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F7F-3 Tigercat - BuNo 80405 - VMF 312 MCAS - El Toro, CA 1946


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Thanks guys! All comments greatly appreciated.


4 hours ago, dodgem37 said:

Boy is that tedious.  Good show, Brian.


Indeed it is Mark, but funny enough it is SO on brand with this build, the hours and hours if extra work to get things right are no shock this time around.

I know you know ALL about extra work put it!  :lol:


1 hour ago, Phartycr0c said:

Dedication to the cause.

Great work and well worth the effort although I am surprised at the HPH exhaust solution. I would have thought they would have been spot on! 


You and me both! At first at least......but after building on this kit for a few years it doesn't come as much of a shock honestly.


I'll have to find or take a picture of the instructions for the exhaust ends. Even in the instructions it just shows them glued willy-nilly at or near the respective cylinder they are supposed to attach to.

Some end only vaguely pointed in the direction of the exhaust port they should be on.

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Brian - you have been busy, and on some exciting stuff!  I mean stuff that is important to the build, and is out there for the viewer to see.  Nice work on the nose gear; reminds me of the shimmy damper on the P-38 (a source of a few recurring nightmares for me.   And the exhaust stack work - I love it!!!  You will be so very proud of it once done.  

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Thanks again boys.

Got the two side exhaust sets done, but I'm not happy with the spacing after I finished them.

After going through my documentation, they should be in two close groups of two, not evenly spread out:











You can see here what it should look closer to, although mine will likely be a closer set of two so the exhaust ends will give some support to each other:






Unfortunately, I did the starboard side of the starboard engine just like it. :BANGHEAD2:

I didn't take any pics of my screw up, bit needless to say I'll have to redo the 8 exhaust pipes on the two side ports of the starboard engine. Oh well, at least these 8 won't be as bad since I'll only have to change them slightly to get two sets of two.

I also got the top exhaust set of the starboard engine done as well, but this time modified them as they should be, closer together:











I've now got all the exhaust pipes built for the starboard engine, and now just need to modify the 8 side pipes and will have one 1/2 of the exhaust pipes built in initial configuration.









Onward and cheers!


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26 minutes ago, LSP_Kevin said:

Those exhausts do look challenging, Brian. You must be exhausted!



I am!  Its like working on my car.............when I'm behind it I get exhausted, but its better than being in front of it and getting tired! 

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Man, I sympathize about something that just keeps kicking you, but you don't want to move on until it's RIGHT.  

The engines look AMAZING, the detail in the main gear bays is similarly awesome.


And every time I look at this thread, I see "El Toro", which is about a half hour from my office.  


Keep going, it's amazing.  

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Thanks again boys, and happy Sunday...........


Well, I am OFFICIALLY done (building) all 36 exhaust stacks!   Now all I have to do is finish sand, fill, prime, sand, paint and weather each one. :rolleyes:








Finishing up the bottom side on the 2nd engine









THEN I moved onto the very last and final exhaust port, engine #2 port side:






Im showing this one blank, as I had encountered this big girl giving me one last fit on THE VERY LAST exhaust stack #2 18 shown above on the very bottom.

I was cutting this exhaust stack down as for some reason HpH gave me the last one as a shorty for the rear row, and not a long one for the forward row of cylinders.


As I was chopping the open end of the stack off to get it to fit, I must have chopped it at a slight angle, as it pinged away from the razor blade, up in the air, and as I watched bounced off a soda can in my trash can and made a couple other tinging sounds as it bounced around and descended into the depths of my VERY full trash can.





She was REALLY testing me and pushing me, and on THE very last exhaust stack too!  


I took a look at the full trashcan and decided it was gone forever....................then I thought better and figured I may as well give it at least and attempt to look for it. So for the next 45 min or so I delicately combed through all the trash in the can, taking all of it out and looking each disgusting bit as I went putting it in a separate box. There was a LOT of crap in the can:







After about 30 or 40 min I finally got to the bottom and figured I probably missed it, but was worth a shot to look around for it. I sifted around in that bottom bit with some long hemostats for 10 or 15 min







I was literally JUST about to give up and say @#*% it, when a miracle happened......................


No clue how I actually spotted it, since it really just looked like an ordinary gray piece of cut sprue:









NO WAY!  I was pleasantly pleased for sure.  I could have made a scratched one, but had nothing the replicated the exact inside dimensions.  Onward and upward to filling sanding, priming, painting and weathering.



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Spent many hours myself on my belly with an LED light looking for some tiny part that always ends up in some impossible location miles from where it should be.  BTW, I believe there might be some upscale art galleries on the West Coast that would be interested in exhibiting your trash can photos.  They fit right in with current trends and you might could make a couple of bucks!

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I laughed and laughed over that last post.  And I thought for some reason only I am capable of flinging an important part into the trash can!!  I laugh, but for sure I am not laughing when it happens to me!  Sometimes, after cutting a very small piece of plastic sheet, I will throw it away with the scrap on the bench!  Becuase it looks kind of like the scrap itself.  At least I can make another, something you didn't have the luxury of doing.  Long ago I quit making models on shaggy rugs.  But even with a plain floor, parts have an amazing ability to bounce under any furniture or other objects near by, resulting in a lengthy and angering search ending either successfully, or not.  Great and painstaking work on those stacks BTW.  Cannot wait to see the finished sets installed.


Edited by JayW
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