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Birdcage Corsair - Finished


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On 3/18/2021 at 1:05 AM, CShanne said:

I hope you push through, without frustration;  I am enjoying the thread and even started one of my own!


This build is still proceeding.  The forward fuselage has now been cut, which is always a moment filled with trepidation and very easy to stuff up.  This is way to nice a kit to ruin and I'm enjoying the project a lot.


On 3/18/2021 at 4:53 AM, KiwiZac said:

I'm enjoying it too! The cockpit looks superb, so good I want to run through the engine start routine!


Thanks.  The detail and fit on this kit is superb and I think even without any addons, the cockpit on this would look great. 


This is a small update, starting with chopping up each fuselage half.  As I've elected to fit the engine accessory kit, I need to remove what are the rear engine cowlings.  This is basically a wide and vertical V shaped cut, right through each half.  The resin kit provides all the replacement cowlings, so the cut off remains can be put aside.  Here's the fuselage halves.




The kit provides a firewall to be glued in when the two halves go together, with locating pins that also go into the top of the main wing spar.  The kit part is just a shaped piece, devoid of any detail because out of the box, it would never be seen.  In my build project, I'll glue the fuselage halves together without this, glue the bottom of the resin firewall to the wing spar, then attach the rest of the resin firewall to the fuselage when that is mated to the wing centre section.  Here's a picture of the bits taped together so you can understand better how this will all happen.




But there's a long way to go before I get to this point, and the new firewall and spar will need a little fettling before it all gets glued together.


In the mean time, I still have to finish the cockpit sides.  Only the left side is complete, and for this I have used only photo etch bits.  The throttle quadrant is quite interesting as it comprises layer upon layer of etch bits.  The Eduard kit provides this part and it looks like a concertina stretched out.  Cut outs are in some parts to allow the fitment of the various engine levers.  Once the quadrant has been concertina'd together and glued, you then add the levers and it all gets glued to another etch bracket previously glued into the cockpit.  I painted the back of this bracket first, glued it in, then patched up the paint around the glued areas.  While waiting for all this to dry, I also built up the etch flap selector lever, which was comprised of the selector quadrant, lever and markings for the lever.  The Corsair has five or six flap settings as I recall, shown on this latter part.  Once the flap selector had been attached to the fuselage wall, I then added the completed and painted throttle quadrant.  Here's the result.






You need to be carerful positioning the flap selector as there's not much room between the throttle set up and the instrument panel.  As you can see, I've also glued in the glazing behind the pilot's head, using Micro Kristal Klear, which likes to be clamped as it dries; hence the tape.


Here's more shots of the left side, this time with the cockpit assembly placed inside.






That's it for now.  I have been doing some work on the right side of the cockpit, but don't have a lot to show you just yet.  Hopefully in a few more days.





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Update time again, and more work on the cockpit, this time the right side.


The right side of the cockpit has a row of electrical controller boxes all mounted on a panel.  The stock kit offers three plastic control boxes which are CA glued to an etch stainless steel panel.  Two of these control boxes protrude through the rear of the panel and are glued into notches let into the plastic fuselage half, which gives good attachment.  I wanted to use the Eduard etch pieces as they are more detailed than the kit parts and have more depth.  However, there were two issues with this.  Firstly, the etch control boxes butt glue to the the Eduard etch panel, which is not that secure, and secondly, that assembly then has to be glued to the fuselage side without anything substantial to fix it to.  My solution was to use plastic stock to fill both the notches in the fuselage half, as well as fill the empty control boxes.  The plastic would be filed so that it fitted flush with the control boxes, and also sit flush with the ribbing cast into each fuselage half.  Here's a picture of this in progress.  One control box attached to the panel, one up ended showing the plastic stock filling, the third off camera yet to be made.




Here's the finished right cockpit side.  The three boxes were CA glued onto the panel, then some wiring added and painted.  There is another etch control box, similarly filled, added aft of the panel of boxes, and another stock kit part added with red switches added below that, in that order.  Care has to be exercised in placing these parts so that there's no clash with the pilot's right side console.  Lastly the gun was added, though this is barely visible once the cockpit assembly is added.




With the cockpit assembly in place.








So with that, the cockpit was glued into place and the fuselage closed up.  The fuselage top was also added at this point as it helps clamp the fuselage halves together.






The clip is added to keep the fuselage upright.  It's top heavy so turns over and might damage the armour glass and gun sight.


So that's the progress to date.  At this point, you'd expect to see the engine put together next, but that will have to wait for a while.  As I'm fitting the engine accessories area, that's where the next part of the fuselage will require work.  To do that, I have to attach the wing centre section, so building that is where I continue from here.





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I've now completed the wing centre section sufficiently that I can attach it to the fuselage.  The first parts to be built were the oil coolers and engine intake ducts.  These ducts were responsible for smoothly turning the incoming air to the induction system through 90 degrees to pass it into the engine, and it was these ducts that caused a whistling noise, hence the plane's Japanese nick name.




Once these were in place, I turned my attention to the wheel wells.  A little of the Eduard exterior etch was added to the forward sides of both wells, and the upper surfaces of each well was painted in salmon, then dotted with liquid mask.






Next, the outer sides of the wheel wells were added and the whole lot painted in light gray which will be the lower colour.  Before adding the well upper surfaces, the  mask was removed to leave behind some scratching.




After adding the flap seals, that area of the wing was also painted gray.  Then the top inner wings were assembled and glued to the lower wing.




Once dry, the flap actuator rods were assembled to the wing and painted in the upper colour of Intermediate blue.  I'm using Model Master paints here, and I think their interpretation may be a little dark.  What do you think??




Before attaching this to the fuselage, I thought it best to see if my work with the flap actuators would case problems later, so the outer wings were quickly assembled using tape, and fitted to the model to check fit.








So far, so good, but I think I'm going to leave the wings like that for now so I can keep checking.


Next, I started to look at fitting the inner wing assembly to the fuselage.  As mentioned previously, I'm building the engine accessories bay, so the new resin firewall needs to go in before attaching the wings.  The kit piece is not detailed as it won't be seen, but has two prongs which engage with the main spar to beef up attachment.  This is doubly important on my model as I have no forward fuselage to glue to the leading edge of the wings.  In the stock kit, this piece goes into the fuselage when you mate the two halves, then juggle the wings on, trailing edge first.  So I looked at fitting my new resin piece to the fuselage, but dry fitting showed that the locating prongs get bent then cause fitment issues when those prongs engage the wing spar.  The second issue was that the resin firewall didn't join properly to the fuselage.


The first problem was fixed by attaching the firewall to the wing first, then I could tackle any gap.  I CA glued the piece into place and let it set using the fuselage taped into place to get the angle of fitment right.




Once this was dry, I checked the gap and found that by gluing some 0.5 x 1mm stock strip to the fuselage, the wing now fitted snugly into place.  A check of the resin firewall to the kit part confirmed that the resin part is indeed 0.5mm smaller all the way round from the wing spar.  So some of that stock was cut and glued into the fuselage.  This being the most forward part of the wing/fuselage join on my model, it is important that the join be secure and sound.




While I was waiting for all this gluing to dry, I set about making the tail surfaces, and attached them to the fuselage.  This is a first for me, as I always attach the main wings first, then the tail surfaces so that all the right angles and dihedrals are achieved.  The windscreen was also fitted after masking as I can see clamps slipping and taking out the armour glass.  :o


Last night, the main wings were attached using a mix of styrene glue and CA glue, as required to join all the bits.  The next shots were taken just an hour or so ago, and I've also added the lower fuselage window and a couple of other details.










And lastly a gratuitous picture with the wings placed back on.




That's my progress to date.  The next stage will need me to build the accessories bay so that I have something to attach the kit engine to.  That will be for the next update.







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The engine accessories bay is now complete and on the model.  I still have to sort out the cowlings for this, but that can wait for now.


These are two pages of the four page instruction sheet.  There's twenty three parts in this kit, and I've fitted twenty of them, the last three being the above mentioned cowlings.  You may wonder why it's taken so long to assemble twenty parts, but this is a step best to take slowly as the alignment of the parts is critical to the final assembly and also the rest of the build.  It's also fairly typical of low volume resin kits insofar as parts fit is not always the best.  And some of it is like trying to herd cats....  :wacko:




I started by assembling the the engine supercharger casing, together with the carburettor, to the engine mount ring, which itself has to be located carefully on to kit part G7.  By placing kit part H19, the engine inlet pipes, on G7, I then glued the engine mount ring onto G7, ensuring all the alignment tabs were properly lined up.  This was put aside to dry and the oil tank was painted ready for installation.  Next, the supercharger/carburettor assembly was glued to the engine mount ring and the inlet manifold was glued onto the first stage of the supercharger.  The mount ring has indentations for each of the engine mount pieces, but I found that a small amount of drilling was needed to improve parts location.  However, if you drill too deep, this assembly will lean back and the engine may tilt upwards or sideways as a consequence.  This part of the kit turned out to be one of the easier steps.




The R2800 engine used in the Corsair was fitted with an updraught injector type carbie.  Air comes in from the inlet in the wing root, into the manifold above, then goes through both stages of the supercharger before being fed back to the intercooler.  From there, the charge is fed into the carbie manifold, through the carbie which injects fuel directly into the engine and is distributed to each cylinder.  Most other R2800 applications such as the Hellcat, Thunderbolt, A26 and DC-6 had a more normal downdraught carbie, but all were of the injector type like this.


Next, the top engine mount is installed.  I set the assembly into the model to let it dry, making sure that kit part G7 was properly in place, and also using the kit top cover, B24 to ensure alignment.  Again, fairly straightforward, but critical to how the rest of the engine mounts attach.




Next, is the rest of the engine mounts, left, right and bottom.  Left and right parts are handed, so some care is needed here.




These needed a little "tayloring" to get into proper contact with each other.  This in itself was a test of patience and perseverance, hence the cat herding reference, but was made doubly difficult by the realisation that my kit supplied me two right hand mounts, and no left hand mount.  :BANGHEAD2::BANGHEAD2:.  This took a few hours of work, and some breaks were necessary.  :BANGHEAD2::beer4::BANGHEAD2::beer4:.  Here's the final result once set.




Next, the remainder of the intake plumbing.  Here, we have left intercooler, carbie manifold, right intercooler, and left and right inlet manifold pipes.  Before adding these, I added some wire to simulate the cables coming through the engine firewall.  I think these will all be the engine controls from the throttle quadrant, so these wires were added to the carbie at various points.




Basically, this involved more cat wrangling.  The instructions say to assemble without glue bot of the intercoolers to the carbie inlet manifold, then glue the intercooler pipes to the engine then put a little glue on each of the intercooler/manifold joints, then glue on the inlet pipes onto that.  You can see alignment buttons are provided for that.  It might have been fine if all these lined up, but of course, they didn't.  I drilled out the relative holes little by little until I could get the required alignment, but of course, nothing stayed together.  And CA glue got in all the wrong places, like between my fingers.  Another case of :BANGHEAD2::beer4::BANGHEAD2::beer4:.  In the end, I glued the top three parts together and set the whole lot in the model to help with alignment, again.




Then I glued the bottom parts on, again using the model as an alignment tool.  Here's the result, together with the last two parts to go on.




With those two parts added:






The whole lot was then added to the model, being careful to ensure that the top mounts and part G7 all clicked into the right place.  Then the cables were fed through the firewall.




Lastly, the bottom part of the forward fuselage was glue in.  Here's where the model is now.






I haven't attached the exhausts to G7 as the instructions say, but some test fitting has shown that I can do this later.  I want to get them properly aligned with the engine before gluing them into place, but I have added some soot inside around the exhaust exits.  So that's my next step; building the engine.  More after that.





Edited by Dpgsbody55
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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't like leaving it this long between updates, but after the last part installing the engine accessories bay, I took a few days off while I scratched my head as to how to attach spark plug wires.  Then late last week, I took a dash over to Sydney to look at a prospective car purchase.  But that's another story.


My first problem with the spark plug wires was how to attach them to the HT lead ring.  I quickly decided that it was impossible for me to drill the holes needed to attach the wires, so after a little thought, I decided to file down the detail on the front of this ring then drill the holes.  The plug wires once attached would return the detail provided in the kit, especially after a little paint.  So the HT ring was filed then glued into place.  Then I set about attaching the front spark plug wires for the front row only.  One down, eight more to go.




Front nine plug wires in place, and oil pipes added to the cylinder heads.  Shoulda done that earlier...




The next issue was how to get the other twenty seven wires into place, around both the inlet and exhaust pipes that attach to the back of the front row of cylinders, then through the cooling tins that attach to the heads.  So I attached the rear plug wires to the front row, then attached the inlet and exhaust pipes to that front row, then lead them through the gap to the top of each head.  The rear inlet pipes and rear cylinder row were held in place without glue to verify alignment of the pipes that pass between the rows with the rear front row plug leads lead through.




Next, I attached the front plug wires to the rear row of cylinders, and glued both rows together.  The plug wires on the rear row had to be dead straight to pass between the cylinders of the front row.




The next step was to add the cooling tins.  Glue was placed on the engine and the cooling tins were added, threading the front row rear plug wires through holes drilled into the tins.Then those plug wires were glued into place as above. 




Eighteen plug wires done, only another eighteen to go...  :unsure:  So the next job was to add the rear row rear plug wires, then lead them through more holes in the cooling tins.  These and the front plug wires of the rear row were then glued into the holes in the HT ring.




Now the front and back of the engine can be added, but before I did that, I gave all the wires a coat of flat varnish to help reduce the copper wire look.  The front of the engine was built up and wires added, then this was glued on, as was the in take manifold to the back of the engine.  After a little touching up, it looks like this.  The bottoms of each plug wire were painted too, to replace the detail of the kit HT ring and generally look "proper".






The next step was to add the exhaust pipes to the wall at the back of the engine bay.  These were aligned while drying using the engine.  Cowling rings were added to the engine and at last the engine could be added to the rest of the model.  Here's where the model is now.








Now it's really beginning to look recognisable.  I still have some finishing to do around the engine, with the cooling gills to be added as well as the front of the cowling.  That's next then I can get all the cowlings to fit, which may take some time.  The cowlings for the engine accessories bay may be a pfaff due to the thickness of the parts, but time and patience will sort them out, I hope.  Up to this point, I've darted about the instruction sequence, and I'm fairly certain I've not missed anything important for the future of the model.  So I expect the next report will be back to the usual sequence.







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I'm thoroughly enjoying each update, she's coming together gloriously.


4 hours ago, Dpgsbody55 said:

Then late last week, I took a dash over to Sydney to look at a prospective car purchase.  But that's another story.

That's gonna be one heck of a trip home!!

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Fantastic update on that engine!  I love geeking out on engine detail - you are really making me want to start one of these....  Especially with that AM engine bay kit added!

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On 4/19/2021 at 3:12 AM, mgbooyv8 said:

Great engine, Michael!






Thanks.  I enjoyed doing this one, even though it wasn't quite straight forward.  Perhaps that added to the experience, but I find radials usually easier to do spark plug leads in comparison to inline engines.


On 4/19/2021 at 5:23 AM, KiwiZac said:

I'm thoroughly enjoying each update, she's coming together gloriously.


That's gonna be one heck of a trip home!!


No, it wasn't.  I flew.  In the end I didn't buy the car as I can't find any local support in Perth.  The car was a 1979 Valiant, and an interesting spec too.  I had dreams of re living my youth as my first car was a Valiant and it was a great car too.  But I was never going to drive an unfamiliar 42 year old car home.  If you break down on the Nullarbor, you're in big trouble, and recovering the car will be expensive.  Might give me time for a round of golf, though.


World's longest golf course


On 4/19/2021 at 6:18 AM, Alex said:

Fantastic update on that engine!  I love geeking out on engine detail - you are really making me want to start one of these....  Especially with that AM engine bay kit added!


Yes, me too.  On this scale, I think the engine is a must detail.  I don't like LSP's without them.  The rest of the model has to be very good, not done elsewhere, or an unusual subject for me to buy one without an engine.





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Small-ish update, but a few hours work to get here.  I decided after the last update to do a little more work gluing bits on, so here's the inner flaps in place, together with the cooling gills in the closed position and also the front cowl ring.






Next, I've built up the  outer wings and ailerons, which have now been attached to the outer wings.  I won't be gluing the outer wings on until they're painted. 




I haven't bothered with gun barrels as almost all the period pictures I look at don't show them as being visible.  Here's one such picture.




In the next shot, I've placed the wings on the spars.  The tape on the leading edges is to hold the clear pieces in place, glued in with Micro Krystal Klear.  The cowlings are still in the process of being fitted and you can see some filler has been needed.  More filling and filing will be needed before I'm happy with the fit.




I'm also working on the outer flaps, but have yet to start any work on the undercarriage.  The propeller bits are also still on the sprue.  There is also the lights to be finished off.  Once I'm happy with the cowling fit and gaps I may well proceed to paint, which I hope will be not later than next weekend.





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