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


JayW

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5 hours ago, Maybach_man said:

How about plumbers PTFE tape for the joints? ( if its too thick out of the roll you can stretch it to make it as thin as you want)

 

Honestly - how do you guys think of these things?  My imagination just isn't as high as yours.  I'll try it!

 

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Hi Jay...   I love those tires too.  I'd keep and say they were replacement tires if anybody asks.

 

Secondly...   here is my take on the white tape.  White decal paper.   That way all you have to do is cut it to the size and shape you want.  Don't trust that vinyl tape.  It will only hold on for so long.  Especially the curved area.  I hardly use the stuff anymore.

 

Painting with a thicker paint as has been mentioned before is also possible...   but means more masking....   ick!

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I wouldn't throw away those diamond tread... a quick survey of photos from the AJ Press book set on VF17 shows that the original #29 had diamond tread on at least one wheel. These were photos of the wreck in the second tour book. Diamond tread on your subject is at least plausible. I only saw a couple with block tread but nearly all that are legible were smooth.

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I can't remember what book it was, I think it was the Dana Bell F4U-1 Book, that said, it wasn't the tank leaking, so much as fuel being spilled around the filler, then getting into the fuselage through the seams. The tape kept the fuel out. Not in. 

 

I'll see if I can find the source.

 

This may be the coolest scale model build ever!

Edited by JeepsGunsTanks
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Page 56 of Dana Bells, F4U-1 Volume 1 " Refueling an aircraft in primitive conditions can be a sloppy task. In the Solomons in may of 1943, VMF-112 ground crews refueled BuNo 02457; two hours later the aircraft burst into flames. Examining the wreck- the third such incident in a month - inspectors found that gasoline had spilled down the fuselage panels, leaking into the fuel tank compartment and cockpit through the skin seems. the fumes ignited as the engine started.  By August, BuAer had instructed crews to seal all seams below the fuel tank filler cap. Zinc Chromate tape was the first choice, but any tape (even medical tape!) was used effectively."

Edited by JeepsGunsTanks
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4 hours ago, JeepsGunsTanks said:

Page 56 of Dana Bells, F4U-1 Volume 1 " Refueling an aircraft in primitive conditions can be a sloppy task. In the Solomons in may of 1943, VMF-112 ground crews refueled BuNo 02457; two hours later the aircraft burst into flames. Examining the wreck- the third such incident in a month - inspectors found that gasoline had spilled down the fuselage panels, leaking into the fuel tank compartment and cockpit through the skin seems. the fumes ignited as the engine started.  By August, BuAer had instructed crews to seal all seams below the fuel tank filler cap. Zinc Chromate tape was the first choice, but any tape (even medical tape!) was used effectively."

Edited 3 hours ago by JeepsGunsTanks

 

And there we have it.  I even possess the two Dana Bell volumes on the Corsair, and never noticed.  Thanks for that.  I need to come up with some tape that everybody likes!

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Ya know, whatever tape they used at the time would have been pretty thick.  The idea was to cover over the seams and joints which were already pretty tight, so it’s not likely you would have seen much detail at all through the tape.  Admittedly I haven’t really looked, but it seems to me that none of the tape seen in photos is very dirty or weathered.  I can’t see it lasting very long in the blast of air behind that prop once it was soaked in avgas.  Sort of put down the tape, fill the tank, tape comes off during the next flight, put down the tape, fill the tank, tape comes off ad infinitum.  It likely didn’t stick around long enough to get dirty, no pun intended.  This was a stop-gap effort, not a final solution, so precision was not high on the list of priorities, especially if they were using whatever was at hand until Vought cooked up a fix.  

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3 hours ago, Oldbaldguy said:

Ya know, whatever tape they used at the time would have been pretty thick.  The idea was to cover over the seams and joints which were already pretty tight, so it’s not likely you would have seen much detail at all through the tape.  

 

I've been measuring tape thicknesses.  By folding in half twice, measuring thickness and dividing by 4.  The white stretchy Tamiya masking tape is about 0.0045 inch thick.  That's too much.  That scales up to about 0.08 inch thick so it isn't surprising it looks a little thick on my 1/18 Corsair.  Regular old duck tape is just shy of 0.01 inch thick.  My thinnest hardware store masking tape is 0.0035 inch - a bit better.  And surprise, the regular old yellow Tamiya masking tape is 0.0030 inch thick.  Better still.  And, when applied it does a pretty good job of hiding the seams. 

 

0.003 inch scales up to 0.054 inch - still thick, but I think I could live with it.  On the other hand, even if tape actually used was say 0.02 inch (twice that of duck tape), that scales down to 0.001 inch, and I don't know of anything that thin.  

 

I also tried plumbers pipe sealing tape - it is also about 0.003 inch thick.  But I have no idea how I would bond that stuff.  So I will abandon that idea. 

 

I still want to try a white decal.  But the yellow Tamiya tape (painted white) seems a pretty strong candidate.  Pretty sure I am going to have tape on this Corsair - it adds to the authenticity.  

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3 hours ago, Archer Fine Transfers said:

For a few bucks, you can get vinyl at a craft store that has a permanent adhesive. Avery also seems labels with a permanent adhesive.

A trip to your local Hobby Lobby store might be in the offing if there is one near you.  They have all sorts of crafty sticky,

tape-y things in different aisles all over the store.  No telling what you might find.

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For what it's worth, Hedrick's plane did have tape over the fuel tank panel lines. That whole area on Number 17 was kind of a hot mess, with fuel stains and spills galore plus the tape, which has clearly been reapplied several times and whose sticky residue has been retouched with both blue and white paint at some point. Note how one of the victory markings overlaps the retouched white paint.

srEX4rC.jpg

Here's another look with ol' Rog sitting in the office proper.

nDA2XpZ.jpg

Starboard side got extra grody from the pilots rubbing against the fuselage to enter/exit the cockpit, also of note on this bird are the white stencil oversprays around the 17 as well as the tiny bit of white overspray on the red surround of the star-and-bars.

 

Like @Oldbaldguy said, whatever it was, the tape probably didn't last long in such harsh conditions and got constantly reapplied. It also left behind some residue or maybe even lifted up the paint so that the whole area got touched up frequently, as can be seen in these photos and many more.

4wJYSjl.jpg

AGowA4E.jpg

 

As for treaded tires on VF-17 F4U-1A's, here's a photo on Bougainville in February '44 that clearly shows treads on the machine in the foreground, so you're all set.

v24P10K.jpg

Voilà, can't wait for the next steps, Jay!

 

Cheers,

- Thomaz

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2 hours ago, TAG said:

red surround

Thomaz!!   What the heck?  Are you sure #17 had red surround stars and bars?   Not that I have done anything yet on stars and bars stenciling, I am just surprised.  Without any other information I was going to go with blue.   I could do red, but I would need a pretty good reason.  

 

As for the yellow Tamiya tape- I might test out a couple more options, but that option seems to be the most no-fuss-no-muss way to go.  Not sure whether to tape the entire bay or a portion of it...  For what it's worth, website "markstyling.com" has #17 with a full taping, and blue stars/bars outline:

 

TPiqLnAh.jpg

 

If it is really March 1944, it is just about the end of VF-17's tour. Could be the insignia was red, and later repainted blue.  Note the 9 kills - a score that signifies late in the tour.

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Well, the red surround lasted literally only a couple of months early in the war - something like July to September 1943 - before units were told to paint over the red with insignia blue to cut back on friendly fire incidents.  Even though the photo is black and white, I don’t see any evidence of red around the national insignia in the photos of old number 17.  Personally, I don’t put much stock in the accuracy of aircraft profiles because, having done a boatload of ‘em myself, artistic license always creeps in somewhere, so the one you reference may not be 100% accurate.  So, if you are modeling the airplane as it existed in July and August of 1943, go with red surrounds.  Anything later: blue.

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BTW - just a magnificent photo:

 

srEX4rC.jpg

 

So much detail.  Thanks for that TAG.  The fading we see is just amazing.  And I cannot explain the messy light colored what-ever-it-is around the tape.  Could it be that some sealant was applied?  

 

1 hour ago, Oldbaldguy said:

So, if you are modeling the airplane as it existed in July and August of 1943, go with red surrounds.  Anything later: blue.

 

Unless Thomaz has a strong argument to the contrary, I am going to go with the blue surround.  It still is perplexing though.  They started out with the birdcage versions, but converted to -1A's when they deployed to the south Pacific.  There is a picture in Lee Cook's book of -1A's on the flight deck of Bunker Hill passing through the Panama Canal, dated September '43, on their way:  

 

eI6v5t1h.jpg?1

 

Pretty sure none of those aircraft have blue surrounds on the national insignias.  MOF one could make a case the wing insignias have no surround at all.  

 

Also, there is no mention that I know of that Hedrick ever changed out his -1A (Bu no 18005) during the several months that unit was active.  So if that was the case, I would say that early on at least it did NOT have blue surrounds.  It must be then that the red surrounds were replaced - almost all (almost) the photo's in Cook's book suggest blue surrounds - where the surround appears the same shade as the blue background.  I agree with OBG that there is no evidence in the photo's TAG gave us that the surround is red. 

 

Old black and white photo's - sometimes they offer up more questions than answers.  Even old color photo's can lead us astray, as some colors on the old photos fade.  I got involved in a protracted discussion with folks a few years ago about the stripes (separating the OD paint from NMF on the fuselage) on 55th FG P-51D Miss Velma, where some old color pics of 55th FG Mustangs suggested yellow, yet some clearly showed red stripes.  I became convinced, like some others, that all the stripes were red, and any pics showing yellow were merely faded.  Yet today - the flying example of Miss Velma has yellow stripes.    

 

Also of note in the profile I included of Hedrick's aircraft is the black hub on the prop.  I do not think that is accurate.  Pretty sure it's silver although plenty of Corsairs had black hubs.  Cook has a picture of Hedrick's plane that clearly shows a light colored hub.  Am going to assume it is silver.  The book also shows a number of other aircraft with dark (black?) hubs.  And to confuse matters even more, Blackburn's book states that different groups within fighting 17 painted their hubs (or at least the spinners) different colors to differentiate between groups.   Dare I ask for opinions on that one?  

Edited by JayW
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