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


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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the suggestions on alternatives to masking, all.  In the end, as I am so apt to do, is stay the course and damn the torpedoes.  I used the Maketar masks directly, and the remainder of the masks Thunnus gave me (the #17 numerals).  I gotta tell you - I was as nervous about this step in this long build as any so far.  But here you are:






Can you find the paint lifting?  None on the first picture, and a couple of wee specks on the second picture.  I will let them be - part of the weathering.  What a relief!  Dodged a bullet.  Rolled sevens.  Now I can give a hearty thank-you to Chuck for suggesting X-22 clear gloss acrylic as a base coat.  Who'da thunk?  Man those stencils are huge!  Also, post-it notes!  What a great way to mask off large areas!  Low stick.  Awesome. 


Matching the split number 17 on the LH side was a bit less of a success, but no paint lifting:




I am going to try to improve on that edge match a bit, but I don't want to tempt fate with alot more masking; I may just tinker with the match with hand painting and invoke the messy 1944 Ondongo airfield paint repair excuse.  Gotta do something about that fairly large paint chip on the forward fuselage that you can see in that last pic aft of the wing trailing edge....it will be messy.


Gonna let the euphoria wear off as the paint cures some more, and then give it a little rub-down to tame those raw edges on the star insignias, then some semi-gloss for decals.  Then, weathering and we will see if those colors can blend in with the forward fuselage.  Stay tuned! 

Edited by JayW
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I'm glad the X-22 worked!  I have used X-22 to help paint stick on smaller PE cockpit items and even brass landing gear, but never on such a large metal surface.  Thanks to your efforts, we all learned a new trick, because other metal primers like Mr. Metal Primer-R don't work very well.




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Posted (edited)

I am on a roll.  Able to get in some first class build time.  Here is what has been accomplished since the last post:


  • decals
  • weathering with Flory wash (dark dirt), Tamiya weatherine master (mud)
  • flat coat to seal it all in
  • lights - top and tip
  • antenna mast
  • insulator (where the MHF aerial antenna will attach)
  • elevator install including balance tab control rods
  • rudder temp install (with double back tape)
  • tail gear install
  • arresting hook install


It's been fun to see all these parts finally go together.  Here we go:








Note it's pretty dirty.  Also note the decals are just not that great especially the one on the fin where some wash leaked under it.  The rudder is not permanently installed; it has some double back tape holding it in place.  I am probably going to make another one although I contend this one doesn't look that bad.


Look at the tail feathers:




Note the balance tabs that are always level no matter what the attitude of the elevator.  Note also that some YZC has found its way onto the surface.  Grrrr.  But really, I am going to say that the sun just bleached the devil out of this aircraft and that's what happened.  I got some of that on the forward fuselage too, some will recall.  And also note that cute little tip light.


The gear and arresting hook stuff:




You are looking at a bunch of 3D print parts right there.  What a great process!  Probably should have left off the hook; we talked about that a while back.  But it's so cool; VF-17 used them a couple of times only; they were primarily land based.  There it is with it's push rod.


Up top - the other light, the insulator bud, and the VHF mast:




The VHF mast is not glued in, I'll do that later.  It's a bit fragile.  It's also black.  I can change that if I get good enough input.  It could be blue....or silver....  Boy - the huge thumbnails are so unforgiving - makes that imperfection on the skin edge look awful when really it isn't.  BTW that is that joint that isn't supposed to be there, some will recall.  Had alot of trouble with that panel... 


My Corsair project to date:




Man, the cool factor for F4U Corsairs is just through the roof.  No wonder they are modelled alot.  I am trying my bestest to be worthy of it.  The wings loom large!  They will come soon enough.  I have one task remaining before I join the fuselage halves - the tail gear doors:




I was going to wait on those, but then it dawned on me that they are better done while I have more access, and the fuselage half is less unwieldy.  And that will be what you see next post.  Maybe even the join, which will be one of those BIG milestones.  Take care; thanks for looking in. 

Edited by JayW
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Dude!  Did you make the tailwheel full swiveling?  Nice touch!  Was wondering what your decal application regimen is.  Do you use any decal solvent/chemicals and do you shoot some clear over your decals to seal them before you start adding washes and such?

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Fascinating as always.
Another metod to avoid paint-lifting is to use wet newspaper for masking. It works well. You just cut out your mask, put it where you want it to be and wet the paper with a broad brush. The water will seep through and under the paper, sticking it firmly to the model as long as the mask stays wet. No adhesive involved thus no lifting. I've used this method to advantage quite some times. It's how I usually mask my natural metal aircraft I use to clad with aluminum foil rather than with silver paint.

Keep up that exceptional work, it's very inspiring!

All the best

Edited by daHeld
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10 hours ago, easixpedro said:

You and Peter making this look easy.


Peter, thanks my man - it may look easy, but easy it is not!  I'm turning into a nervous wreck!!   NOTHING is easy about this SOB!  It fights me nearly every step of the way it seems.  And when it doesn't - when something goes smoothly for a change - it feels strange.  Pleasurable, but strange.  :blink:  Inserting the long pin that attaches the tail gear carriage - easy.  Pleasurable.  The paint job on the other hand has been a nightmare....


1 hour ago, Oldbaldguy said:

Dude!  Did you make the tailwheel full swiveling?  


Yes I did!  All my 1/18 scale builds have swiveling tail wheels save the P-38 which has a non-swiveling nose wheel.  I would note though, that there are only two positions where the flat on the tire is coincident with the ground plane.  The swivel axis is not perpendicular to the ground....  You might recall I slightly tilted the tire flat so that the wheel can be oriented at some angle other than straight ahead.  


1 hour ago, Oldbaldguy said:

Was wondering what your decal application regimen is.


First apply semi-gloss paint.  Probably should use full gloss?  Second - apply decal.  I normally use my own (cleaned) fingers for this; some use tweezers, etc.  Let it dry at least a few minutes.  Third, dab micro-sol on decal with a Q-tip.  I skip this occasionally if the decal looks like it laid down really good (for the Corsair I have used it every time I think).  Have never used the micro-set / micro-sol combination.  Should I?  Fourth, after a day or two drying, I cover with flat coat or semi-gloss coat to seal it up.  Then after that seal coat fully cures, washes, etc.  The quality of the decal matters it seems - I have two kinds.  One, provided by Airscale as a "one-off".  These seem to be the better of the two.  Two, my own making using Bare Metal Company's "Expert Choice" decal paper and a normal inkjet printer, plus Testor's decal bonder.  The paper is good I think.  The inkjet ink, and bonder is probably not so good....  Comments?


53 minutes ago, daHeld said:

Another metod to avoid paint-lifting is to use wet newspaper for masking. It works well.


Thanks Andy!  This time I used post-it notes!  They are so much less sticky than masking tape.  However the stencil mask itself has adhesive.  Some are stronger than others.  My last paint lifting episode was from the mask itself; not surrounding masking.    


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