F4U-1A Post 16: Flaps

One of the things that the Tamiya kit gets wrong, but in the ‘right’ way, is how they handled the flaps.  Dropping the flaps does lend a nice sense of animation to the F4U, and the way they engineered the details looks really good. The only problem is that land based Corsairs didn’t really ever seem to be parked with the flaps down in the South Pacific, probably to keep sand out of the works. 

Check out the weathering on the rudder!

Even the shot Tamiya based the box art for both the 1/48 and 1/32 F4U-1a has the flaps up. Ultracast makes a resin drop in replacement, but it isn’t really that hard to modify the kit flaps.

Here they are as they come. Note I’ve filled in the hole on the starboard inboard flap, as that wasn’t added until the dash 4. I just cut .040 styrene strip to size and then cemented in place. Later I’ll fill in any gaps with Mr Surfacer 500.

The first operation is to trim off the locating pegs. (What are they actually called?) Sprue cutters are super useful for nibbling.

File and sand down. You also have to trim off a panel from the smallest flap, and a hinge in the wing itself.

I worked my way in from the outbound most flap on the logic that fit issues would be more noticeable out on the wing than in the root. I did need to close a gap between the middle and inboard flaps. I cemented a bit of .010 styrene to the end, then trimmed and filed to shape.

Once all the flaps were installed and aligned, I daubed some 5 minute epoxy in the cavity for additional strength, since there weren’t any engineering features, such as the trimmed off locating pegs, left to reinforce them.

Finally, I cut strips of .005 styrene to represent the panels that cover the gaping openings between the leading edge of the flap and the trailing edge of the wing itself on the actual plane. I’m not really sure how these work, perhaps they slide into the wing prior to the flaps actually dropping?

Note the smear on the inboard port wing. That’s the remains of a sloppy glue fingerprint. On the inboard starboard wing, the hole got a lavish application of Mr Surfacer 500, which was allowed to dry overnight, and then sanded. 

I’m so close, yet still so far, from getting some paint on this. 

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