Originally this post was going to be called “Bucket List Builds”. I did not want to be so dramatic with that title, but the intent was to list off the kits and projects that I want to eventually complete. These builds are long term hobby goals. I am sure we all have similar long term goals in one form or another.
But then I thought about that list. And then I thought about how long some of these projects have been languishing on a “someday” list for me. And then I thought about why I have never put a dent in this list.
All this thinking led to a reconsideration of my post. You see, at first I thought my not building these projects was an example of that ‘hope is not a strategy’ thing. As in, hoping to complete something when the right skill level is obtained is just that: hope. Hope doesn’t get anything done.
I learned a long time ago that results only come from a plan. That is why I made the list! Except there have been no results. Perhaps my list is more hope than a plan. Maybe my problem is something else.
The only explanation I have is hesitation. I am hesitating to start these projects because I don’t think I will be any good at them and/or I am worried that I won’t like the results. And, like piling kits on the stash is infinitely easier than actually building them; planning projects is far easier than attempting them.
I am a big believer in the “What’s your plan?” movement that started in the Pacific North West and has gradually gained momentum throughout scale modeldom. I just needed to make a little modification to my build list to get these projects off the ground.
Originally my list simply named off the projects I wanted to complete when I had the right kit, skill and courage to pull them off. Now my list sets out what I have and what I need to start the project and it also details how I am going to get the skill required to complete the project.
Here is my newly modified list and my plan to get there:
Race 57 Corsair: This Super Corsair needs super smooth paint
It might not look it, but this is a warbird; well, sort of. The F2G Corsair was somewhat of a “what-if” development of the Corsair. Late in World War 2, there was a belief that the Navy and the Marines needed a fighter that could climb extremely fast and otherwise perform as a stable gun platform. The F2G was developed for that purpose. And yes, it could definitely climb faster than any F4U-1D. But it could not outperform the F4U-4s that were coming on line. So the half dozen or so were relegated to the tarmac until after the war when they were snapped up for pennies on the dollar by enterprising air racers.
Special Hobby Super Corsair
The Special Hobby Corsair was bought by me sometime in 2008. Yes, you read that right; almost 15 years ago. When I saw an advertisement for this kit, I HAD to have it. Actually, I made a specific out of town trip to get it when I found one on line. .
What I have
I have the kit. Actually, I have multiples of this kit. I also picked up an F2G propeller from Obscureco as well as an aftermarket ‘doghouse’ trunking kit for the supercharger. Other than that, I know I have some F4U-4 cockpit parts and I have plenty of proper wheels. Materials wise I am good to go. I keep worrying about the opacity of those decals but I shouldn’t because I have read more than a few reviews that state there was no red bleeding through the white decals.
What is the Plan
Ultimately I have been intimidated by the need to have a mirror like coat of bright red paint. That’s it. Silly, isn’t it? Here is the plan:
- I think watching a few scale car model painting YouTube videos will help.
- However, I think the best way to approach this project is to get myself a cheap model and practice getting a smooth glossy coat
- And then sanding out the imperfections
- And then finally polishing the finish
- I can build the mule and the model concurrently but I will start the painting process with the mule.
- If it doesn’t work on the first mule, I can keep trying until I get it.
- As a last resort, I have a few of these kits in the stash. One nice looking F2G is worth a few sacrificial kits.
Saab Viggen: A strategy for razor sharp splinters
The Viggen was a 1960s strike fighter aircraft with good short-runway performance. Designed in a particularly bad time during the Cold War, it could be operated from specially prepared roads and highways because they figured their fighter bases would be obliterated soon after a war broke out.
I don’t normally go for pointy planes. And this one is Scandinavian of all things! That is miles away from the Pacific. However, there is something so incredibly unique about this fighter. Especially that angular cammo pattern.
This project has been as much about waiting for the right kit as it is about pulling off that finish. There have been various iterations of the Viggen over the years but it seems to me none are considered the definitive kit.
What I need
It boils down to two things – the kit and some method of replicating the finish. Recently the front runner in terms of kit quality appears to be the Tarangus Viggen in both 1/48 and 1/72 but these are pretty hard to come by around here. I’ll keep my eyes open though.
As for the paint I think the best method is to get a well designed paint mask. DN Models has one here. I will have to hunt around for some reviews to be sure. I’d like to paint the cammo and the markings if I can. With my recently acquired Silhouette cutter, I think I can do this.
What is the Plan
It’s rather simple:
- Research and buy the right kit
- Research the best paint mask(s)
- Find some really good reference photos
After that, Robert is your mother’s brother.
The Super Corsair: Kit bashing, scratch building & vacuforming
What a beauty. While it was called “Super Corsair” this was not an F2G. Nope, this one started life as an F4U-4 and was frankensteined into something completely different. There is a Corsair under all that. But look closely – there are a number of differences.
- There is a different engine and exhaust.
- A Marauder cowl
- A Mustang Spinner (I think)
- A Skyraider prop
- The oil coolers are modified and jet out in front of the wings
- The wings and ailerons are clipped
- And that canopy…. egad.. that canopy.
What I have
I have acquired a number of parts over the years. The cowl, spinner, prop are all here. I have an excellent step by step article detailing exactly what is needed to kit bash the Super Corsair as well as this very interesting link on line. I have also picked up some decals for this bird.
What I need to do
I am not sure whether it is better to start with a Tamiya F4U-1D Corsair or a Hasegawa F4U-4. Considering the modifications I don’t think it matters. I think that all the work of mating these various parts won’t be too hard and I am reasonably confident about the oil coolers – I can shape those and blend them in.
What is my plan
To be honest, this one is the farthest away from being complete because of the canopy issue. That is the great equalizer here. I do not have the equipment to vac-u-form my own canopy. However, considering the cost of these things and how useful it would be to have one, maybe I need to find one. The second issue is the creation of the master. Again, I do not have any experience here but here is my plan:
- I have picked up some books on scratch building and I know they have parts on vacuum forming. So yeah – I have to study those.
- I think there are some excellent posts and one video by Paul Budzik that are a must watch.
- I need to get my hands on a vacuum forming machine. I might have access to one
- I need to create a decent master.
Prototype Corsair: Just needs 2 Corsairs, A Scalpel & A Deep Breath
Since I have come back to the hobby I have been slowly working on building my Corsair Collection. At this point I have a -1, -2, -1A, -1D, -4, -5, -5NL and an F2G. And I am far from done. I definitely want to do the prototype and I am very confident there will never be a mainstream kit of this variant.
What I have
To build this model I will need at least 2 Tamiya Corsairs, some styrene of various kinds and what would appear to be the longest hypodermic needle in existence. I have some early USN seat belts too. To help guide this project I found an excellent build article by David Weeks that has also been summarized on Hyperscale here as well as some schematics of this early Corsair.
What I need to do
Perusing the build articles I am pretty sure I can handle the cuts and grafting. If you take a close look at the picture above, most of the panel lines and riveting was covered and sanded. So scribing will be at a minimum (yay!). One of the issues will be on the wings. The original variant had some complicated flaps that will require some interesting fabrication. I will also need to graft additional fabric covered areas onto the wings. The other will be the sliding portion of the canopy. I don’t think I need to vacuum form a new one though. I am hoping I can glue on an extension to the regular canopy.
What is my plan
Honestly? I think I am ready for this one now. I have more Corsairs than what would normally be considered healthy. I can sacrifice two or three to make this thing. It sure would be fun to do.
One of the stories you always hear in scale modeling involves the completion of a complicated scratch build or kitbash that is quickly followed by the announcement of that very same model by a mainstream manufacturer.
A couple of years ago a cottage industry resin kit maker announced a line of unlimited racer kits that included the Super Corsair. I gladly pre-ordered before doing my due diligence as to weather the kit would be any good or the general track record of the company. Why? Well, again, it was hesitation. I wanted to avoid all the work that would have to go into the kitbash. Unfortunately the kit never saw the light of day. After two years of waiting I decided to ask for a refund. Luckily for me the owner returned my money after some persistence on my part. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained.
You will notice that I have not placed dates for completion or ETAs for any of these projects. This is because I am not insane and I have enough deadlines at work. This is supposed to be a hobby after all.
So, I’d like to hear from you. Do you have a “bucket list” of builds or projects? Have you started any? If not, why not? Are you hesitating like me or is it something else? Do you think a plan for getting better would work for you? Let me know in the comments.