ignore the pockmarks and move on with the assembly of the kit.


First, the difiicult to get to areas were assembled painted with a homemade mix of dark blue.




A quick checked showed a sliver of light showing through from the bottom of the fuselage around part R21.  A little Future applied on the inside around the seam and reapplication of blue fixed the problem.  As an aside, R21 replaces the clear observation window and along with some other unused parts telegraph the appearance of an F4U-1D.


A few details were added to the wing center section to simulate the actuators for the oil cooler and intercooler doors. Only as much as would be visible.




The modeling bffi tools were used to hack and whittle a scrap piece of resin into a representation of the aft end of the induction system "Y" duct that is visible through the intercooler doors.  No additional details will be added to the engine accessory section to avoid the work.




After painting the yellow-green interior areas, this part will be installed along with exhaust and drain lines that extend from the intercooler door opening.  Much easier to do now then after the center section is installed.  The next step is to assemble and detail the wheel wells.


The markings.


EagleCals #163 have the markings for BPF Corsair IV X135.  There is not much that I like on this decal set. To me, the BPF roundels are mis-proportioned and the wings roundels are the wrong size.  The serial numbers are too small.  And, to me, the "135" does not capture the freehand style of numbers applied to the aircraft.  Furthermore, being freehand, unlikely that the port and starboard side numbers would have been painted exactly the same.  So, Randy at Stencilpal to the rescue.  He is working on making a set of stencils with BPF roundels and the other markings more to my liking.  Here's a preliminary mockup of the markings.




More to follow.



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I have been looking foreword to seeing someone execute the clipped wing conversion.  I thought it had to be fairly simple.  Tamiya made it a lot easier with the separate wing tips.  I can't believe they did not simply include the clipped wing tips on the sprue, instead of making builders wait for a separate kit which they may never get to.  The photo etch inclusion of Sutton seat belts clearly and separate wing tips indicate to me they are defiantly planning a Royal Navy version but they should have just included the parts as it may be years before they release one.  Great work so far. 

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Good work indeed so far!  These are some of the definite advantages to a company like Randy's (StencilPal). Custom product, with personal custom service!    The StencilPal mask product (Oracal 810) is really GREAT stuff..................flexible, reusable, and durable, but with enough stretch, and "memory" to bounce back from any flubs one might make.




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Thanks gents for the kind words.  Truly, the anxiety of waiting for the next release.  And of course, soon as you get far along on your conversion of the kit, but not quite done robbing other kits, AM stuff, making parts, along comes the new Tamiya release with all you needed.  Not much would have been required for them to add the wings tips and same for the parts for the -1D, some are already in the box.



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Keeping up with the flurry of Corsair project updates from the other very skilled builders, here's a few notes and progress of my project.


This is the first pass at removing the wing landing light.  After carefully putty around the light, my tiny square of sandpaper on a stick was used to sand away the filler around the light, preserving as much detail as possible.




More contrast to show the remaining filler, not too bad so far.





Another round of filling and careful sanding and it will look better.


While handling the wing center section, I noticed a shallow rectangular cut out at the forward edge of the MLG wells.  This opening was fixed as follows:




While priming and touching up blue paint, the gray primer was used to on the representation of the canvas covers in the wheel wells.  I think that these covers were likely painted with the wheel wells on the actual aircraft.  However, the little bit of color is welcome in the solid blue wheel wells.




Jim Corley, via Jerry Wells, kindly sent me a number of photos of the Y duct. This allowed me to add details.  Here's the topside of the duct with the alternate air door.




And the bottom:




Unnecessary detail as it turned out.  Most of the topside detail cannot be seen when installed.  It was fun to make.  I don't like PE so all is plastic bits.  And the duct installed, aligned with the kit location of the intercoolers:




All that effort for what can be seen through a small opening in the underside.  I decided to dodge the work and build no more detail into the engine accessory section.  Now on to the the assembly of the wing center section and detailing the wheel wells.



Edited by don f
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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

Just seen this


Don, any more updates?


Very impressive work


And surprisingly disappointing info about Eagle Cals - maybe when they go off piste from 109s and 190s they just don't have the same level of technical expertise?


Anyway, I do hope this project is resurrected on here


Kind regards



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Hi Nick,


Thank you for the compliment.  I have no updates.  My workroom was dismantled for renovations and all modeling materials are still boxed up.  Keeping the house tidy and uncluttered for showings means that I won't be able to unpack until the end of November.  I'm hoping to resume this project in December, barring any holiday craziness or relocation.



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