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MOC: F4U Corsair


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#1 Ralph_S

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 05:44 PM

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Since a few months my friend Lego Monster has been working on a new ship, a minifig scale version of USS Intrepid, a WW-II Essex class aircraft carrier. He has asked me to design the aircraft for it. After completing my model of an Avenger about a month ago, I have turned my attention to another classic WW-II aircraft: a Vought F4U Corsiar fighter.

The Corsair was already under development when the second world war started, but it had a fairly long gestation period. Although the aircraft was designed to fly from aircraft carriers, poor low speed handling and the view over the aircraft's long nose made the US Navy decide that the aircraft was not suitable. Most initial deliveries were to the US Marine Corps for use from land bases. Later in the war, experience with the Corsair in British Royal Navy service and the threat  posed by Kamikaze made the US Navy reconsider this decision and towards the end of the war most Essex class carriers, including USS Intrepid, operated Corsairs.
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Many US Navy Corsairs were delivered in an all-over dark blue colour scheme. Sadly the variety of parts in that colour is very limited, so I decided to build the aircraft in the three-colour scheme that was in use from around 1943. The lower surfaces are white, the upper surfaces are dark blue and the tail and fuselage sides are largely grey. Because the wings on the aircraft fold up, their undersides are grey rather than white, as white would stand out too much against the carrier deck.
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One of the distinguishing features of the Corsair is its inverted 'gull wing'. One of the reasons for this unusual design is that it enabled the use of relatively short undercarriage struts, whilst making sure that the aircraft's huge propeller stayed well clear of the deck.  
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The Corsair has a complicated undercarriage. The struts retract aft into the wing with main wheels rotating to lie flat inside the wing. I did manage to get that to work on my model, but unfortunately I couldn't find sufficient space to add the doors that cover the wheels. Since the aircraft is built to sit on top of an aircraft carrier anyway, I've decided it's a compromise I can live with.
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In early 1945, the Intrepid carried four different types of aircraft: the TBF/TBM Avenger, F4U Corsair, F6F Hellcat and the SB2C Helldiver. Two down, two more to go!
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more pictures

Cheers,
Ralph

Edited by Rufus, 02 July 2011 - 12:43 PM.
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#2 dr_spock

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 06:10 PM

Looks fantastic.   :thumbup:   I remember the Cosairs from the 1970s TV show - Baa Baa Black Sheep.    They were interesting planes with the shape of their wings.

#3 Ralph_S

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:08 PM

View Postdr_spock, on Apr 10 2010, 06:10 PM, said:

Looks fantastic.   :thumbup:   I remember the Cosairs from the 1970s TV show - Baa Baa Black Sheep.    They were interesting planes with the shape of their wings.

Thank you. I remember seeing that show when it was shown on German television when I was a child. It was far from authentic, but the planes were real  :classic:  

Cheers,
Ralph
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#4 Capt. Stabbin

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 02:29 PM

Your airplanes are amazing, so realistic!!  They remind me of the balsa wood planes I made when I was younger, very nostalgic!  keep up the good work!

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#5 Ralph_S

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 10:26 PM

View PostCapt. Stabbin, on Apr 11 2010, 02:29 PM, said:

Your airplanes are amazing, so realistic!!  They remind me of the balsa wood planes I made when I was younger, very nostalgic!  keep up the good work!

:jollyroger:

Thank you. I am glad you like them. For a while, as a teenager, I built plastic model kits of aircraft. However, I wasn't particularly good at painting and turned to building them out of LEGO instead. In a sense I feel I am building proper models of the aircraft I built back then.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#6 TGping

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:16 PM

That looks great, you managed the wing shape very well.

I love that it is minifig scale, I was wondering can the windscreen cover the pilot? And do you know about how many pieces this took?

#7 Ralph_S

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Posted 12 April 2010 - 11:40 PM

View PostTGping, on Apr 13 2010, 12:16 AM, said:

That looks great, you managed the wing shape very well.

I love that it is minifig scale, I was wondering can the windscreen cover the pilot? And do you know about how many pieces this took?

Thanks for your reply.

I have to admit that it is slightly on the large side of minifig scale, with a scale of 1/40, but people were shorter in 1945  :wink:

The cockpit canopy can be closed with the pilot inside. Obviously the use of trans clear plates means that he's not particularly visible once inside, but you can just about see the little guy sitting inside the cockpit in this picture
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I also made two pictures showing the aircraft's lines a bit better (the pilot wasn't in the cockpit for these)
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I rarely keep track of how much anything I build takes in parts, but it's probably around 600 (a very rough guess). Since we want to make several of these for the aircraft carrier, I may be making instructions and I will certainly be making an inventory sometime in the next few months, so I should be able to tell you how many parts it uses then.    

Cheers,
Ralph
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#8 lightningtiger

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Posted 13 April 2010 - 12:12 AM

SWEET 'Ralph_S' and AWESOME too ! :grin:
So lifelike they are - sheer beauty - keep on flying - keep on bricking ! :sweet:

#9 MacK

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 01:11 AM

Such a great model Ralph it really looks like it would be able to fly itself, being minifig scale is also really cool. I can't wait to see the whole flight of these on the aircraft carrier! The dark blue must cost alot though.

#10 Capt. Stabbin

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 01:25 AM

View PostRalph_S, on Apr 12 2010, 06:40 PM, said:

I may be making instructions and I will certainly be making an inventory sometime in the next few months, so I should be able to tell you how many parts it uses then.


Instructions would be sweet, I'd love to build this awesome plane.

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#11 Ralph_S

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:12 AM

View Postlightningtiger, on Apr 13 2010, 12:12 AM, said:

SWEET 'Ralph_S' and AWESOME too ! :grin:
So lifelike they are - sheer beauty - keep on flying - keep on bricking ! :sweet:
Thank you. Until not too long ago I was far more into building contemporary jets, but these old clunkers are a lot of fun too.

View PostMacK, on Apr 14 2010, 01:11 AM, said:

Such a great model Ralph it really looks like it would be able to fly itself, being minifig scale is also really cool. I can't wait to see the whole flight of these on the aircraft carrier! The dark blue must cost alot though.
Thank you. The dark blue is actually not too bad. It's obviously more expensive than, say, regular blue, but I got a pretty stagering number of dark blue plates from the VW Beetle set. Wedge plates are available in fairly large numbers because of the Agents sets. Still, this project will probably dominate my spending on LEGO this year.

  

View PostCapt. Stabbin, on Apr 14 2010, 01:25 AM, said:

Instructions would be sweet, I'd love to build this awesome plane.

:jollyroger:
Thank you. if I do make instructions, I probably will make them available. It seems like a shame about all the work otherwise.

Cheers,
Ralph
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#12 John31388

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Posted 15 April 2010 - 01:52 AM

Looks awsome I love ww2 history and ww2 aircraft, you captured the f 4u beautifuly. I would love some instructions if you ever make some.

Beautiful job




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