Special Hobby 1/48 F2G-1 Super Corsair

KIT: Special Hobby 1/48 F2G-1 Super Corsair
KIT #: 48049
PRICE: $42.00 MSRP
DECALS: See review
REVIEWER: Andy Garcia
NOTES:

Obscureco Prop, True Details F4U-4 Resin Cockpit

HISTORY

 

Pratt & Whitney made a proposal to the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics in early 1943 that an R-4360 engine should be installed in the F4U airframe. The U.S. Navy wanted 418 F2G Corsairs developed and produced. The first production aircraft was BuNo 14691 to be delivered in April 1945 to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

Seventeen Goodyear-built aircraft would receive the XF2G or F2G designation representing seven pre-production airframes for XF2G-1 aircraft, BuNos 13471, 13472, and 14691 to 14695. This was to be followed by ten production aircraft F2G-1 BuNos 88454 to 88458 and F2G-2 BuNos 88459 to 88463. The Goodyear Flight-test department contributed nine other aircraft that were involved in supporting the F2G project. These aircraft did not receive the XF2G nor F2G designation as each plane was only given specific F2G modifications, none of which alone brought the aircraft up to F2G specifications. That’s why you will find a photo, for example, of a birdcage Corsair with the R-4360 engine! For example, BuNo 12992 appears in some texts as an XF2G but it is actually an FG-1A that had been stricken from the US Navy inventory and was used by Goodyear as a shake and bake airframe for static tests.

F2G-1D BuNo 88458 was the last “dash 1” airframe in the small F2G-1 production batch. They were made by Goodyear Aircraft Company (GAC) who was the eventual builder of all the final production aircraft designated F2G-1D/2.

The R4360 engine featured a lighter and simpler single-stage, variable speed supercharger. This engine provided high power at low altitude without the complexity of a two-stage intercooled engine like the existing R-2800 Corsairs. This resulted in the change to a smaller wing air inlet.

During F2G development, a variety of carburetor air intake configurations were tried. Thus, you may find several variations of BuNo 88458 depending on when the photo was taken. This version used a very large cowl air intake that goes by a variety of nicknames, “camel back”, “dog house”, or the technical term “large extended intake” and was used in the post WWII air races on F2G racers.

I found a large and excellent photograph of F2G-1D BuNo 88458 in the F4U Corsair In Action, Squadron Publication # 1145 on page 28. An additional color profile in Corsair – Thirty Years of Filibustering 1940 –1970 by Bruno Pautigny – Histoire & Collections Books on page 77 was another fine reference source.

The reason I wanted to model this version was to add the large induction cowl version to my ongoing F2G build. I really like Super Corsairs! 

THE KIT

 

No specific kit information provided. Check the previews section. Ed

CONSTRUCTION

 

This model represents a standard build of the Special Hobby F2G. I modified it by adding the True Details F4U-4 Corsair resin cockpit and used the parts to replace the very crude kit cockpit. It is not a drop fit but applying some modeling skills gets you a much better F2G like cockpit along with additional details like the cockpit coaming eyebrow switch boxes and gun sight. The cost is just right and the details quite nice. I used the SH headrest and rear bulkhead as well as the front SH instrument panel plastic to establish the size parameters for the True Details resin F4U-4 cockpit. A rotary grinder bit on the Dremel was the best tool for this task.

The F2G-1 Corsair had major modifications from earlier Vought Corsairs:

There was no carrier arrestor landing hook. Photo references show its absence.

P&W R-4360 Wasp Major engine which also caused changes to the induction, exhaust, supercharger and deleted the intercooler systems. Externally it gave the Corsair a much longer engine cowling and with the extra large air intake a very unique profile.

Larger prop – it used a larger Hamilton Standard “Super Hydromatic” 14’ four blade propeller. The kit prop is undersized and was replaced thanks to a great person and modeler Boyd Waechter who having recently built the SH F2G kit acquired one of the first resin replacement props from Obscureco for use in his beautiful F2G build. The replacement prop is a beauty. The SH kit prop apparently is a rough copy of existing F4U Corsair props.  The F2G prop was larger in all respects. The F2G was the first single engine prop plane to have a reversible prop. This allowed feathering and other adjustments familiar to bomber pilots but never seen in a prop fighter plane before the F2G. The added feature required a larger prop hub which Mike Meeks, the master pattern maker of the Obscureco F2G prop clearly put into his resin masterpiece. On all counts, size and shape of the blades, prop hub, etc Mike put together the finest replacement prop the F2G could take! The photos of this compared to the kit prop speak for themselves.  Thank you Mike!!

A very large and long 'raised ram-air' induction intake was made from Aves Apoxie Sculpt to create the longer and larger engine scoop. What made this conversion possible was the use of Aves Apoxie for sculpting the carburetor scoop. I purchased Apoxie from the Aves web site.

New wing tanks increasing fuel from 234 US gallons to 309 US Gallons.

Smaller wing root intakes only for the oil cooler since there is no intercooler. It was redesigned for the final F2G versions. SH has done this area quite well with rsin and etched enhancements.

Siamese interconnected exhausts used in later R-4360's.

The Special Hobby F2G Super Corsair is a reasonable build and fills a big gap in Corsair genealogy. The big problem at this time is a total absence of aftermarket decals for the naval versions. I may take the suggestion of Boyd and use a Tamiya wing and landing gear for my next F2G project since the SH kit is weak in this area. It lacks the dropped flaps and has a poorly shaped landing gear leg cover. I added some parts from the Eduard FE216 painted zoom etched metal parts and FE244 F4U-1 Corsair placards to the cockpit. The use of additional bits from Eduard F4U Corsair placards further enhanced the kit engine.

I filled in the extra machine gun port on the wing leading edge and also the 3rd wing gun port and spent gun-casing chute underneath the wing since some photos show this aircraft with a circular plate over the outboard oprning of the F4U-4 six-gun configuration openings. From the photos it appears the standard F4U-1 wing was used and the “extra” gun port sealed or covered over.

The underside was modified in the exhaust area to provide for the changed exhaust configuration. Thanks to Rodney William's I had his excellent advice and references to modify this area for the proper exhaust and engine flap configuration. There are three exhaust flaps with six exhaust pipes separated by two fairings. The SH kit has a general exhaust configuration underneath without the two fairings separating the pipes. I used some of the kit engine resin pour plugs to shape a pair of fairings for the underside exhaust area. I debated using some brass tubing for the exhaust stacks cut at the 45 degree cut for the upper exhaust but used the kit resin exhausts with painted centers. Since I plan on doing this version again once aftermarket decals are released and with the to be released Obscureco cowl I omitted some labor intensive detailing like using metal tubing for the stacks in the next build.

The vertical stabilizer should have the small F2G offset tab cut and repositioned since all F2G production versions had a feature that when the landing gear was lowered or extended the tab had an automatic spring extension.

The engine air intake was created using Aves Apoxie. I used low tack masking tape to designate the footprint of the air intake. This helped me establish the panel lines and maintain the correct size of the intake during the free-hand shaping, cutting and grinding operation.

I used all my reference photos to correctly shape the scoop which is very different in appearance than the final scoop used by most of the F2G’s. I understand Obscureco will be coming out with this version of the F2G scoop since it is really needed for some of the F2G racers. I will be buying a few of these scoops and using it along with the superb F2G prop.

The long setting time, about eight hours for Apoxie, allowed the rough form to be shaped without rushing. I allowed it to harden for 24 hours. A Dremel motor tool set at a slow speed with a very small routing bit was used to shape the intake once it hardened. Aves Apoxie feathers into the plastic very well.  It is easy to sand and polish once dry. By using low tack masking tape to outline the footprint of the scoop the panel lines were easily established. I continually rough marked the panel and shape lines and carefully shaped the intake scoop.

My main source for the scoop was schematic sheet # 53, page 97, AJ Press text which appears a little undersized to my eye compared to the other photographs and profiles for this intake cowl. I hope someday someone finds a copy of the original blueprint with the exact measurements or one of the original intake cowls used by the post war F2G racers.

The kit canopy is a vacu-formed type. It looks very nice once installed and its clarity was improved after a future floor polish coating.

One of my biggest concerns with the SH kit is the need to make your own connecting shaft between the resin engine and the prop. In this and in previous builds I had formed one from a metal rod taken from a paper holding clip (the ones that look like large clamps). I did this as well to this build only to hear from Boyd Waechter and see first hand the superior appearance of the Obscureco prop. After a lot of internal debate I took out the diamond cutter and hacked of the glued on kit prop. It was worth all the effort and thank you Boyd! I could not understand why it was omitted, i.e. the lack of a connecting shaft between the resin engine and the prop. The notation on the assembly instructions - “scratch build” - says it all. I am a forgiving person thankful just to get a model released but this part should be part of the prop or on the styrene fret or extended from the resin engine. But, the solution using the Obscureco prop solves this problem too since the resin prop also has the connecting rod!

The etched parts were fine except for PP15, the canopy mirrors. The mirrors are only the frames and lack the “glass mirror” portion. I thought of workarounds like gluing on a sheet of aluminum metalized helium balloon plastic and took the easy way out using another full mirror from a spare Eduard detail set.

You may want to scribe in the round gas tank panel lines in front of the windscreen on top of the cowl. The kit has the square panel but within this panel there should be a round panel with the gas tank cap. It is an easy job with a circular metal panel template. I also placed a gas cap on the spot for the cap using a Waldron punch and very thin plastic sheet to add this detail. A good reference is the schematic drawing on page 95 “Sheet 50” of the AJ Press Monograph # 19 F4U Corsair.

The wingtip lights can be improved by cutting out the solid plastic wing tip light notches and replacing them with a small rod or pin head light and using clear epoxy or your favorite alternative to replicate the clear lens cover and colored lights combination used in Corsair wing tips. Most modelers just paint the wingtip lights red and green as though they are solid colors when it appears they are actually colored lights inside clear covers.

The military versions of the F2G used at least two tail antenna configurations. The main difference is some have the wire attached to the front tip of the vertical stabilizer (mainly F2G-1 versions) and some are connected to an extension protruding from the top edge of the rudder (F2G-2). I wrapped some very fine copper wire around a very small drill bit to form the spring attachment point for the tail wire connection.

I added the rear view mirror to the canopy.  Formation and position lights were painted Testors chrome silver followed by a small dab of white paint on the tail light at the end of the rear fuselage tail cone, along with the fuselage spine light followed by painting the wing tip lights and the three underwing lights. The fuselage spine light was from the Eduard 00 022 position lights etched set. There are also two topside wing lights with  blue covers (see Bert  Kinsey’s Detail & Scale F4U reference book pg. 42 color photo and pg. 28 wing schematic which calls this out). I added small drops of clear epoxy to simulate all the clear light covers and to the Eduard fuselage spine light. 

Add the stall prevention wedge on the starboard (right side) wing just past the covered over outside (unused) gunport. Add a small silver or white tail light at the end of the rear fuselage tail cone and one just after the top fuselage whip antenna.

 

Add two whip antennas to the rear underside of the fuselage and detail the inside of the landing gear bay – it is sparse OOB.

The landing gear covers may have a mis-shaped component. Quickboost 48-112 Corsair Undercarriage Covers may be your best solution for a fix. I just cut and reshaped the covers on this build. I used the Ultracast resin replacement wheels to get the accurate diamond treads siec the SH kit has a smooth surface. I used some MiG pastels on the wheels to enhance the tread appearance.

F2G production line photos show under wing rocket launcher stubs and six machine gun ports. The extra gun port was later covered with a round disk. I did not add the rocket launcher stub but it would have improved this models accuracy.

COLORS & MARKINGS

 

The F2G Corsair had standard USN prop tip color (yellow) and featured a dark sea blue painted front prop hub with a flat black props. I used Aeromaster enamel paints, # 9057 Gloss Sea Blue FS 15042 overall. I usually use Gunze acrylics or Testor's enamels but I still have some Aeromaster in the paint stash. For the engine I used Testor's enamels.

Decal markings came from a variety of Superscale white letters and numbers sheets. It is hard to believe after two years there are still no F2G decal sheets. I would be very happy to provide some information to any legitimate after market decal provider regarding what should go on the decal sheet. I have received dozens of emails after articles on my F2G builds appear asking for remnants of my long gone War Eagle sheets. The F2G has very simple markings but the small stencils are painful to find and cobble together. There are some very unique markings such as a CASU-1 F2G that just requires a decal maker to put out to create another sell out sheet like the now OOP and collectors only Victory Productions Corsair decal sheet.  

The Stars and Bars were from Superscale 48-899 USN Insignia white/red bars. This aircraft initially wore the all white USN star and bars and after the close of WWII red bars were added to all glossy sea blue U.S. Navy aircraft. 

CONCLUSIONS

 

It was a very enjoyable project that I have been intending to do for many years. I have a few more F2G related builds in the works representing other versions and thanks to a fellow Corsair fanatic I have details to build another F2G (FG-1A conversion) BuNo 13374 (Thank you Jim Sullivan!) .

That’s it! It was another fun build and a definite conversation piece at modeling events. The Accurate Miniatures release of the SH kit has some new U.S. Navy decals for other military F2G’s so the future is looking better and makes it worth getting the AM relaese. Perhaps Yellow Wings decals will be coming out with an F2G decal sheet? Let Wayne Tevlin at Yellow Wings Decals know if you are interested in his releasing an F2G decal sheet.

REFERENCES

 

F4U Corsair Warbird History by Veronico & Campbell  - photos on the rear cover, and page 115 for “Race 57” with the enlarged extended scoop.

R-4360 Pratt & Whitney’s Major Miracle by Graham White  Specialty Press  2006

Pages 314 to 323.

F4U Corsair – AJ Press Aircraft Monograph 19 by Adam Jarski   2005

Page 97, schematic drawing Sheet 53.

Modelling the F4U Corsair by Brett Green , Osprey Modelling # 24, 2005

Corsair – Thirty Years of Filibustering 1940 –1970 by Bruno Pautigny – Histoire & Collections Books 2003 color profile page 77.

F4U Corsair In Action, Squadron Signal Publications # 1145 1994, page 28.

Andy Garcia

September 2008

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