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


JayW

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2 hours ago, Thunnus said:

I loved seeing the one-piece spine get cut into sections to make it fit... functional improvisation at its best!

 

Well - thanks.  You may have loved it John - I didn't!  It didn't surprise me though.  And it's about the only thing I could do.  I wish I could cover it up, but at least some of the imperfections will show.  So the joint stays.   I hope the other panels lay down better....

Edited by JayW
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13 hours ago, JayW said:

 

Well - thanks.  You may have loved it John - I didn't!  It didn't surprise me though.  And it's about the only thing I could do.  I wish I could cover it up, but at least some of the imperfections will show.  So the joint stays.   I hope the other panels lay down better....

 

Hi Jay,

 

The only idea that I can think of is trying to roll the inside of the litho plate with a ball of some form on a hard rubber mat or something similar in order to create the bowed effect? (this is pretty much what would have occurred on the full size skin I expect).
 

 

Cheers

 

Derek

Edited by Derek B
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9 hours ago, Derek B said:

The only idea that I can think of is trying to roll the inside of the litho plate with a ball of some form on a hard rubber mat or something similar in order to create the bowed effect? (this is pretty much what would have occurred on the full size skin I expect).

 

Hi Derek - The "factory" that is producing, or better restoring, Corsairs today is Vulture's Row Aviation.  Visit their website or FB page, and prepare to be blown away.  They show examples of roll forming skin panels.  It appears to be an artform, and I have no idea how they attain good config control, where one part is as near as possible identical to another.   For a normal skin panel, interchangeability is not an issue as they are not meant to be removed.  So that helps.  Visit any sheet metal fabrication facility of a major aircraft manufacturer, like Boeing, and you will see all manner of stretch forming machines and dies.  The investment is huge, and typical for complex mass produced metallic aircraft.  I don't know if Vought/Sikorsky went that far, or if they just relied on a process similar to what we see at Vultures Row.  More Corsairs were produced than any large modern aircraft today, true of so many wartime aircraft back then, which would have warranted the investment.

 

Either way, I have no idea how I could roll or stretch form little 1/18 scale skins in my household modelling shop!!  Unless the "ball on a hard rubber matt" you mentioned would work.  Interesting.  This, IMO, is the Achilles heel of aluminum skinning model airplanes.  Curiously, smaller hammer die parts in real life, can be scale modelled in thin aluminum simply by hammering and peening and folding and sanding - something Airscale and some others on this site are very skilled at. 

 

I believe if I have similar lay-down problems with the quite curvy side panels behind the manufacturing splice at Sta 186 (right behind the cockpit enclosure), I am going to resort to annealed sheet, and just live with any wrinkles or lumps at the edges.  At this point I believe I will not be creating any intermediate skin butt joins on those panels - it will be too obviously wrong at least to me.  It will depend on how well or poorly the those panels behave as one-piece details. 

 

Thanks for your interest, and keep following.  Adventures await.

Edited by JayW
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16 hours ago, Paulpk said:

Jay, what is the tool you use to do the riveting? Something you made or commercially available?

 

I am using the "Mega Tool" awl and punch set.  I just looked for the website and couldn't find it.  I think Peter Castel (Airscale) turned me on to it.  IF I can find that website again, I will post it.    

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16 hours ago, Paulpk said:

Jay, what is the tool you use to do the riveting? Something you made or commercially available?

 

19 minutes ago, JayW said:

 

I am using the "Mega Tool" awl and punch set.  I just looked for the website and couldn't find it.  I think Peter Castel (Airscale) turned me on to it.  IF I can find that website again, I will post it.    

 

I think they're available from UMM-USA:

 

http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/product_info.php?products_id=1322

 

Kev

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Ok let me show you some progress, but first ---------   AAAAAAWWWWWWRRRRRRGGGGG!!!!!!   Wow what hard work!!  My hat is off to those of you who do metal fillet fairings often.  What soul-destroying work.  

 

Let's review:  I have finished panels 2, 3, 4, and 5.  Also the unnumbered fin LE fillets.  Now it is time for panels 1, 6, and 7.   

 

RhcGrNRl.jpg

 

How about that panel 1?  It's a tuffy.  Here is the drawing (VS-13128):

 

  0smWPy1h.jpg

 

Note how it comprises the sharp aft end of the rudder platform so to speak, but also a portion of the h/stab fillet fairings.  I chose to split it into four parts (LH, RH, top, bottom), the upper two shown here.   After several tries I got this bent-up annealed part:

 

   phbBbelh.jpg

 

That is the LH side; the RH side is the same (OK, opposite), but the key is to join them well at the curved sharp interface.

 

The result:

 

fGAMmeoh.jpg

 

vEv0fvPh.jpg

 

Victory.  Was worried about that one, but there really was no need to worry.  It wasn't that bad.  Note also that I bonded on the two H/stab planks.  So easy.....  :BANGHEAD2:

 

As opposed to the h/stab fillet fairing!  I guess I saved the best for last.  The drawing (VS-15223):

 

LJepPanh.jpg

 

Note it is one piece with a re-inforced split at the leading edge.  A close-up:

 

NkxTDfTh.jpg

 

Of course - mine will be a top and a bottom, separate. 

 

Great.  OK, did it with the fin; why not the h/stab....  Here is a shot of the upper portion of the fairing, after 3 tries:

 

zGqC2qnh.jpg?1

 

WBHVzwSh.jpg

 

Installed:

 

FI0tRM6h.jpg

 

rqcPjQ9h.jpg

 

That worked OK.  Note it overhangs the back of the h/stab by a bit.  Fear not; all will be revealed.  

 

Little did I know that the bottom fairing would be tougher than the top by at least two times.  But all it takes is determination, and willingness to throw away parts and learn from them.  Oh, and lots of tape.  Look at this severely formed lower fillet:

 

TpyQrW4h.jpg

 

The aft end wasn't so hard, but the forward end - oh man!  This also took about four tries to get it right.  Finally I got it:

 

 ONxuZXXh.jpg

 

26Jqljch.jpg

  

 

The splice at the LE was so difficult to get right.  Notice that missing access door is now on there; it was waiting for the fillet fairing work to be done.  

 

Lets step back:

 

vh7bOvsh.jpg

 

 

The skinning is looking more complete now.  But most importantly for me, a task that I had been fearing for a long time is now in the rear view mirror, and it turned out OK.  Thanks to experienced help on this site.  I will need to finish up the RH side, and then it is going to be h/stab skinning I think.  I am very stoked.  Hope you like it OK.  Stay tuned!

 

 

  

Edited by JayW
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