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FAA F4u-1a Corsair, questions, questions ,questions ...


Gordon Parker
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The early birdcage Corsairs had eighteen cowl flaps with eighteen individual hydraulic struts, hydraulically connected in parallel, to control the flap position.  As Dana stated, the method of operation was changed from the eighteen individual hydraulic struts to a spring and cable system actuated by a single hydraulic strut.  As far as I know, after the change, every Corsair has used the spring and cable system actuated by a single hydraulic strut to control cowl flap position.

 

I've built the all-around cowl flaps in 1/72 and 1/48 using the Tamiya kit.  Here's the link to my 1/48 kit modification.  One way to make the all-around cowl flaps.  Filling in the notch for the dead cowl flaps.  Filling the notch in forward fuselage

 

Don

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The tread pattern (to be pedantic) on tyres is to prevent aquaplaning on braking (in aircraft). Given landings were stopped by the arrestor wires and take-offs were rarely aborted on carriers, tread pattern may not have mattered much, which is perhaps why we see variation between u/c legs on individual aircraft as well as between aircraft. And whilst most carriers decks were wet most of the time, I doubt if they had sufficient standing water for aquaplaning to be a real risk anyway - all that pitching and rolling would remove water. Given all that, I would be surprised if navies specified tread patterns, much if at all, as the ideal would vary depending conditions at the time of landing. 

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And another detail that needs correcting, F4U-1 birdcages, early F4U-1A's and some Corsair II.

 

The Tamiya kit provides the same tail wheel doors in all of the their F4U kits.  If you look at pictures of upside down Birdcage, early F4U-1A's and Corsair II's, you will note that the tail wheel doors are not as provided in the kit.  This image in a previous post is a good example:

 

F4U_Corsair_HMS_Illustrious_FAA.jpg

 

Here's the door construction.

 

F4-U-1-early-tail-wheel-door.jpg

 

This is the revised door as provided in the kits:

 

F4-U-1revised-tail-wheel-door.jpg

 

In 1/72, making a new door with the tiny ribs is difficult.  PE or 3D printing would the best solution.  With determination, one could make the new 1/72 doors from plastic or brass and cast copies.  In the larger scales, tedious work to scratch build, but could be done.  If only the doors were not so visible.  Sigh.  Or forget about fixing them and build the model.

 

Don

 

P.S. - Look at the outboard MLG gear doors in the image above.  The Tamiya 1/48 kit instructions have the right and left doors swapped.  Easy to fix.  I've built them with the doors in the wrong position. I'm not going to snap them off and reattach them. In the future, I'll get them right.

 

 

 

 

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Yes, beginning to appreciate why all the little fixes here and there.  Tamiya 's entry into the Corsair market was basically based on the F4U-1D, so any boxings of earlier marks are composed of the same base sprues.  

 

For the tail doors in the closed position, just have to remove the faring, and good to go?

 

 

@don f  thanks again for posting your links and the 'fix it' list.  Was wondering though, what is all that plastic sheet you have added on to the wing undersides?

 

1366770_09f52406d4445e8757484d02a2d9b001

 

 

 

A helpful review from Hyperscale points out the rear bulkhead (72nd scale) is too thick causing the seat to sit too far forward.   Still with the underside,

 it also suggests filling in the entire oval of the three backfire pressure relief valves, and reintroducing the detail as this should be flush with the fuselage surface:

 

spacer.png

 

 

As for the nub of plastic underneath and just aft of the cowl, if that was for attachment of a central drop tank, I would leave (unless the British designed something of their own?).   Entries here show 1836’s Corsairs (in conjunction with 1834 Sqn) were using long range tanks already in August of 1944.

http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/471/Navy-Blue-Fighter-Pilot-Episode-Two.aspx

 

For the hole of the forward antenna mast, it seems to still be present as a circular hole when viewing the period film clips.   So  fill it in and then drill a round hole? 🧐

 

Along with this, it seems the fuel access cover has a rectangular cut out?

 

Screenshot-2021-09-11-at-11-15-22-Easter

 

Screenshot-2021-09-11-at-11-54-53-Aircra

 

 

 

regards,

Jack

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Hi Jack,

 

I'll start with the white rectangles under the wing.  The Corsair flaps had a series of small doors that moved upward into the flap well when the flaps were extended.  This left a gap between the leading edge of the flap and the wing structure.  The small doors were called flap gap closing doors, or flap gap covers.  The 1/48 Tamiya kit is designed to be built with the flaps extended with the flap gap doors molded in the up position.  The 1/48 Tamiya kit can be built with the flaps retracted by modifying the kit parts and making the flap gap doors.  The fit of the assembled flaps is surprisingly good.  The white rectangles of plastic are the homemade flap gap closing doors.  I used 0.005" plastic sheet.

 

1366770_ce2bf2146ffca42fd9b7b8021b660f85

 

Dana has answered the query about the fuel tank opening.  Removal of the forward radio mast left that hole in the skin at the forward face of the firewall, right and forward of the fuel tank.  The support channels for the mast were mounted on the forward side of the firewall.  The portion of the mast that extended into the fuselage was oval shaped in cross section.  The hole may appear to be circular, but more likely was oval shaped.  I don't have a close up of the opening.  I will speculate that this hole was sometimes covered with a fabric patch.  Here's images showing how I correct the 1/72 Tamiya Corsair seat problem.

 

Tam-72-F4-U-1-Seat-before-adjustment.jpg

Seat as is in kit.

 

Tam-72-F4-U-1-Cut.jpg

Cut off the seat mount.

 

Tam-72-F4-U-1-Seat-After-Adjustment.jpg

Seat assembled to bulkhead.  And no worries, the cockpit side walls will still fit.  You'll have to remove the bar connecting the side panels at the rear of Part A22.  Glue the side panels to Part A16.

 

I would leave that nub of plastic aft of the cowl flaps.  This represents the mounting hook for the drop tank.  I find scribing the backfire valves to be very difficult in 1/72.  Scribing those very small, concentric circles is beyond my ability.  I usually just use small disks of decal material.

 

Don

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Chuck1945 said:

Don, if I’m seeing this correctly, you basically removed plastic equal to the thickness of the sawblade for adjusting the seat?

@Chuck1945 Yes.  That crude, rusty old X-Acto saw blade removes about 0.050" during a cut.  That is about the thickness of the bar at the rear of Part A22.  A little sanding to clean up and the image shows what's left.  It's a quick fix okay for an OOB build, I think.  Here's a more refined attempt with a piece of 0.010" plastic to simulate the armor plate. 

 

Don

 

20210911-195111.jpg

 

 

 

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So digging away:

I have ordered Dana's Aircraft Pictorial vol 7 and 8 through David Hiorth of Miliary Antiques Toronto and borrowed a copy of the modellers datafile. I have the HGW FAA seat belts and wet transfers, Barracuda early ignition harness, cockpit stencils and plain tires (OK I hedged my bets and bought the diamond tread too (what the hell it's wholesale) and the Eagle Cal decals (#163). Decided to go with the Montex masks for the over painting of the roundels and the Eduard cowling. Also got the Yahu instrument panel but not sure if I will use it; depends how the kit parts turn out. Am I missing anything?

Had the cockpit parts laid out -man this is something else - and just begs for every bit and bob I can squeeze in there.

From the photos I have looked at, the cockpit is a lot less scruffy looking than I would have anticipated.  Sure, there is lot's of scuffing on the heel boards, rudder pedals and the seat (almost worn to bare metal) but in general the interiors seem to stand the wear and tear quite well. I imgaine a lot of this is down to US construction methods (other than Brewster that is) and paint quality.

Does anyone one have detail photos of the eyebrow panel (part R5)? The kit part looks a little indistinct to me.

There are rectangular slits - they are slightly angled from front to back - on the fuselage sides that I don't see in any photos. Is this Tamiya's error or am |I missing something.

I tgink I have an uderstanding of the shape and dimensions (mark 1 eyeball version) of the intake scoops on the fuselage sides. Does anyone have a photo of the ventral exhaust/scoop/flap? 

This is getting to be a great discussion thread!

Cheers,

Gord

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@Gordon Parker Apologies for allowing my enthusiasm for Corsair models letting me run off at the keyboard and go up and down the scales.  I promise to keep to your original 1/32 Corsair topic.  I finally pulled my abandoned Tamiya 1/32 conversion project from the bottom of the stack to see what Part R5 is.  Upon opening the box I was instantly impressed by the quality of the kit and why I abandoned the Corsair IV project.  Making and detailing the "Y" duct.  Anyhow, here's what Part R5 looked like.

 

20210912-085342.jpg

 

Use the kit parts for Option B.  This will provide you with the all-around cowl flaps.  Get a copy of the Fundekals instruction booklet for the F4U Corsair.  This booklet went with the decal set with the FAA Corsairs on it, 2014 I think.  This booklet has lots of information and images of the fuselage scoops.  Also, "The Time Capsule Fighter: Corsair KD431" by David Morris is a must have, if you don't already have a copy.

 

If you want to modify the cockpit, these may help.

 

FAA-Corsair-Cockpit-Instrument-Panel.jpg

 

FAA-Corsair-Cockpit-Lft-Side.jpg

 

FAA-Corsair-Cockpit-Rt-Side.jpg

 

Have you visited Large Scale Planes to view the stunning and impressive WIP and 1/32 Tamiya Corsairs posted there?  If not, definitely worth a visit.

 

Don

 

P.S. - You are orbiting very close to the black hole TAM.132.F4U!  It can suck away your $CAD, time and enthusiasm.

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49 minutes ago, don f said:

@Gordon Parker Apologies for allowing my enthusiasm for Corsair models letting me run off at the keyboard and go up and down the scales.  I promise to keep to your original 1/32 Corsair topic.  I finally pulled my abandoned Tamiya 1/32 conversion project from the bottom of the stack to see what Part R5 is.  Upon opening the box I was instantly impressed by the quality of the kit and why I abandoned the Corsair IV project.  Making and detailing the "Y" duct.  Anyhow, here's what Part R5 looked like.

Use the kit parts for Option B.  This will provide you with the all-around cowl flaps.  Get a copy of the Fundekals instruction booklet for the F4U Corsair.  This booklet went with the decal set with the FAA Corsairs on it, 2014 I think.  This booklet has lots of information and images of the fuselage scoops.  Also, "The Time Capsule Fighter: Corsair KD431" by David Morris is a must have, if you don't already have a copy.

Have you visited Large Scale Planes to view the stunning and impressive WIP and 1/32 Tamiya Corsairs posted there?  If not, definitely worth a visit.

Don

P.S. - You are orbiting very close to the black hole TAM.132.F4U!  It can suck away your $CAD, time and enthusiasm.

Hi Don, 

I have been enjoying ALL your contributions to this topic regardless of scale. I am really a 72nd guy myself and will eventually build the 72nd Tamiya kits so all this is very helpful.

Your lates additions are a great help. Now to track down your reccomendations.

Cheers,

Gord

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For the side air scoops and underside vent there was this posting based on examining photos:

https://forum.largescaleplanes.com/index.php?/topic/84782-132nd-faa-corsair-kd431/page/2/

 

I've revisited my calculations to compare, and made some adjustments to my original values...  

The side scoops are easier to calculate because we know the yellow portion of the roundel is 2 inches wide.  The forum linked gives an aperture height of 1mm in 32nd scale, that would be about 1.25 inches full scale.  I measure 1.47 inches, and that is when viewed at an angle.

 

Untitled-1.jpg

 

Not the best photo, but looking at the shape ratio of the scoop and accepting the vertical length as 2.5 inches, the width could easily be 1.75 to 2 inches:

 

Fleet-Air-Arm-1851NAS-Vought-F4U-1A-Cors

 

 

The best photo that I can find for calculating the underside vent is this one:

 

Fleet-Air-Arm-Corsair-Mk-II-White-Y13x-t

 

I've only a 72nd model to measure with, but taking the distance from the front of the inter cooler flap to the front of the tail wheel bay opening,  I scale the above photo.

 

exhaust-vent.jpg

 

I measured just a half inch more on the width (6.5") compared to six inches of the LSP forum thread.  Difficult to be exact with the shadows present. 

 

 

regards,

Jack

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Also noticed the wheel wells. Definitely not white as Dana pointed out. To my eye they could easily be the painted silver that Tom Cleaver described but I will follow dana's colour notes.

 

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8 hours ago, Gordon Parker said:

Also noticed the wheel wells. Definitely not white as Dana pointed out. To my eye they could easily be the painted silver that Tom Cleaver described but I will follow dana's colour notes.

 

Don't rush to judgement - look at the inner flaps on the picture - surely underside colour and not black. And the u/c doors too. We have what is almost certainly a single colour ranging from almost "white" (inner port wing) to almost "black" (flaps, u/c doors) on that photo. It's pretty much impossible to know what white wheel bays would look like on it.

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Hi Phoenix,

At no time did I suggest black and in fact sais I would stick to Dana Bells's reccomendations. To whit:

Vought factory drawings have the following notes:

-- Undersides Sky 71-021 enamel (the US version of that color)

-- Landing gear structure to be Sky 71-021 or USN Light Gray (using up stocks of that older camouflage paint and components already painted for Navy use)

Gord

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15 hours ago, Gordon Parker said:

Also noticed the wheel wells. Definitely not white as Dana pointed out. To my eye they could easily be the painted silver that Tom Cleaver described but I will follow dana's colour notes.

 

I think FAA usually went for underside colour in the wheel wells, so I would assume GSB.  Note this is a gloss finish so there is probably some reflection in that picture.  Of interest is the weathering on the flaps in Jacks picture..

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16 minutes ago, Grey Beema said:

I just checked “The Time Capsule Fighter Corsair KD431 “ had GSB sprayed undercarriage and bay.

Hi Phil,

I would agree if I was doing a GSB Corsair (like Hampton-Gray's) but since I am doing Sheppards in the US equivalents for EDSG, DSG and Sky. Again to quoute Dana:

The easiest color equivilent is Sea Gray, which is 36118 in FS595a.  (Note that there was a color change in 595b.)  Dark OD is not well matched by any 595 color, though 34087 (again from 595a) is commonly listed.  Documentation shows that the color of OD varied greatly between and within wartime manufacturers.  Sky is 34424, but questions remain (at least in my view) about the nature of Sky from US producers.

So I will stick with 34424 ish as my best option. Really can't sea GSB wheel wells on a Sky undersurface.

 

BTW did you get the article I sent you?

Cheers, 

Gord

 

 

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Sky from US paint manufacturers:  the Dupont colour was called Sky Type S Grey and is slightly different to the UK colour.  It is available from Colourcoats.  Do not accept any FS number for Sky, or indeed for pretty well any wartime colour.  It may be the closest in the FS, but that needn't mean much.

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@Dana Bell addressed the colours briefly on the first page.  From saved past notes,  there was also mention "Most of the duPont 71-line paints were lacquers, but the Corsair's RAF paints were enamels (matched to the duPont numbers).

 

So the question is not only how it compared to official RAF Sky paint, but also how close was it to the Dupont sample?

 

From a digital point of view, here are Sky from British Aviation Colours chart compared to a sample from Sovereign's web page for the Dupont version.  Below it is the colour luminosity in grey form:

 

Sky-vs-Dupont-with-grey-lum.jpg

 

regards,

Jack

 

 

 

 

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I've seen at least two different portrayals of this photograph, each giving a different impression of which Sky was on these aircraft. This version shows a Sky more like the British version we are most familiar with

 

1280px-Corsair_Mk1_Quonset_Point_1943.jp

 

Whilst this one looks more washed out

faacorsair1.jpg

 

Judging by a few different cues I don't think either of them is perfect and the truth is somewhere in between.

 

And there's also this one which 'feels' like it's from the same set of prints as the last photo

faacorsair3.jpg

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4 hours ago, Gordon Parker said:

Hi Phil,

I would agree if I was doing a GSB Corsair (like Hampton-Gray's) but since I am doing Sheppards in the US equivalents for EDSG, DSG and Sky. Again to quoute Dana:

The easiest color equivilent is Sea Gray, which is 36118 in FS595a.  (Note that there was a color change in 595b.)  Dark OD is not well matched by any 595 color, though 34087 (again from 595a) is commonly listed.  Documentation shows that the color of OD varied greatly between and within wartime manufacturers.  Sky is 34424, but questions remain (at least in my view) about the nature of Sky from US producers.

So I will stick with 34424 ish as my best option. Really can't sea GSB wheel wells on a Sky undersurface.

 

BTW did you get the article I sent you?

Cheers, 

Gord

 

 

Sorry of course you are going TSS.  Lost the plot there...

 

I’ll stick with MU underside colour (whatever it was)...

 

Yes, thank you Gord, I did get the article.  Need to print it up and put it in my reference files.  Thanks again..

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39 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

 

And there's also this one which 'feels' like it's from the same set of prints as the last photo

faacorsair3.jpg

The last picture shows the intermediate blue in the wing fold with some Sky overspray and the flap gap covers in place...

 

Also in the first picture there looks like a white halo around the Roundel.  Is this just a trick of the screen?  Or has the picture colours been enhanced?

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Jack, Phil, Gramie and Jamie,

Many thanks,

Sadly, the colourcoat referneces aren't too helpful at the moment as I can't seem to get them over here (Western Canada) and I am not comfortable with the colour interpertation of my computer screen. The colours you posted Jack look nothing like the colours in my references  and in fact the undersides look like a warm grey colour, which I have seen elsewhere.

I do have the FS595b book, The 1-GP-12c book, The IPMS Canada Canadian Colours Guide, the RAF Museum series #3; British Aviation Colours of WW2, I also carry Vallejo Model and Model Air, Tamiya, some Gunze (or whatever it's called now) and some AK.  Sooo if someone can relate colours to any of these it would be most helpful.

Cheers, and ain't this fun?

Gord

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