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


JayW

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1 hour ago, Oldbaldguy said:

I think you are going to hate the aluminum tape.  Very unforgiving for something like this.

I have to agree, and the other nightmare it brings is have you tried to paint it Jay? That stuff will not take anything i have tried and the merest hint of friction will see it just peeling off.

 

If its a fabric effect, try tissue and dope or maybe tissue and PVA

 

I know you like testing methods :)

 

Other than that,  a fabulous plan

 

Peter

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Spitballing here… maybe Washi Tape that you soak in super thin Cyao?  Or any actual fabric, (something with a super high thread count though) and saok it in the glue too. 
 

I used plain ol’ tissue that I’d soaked in diluted white Elmers Glue to set the tarp on this PBR. Once the shape was there, I followed up with the thin super glue.

20200626_084545

 

Here’s the only ‘in-progress’ shot I’ve got.

20200509_072938

 

whatever you decide, I’m sure it’ll be amazing!

-Peter

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3 hours ago, airscale said:
4 hours ago, Oldbaldguy said:

I think you are going to hate the aluminum tape.  Very unforgiving for something like this.

I have to agree, and the other nightmare it brings is have you tried to paint it Jay? That stuff will not take anything i have tried and the merest hint of friction will see it just peeling off.

 

 

2 hours ago, easixpedro said:

I used plain ol’ tissue that I’d soaked in diluted white Elmers Glue to set the tarp on this PBR

 

Well hell!  Ok - I asked for recommendations and I got some.  Thanks for the heads up!  Got some testing to do.  

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was on my phone last night, so couldn't post pics so please forgive the quick hijack Jay..

 

I had the same challenge on various models and solved it in different ways - for my Spit I used 'Solartex' and RC covering material which is heat shrink - it worked well, but was a bit tricky to use and the 'grain' is a bit overscale..

 

For my Hawker Fury, I found what I think works - this after seeing the real thing and realising that this 'fabric effect' we all look for is largely a myth. In real life, doped linen which is what the control surfaces mainly consist of, are virtually smooth - in fact it is quite hard to detect a material effect at all

 

I made a core like you, and then found the thinnest plastic card I could and scored the back with a ballpoint pen on a pad of paper (so there is some 'give'). These skins were then glued carefully with contact cement along rib & spar lines (be very careful - thin, application, any pooling and it melts the plastic) and applied and the trailing edges CA'd together. A little filling on the edges / compound curves and you get a good surface with the all important catenaries between the ribs.

 

For rib tapes I fould everything I tried was overscale, until I used 'Expert Choice decal film' - this seemed just right

 

..anyways a few pics might help explain,,

 

the core and sheet after scoring..

 

o1tTph.jpg

 

..after skinning

 

worOh4.jpg

 

..decal film rib tapes..

 

HMD7hw.jpg

 

..final effect..

 

kTwn7S.jpg

 

I will use the same method on my P40, but try things out - there is likely a better way out there :)

 

Good Luck! and if you need any advice on the method - please ping me

 

Peter

Edited by airscale
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7 hours ago, airscale said:

and then found the thinnest plastic card I could and scored the back with a ballpoint pen on a pad of paper (so there is some 'give').

 

Peter to the rescue!  You beat me to it - part of my research was to go over some of your past build threads where I recall you had done something with the empennage surfaces which was very convincing.   Thank you for the great info.

 

Question - how thin is "the thinnest plastic card" you could find?  The thinnest I have is Evergreen .005 inch (.13 mm) sheet.  And it is usually a tad thicker, like .006 or .0065.  Is that about right?  Wish I had something thinner still. 

 

I had been thinking about using the .005 Evergreen sheet anyway, but I knew not to use plastic cement on it (.005 styrene melts at the slightest provocation).  Was going to use CA instead, but it is news to me if CA also melts it!   Also, my skeleton parts are scaled off my Rhino model which allows for zero thickness of covering.  I had figured .003 tape would be close enough where I didn't have to create a negative offset from the surface for the internal structure.  Getting much thicker, and the rudder is going to border on being too thick, and will mismatch the existing surrounding surfaces.  Soo, I get concerned about using anything thicker than tape.  I've already devoted alot of time and effort to the skeleton and do not wish to do it over again.

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14 hours ago, easixpedro said:

I used plain ol’ tissue that I’d soaked in diluted white Elmers Glue to set the tarp on this PBR. Once the shape was there, I followed up with the thin super glue.

20200626_084545

 

I mean - how cool is that?  Nice going Pete!  

 

I have to tell you - super thin CA scares me to death.  The stuff I have used is thinner than water, it seems.  One misplaced drop bonds two things together in a nanosecond, including fingers to each other.   Have lost epidermis that way.  No sir - do not like that stuff.  How do you handle it?

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1 hour ago, JayW said:

 The thinnest I have is Evergreen .005 inch (.13 mm) sheet. 

 

Was going to use CA instead, but it is news to me if CA also melts it!  

 

That card sounds about perfect -  I think it's the evergreen that has a matt or a satin surface on each side, the rougher matt surface goes on the outside - there is not much in it but it seemed to me the surfaces were microscopically different

 

As for CA, it doesn't melt it, I was referring to the same contact adhesive as used for skinning - I use that but if it is at all thick or blobby it melts it, conversely if it is too runny, the thinner attacks it so experiment first. It is much better to use contact adhesive as it will stick down all the touchpoints.

Also you need to pre-round the surface where it curves around the spar - the skin is one piece that folds around it and that centreline will need forming around a rod so the two skins lie flat with litttle tension trying to lift them

 

I am sure you will master it :)

 

Peter

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I LOVE aluminum tape, but it does not like paint. Worked well enough for me on the Fury (bare surfaces).   My Bearcat (which really has no bare surfaces) uses it for the canopy but I'm seeing that paint is having a hard time and will have to deal with that somehow. 

 

sgtX3r.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, JayW said:

I mean - how cool is that?  Nice going Pete!  

 

I have to tell you - super thin CA scares me to death.  The stuff I have used is thinner than water, it seems.  One misplaced drop bonds two things together in a nanosecond, including fingers to each other.   Have lost epidermis that way.  No sir - do not like that stuff.  How do you handle it?

Hah, right there with you…on all accounts!

 

I keep bottle caps handy both for paint and glue. I put some dollops in there and then spread with whatever I have handy, usually sprue or toothpicks etc. 

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On 12/31/2022 at 2:28 PM, easixpedro said:

I used plain ol’ tissue that I’d soaked in diluted white Elmers Glue to set the tarp on this PBR. Once the shape was there, I followed up with the thin super glue.

20200626_084545

That tarp looks so real! I'd say you fairly nailed that.

 

19 hours ago, airscale said:

after seeing the real thing and realising that this 'fabric effect' we all look for is largely a myth. In real life, doped linen which is what the control surfaces mainly consist of, are virtually smooth - in fact it is quite hard to detect a material effect at all

I've spent quite a bit of time around (and in!) 1/1 fabric-covered aircraft and this is what I keep telling fellow modellers but I fear it falls on deaf ears.

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Posted (edited)

I have some reason to believe the 3D print parts I need to continue work in the tail gear wheel well will arrive next week.  The package has finally broken free from the Royal Mail backlog.

 

Meanwhile work continues on the rudder.  In the past, on other large 1/18 projects, I recall having spent tons of time and effort on tail feathers.  My scratch-built P-38 fins and rudders were just gigantic efforts.  This scratch built rudder is also a big effort.  Thankfully I do not have to scratch build the fin as well.  Let me get you up to date:

 

Recall that most of this control surface, in real life, like most aircraft of this era, is covered with fabric:

 

Rg40A1qh.jpg

 

And it is my intention to convincingly represent this fabric covering. First though, the skeleton needed to be completed:

 

8ao1SEeh.jpg

 

Nothing but pieces of plastic - lots of them, very carefully cut to shape.  A multi-day effort.  The hardest part, I think, was to keep it from warping.  From there, the leading edge was added:

 

ivj1u41h.jpg

 

That is a .01 inch thick piece of plastic sheet that received the heat/freeze treatment to give it a circular section.  It worked to my satisfaction.

 

From there, I entered an unfamiliar world of using body putty (P-38 from the UK), for formed surfaces, upon recommendation from Peter (Airscale) Castle, who has graciously given me a large number of recommendations on this Corsair build.  I used it for the balance weight tower:

 

 GvLf9t1h.jpg

 

That also worked to my satisfaction, but only after lots and lots of elbow grease sanding it to shape from a nasty glob of cured putty.  I could have used Tamiya  or Squadron putty, but this stuff is supposed to be easier to work with.  Dunno bout that....   I later filled in the top most bay of the main box behind the balance weight tower, as shown below, even though it should have received a fabric covering only.  I just didn't have confidence the fabric would take the right shape up there. 

 

From there, I had a decision to make.  We have already had some discussion on this.  What material will my "fabric" be?  I really wanted to use .005 thick plastic sheet, as Airscale did for his elevators shown in a previous post.  But, I feared that any glue I use might make the plastic sag and deform (ask me how I know).  And worse, I had not provided for the thickness of the sheet in my skeleton, and a .005 step would result against the leading edge and balance weight tower -  hard to deal with.   So, I studied up on balsa wood model tissue application techniques, went to the LHS and purchased some tissue and dope.  Yet another new frontier to explore.  This after some fiddling with packaging tape and scotch tape - failures both.

 

Tissue is about .001 inch thick, so obviously no worries about steps.  My main worry was good adhesion and a taut wrinkle-free surface.  A test part didn't go very well at first, but repeated tries got me more confident I could get it done.  Here, I am applying one side of the tissue skin, the other already applied:

 

 aTWoV1qh.jpg

 

Both sides doped, dried, trimmed:

 

heZmciPh.jpg

 

Note the leading edge and balance weight tower were covered as well.  This is accurate.  Note also the nice stout antenna mast with a tiny brass hook for the aerial antenna cable.  Huzzah!!  The good news is that the subtle draped fabric look I am seeking on the main box is going to be present.  The tissue is nice and taut, and has taken a good shape.  It has bonded well to the skeleton.  The bad news is there is surface roughness I am not real happy with.  The overall surface texture, and some wrinkly areas on curved edges.  You can see it in that last picture.  I cannot just go at it with sand paper; that will destroy the tissue.  I will be laying down a coat of clear semi-gloss next, I guess, then strips of decal paper to simulate doubled up fabric over ribs and spars.  Then ultimately a  medium blue top coat. 

 

So I ask those of you who have covered surfaces with doped fabric - what can be done about the rough surface texture?  Repeated coats of paint?  I have seen some pretty shiny flying balsa wood models out there so somebody knows what to do.  Just not me at the moment.  

 

 

  

Edited by JayW
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I've buil a ton of stick and tissue in my day, Jay- and the best filler I've found is Red Devil spackle in the plastic jar. Thin it to a creamy paste with water and apply with an old brush. When it's dry it sands like dream, and fills every pore. I sealed it Thompson's Acrylic deck sealer, but any clear coat should work- even Future or it's equivalent.  HTH!

Edited by chukw
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4 hours ago, JayW said:

I have some reason to believe the 3D print parts I need to continue work in the tail gear wheel well will arrive next week.  The package has finally broken free from the Royal Mail backlog.

 

Meanwhile work continues on the rudder.  In the past, on other large 1/18 projects, I recall I having spent tons of time and effort on tail feathers.  My scratch-built P-38 fins and rudders were just gigantic efforts.  This scratch built rudder is also a big effort.  Thankfully I do not have to scratch build the fin as well.  Let me get you up to date:

 

Recall that most of this control surface, in real life, like most aircraft of this era, is covered with fabric:

 

Rg40A1qh.jpg

 

And it is my intention to convincingly represent this fabric covering. First though, the skeleton needed to be completed:

 

8ao1SEeh.jpg

 

Nothing but pieces of plastic - lots of them, very carefully cut to shape.  A multi-day effort.  The hardest part, I think, was to keep it from warping.  From there, the leading edge was added:

 

ivj1u41h.jpg

 

That is a .01 inch thick piece of plastic sheet that received the heat/freeze treatment to give it a circular section.  It worked to my satisfaction.

 

From there, I entered an unfamiliar world of using body putty (P-38 from the UK), for formed surfaces, upon recommendation from Peter (Airscale) Castle, who has graciously given me a large number of recommendations on this Corsair build.  I used it for the balance weight tower:

 

 GvLf9t1h.jpg

 

That also worked to my satisfaction, but only after lots and lots of elbow grease sanding it to shape from a nasty glob of cured putty.  I could have used Tamiya  or Squadron putty, but this stuff is supposed to be easier to work with.  Dunno bout that....   I later filled in the top most bay of the main box behind the balance weight tower, as shown below, even though it should have received a fabric covering only.  I just didn't have confidence the fabric would take the right shape up there. 

 

From there, I had a decision to make.  We have already had some discussion on this.  What material will my "fabric" be?  I really wanted to use .005 thick plastic sheet, as Airscale did for his elevators shown in a previous post.  But, I feared that any glue I use might make the plastic sag and deform (ask me how I know).  And worse, I had not provided for the thickness of the sheet in my skeleton, and a .005 step would result against the leading edge and balance weight tower -  hard to deal with.   So, I studied up on balsa wood model tissue application techniques, went to the LHS and purchased some tissue and dope.  Yet another new frontier to explore.  This after some fiddling with packaging tape and scotch tape - failures both.

 

Tissue is about .001 inch thick, so obviously no worries about steps.  My main worry was good adhesion and a taut wrinkle-free surface.  A test part didn't go very well at first, but repeated tries got me more confident I could get it done.  Here, I am applying one side of the tissue skin, the other already applied:

 

 aTWoV1qh.jpg

 

Both sides doped, dried, trimmed:

 

heZmciPh.jpg

 

Note the leading edge and balance weight tower were covered as well.  This is accurate.  Note also the nice stout antenna mast with a tiny brass hook for the aerial antenna cable.  Huzzah!!  The good news is that the subtle draped fabric look I am seeking on the main box is going to be present.  The tissue is nice and taut, and has taken a good shape.  It has bonded well to the skeleton.  The bad news is there is surface roughness I am not real happy with.  The overall surface texture, and some wrinkly areas on curved edges.  You can see it in that last picture.  I cannot just go at it with sand paper; that will destroy the tissue.  I will be laying down a coat of clear semi-gloss next, I guess, then strips of decal paper to simulate doubled up fabric over ribs and spars.  Then ultimately a  medium blue top coat. 

 

So I ask those of you who have covered surfaces with doped fabric - what can be done about the rough surface texture?  Repeated coats of paint?  I have seen some pretty shiny flying balsa wood models out there so somebody knows what to do.  Just not me at the moment.  

 

 

  

I like the dope and tissue, but did you ever consider using silk instead of tissue. We used it pretty extensively back when I was building balsa R/C planes. The weave is tight very tight. Just a thought...

Edited by Ayovan
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I see you’ve tried traditional tissue covering material.  That stuff is not the best for what you’re trying to do.  Plastic covering material such as Monokote or something similar is thin, easy to use and does not need much attention to look good under a coat of paint.  It comes in many colors and a roll of it is not that expensive.  I think the tissue you’re using is too heavy to work well in 1/18th.  Second point:  The “draped” look on control surfaces is a myth.  Simple truth is, the fabric skin on a control surface is flat just like aluminum.  Nobody much wants to hear that because a “draped” fabric covering “looks so realistic” and all.  But it doesn’t.  You may see that effect between the ribs on some fabric covered wings, but not on a properly covered control surface.  

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