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BBA/Winter Build 2017/18 - Top Flite Corsair


Builder Extraordinare
On another note, I've never really covered how I use the reference drawings to apply the rivets.

So basically, I isolate a geometric section and subdivide it per the lines on the drawing. I measure the area on the model and draw out reference lines with a pencil. On curved surfaces I use my smaller cutting mat or cardstock as a straight edge that is flexible. From the drawings, I note where the rivets go. This could be just along the line or on both sides of the line. Some panel lines get rivets along only one side due to panel overlap. It takes time going from the drawing to the model and in this situation, the full-sized drawing is not really needed.

The full-sized drawing comes into play when you need size references for the access panels that I cut from vinyl. It makes things quick and easy. Since they go down before rivets (to prevent bubbling underneath) you also have to measure for placement.


Builder Extraordinare
I got the remaining panel on the top done and immediately moved to the bottom. The bottom is complete and went much faster. I believe there are more on the top. Just a few pics at different lighting angles to highlight details.



Now to move onto the fuselage. I have no idea how long it will take but I suspect it will be another long evening. So far I have a total of 6 hours... just in rivet application. Sadly, it will end soon. :rolleyes:


Builder Extraordinare
Alright, I know I owe an update here... been a busy couple of days.

I got all the rivets done on the fuselage. Many hours put in on them but I'm sure they will add exactly what what I'm after.






Builder Extraordinare
Paint started yesterday. I took the day off from work to catch up on this project and I'm glad I did.

First coat results


Third and final.

Teaser on the wing.


Builder Extraordinare
I wrapped up painting today. I had a couple of big clogs in the air brush but nothing acetone would not clean out. Some folks do a rub down with high-grit paper to brush off overspray. I've found that a simple cotton terry cloth or wash cloth works just the same. So I need to give it all a rub down and apply the decals. Then I can apply the clear coat and start assembly.

Enjoy the pics. It is a bit darker in-person.





Fly Angry
The color looks great in these pics. The rivets look amazing on the cowl. Cant wait for close ups of the rest of it. Callies gfx will only make it stand out that much more.


Builder Extraordinare
More updates:

I gave everything a rub down to remove overspray from the airbrush. Its fairly minor since I'm using a small one. Larger guns can have more dramatic overspray. Some folks use fancy 1000-grit or even 1500-grit paper for this but I have found that a cotton terry cloth or wash cloth does the job just as well and is washable. I do this DRY. It smooths out the finish and makes the finish a bit more even. I'll note that while the paint is a tad splotchy in the lighting in these pictures, it is not nearly that bad. I was, however, going for this more in-the-field look where service was made and paint re-applied. It adds just a touch of character and depth. To do this just apply the paint in sections rather that trying to cover it all in one even coat. This will be better-visualized once the assembly is complete and I get her in sunlight.

Got all the decals applied and here is the one on the cowl. Fairly accurate for the period bulldog mascot for the Marines.

Fuselage decals.

Did a quick cut of my AMA and FAA numbers on my vinyl cutter. I wanted them black and under the elevator to sort of hide them while on static display but still be compliant with regulations.

Black acrylic paint applied to the exhaust area. I like to wipe the excess around the edges to give a sort of oil drip and exhaust mix look to them. Not looking to look too overly used but as if it is fairly well maintained and in-use.

I got the decals applied to the wings as well but forgot to snap a picture of it.

I also got clear coat on the small parts. After being near 90 degrees on Saturday the weather has turned back to chilly. Wednesday shows temps in the 60s so I'll have to work on other things while I wait to shoot the clear coat on the fuselage, wings, and cowl parts.

Things I can do:
Paint the inside of the cowl black
Touch up the dummy radial (hazing from CA)
Canopy needs to be masked, primed, and painted to prep for install
work out linkage for the boost tab on the elevator
Oleo and wheel paint

Basically I can prep everything for final assembly, which should not take long. It mostly consists of installing the control surfaces with linkage rods and gluing in the pin hinges.


Builder Extraordinare
Funny story.

I was looking for a semi gloss and thought I would try the minwax WBPU in a spray can. Total. Crap. The nozzle shoots too thick and the formula of the WBPU dries with a white/ opaque sheen and I was just NOT happy with it.

I had a remaining can of the Rustoleum semi gloss from the Bugatti build. I knew that had good results, not great but good. The problem with semi gloss finishes is that to get the semi gloss look the surface cannot be perfectly smooth. So really up close it looks far too bumpy. At about 18" it look alright. So I'm working with a compromise here. I'm just not a fan of the airshow glossy look on warbirds so I have to just deal with what I have.


Skill Collector
That's pretty much my experience with the spray can of WBPU too. I'm not a big fan of the glossy finish for warbirds, but I know it needs some sort of sealant layer to help keep the hanger rash and paint rubbing under control. I had a can of a satin flat coat used for sealing acrylic paintings that worked well a couple years ago, but I can't remember what brand it was anymore.


Aviation Enthusiast
Wow, looks awesome! I use the semi gloss Rustoleum clearcote stuff and have had good results. Funny how this off the shelf paint works so well.


Builder Extraordinare
The Good

Lots to update on in three parts: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I've knocked out a big chunk of my list of to-dos and here is a start. I got the dummy radial out and realized that in addition to some cleanup of the dummy, I also needed the spark plug wires installed. Here is that. Two pieces of printed plastic glued together. Installed some wire.

The ring goes over the crank case and the wires go to the cylinder head. Each cylinder gets two plugs so... two wires.

I got out the black acrylic paint and painted the inside of the cowl to darken it up inside. Left the "T" to indicate the top of the cowl when installing.

The firewall will be barely visible but I wanted to darken that up a bit as well.

The canopy was masked.

To prevent overspray from reaching the underside, I taped up the bottom as well.

Primer applied.

Rivets applied. This needs to cure before I paint it.

I got one oleo and wheel painted using white acrylic. I liked the streaky/splotchy look so I left it. The other one still needs to be done.


Builder Extraordinare
The Bad

In search of a solution to my clear coat issue, I picked up a can of matte rustoleum. This is the EXACT look I'm after and you can see in this picture the difference between the matte (Cowl) and unpainted (fuselage). So this is great news.

The bad news comes when you compare it to the semi-gloss finish applied to the control surfaces. You can clearly see how splotchy (textured) the finish is and it just look bad... really bad.

The difference in this image pretty much was the nail in the coffin. The matte is the way to go.


Builder Extraordinare
The Ugly

In an attempt to remove the semi-gloss finish previously applied, I had options. I could have used acetone to remove but it would have been messy and risk delaminating/dissolving the glass/WBPU layer beneath. I opted for elbow grease and see where I stood in terms of re-work. This is a flap servo hatch and you can see that it does take some work. You can still see the splotches from the coat and how the paint is dulled from the 220-grit paper. Also the rivets are lessened.

A hot ugly mess but a necessary evil. I sanded back all of the semi-gloss and I will need to touch up the rivets as they will not be very good. From there I'll need to re-paint but it should not be nearly as intense as the first application. Then I can apply the proper matte clear coat. I also want to note that sanding the elevators was extraordinarily sketchy. I could have just stripped it and re-covered but it would have been far more labor intensive and my supply of Solartex is insufficient to do so. Sanding it was a delicate balance of heft to remove the clear coat but not puncture the film, sanding but not through the edges of the framework.

To update:
Canopy needs to be painted, sealed and installed
One more oleo and wheel paint
work out linkage for the boost tab on the elevator


Active member
Do your warm your paint cans before spraying? I seem to recall you saying you do, but if not, sometimes splotching results from the paint being too cool and/or the propellant too cold to develop adequate pressure.
Simply setting your can in a bowl of hot water for 10-15 min. can make all the difference. When you take it out and shake it, it should feel warm. If not, let it sit a while longer.