HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
BOEING F4B-4 (9048), 2-B-3 of VB-2B, USS LEXINGTON c. 1935
by George Grasse
K&B KB1122 1:48 SCALE INJECTION KIT OF THE BOEING F4B-4 c. 1935
K&B BOEING F4B-4 BOX ART
BOEING F4B-4 THREE-VIEW PLAN
|Image credit: United States Navy and Marine Corps Fighters 1918-1962, compiled by Paul R. Matt, edited by Bruce Robertson, Harleyford Publications, published by Aero Publishers, Inc., Fallbrook, CA, 1962.
MODEL TO BE BUILT - BOEING F4B-4 (9048) 2-B-3 OF VB-2B
|Photo credit: USN Aircraft 1922-1962 by Phil H. Listemann, Volume 5, page 30 (see Bibliography).
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #1
|FUSELAGE GETTING STARTED: The kit's interior parts are scarce at best. I added a scratch white plastic rear bulkhead, electrical box, flare rack with three flares, and fire extinguisher. Also added were a couple of strands of solder wire to represent electrical wiring. The seat was an after-market product and is cast with a seat belt.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #2
|FUSELAGE CONTINUATION: The interior is sprayed overall in aluminum and details are hand-painted in semi-gloss black and various colors, most of which will not be visible when the fuselage halves are joined.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #3
|FUSELAGE HALVES JOINED: The seams are puttied. When thoroughly dry, they will be sanded down with progressively finer sand paper. The 'sister' F4B-4 by Classic Airframes being built at the same time does not exhibit the completely closed fuselage (click here).
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #4
|WINGS AND TAIL UNIT ATTACHED: The wings fit nicely having large stubs and needed a bit of propping up to dry thoroughly without sagging. The horizontal tail did not have stubs so I added a brass pin on each to steady the pieces until thoroughly dry. I hung the model similarly to show above but at a 90 degree angle to wing axis to allow for a perfectly flat finish with no dihedral. After the tail unit was thoroughly dry, I cut to fit small size Strutz brass rod. See the next photo for the upper surface of the tail unit.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #5
|TAIL UNIT SUPPORT WIRES: This view shows the .005 monofilament thread used to simulate the double support wires for each stabilizer attached to the fin. The cockpit is stuffed to prevent paint overspray coming up.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #6
|FUSELAGE STRUTS: the fuselage struts were pre-drilled for small diameter brass rods (not visible) to strengthen the top wing when it is installed. The gun sight was glued to the top decking. Note the custom-made tail unit decals.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #7
|RIGGING AND TOP WING ATTACHMENT: All of the rigging is doubled at all attachment points. Some of the pre-drilled holes for rigging are somewhat visible in this photo and the previous photo. The topside of the bottom wing and the fuselage has had small eyelets glued into the rigging holes to which the rigging material (.oo5 MFT) is glued into the holes on the underside of the top wing. These have been pulled aside and taped so as to be out of the way while the outboard struts are glued in place.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #8
|MAIN WING STRUTS: The main outer sing struts were fabricated from brass rod and brass tubing. The front and rear struts contain the supporting brass rod. First, each brass rod strut was cut-to-fit. Second, its outer covering was made from slightly pounded brass tubing. When both sides were built, the rod a tube assembly was glued in place. The center cross-over strut was simply another rod and tube piece cut to fit. In all cases, the joint was filled with plastic putty and sanded when dry. The struts were primed in place and then painted. Note that the rigging "wires" are taped off to be out of the way.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #9
|FINISHED: Jumping ahead to the completed model, the last steps dealt with rigging attachment, decal placement, and touch-up painting. The radio mast was made from brass rod pounded to shape. The rudder decals are 'hand-made'. The side number is taken from Yellow Wings decal sheets. The top wing chevron (not visible here) used the kit's decals but over-painted in red.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #11
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #12
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #13
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #14
|Vallejo VC0989 Sky Grey
|Fuselage and Struts
|Vallejo VC0997 Silver
|Flying Surfaces except Upper Surface Top Wing
|Model Master 4659 French Blue
|Section Color (VF-6B)
|Model Master 1768 White
|Tail Color (USS Saratoga)
|Tamiya 8034 Camel Yellow 1
|Upper Surface Top Wing Only
1 Sprayed over two light coats of Tamiya 8046 Light Sand
Robertson, Bruce, Editor. United States Navy and Marine Corps Fighters 1918-1962. Fallbrook, CA: Aero Publishers, 1962.