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JayW

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

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Posted (edited)

Believe it or not this is a Corsair project.  But you are not going to see much Corsair stuff for a while - except for the engine.  What a sub-project project!

 

Work progresses on the ignition system.  The assembly fixture enabled me to finish the spark plug wire harness with some confidence that it would fit - here is the finished harness "detail" I will call it:

 

4FSiGUZl.jpg?1

 

It lacks the round plates on each bud, and also the buds that sprout out the back for cylinders 1, 3, and 17.  Confused?  You will see. (Wolf is not confused)

 

The distributors - the most difficult thing with the distributors is to determine the correct dimensions in the total absence of technical data.  But I think I got it close:

 

  lku1dSKl.jpg

 

Note they each have a little port for a wire that goes to (or from) the harness.  Makes sense.

 

With a top coat, and some assembly work on the harness, we get this:

 

ckfTvi5l.jpg

 

That greenish anodize is gone forever.  In real life (back in the 1940's), this harness seemed to be polished aluminum.  I tried, with buffing aluminum plate (Testors), and got some shine, but not enough for a factory fresh part.  But what the hell - this is not going to be a factory fresh aircraft!

 

The back side of the harness looks like this:

 

VF9YW85l.jpg?1

 

Note the three buds pointing aft.  Two are behind the distributors, and the center one is behind the magneto.  And OMG - I see one of the little round plates has shifted!   Hell.  Easy fix....

 

Next post you should see efforts toward the forward row inter ear deflectors, and some spark plug wiring.  I can tell you - the spark plug wiring is going to be a challenge.  Stay healthy!

 

Oh, BTW - I am about fed up with 5-minute 2-part epoxy for bonding non-plastic details.   This harness is soooo fragile.  Look at it cross-eyed, and a part falls off it.  What is a good alternative for things like acrylic, brass, and aluminum?  Note I do not want something that bonds instantaneously - I need a little time to position the part correctly!  

Edited by JayW

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Posted (edited)

There is a very good picture of a R2800-8 (the Corsair specific version) in the Dana Bell F4U pictorial volume 2 that I am making good use of:

 

JC0IuChl.jpg

 

I like her shoes; I had some in high school!

 

I thought I would show you the reduction gear case at completion, except the emblem, and the magneto and prop governor which both come later. 

 

z7KaY4Ul.jpg

 

SIABjhMl.jpg

 

I feel like this time I got the shape of the case just about right.  I spent all day with the underside - the scavenge oil pump, and the outlet for the aft oil drain pipe.  The scavenge pump is just an assortment of little plastic bits plus Meng nuts.  The spark plug wire harness is bonded onto the flange of the case - with not much surface area in which to bond.  I hope that it stays put as I do the wiring, which along with the forward inter-ear deflectors is what you will see next post.  I still await Fundekals - the Pratt emblem decal sheet is still out of stock.  :(

 

Hope everyone is staying healthy!  Til next time.

Edited by JayW

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Posted (edited)

I have progress to show you, actually quite a bit.  The spark plug wire harness is finished with all 36 wires routed, painted, ready to go.  With that, the forward row inter ear deflectors were installed.  And, this was the time when the forward and back row cylinders and crank case halves were bonded together, and the front reduction gear housing was bonded in place as well.  I managed to make every mistake in the book along the way, perhaps the worst of which was to paint a 5 foot length of .025 inch silver solder (for the spark plug wires) primer plus gold before hand.  I thought I'd be sly and pre-paint so I would not have to reach into inaccessible places to paint wires after installation.  Well - as I should have known, the paint flaked off after making bends and curves, or sliding on clamps.  So not only did it make a mess of flakes, but I had to go in and paint inside those inaccessible places anyway.  In the process, I managed to break off a cylinder, requiring a delicate re-attachment in place with lots of stuff already attached to said cylinder.  While joining the two cylinder rows, I accidentally allowed a free end of spark plug wire from the back row to get into the joint.  I discovered this after the epoxy was already dry (or nearly), so I had to extricate the solder wire, breaking the wire about mid-length, and applying about a half hour of careful pressure to get the two crank case halves to seat properly.  They are almost seated; not quite.  That spark plug wire repair was also exceedingly delicate.  There were other mis-steps and gaffs I will not bore you with - but suffice it to say that prior to this work, I was hand wringing about it, and was not sure why.  Now I know.

 

So here is the result of my pressure packed work:

 

zgTUPqzl.jpg

 

Note the two unattached wires for the magneto. 

 

A bottom view showing the scavenge oil stuff:

 

 WjRQA78l.jpg

 

A front view showing every one of those 36 wires:

 

WDijYXhl.jpg?1

 

Honestly, I do not know how people do this in smaller scales.  Notably absent in that photo is the P & W emblem - Fundekal has STILL not replenished their supply of decals.  :(

 

A rear view, showing the 18 exhaust manifold points that I will tackle one day:

 

 j9YCYcSl.jpg

 

Pretty busy engine.  Next on the agenda are the magneto, and the prop governor - both mounting onto the top of the reduction gear casing:

 

 qRXqLHRl.jpg

 

Next post those primed flats will have components on them.  Til then stay safe and healthy.  

 

   

Edited by JayW

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Absolutely incredible work Jay! I still can't believe you made everything from scratch! I love the reduction casing and the mount pads for the magneto etc. I can totally appreciate how hard it is to install all the ignition wiring... especially when it's pre-painted!

 

Awesome stuff!

 

Craig

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Like said, superbe engine. Great to follow this build.

Looking forward to the next installments.

 

Kind regards,

 

Robert Jan

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Posted (edited)

The Bendix-Scintilla DF18LN magneto, used on the Corsair (there also is a Bosch magneto that seems less common) is a complicated little bugger.  And it is hard to find good pictures or drawings.  I did find this though:

 

oAB9Ldgl.jpg?1

 

This comes from a R-2800 "operators Manual" I found at Aircorps Library.  This provided alot of good scaling at least for the side view.  I also found a magneto on E-bay with some good photos like this:

 

  gJgsGX0l.jpg

 

This plus other photos of R-2800's gave me enough to go on.  So a ten-times size (10/18 to be sure) layout, and just short of a hundred little plastic parts later I got this:

 

mi37Zbzl.jpg

 

Mounted on the engine, and wired up:

 

qQD02yUl.jpg

 

t7jmXZhl.jpg

 

I am so glad to be done with that infernal .025 gold painted solder. 

 

Next is the propeller governor.  I have found some material on Aircorps Library on this too, but there will still be guesswork.  After it is installed, I really have to decide what to do next.  There are many options, including the back sections of the engine - something I have never done before, and something that requires guesswork as well.

 

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

Edited by JayW

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I think one of the best scale build Radial Engines I've ever seen. 

Very nice to follow along.

 

Kind regards,

 

Robert Jan 

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This is some marvelous modelling, Jay.

 

'I managed to make every mistake in the book along the way . . .'

And I thought this only happened to me.  Nice recovery.

 

Sincerely,

Mark

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