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World War II
Discuss WWII and the era directly before and after the war from 1935-1949.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
1/32 Trumpeter F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat Build
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,861 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 09:13 AM GMT+7
Well, it's time to start another build, my 1st since moving into 1/32 scale props, and my 2nd 1/32 build ever, the 1st being the F2A-3 Buffalo. The kit I decided on is one of my personal favorite Grumman aircraft, the F4F-3 Wildcat kitted by Trumpeter.



This isn't one of their current generation kits, which I understand are quite good, but rather one of their earlier releases that have some issues which range from minor to major. So I'm going into this with some intrepidation and caution. I've seen many of these built, so it's certainly buildable. The issue is to be able to bring it up to what I now call my person standards. My 1st choice was to do their -4 with the folding wings, but as the earlier of the two kits, it has issues with the shape and profile of the fuselage. the 2nd kitting, the -3, has an all new fuselage amoung other corrected parts, including non-folding wings. To do a correct -4 you would need to buy a -3 just for the fuselage. That's another project for another time.

The instructions of course start out with the cockpit, but with consultation with my brother, I opted to start with the Pratt & Whitney R-1830-66 Twin Radial Wasp engine. As usual I planned on just adding spark plug wires and some other details to enhance the look. The engine itself is a miniture kit. These are the parts needed jut to build the front bank of cylinders.



After doing some basic research on a few other builds, it became quite apparent that the engine has some major issues. He's a picture of the kit engine as dry fitted in Rodney Williams build located on the LSP site.



You can see that the pushrod tubes don't reach the valve covers, and the valve covers are at the wrong angle. Ok, so the 1st order od business was to cut off the pushrod tubes and drill out the ring.



then I cut .035 Evergreen rod to make new tubes. After test fitting a few rods into the valve covers, the gap is gone, but the angle is just as bad. I thought about filing down the tops of the cylinder heads, but rejected that as there is a tube that I'll be adding that goes across and it won't fit. Also the profile would be completely wrong. The issue is that Trumpeter just dreamed up the valve covers. Here's a picture of the real engine. You can see that the valve cover is cast so that the top is angled directly down the pushrod tube, while the bottom half is directly facing down the middle of the cylinder head.





Now that I know what the problem is, I had to admit with my limited modeling skills there is no way I could scratch out those covers. The next option was to buy the Vector Resin engine, which does indeed look correct. But the cost and shipping was over $40, so I just opted to live with what's in the kit, and with my modifications look somewhat better.

I painted both cylinder banks, crancases, and the exhaust MIG AMMO Black primer, then the cylinder heads, tube manifold, and wiring manifold were airbrushed with Alcad 2 Dark Aluminum, followed by a Black wash using Tamiya's Black recessed panel line wash. Then the pushrod tubes were installed and painted Tamiya X-1 Gloss Black.



Next I made the collars that secure the pushrod tubes to the valve covers from tape. Once painted flat Aluminum, they should fool the viewers eye. Here's a picture with them painted on the left and just tape on the right.



I dry fitted the engine and wasn't happy with the color of the crankcasing as it's just to light, so I repainted it a darker shade. The pushrods with the collars fill up the space in the valve covers and the overall look does seem much better then before.

Next up was the wiring of both banks of cylinders. Now I've always thought that the plug wires were rubber, but when Karl painted them a bronze color in his Airfix 1/72 B-17G build I asked why, and he said that for most of the war they used a bronze colored braid. The Rubber casings weren't used until very late in the war. Sure enough I checked my resources and what I thought was just an upgrade in restorations, some were actually Bronze. Thank you Karl for that bit of information.



So I wired the engine with .4mm lead wire from UMM-USA, and then painted it with a Bronze Yellowish color. Wiring took 3 days as the ignition manifold for some reason has the wire attachment fittings facing inward. No problem for the back bank, but for the front bank of cylinders they were almost completely under the cylinders. So I very carefully had to re-drill each hole after I had glued the manifold to the crankcase. How I didn't screw it up is beyond me.

Here's the almost completer P&W R-1830-66 engine. I still have some wiring on the crankcase to do as well as the rear housing. The crankcase is just dryfitted at this point.







And now you're all up to speed.

Joel

GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: April 23, 2015
KitMaker: 3,156 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 09:25 AM GMT+7
Joel,
Your engine looks fantastic! No need for AM. Consider me along for the ride.

Gaz
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
Joined: May 11, 2015
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 09:33 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Consider me along for the ride.
Gaz


It goes without saying but me too !

An excellent start Joel, the engine does look good so far and the bronze tubing will likely draw the eye a little better once inside the nose of the aircraft.
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,861 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 09:43 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel,
Your engine looks fantastic! No need for AM. Consider me along for the ride.

Gaz



Gary,
Thanks for the thumps up. New you'd sign up ASAP. Glad to have you along as always.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
KitMaker: 7,861 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 09:45 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Consider me along for the ride.
Gaz


It goes without saying but me too !

An excellent start Joel, the engine does look good so far and the bronze tubing will likely draw the eye a little better once inside the nose of the aircraft.



Paul,
and thank you to. the Bronze tubing is different and should be a major focus from the viewers.

Another reason I opted to pass on the Vector engine is that once the cowl is on, you really can't see the valve covers.

Glad to have you along with Gary. I know that the two of you will point out errors and give me suggestions as needed.

Joel
AussieReg
#007
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Victoria, Australia
Joined: June 09, 2009
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 10:10 AM GMT+7
Great start Joel, lovely detail work and a really useful tutorial for anybody detailing a P&W.

I'm certainly along for this ride, it promises to be a beaut!

Cheers, D
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 06, 2015
KitMaker: 667 posts
AeroScale: 604 posts
Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 02:39 PM GMT+7
Joel -

Count me in as well for this one . Looks like the new scale agrees with you as the engine looks great - too bad Trumpeter screwed up the rocker boxes . Hopefully the cowl will mask this error to some degree. Glad you have a new one up for me to follow.

Richard
edoardo
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Milano, Italy
Joined: November 30, 2007
KitMaker: 599 posts
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 08:16 PM GMT+7
Hey Joel! I'm in too! I think I'll learn someting useful for my Avenger build. Not the same plane, i know, but similar in many aspects ...
Ciao
Edo
magnusf
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: May 02, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 08:18 PM GMT+7
Joel! If you loose interest in this build, you could just keep the engine and throw the rest of the kit away ! That engine is an achievement on its own really!

Regarding the pushrods, the view of where they meet the cylinder heads will be at least partially masked by the cowling lip and I think you were perfectly right not to embark on a major rebuild of it! Not to mention spending those 40 bucks...



Magnus
thegirl
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Alberta, Canada
Joined: January 19, 2008
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 03:25 AM GMT+7
Joel , will follow along on your adventure with this kit . Nice job on the engine , just the right amount of detail .



Terri
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 04:20 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Great start Joel, lovely detail work and a really useful tutorial for anybody detailing a P&W.

I'm certainly along for this ride, it promises to be a beaut!

Cheers, D



D,
As usual, you're right there for the full run. Glad you like how the detail came out, and my thought process along with the pictures I used for documentation.
Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 04:24 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel -

Count me in as well for this one . Looks like the new scale agrees with you as the engine looks great - too bad Trumpeter screwed up the rocker boxes . Hopefully the cowl will mask this error to some degree. Glad you have a new one up for me to follow.

Richard



Richard,
Welcome aboard.

yeah, 1/32 scale is perfect for a half blind old man. And it's a lot easier to detail in.

From pictures of the built up kit, the cowl lip hides most of the rocker arm covers.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 04:27 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Hey Joel! I'm in too! I think I'll learn someting useful for my Avenger build. Not the same plane, i know, but similar in many aspects ...
Ciao
Edo



Edo,
So glad you're joining the party. Not sure what I can add to your Avenger build (I'm already signed on a follower and poster), but anything that you find useful, please use it.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 04:29 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel! If you loose interest in this build, you could just keep the engine and throw the rest of the kit away ! That engine is an achievement on its own really!

Regarding the pushrods, the view of where they meet the cylinder heads will be at least partially masked by the cowling lip and I think you were perfectly right not to embark on a major rebuild of it! Not to mention spending those 40 bucks...



Magnus



Magnus,
Never thought of just saving the engine for display, but it does have a feeling of comfort just in case.

The F4F Wildcats are a personal favorite of mine, and I do plan over the next 3 years to build a early -3 in pre war markings, and a -4 using the fuselage from the -3 late version. But just might do it in the Gray/Gray Atlantic scheme for a little variety.

Just knew that you would agree with my reasoning not to go for the $40 engine upgrade.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 04:34 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel , will follow along on your adventure with this kit . Nice job on the engine , just the right amount of detail .

Terri



Terri,
Thanks so much for appreciating my efforts on the engine, and joining us on another one of my modeling adventures. Like I told "D", I'm going to be doing less updates but more comprehensive ones, so any assembly won't end up being a mini blog by itself, and adding the documentation I used to make it that much more interesting. I'm also hoping that any screw ups will be easier to catch, & I know you "guys" won't be shy to tell me where I went wrong.

Joel
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
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United Kingdom
Joined: June 11, 2003
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Posted: Sunday, December 11, 2016 - 08:40 PM GMT+7
Nice one Joel

Great work on the engine.

This one will sit really nicely next to your Buffalo.

All the best

Rowan
Joel_W
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New York, United States
Joined: December 04, 2010
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 04:06 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Nice one Joel

Great work on the engine.

This one will sit really nicely next to your Buffalo.

All the best

Rowan



Rowan,
Thanks for stopping by, and having liking the Big P&W engine. Yeah, it will certainly look especially nice seating next to my Buffalo. I just might post a picture or two of them together.

Joel
BlackWidow
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Baden-Württemberg, Germany
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 07:12 AM GMT+7
".... limited modelling skills ...."

Hm, if I look at your fine Mossie those words are truely an overstatement, Joel!
Even if the engine has some issues that detailing looks great and with the cowling around and the prop in front you'll notice less of them. You'll see!
You can count me as a follower along this build, mostly silent but right at your side.

Happy modelling!
Torsten
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, December 12, 2016 - 07:24 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

".... limited modelling skills ...."

Hm, if I look at your fine Mossie those words are truely an overstatement, Joel!
Even if the engine has some issues that detailing looks great and with the cowling around and the prop in front you'll notice less of them. You'll see!
You can count me as a follower along this build, mostly silent but right at your side.

Happy modelling!
Torsten



Torsten,
Thanks for those kinds words. Glad to have you along for the journey. Join in when you think you can help me along. But just knowing that you're there is a comforting feeling.

Joel
Antilles
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Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Joined: March 22, 2015
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 09:35 AM GMT+7
Joel,

the engine is really outstanding modeled by Yourself. I agree with Magnus, that this engine is a great model by itself and I am very interested in Your further modeling!So I will gladly follow Your built.

Oliver
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 10:41 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel,

the engine is really outstanding modeled by Yourself. I agree with Magnus, that this engine is a great model by itself and I am very interested in Your further modeling!So I will gladly follow Your built.

Oliver



Oliver,
Thank you for your most positive comments on my engine. I only hope that the rest of the build turns out this well.
Joel
Redhand
#0
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 10:57 AM GMT+7
Wow, you're off to a flying start with this one. The engine is awesome! Love it.
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 11:07 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Wow, you're off to a flying start with this one. The engine is awesome! Love it.



Brian,
Coming from you, that's some compliment.

Believe me, this is one of Trumpeter's earlier kits, and unfortunately, it's no walk in the park.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Friday, December 16, 2016 - 12:17 PM GMT+7
Going as far with the engine detailing as I can for now, the next step was to get the firewall bulkhead fitted so that there isn't the huge gaps that dry fitting showed. Once I got the firewall to fit correctly without having to apply any force, I glued it into one wheel well. I took a good look at the wheel well from the outside looking in for the 1st time. What I saw was a completely wrong profile and a huge lip that just isn't there in real life.



The lip that blocks part of the well that the wheel seats into once retracted. if this was correct, then there was no need for a wheel well to exist. This is what it looks like in real life.



Depending on the angle of view the well looks circular, but it's in reality it's more of a uneven oval.



Trumpeter indeed molded them as perfect circles



As an interesting side note that I found, Tamiya on their 1/48 scale F4F-4 originally went with the circle shape, then re-did the fuselage shape and changed the wells to the oval shape.



I started out dry fitting the firewall, then marked what plastic needed to be removed. In order to keep the correct orientation for the retraced wheel, I had to move the existing wheel rewards and downwards. In this picture you can see the original wheel well on the right, and the roughed out well on the left.



Here's a close up of the rough well at this point. I used strips of sheet plastic glued and shaped to relocate the well.



I still have more putty work and blending to do, but this gives you a idea of what's involved to replicate the wells correctly.

Joel
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Friday, December 16, 2016 - 12:38 PM GMT+7
Ha - It seems fuselage correction disease is spreading - God save us all !
Attaboy ! - Richard