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A Corsair for Bob

David Hansen

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Many Thou...um, Hundreds..um..... one of you requested to see this , so here it is:


Second only to the Monty Python Norwegian Fish Slapping Dance: The F4U-2 Wing Walk Painting Sequence!!!
















OK. I have now run out of excuses to NOT work on the fuselage painting. Sigh....



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Some more progress....


After having something of a disaster spilling paint on the F4U, i wicked away the thinned paint and allowed the remaining thinner to dry. Then i carefully wet sanded a few places with 2000 grit sandpaper.


Then i went back to work. As Bob Ross would say, "There are no mistakes. Just Happy Accidents."


Yeah, right Bob.


Annnnnnnyway, I got the fuselage painting pretty much finalized, leaving us finally with the painting of the national insignia on the fuselage.


After looking at photos, as well as looking at others before me who have built the Navy F4U-2, i've concluded that the intermediate blue of the fuselage was over-sprayed with semi gloss sea blue and covered almost all the way down to the white undersides, with just a minimal transition of intermediate blue. All the Tamiya colours i mixed dry flat, so what you see here isn't exactly the final finish.




The standard caveat applies: I stuck the propeller and empennage on, because it looks cool. They are normally removed to make it easier to maneuver the airbrush.














As i write this, i've just painted the Insignia Blue on the fuselage insignia, and i'm waiting for the paint to be sufficiently dry before i remove the masking.


It reminds me of the Siri commercial for the iPhone, where Cookie Monster is waiting for his cookies to bake.



Edited by David Hansen
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She looks Awesome David! And what a great purpose to build a Corsair!. I gave my last Tamiya P-51D to a family friend that's a WWII veteran and he was astonished when I gave it to him at the detail there is to a model now days verses when he was younger. He said that Christmas had come early last year when I gave it to him in late summer. I hope you get to have the same great feeling when you hand this off to Bob.




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I discovered something the other night which i think is important to pass on.


As you know, i'm a big cheerleader for Tamiya White Surface Primer, in the square bottle, and thinned with Tamiya or Mr Color thinner.


This all started with the national insignias that i was painting on. I sprayed on White Surface primer where the white stars would go, and then applied the Montex Mask stars, and then just sorta forgot about things.


When i masked off and applied the insignia blue surrounds, i ran into some difficulty.


One of the things i overlooked is there is a "filler" built into this paint and it results in a slightly rough surface when the paint goes on. The little "blobs" of filler don't seem like much on a flat finished model, but jump out at you like a sore thumb if gloss paint goes over them. If you apply dark blue over the primer, then discover a  blob and then try to sand it out, the blob comes off immediately, exposing the white paint underneath. Insignia blue, just due to the thin characteristics, doesn't cover over white effectively until you build up a LOT of coverage. I wound up wet sanding down the insignias to make em smooth, then re-masked and re-shot the blue on last nite.


I don't think this woulda happened if i kept the thinned paint in the colour cup agitated a bit better. I think the "blobs" are part of the precipitation process of the primer from the thinner.


What does this all mean?


If you use Tamiya White Surface primer on the undersides of your USN subject matter (which i STILL recommend), STIR (not shake) the primer before decanting it into the airbrush, and then thoroughly stir the paint to keep it mixed with the thinner periodically during spraying.


If you get a bumpy finish, carefully wet sand the primer with 2000 and higher grit sandpaper anywhere you intend to apply a dark glossy colour (like insignia blue). In other words, don't make the same mistakes i did.


On a GSB subject this is only relevant for the white stars in the National insignia. But i still think its important enough to mention.



Edited by David Hansen
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OK, well with THAT lesson learned, i went back and repainted the fuselage insignias, which look much, MUCH better now.


Which brings me to the NEXT stoopid thing i did.


I wanted to replicate the worn away areas of paint on this Corsairs inboard wing roots. It seemed logical at the time to try doing this by actually wearing away the paint down to the bare metal underneath.


Seems simple, right?


Well, all did not go according to plan. I first applied MM non buffing aluminium to the bare plastic, and then applied Future over that. Next, i applied Tamiya Yellow Green and then on top of that i applied the semi gloss sea blue.


Working with Crest toothpaste, i proceeded to carefully rub away the paint until i "broke through" to the silver paint underneath. 2 unexpected things happened:


1) I went thru the future, thru the silver, down to the bare plastic. I wasn't expecting that.


2) The finished surface looked too bright, and going by the one photo i had, i had a tough time reconciling the brightness of the worn away area with the generally dull and lustreless finish of the rest of the model. To my eye, it looked unbalanced.


Here are pictures i took to document the result. Perhaps i'm being too hard on myself, but i didn't feel this looked right, so i have since gone back, repainted the area, and we are now again where we started off. I will probably build back the weathering more incrementally using "Plan B" which is a Prismacolor silver artists pencil.


What say you?  If nothing else, this was a learning exercise, and goes to prove one of my favourite sayings: "One test is worth a Thousand Expert Opinions"







One happy discovery that did come out of this was, buffing the flat finish with the brown cotton towel you see here, imparted a lovely semi gloss finish to the paint, which i quite like actually.


Edited by David Hansen
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It certainly looks like real exposed metal, David, but I'm wondering if the extent and pattern is prototypical. Not a criticism, as I don't really know. I'm just used to seeing models with a more patchy effect, rather than a large exposed area like that. But it certainly looks like you scraped the paint back to bare metal! But as you say, you've started again, and I've always had good success using a Prismacolor silver pencil. It's not as effective for large areas, but great at imparting restrained wear and tear.



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  • 3 weeks later...

Ahoy there, Mateys!


Just another in-progress report, of sorts. The camouflage scheme is fixed done, the mistake experiment on the right wing has been fixed ended hidden, and now decalling has begun...




Sharp-eyed viewers among you will notice the silver area behind the cowl flaps and ask, "What is That?"

Why, I'm glad you asked.


The one photo i have of the plane aboard ENTERPRISE shows that the modification to batten down the uppermost cowling flaps had been installed, but not yet painted. I don't know where it was installed, but it stands to reason it occurred sometime after the fuselage flanks had been over-painted in semi-gloss sea blue. Aboard INTREPID? At NAS Barbers Point? Who knows..




The VF (N) -101 Corsairs suffered from the leaky fuel tank problem and Bob's Number 10 was no exception. However the tape application did seem to depart from the commonly seen, octagonal "Stop Sign" approach....




Decalling is about 25% done now. Bob's plane was rather drab and devoid of many markings, except for the VF (N)- 101 decal, which i am still searching for. I'm using all of the itty-bitty silver placard Tamiya stencils on the wings, but only applying a select few on the fuselage. However the model looks rather blotchy as a result of the Micro Sol reacting with the Future, so its not really worth posting pictures of her right now.


So, that's it for now.


Thanks for Shopping!



Edited by David Hansen
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  • 2 months later...

We are now at the end game.





I am only halfway thru the weathering process, and i need to go back and fix a decaling mishap on the left side. So, for now only pictures of the right hand side.












Rather than blather on about all i did on the model, just send me your questions and i'll answer them. One question that maybe someone can answer for me is, did Microscale make a decal sheet with Navy VF squadron insignia decals in all three scales? I know i saw one for Air Force squadrons, and i may have had the Navy sheet at one time, long ago. I need to know if VF (N)-101 is available. I suspect it is not but want to make absolutely sure before i deliver this model to Bob.


Thanks for shopping!



Edited by David Hansen
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Looks great, David! Should be near perfect once the weathering is done with a flat coat.


Are you aware there is an armour plate for the top rear of the canopy in the kit. It's not called out at all in the instructions but it fits. I'm off to check mine to find the part/sprue number.



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