Jump to content

1/24 Airfix F6F-5 Hellcat "Kicked Up A Notch": New eBook Now Available!


chuck540z3

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Thank you for the tip sir!

 

March 22/22

 

Like most modelers, I suffer from OCD when it comes to accuracy and when I suspect something is wrong, I just have to fix it.  At the risk of beating this pitot /antenna hole dead horse yet again, I think I’ve got things figured out.  Since we’re on a new page, I’ll put up the key pic again that shows the problem the best. 

 

 

Oj9F11.jpg

 

 

And here is where the kit (and Fundekal) instructions tell you to place the Pitot hole decal, which has to be wrong.  The Pitot hole and the antenna wire hole can’t be at the same spot.

 

 

ajoc4O.jpg

 

 

I looked at many, many pics of wartime Hellcats and I have not found one with a stencil beside where the antenna wire goes into the fuselage, through what is usually a light colored, tear-shaped insulator.  I did, however find many pics of Hellcats with a stencil just like the first pic above in about the same location.  I’m sure there’s better pics somewhere, but here’s 2 pics of this same stencil on other aircraft as outlined in red.  Although hard to see, it appears to have the same downward arrow on the bottom of the right side, which presumably points to the hole.

 

 

QP1R3f.jpg

 

 

jBoVK0.jpg

 

 

It just so happens that the Fundekal set has 2 styles of this stencil, one with 2 lines of lettering like the kit decals, which is the first one I used, and one with 3 lines of lettering that form a bit of V-shape.  I think this is the correct one, but there are some differences.  On the real aircraft above the lettering of this stencil is much smaller than the one beside the hand hold, so it’s a bit too big.  Also, this shows that the big star and bar insignia is a bit higher than the real deal, so the stencil winds up beside it a bit rather than on top of it.  In hindsight, there wasn’t much I could have changed when I applied this insignia, because in order to get the top of the star located slightly down from the top of the fuselage, the bar that comes with it is a bit out of scale and too tall.  No big deal, because decals, and paint masks created from them, are rarely perfectly to scale anyway.

 

 

To get this wrong decal off, I tried the good ‘ol Scotch tape method, where you burnish the tape down snug on the decal and then try to rip it off.  Thanks to a good coat of X-22 over all the decals to seal them in, this decal wouldn’t budge, so I had to lightly sand it off, re-paint and then reapply a little weathering wash.  I also drilled small holes for the pitot and antenna wire that will be added later.  Anyway, it’s done now, so I sure hope I’m right!  :rolleyes:

 

 

ecBFFw.jpg

 

 

Thanks to the tip by justplanecrazy, there are a couple of “No Step” stencils that should go over the landing gear well, where there is no support, but are missing from both decal sets.  These stencils are typically much bigger than the ones on the rear of the inner flaps, but the only ones I could find in white are the kit decals, since I used the Fundekal ones already.  Even though they are too small, they are better than nothing and located about where they should be.

 

 

cLCAqO.jpg

 

 

OK, enough of pitot holes and stencils, but if I had left that stencil beside the aerial hole it would have always driven me crazy!  :mental:

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • chuck540z3 changed the title to 1/24 Airfix F6F-5 Hellcat "Kicked Up A Notch" Mar 22/22: Decal fix
2 hours ago, chuck540z3 said:

Thank you for the tip sir!

 

March 22/22

 

Like most modelers, I suffer from OCD when it comes to accuracy and when I suspect something is wrong, I just have to fix it.  At the risk of beating this pitot /antenna hole dead horse yet again, I think I’ve got things figured out.  Since we’re on a new page, I’ll put up the key pic again that shows the problem the best. 

 

 

Oj9F11.jpg

 

 

And here is where the kit (and Fundekal) instructions tell you to place the Pitot hole decal, which has to be wrong.  The Pitot hole and the antenna wire hole can’t be at the same spot.

 

 

ajoc4O.jpg

 

 

 

 

I looked at many, many pics of wartime Hellcats and I have not found one with a stencil beside where the antenna wire goes into the fuselage, through what is usually a light colored, tear-shaped insulator.  I did, however find many pics of Hellcats with a stencil just like the first pic above in about the same location.  I’m sure there’s better pics somewhere, but here’s 2 pics of this same stencil on other aircraft as outlined in red.  Although hard to see, it appears to have the same downward arrow on the bottom of the right side, which presumably points to the hole.

 

 

QP1R3f.jpg

 

 

jBoVK0.jpg

 

 

It just so happens that the Fundekal set has 2 styles of this stencil, one with 2 lines of lettering like the kit decals, which is the first one I used, and one with 3 lines of lettering that form a bit of V-shape.  I think this is the correct one, but there are some differences.  On the real aircraft above the lettering of this stencil is much smaller than the one beside the hand hold, so it’s a bit too big.  Also, this shows that the big star and bar insignia is a bit higher than the real deal, so the stencil winds up beside it a bit rather than on top of it.  In hindsight, there wasn’t much I could have changed when I applied this insignia, because in order to get the top of the star located slightly down from the top of the fuselage, the bar that comes with it is a bit out of scale and too tall.  No big deal, because decals, and paint masks created from them, are rarely perfectly to scale anyway.

 

 

To get this wrong decal off, I tried the good ‘ol Scotch tape method, where you burnish the tape down snug on the decal and then try to rip it off.  Thanks to a good coat of X-22 over all the decals to seal them in, this decal wouldn’t budge, so I had to lightly sand it off, re-paint and then reapply a little weathering wash.  I also drilled small holes for the pitot and antenna wire that will be added later.  Anyway, it’s done now, so I sure hope I’m right!  :rolleyes:

 

 

ecBFFw.jpg

 

 

Thanks to the tip by justplanecrazy, there are a couple of “No Step” stencils that should go over the landing gear well, where there is no support, but are missing from both decal sets.  These stencils are typically much bigger than the ones on the rear of the inner flaps, but the only ones I could find in white are the kit decals, since I used the Fundekal ones already.  Even though they are too small, they are better than nothing and located about where they should be.

 

 

cLCAqO.jpg

 

 

OK, enough of pitot holes and stencils, but if I had left that stencil beside the aerial hole it would have always driven me crazy!  :mental:

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Damn you Chuck LOL. You're right and I'm now bugged but I can't do anything about it. Moving the wire is easy but, unlike you, I have no spare decal so it looks like it'll have to either stay as it is or I move it and have no decal for the pitot static hole. Not sure yet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, CraigH said:

Damn you Chuck LOL. You're right and I'm now bugged but I can't do anything about it. Moving the wire is easy but, unlike you, I have no spare decal so it looks like it'll have to either stay as it is or I move it and have no decal for the pitot static hole. Not sure yet

 

Sorry Craig!  As for the decal, you are in good company, because every single build of this kit seems to have it that way, thanks to the incorrect instructions.  As mentioned, I've looked at hundreds of pics and not one of them has a stencil of any kind next to the antenna wire and considering how large and clear the lettering is, this is a major error in my mind.  If I might make a suggestion, getting rid of the decal is more important than finding a new one, because the pitot stencil is very small and on many aircraft almost invisible (if not invisible).

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here again is a fine example of individuals, dedicated to their craft who make the extra effort to "get it right ". 

 I must admit that I will eagerly take  your expertise for my benefit. 

 Both Craig and Chuck have laid down a detailed roadmap that makes this build less daunting for me.

 Gentlemen, I thank you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, chuck540z3 said:

 

Sorry Craig!  As for the decal, you are in good company, because every single build of this kit seems to have it that way, thanks to the incorrect instructions.  As mentioned, I've looked at hundreds of pics and not one of them has a stencil of any kind next to the antenna wire and considering how large and clear the lettering is, this is a major error in my mind.  If I might make a suggestion, getting rid of the decal is more important than finding a new one, because the pitot stencil is very small and on many aircraft almost invisible (if not invisible).

 

Cheers,

Chuck

That's my thought. I'm have a printed version of the notice from a reference book so I've scanned it, photoshopped it and I'm going to see if I can get a good enought print resolution to print one on decal paper. Not hopeful though

Link to comment
Share on other sites

46 minutes ago, John Stambaugh said:

Here again is a fine example of individuals, dedicated to their craft who make the extra effort to "get it right ". 

 I must admit that I will eagerly take  your expertise for my benefit. 

 Both Craig and Chuck have laid down a detailed roadmap that makes this build less daunting for me.

 Gentlemen, I thank you. 

You are more than welcome John. Advice will be $10 a post when you start :lol:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

March 25/22

 

 

 

 

On to finishing the landing gear, which is mostly painting.  I am using the Aerocraft Brass Landing Gear as well as the Barracuda Diamond Tread Tires/wheels (BR24412) sets, which I prepped on Page 16 of this build thread for those who might be interested.  The Aerocraft set comes with new resin gear doors, because the brass gear has a fairly well-defined brake line that gets in the way of the kit door attachments.  The doors also have stiffening brackets molded on the inside, that are 2 L-shaped bars that are side by side on the real deal.  Unfortunately, there is nothing to attach the doors onto the gear legs, other than a couple of strips and the brackets are not very well cast.  After fiddling with these doors on the brass gear a bit, I came up with a better solution, which is to add stiffening brackets to the kit doors, trim off the tabs on bottom 2 of the U-shaped attachments at the rear, and widen all of the attachments to accommodate the slightly wider brass gear.  I also filled the lower pin mark hole since it can be seen if you look hard (bottom of “Widen arrow”), while I left the upper 2 holes alone because they are completely hidden by the gear leg.

 

 

ncJTFP.jpg

 

 

The outside detail of the kit door is also a bit crisper than the resin versions.

 

 

ea7flW.jpg

 

 

Here is why the bottom 2 U-shaped tabs get in the way of the brake line, while the top tab is fine if it is widened and the top of the door is sanded back a bit in order to fit.  At this stage I have painted the brass with Mr. Metal Primer-R, followed by Mr. Surfacer 1200, and gloss black and Alclad Chrome on the oleo.  Although it can cut back the shine of the chrome, I then sprayed a coat of Tamiya X-22 to seal the chrome in, otherwise the Alclad would lift when it was masked off.  So, although it doesn’t look like much, that oleo strut has 5 separate coats of paint!

 

 

jvpbgc.jpg

 

 

The landing gear, tires and wheels were then painted, followed by the same weathering washes I applied to the fuselage to match the underside.  After the dry-fitting work I did earlier, everything fits strongly without the need for glue, although I will likely add a bit here and there to make sure that nothing moves later.  The first thing that comes to mind is just how big this model is, because the landing gear really makes it stand high.

 

 

28uuSR.jpg

 

 

Sometimes photography doesn’t replicate what my eye can see, because the bright lights really picked up the aluminum-colored wash, which looks way too bright and unrealistic.  The excellent detail of the Barracuda resin really comes to life, however, despite these pics.  All I can say is, “trust me”, they look really good and realistic for a weathered aircraft in person.

 

 

3wzjDO.jpg

 

 

Another angle to show the deep detail within the wheel, despite the bright reflections.

 

 

pw7ZR1.jpg

 

 

The oleos came out looking really good without lifting and BTW, that inner oval plate is different on both wheels (L & R), and should be roughly perpendicular to the gear leg.  This should have been mentioned in the Barracuda instructions, but thankfully, I noticed the differences and checked a few references.

 

 

WYLAGr.jpg

 

 

Unfortunately due to the tire and gear door, the oleo will be mostly hidden from both sides.

 

 

je2WBh.jpg

 

 

The other side, which gives a better pic of the inner oval plate on the wheel.  The brake line was hand painted in dark grey for a bit of contrast.  Now you see the oleo…

 

 

r44qiu.jpg

 

 

Now you don’t, unless you peek inside from the front.  Note that the gear doors dry fit nicely to the legs, which will make gluing them later easy and secure.

 

 

fwJJlt.jpg

 

 

The rear wheel assembly is also hard to photograph because it’s so dark against a dark background, but it fits really well now, thanks to some modifications I made on Page 16 to bend the brass and add a small axle to the kit wheel.

 

 

ytpQcq.jpg

 

 

Much of the bottom of this assembly will also be covered by a gear door, but you can still see some good detail from the side.

 

bB7C7B.jpg

 

 

With most of the landing gear hassles out of the way, I can now finally attach the engine, which is a big relief when I do.  I still have a lot of things I want to do to the engine like adding a few more parts, weathering and paint touch-ups, and with it securely off the ground, I don’t have to handle the sucker any more with my hands, which always seems to remove a bit more paint.  Hopefully I don’t drop it on the floor again like I did last time I attached it!

 

 

I’m off for a few days so no update for at least a week or more, and thank you for your continued interest in this build.

 

 

Cheers,

Chuck

Edited by chuck540z3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • chuck540z3 changed the title to 1/24 Airfix F6F-5 Hellcat "Kicked Up A Notch" Mar 25/22: Landing Gear done

Oh man what a professional job on the all important landing gear!  It is exquisitely detailed, and clean looking.  

 

Did I gather that the wheels are not yet glued on?  I ask because I would recommend the tire flat be visited.  On my Corsair build (BTW, Corsairs and Hellcats shared the identical wheel/tires), there was lots of sometimes passionate discussion on how much flat these tires sported. 

 

Here is my math (forgive me if it sounds like an elementary algebra class): 

 

According to the Erection and Maintenance manual, recommended main tire inflation values are as follows - 131 psi for landing weight of 14K lbs, 99 psi for landing weight of 10K lbs.  Roughly linear variation for weights in between.  Those are carrier deck values; the shore based values are about 15% lower.  A max take-off gross weight F6F is a bit over 15K lbs.   Empty weight is about 9.3K lbs.  Let us suppose your aircraft has a weight of 13K lbs, which is somewhere in between.  Your oleo extension suggests the aircraft is not fully loaded.  Let us also suppose it is at max recommended tire pressure (131 psi).

 

Let's assume that about 90% of the weight of a Hellcat is on the main wheels (10% on the tail wheel).  That means each main tire sees .9 x 13K / 2 = 5850 lbs of weight.  

 

To calculate tire flat area in square inches, divide weight by tire pressure.  5850/131 = 44.6 sq in.  This value ignores any stiffness of tire sidewalls, which would have some ability to support some small amount of weight even with zero tire pressure.  But that would be very small (a weight of 200 lbs would probably completely flatten an uninflated tire).   Compared to 5850 lbs, that is negligible.

 

To take that down to 1/24 scale, that tire flat area value must be reduced by 24 squared.  44.6/24/24 = .077 sq in. 

 

If the tire flat were a circle, area = pi (radius squared).  Or, do a little algebra and the radius of the circle = sq root (area/pi).   For the 1/24 scale Hellcat the radius works out to be .156 inch.  (math check:  area = pi x radius squared = 3.1416 x .156 x .156 = .076 sq in.  Close enough).  A radius of .156 inch = a diameter of .312 inch. 

 

So, if your tire flat were circular, you would expect it to be .312 inch diameter.   However, the tire flat is more oval than circular.  So the major axis will be larger than the minor axis, but the .077 sq in area must be the same whatever the shape of the oval.  BTW, the area of an ellipse (oval) = pi x semi-major axis x semi-minor axis, where the "semi" means half the length of the axis (like a radius is to a diameter).  

 

Measure the flat you have currently and see how close it comes to .077 sq in, or about .31 inch by .31 inch.  I suspect it is far smaller.  An oval flat of say  .38 inch by .28 inch would get you in the ballpark. 

 

Another way to look at it is to observe the tire tread.  There is no need for a tire tread to be as wide as it is on that tire, if it never contacts the ground.  So it would seem logical to assume the tire flat should encompass, or nearly encompass, the width of the tread on the bottom of the tire. 

 

I know many modelers create unbelievable models, and refuse to put any flats at all on the tires.  I am not sure why, but they must have their reasons.  For me, I want my models to depict a real aircraft sitting on the ground.  Which means on planet earth with our gravity, the tires have to have a flat (and a bulge). 

 

Carrier based aircraft have really high tire inflations.  Pictures can show tires with very little side bulge.  That issue was part of the discussion on my build.  So, if one were to simply sand off a flat and ignore any bulge, one could be forgiven.   But, if a bulge were desired, then if one measured the length of a cross-section of the outside surface of an inflated tire (no bulge), from rim edge to rim edge (that would be roughly a semi-circle), then that length value should be maintained on a cross-section through the bulged portion of a tire.    The shape of the cross section would change obviously, with sidewalls pooched out some, and bottom flat, but the length of the cross-section should remain the same. 

Edited by JayW
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, JayW said:

Oh man what a professional job on the all important landing gear!  It is exquisitely detailed, and clean looking.  

 

Did I gather that the wheels are not yet glued on?  I ask because I would recommend the tire flat be visited.  On my Corsair build (BTW, Corsairs and Hellcats shared the identical wheel/tires), there was lots of sometimes passionate discussion on how much flat these tires sported. 

 

Here is my math (forgive me if it sounds like an elementary algebra class): 

 

According to the Erection and Maintenance manual, recommended main tire inflation values are as follows - 131 psi for landing weight of 14K lbs, 99 psi for landing weight of 10K lbs.  Roughly linear variation for weights in between.  Those are carrier deck values; the shore based values are about 15% lower.  A max take-off gross weight F6F is a bit over 15K lbs.   Empty weight is about 9.3K lbs.  Let us suppose your aircraft has a weight of 13K lbs, which is somewhere in between.  Your oleo extension suggests the aircraft is not fully loaded.  Let us also suppose it is at max recommended tire pressure (131 psi).

 

Let's assume that about 90% of the weight of a Hellcat is on the main wheels (10% on the tail wheel).  That means each main tire sees .9 x 13K / 2 = 5850 lbs of weight.  

 

To calculate tire flat area in square inches, divide weight by tire pressure.  5850/131 = 44.6 sq in.  This value ignores any stiffness of tire sidewalls, which would have some ability to support some small amount of weight even with zero tire pressure.  But that would be very small (a weight of 200 lbs would probably completely flatten an uninflated tire).   Compared to 5850 lbs, that is negligible.

 

To take that down to 1/24 scale, that tire flat area value must be reduced by 24 squared.  44.6/24/24 = .077 sq in. 

 

If the tire flat were a circle, area = pi (radius squared).  Or, do a little algebra and the radius of the circle = sq root (area/pi).   For the 1/24 scale Hellcat the radius works out to be .156 inch.  (math check:  area = pi x radius squared = 3.1416 x .156 x .156 = .076 sq in.  Close enough).  A radius of .156 inch = a diameter of .312 inch. 

 

So, if your tire flat were circular, you would expect it to be .312 inch diameter.   However, the tire flat is more oval than circular.  So the major axis will be larger than the minor axis, but the .077 sq in area must be the same whatever the shape of the oval.  BTW, the area of an ellipse (oval) = pi x semi-major axis x semi-minor axis, where the "semi" means half the length of the axis (like a radius is to a diameter).  

 

Measure the flat you have currently and see how close it comes to .077 sq in, or about .31 inch by .31 inch.  I suspect it is far smaller.  An oval flat of say  .38 inch by .28 inch would get you in the ballpark. 

 

Another way to look at it is to observe the tire tread.  There is no need for a tire tread to be as wide as it is on that tire, if it never contacts the ground.  So it would seem logical to assume the tire flat should encompass, or nearly encompass, the width of the tread on the bottom of the tire. 

 

I know many modelers create unbelievable models, and refuse to put any flats at all on the tires.  I am not sure why, but they must have their reasons.  For me, I want my models to depict a real aircraft sitting on the ground.  Which means on planet earth with our gravity, the tires have to have a flat (and a bulge). 

 

Carrier based aircraft have really high tire inflations.  Pictures can show tires with very little side bulge.  That issue was part of the discussion on my build.  So, if one were to simply sand off a flat and ignore any bulge, one could be forgiven.   But, if a bulge were desired, then if one measured the length of a cross-section of the outside surface of an inflated tire (no bulge), from rim edge to rim edge (that would be roughly a semi-circle), then that length value should be maintained on a cross-section through the bulged portion of a tire.    The shape of the cross section would change obviously, with sidewalls pooched out some, and bottom flat, but the length of the cross-section should remain the same. 

 

Jay,

 

I take it you want me to make the flat spot bigger?  As you can see on this pic, there is one there already and based upon being a carrier aircraft, I assumed that was enough.  Making it bigger is no big deal, so maybe you can find me something that looks to be just about right. 

 

fwJJlt.jpg

 

 

Thank you sir,

Chuck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, chuck540z3 said:

Making it bigger is no big deal, so maybe you can find me something that looks to be just about right. 

 if you put the main gear tires on a flat piece of sand paper and began moving it about, you'd gradually increase the flat(s).  I stated that .38 inch by .28 inch would be in the ball park.  But that is just one ellipse.  I don't know what shape you would come up with.  But, if it were circular (it won't be), the flat would be .31 inch by .31 inch.  .40 inch by .25 inch would get you there as well.  That should give you an idea.  What are the dimensions of the flat you now have?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • chuck540z3 changed the title to 1/24 Airfix F6F-5 Hellcat "Kicked Up A Notch": New eBook Now Available!

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   1 member

×
×
  • Create New...