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1/18 Scale Blue Box F4U-1D Corsair Changed to a -1A Plus Some Improvements


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I show here the culmination of approximately 4 1/2 years of on again off again work on what was a Blue Box Toy Corsair in 1/18 scale.  The build thread can be found here:



Here is a picture of it before I began the work:




The aim was to convert it from a -1D into a -1A (VF-17 Jolly Rogers), greatly improve the realism in general, provide an openable engine compartment and engine accessories compartment, improve the cockpit and gear bays and landing gear.  Along the way many new skills were learned including aluminum skinning and 3D printing (plus learning the computer CAD program necessary for creating digital parts to print), and my first use of the airbrush.  Also, as has been the case with all my 1/18 projects, I made extensive use of original engineering drawings found at Aircorps Library, to help me scratch build parts.


The first year of the project was dedicated to the R-2800-8 radial engine that powered the Corsair.  Before installing it into the aircraft it looked like this:






It is scratch built 100%, and many parts were turned on a mini-lathe.  So that it would not be completely hidden when installed, I was compelled to make the engine cowl panels and accessory compartment panels removable.


For your inspection, first the buttoned up shots:




















Photos are a bit amateur - sorry about that.  I will divide this up into two posts.  The next one will show some details, and shots with engine cowls removed.  That is where you will also find my acknowledgements to all the modelers who helped me out - there are many!



Edited by JayW
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Let's inspect some details - 


The underside with the gear bays:




The main landing gear:




Most of the landing gear and gear doors are 3D printed.  Tim Perry in the UK printed these up for me from Rhino 7 digital models I created myself.


Scratch built tail feathers:






Aluminum skinning should be in evidence - the tail area was the most difficult of all to skin.


Tail wheel:






Almost the entire tail wheel and support were 3D printed.  Also the tail hook and the doors


Wing trailing edge (flaps and ailerons):






That last one shows the effects of the "double hairspray" method of chipping two layers to expose both yellow zinc chromate and bare metal.  The ailerons, BTW, are 3D printed.


The prop and nose cowling:




Both items (prop hub and blades, nose cowl) are 3D printed.  This aircraft (#17 VF-17 Pilot Roger Hedrick) had a white painted prop spinner to identify his flight.  Other flights had other colors (black, red, etc).  Also note the open cowl flaps - another big sub-project.


Cockpit, windshield,  and canopy:








Windshield is scratch built; the canopy salvaged and heavily modified.  The cockpit is a bit dark (sorry) - other than the engine, it was the largest and most complicated sub-project of all!


Engine compartments open:






There's that engine!  The cowl panels are held in place by little magnets.  More:










You can see the magnets.  The engine accessories compartment is chalk full of 3D printed parts.  I am especially proud of the engine accessories compartment -  it was an integration nightmare that had a good ending.


Many fellow modelers helped me out on this effort.  I got technical advise from Kaeone57 and TAG and OldBaldGuy.  I got modeling technique advise from Airscale, Thunnus, and others.  Painting advise from Chuck540z3, Thunnus, others.  Airscale also provided me some of the decals, and aluminum sheet for skinning - all free of charge.   Thunnus provided stencils for the numerals - also free of charge.  It also helped to have a retired Naval Aviator looking in - Easixpedro.  I am going to forget somebody, darn it.  I'll come back and edit if/when I recall.  I must give a shout-out to Airscale Library for all their technical information - drawings, manuals, catalogues.  It's just amazing.  Also the books I bought - Dana Bell volumes 7 and 8, Lee Cook's "Skull and Crossbones Squadron", and the huge "R-2800 - Pratt & Whitney's Dependable Masterpiece" by Graham White.  I would like to thank all my dozens of followers on the build thread who were patient during 4 1/2 years, and kept me going with kind and enthusiastic comments - it's great to be an LSP-er!  


I hope you like the big F4U.  It's a far cry from its beginnings.  Thank you for looking in!

Edited by JayW
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Got a request (now deleted) to show some indication of the size of this model.  Why not?  Here she is next to a Trumpeter 1/32 D-model Corsair built long ago, 1/32 being the scale of choice on LSP:






6-inch straight edge added.  She's a big girl for sure.  Hope that helps.

Edited by JayW
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Thanks for posting that.  Seemed a bit forward when I commented earlier about needing a comparison, so I deleted it.  You are correct, the thing is huge.  And, you know of course, that now that you are heavy into 3D printing, you can build to any scale you want. 1/12 or thereabouts would be good.

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1 hour ago, Oldbaldguy said:

1/12 or thereabouts would be good.


Talk about huge....would be fun though.  There are limits on how large 3D print parts can be - how large is the print plate, and how tall is the machine.  Mine is pretty big actually.  But a continuous wing spar (for a continuous wing - not folded) for instance - could not do that.  Not even at 1/18.  So some clever splice designs would be necessary.


I would love to do another Thunderbolt (tied for first on my favorite aircraft list), only a razorback.  But the thought of doing another R-2800, even with alot of 3D print, well no.

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Best 1/18 scale model I've ever seen.  Normally, I don't pay much attention to this scale as the detail is often sparse and done with a knitting needle.  Yours confounds that impression totally.  Excellent result.







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Honestly, there is not too much that makes me happier than to see the drawings and manuals on our site getting used to create amazing project like this one! Just goes to show what hard work (oh, and 4.5 years of your life) will get you :bow:

Congrats JayW, can't wait to see the next one!

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