HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
CLASSIC AIRCRAFT BETWEEN THE WARS

 

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. 

 

 

COLOR TABLE

Naval Gray Vallejo VC0989 Sky Grey Fuselage and Struts
Aluminum Vallejo VC0997 Silver Flying Surfaces except Upper Surface Top Wing
Black Model Master 4659 French Blue Section Color (VF-6B)
White Model Master 1768 White Tail Color (USS Saratoga)
Orange Yellow Tamiya 8034 Camel Yellow 1 Upper Surface Top Wing Only

1 Sprayed over two light coats of  Tamiya 8046 Light Sand

   

 

--------------------------------------------   TO BE CONTINUED  --------------------------------------------

MODELING REFERENCES

Davis, Larry.  P-12/F4B in Action (Aircraft Number 141).  Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc, 1993.

Doyle, David.  USS Saratoga, Squadron at Sea Series.  Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications, Inc., 2013.

Freeman, Peter.  Wings of the Fleet, US Navy & Marine Corps Aviation, 1919-1941.  Ardington, UK: The Aviation Workshop Publications, Inc., 2010.

Johnson, E. R.  United States Naval Aviation, 1919-1941.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2011.

Listemann, Phil H.  USN Aircraft 1922-1962, Volume 5. Philedition, 2017.   

Robertson, Bruce, Editor.  United States Navy and Marine Corps Fighters 1918-1962.  Fallbrook, CA: Aero Publishers, 1962.

 

  

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