Originally Posted by Ron Clarkson
Is the J3 and L4 basically the same plane? How true to scale would that be?
The Piper J-3 Cub, L-4 Observer are in fact the same aircraft - up to a point.
The J-3 and L-4 share the same fuselage baskets. The difference is mainly in the cabin windows. The L-4 has a “greenhouse” arrangement that allows more pilot visibility above and behind them. This exposes much more of the fuselage framework.
I have the Great Planes J-3 40 kit (76.5” wingspan). I reviewed the build manual for the 60, and the two share the the same fuselage design. I can tell you that the only way to present those kits as an L-4 would be to use silver covering to simulate the greenhouse windows. Just not worth the effort for the return. The fuselage structural design of the models would not lend itself to leaving out the material that would present a scale representation of an L-4.
There are a couple of large-scale (1/4, 1/3) kits that follow the building structure of the full-size J-3 that will lend themselves to L-4 modification. Not sure of larger scale is your cup-o-tea or not.
I think that cv440pilot makes an excellent suggestion to present the GP J-3 as an NE-1. You get the stars & bars, and it would be an authentic presentation of a WWII U.S. Navy trainer. The cool part would be that some at the flying field will call you on it, and you can “educate” them...
As mentioned, airliners.net has literally hundreds of pics of J-3s and L-4s.
A little J-3 and L-4 history:
Here’s a couple of pics of the full-size L-4 fuselage basket.
Hope you find something!