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Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Old 10-21-2006, 07:36 PM
  #1  
vbradley
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Default Wheel-Wells Anyone?

I'm surprised that I can't find any mention of wheel-well construction anywhere.

My specific interest is, naturally, for the model I'm building.
I'm building a TopFlite .60 size F4U Corsair.
The instructions mention a few tips for installing retracts, but no mention of wheel-well construction.

I've attached a picture of what my feeble brain has come up with, however it's raised a few eyebrows from friends who I've sent the pictures to. They all want to know if I'm going to make them round...
Uuuuh, golly... I really don't know what to do at this point, or what I SHOULD'VE done from the start...
One of my friends said use the top from a shaving cream can.
Anyone know of a brand of shaving cream that has a top 3 3/4 inches diameter?
Any advise would be welcome.
Thanks in advance,
Vic
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:49 PM
  #2  
DavidAgar
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

You can also use the inner tubes for carpet and linolium. They do get up into the wheel sizes that you are looking for. You can also get a can with the dimensions that you want and wrap and glue wet blasa around the can. You can then glue the balsa wheel well in the wing and trim to fit. Good Luck, Dave
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:15 PM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Do you have any photos of the Corsair wheel wells? I suspect that they are not round. On my Spitfire, I tried several approaches. These were round wells. I started off making them with 1/64" ply, but was not satisfied with the results. Next, I use balsa that I soaked then wrapped around an appropriate sized can. Once installed, they formed nice wells. In an attempt to save a bit of weight, I ended up pulling them out and made new ones out of drafting mylar. I got the mylar at my local drafting/graphic arts store. The stuff is very thin and has a frosted coating on one side that takes paint very well. For the Corsair, I would consider making them out of mylar. It's easy to work with and will save you the work of trying to get a smooth finish on balsa inside the confines of the well. Mylar also works well as a material inside the cockpit too.

Scott
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:33 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Wheel wells are easy, I just made a pair for my p51. Use 1/32 balsa and soak it and then wrap it around an appropriately sized container, ca and then masking tape to hold everything in place while the glue sets. The trick is to bend the wood with the grain NOT against it. If you can't find a strip of 1/32 with the grain running the right direction then you'll have to do what I did and cut up little segments and then edge glue them to form one long strip with the grain running width wise that you can wrap around a container or something. If your 1/32 is too stiff then use 1/16 and once you have it wrapped around something just cut up another strip and wrap it around the first one to double it up. Perfectly round wheel wells guaranteed !! Hope this helps.
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Old 10-21-2006, 11:36 PM
  #5  
David Cutler
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

I used the same method and to strengthen the final result I painted it with 3 coats of thinned out epoxy.

-David C.
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:25 AM
  #6  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Scott: I put photo's of my wheel wells on the opening post in this thread. Crank the scrollbar back up to the top...??
Vic
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Old 10-22-2006, 01:39 AM
  #7  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Scooty:
Looks great! You know something? When I first looked at your pictures here (before I zoomed in) I thought it was a propane bottle. Then I zoomed in and realized it looks like a much smaller beer bottle of some kind.

THEN I GOT TO THINKING (now I'm dangerous...) THAT'S ONE THING I NEVER THOUGHT TO MEASURE!
I JUST NOW WENT TO THE GARAGE AND MEASURED THE DIAMETER OF A COLEMAN LANTERN GAS CANISTER. GUESS WHAT THE DIAMETER IS?

IT'S EXACTLY 3 3/4 INCH ACCROSS!

Another possible plus here is that the gas bottle has a little black plastic booty on the bottom that's about 1 1/2 inches high.

If I can't use that, I'll do the wrap-around balsa thing like you did.

I had previously spent some time running around the local grocery store and just couldn't find any can or bottle that was exactly 3 3/4 inch diameter.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

I'll post what I finally do later onl Give me a few days cuz I'm on a production roll with the fuselage.

Vic
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:05 AM
  #8  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

if you use a roll of tape and wet your balsa with windex or alcohol, the liquid will evap fast. then take the formed balsa and adjust the circle for a perfect fit most wheel wells are not perfectly round to allow for the movement of the retracts the spitfire is a perfect example, less for the F4U, and P-40 I used 1/16 balsa then reinforced the weak areas on the back side with small pieces before sheeting.
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Old 10-22-2006, 11:40 AM
  #9  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

I've used margarine tubs.
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Old 10-22-2006, 03:30 PM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

They are real easy to make out of 1/64" plywood, for larger wheels 1/32" plywood would probably work as well. Same process as in post #4 eacept you don't have to soak it or worry about grain direction.

Joe
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:10 PM
  #11  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Whats wrong with the way it is? It's on the bottom of the wing anyway. I'd leave it alone.

Gibbs
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:17 PM
  #12  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

couldn't you just make a square lid to bolt over the openings? then cut the round wheel opening and strut opening out? just make it like an access hatch with a cut area for the gear
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Old 10-22-2006, 07:58 PM
  #13  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?


ORIGINAL: vbradley

I'm surprised that I can't find any mention of wheel-well construction anywhere.

My specific interest is, naturally, for the model I'm building.
I'm building a TopFlite .60 size F4U Corsair.
The instructions mention a few tips for installing retracts, but no mention of wheel-well construction.

I've attached a picture of what my feeble brain has come up with, however it's raised a few eyebrows from friends who I've sent the pictures to. They all want to know if I'm going to make them round...
Uuuuh, golly... I really don't know what to do at this point, or what I SHOULD'VE done from the start...
One of my friends said use the top from a shaving cream can.
Anyone know of a brand of shaving cream that has a top 3 3/4 inches diameter?
Any advise would be welcome.
Thanks in advance,
Vic
If you are attempting to have your model appear scale, then do not use any kind of tub for the wheel wells. Real Corsairs have open wells. You can see parts of the wing rib boxes, gear mount bosses, trunions, hydraulic lines, linkages, electrical lines, conduits etc. This is an open area, and not neatly closed off with a smooth tub. The landing gear doors fair in this opening and using any kind of a wheel tub does nothing to give the illusion that this is a scale model of the real thing. There are any number of publications that will show you what they should look like. Use a paint that is the color of zinc chromate to finish the opening with, and you will gain the admiration of your peers. Real airplanes are/were not slick and shiny. Removing hatches and inspection plates caused many gouges from slipped screwdrivers, and dents from urging a reluctant piece into place. All airplanes leak hydraulic fluid, so a little work with a wash paint will go a long way to make it look like the real thing.

Bill, AMA 4720
WACO Brotherhood #1
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:37 PM
  #14  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Now THERE's a sharp idea! I'll have to go measure...
Vic
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:43 PM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

actually navy and marine based carrier planes had a glossy finish from the factory the myth that dull planes were out on the ocean is just that. the salt sea air would dull the paint over time depends what "state" your building new or used corsairs, hellcats ,wildcats, all had glossy finishes also night fighters were painted gloss black to reflect starlight ,flat colors absorb light, if you have been on a navy ship everything clean rules .
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:45 PM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?


Gibbs: I'm tempted to just leave it as you suggest. I could always make it round later, if it survives it's first flight... [&:]


Foodstick: That's just what I might do if I do the round balsa form from the Coleman gas bottle.

Thanks all you guys for the suggestions. I've finished the upper half of the fuselage this weekend, and am moving onto the lower half this week.

"Any landing you walk away from is a GOOD landing..."

Vic
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Old 10-22-2006, 11:50 PM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

I've used a very large styrofoam cup (Sonic has 'em) and even a 4" wheel fit inside the top of the cup!
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:32 AM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

I guess I wasn't very clear in my post. I should have asked if you had photos of a full sized Corsair.
Here's the best photos of the wheel well that I have.

Scott
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Old 10-23-2006, 04:04 AM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Vic
I don't understand your friends' comments as the real F4U has square wells - as you can see from Saramos' pix. Round wells are distinctly un-scale.
As a scale fan I would suggest you go with the square wells as modelled so far and then fit some doors later. That doesn't have to be complicated A small lever on the inside of the door can catch the wheel and pull the door closed behind the wheel.

Just my 2 penn'orth - but I think your plane is fine and forms the basis of a much more scale-like appearance later if you wish

Keep it up- you're doin' great!

cheers
Rick


ORIGINAL: vbradley


I've attached a picture of what my feeble brain has come up with, however it's raised a few eyebrows from friends who I've sent the pictures to. They all want to know if I'm going to make them round...
Uuuuh, golly... I really don't know what to do at this point, or what I SHOULD'VE done from the start...

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Old 10-23-2006, 04:41 AM
  #20  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?


ORIGINAL: bigtim

actually navy and marine based carrier planes had a glossy finish from the factory the myth that dull planes were out on the ocean is just that. the salt sea air would dull the paint over time depends what "state" your building new or used corsairs, hellcats ,wildcats, all had glossy finishes also night fighters were painted gloss black to reflect starlight ,flat colors absorb light, if you have been on a navy ship everything clean rules .
I did not say that they were not shiny. I said that they were not too slick, and that the wheel wells are not finished smooth as with inserts. Look closely at any real airplane. They all have gouges, and dents from maintenance. The wheel wells are nothing but unfinished spaces showing the mechanicals and I have never seen a full scale airplane with smoothly finished wheel well tubs. Neither have you.

Bill, AMA 4720
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Old 10-23-2006, 08:04 AM
  #21  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

A simple method I use is to fill the area with spray foam insulation. Once it dries, I just cut away whatever I don't want.
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:47 PM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Spad: Thanks! Maybe I will leave it alone. Perhaps later do a square trap door.
Good news is the top AND bottom fuselage halfs are skinned now. Still have to do some minor work where the darned balsa split near the rear bottom area. I soaked it in the tub for over an hour, and it still split. Beginners luck, I guess, but I can fix it with balsa filler, and when I glass it, the strength will be there.

Later,
Vic
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Old 10-29-2006, 04:13 PM
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

I would maybe add doors to what you have already and it would look nice and be more to scale. It can't be that hard can it?

Gibbs
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Old 10-30-2006, 12:14 AM
  #24  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Mine were square. It's been a while... I remember I had to make one extra rib for one of the wheel well walls. The other three walls are already there in the design. There are no contoured surfaces in there.



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Old 10-30-2006, 09:37 AM
  #25  
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Default RE: Wheel-Wells Anyone?

Juice:
Thanks for the reply.

I had no idea my simple question would set off such a discussion! [X(]

Did you ever do trap doors? I'd be interested in seeing how those were done.

I like your picture of the bottom of the plane. I'm not quite that far yet with mine. Did you put extra doors in the belly pan? I'm doing the sectional flaps like you did also.

Vic
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