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The Great LSM Twins Group Build ends July 3, 2024 ×

F4U-1D in FAA, by Revell


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I noticed only now this is a 12-mth GB ending mid-'14, so I might hazard starting a thread.

Started my wee Testors F4U-1D kit-bash, mid-October, with the big Revell as quick reference. Curiosity turned into 'how well DOES the ol' Eduard PE set fit in the Revell?' So I bounced between the small and the big kits.

In other words, I have the attention span of a humbingbi-  'Ooohh, look!  A butterfly!"


A good friend sent me this beastie, sans kit prop and engine but with the Hellcat engine, vac canopy and a part-used Eduard PE. I'd mused out loud wanting a kit as a guide to designing a PE/placard set.






Even before that the OCD flared up, days after the kit arrived earlier in the year. I could say I 'needed a break from the commission stuff' but no-one believes me! I simply wanted to start the rivetting/scribing work. SOP is 1) Blue magic marker over the raised lines 2) wet-sand lightly til flush, but leaves a line in the residual ink 3) scribe/sand/re-scribe/soapy brush.








I used Radu's excellent scribing wheels (0.75, 1.0 and 1.25 wheels on various lines). I run a wheel along the edge of a strip of 0.007" litho ali cut to length. These are guide holes for the 0.5mm drill bit in a pin vise. I then give each divet about a 1/2 twist of the 0.5mm drill to deepen the 'rivet'.







The rivets/fasteners around the cowl are wider apart than the pounce wheel's teeth. I simply drilled every second or third one. The panels around the empennage were custom cut litho outlines, to the shape of scaled drawings from various three-views out of books. (I have a ton of old, printer's lithograph sheet.)


Yes, the rivets are a little deep for realism.

I have a cunning plan. Fill with spot putty then sand smooth. The putty is softer than the styrene and should leave slight sink marks. If my calculations are correct some suitable 'filter' work with different shades will reveal them in a subtle way.


The dearth of DSG/EDSG/Sky schemes on 1:32nd kits, around the galleries, is the incentive. But, the more I look at the kit decals for a BPF fleet machine, the Sqn Cdr's a/c in GSB scheme is attractive as is. I like the challenge of adding interest to the monotone blue.

We shall see . . .





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I appreciate the encouragement. There may be a lot of LSM 'jewellery' coming out, or already come out from other mftrs, but Revell's classics still evoke affection.

I'm 'old school' and raised on the simple stuff.




The main cockpit 'tub' req'd surgery. Had to remove the floor and most of the console sides. You can also see some adjustment to the rear right console. I first altered it to suit the FG-1 then saw an FAA machine, that had the tail hook lever (removed on the RNZAF a/c).


I left a rear portion of the floor to keep a datum and some rigidity. It also offers a mount for the s/b fuselage former.  The PE floor is bent and attached. Firewall is woefully bare. Though little is visible once everything's together I added enough for interest's sake. And added tabs to better secure it to the tub, instead of relying on a butt join with CA  I have some excellent up-close online refs to help.


Here's the warbird walkaround, RNZAF FG-1D -




Not quite as tidy as I'd planned but it's close enough for govt work.








The foot rests were a small problem. Bent to the lines in the PE pieces they mounted with a drastic taper inwards to the rear. Good thing I'd been generous with the CA and they weren't going anywhere.

All it needed was a gentle tweak with the pliers to bend them out level.


Assembly sequence of the major tub and firewall was a poser. To paint it properly meant having it together. But there's still a bunch of plumbing and gizmology to go under/around the foot rests, consoles and floor. There's still some wriggle room to fit details, I reckon.


I was adding styrene blocks to a couple PE units that were for the left console. Plastic cores make attaching levers much easier. Two PE parts went AWOL with extreme prejudice. 

Ah, well, it's not like this is the first time. More s/b on the cards.


Shall work on the photography, for clearer pics.



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Dave J, I'm grateful for the offer.

I was going to be happy with the kit wheels, keeping it to s/b for the most part. Other than the supplied PE and canopy I wasn't going overboard with a/m.


What do you need in trade, or can I simply pay you?





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Here's a little on the Hellcat engine.

There were no instructions at first. Some patient trial-n-error sorted out how it went together, especially the separate cylinders. Each bank of nine had mounting lugs set 180deg in opposite directions.

I sorted out what goes where, put the engine block together and added the ignition rings. Painted the block and cylinders separate then added the front bank, to give me leeway to line up the intake pipes ring.

Started with a dark metal colour but oversprayed with a tan/brown, for some odd reason. I was trying for a thin tint but I went overboard.

Such is wash. The pipes won't be that visible anyhoos.




With the rear bank on – but leaving off the front housing so it wasn't in the way - I drilled holes around in front of the cylinders, then cut and trimmed copper wire for the cam-rods. The kit parts are one-piece ring and cam rods, but they're square section. I clipped off the rods leaving a short stub as a guide for the drill.

Had them all on, with CA, and checked against references. Maybe they could have been slightly thicker gauge wire, but they're on now and look okay.




The cylinders are in Testors' Metalliser Burnt Metal with a brown/black acrylic wash. The block and reduction housing is a mix of Hu 124/145, a coat of Future, pin-wash of acrylic and some chipping with a silver pen.

Gave it all a mist of satin/matt clear to reduce the brilliance.



References show various colours for the ignition harness. I settled on a light-ish green, for argument's sake. It was a toss-up between drilling the harness for wires or simply gluing on stubs. I'm leaning towards the stub idea, to avoid hassles with munched harness when the drill bit goes askew.

Need to figure out how much effort to put into the harness 'connector' (it supplies the rear cyls) that's mounted around the outside of the front cyls. I have solder wire of the right gauge for the circumference but there's a part with a tricky contour fitting on each cyl head.


I must have misplaced the wee pump unit that's prominent under the engine front. Not hard to s/b s/thing. It also needs some plumbing coming off it yet.



The inst panel.

Ignore the exaggerated smudges, I went a bit disco on the dry-brushing. I shall rectify matters with Blutac covering the dials.

Two coats of Future over the acetate dials gives them a beautifully glass-like look.




Excuse the waffle. My philosophy is Bit More Than Less, so there might be a nugget in there for someone.








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  • 2 weeks later...



Work on the seat and its frame are now at paint stages. And what a joy to see the “trial-n-error” is more success than error.


First up, creating the frame for hanging the seat had its moments.

Natch, one believes the PE geometry. Why wouldn't we? The designers always get it right. Right?



Ignoring the First Principles of prototyping, I forged merrily ahead creating a new frame from sprue. Much nicer than the flat planes of the PE I used as a template.

Even without refs the basic structure geometry didn't seem right. Put some minor adjustments to Part 2. About here I checked it for width against the seat.

Part 3, and we finally have good width.


Been putting it off long enough so I took a break to check photos of the RNZAF resto, with the frame out of the a/c. Yup. The PE bit was pure fantasy, too narrow and too short. Not to worry. If there's only one thing I expect it's the unexpected.

Some quick measurements on-screen, a few lines to set up a jig and Part 4 is whole nuther picture.

I'm really rather good at using stretched sprue, if I don't mind my saying.




Smear my ears with honey and tie me to an anthill, the Hairspray Technique acksherly works.

Pre-flighted the Abs. Prepped the paint. Ran thru procedures. We're doing this right first time!

A coat or two of matt grey as primer is SOP on PE (especially brass). This case, MM Flat Interior Grey.

Incidentally, I've had the bottle barely two yrs, kept the lid clean and sealed and already it is thick and lumpy. I use pieces of old net curtain, though, to strain the thinned mix before it goes in the AB cup. Yes, that's probably playing with fire but I've done this for yrs and yet to strike any hassle.

Waste not want not.




I next shot thinned Humbrol Metal Cote (the olde timey formula).

Picked up some “Schwarzkopf High Volume Extra Care” on sale a bit ago. Decanted about half a CC and immediately clogged the nozzle. Wha' . . . ??


Noone tells you this will happen. Diluted with a little Glass Cleaner formula and it seemed to improve flow. Next time, though, I'll try plain water.

Get this. I don't have acrylics. Instead I shot light coats of thinned, lacquer-based auto paint. Left it 10-15 mins then started the soaking-with-water-and-scrubbing, using a small toothbrush.




Yes, it's totally unrealistic as regards standard chipping and wear in the period environment. But as a 'proof of concept' I'm happy. Using a lacquer paint is viable. Only remains now to re-shoot around the periphery and re-scrub.

I did plan on some salt over the wet hairspray, to localise the paint 'loss'. Forgot. I'll do that in Take 2.


So, the painting/effects fun starts. And what better than the simplicity of a seat?


I have to include, for the sake of recognition and posterity, Dave J's nice contribution of Rutman (Grey Matter) main wheels. Again, a huge Thanks, Dave.

Now, in all the notes and books on file, there still remains doubt over the normal colour of the hubs on FAA Corsairs.

Mostly I see and hear 'white'. Lately I've heard silver main hubs were on some -1As, -1Ds.

Any thoughts whether this was solely USN or incl. in some production blocks for the FAA?








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