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


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2 hours ago, Alex said:

That's phenomenal work.  It would have been impressive to just 3D print the whole mechanism in one piece; assembling it out of component parts is next-level!


My experience with 3D printed parts is that gages below .02 (or in some cases .015) inch get brittle and often do not even survive clipping the sprues.  The links shown are .01 thick material.  Otherwise I would have 3D printed more of the mechanism, sure!  


1 hour ago, brahman104 said:

What did you make the pulleys out of?


Hey Craig - the pulleys?  My tired old Waldron punch set.  Two .081 inch diameter outer plates of 0.005 inch plastic, and a 0.062 inch diameter center plate of 0.015 inch.  Then painted brown to simulate phenolic sheet.  Just received an expensive RP Toolz punch and die set (.5 mm to 2.0 mm), and will use it starting now.   

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Let me give you an interim report on the cowl flap project.  This is a pretty big deal.  The mechanism assemblies I showed last post - there will be sixteen of them.  And there will be fifteen scratch built flap panels.  Both items have alot of little parts and are difficult to do.  Additionally there are installation level items - the cable, the pulley support tower, the bonding jumpers, and some other stuff.  Oh, and the VSK-4830 dead flap field modification kit.


I have four of the mechanisms installed onto the bottom of the cowl flap ring:




Easy to see the little pulley hangers where the cable will pass through.  One day not too long from now that cable will be there.


I have fabricated three flap panels - one short panel (#10), two long panels (9L and 9R):




Made of layers of plastic sheet.  There are slots on either side that will engage the flanges of the "levers" described in my last post.  They are painted with the double hair spray method and chipped/scratched.  And the inside surfaces were painted gray and then made "dirty" or "oily". 


Here my first cowl flap (#10) is slid onto the lever flanges:




The little peg in the middle of the panel is for a bonding jumper.  The jumpers are easy to see ultimately, so I included this detail. 


And all three panels final installed, with bonding jumpers and spring clips:






From the outside:







Note panel #10 is shorter fore/aft than the adjacent panels.  This is accurate and was done to provide clearance to the centerline external hook for bomb or fuel tank. 


Also, in parallel, I have begun work on the control pulley support tower, which mounts on top of the intake manifold of the engine between intake pipes:






It has a cable slack uptake spring cartridge of sorts that acts kind of like a rear derailleur cage on a bicycle.  Dry fit:





That tower is nowhere near done.  When I finish it and install it, it will have two long strands of 0.009 inch fishing line routing through the various pulleys, painted silver to simulate the cable.  I am not at all sure that this item will be visible unless really looking for it.  But it serves to manage the cable which will definitely be seen.  Cable routing will be a big challenge! 


That's it for now.  Going to take a while to get the other mechanisms and panels on there.  Patience is a virtue.  I'll post another interim update before too long.  Take care, and as always thank you so much for looking in.





Edited by JayW
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23 hours ago, Rockie Yarwood said:

I'm going blind just watching you work on all those tiny parts - can't imagine how tired your eyes must be!


Yeah Rockie - these days I almost always don my readers and my high magnifier head strap when I make parts.  In order to do this level of detail, that is what it takes for my poor tired eyes.


1 hour ago, scvrobeson said:

Always amazed by the micro-engineering that you're able to come up with.


Thanks Matt.  There is such a thing as too much.  I hope I am not too guilty of that.  I knew long ago that the cowl flaps were going to be a large exercise in "micro-engineering", so I am not surprised.  Unfortunately the Corsair's cowl flaps are short enough and are at a large enough angle so that the innards are plainly visible from aft looking forward.  Los and lots of period (and modern) photos where all that stuff shows.


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At this point adjectives no longer work on their own, the only way to convey my full appreciation for what you're doing would be the egregious, copious, and forceful use of expletives, and since this is a classy joint I'll refrain from doing so. But dude, seriously? I've been a big fan of your work for years now and I mean, come onnnnnnnn, how is this even possible?!?

Chapeau, mon ami, you deserve ALL the accolades. :bow:

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7 hours ago, Thunnus said:

It looks like you've got the hang of the airbrush already Jay!


John - a bit of an over-statement there.  Let's just say I am no longer afraid of it, and that I agree that it allows far more control than simply fire-hosing out of a rattle can!  To turn it into an artform like you and some others have, well I'm a ways off from that.  Oh, and I still think the clean-up is a PITA - a disadvantage I always suspected was there and am right.  Thanks though for the kind response. 


As for the cowl flaps and mechanism - you guys ain't seen nothin yet.

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