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F4U-4 Propeller & Cowling Set (for Hobby Boss) - 1:48 True Details


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F4U-4 Propeller & Cowling Set (for Hobby Boss)
1:48 True Details (48552)


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The Hobby Boss kit is well detailed, but it suffers from a slightly long cowling, that affects the overall look of the aircraft slightly. This set is designed to address this issue, and arrives in a card-backed blister pack containing six pieces of mid-grey resin, all backed by a protective slab of dark grey foam.
 

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The cowling part is a straight forward replacement for the kit part, and is moulded with the casting block covering the open cowling front. It is attached to the very front of the lip, so care when removal would be sensible, and some clean-up will be required. The other parts are the four individual prop blades, and the central spinner which build up into the replacement propeller. Each blade is keyed to ensure the correct angle, but take care in aligning them to ensure that they all rotate in the same plane. A small resin "pip" is moulded to the tip of the prop blades, to catch any stray bubbles that would otherwise ruin the castings. Slice these off with a sharp blade long the plane of the blade, and make good with some careful sanding.
 

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Because the cowling casting block is likely to cause some concern amongst those less used to the vagaries of working with resin, I decided to remove it from its block to check what the process involved, and to get a better look at the reduced opening. Sensibly, the attachment of the block is slim, so a few strokes with a razor saw will see it removed, but take care not to nick the cowling itself. I managed to confuse the heck out of myself here, but if you look on the inside of the cowling, you will see a line around the inside, and this is the line to sand to, not the surface of the cowl. I adzed out the majority with a sharp #11 blade, and sanded the rest back with some wet'n'dry wrapped around a Vallejo paint bottle cap, which happens to be almost perfect for the job.

Once removed, the lip is sanded back with a medium stick, and then a fine one to achieve the subtle roll of the metal into the aperture. This took only a couple of minutes, then a few more minutes to re-do the job, removing the extra material noted above. There are a couple of bubbles in the review sample, but as this is clearly a difficult part to cast, we can forgive them that and they are easy to see off with some styrene rod, super-glue and a little sanding.

There is a less than 1mm difference between the diameter of the cowling aperture in the True Details (TD) part and the Hobby Boss (HB) kit part, with the latter being the larger of the two. The TD part is around 2mm shorter than the HB part however, which will affect the look of the finished article somewhat. Where the HB part wins however is the shape of the chin intake, which has the correct sharp corners to the "smile", while the TD part has lozenge shaped ends. This may well be correct for airframes that I have not yet seen, but ultimately you should check your references to see whether the intake on your chosen bird matches the TD or the HB part.

Conclusion
Whilst this set has caused some confusion in my mind at least as to which is the best cowling part, the replacement props are a different question entirely, having no inaccurate engraved line where the yellow tip ends, and with better detail on the central boss. The HB part is a single piece, so can't hope to compete for detail.

Check your references before you make your choice. 

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Review sample courtesy of
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