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Ira Kepford’s VF-17 F4U Corsair

December 2, 2013 in Aviation

I found a couple of old pics of the Corsair model that I built from the Revell 1/32 kit with that beautiful box art, I think by Jack Leynwood. This is one of those models I started in the City, and finished in the country! Many years ago.

This was Ira Kepford’s bird with Tommy Blackburn’s squadron, VF-17, the Jolly Rogers. I actually sent Blackburn some pics of it back then. He sent back to me, and I remember he told me that Kepford had passed away.

Shame on me, but, you know, I couldn’t really live forever with those main gear doors, which I tried to do a kind of “faux painting” on the interior, to simulate the various raised (and depressed) panels, because I don’t think there was any detail on them. Funny, because I seem to remember that I scratch built the main gear wells. Not to mention the scratch built cockpit (learned that the Corsair didn’t have any bottom floor in the cockpit). And the canted fin, just the right amount, that was courtesy of good old Revell. But those gear doors soured me (don’t know why I didn’t try to do some scratch build on them!), so I don’t have the model anymore, just these 3 photos.

I have always liked the F4U Corsair, and always compared it with the Hawker Typhoon and Tempest, these are more “heavy” fighters than the P-51 and Spitfire. And a very distinctive design, with its inverted gull wing, kind of graceful, in spite of its size. Even did a painting of a -2N Marine night fighter, in the South Pacific, which is one of my favorite paintings.

2 additional images. Click to enlarge

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15 responses to Ira Kepford’s VF-17 F4U Corsair

  1. Nice paint job on that Corsair Robert, the well worn look , Indicative of the conditions they were used in.

  2. Definitely a South Pacific veteran, Robert…looks a lot better than MY Revell 32nd Corsair (that I no longer have either). I have the new Tamiya offering as of Christmas – I have to wait – hopefully, I can do a better job with better quality. How did you achieve the “weathered look”, i.e. which method(s) were used…especially on those upper surfaces of the wings..?

  3. Bob,

    Excellent looking model. You have to admit that what Revell missed on the gear doors, they were first (I think) that captured the 3degree offset of the rudder. It’s shame you don’t still have this model.

    • Hi Frank, I don’t know much about the F4u , what’s this about a 3 degree offset – more info please !.

      • If I’m not mistaken, I believe the manufacturer factored in the torque created by the big P&W engine, thus alleviating the need for the pilot to “crank in” a boatload of trim or holding the rudder to the floor to keep the airplane going straight (especially during take-off and landings). Others may know more, though.

        • Neil,
          The offset is as Craig said, to help eliminate the torque. There may be a more technical answer but Craig is right. Having only flown a Cessna 150 for a number years long ago, even it had torque which had to be compensated for. I can only imagine what it was in an F4U. I would loved to have had the opportunity to experience it. Bob did a masterful job on this.

  4. Nasty looking…ready to go to work. Love it.

  5. That looks great. I love the weathered look. Like Craig, I also would like to know how you did it. I received some models from a lifelong friend who cleaned out the basement, and this kit was one of them. I was thinking of mounting in on a post and stand and model with the gear up. It is a big model!

    • Hi Alan…in an e-mail, Robert indicated to me that simple dry brushing techniques were utilized to achieve the desired result(s).

    • Alan,
      Another thing you might try is “Rub n Buff”. It is available in craft stores. It comes in a small tube and has a number of colors. It has a shelf life of 1000 years or until it dries out, whichever comes first.Using the silver it can be dragged, sparingly, across a surface to represent wear. I use it with my fingers and just wipe it where I want it. Again, SPARINGLY, less is better to start but add as needed or wanted. It is just another method along with dry brushing. It works great on armor also.

  6. Beautiful job overall, especially in correcting the cowl flaps! Great!

  7. Just how old is this model, Robert, it doesn’t too ancient to my eyes?

  8. great to see that thing still hanging on after 45 years

  9. Thanks for all the interest in my old Revell 1/32 Corsair model, and the nice comments. Another of those models that I just kept working on through the years. I believe I did make a mistake in tossing it, because I think it will be a long time before I can afford the new Tamiya kit!

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