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On 6/3/2020 at 12:43 PM, Dave Swindell said:

but what is fuselage interior and what is wheel well on the Wildcat

Well, when you take the engine out, the first bit of fuselage you run into is the wall with the bicycle chains.


I really do try to not get sucked into 72nd (with exceptions, of course), and when I first read a review of this kit (which hadn't been on my radar) I felt that it might need to be one of those exceptions.  So I'll be following along.  I used to be on pretty friendly terms with an FM-2 (N11FE, owned by Dick Foote at the time) and I've kinda had a soft spot for them ever since.



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On 6/3/2020 at 5:43 PM, Dave Swindell said:


That's what I'd read as well, but it rather depends on how you define wheel well with the Wildcat. Hellcats and Avengers are pretty straightforward with the wheel wells in the wings, but what is fuselage interior and what is wheel well on the Wildcat, and when would it be painted? I would have expected the fuselage interior to be painted Interior Green (or Grumman Grey for Grumman built Wildcats/Martlets) during construction prior to most fitting out, and the exterior colour to be applied at a late stage in construction shortly before roll out. If this was the case I can't see the paint shop respraying the whole of the fuselage bay in the underside colour, just the recessed wheel dishes on the firewall bulkhead, from my reading of Bruce Archer's summary of FAA Wildcat/Martlets this would appear to be his interpretation as well. There are however sextant Wildcats which have the most if not all of the fuselage interior in way of the wheelwell in the undersurface colour (or GSB at least), how original this is I don't know, and thumbing through period photo's has been inconclusive, there's not many good closeups of the area and it's largely in shade when photographed form further back.


Did a little bit of digging - Some interesting pictures of one of the Lake recovered FM2s under restoration. Not sure the original colour scheme of this aircraft, although it was obviously GSB when crashed. The GSB being half way up the firewall ties in with your comments. Also looks like a greyish finish in areas other than the cockpit. Just a FWIW





This image suggests it was originally in a two tone (at least scheme)


Edited by Dave Fleming
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5 hours ago, Dave Fleming said:

Some interesting pictures of one of the Lake recovered FM2s under restoration

Thanks for those links Dave, there's some interesting and useful photo's in there.

As you say, the internal finish of the fuselage outside the cockpit area does look a light grey rather than zinc chromate yellow or green, more akin to the Grumman finishing practice.

The light grey triangle below the wing centreline could either be primer or original underside colour, this bit is covered by a fairing plate when the wing is fitted, but the neat sprayed upper surface blue under the upper half of the wing root suggests it is undersurface colour, with the fuselage being sprayed during manufacture before the wings have been fitted.

The lower firewall being in a rough edged GSB does rather look like a respray in service, with only what could be reached easily through the wheel well being sprayed.

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After a couple of days away from the bench I got back to it and made a bit of progress today. As I'd talked about earlier I removed the pushrod tubes from the engine gearcase, marked thier centres with a compass point and drilled a small hole 0.35mm in each location to take the new ones I'll make later from Albion Nickel rod. The Expert set comes with precut masks for the canopy and wheels, both parts of the canopy were masked on  the outside with this set and on the inside with strips of tamiya tape, then parts were mouonted where required ready for painting. Cockpit parts were sprayed Interior Green, fuselage and cowling interior and upper undercarriage structure was sprayed light gull grey to represent the light grey discussed above with @Dave Fleming, prop tips got painted trainer yellow, both sides of the engine got a coat of oily steel and the gearcase was painted medium sea grey which seems to me to be pretty close to the bluegrey colour used on US radial engine gearcasings.


That little lot is off to hide in the airing cupboard overnight ready for masking for othe colours or detail painting next.

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I have always wondered about the colour of US radial engine gear casings. Was it a standard colour required by the US Army/Navy? Was there a colour name/number assigned to it? 


I've seen a lot of models that had them painted with a fairly light grey, but I don't think that is very accurate.


Some photos:


Wright R-2600:











P&W R-1830:












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Hmm I reckon that the manufacturer decided. I used to work for a subsidiary of Pratt & Whitney and paint finishes were standardised for  specific applications colour was almost an after thought. E.g paint chemistry for things like insides of gearboxes was critical but colour wasn’t specified.

Edited by Marklo
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  • 5 months later...

Just saw this one. I started one of these mid-late summer and thought I was progressing satisfactorily until I got to the landing gear. I proceeded to completely mess it up, and barely restrained myself from trashing the kit. I eventually requested replacement parts from Arma (first set provided free) and last night went back to it. 

Dave, I am really glad I followed a link to this build. Your alternate solution to the landing gear looks to be a really good way to solve the the assembly process. One of my main complaints from the kit directions is the struts and gear legs are to be put together without any positive way to locate the legs, and your use of the firewall and fuselage as an assembly jig will hopefully enable me to get it right this time.  Thanks again

Edited by Chuck1945
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