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


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13 hours ago, scvrobeson said:

I'm almost convinced you're building a real Corsair, and are just telling us that it's 1/18 scale to throw us off.


Hey Matt - you know of course that is the ultimate complement a modeler can have.  After all we try to accurately build a scale model of a real thing. 


I have something going for me that helps.  The F4U is one of a dozen or so aircraft where the engineering drawings are available through Aircorps Library.   If you build parts to the engineering drawing as best you can (scaled of course), either by scratch building or by molding or 3D printing, then little by little, by god, the end product starts to look very much like the real thing.   That is what gives me such a thrill with these large scale projects.


The other thing of course is the large scale.  I could not do this level of detail at 1/32 scale.  Some could maybe, but not me.  At 1/18, I can almost scale down the head or nut of a 1/4 inch dia bolt using Meng Fasteners or the like.  3/16 (#10) bolts - nope; too small so mine are oversized should I feel the need to include (the cowl flap mechanism is full of 1/4 or 3/16 bolts).  And with 0.005 inch plastic sheet, or aluminum sheet, I can simulate sheet metal parts that are typically .06 inch or .08 inch thick - oversized some but usually not noticeable.


And, the introduction of 3D printed parts has really enhanced this model.  There are limitations, but not very much.  One must be able to digitally design the parts of course - but in my past life that is some of what I did!         

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Jay - I have the advantage of knowing exactly what you are doing...


find the drawing, scale it, make the sub components, make the part...


however, the threshold for the level of iddy, biddy bits I would go down to and actually be able to reproduce is waaaay lower than yours, and the ability to have the engineering accuracy to make parts that actually fit together rather than just representative shapes shows this is what I would call extreme modelling - in fact it's not even modelling, its scale reproduction - you have a God-like talent for this...


very, very impressive :wub:



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6 hours ago, airscale said:

however, the threshold for the level of iddy, biddy bits I would go down to and actually be able to reproduce is waaaay lower than yours


Uh last time I looked in on your P-40 cockpit, it kind of refuted that statement!  


Great complement from a great modeler.  Thanks.  There are more great things to come on this Corsair.  Pretty motivated right now.


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INCREDIBLE  & detailed workmanship impeccable  engineering  on your part Jay.


You certainly are amongst the top on  MY Modelling God's list I follow... you create sublime work which astounds ME every time I read this thread. 

Your techniques  and methodology knows no bounds.

Pure joy. 

Thank you  .


MARU 5137.



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Here is interim report number two on the cowl flap project.  In this report you will see four more cowl flaps - on the top of the engine cowling.  And you will see the VSK-4830 "dead flap" field modification in its entirety, where the upper three cowl flaps, and two mechanisms, are removed and replaced by a fixed panel and two fixed supports where the mechanisms once were.


First though - at long last my decals arrived in the mail from the UK, made special for me by Airscale.  It didn't take long to try out the skull and crossbones:





I have some stencils from Thunnus, but both of us agree that at this size, the little details just do not come through very well on the stencils.  I think I am going to go with these decals, which show good detail.  After a clear top coat, I think they will look awesome.  Jolly Rogers!


Second - I finished up the cowl flap pulley tower - routing "cables" through it and installing it on the engine:




That cable is too short - I was just fiddling around.  Installed:




The cables are .009 inch diameter fishing line.  I'll paint silver when the time comes. 


Then it was on to cowl flap work.  I made six more mechanisms:




Getting better at it.....   These will support two cowl flaps each on either side of the "dead flap" which is installed per modification drawing vsk-4830.


Let's take another look at the important view on drawing vsk-4830:




This required me to do four major things (and some minor things I won't go into):


1.  Trim lug off cowl flap lever (two places)

2.  Fabricate fixed support bracket to replace mechanism (two places)

3.  Fabricate fixed pulley bracket to replace pulley bracket on removed mechanism (two places)

4.  Fabricate the dead flap panel


I'll show you those vsk-4830 parts now - see if you can compare to the drawing:


Here are the trimmed cowl flap levers:




The fixed support brackets (bonded to the modified levers) and fixed pulley brackets:




Installed supports:




The drawing also defines the fixed sheet metal panel detail that replaces the upper three cowl flaps:




Here is mine:





It's 0.010 inch thick plastic.  I will final install this part when I attach the engine to the fuselage in the next few weeks.  Here it is dry fitted, along with the four new cowl flaps:








Here is what I have so far on the cowl flap project:




You see seven cowl flap panels, a dead flap mod part, and the pulley tower and cables.  I tried to show how the cables route.  It will be more evident once get the last eight cowl flaps on there.  


I read in so many places where the early F4U upper three cowl flaps were "bolted down" to address effluents spattering onto the windshield.  I do not believe that was ever the case.  What was done instead was this vsk-4830 field modification kit.  And now #17 has the mod incorporated. 


I hope you could follow along.  Next post I will have another bank of cowl flaps done; perhaps all of them.  It's alot of work.  But once done, it paves the way to attach the engine to the fuselage - a huge deal.  Can't wait!    











Edited by JayW
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Congratulations Jay - you have reduced me to a gibbering wreck...


those cowl flap mechanisms are just unbelievable quality - so uniform and clean. I have said before about how I cheat by designing bits like that in PE and then proudly building up little kits of parts, but to make them from nothing and make them look like factory parts like that is an unbelievable talent


glad  the decals finally arrived - they look great in place



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