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1/32 Trumpeter F4F-3 Grumman Wildcat

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3 minutes ago, crackerjazz said:

Hey, Joel, everyone was worried something happened to you!  Where'd you disappear to?  It's nice to see you back!   Popcorn time, once again! :)


   I'm back but building props and small jets in 1/32 scale these days with the occasional 1/48 scale build thrown in.  

   Had some medical issues myself, but my wife's been pretty ill with a number of serious issues, but I was just stopped posting and a lot less on Aeroscale that I've been on since I came back to modeling years ago.  Now I'm here and LSP which specializes in Large scale Planes of which my brother has been there for what seems like forever.


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  • 2 weeks later...
 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 Stabilivers 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 Stabilzier 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 alluted 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 parimeter 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 Stabliver as I could get it.  The final results are certainly acceptable.
End of Part 1
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part 2
 Atfer allowing the glue to dry and setup for a few days, I ran a bead of CCA Gel thinned 1:1 swith 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 examing 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 Amm 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 boost 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.
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6 hours ago, Aigore said:

Looking gorgeous with the engine in place! Starting to look the piece!



  Thanks so much for stopping by and having a look. She's coming along slowly but surely. this is sure one tough kit, but so far I'm winning the war.


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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 0:44 PM, Silenoz said:

Nice details on the engine, too bad you need to place a cowling over it... Seems like a rather nice fit overall...


    Thanks so much for stopping by, it's much appreciated. The engine fit to the fuselage and the cowling are near perfect. Unfortunately, as you've seen I needed a lot of body work to get to this stage.


   While the bit P&W R1830 engine looks good, I'm not planning on leaving off the cowl or opening up any sections in it. Enough of the engine will be seen looking into the cowl, as that's how I planned it from the start of the build.





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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 1:17 PM, Wolfgun33 said:

It's really looking great! Nice work on all the trouble spots.


   Glad you like all the work I put into the build to get past those trouble spots, but it is well worth the effort.


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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 1:37 PM, Ivy-5 said:

Great job Joel ! Will you really hide the engine under a cowling ?


  Thanks my friend for stopping by and checking out the -3 build.  And yes, the full cowl is going on, but there's more then enough to see peering in from the front.



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