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Chance Vought F4U -1A/1G


by  Fabian Vera                                                    


The "Corsair" is considered by many people as the best Navy fighter during WWII (although the plane with more victories was the Grumman F6F "Hellcat"). With its unmistakable design, which gave the plane its personality and "beauty", the Corsair is without any doubt one of the most emblematic fighter of it time. Here we are reproducing two of its several schemes.


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The kit

For this project I used the kits from Academy, which a few years ago gave us modelers the surprise of putting in the market the best F4U 1 A/G kit in 1/72 scale. The kit has an excellent molding, recessed panel lines, very good raised detailing, very well detailed landing gear parts, but above all, an excellent fit which almost eliminates the need for puttying. As for the decals, both versions, one for the Navy and one for the Marines, they are historically correct, although the markings in both versions are wrong because they are all the same size; something unforgivable because the would make us look for aftermarket decals. The originals that come with the kit are a little bit on the thick side, but you can manage to use them.

Building and Detailing

I used two different sets of PE parts, in order to super detail these two kits. I wanted to have the "Smer" hi-tech kit in my collection, which has a little, but correct, PE fret besides an excellent decal sheet from "Propagteam", as well as the "Eduard Zoom" set, recommended for the Academy kit.

I used small metal tubing for the exhausts in both cases (perhaps, this is the weakest point in the kit). I mounted them without any difficulty, the only difficult task was to install the PE instrument panel from "Smer" in the narrow Academy cockpit.


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The kit with the "Smer" PE parts, is the one in the classical "Navy" version, which I consider one of the most beautiful schemes: white, "non specular intermediate blue (FS 35164)" and "non specular sea blue (FS 35045). The difference between this plane and the other one, is that I scratch built the tube support for the seat using stretched plastic sprue, and seat belt harness made out of aluminum foil and copper wire. I've cut the flaps and extended them using some plastic and putty in order to make them look in a "relaxed" position. The last "modification" in both kits was replacing the belly antenna with copper wire.


I used the "Propagteam" from the "Smer" to its best. I built the kit's original version (Navy), using only the numerals and the "nickname" (Big Hog) from the Academy kit; this plane belonged to Com. Tom Blackburn. Blackburn Commander Officer of the VF 17, based at Ondongo. For the second version I only used the "Propagteam" decal sheet, this set is not very common, with a silver design with an anti-glare band in matt blue (non specular sea blue). This plane flew in the "Marine Squadron 11, "Sally" (that was her "nickname") SS11, and owed its particular color to the fact that it was assembled with parts from other planes. The stencils in this version (all black) were obtained from an old decal sheet by "Superscale". I used the following colors: Interior green fs 34151, non specular, intermediate blue (fs 35164), non specular sea blue (fs 35045), all from "Life Color"; aluminum, white and black from "Humbrol". The inks for the weathering came from "Windsor & Newton", with the clear covering by "Model Masters"


"Scale Aircraft Modeling" N 8, Vol. 16, June 1994. "In detail & scale - Vol. 55 - F4U Corsair - Part 1"


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