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



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:38 pm    Post subject: WIP 04-30-16 Reply with quote

After thinking it over a bit on the base, I felt like it needed just a little something more besides the dirt and the PSP sections. Even though the reference photos showed the areas around the planes were typically kept clear of virtually everything, I decided to take a little artistic license and add a small group of three 50-gallon drums in one corner. This was driven by the fact that I had a 1/35 Tamiya jerry can and fuel drums set tucked away in the closet from years ago before I knew that the jerry cans inside were inaccurate...but the fuel drums are still good!. Out came the calculator to determine how much I needed to cut them down to get their height down to 1/48 instead of 1/35 and the razor saw made quick work. Pilot dude approves and understands that the diameter issue couldn't be helped and was only a difference of a couple of mm regardless. Smile He also knows that there won't be any figures standing around near them to compare against, so they will still look the part for our needs.



My terra-forming project also continued, the first transformative step was to airbrush some MM enamel Flat Black to create some shadows and tonal variation around the wheel tracks in particular. Then I airbrushed MM enamel Armor Sand over the dirt areas to shift it to the lighter shade needed.



This still wasn't quite the 'tropical island' shade needed, so I turned to some MIG Light Dust pigment. Using a wide-bore nozzle in the airbrush, I airbrushed a highly diluted water-based coat. This is an exercise in patience as the water needs to evaporate before the pigments will show, so a case of spray a little, wait, spray a little more, etc. Once I had the dirt area done, I did a very light quick pass over the PSP section to tie it together with the dirt side.



The barrels were airbrushed with a primer coat of Flat Black and then light coats of MM enamel Rust. Some dry-brushed Burnt Umber and then treatment with different shades of 'rusty' artist pastels were applied to vary their look a bit.



A quick test fit in terms of where they will sit and how the base is looking now after all the different steps.

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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2016 2:46 pm    Post subject: WIP 05-01-16 Reply with quote

Spent some more time on the base details today. The barrels needed a chance to cure a bit before I went after them some more to give them some individuality. I applied some very thin washes using Rust, Leather, and Gun Metal in various spots to build up a layered finish along with some strategic burnt orange artist pastels. The idea being that they are still being actively used, so some spills and residue would be there on the tops, but also exposed to the elements of the South Pacific, so rust would quickly appear on any non-spill areas. That's the mental image I had while working on them anyhow, the trick was working to keep them from looking identical to each other, so hopefully I pulled that off convincingly. Tamiya molded them with dings and dents, so I tried to bring that out a little bit on their sides with some dry-brushed Olive Drab followed by dry-brushed Burnt Umber to create a little bit of contrast without it being too strong.



I used some Gator Grip Thin Blend to glue the barrels in position onto the base. Using a pointed brush, I applied some highly thinned enamel Gunmetal to the surrounding dirt areas to simulate some spills and contamination. The beauty of using thinned paint is that the dirt behaved just like the real thing and helped create the pattern through capillary action. I just had to be careful not to let it look too uniform.



Next up, I worked on adding the dust wheel tracks on the PSP section similar to what's visible on the reference photo. This proved a little challenging in practice, fortunately, I had the scraps from the earlier surgery to experiment with first before committing on the full base. I tried out both wet and dry methods, using just a brush or the Pz III wheel I'd used for the dirt tracks, etc. Turned out that the best way involved a square tip stiff-bristled brush, loading it up with dry pigment on the tip, then using another brush handle to tap it to 'unload' the pigment in the places I wanted and not where I didn't. Then the brush was used to form the pattern and excess pigment removed with a large soft sable brush where necessary. I added the two larger main wheel tracks first and then the smaller tail wheel track in the middle so I could accurately place it where it needed to go in between the other two.




A quick check with the Corsair shows that everything is continuing to play nice.



For the curious, since the camera is playing a little trick on the previous angles in suggesting there's a ton of room on this base, a shot from the backside shows a little different story. Smile



Now I can start in on the Corsair's weathering process as the base is complete for all intents and purposes.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 2:09 pm    Post subject: 05-02-16 Reply with quote

I know I said the base was done, but that turned out to not be quite accurate. Smile The back corner seemed a little empty, so after much back and forth and looking at the pics of all the Solomons airfields, I decided to try my hand at making a palm tree. I poked around on the Internet to see if there were any good ideas out there I could steal and sure enough, I came across lots of different ways to try it, so I cherry-picked what I thought I could pull off with the materials I had available to me.

For the trunk, I just went out into my front yard and found a suitably sized dead branch/stick that our large elm tree sheds on a regular basis. It had just the right curve and diameter in a long enough section to suit my needs. I took some 0.5mm diameter solder and wrapped it around the trunk then covered that with masking tape to create the 'ridged' look needed. Airbrushed some Flat Black as a primer coat, then used a 50/50 Light Gray/Dunkelgelb over that followed by some highlights with a 70/30 Afrika Grunbraun/Light Gray mix to get a 'woodish' enough appearance.

The fronds were the real challenge...at first, I was going to try to create them out of paper but as I was eating dinner with my lovely wife, one of her decorative silk plants that sits on top of the kitchen cabinets caught my eye. She graciously agreed to sacrifice 6 of its leaves so long as I took them from a place that 'wouldn't be noticeable'. Smile Thos leaves were cut down to the necessary dimensions and I used a pair of small curved scissors to cut the edges one little cut at a time. A tedious effort but it paid off in the end. I airbrushed some Medium Field Green tone down the overall colors a bit and blend in the undersides. Steel wire and CA created some nice handles that would also do double duty for use in mounting them to the trunk.



Getting the trunk and fronds together required a little creativity. I used a ball of 2-part Aves epxoy-sculpt to cap off the trunk and provide a place for me to stick the fronds into. The steel wire handles were cut down to the bare minimum and CA used on what remained and the frond bases to secure them in place.



A small ball of the Aves was shaped into a coconut and placed appropriately so it could dry in place. Some pencil shavings provided a 'collar' around the area where the Aves and trunk joined. Once the Aves has fully set, I'll come back and hand paint this area to get it to match up with the rest of the 'tree'.



I drilled a small hole in the base of the trunk and also into the base and inserted a copper staple into the trunk base to allow me to 'plant' the tree later when it's ready. The staple goes into the wood base and provides the perfect amount of support for the leaning palm tree.



Now the pilot dude has a little shade to relax under when he's not out hunting for Zeros. Smile Ok, now I think the base is done. Wink
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 6:03 pm    Post subject: WIP 05-03-16 Reply with quote

Finally got a start on the weathering process for the Corsair today. I started on the Sea Blue portions first and applied a dot filter using Light Gray, Intermediate Blue, and the lightened Dark Sea Blue mix airbrushed previously. I worked in small sections at a time and used different sized square tip brushed in various spots to create variation in the finish.



After a few hours, I got all the dark blue areas covered. Photos of Solomons Corsairs invariably show a lot of dust/fading, so that's what I was aiming to capture. I will be coming back over the panel lines to draw them back out a bit more as well.





Still a ways to go but I've entered the final lap on this project. Smile
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: WIP 05-05-16 Reply with quote

More progress on the weathering front. The undersides got their share of attention although once placed on the base, you would need a dental mirror to see much of it. I applied an overall Raw Umber wash to the underside and then adjusted that with a square-tipped brush and clean thinner. On the Intermediate Blue areas, I did some fading with Light Gray as a dot filter in addition to the Raw Umber.



I applied a pin wash using a pointed 18/0 brush and thinned enamel Burnt Umber to get the panel lines and other details to pop. Same brush and clean thinner tightened it up where needed.



The same process was applied to the topside to complement the previous fading/weathering done to the sea blue areas in particular.







I'll let that sit overnight and see if I need to make any adjustments before sealing it all in. Heading down the home stretch now!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 6:05 pm    Post subject: WIP and Completion 05-06-16 Reply with quote

Got the last remaining touches in on the Corsair today. I sprayed a coat of MM Lusterless Flat to remove any remaining gloss and unify the finish. Once that was dry, I used some Gator Grip Thin Blend to add the canopy parts. Some EZ Line Fine black provided the radio aerial.



Masks were removed on the underside belly window and main spotlight. I used some Future to restore the gloss look to the wingtip lights and the wing lights where needed. I also applied a coat of Mig Ammo North Africa Dust to the wheels to provide a basis for their weathering to match the base.



Wheels were further weathered with some of the dry Light Dust pigments to complete their look.



I used the plane to determine where to place the main wheel chocks on the PSP section of the base and placed the fire extinguisher with some Gator Grip Thin Blend so I could get those elements in place.



Last, but not least, I added the pilot figure to the right side wing. Gator Grip Thin Blend again to the rescue as the figure has to stand just so to be placed correctly in position and the Gator Grip is always more forgiving vs. CA or similar. Wink



That meant it was time to bring it all together for a combined set of walk-arounds.















And, for good measure, I did a set for just the Corsair itself before it was added to the base:











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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:13 pm    Post subject: Publication 01-01-2017 Reply with quote

This build is featured in the FineScale Modeler February 2017 issue:



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