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1/18 Scale Blue Box F4U-1A Corsair Modification


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4 hours ago, airscale said:

Well Jay, I feel your pain - I have been there many times when I made something from drawings and then found my subject was different - it is a disheartening feeling, but never irretrievable..


We all know your compromise-o-meter is set at a flat zero - anyone who builds an 18 cylinder radial, cylinder fin by cylinder fin and then adds all the anciliaries for 'fun' approaches their subject with the discipline of a nuclear scientist, so there is no situation where you can 'live with' something you know is not right, I 100% understand that


However, in this case, I think there is a bright side. If I read you right, the only actual rework is the cooling flaps atop the cowl and much as it is painful to write off work, really this is the only casualty. The reason I think it's a good thing is that the rest is fixed by choosing another subject & here I have never favoured doing super well known subjects, they are a bit 'Disney' for me. While they obviously have a place in the model world, I think in our efforts to recreate the machines from our past, I would far rather look at a more esoteric, less well known, if not unknown subject.


Hopefully you can refocus, and to be honest when my mojo gives, I just move onto another part of the airfame and come back to what was getting me down later. Ultimately everything needs building so the order can be played with a bit


It doesn't help you, that I see it as a hidden bonus, but at least you know there are other perspectives on the problem :)


All the best



1 hour ago, JayW said:


Thanks Peter for the words of encouragement.  Yes it helps.  Still galls me though to make a mistakes like that....


Curiouser and curiouser, I have noticed that there was a block of aircraft that got the bombing window frame, with the glass replaced by a sheet of .064 aluminum.  And then later on the entire window frame was replaced by a new integrally stiffened panel assembly (the one created when I skinned the belly a month ago).  This would have been entirely retrofittable, I would have to assume.  Although it is still a mystery where the production cutoff was for the original bombing window installation, this discovery makes me feel better about my subject not having the window.

Well said Peter. 


Jay, if it helps, I was struggling with the same thing on my Prowler. I really had to learn to live with it as I was frankly driving myself batty and overthinking things. I flew it for 18 years and my memory certainly muddied things even when searching through pics and drawings.


Adding to your conundrum is wartime production (crank 'em out as fast as possible, and incorporate changes on the fly on the factory floor), with spotty records (at best). Then add wartime maintenance. Depot maintenance is one thing, but field maintenance is another animal, including cannibalization of parts. Whose to say they didn't put parts of a later build model and put it on your bird, let alone just bolt the cowl flaps closed? All I'm saying is that this is one of the reasons I still haven't restarted my B-24.  It has all these issues in spades. 18K of 'em built by various manufacturers, plus field mods unique to the 15th AF. Still don't know if I'll fix the wing, as my mind is struggling with the enclosed waist windows and the high hat turret amongst the many things.


Just know you're not alone in wondering what 'right' looks like!  I do know that whatever you decide it'll be perfect...


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Folks - I think I got the mojo back.  Thanks to a major success with the new supercharger ducts that came in the mail a few days ago.  


First though, here is a beautiful 3D printed part - the "dead flap".  As was discussed a couple posts ago, the production dead flap came on line many line units after the subject I will be modeling.  Instead, all cowl flaps were operational, or the top three bolted down with a crude plate.  




So sad.  May it rest in peace.


Last time the accessories compartment was visited, the hydraulic reservoir and prop accumulator mounting bracket was finished but not fully painted up and installed.  no longer:






Hydraulic lines are also in there, but hard to see from those angles.  I sort of punted on clamps - I merely cut strips of .005 thick plastic and glued them in place.  Then used small diameter chunks of tubing to simulate small tube clamps, just like I did in the wheel wells.  


OK - the new supercharger ducts on top of the intercooler boxes are taller than the originals, to address this mismatch, if you will recall:




The new parts compared to the originals:




Also I had stated that the other run of ducts (to the aux blower section) could be salvaged with spacers.  This worked like a charm.  Take a look at the supercharger ducts:




That pic above is the RH side - I have not put in the aft blower ducts yet, but I dry fit them and they work.  Here is the LH side with all ducts in place:




That is a big relief.   And, the duct clears the engine control clap trap!  Yay!


There is actually an end in sight for this complicated compartment.  Still going to take a while, but I am no longer intimidated by it.  It's gonna get there.  Stay tuned!

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On 4/21/2022 at 4:02 PM, JayW said:



That pic above is the RH side - I have not put in the aft blower ducts yet, but I dry fit them and they work.  Here is the LH side with all ducts in place:




That is a big relief.   And, the duct clears the engine control clap trap!  Yay!


There is actually an end in sight for this complicated compartment.  Still going to take a while, but I am no longer intimidated by it.  It's gonna get there.  Stay tuned!


This is a photo of the real plane isn't it? Your Corsair project is the best scratch work I have ever seen. :bow:

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33 minutes ago, The Dude said:

This is a photo of the real plane isn't it? Your Corsair project is the best scratch work I have ever seen. :bow:


Always the best of complements when one's work is compared to the real thing.  To "The Dude" WRT the accessories compartment, I will say - you ain't seen nothin' yet.  Just wait til its done.  I couldn't say this a few weeks ago when the outcome was in doubt for various reasons.  But the problems have been resolved and have fallen by the wayside one by one.  I'm pretty stoked.   Stay tuned.

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On 4/28/2022 at 5:09 AM, Thunnus said:

I'm glad you've decided to continue on with this project.  Your work is truly reference material grade with the amount of research that is conducted and shared with us lucky followers!  Always jaw-dropping to see!

I'm with John. I'm a lifelong fan of aircraft restoration and your updates always remind me of 1/1 projects in their detail and accuracy - this is a truly phenomenal build and I can't say how happy I am that you're continuing, Jay!

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Hello modelers.  I have spent alot of time the last couple of weeks preparing the aft engine section / engine mount assembly for installation onto the fuselage.  And, preparing the engine accessories compartment of the fuselage to accept the aft engine section / engine mount assembly.  Mostly, this involved adding various lines - hydraulic tubes, electrical wire conduits, and oil lines.  Also, a very tricky starter cartridge breech and its tripod bracket (Early Corsairs started their engines with what looks like shot gun shells that are loaded into a breech, and set off with an electrical switch).   That cartridge breech and its tripod benefitted from the Rhino digital mock-up - I could not have built them with it.


Here is a shot of the RH side of the engine aft section and mount, just before it was installed onto the fuselage:




New items are the electrical box and the starter breech, plus a whole lotta lines.  Most are made from various gages of solder.  Also permanently attached is the new improved (taller) supercharger duct which eliminated the gross mismatch discovered when I began work on the engine accessories compartment some weeks ago. 


Here is the LH side:




The induction "vibrator" is part of the electrical system, and I think (not sure) it replaces the coil, which was present on the Birdcage Corsairs, but was replaced on the -1A along with a redesigned electrical system in general.  If any of you know what a "vibrator" does, please enlighten me (and any good jokes might be fun).


The compartment itself needed a few items more - mostly oil lines that hang in the air waiting for either the engine or the oil tank.  Here:




Nothing much new there...BTW, take one last look at the center section wing spar.  From now on, that item that I poured my heart and soul into a couple years ago will be entirely invisible even with cowl panels removed. 


And then, after some nerve racking and tedious work, I reached a very large milestone - permanent attachment of the aft engine section and engine mount to the fuselage.  Along with the diaphragm too:












Boy these "huge thumbnails" from Imgur show detail like an electron microscope.  Reveals a bit too much perhaps.....


Cannot overstate how pleased I am that the firewall penetrations turned out OK.  I was on pins and needles waiting for that.  And, that there are no more surprises in this crowded compartment - although to be sure, the big oil tank remains (my next project).  But I have dry fit it dozens of times - it's gonna be fine. 


On a different note, remember when I described designing a new propeller a while back?  This is one of the Rhino renderings I showed:





Here are the parts:




Note the different shape prop blade.  


The hub is really cool:




One day many moons from now, this too will be permanently installed.


But for now let's have a little fun - I will show you all of this project to date, which is right at 3 years old:








OK - a bit of a break is next.  And then it will be the oil tank, and what remains of the oil lines (the ones I can get to).  That will complete the engine accessories compartment.  Then, more skinning.  And then - I have to decide what to do next!!  Stay tuned, more adventures await.

Edited by JayW
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