Scratch build Boeing F4B-4

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Skyediamonds

Staff Sergeant
1,201
635
May 26, 2018
Good afternoon everyone. I'm in the middle of scratching out a wooden 1/10th scale 36" top wingspan Boeing F4B-4. It's for display & will ultimately be given to my son.

Both wings are framed up & waiting to be covered. The corrugated tail feathers & ailerons are finished & waiting to be installed.

All that remains is the fuselage & it's associated cabane & landing gear struts & of course all of the accessories & attachments.

I'll start this modeling post with a couple of photos of the fuselage as it stands as of July 9, 2024.
 

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Wurger, Vic & fellow members:

Thank you! I'll get started this morning. I'll start with my approach to the fuselage in general & cockpit interior in particular.

From there, I'll bounce off into how I tackled the corrugated surfaces (mind-blowing tedious job, but well worth the results) with a glance at the wings.

I'll also share what I was able to find on the full sized Boeing F4B-4 & P-12E along with their differences.
 
Thank you one & all! It's greatly appreciated.

In honor of Special Ed, I'm starting on my approach to corrugating the flying surfaces. The reason why I thought it best to touch on this subject first is because it's one of those perplexing subjects in which everyone including myself would say; "How the heck does he do this?"

To begin:
As in almost all serious scale modeling, especially from scratch, a lot of research is involved; even if it focuses on just one small portion of the aircraft.

Here, I observed that the corrugations were unique to the Boeing biplane. Not too thin or too tight, but spaced out evenly almost to where each corrugated surface stood out on its own.

This was going to be a challenge…..
 

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I don't have 3-D printers. Nor did I wish to set up a complex mold for each vacuform surface.

I had a couple of choices. I wanted something solid & it would last a long time.

I looked into Evergreen plastic corrugated sheets. It turned out they were not of the type to fit the image of the "Boeing" corrugated surface.

It was at this point I knew that I had work cut out for me.
 

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I decided to use half-round plastic strips & space them apart such that each would stand on its own. The key here, was the spacing.

I used .06" sized plastic half-round strips. They appeared to be " just about right."

Just for your info: Evergreen also makes, 1/4 round, 3/4 round & of course solid or complete round plastic strips of different sizes.
 

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As if just gluing dozens (& dozens) of strips were not enough, each end was going to have to be shaped & smoothed out.
 

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Last edited:
They would also have to be cut out separately to account for the hinges & the curves along the trailing edges.
 

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The tail feathers were fabricated from balsa frames & covered with balsa sheets. In hindsight I could've covered over the frames with sheets of plastic as the next steps will show….
 

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Silly me, I was only following instructions to use balsa sheets. No matter how smooth I sanded & primed the surfaces, the wood grain showed through. This was not acceptable.
 

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So, out comes the filler. In this case I used Spackling compound. It's a dry wall filler.

I had to apply this at least twice to get the desired smooth surface.
 

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In between filler coats (& watching the filler dry) I turned my attention to formation lights. I knew these tiny Christmas lights would come in handy. It was just a matter of picking out the right size, using the tried & true eyeball method.
 

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