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Vought F4U-1A Corsair

by Ian Robertson


Vought F4U-1A Corsair
25 Squadron RNZAF, Los Negros, January 1945


Tamiya's 1/48 scale F4U-1A Corsair is available online from Squadron.com




I built Tamiya's 1/48 F4U-1A Corsair in the markings of a Royal New Zealand Air Force aircraft from No. 25 Squadron stationed at Los Negros Island in January 1945.

Tamiya's F4U kits will be familiar to many modelers and are generally considered one of the best, if not the best, Corsair offerings in 1/48 scale. Beyond its superb design, notable features of the kit are the lowered flaps, an option for open cowls and foldable wings.


Construction Notes


I added brass seatbelts from Reheat, and weighted resin tires from True Details.



The only other modifications I made to the model were removal of the tail hook (this aircraft was island based), repositioning of the control surfaces on the tail, and removal of the step on the right wing flap.
This final modification was achieved by gluing a wedge of plasticard in the hole and sanding it flush with the surface of the flap.



Painting, Markings and Weathering


I first sprayed the model with an undercoat of SNJ aluminum metallizer over the wings and nose. Using Polly Scale acrylics I then painted the model in the typical US Navy scheme of non-specular sea blue and semi-gloss sea blue upper surfaces, intermediate blue sides and lower outboard wing panels, and white lower surfaces. To simulate a faded appearance to the upper surface paint (which is expected given the sun-baked climate on south Pacific islands) I diluted the upper surface colors with 25% neutral gray.


The propeller and the walkways on the wing were painted with dark gray rather than black, both for scale effect and to create a faded appearance. The wheels were also painted dark gray and touched up with light brown chalk pastels to give them a further faded appearance.

To weather the rest of the model I lightly sanded areas of the upper surfaces to expose the aluminum metallizer underneath. Sanding was done primarily on the leading edges and upper surfaces of the inboard wings as well as on the cowl. It was not my intention to remove large amounts of surface paint, rather to lightly scuff the surface to simulate a worn effect caused by debris (coral sand, grit) flying back from the propeller wake.

AeroMaster decals (SP48-10) were used for this project. Once the RNZAF markings were applied and the final dull coat applied I sprayed a thinned mixture of US Desert Storm Sand over the model to help fade the national markings.





The pictures were taken outdoors using a SONY digital camera.



A "blur" tool from Adobe Photoshop 6.0 (Macintosh) was used to dissolve the base into the background.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Article Copyright 2002 by Ian Robertson
Page Created 12 May 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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