F4U-1A Post 9: More cockpittery

Because the cockpit is a bit murky in the shadows, details benefit from exaggerated contrast so they don’t get lost. It’s time to pull out highlights and push shadows. For this let’s try oil paints. I have a starter set of Windsor and Newton oils. It wasn’t very expensive and should last a really long time. The one thing is, you have to be comfortable mixing colors. 

With a little color theory, it’s really not that hard. In this case, we want shades of interior green. Start with yellow. If we were going to be purists about it, we’d just add in black until we got the right shade, because that’s how Vought painted theirs, but I had mixed the original interior green per Tamiya’s instructions, with XF-3 Yellow, and XF-5 Green, so yellow and black is a bit unsaturated in comparison. 

I squeezed as little paint out of the tubes as I could, and this is way more paint than I’ll be able to use, but that’s okay. There’s a variety of shades to draw from: darker on the right, middling on the left, and highlights up top.

After brushing highlights and shadows. Basically edges and anything facing up gets highlights, and anything that would be in shadow gets a slightly darker shade. Don’t worry about matching the base color exactly—the whole reason why we’re using oils is because they’re so easy to blend. Just take a clean brush, gently brush in the base color, and the seam disappears, and you’re left with a slightly 3D effect.

Onto the seat belts. I’m using FineMolds plastic belts. You have to order them from Japan, and they’re kind of expensive ($15 for a set of four), but they are easy to shape and really detailed on both sides.

Part of my original ‘vision’ for this model was I wanted to have one of the shoulder straps twisted, and for them to generally look haphazardly left by the previous pilot. 

I’ve started weathering, and the seat is a little too scratched and the belts a little too dirty. I’ll go back and clean that up a bit.

The famous oxygen bottle in his new home. 

I had done a lovely map case with oils that goes on the side of the console in that great gaping black area, but it popped off while test fitting with back bulkhead/seat assembly and seems to have vanished. Hopefully it will turn up later, or maybe I’ll scratch a new one up.

Placards from Aeroscale really help bring life to the cockpit. 

There’s these funny protrusions sticking out on the lower left instrument panel which are meant to be connected to the throttle. I cut them off and drilled out with my new little drill press. Later, when the main cockpit assembly is in the fuselage, I’ll fit wires in to connect to the throttle, which is attached to the sidewall.

Instrument panels on. It’s almost starting to look like something, though in the cruelty of macro photography, it looks like the IP backing film is a bit low on the left side. I glued with a couple dots of white glue, so maybe there’s a way to fix it.

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