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viking73

1/72 Vought F6U-1 Pirate - WIP

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I wanted to share some photos of my new 1/72 Admiral F6U-1 Pirate build. This is a nice looking kit with a few areas that can be improved to make this kit even better.

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I started with the cockpit of course. Admiral provides a one piece resin casting for the entire area. The instrument panel is a three piece sandwich affair which looks the part. I think the bottom of the resin cockpit part is supposed to double as the nose gear well roof but there's one big problem. The resin cockpit tub isn't long enough to cover the well opening! If this isn't addressed, you'd be able to look inside the forward fuselage halves and I'm not even sure how one would mount the nose gear. To fix this, I made up a nose gear wheel well roof from sheet styrene and super-glued the resin cockpit to this piece. I added front and rear bulkheads and a few stringers from Evergreen strip to add some visual interest and left it at. There aren't any photos of the well in the Ginter book on the Pirate so it was just a guess on my part. By the way, "Naval Fighters #9" in the excellent "Naval Fighters" series of books is a must have if you are building this kit.

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The final interior area I wanted to address was the tail pipe. Admiral provides a simple blanking plate with a turbine wheel looking piece molded on it. Painted black this would probably but okay, but I didn't think I'd be able to fill the resulting seams in the interior to my satisfaction. To remedy this, I added a length of 7/32" diameter K&S brass tubing which looks much better to me.

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Once that was done, I painted the cockpit and nose gear well and the main gear wells in the wing.

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Once the paint was dry, I super-glued the cockpit into the nose. I also added some lead to the nose so my Pirate would sit on its gear properly. Upon dry fitting the fuselage halves, the instrument panel is a bit too wide. I bit of sanding and filing took care of this issue.

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Next up, I'll be zipping together the fuselage halves and then adding the wings. Thanks for looking, more photos soon.

-Derek

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Thanks very much for taking the time to document your build. I'd like to include a photograph or two, certainly of the finished model, on my F6U post here http://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2012/03/f6u-variations.html

Hi Tommy,

I'd be more than happy to give you anything you need. I'd be most honored to have a photo of my finished build on your amazing website.

-Derek

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It looks like you're off to a good start there, Derek.

Do you know if this Admiral kit is related to the old Pavla kit of this plane? I have a half built Pavla kit in a box around here somewhere that I might have to dig out to compare.

Nice pics. Keep 'em coming.

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It looks like you're off to a good start there, Derek.

Do you know if this Admiral kit is related to the old Pavla kit of this plane? I have a half built Pavla kit in a box around here somewhere that I might have to dig out to compare.

Nice pics. Keep 'em coming.

There's a little disagreement about that. The layout of the sprues and the extra parts are completely different but some think that it uses the same master as the Pavla kit.

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why wolud someone mould the seat and the tub as a single part.This is the most stupid layout of a single cockpit I have ever seen on a kit.But you made it look great so I will be following this one.

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why wolud someone mould the seat and the tub as a single part.This is the most stupid layout of a single cockpit I have ever seen on a kit.But you made it look great so I will be following this one.

Hi,

Thanks for the kind words guys. It was a bit of a challenge to paint having the cockpit in one piece but with a closed canopy I think it will be just fine.

I did get some more work done on my Pirate this weekend. I zipped together the fuselage halves and then after it was dry, I glued on the vertical stabilizer:

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The vertical stab has no locating tabs or holes so it's up to the modeler to locate it properly. One must take care to check the alignment. The photos and drawings in the Ginter book where a big help here since the instructions are somewhat vague.

I also glued the wings together:

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Next up will be to glue the wings to the fuselage. Once that has dried, I'll add the horizontal stabs and the 20mm cannon ports on the nose. Yep you guessed it, no locating holes or tabs for any of those either so it should be lots of fun to get them all lined up properly! It's hard to see in the photo but the vertical stab. does have a cross-hatched area on either side to show when the horizontal stabs. go. That should help some :)

Admiral provides blanking plates for the intakes. They are pretty shallow so I am planning on cutting them down and moving them further back into the wing. I'll be working on those now and I also need to figure out what I'm going to do about the missing lights in the forward points of the tip tanks.

More soon.

-Derek

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Hi Gang,

Here are some more updates on my Pirate build. I now have the wings glued in place:

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I've also cut/carved the two small engine intakes into the lower rear fuselage. This is a feature that Admiral missed. You can see them in this photo aft of the wings:

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As you may also notice, the four 20 mike-mike cannon ports are now in place. Getting them lined up was a trick in itself... Once the glue was dry, I drilled out the ends. I started out with a tiny drill bit in my pin vise for a pilot hole. Next, I used a 1/16" drill bit which was a bit nerve-wracking to keep centered. I managed to get them drilled out okay and this makes them look much better in my opinion:

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Here's a (blurry) shot of the horizontal stabs, assembled tips tanks and the nose gear. The gray nose gear in the middle is the kit molding. The nose gear wheel hub is smooth which according to my photos is incorrect. The hub should have some holes and also a mud guard (!) on it. A mud guard on a U.S. Navy bird, what the heck?? Tommy any ideas?

Anyway, I have been scouring my spares box for another nose wheel that looks more like the real item. The wheel above the kit strut is from an Airfix F-80 while the one below is a wheel/strut from an old A-4 kit. Neither are 100% accurate but both are better looking than the kit offering. As for the mud guard, that will be another fun item to add from scratch.

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I just checked the fit of the canopy and upon first glance, it doesn't seem to be very good. Drat.

More later.

-Derek

Edited by viking73

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Hi Derek,

Lookin' good so far.

Does this kit come w/ a vac canopy or injected? Also, what does the kit provide for the vertical fences(?) on the horizontal stabs. These are quite thin on the real deal as I recall. The old Pavla kit that I had came with a photo etched fret that had those fences and that was way better than the injected blobs that came on the sprues. The Pavla kit also had a vac canopy that was much better than the injected one but a real pain to fit and finish (for me anyway :-) ).

Keep on keepin' on.

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"A mud guard on a U.S. Navy bird, what the heck?? Tommy any ideas?"

Navy airplanes did operate from shore bases and it rains. I'm pretty sure that it was a splash guard to keep water out of the engine intakes. I don't know why that was such a concern at the time but it was on the airplane from the beginning.

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Hi Derek,

Lookin' good so far.

Does this kit come w/ a vac canopy or injected? Also, what does the kit provide for the vertical fences(?) on the horizontal stabs. These are quite thin on the real deal as I recall. The old Pavla kit that I had came with a photo etched fret that had those fences and that was way better than the injected blobs that came on the sprues. The Pavla kit also had a vac canopy that was much better than the injected one but a real pain to fit and finish (for me anyway :-) ).

Keep on keepin' on.

Hi Doug,

Thanks for the comments. The Admiral kit does come with an injected canopy. On mine however, it looks like it might have been "short shot" since there are two places that look like fish eyes for lack of a better term. Not good. I see that Pavla has just released a vac-u-form canopy for this kit that I may need to purchase. I also have an entire Pavla F6U Pirate kit coming to me in a big lot of kits that I bought on Ebay so maybe I'll just use it if the fit is better than the Admiral canopy. I've never had much luck with vac canopies either so it will be interesting.

As for the two small outboard vertical stabs/fences, the kit provides two pretty thin injected pieces. They were so thin in fact that I broke both of them in half cutting them from the sprues! No worries though since I was able to glue them back together. :woot.gif:

More updates soon.

-Derek

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"A mud guard on a U.S. Navy bird, what the heck?? Tommy any ideas?"

Navy airplanes did operate from shore bases and it rains. I'm pretty sure that it was a splash guard to keep water out of the engine intakes. I don't know why that was such a concern at the time but it was on the airplane from the beginning.

Ah, well that makes sense I suppose. More of a splash guard than a mud guard. Thanks Tommy.

-Derek

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Hi,

Despite both the Squadron Open House and IPMS ScaleFest in Mesquite, TX this weekend (where I spent way too much $$$), I’ve be able to make some progress on my Pirate.

I have glued on both horizontal stabs. Again, they are simple butt joints but with some careful alignment they went on without any problems.

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While the stabs were drying I turned my attention to the wing tip tanks and their missing lights. After considering several options, I decided what I wanted to do. The first step was to saw off the ends of the tanks and fill the resulting hole. Here's one tank "cropped" and the other before cutting:

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I then located a drop tank in the spares box that was a pretty good match for the tip tanks end shape I was looking for. Using a candle as a heat source, I smash formed some clear plastic over this spare box tank to form the clear “dome†end of the tanks. I made four of them to have some extras on hand just in case…

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And here’s what one looks like over the end of the tank:

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Once my Pirate is painted I’ll cut the clear end off and secure it to the end of the tanks. I think they will look okay when complete.

The next step will be to add a dash over the instrument panel from scrap plastic and also to cobble togehter some detail to the area behind the seat/under the rear portion of the canopy. The small outboard stabs will be going on soon as well.

I still haven't made any progess/decisions on the canopy problem on the nose wheel problem either. The noticed that the nose wheel from my Siga FJ-1 kit looks pretty dang good but I don't want to take it from such a rare kit...

More soon.

-Derek

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YOu sure do have a lot of work.Keep up the great work my friend.

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Hello Again,

Heres another update or two. I added the small outboard horizontal stabs this week. These were a bit tricky to line up and pretty fragile. Once the glue dried, I noticed that they didnt look quite right. The ends were too square they should be more rounded according to my reference photos.

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The fix was pretty simple. I simply clipped the corners and smoothed them out with a sanding stick and sandpaper.

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And all fixed up:

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Care must be taken not to damage the stabs. I only cracked them in half twice while sanding them, ha ha! I also fashioned a dash out of some scrap plastic card bend over my knife handle to give it the correct shape.

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She's coming together nicely. Next up will be fitting the tip tanks. I can already see another problem there... :( I am planning on getting this done over the long weekend. Maybe painting will follow pretty soon.

As a side note, I picked up a Pavla F6U kit this week. I did a few a/b comparisons to them and I think you are correct Tommy that they are from the same mold. The small details are different (the Pavla kit has a large photo etch fret, the Admiral kit has a much smaller one for example) but the main components seem to be 100% the same. The vac canopy for the Pavla kit seems to fit better than the injected one from the Admiral kit so I may just use that one.

More soon. I'm looking forward to finishing this one up.

-Derek

Edited by viking73

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Hi,

I hope everyone is having a good Memorial Day today. Be sure to thank a veteran!

I was able to get in some good modeling time this long weekend. I made some decent progress on my Pirate. As I mentioned last time, the wing tip tanks needed some work. When I first slid them onto the wing tips to check the fit, I was disappointed to see the angle was way off:

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Not only is the angle incorrect, but the way Admiral has them join the wing is also incorrect according to the photos in the Ginter book. The kit would have you mount them on the center line like the Fletcher style wing tanks on the T-33. They should be more under slug like the tanks on an F2H Banshee. This was going to be a pain but was something that had to be fixed.

The first step was to enlarge the openings in the wing tanks so they could be mounted under the wing in the proper manner:

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Once the openings were enlarged, I was able to glue the tanks to the wings at the proper angle:

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The holes I carved into the tanks left large gaps to fill. I stuffed the holes with as much scrap plastic as I could:

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Once the glue was dry, the holes were puttied over and everything was sanded smooth. Also note the small details I added behind the seat that will be visible with the canopy in place.

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This was a bit of work to correct but was worth it in my opinion.

In between the wing tank sessions, I modified the nose gear complete with splash guard. I ended up using the A-4 nose wheel glued to the kit strut once the poorly detailed kit item was sawed off. To form the splash guard, I heated and smashed some sheet styrene over the A-4 wheel. I used a sharp knife and sandpaper to cut it to shape. This was glued to the wheel once complete to my satisfaction. The small connecting arms were made from Evergreen strip plastic and glued in place. Here’s the finished nose gear, ready for paint.

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Lost panel lines were re-scribed and I then shot a primer coat of silver over the entire airframe:

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Once I fix some miner blemishes, I’ll be ready to paint.

Thanks both of you out there for following my build so far. :P

More soon.

-Derek

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Hi,

I wanted to share some new photos of my Pirate. First is the completed landing gear, ready to be installed:

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The painting is finished I think except for some minor touch-ups. I used Model Master enamel paints sprayed with my Paasche airbrush:

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Thanks to the overall gloss sea blue paint scheme, painting was pretty easy. The only tricky part was the natural metal areas of the rear fuselage which required some careful masking. Also, check your references for the anti-glare panel. I think that the kit painting guide isn’t correct to the size and shape.

I was very happy to note that the Pirate didn’t have the silver leading edges of the wings and control surfaces like a lot of other ‘50s USN jets. :)

While the paint was drying I selected my marking choice. I passed on option #3, the VX-3 bird, since the few built Pirate kits I’ve seen have all been in this scheme. Option #2 is the “TEST” scheme which isn’t accurate with the “NASA” tail flash and there aren’t any photos of this in the Ginter book anyway. The only other option left was the NATC bird so I went with that. On a whim, I compared the Pavla kit decals with the Admiral kit decals for the same NATC bird and I was surprised to see that the decals are quite different in size and shape:

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The slightly darker backed "481” and “NAVY” decals are the Pavla decals. I’ve cut them out and placed them by the Admiral sheet for comparison. I think I’ll be using the Pavla decals since they seem to be more properly sized and shaped to the actual aircraft as seen on the rear cover of the Ginter book.

That's about it for now. Decals are up next, then the final bits including the canopy and wing tip tank lights. I am using the Pavla vac canopy since it is a much better fit than the injected kit item.

Stayed tuned as this one is almost finished...

-Derek

Edited by viking73

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You're making good progress on this one. Looking real good!

Is there a Banshee build in your future? :)

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