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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
berndm
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Niedersachsen, Germany
Joined: March 26, 2014
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Posted: Monday, January 30, 2017 - 12:28 AM GMT+7
Good work, Joel !
The improvements are looking even better under paint.
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, January 30, 2017 - 06:32 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Good work, Joel !
The improvements are looking even better under paint.



Brend,
Thanks so much for you most positive comment. As I keep on saying, all comments and posts mean quite a lot to me.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 06:28 AM GMT+7
I ended last week's update with one flap to go, so the 1st thing I finished this week was that flap. Now both flaps are done as well as the upper split wing.



then I glued on the engine mount, followed by the horizontal stabilizers. To my surprise the fit was excellent with no gaps to fill.



And finally I glued in the fuselage windows. Fit was average at best with gaps that would need attention with Bondo. A few light coats of Bondo, then I sanded and polished both windows. Once they both passed the finger test, I sealed all the seams with thin CCA glue and sanded smooth, followed by Micro Mesh pads from 4,000 - 12,000.



Next my attention turned to the windscreen. Dry fitting showed a really good fit, so I proceeded to apply the Eduard masks. For the 1st time I had some issues with them. Strange as it may sound, the picture on the instructions didn't match what the mask sheet actually looked like. I doubled checked the number, and it indeed matched. Not a big issue, but just strange. The Masks for the windscreen fit like a glove:



but not so for the canopy. Almost every section was too small requiring small pieces to finish the masking process.



Finally, the F4F-3 fuselage is actually starting to look like the real deal.



Joel
magnusf
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Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: May 02, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 06:51 AM GMT+7
Joel! A fat little cat on the table! This kit got kind of a bad reputation from the beginning but I think that Trumpeter fixed most of the major flaws after a while. Anyway, I think 1/32 is a good scale for the Wildcat, in 72-scale it is a bit on the petite side! Have you decided upon a paint scheme yet?



Magnus
berndm
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Niedersachsen, Germany
Joined: March 26, 2014
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 08:01 AM GMT+7
Looks great, Joel.
The work on the flaps is outstanding and now complete.
Good work with the masks as well, you fixed it.

I had in the past fit problems with Eduards masking sets too but as yours nothing a sharp knive can t fix.

Happy modelling
Bernd
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 08:56 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel! A fat little cat on the table! This kit got kind of a bad reputation from the beginning but I think that Trumpeter fixed most of the major flaws after a while. Anyway, I think 1/32 is a good scale for the Wildcat, in 72-scale it is a bit on the petite side! Have you decided upon a paint scheme yet?



Magnus



Magnus,
Thanks so much for stopping by. yeah, trumpeter fixed some of the issues, but I've found several more. Hoping that I get this one to the finish line.

As far as a paint scheme goes, I bought Cutting Edge's Wildcat sheet for Guadalcanal but when I found out that Yellow Wings did a whole sheet on the Wildcats at Wake Island, I bought that sheet as well. So I'm doing one of the VMF-211 Cats.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 08:58 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Looks great, Joel.
The work on the flaps is outstanding and now complete.
Good work with the masks as well, you fixed it.

I had in the past fit problems with Eduards masking sets too but as yours nothing a sharp knive can t fix.

Happy modelling
Bernd



Bernd,
Glad you like how the pair of flaps turned out. I wasn't 100% sure that they should have been Grumman Gray, so I reached out to Dana Bell, who confirmed that I was correct. Every build I've seen online has the flaps as some shade of Green.

Joel
KelticKnot
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Scotland, United Kingdom
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 09:08 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel! A fat little cat on the table!

Magnus



An excellent description!
The wildcat is a real front heavy beast, reminding me of an American muscle car.
Fingers crossed for a good fit on the wings....
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 10:02 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Joel! A fat little cat on the table!

Magnus



An excellent description!
The wildcat is a real front heavy beast, reminding me of an American muscle car.
Fingers crossed for a good fit on the wings....



Paul,
Great description. I've always been a sports car type of guy, and now I drive a two door sports coupe.

The Wings are certainly a known issue. It's not even a solid butt joint. I've just glued up one wing using a lot of Model Master liquid glue which is just like the old tube glue. Will be reinforcing the joint with Extra Thin as the next step.

Joel
rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 12:29 PM GMT+7
Joel -

Real progress I see ! Nice work on the fuse windows - won't be long till it sprouts wings .
Richard
Pave-Hawk
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Western Australia, Australia
Joined: May 05, 2006
KitMaker: 605 posts
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 02:48 PM GMT+7
This is an impressive build, I really like the scratch work being done to improve it.


I do have to ask, what is the wooden support frame you are using, and where might I find one, or plans to build one?
I have seen them a few times but my Google-fu isn't turning up anything useful.
c4willy
#305
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Joined: February 01, 2006
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Posted: Saturday, February 04, 2017 - 06:33 PM GMT+7
Great progress Joel it's all coming together nicely a testament to your skill and persistence!
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 05:35 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel -

Real progress I see ! Nice work on the fuse windows - won't be long till it sprouts wings .
Richard



Richard,
Thanks for checking out the latest update.

One wing is on. Took a lot of work just to get the tongue into the fuselage as I needed to trim in down to just 1mm so it didn't hit the backside of the cockpit wall I added. I got the top to mate up perfectly, but the bottom has a small gap in sections. So this morning I applied a very liberal amount of Extra Thin and will let it dry and cure till this afternoon, then fill the gap up with a mix of thin and gel CCA glue.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 05:41 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

This is an impressive build, I really like the scratch work being done to improve it.


I do have to ask, what is the wooden support frame you are using, and where might I find one, or plans to build one?
I have seen them a few times but my Google-fu isn't turning up anything useful.



Lain,
Thanks so much for joining the party. It's much appreciated. The work on the F4F-3 is coming along slowly for sure, but for the most part it's in the right direction.

The stand that I use is made by JH from the Czech Republic, and was purchased from UMM-USA. Here's the link to it:

http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/index.php?cPath=21_162

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 05:43 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Great progress Joel it's all coming together nicely a testament to your skill and persistence!



Chris,
So glad you stopped by. Persistent for sure. Just at times not so sure I'm winning the war.

Joel

Scrodes
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: July 22, 2012
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Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 11:58 AM GMT+7
Hey Joel!

It's looking good buddy.

I'm sorry if I missed it, I'm not sure if you've built one of these 32nd Trumpeter kits before, but the P/E hinging parts are a nightmare - you're best off just selecting a position for the control surfaces and gluing them in place (don't forget to make sure it matches the stick and pedals - I got dinged for that at my first comp).


It looks like this might already be your plan based on the tailplane being assembled and the elevators not being attached.



The Tamiya ones on the other hand - where you build the tailplanes/wings first and then force the P/E hinge into the slot work very well (even if they are terrifying to install.)
GazzaS
#424
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Queensland, Australia
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Posted: Sunday, February 05, 2017 - 01:40 PM GMT+7
Joel,
Great update, buddy. I'm enjoying watching you bring this kit together. I really enjoy the smooth clean finish you are able to get with the parts at this early stage.

Do you ever use the McGuire's on the opaque plastic parts?

Gaz
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 - 03:41 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Hey Joel!

It's looking good buddy.

I'm sorry if I missed it, I'm not sure if you've built one of these 32nd Trumpeter kits before, but the P/E hinging parts are a nightmare - you're best off just selecting a position for the control surfaces and gluing them in place (don't forget to make sure it matches the stick and pedals - I got dinged for that at my first comp).


It looks like this might already be your plan based on the tailplane being assembled and the elevators not being attached.



The Tamiya ones on the other hand - where you build the tailplanes/wings first and then force the P/E hinge into the slot work very well (even if they are terrifying to install.)



Matt,
Thanks so much for stopping by. Your insight especially into 1/32 scale is more then welcome as this is only my 2nd build in that scale.

I'm not using the Trumpeter hinges as a few test fits showed that the moving surfaces are positioned just a tad to far from their matting surface. The hinges seem to tend to move way to freely so that all the horizontal surfaces will in short order be hanging fully down. Not the look I want. I'm going for a little rudder, about half flaps, a touch of ailerons, and slightly sagging stabilizers.

Right now the Trumpy kit is a handful. Part fit is generally ok, but not great, the wheel wells are completely wrong, and the wings are turning out to be the worst part of the kit.

MY Special hobbies F2A-3 Buffalo had butt joints, but they all matched up so I got a solid gluing surface. The Trumpeter kit has these weird concave fuselage butt surfaces limiting the gluing surface to just a little more then the edge. The wings butt facings are flat! Makes no sense. So I've gone to liberal doss of Model Master Glue, when cured over several days a good application of Extra Thin and let that dry/cure for a day or so. Then a final filling in all the seams (as unfortunately getting both wings parallel has been a real crap shoot) with my own mixture of CCA Gel and CCA thin. Thank goodness that the struts and wheels are positioned from the fuselage and not the wings.

Joel
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, February 06, 2017 - 03:57 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel,
Great update, buddy. I'm enjoying watching you bring this kit together. I really enjoy the smooth clean finish you are able to get with the parts at this early stage.

Do you ever use the McGuire's on the opaque plastic parts?

Gaz



Gary,
Thanks buddy for stopping by and checking on the progress on the F4F-3. One thing I've learned over the last year or so is that my prep work for painting has been pretty poor. The raw plastic and putty work needs to be smooth, but not glass smooth so that the primer lays down smoothly.

To accomplish this, all putty work gets sealed with thin CCA glue. Sanded with #320 and finally #600 Emery paper, not sand paper. I save that for wood working projects. No I polish the entire fuselage including windows but no canopies nor greenhouse glass as they've already been through their own process.

I start with my well worn and needs to be replace Micro Mesh pad set. 4,000, 6,000,8,000, & finally 12,000 applied wet. Then I wipe down the entire fuselage with ISO Alcohol. that's how far I go for a painted camo scheme. If I'm doing a NMF, I add one more step; my car detailing products. I use a polishing compound either Turtle Wax polishing compound or Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0 to really polish the surfaces to smooth finish.

For sanding canopies or clear plastic it's the NMF routine every time.

Joel
Removed by original poster on 02/10/17 - 12:52:34 (GMT).
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 08:00 AM GMT+7
Since my last update, the focus has been to install the wings and try to correctly level the horizontal stabilizers.

The stabilizers are attached via a traditional butt joint and tongue, but the tongues don't overlap so one needs to visually align them. For the average modeler that's not a major issue, but someone like me with just one seeing eye, depth perception and seeing a image up close in the center of my line of sight is a major issue. So as I move my head or angle of view, the perception of square and level isn't as I always see it. The end result is that the horizontal Stabilizers are a little off. And while I can blame my eye disease, the fact is that I could have made this simple jig before hand, not after. Even I can clearly see that they're not level.



Yet looking from the cowling back to the tail they do indeed look level.



I tried to correct the angle by applying coat after coat of Tamiya Extra Thin on both the top and bottom seams, but I could hardly get it to budge. Finally I gave up that method, concerned that with enough force I could or would just snap the Stabilizer at the joint causing more of an issue. To further complicate the problem, the joint is as flush as you could ever hope for.



If anyone has a proven method that would work, please post and let me know.

Now on to the main show: the wings. As I've already alluded to, Trumpeter for some reason not only decided on a butt joint with a tongue of only a few mm. But the Butt joint surface on the fuselage is not flat, it's concave! Since the face of the wing butt joint is perfectly flat and angled for the proper dihedral angle this makes no sense, and leaves a lot less surface area for gluing to. Not exactly my idea of a great joint that will have to the weight of the wings, but at least the landing gear is housed in the fuselage.



I decided on using Testors Model Master gel type glue, which is a little thinner then their old tube glue, but it would give me the added time I needed to lay a nice bead close to the outer perimeter of the wing butt joint, then attach and the wing and apply handheld pressure till it set up in what felt like an eternity, but was about 5 min. I then ran a length of masking tape around the fuselage and wing tip, and let the one side dry for 24 hours. Then repeated the process for the other wing. After taping the 2nd wing, I made a quick alignment jig to fine tune the wing. Here's a picture of the same jig without the tape as I didn't think to take a picture during that process.





As you can see, all I did was use two Extra Thin Bottles at the wing tips and adjusted the wing so that the 30/60/90 square was as level to the vertical Stabilizer as I could get it. The final results are certainly acceptable.

After allowing the glue to dry and setup for a few days, I ran a bead of CCA Gel thinned 1:1 with CCA thin around both joints as the butt joint wasn't exactly flush. Then I let that cure for a min of 24 hours. I was really concerned that the joint was on the weak side, but I was really pleasantly surprised after examining g it, and lifting the model up by the wing tips, then each tip separately, that the joint was really solid. Amazing, simply amazing. So I laid down a layer of Bondo, let that dry for a full day, and then started to sand and shape as needed. I then final sanded with #600 emery cloth, and I was more then pleased with the final results.

Over head picture:



Then higher up showing the wing joint:



then the joint itself. Actually not that bad:



Then I turned the Cat over where the real joint issues were:





For a 1st putty application, they look pretty good. Next up will be a coat of Tamiya Gray filler primer to look for errors and issues. Then re-putty and prep as needed. Then a primer coat of Mig Ammo Acrylic primer. At that point I'll decide on the two colors I'll use for the Black Basing undercoat, but it won't be any black or dark shade.

And finally I decided to boot my morale a little, I dry fitted the P&W R1830 and then the cowling. Damn, if it's not starting to actually look like a F4F-3 Wildcat. For those with cat like eyesight, yes the engine crankcase cover isn't straight. it's not glued on as I cut off the alignment pin so that I could adjust it once the engine was installed, as I didn't have the greatest confidence in Trumpeter's engineers. Turns out it actually does align very well.





Joel

rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 08:54 AM GMT+7
Joel-

Looking good ! Progressing by leaps and bounds - Have you picked your color scheme yet or was there only one for the - 3 ?

Richard
Joel_W
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Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 09:13 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel-

Looking good ! Progressing by leaps and bounds - Have you picked your color scheme yet or was there only one for the - 3 ?

Richard



Richard,
Just knew that you'd be the 1st one to checkout my update. Glad you appreciate the effort to get to this point. I'm kind of surprised I've gotten this far so quickly from the last update.

As for a paint scheme, I've been all over the place starting before the build actually started. I had previously bought the Cutting Edge sheet for F4F-4s from Guadalcanal figuring that some -3s had to be still in front line in use, and that other then one aircraft on the sheet, were basically generic except for their numbers. I'm quite sure that a lot of those -4s were just replaced for their -3s. Then I found out that Yellow Wings had a sheet dedicated to the Marine Squadron VMF-211 stationed on Wake Island that fought the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941. So I bought that sheet, and I'll be doing one of the aircraft from it.

As for the actual color scheme, all Navy aircraft were repainted from the Neutrality one tone Gray to the two tone scheme of M-485 Blue Gray FS35189 over M-495 Light Gray FS 36440 until the scheme was changed in early 1943 to the 3 tone scheme. The real challenge is that the size of the US insignia was constantly changing as well as the removal of the red circle inside the White Star.

Here's the Yellow-Wing top sheet. The M-484 Blue Gray is much lighter then the standard color. I'm still trying to find out exactly what the color was.




Joel

rdt1953
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 09:45 AM GMT+7
Joel -
One of my Christmas gifts was John Tolunds epic "The Rising Sun " . I'm just past the evacuation of the remaining Japanese troops on Guadalcanal so had you chosen that scheme it would have been very timely for me but your choice of Wake Island markings is a good one - don't forget to add some Gooney Bird droppings !
Richard
Joel_W
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New York, United States
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Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 10:10 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Joel -
One of my Christmas gifts was John Tolunds epic "The Rising Sun " . I'm just past the evacuation of the remaining Japanese troops on Guadalcanal so had you chosen that scheme it would have been very timely for me but your choice of Wake Island markings is a good one - don't forget to add some Gooney Bird droppings !
Richard



Richard,
maybe if I do a vignette on a base. Guadalcanal came so close. If I wasn't looking for a specific sheet on Yellow-Wings for a different aircraft:SBD-3/4 Dauntless, that's would have been the way I've would have gone for sure. Especially since I already had the decal sheet from Cutting Edge.

Joel