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My first exhibit for Britmodeller is a Boeing P-26A of the 17th Pursuit Group's headquarter section, possibly the personal mount of the Deputy Group Commander, based at March Field, CA in the spring of 1935, shortly before the Peashooters were handed over to the 20th PG and the group became the 17th Attack Group. I decided to do a little upgrading on the otherwise fairly good Hobbycraft kit. Besides installing a Vector R-1340 engine and cockpit detail parts from Eduard (48 265) and Starfighter Decals (4001), I replaced the prop blades (too short), the wheels (too narrow), the windscreen (too thick) and added hollow blast tubes, new carburettor intakes and a few more things. The following pictures show two other modifications: the additional coverings around the rear of the cylinders and the gap between elevator and stabilizer (I removed, sanded and re-attached the elevators). To attach the rigging wires to the undercarriage I drilled through the fairings, rebuilt the tips with paper jackets and, after assembly, pulled Griffin Jewelry Wire through the wheel spats. (Two different grades of wire were used on the Peashooter). This method necessitated an unusual approach of installing the wheels later. There is a couple of bugs that I spotted too late and didn't correct. The engine face plate appears a trifle too small, but it's a very nice piece and I wouldn't know how to change it apart from vacu-forming a completely new one. In hindsight it would have been easy to adjust the second small error, which is the position of the upper cable fairings on the inside of the wheel spats. They should be higher up towards the wing than shown in the instructions to have the wires go across more symmetrically. All 17th PG markings are home-made since they are not represented well on any decal sheet. Likewise, the available underwing 'ARMY' inscription, which is too wide across the span, needed to be applied letter by letter with less space in-between. Unfortunately my printer's color cartridge failed when I printed the 17th PG crest and I didn't get the texture as clear as I wanted. I thought the Matchbox 1930 Packard Victoria in 1/43 is an amusing compliment to give a feeling for the era. You will notice the modified front. When I was 13 years old my father accidentally stepped on the car and broke the headlights - big tragedy! I hope you enjoy the pictures and my experience with the Hobbycraft kit is useful. Happy modelling! Michael References Boeing P-26A, Profile Publications No.14, Peter M. Bowers, Leatherhead Air Corps, J. V. Mizrahi, Northridge, 1970 Boeing P-26 "Peashooter", Aero Series No.22, Edward T. Maloney, Fallbrook, 1973 Boeing P-26 Variants, Aerofax Minigraph 8, Peter Bowers, Arlington, 1984 P-26, Mini in Action No.2, Larry Davis, Squadron Signal Publications, Carrollton, 1994 The Official Monogram US Army Air Service & Air Corps Aircraft Color Guide Vol.1, Robert D. Archer, Sturbridge, 1995 Click picture to view more Golden Age fighters:
I'm certainly not the only one whose enthusiasm for the Chance Vought F4U is as old as his modelling obsession. This is my latest Corsair from four years ago. BuNo. 02350 arrived on Guadalcanal on 12 February 1943 with VMF-124, the first Marine Corsair squadron in the theatre. As Black (later White) 13 it was assigned to Lt Ken Walsh, who claimed some of the 6 victories of his first tour in this aircraft. A video shows Walsh alighting from another later No.13. 2/Lt Kenneth A. Walsh - VMF 124 1/Lt James N. Cupp - VMF 213 When VMF-124 stood down for R&R in April their Corsairs were handed over to VMF-213 and this combat-hardened fighter started a second life with Lt James N. Cupp. Christened 'Daphne C' after his wife it was now identified as White 7. The faithful Corsair helped Cupp record his first two victories before it was retired in July 1943 when fresh F4Us arrived. The Hobbycraft kit is a reasonably good product for a start. I followed my practice of using what's available in the aftermarket* plus some scratch-building of propeller, wheel wells and air intakes. The dihedral of the outer wing section is too shallow and was increased, and the span of the tail is a bit too short (the original one as well as the CMK option) which I considered negligible and did not correct. The most difficult operation was fixing the landing flaps in the down position. Finally I added a little gimmick by making the upper cowling removable to access the engine for maintenance. I hope my efforts match the performance of this outstanding fighter. Thanks for looking, Michael * After-market parts of this build: Eduard upgrade set, CMK cockpit floor, Eduard cockpit details, Vector engine, Vector cowling ring, CMK control surfaces, True Details wheels, Quickboost undercarriage covers, Squadron canopy REFERENCES CHANCE-VOUGHT F4U CORSAIR, AERO SERIES NO.11, EDWARD T. MALONEY / UWE FEIST, FALLBROOK, 1967 CORSAIR ACES – THE BENT-WING BIRD OVER THE PACIFIC, WALTER A. MUSCIANO, NEW YORK, 1979 F4U CORSAIR IN COLOR, FIGHTING COLORS NO.3, JIM SULLIVAN, CARROLLTON, 1981 F4U CORSAIR, FREDERICK A. JOHNSON, JANE'S, TOKYO, 1983 CORSAIR ACES OF WORLD WAR 2, OSPREY AIRCRAFT OF THE ACES 8, MARK STYLING, LONDON, 1995 CORSAIR 1940-1970 – 30 YEARS OF FILIBUSTERING, BRUNO PAUTIGNY, PARIS, 2003 INTERIOR COLORS OF US AIRCRAFT 1941-45, MARTIN WALIGORSKI, IPMS STOCKHOLM ORG, 2005 MODELLING THE F4U CORSAIR, OSPREY MODELLING 24, BRETT GREEN, BOTLEY, 2005 THE VOUGHT F4U CORSAIR – A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE, MDF 18, RAFE MORRISSEY / JOE HEGEDUS, KINGSWAY, 2010 F4U CORSAIR WALK AROUND, DAVID DOYLE, CARROLLTON, 2011 VOUGHT F4U CORSAIR, WARPAINT SERIES NO.70, CHARLES STAFRACE, DENBIGH EAST Also visit my B-26 Marauder here.