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1/48 HobbyBoss F4F-3 Conversion to F4F-3a/Martlet III


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Here is the beginnings of the 1/48 HobbyBoss F4F-3 "Early" conversion to the F4F-3a / Martlet III purchased by the Greek Purchasing Commission and then turned over to the Royal Navy.  I'll steal the canopy from the "Late" kit for this.

 

- Master Pitot

- Eduard Cockpit PE

- Eduard Canopy Mask

 

Only thing still awaiting from the mail is the Ultracast Seat w/ Sutton Harness.

 

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Beginnings of the F4F-3a Conversion - MTO Theatre. by Jim Fox, on Flickr

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1 minute ago, Ozzy said:

Welcome to the build bluenosers you've got some nice bits there, which markings are you going to use?

Think I am going to have to come up with my own.  Decals were made, but I haven't found any to purchase.  Probably K or X like in this image.  Their is debate whether there was an in between stage of just the upper/lower colors and camo upper and single color lower.  Not sure which one yet.

 

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33  Malakal. O has trouble by Crumple Zone, on Flickr

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Nice choice and a little of the beaten track. 

 

If it helps with your choices I have these decals below by Model Alliance going spare. I’m probably never going to use them.  If you want them they’re yours. No worries either way. 

 

50362506012_9c9dd4d750_b.jpg8424E56C-6565-411E-A615-1DBF09B1BAEA by James Halls, on Flickr

 

James

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3 minutes ago, franky boy said:

Nice choice and a little of the beaten track. 

 

If it helps with your choices I have these decals below by Model Alliance going spare. I’m probably never going to use them.  If you want them they’re yours. No worries either way. 

 

50362506012_9c9dd4d750_b.jpg8424E56C-6565-411E-A615-1DBF09B1BAEA by James Halls, on Flickr

 

James

Well Done James.. 👍🏻

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5 hours ago, franky boy said:

Nice choice and a little of the beaten track. 

 

If it helps with your choices I have these decals below by Model Alliance going spare. I’m probably never going to use them.  If you want them they’re yours. No worries either way.

 

James

That would be awesome James!  Very much appreciated.  But you'd be sending it across the pond!  Granted it's not a big package.  What do I owe you?

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1 hour ago, BlueNosers352nd said:

That would be awesome James!  Very much appreciated.  But you'd be sending it across the pond!  Granted it's not a big package.  What do I owe you?

No idea. Pm your address and I’ll post them this week. It shouldn’t be much for just a letter. 

 

James

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got some work done on the structure forward of the firewall, plus the cockpit done.  Eduard PE set for the cockpit and Ultracast Seat w/ Sutton Harness.  I think most of the PE survived with the exception of the rudder pedals and maybe a handle or two.

 

I have since adjusted the yellow tank, just didn't retake pictures. :doh:

 

HobbyBoss kits certainly are nothing like Tamiya, Eduard or Hasegawa.  Giant sprue attachment points, questionable location references, etc.

 

Sorry for the heavily cropped pictures.

 

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HobbyBoss F4F-3A / Martlet III Cockpit by Jim Fox, on Flickr

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well I am a little perplexed this morning.  What to do?  What to do?

 

Starborad wing fits perfectly.  Port wing not so much.  Got it glued on only to find a huge step between the wing and fuselage.  The wing is taller than the mating location on the fuselage.  So after a few drinks with dinner last night, I went and cut the wing back off just to see if I missed something.  But based on the pics below, everything is pretty tight together.  We are not talking a hairline step, it's a noticeable step.  Like maybe 1mm or so.  Fortunately it's on the underside so less noticeable if I were to leave it.  I did have to tweak a few panel lines when I joined the bottom tub to the upper portion (but only at the back), but then it would seem like the step would be taller in the back and shorter in the front.  But the step seems to be pretty consistent.  Plus I don't remember what side that was on where I had to rescribe.

 

So I am kinda down to these options;

 

1)  Just glue it back on and leave it, knowing it's the underside and won't be seen as much.

2)  Razor saw the seam line open.  Maybe even a bit aft of the back of the wing and put a thin strip of plastic along it to act like a wedge and spread it apart.

3)  Sand the heck outta the join line and maybe some filler on the fuselage side.  But that's quite a bit of sanding and not a lot of space to feather it all in with the bulges (what ever those are) under the wing.

 

More leaning towards 1 or 2.   Haven't read anything by other modelers about having this issue.  So probably something I did. 

 

EDIT:  This was not the side that I had to fix some panel lines that were not lined up.

 

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Difficult choice and I cant tell you what to do but could perfect plastic putty or milliput fix it without sanding ? Both smooth out with water so the flaring in wouldn't be as destructive. Both can be scribed to replace panel lines. 

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@Corsairfoxfouruncle May patience got the better of me so I went the route of slicing it opening along the seam on that fuselage joint where the wings attach.  Went all the way forward and about 1/4" past the back of the wing edge.  Then shoved some shims in there.   Wing is back on now and I think will be ok for the most part.  Any step is super minimal.  Just some gaps to clean up.  Which is to be expected for removing the wing from the fuselage.

 

EDIT:  Just looked again and just a slight ledge on top.  Grrr........but way better over all.

 

You can see how far fore and aft I sliced it.  Cowl seems good too.  I can squeeze that forward seam just a bit too.

 

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Weird! I checked my HB F4F-4 and it doesn't seem to have that discrepancy. Both wing roots have the same dimensions, as do the wing roots. Mind, I didn't try actually fitting anything as all parts are still in sprues.

 

I think your solution works.

 

Maybe a shim in the slit you cut will be easier than trying to squeeze it shut?

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Just now, SoftScience said:

Maybe a shim in the slit you cut will be easier than trying to squeeze it shut?

Thought about that, right now it has sprue goo in it which when dry should be pretty solid too.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Putting this kit away for a while.  I dislike it, I dislike it, I dislike it!  Landing gear fought me!  Windscreen fit is awful, IMO, but some of that may be from the cleanup.  The sliding portion doesn't fit over the spine nor does it even come close to matching up with the windscreen height.  I've lost all interest in working on it.  This also irks me because Frank Boy was so gracious to send my decals over the pond.  😔  The Late version kit I also have will now be relegated to a paint mule! 

 

It's so close to painting too.  Bleepin canopy!

 

Don't think I'll ever build a HobbyBoss kit again.

Edited by BlueNosers352nd
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33 minutes ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Sorry to hear shes fighting you so hard. 

I got time yet.  Fortunately with it being so close to paint, hopefully it'll get finished in time for the GB end.  Think with the F4F and Mig 17 I am just done with fiddly nonsense.  I just need to walk away from it for a bit.  I have an AMT P-40N I'm working on too, even with the mold issues it's not nearly as fiddly.

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7 hours ago, BlueNosers352nd said:

The sliding portion doesn't fit over the spine

 

I had the same problem. Tried running it under hot water then forcing it into place to see if I could get it to conform.

Didn't work. Cracked it! 

 

 

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Well the show must go on.  After getting frustrated with the Mig 17 (yet again), I've put that on the shelf of doom and started tinkering with this one again.  Decided I'm just leaving the windscreen the way it is.  I think I've manage to save one of my 3 vac canopies for the sliding portion and I think it's going to fit just fine.  So now I just gotta figure out how to mask off the headrest area and then I'll sling some paint on it.  Plus I'm actively looking at what my next project will be..............something way less fiddly.  So want to build another Mustang.

 

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The show must go on..... by Jim Fox, on Flickr

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Got the main paint on the Martlet this weekend.  3 step process on each color.  Main color, slightly darker color on the panel lines, rivets, details, etc.  Slightly lighter color, highly thinned in the centers and to dial back the darker panel lines.  Inside of cowl now needs touching up and the landing gear needs painting.  Pretty happy how it turned out so far.

 

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Ok, what do people think?  Is my upper color to far on the peach side color wise?  Was looking at other Martlet III's trying to figure out landing gear colors and a lot seem be more on the yellow/brown/ocra side.

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18 minutes ago, BlueNosers352nd said:

Ok, what do people think?  Is my upper color to far on the peach side color wise?  Was looking at other Martlet III's trying to figure out landing gear colors and a lot seem be more on the yellow/brown/ocra side.

No to my old Mk.1’s 👀 it has the proper Mustard tone of Mid-stone. 
 

Which part of the landing gear are we talking about ? The struts should be black on early wildcats if my memory is correct ? The wheels I've seen range from underside color to black on some ? 

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle
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10 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

Which part of the landing gear are we talking about ? The struts should be black on early wildcats if my memory is correct ? The wheels I've seen range from underside color to black on some ? 

Basically the whole landing gear structure.  Was thinking black as well, seems to be the common interpretation, with a lighter gray on the upper portions.  Leaning towards the hubs being the underside color.

 

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52  X  AX736  Kisumi by Crumple Zone, on Flickr

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Decals are all on and drying.  Hopefully I'll get a clear coat over them and start on some weathering...........maybe later today or tomorrow.  Have to be careful with the Mr Mark Softer, at least with these decals, as it will eat up decals.   Had to replace the portside upper wing roundel with a spare after in disintegrated in a few spots.   Hair spray chipping might be a little over done, but what the heck.............why not have some fun.

 

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