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Birdcage Corsair - Finished


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Small update time. 


Painting has begun at last.  The last few details such as lights have been attended to, and I've added some catches to the engine accessories cowlings to keep them in place.  I've also built up the undercarriage, except for adding wheels which I'll do when the undercarriage is finally fixed into place.  Once I start painting the undersides, I'll be able to use the closed u/c doors provided in the kit to mask off the wheel wells, which I painted and scratched up much earlier in the build.  The tail wheel closed doors will be added later when I paint the lower sides.  You can also see that I've painted around the exhausts, and this will be masked before airbrushing.




I started by spraying most of the model with Tamiya AS12, then sprayed the inner wing tops in chromate yellow and added some liquid mask scratches.




The next step had me painting the top sides in Intermediate Blue.  The top colours are Model Master enamels.




I haven't painted the fabric sections of the model yet, as these will be painted in a slightly lighter intermediate blue.  However, both sides of the outer wings have been painted.




My next step will be to paint the lower sides in light gray, which I'll probably do tomorrow, then mask up to do the fabric sections in blue after that.  I'll have to practice to achieve the right feather edges between the blue and gray colours, as I haven't done any of that in years.


That's it for the moment.  Hopefully I'll have more to report in a few days time.







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Painting this model is edging closer to completion.  I've now finished the basic colours after a little re-do of the feather edges.  I'm still not entirely happy with them, but it's OK.  The wing top surfaces and tail surfaces where these are cloth covered have been painted in a slightly lighter shade of Intermediate Blue as well.


Top sides:




Lower sides.  I've used the closed undercarriage doors as masking.  Very nice of Tamiya to provide these parts for such a use too.  :lol:




And another view of the top sides.




The outer wings are still not attached at this stage but may well go on soon.  Before that happens, I'll be painting the wing walks and fuel tank sealing tape, then uncover the scratch masking before going to gloss varnish, decals and flat varnish.


Getting there :).







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  • 2 weeks later...

I've taken a short break these last couple of weeks, firstly from the model, and secondly a short holiday down south for a few days, but work has resumed on this project.  If a little slowly, as the details needed painting.  The wing walk stripes were painted on first, then the white sealer tape around the fuselage tank.  This took quite a few sessions, especially the sealer tape.  I've also done a bit more weathering by removing the liquid mask at this point as it's harder to remove after varnishing, as well as to try to make the trodden on surfaces look a bit more, ummmm,,,  how shall we say,,,, crap??? :lol:.  Here's the model with the sealer tape being painted on.  The wing walk stripes were a piece of cake.




Completed, minus a little touch up, either side.








And the pile of used masking tape to achieve this.




The next step was to attach the wings, this time permanently.  I did follow the instructions when assembling the outer wing insofar as the mounting piece (parts N51 and N58) for the outer wing spar was not glued into place but held in place by the gluing together of the top and bottom halves, being placed carefully on locating pins while gluing..  I had no problem fitting the wings into place, as previous pictures have shown, but on both wings there is a tiny variation in the angle of attack between the inner and outer wings.  This was solved with a gentle application of file to the leading edge of the bottom of the outer spars, as well as their forward edges at the top.  A few minutes filing and trial fitting had both wings slotting home evenly on all surfaces.  I decided that the hinge covers and locking panels (parts A22, A23, A38 and A39) might be best glued on while attaching the outer wings, as shown in this pic.




As soon as these were in place, glue was applied to the outer wing spar and the wing slid into place and held with clamps to preserve correct position.  This morning, once the wings had set, I added the outer flaps, manoeuvering them into place to connect with hinges and activating rods.  Here's the model now.






From here, the next task is clear varnish, decals, then flat varnish.  With luck, I'll be able to post those pictures in about another weeks time.  Then hopefully I can finish the model without busting the aerial and pitot off again....  :blush:





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On 5/25/2021 at 6:49 PM, dennismcc said:

That is looking great, I really like the early paint schemes and markings






Thanks Dennis.  I wasn't too sure about this early scheme until I got the wing walk stripes and tank sealing tape on it.  I have two Tamiya Corsair kits, this one and the F4U1-a and I thought I'd do different paint schemes, so the next one will be the three colour scheme.  And my Airfix Hellcat will be GSB, so I'll have the full range of WW2 USN schemes :D.


Alas the next update will be delayed as I've had the first covid shot and feel like I have been shot.  :wacko:  Hopefully this will pass quickly and I'll get the model finished soon.  All the decals are on, but it seemed an age getting the stencils on as there's so many of them.  These were done in stages and I've actually managed to get every single one on, which is something of a first!!  Flat varnish next when I'm up to it, and pictures :).





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Feeling more human again after shaking off the side effects of my first covid jab.  Hopefully when I get my second, I won't have the same troubles. :hmmm:


The gloss/decal/flat coat stage is now complete, so here's some pictures.  Pitot and aerial are still intact. :rolleyes:  Here's the top view, prior to the flat coat being applied:




Front view.  The two wing leading edge covered some of my scratches, so this has been fixed.






After flatting:




Top views, again, also after flat coat has been applied:






I ended up using the kit decals as I realised that I should have used the masks before painting the intermediate blue/light grey colours.  I've never used masks before and got a bit carried away with painting before I realised my mistake.  The only part of the aircraft markings painted on are the aircraft number on the sides, as well as all the wing walk lines etc that you've seen in previous posts.  I've never used Tamiya decals before and have to say they're the worst part of the kit.  They're quite thick and take quite a few applications of Mr Markfit Strong before they properly conform to the model.


Lastly, I've also been working on getting the undercarriage and prop ready, and these will go on after I take the masking off this thing.




I don't believe I've aver built a more complex undercarriage for a WW2 fighter.  There's fourteen pieces in each main leg, not including the wheels, but on the other hand the detail is very good indeed.  This is in a way ironic, considering the poor carrier deck landing characteristics of all Corsairs.  Surely a triumph of persistence over flawed design in operating an otherwise excellent plane in the environment it was intended for.


So the next, and final stage, is to peel off the masking and start adding the bits above as well as some clear parts and add a little more weathering to finish off.  And not break off the pitot or aerial again either :blush:.  With a little luck, I'll have this done by mid week.





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And this show now concludes.  This build is finished, but not without a little drama, as one accident is fixed and another not.


After unmasking the model, the first thing I did was to add the propeller.  Now it looks like a plane :).




Next up was to add the undercarriage, starting at the back.  The parts fit on this model is really good.  I don't recall one part that needed alteration to get it to fit properly, with the exception of the outer wings, as mentioned previously.  And that was only a very minor adjustment too.  Part M42, which covers the tail wheel mount immediately in front of the tail wheel well is one such part that fits so neatly it stays in place without glue, so for the painting stage, this part is merely put in place.  I prized this out carefully and was then able to add the tail wheel assembly, then glued that into place.




Unfortunately I had a bit of an accident when gloss varnishing the model as I tripped while standing to airbrush the varnish and it went everywhere, some of which spilled over the model.  This is what caused the crazing in the paint you can see on the underside of the tail plane.  At such a late stage in the build, I decided to let this go as it won't be seen when the model is on display.  Fixing it would have involved a lot of mucking about and I've rearranged my work space so that hopefully this doesn't happen again.  The heading picture shows how it doesn't show that badly.  I've also not yet put the tail wheel itself into place as I'll do this once the main wheels are on.


Next up is the main undercarriage, shown here in varying stages of assembly.  The main wheel is mounted purely for photographic purposes.  I'll attach these next, after I've flattened the bottom of the wheels and painted the red marks on the tires and wheels.  I tried the kit decals for this, but they didn't stick over all the wheel detail.




Then, after painting the tire movement marks and flatted the bottoms of the tires, I fitted all three wheels.  The main wheels went on first and the flat spot was set using a 12 inch rule to align with the tail wheel on each side.  Then the tail wheel was fitted permanently at a slight turn for a bit of added interest.  Here it is now finally on it's own three wheels.  These rubber tires are better than many I've come across, but still not a fan of them.  Oh, and the aerial got knocked off....   :BANGHEAD2:




The side cover is removed so that I could get at the remains of the old aerial to remove them.  That will be the last job before finalising the model.  Here's the side cover, with a couple of stays I made from 0.5mm wire to make sure they stay in place.  Putting the bottom edge in first, the top edge will snap into place nice and securely.




The next step was to add some exhaust, oil and gun stains.  The oil stains behind the cowling and cooling vent flap are fairly mild.  I've also added some sand dust inside the wheel wells.








The wear and tear on the propeller was added by a little dry brushing aluminium, as I'd forgotten to paint the prop in ally first.




Canopy added.




The pilot's mirror you can see mounted in the blister.  This was added with Micro Klear, which has become my go to glue for adding clear bits.  The canopy is also glued into place.  No attempt to make it slide this time.




And lastly, the twice busted aerial re-instated.  As the proper one for this plane was a write off, I used the larger part from the kit and cut it down to size.  You can also see I've attempted a little fuel staining too, which looks more effective when you see the model as a whole.






Cowlings off.






All closed up.




So that's it for this group build from me.  The kit itself was fantastic to build, even better than the Tamiya Spitfires I've built.  I'm hoping that their Mosquito will be better still when I get that kit out of my stash.  More pictures in to follow.


Next project!!  :lol:





Edited by Dpgsbody55
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  • Dpgsbody55 changed the title to Birdcage Corsair - Finished

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