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Tamiya 1/48 Vought F4U-1A Corsair
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:51 am    Post subject: Tamiya 1/48 Vought F4U-1A Corsair Reply with quote

Courtesy of my lovely wife, I get to spread my wings a little and do something different! This project will feature Tamiya's lovely 1/48 Vought F4U-1A Corsair with some Eduard PE and masks to help things along.

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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-12-16 Reply with quote

I had my choice of starting with the cockpit in Step 1 or starting on the engine in Step 2...so I picked the engine as it just called to me a little louder I guess! Smile

The two banks of cylinders are separate parts with the crankcase hub on the front as a third component. That made detailing and painting life pretty easy. I handpainted the cylinders with MM Non-Buffing Metalizer Gunmetal and lightly dry-brushed them with MM enamel Steel to bring out their detail. The cylinder heads were painted with the same Steel and the Eduard PE set provided the ignition wires as a single spider-like piece that slid in underneath the crankcase part. A medium gray mix I keep on hand from a previous build supplied the primer color for the crankcase and Non-Buffing Metalizer Steel picked out the ignition harness. Considering the whole engine is roughly the same diameter as a quarter, it's got a lot of detail IMHO.



The engine installs to a firewall that has the exhaust pipe details on the rear face with the option to have the cowl flaps open or closed, so I went for open since there's detail there to fill the space. Non-buffing Metalizer Gunmetal as the basecoat here with successive washes of thinned MM enamel Leather to build up their rusty/grimy look. 95% of this gets hidden away, but that 5% that stays visible is a nice detail.



I needed to mix up some Yellow Chromate, so I created my own home-brew combination of MM enamel Gelb RLM 04 and Medium Field Green. It didn't take a lot of the green to do the trick, but don't ask me for the exact ratio...I just tinkered with it until it looked right to my eye. A little bit of the Green went a long way for sure! Smile The new color was hand brushed inside the cowl and flaps in careful coats to build it up so it would cover the underlying gray plastic adequately.





The engine was added to the firewall base first. This is a tight friction fit, so once it was done there was no going back. The full engine and firewall combo was then joined to the cowl flaps since the cowl itself mounts directly to the cowl flaps rim.



Cowl was added next and a quick test fit with the fuselage done to make sure everything was playing nice and lining up correctly.





The prop installs using a polycap trapped inside the crankcase, so that will make life easy in terms of painting and what not as well as installing the prop when the time comes later on.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:29 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-13-16 Reply with quote

Managed to get in a decent amount of benchtime today after an early morning 'distraction' of sorts. Smile

This time I focused on all the areas that will need the green treatment for the cockpit internals. Between the Tamiya parts and the Eduard sets, I did a little picking and choosing as to which details were worth the effort to include or leave as-is based on how much would actually be visible once it was all together. Some of the stuff in the Eduard set I think was included just to 'beef up' the set a little bit vs. really adding much value relative to the kit parts. That's the AM PE game sometimes, always good to pick and choose. The set does have some worthy additions like the knob wheels, the pilot's map holder, rudder pedal details, etc. that were added in. Others like the frame holders for the oxygen bottle that disappear under the seat once it's installed fall in the 'because we can' category and weren't used. I also decided to stick with the kit-supplied seat as the amount of surgery required combined with the fragile frame and connection design of the Eduard parts wasn't worth it to me. Your mileage may vary. Smile All of this stuff will get painted and detailed before it's pulled together into a single module for install into the fuselage.



Speaking of the fuselage, I added in the PE canopy sills and cleaned up the bottom half of the wing since it also has the floor and window opening that need the interior green treatment. It was necessary to remove some raised ejector marks with a micro chisel at the front part of the window frame, these were interfering with the fit with the front cockpit bulkhead if left in place.



Some paint will fly tomorrow!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-14-16 Reply with quote

Managed to get the cockpit squared away today. First order of business was airbrushing some Interior Green over all the different components.



Details were picked out on the fuselage side where appropriate.



Instrument panel got similar attention and the kit-supplied decal faces added with a couple doses of Solvaset needed to get it to snug down.



The arm rests got all of their panels, switches, and various controls picked out as well. Lots of patience and Optivisor time involved here! Smile



The Eduard seat harness elements were detailed and added to the pilot's seat. I also added some drybrushed MM enamel Steel wear and tear to the seat itself and picked out the head rest cushion.



Then it was time to get all of these elements together to form the full pit.



And just to make sure it set up in the proper position, I taped the fuselage halves together around it. A lot of the detail disappears inside of course and there's still the gunsight and armored glass to add into the top once the fuselage is joined together.



Moving right along! Smile
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:36 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-15-16 Reply with quote

Not a huge update today but a necessary round of prep for the next bout with the airbrush. This time, I focused on the areas that will get yellow chromate, so the first item involved the main gear bays in the wings. There are some tricky ejector marks that need to be removed inside the bays, I used a micro chisel to get rid of them. The Eduard set provided some PE details including some wiring that was a fun challenge to get fitted since it had to be bent in multiple spots to conform to the curved bays.



The other mundane step involved getting all the landing gear doors prepped and the flap components assembled. One of the flaps has a step molded in it that the instructions direct to be filled in, so that was done with a combination of sheet styrene and Squadron green putty. The step goes all the way through the flap, so I had to be a little creative in terms of blanking it off from the inside first and then filling it gradually on the outside.



More fun with the airbrush tomorrow!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:16 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-16-16 Reply with quote

Lots of progress to report this time around with the Corsair. First order of business, I airbrushed some of the Yellow Chromate mix in all the internal spaces that needed it. For good measure, I also used it to check the putty/fill work on the one flap and made some adjustments there to get it nice and smooth.



That meant I could now install the cockpit finally, so it went into the right fuselage side first so it wouldn't shift around when I joined the halves.



The fit on the fuselage is really very good, especially at the front. Liquid glue and some slight finger pressure was all that was needed there while the rear half needed a little more persuasion with the help of some rubber bands and smooth jaw clamps on the tail fin.



While the fuselage set up, I assembled the wing roots. The bottom halves are both flexible and a little fragile, so I used some non-slip clamps there to hold it all together while the glue set.



Coming back to the fuselage, I added the dorsal insert that installs behind the cockpit. This is a two-part deal that fits very snugly in place. It was at this moment that I realized I forgot to open up the slot for the antenna mast...I was too distracted by other things to notice the call-out in the instruction step until it was too late. I'll have to get a little creative on installing that later on. Smile Some very light sanding was all that was needed to remove the very slight join seam.



Wing roots got their support spars and inserts for the wing joint. The oil coolers were also added and their fit was mostly good, just some small putty and sanding needed in a couple of spots. I also added the Eduard PE cooler screens for some extra detail.



Main wing portions were assembled next. Pretty straightforward exercise, I used some small clamps along the edges and liquid glue, then removed the clamps once the glue had grabbed.



Last little bit for the day, I added in the Eduard PE insert for the tail wheel bay. This calls for a rectangular part to be removed from the blank bulkhead to match up with the opening in the PE part. That would've been hard to do with the halves separate, so now that the fuselage was joined, I used a mechanical pencil to outline the opening needed, drilled out the center with a micro drill, then widened it with a square needle file until it matched the necessary dimensions. The PE part went in and voila! Extra detail.



I'll need to airbrush a little more yellow for the tail wheel bay and a couple of spots on the main wings where the flaps are deployed, then it will be time to join the wing roots to the fuselage, add the stabilizers, and start thinking about the serious paint work. Since the main wings can slide on/off the spars easily, I'm probably going to paint them separate and then match everything up. Same thing with the engine and cowl. This modular approach might make life just a little easier in terms of getting the three-tone camo scheme on, have to see.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:44 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-17-16 Reply with quote

Another productive day at the bench on Project Black Sheep. After thinking about it all, I decided to go ahead and attach the main wing portions to the roots. The fit is pretty tight but also a little tricky since the kit is designed to give you the option of folded wings and the contact surfaces, as a result, aren't that large. Careful use of liquid glue, finger pressure, and lots of waiting ensued but I got both wings attached. This was accomplished a lot easier with the wing root separate from the fuselage vs. the order the instructions would have you do it IMHO.



The exposed flap areas on the undersides got some Yellow Chromate via the airbrush.



Moment of truth, the whole wing assembly was added to the fuselage. More finger pressure and liquid glue treatment but again, fit here is very good. The horizontal stabilizers were added as well and I cut down the radio mast so it would fit the exterior without the opening I neglected to create earlier.



I went ahead and added the floor window clear piece since I'm getting close to painting the exterior. I debated whether or not to go with the bomb or the fuel tank and the fuel tank won out, so it was assembled as well.



I broke out the Eduard masks and got the canopy parts ready for paint. The Eduard masks were showing their age a little bit...it was a bit of a challenge to get them to fit correctly and the side parts for the main canopy had large oval openings in their middle. The set recommends using liquid mask for those areas but I used the oval cutouts on the sheet that already covered 99% of the opening (I guess the complex curves and stretch that the mask needs to make precludes using the whole thing) and used small pieces of regular masking tape to cover over those seams so nothing would seep through.



Airbrushed some MM enamel Interior Green first so that the inner frames would show a different color from the outsides.



Another airbrush round of Testors enamel Dark Sea Blue provided the exterior color. Masks were removed and a couple of touch-ups here and there were all that were necessary. These will get set off to the side out of harm's way for now. They fit so well on the frame that I can wait and install them at the very end without worrying about filling or paint matching with the fuselage.



Next up will be a round of pre-shading to give the airbrush another workout.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:13 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-18-16 Reply with quote

Today was a marathon session in the spray booth. First up, a pre-shade treatment using MM enamel Flat Black for all the panel lines.



I started in on the three-tone scheme with Dark Sea Blue first.



With that foundation in place, I added some MM enamel Light Gray and applied that for some variation. Then I added back in some of the original Dark Sea Blue and blended it back together with the original coat.



Lots of masking and prep work later, I airbrushed MM enamel Intermediate Blue for the 2nd level. Not pictured because I forgot to stop and take a shot is the use of some blue tack poster putty after the masking tape was pulled off to soften and round off the curves between the two colors around the wing roots.



More masking and I airbrushed MM enamel Flat White to the underside for the third color in the pattern.



The Flat White is pretty stark all on its own, so I added some MM enamel Light Gray over the top of it to add some variation and tone it down just a touch.



Removed all the masking and will let that sit up overnight. There's a couple of spots where I need to do some touchups along the wing edges and elsewhere, but all-in-all, I'm fairly pleased with where this is heading.



Also not pictured in all of this, I also airbrushed the various flaps and landing gear doors while I had the airbrush loaded up with the appropriate colors. After the touch-ups, I'll be working on the landing gear as the next big step.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:31 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-19-16 Reply with quote

After a round of touch-ups and small adjustments in different places (mostly around the tail), I removed all of the masking and foam protection from the various spots. Only a few places around the cockpit needed some touch-up work, so that's always a plus. I went ahead and installed the engine and cowl permanently in place now that the need to have it separate was gone. The gunsight was also detailed and placed for good measure.



All the flaps were installed and the underside got some additional details like the exhaust pipes and some soot staining courtesy of black artist pastels. I picked out the wing lights with Tamiya Clear Red, Green, and Orange as called out in the instructions.



That clears the decks for me to work on the landing gear so I can get it up on its own legs.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2016 7:47 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-22-16 Reply with quote

I've been working steadily on the most intricate part of this whole build, the landing gear. The Eduard set provides a lot of nice little details for the main gear as well as the tail wheel but some of that also requires surgery to remove portions of the kit parts and replace them with the PE stuff. On the tail wheel, I added in the structural support details and drilled out the lightening holes that the PE depicted but which aren't there on the solid kit part. A lot of this disappears up inside the tail but it still upped the detail level overall a good bit.



I hand painted the different components and details and airbrushed the tail wheel itself using the Eduard masks to assist. Then the rest of the wheel structure was assembled to create the whole unit that installs into the tail.



The main gear also got some attention. The Eduard set provided replacement scissor joints, brake lines, and door hinge's springs. More hand painting and detailing and airbrush work on the main wheels got those units together as well.




Moment of truth arrived and I added in the gear doors and installed all the gear into place along with the drop tank. Flipped it over and used some small bottles of paint to brace the gear while the glue set so that it would maintain a level stance.







Will spend some time on the prop next and then it will be ready to start the decal work.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:28 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-23-16 Reply with quote

Not a huge update this time around due to having to do some pruning work on a large elm tree that grows in my front yard. That time of year! Smile I did get the prop painted and detailed though despite the little detour. Airbrushed MM enamel Flat Black, then hand painted the hub with MM enamel Intermediate Blue. The kit calls for the hub to be red but from what I've gathered, that was true only for the VMF-111 markings option and the VF-17 that I'm going with had the blue hub. Careful masking and some airbrushed MM enamel RLM 04 Gelb added the tip markers.



Looks right at home when combined with the engine. The polycap mount design makes it a breeze to pop it on and off as needed.



Next up will be some Future treatment to get ready for the multiple decal sessions that this will call for. I'll keep the prop separate to make life easier during the Future and decal stages as it's kind of big and 'snag prone' as a result.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-25-16 Reply with quote

Every genre has its cross to bear and in this case, it's decals! Spent the last couple of days getting the markings on the Corsair. Some of this was due to the fact that there are decals that apply over decals (the roundels in particular), but mostly it was due to the sheer number that needed to go on. At least it's not a modern jet! Smile I did the usual airbrushed Future coat first, then applied the decals using Solvaset to get them to snug down, then a final airbrushed Future coat to seal them in and create a unified layer.









I also got in some nice Eduard 1/48 styrene PSP bases that I will be using to construct a simple airfield setting for the Corsair to sit on, so that will occupy my attention for a bit before I turn back to weathering up the finish to match the base environment.



More fun ahead! Smile
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-26-16 Reply with quote

Made some good progress today on the base for the Corsair. I had picked up a nice piece of finished plywood that measures 11.75 inches square from Hobby Lobby as the foundation. Next, I had to figure out how to make the best use of the Eduard PSP bases since they measure 9.75 by 6.5 inches. That's why I ordered 2, I knew that no matter how I did the layout, one wasn't going to be enough on its own. After fiddling around with it, I decided to place the PSP portion at a slight angle and marked that out on the base so I could cut the two pieces accurately and maintain the needed end result. Since the PSP sections are hollow, I knew some supports would be needed to keep it level, so I drilled some holes in the wood and CA glued some short lengths of sprue in strategic locations to serve as props.



After some careful measurements, I used masking tape to define the angles I needed to cut on the two different sections and set to work with a razor saw.



No matter how you slice it, there was going to be a slight gap between the two sections due to how they were molded. Rather than try to join the styrene sections into a single unit, I decided to use the base to my advantage. The bottom section was placed first with CA glue then the top was added. Clamps and liquid glue secured the sections to the support posts and some white styrene rod of different lengths was used to fill the gap in between.



Strip styrene was glued to the exposed edges to blank them off and some putty and sanding down to the section join. I had deliberately left a slight overhang all around when I made the razor saw cuts to make life a little easier vs. trying to get it perfectly flush to the wood base.



Here's how it will look when the rest of the base is complete in terms of how the Corsair will sit.



This is the reference I'm using for inspiration, hopefully, I can pull off a similar look with the rest of the base since it will be essentially sand/dirt.




Still plenty to do! Smile
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:35 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-28-16 Reply with quote

Work continued on the base once again and the first order of business was to stain the plywood with some Minwax Oil walnut stain. Once that had dried, I taped off all the exposed edges and began the paintwork.

I started on the runway section and airbrushed a primer/basecoat of MM enamel Flat Black. Next came a dose of MM enamel Burnt Umber followed by some MM enamel Rust and MM enamel Leather in different spots. I had two airbrushes working simultaneously in the last phase, alternating some Leather and Burnt Umber to randomize things a bit. Since it was a lot of trial and error and 'looks good to the eye' assessments, I didn't take any in-progress shots, sorry! After all the paint was down, I dusted some orange artist pastels with a large make-up style sable brush since that allowed it to behave more like a dry brush treatment. It added a lot of nice subtle tone variations, more than I was expecting when I first started adding it.



The camera has a little trouble picking it up head-on, but looking down the planking pattern shows it off more.



Then it was time to get the rest of the base in place. For this, I used Woodlands Scenics Mold-A-Scene Plaster since I had it on hand and needed to cover a large surface area. It has about a 30 minute work time, so I mixed up small batches at a time (3 one-cup batches were needed) and combined them together to build up the section. It needs 24 hours to cure rock hard, so it will get some 'quiet time' while that happens. Very Happy

I had to clean up a couple of spots on the plastic area where some plaster dust got away from me and marked the finish, so out came the artist pastels one more time to blend it all back together after I'd wiped up the dust.



Next up will be getting the plaster section where I want it to be!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:46 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-29-16 Reply with quote

Efforts on the base continued, this time, I needed some really fine dirt to go over the plaster base. Nothing works for this like the real thing, so I employed some fine vinyl screen mesh to sift some of El Paso's finest to get rid of the little rocks and junk. I applied a light layer, added some Woodland Scenics Scenic Cement with a plastic pipette, then added another light layer over that so it would soak up the glue and still look like sand. To create the wheel tracks, I drafted a spare 1/35 Pz III wheel on a toothpick.





That was going to need a good bit of time to thoroughly dry, so I turned my attention to some of the little details I needed for the parked Corsair. I scratch-built some chocks out of carved wood with their knotted pull chords added using ship rigging thread. I also used some sprue and white rod to rig up a fire extinguisher to sit at the front of the aircraft as seen in the reference pic. I also decided to give the pilot figure a shot and cleaned him up.



This is the first time I've worked on a 1/48 figure so I can't compare it to anything else in the same scale, but the level of detail on the figure was pretty good I think considering it was molded all in one piece. He was painted using various enamels. Same deal with the fire extinguisher.



He looks right at home on the wing, especially since that's the only place he can go without some serious surgery or alteration. Smile



And just for kicks, I checked out how things are looking for the base as a whole.



Next up will be working on the dirt areas to get it to look more like 'tropical island' vs. its current 'West Texas Desert' aesthetic! Smile
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