F4U-1A Post 7: Engine

While things percolate on the cockpit, let’s start on the engine.

The kit engine is okay, if a little spartan, so I’m using the Quickboost PW-2800. First, X-1, glossy black as a primer.

Alclad aluminum. With the Wildcat, I dry brushed silver over black. This time I wanted to try getting a metallic base coat, and then use a wash to bring out the detail.

The detail on Quickboost engines are great, but the ‘quick’ part isn’t completely accurate because you have to add a few details, including the push rods, and the ignition ring and harness. None of this is all that hard, but it does take patience. We start with the push rods. 

I had pre-sprayed a length of .020 Evergreen rod XF-1. Twenty thousandths is just under a scale inch. I haven’t been able to find good dimensional drawings, but the pushrods in reference images look a little chunkier—maybe an inch and half in diameter—but .030 (1.44 inches) looks too thick to me, and I’d rather be a touch under scale than over. To get the length, I roughed in with a divider, test fit and carefully trimmed until it was right. Some of the cylinders are longer than others, but this puts me in the ballpark. Using calipers, I measured my test sample.

I got this tip from Paul Budzik. Basically, if you add a length of strip styrene on one side, terminating right at the blade, it makes it really easy to transfer your cut dimension to the guard. You just insert your measuring tool flush to the strip, and then slide the guard to mate on the other side, and that’s your cut dimension.

Chopping 18 perfectly sized rods is then a breeze. At the top of the photo you can see a better shot of the styrene strip.

To position, I used blu tack on a toothpick. On this build, blu tack is becoming more and more essential. Once placed, thin CA with a glue Looper locks it in, starting at the base of the gear reduction housing, because any slop will be hidden by the ignition ring. Add a little dab of CA on the underside of the push rod where it joins the cylinder block to complete. Once you get going, it doesn’t take that long to do the whole row. Happily, the bottom row doesn’t have provisions for push rods, and you’d never see them, so never mind.

Done! Handling the rods means a few touch ups, but NBD.

I have a few ideas for how to approach the ignition ring that might be interesting. I’m trying to decide between whether to represent the earlier tubular ring (as seen in the squadron portrait in the first post of this thread) or the later squared off ring. 

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