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Yet another Tamiya Corsair Birdcage 1/32

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I' am starting this topic because it was rightly asked by our admin to not only lurk but show some work, thanks Jeroen.


First things first, a little introduction,

i' am Free, born in 1974 and currently residing in the Brussels area of Belgium.

I always loved modelling altough I only build 1 plane every decade or so, to many other hobby's .


I have good memory's of a tamiya swordfish 1/48 and a 1/48 corsair, but i 'll need to dig those out of my parents attic to take some pictures.


Fast forward ten years and the urge was there again to put some plastic together,

I bought a britfish and a Fokker DVII from eduard and even a 1/32 WNW britfish.


I started with the Fokker, this did not end well, I never managed to attach the top wing and destroyed the struds while trying to do the latter.


He will be remebered like this:




So on to the main subject,


Tamiya Corsair birdcage 1/32

Barracudacals cockpit decals

Barracudacast ignition upgrade

Barracudacast wheels

Grey Matter Engine compartment


The following work is not up to the forums standards but i' am a fast learner and can always use some tips, so don't hold back


I started with the engine, added oil lines and ignition cables




A little bit further along




resting under a beerglas? for dust protection an old trick from my grandfather (watchmaker)




thats all for now, i lost two hours trying to post photo's from google, had to abandon.

More after dinner





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Hi Free!


I would say my calling-out the Lurkers has been a succes!

What a great start of that Corsair engine...  You must have inherited some of your grandfather's skills...


Also glad to see another Belgian builders up here. The dutch were almost beginning to take up the majority and that's never a good thing ;)


Good to have you here!




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Nice tip for stopping dust. I tend to use an upside-down takeaway carton for stuff, but it's not as compact as that.


Love the work on the engine. I'll be plagiarising this for mine when I'm brave enough to restart. Loving that work so far  :respect:

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@ all

thank you for all the nice comments


@ Trigger



Great work, "not up to forum standards?" are you nuts


sometimes i get lucky,

but it wil show further along that i sometimes lack some very basic skills like glueing (still hit & miss) or even putting on a smooth layer of paint and don't get me started on the black art of weathering.

This is why I lurk here in the first place, very fine examples of how it should be done, and then dreaming of getting to that stage one day.


So on with the build


dryfit looks ok, no gaps if i lightly press it together




Complete dryfit before surgery looks promising, have a gap on the belly, but thats because of overzealous sanding on my behalf :rolleyes: .





Trying the engine compartment, the lighter is not there for scale purpuses, i just cant quit the filthy habit.

You may notice I used the PE harness from the kit, I should have gone to the Anne Franck museum instead (jim jeffreys reference).

Next time I'll be using fabric belts for shure. :angry:




Dry fit after the surgery is still ok, wohoo (I was really worried about cutting up this beautifull kit)




Now for some money shots of the dirty workhorse, I think this one is ready.






And a rather nice overexposed shot of whats inside the cowl





Made some scratch cowling actuators, learned alot, next ones will be better. Still have the clear part cowling so meaby i'll have a doover.




Got the side panels finished, added some wire, not much will be seen.

I srewed up a decal by putting it over a bump, should have mounted it on plasticard like i did with the other one.





I started making the cockpit before I had optivisers, it shows :(


I added the oil lines, and a breathing mask. I also tried to make the heatertube that goes under the seat but had to cut it short because of fit problems, live and learn. I also made a line from the emergency CO2 bottle to the landinggear but forgot to put it in when i buttonned up the fuse. It can't be seen so no harm done.







Made a start on the wheels




Did the propellor




I managed to kill my canopy, so i'am making a replacement, this is v1 and still to bulkey, gonne try with thinner plasticard and beercan aluminium.






That's all for now, i am further along but need to make some photo's.




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Hey all,


Thanks for the likes and comments.


In fact the original canopy is still in 1 piece but crazed with glue and now after some unfortunate manipulation also a bit cracked.

I would never try to cut out the windows of such a fragile piece, but now you mention it, meaby.


Here you can see a bit of the process how i went about.





First i traced the framing on to strips of tape.

I then tried to make a flat drawing true to dimensions, it fits but i think it's 1 or 2 % to big. should do it in illustrator but i was to lazy to fire up the computer B)

I then transferred the drawing to a big piece of tape and put that on some litho plate (aluminium of some sorts).

Scored it with a n11 blade and handpunched the rivets. Then i drilled out all the windows and carefully filed them down to the line.

I did the same to some plasticard and then sandwiched some clear film inbetween.


I still need to try and form a bulge in the clear film. Still thinking about how to.


Meaby i'll go a completly different way with V2, I have seen a crash moulding thing with the original canopy as master.


And this was all the fault of me wanting to scratch the canopy release system, but i don't mind it's been a fun journey for now.


I'll try and make some photo's tonight of the rest of my problems/progress.


Until then,



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What you could do is this:


Make a mould from the old one. Fill the inside with clay or something else. Cast a mould. Let the mould harden and heat form a clear sheet over it.

That means heating up the clear sheet and pulling it hard over the mould.


It might work. Actually that's how scratch builders work. 

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@ jeroen,


thanks for the tips, i'am gonne leave the canopy alone for the moment and focus on getting it all togheter.


I need to get a move on, i have a very disgruntled pilot looking over my shoulder




I' am trying to finish all things undercarriage, so i can finaly glue the wing to the fuselage.

Some more cleanup and than a flatcote should do the trick.













I also finished the propellor, i had to sand a lot to avoid a ridge around the decals.

I also sanded back the black on the backside to let the alclad aluminium shine trough





The engine compartment from grey matter came together nicely, i could not find any flaws.

This was my first time with resine and i' am sold :)








Inbetween clearcoats drying, i finally managed to mix my two base colors, it's tamiya with levelling thinner from mr paint.

Sprays really nice,




I am using black basing for the first time, i like it, it's less daunting than preshading for me (left not ready yet)




got some debris in the undercoat, have to sand that :angry:




Now for the main bits, stll needs some sanding and filling and than rescribing, that will be the first time i'll do that, a bit scared to screw it up :huh:








That's all for now,

i am having my insignia's and walkway's cut in masking film and than i can get on with painting.




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  • 6 months later...

Hey guy's,

have not done a lot of moddeling this past half year because i had to finish the restauration of 2 pinball machines, the owners where waiting for it.

IMG_0965.jpg    IMG_3201.jpg


But now those are done, so on with the plastic

Before i trew everything in storage i managed to glue the wings to the fuselage,

so first thing i did when i pulled it back out was to finish glueing the side boards, one fitted realy wel, the other i had to shim a lot



I am planning on further detailing of the auxilliary bay, but first i want to paint this beast, so out comes the maskingtape


prepped al the other assembley's and out came the primer



and the "plat de resistence"





tonight i will look at it more closely, but it seemed rather ok, still a few minor seams and blemisches to correct, but far less than i expected.

see you soon,



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Guest DannyVM

Nice work on this Birdcage. I like your pilot figure also.


Great work



The dutch were almost beginning to take up the majority and that's never a good thing ;)

:omg: i know what you mean jeroen:grouphug::lol::lol:




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Thanks for all the nice comments, this is a nice boost for me to go on.

The primer revealed not to much trouble but still, i wil be sanding and polishing tonight so hopefully i can spray some color this WE

@DannyVM Thanx a lot, i really liked your corsair and your palmtrees are out of this world.

@Wingco57 Thanx, i am still thinking about  the canopy, but meaby i'll try and order the clearsprue again since i also trashed a navlightcover.


grt free

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Can't see enough corsairs here and you did a great job on yours. what I specially like about your build is that you will open the hoods and do the interior jobs.
You nailed the wiring on the engine in a way i get a little jealous while seeing :).

In another thread I posted some pictures of a stripped Corsair in restauration. It might help for the detailing inside.

Cheers Rob


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Brilliant progress so far. I am much impressed.

I remember when Loic was scratch building the masters for the Grey Matter Corsair accessory section. Your finished work should make him proud.

Looking forward to seeing another Corsair finished! Mee Likee.



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@DocRob thank you I will have a look when i am finished painting.

@David Hansen 'Your finished work should make him proud' , I hope so, but thats a lot of pressure for a first time ;)

anyhow, it's been a fruitfull weekend

Stipped back the primer with isopropanol and started filling in the last of the divots.

I had huge steps here, i wasn't carefull enough when glueing it together.

and still battling the joint where i sanded to much



the top side is less dramatic but still needs a little work



why Tamiya didn't provide plugs for these is beyond me



ready for another layer of primer


looks much better me thinks,



let's call it battle damage


topside also ok, i think



need to rescribe this line, it was filled when i glued it and than i made things worse :D



next some colour....



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colour on all subassembly's, apart from the wings and fuselage. I really want to take my time and be shure everything is ok before i start painting.



I rather like my cowl




And since i didn't want to put fingerprints all over the new paint but still had some time on my hands,

i started with an experiment in crashmolding. That turned out better than expected.

The new navlight, still some trimming to do


How do i glue this to the wing? It is waferthin and i can only do a butjoint? if somebody has an idea, shoot...



some try's to get the canopy bulge, i am pretty confidant if i made a home vacuumbox that i could pull the entire canopy, but i have other plans, stay tuned.



Hope to be back soon, with an update on the fuselage




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instead of finishing the fuse i did some work on the canopy,

the mess after a few hours of scrathbuilding


and the result



This is only the inside of the canopy, i wil add the glazing from outside and finish off with some fine strips of plasticcard.



But, since i changed my mind in the middle of construction, the canopy is a mirror image  :blink: and i think i can do it a bit neater, so this will only be a proof of concept.

grtz free

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Hi there Free,

Hey, i don't mean to be a buzzkill, but it looks like you didn't quite remove all of the filler on the forward end of that seam you were re-working on the Belly. Looking at the oblique angle shots you took with black primer overlaid, it looked like the lying superglue (or whatever it was) that has the 2 parallel rows of rivets cutting across it has not been completely sanded down. You can actually see the edge of the filler in some places.

Yeah i know its on the Belly, and yeah, i know you have to look closely. However, if i can see it, others can too.

Having said that though, FWIW i thought the model looked pretty nice after you'd gone back and wet sanded it back down to bare plastic.

I'd just mask along the panel lines that run along the length of the fuselage, sand the affected area, and then re- spray the black.


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I think just going at it with a sanding stick until you go down to bare plastic, with no traces of black primer will do the job.

As i like to say, you cannot inspect quality into an already-finished product.


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