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British Corsairs – Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A

February 9, 2013 in Aviation

Both Corsair IIs, the FAA designation for the Vought-built F4U-1A.

The British were the second-largest user of the Corsair. While the US Navy was sending the Corsair to the Marines because it couldn’t operate from a carrier (too bouncy, to long-nosed) the British were operating Corsairs from CVEs that had not been “de-bounced” or had the stall warning “edge” put on the starboard wing. Off Okinawa, a US Navy officer recorded a British Corsair landing aboard his carrier and the 19 year old pilot climbing out to ask for more gas – he said it made him ashamed to be a US Naval Aviator since they weren’t operating Corsairs.

The first one is the Corsair flown by Royal Marine Major T. Ronnie Hays, Air Group Commander aboard HMS Illustrious during the Palembang strikes in February 1945. Hays scored his first victory in a Skua over Norway, his next three in Fulmars in the Med, and his last three in the Corsair, making him one of very few Allied pilots to score against the Germans, the Italians and the Japanese.

The second was flown by Flight Sub Lt. Dennis Sheppard, RCNVR, the only all-Corsair ace of the FAA, all five being scored during the Okinawa campaign.

It’s finally become known that FAA Corsairs were painted in “US Equivalent” colors: Neutral Grey and Olive Drab for Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey, and Light Aircraft Grey for Sky. Converting the kits to FAA Corsairs was easy – just gut off the outer wing tip on the first panel line.

Decals from an older Aeromaster sheet long OOP. Both models done in about 2003.

13 additional images. Click to enlarge

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8 responses to British Corsairs – Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A

  1. Those look great. I’ve always loved the FAA colors on Corsairs.

  2. Tom your builds always look great. Ever had any that went into the trash?

    • As a matter of fact, I once caused a collective heart attack among those modelers who think we have to accept everything offered by the manufacturers or they will stop making things for us, when I wrote the first review online of the Dragon P-51D and said that after assembling it, it was so obviously bad that it was not going to ever get better, and that I tossed it. Several of the Large Slow People were aghast by that. One of their “leaders” got Dragon to give him the kit to review; his review began “I don’t know anything about the P-51D, but this looks fine to me…” Then others tried building it and no matter how hard they tried, it still came out lipstick-on-a-pig. Dragon was so POed at me they attacked me personally on their website. (But their releases since have been good, and done with the help of Subject Matter Experts, so I believe that is the best argument in favor of my review)

  3. Great looking Corsair, Tom. Have to agree with Jon, the FAA colors suit the Corsair very well.

  4. It’s finally become known that FAA Corsairs were painted in “US Equivalent” colors: Neutral Grey and Olive Drab for Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey, and Light Aircraft Grey for Sky. Converting the kits to FAA Corsairs was easy – just gut off the outer wing tip on the first panel line.

    I find it interesting that you mention this. I have come to the same conclusion while working on my own FAA Brewster-made Corsair Mk. I a few years ago. The NG/OD combination can also be seen on some color photos of the day, but would you think that these colors were applied to all British Corsairs (of factory-camouflaged production), or were there other combinations?

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