F4U-1A Post 11: Seat belts redux!

First up, the seat belts. I had ordered a set of HGW belts almost as a lark, not expecting them to arrive before I had gotten the seat with the Fine Molds cleaned up, but rather as something to consider for a future build, but when the arrived, I got more intrigued.

This is a terrible photo, but hopefully gets the gist across. It’s a sheet with the textile portion of the belts printed onto a kind of textured film, and then a fret of PE hardware. Cutting out the belts isn’t hard—I squared the sheet onto acrylic, and then used a thin beam square to guide the cuts.

To assemble, you ‘simply’ thread the the textile pieces through the hardware, and then glue in place with PVA glue (apparently CA will melt the film). It’s not actually all that hard once you get in the swing of it, but it is slow, fussy work. 

Each belt is made up of four textile pieces. The shoulder harnesses each use two PE parts, plus another for the backing brace. The lap belts use three PE parts, plus one more for the latch. Altogether it’s 29 parts. For seat belts. It took me a couple hours to get them fully assembled. 

But man, it just looks right. The one drag is I couldn’t flip the one shoulder harness like I wanted to because there’s no backing detail. I suppose you might be able to sandwich another piece of textile on the reverse side, and then scratch the back of the buckle, but I’ve had enough experimentation with this seat for this build.


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