Airfix 1/72 F4U Corsair
Old kit built only for a specific display.
The Chance Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Its performance allowed it to dominate all other piston-engined opponents.
In February 1938 the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics published a request for a single-engined fighter for the Navy. It requested a fast aircraft with a stalling speed not higher than 110km/70 miles per hour, a range of 1600km/1,000 miles and it had to carry four guns AND be able to carry anti-aircraft bombs. Powered by an XR-2800-4 prototype of the Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp twin-row, 18-cylinder 1346kW/1,805 hp radial engine that turned a large 4MR/13’-diameter propeller, it became the first single-engine U.S. fighter to fly faster than 640km/400 mph.
I remember building this vintage Airfix kit (moulded in dark blue plastic) when I was about 8 years old. This one was unchanged, save that it was moulded in light grey plastic and it was one of the ‘WWII Aircraft of the Aces’ Airfix series. The parts had surprisingly little flash and showed virtually no mould slippage.
Reasoning that I could insert the seat later, I trapped the tailhook as I closed fuselage – and it promptly broke off. Because I was disdaining filler, I elected to have a near-perfect spine at the expense of a less-than-perfect belly seam, but as it’ll be standing on its wheels, the belly seam will be less noticeable. Only the nose received a little filler (no-frills – fail!!) to fix a small step. While the tail planes were a great fit, the fit of the one-piece lower wing to the fuselage was poor, so I backed the contact points with large blobs of Milliput inside the fuselage. Some sanding of the cowling allowed me to fit it snugly in place, then I added the tops of the wings. Here, the fit was superb – except at the wing roots where the gaps measured up to 1mm. A flood of Krystal Kleer (then wipe off the excess) sealed the gaps but without strength.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
Only the kit decals were used. They went on between the usual liquid sandwich of Microset & Microsol, and they conformed beautifully. I especially liked the way that the white stripes over the nose conformed to the panel lines of the kit. On the real aircraft, the stripes were lengths of tape used to quickly seal the gaps between panels (our panel lines). The only down side was that one decal had a white line extending from an edge. Touching-up painting took care of it.
When I brush-painted the propeller blades black (and the hub IM blue - not chrome steel?), I also painted the engine front. Some black landed on the Royal blue, but as it was still glossy, I could wipe it off if I acted immediately. By misting-on a coat of Gunze H 20, I gave her a semi-gloss clear coat, which nicely held the (CM mithril) silver with-which I dry-brushed her in order to highlight all of those rivets, and the engine front. After attaching a few bits and paint to the seat (OOB – fail!!), I was able to drop it in. The legs, wheels and doors were all scraped-down to remove the mould seams and to thin-down the overly-thick edges, then they were attached.
The only things that I didn’t like about this build were the self-inflicted.
I failed to scrap-back the edges of the wheel wells (Rats!!) and there
was that painting blooper.
enjoyed the build because I declined to use filler so as to preserve all of
those rivets for the display.
that aspect, the model was a success.
Working on and off (I have to work full time and I have a young family) I
did this in 8 days – Warp 9 for me.
It is funny how I automatically do things – like the seat, the bombs and the
OK - there are other and better F4Us out there – with better-shaped propellers – for the serious modeller. But if you discount the poor wing-root fit, then this is still a great little model for a junior or beginner. And, it’ll keep rivet-counters occupied for ages.
PS – I realise now, that I’ve yet to add a brass wire to replace the fragile kit pitot tube at the wingtip.
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find this one at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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