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Tamiya F4U1 “birdcage” Corsair

Far from being on a par with the many others I’ve seen built from this kit, I had an enjoyable time trying to make mine as presentable as my talent(s) allow. I ran into a couple of ‘snags’ (of my own doing), but they remain hidden – for the most part. I was going to break out the airbrush, but used the tried and true ‘rattle can’ method instead. There are no aftermarket parts included….this is a truly well-engineered kit from Tamiya and I look forward to the updated version whereby I can assemble it with the wing fold(s) in place. The only gripe (if you can call it that) was the fact that one was required to manually cut out the canopy masks – I would much rather be able to have the “peel and lift” type – less chance of operator error that way. Can anyone spot the one glaring omission? 🙁

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

39 responses to Tamiya F4U1 “birdcage” Corsair

  1. beautiful…a pleasure to look at

    • Thanks, Bob….but as someone pointed out on that “other” modeling site, I have at least two other things ‘wrong’ – 1) the color behind the rear glass (apparently not green, I guess) and the national insignia wouldn’t have had the bars at that point of production. Oh well…mine does.

  2. Don’t see any reason for you to switch to an air brush if you can get the color you want. It really laid down well on this one.
    I agree with Bob, it a good one to look at.

  3. Sweet Craig, just sweet.
    Well done mate.

  4. Why would I want to waste time looking for what’s “wrong” when there is so much right to be admired, Well Done Craig! Now get your 40% coupon for Hobby Lobby and go buy a

  5. Hi Craig, as others said – this looks really nice! I was ogling this kit in a hobby shop this weekend, or the one with the folding wings. I am no expert but will take a stab at your question, is it that the outside bottom of the wings should be the same color as the top so when folded they aren’t white on top?

  6. Craig,
    Great job on this beautiful kit. I sure can’t spot the “glaring omission”. Thanks for posting.

  7. There is no insignia on the wing top

    • Ding-Ding-Ding-Ding….we have a winner!
      In my haste, I neglected to observe the fact that the walkway decals should have been applied subsequent to the national insignia being in place. Once discovered, it was too late to repair and the “star and bar” would’ve covered the black line. Not good.
      A quick call to Tamiya’s “800” number and a new set of decals are on the way as we speak. My plan is to go ahead and put the port insignia on and then use that portion necessary of the NEW walkway decal(s) and align them in such a position that my goof may be hidden forever. I hope it’ll work (it should)….I’d hate to start all over with that walkway area.

  8. .

    Nice Cors, Craig. To nice for me to look at any bug. Anyway, I do not want to see anything wrong even if it is obvious ! That’s it …


  9. .

    Craig, I suggest you to make no comment on the last message from Ralph, even if he is right !


  10. .

    That’s just a pinch of humour …


  11. yet another very nice finish from a rattle can Craig! Sounds like you have a plan in place to fix the omission I would certainly call that lack of insignia a ‘planned omission’ rather than an error – and you are on your way to rectifying it. I have that one in the stash and have ogled it in the box many times. Sure looks nice to me. If you do this well with a rattle can, I can’t wait to see you whip out that airbrush someday!

    • Admittedly, the “lazy” gene kicks in when I think about all the cleaning, dis-assembly, cleaning, re-assembly, followed by more cleaning, changing colors, dealing with airflow, and everything else that involves the airbrush… (did I mention cleaning?).

  12. Again – what a very nice model.
    As for the omission, I had to look real hard to (not) see it. Funny how people see what they expect to see, I think.

    When I get around to building a Corsair I hope it comes out half as nice as this one !

  13. Very nice, crisp, clean build, Craig. Nice to see one as it would have appeared when fresh from the factory floor.

    Speaking of which, here’s a 5N fresh from the factory floor. It’s shown in May last year, taking off for the first time at Darwin (in the Northern Territory) after many years of painstaking restoration. Magnificent looking beast.

  14. I noticed no insignia on the top wing. An easy fix. Was this a 1/32 kit? I also wonder how hard it would be to back date this into the XF4U. (You know, so you could have yellow wings!) I like how you got a feathered edge between the white and the blue just using spray cans! Lookin’ good Craig!

    • Indeed, the 1/32nd Tamiya Corsair, Josh…and I already have an XF4-U in NMF (48th scale) see here:
      As for the “feathered edge” using a spray can, it’s really quite simple; I merely take an old T-Shirt or something similar and, once the lightest color has dried, strategically lay it along the fuselage and carefully spray the darker color. By allowing the paint to slightly ‘overspray’ – something one doesn’t normally want to see – you can achieve the desired result(s). Give it a try on something and you’ll see how easy it is.

  15. P.S. If you still need Crew figures from the B-24, shoot me a message. I just bought a J and I won’t be needing them since I have the set that came with my D, and my B-17, and my B-29. (These guys must have been well versed in the maintenance of all the heavy bombers, ’cause they’re the only ones you ever see!)

  16. Good job Craig! Rattle can finish is very impressive, looks as good as any airbrush finish. I once painted a Lancaster black underside, with a rattle can of matt black bought from a hardware store, worked a treat. Very quick and easy!

  17. Nice job on that Tamiya birdcage Corsair. As others have noted, your ‘rattle can’ work is impressive and the finish you achieved with that method is outstanding. A fine looking Corsair build for sure. One just can’t have too many Corsairs !!

  18. It looks very good, Craig, and I’m sure the pleasure you got from building it is more than worth the purchase price. By the way, which rattle cans did you use exactly?

    • Testor’s Model Master pretty much exclusively, George – they have a w-i-d-e range of “military” colors as well as their metailizers…although I do like Tamiya’s primer (white, light gray & dark gray), which I sometimes use for a basic flat coat and nothing else.

  19. Hay Craig, im not a fan of the old rattle can because i usually make a balls of it but you seem to have mastered the technique!!
    Nice Build Craig

    • Thanks, Mark…if you rarely use spray cans, they’re the same as the airbrush re application(s): quick,sweeping light coats ; most users make the mistake of holding the can in one spot just a tad too long, which results in a runny mess. Thanks for the reply.

  20. Hi Craig, a clean and “fast” looking Corsair, very nice


  21. Flawless Corsair Craig!!
    Really a beautiful bird, congratulations.

  22. Nice work Craig. You sure could have fooled me with the rattle can job-looks just like an airbrush to me. Clark

  23. Craig,
    Very nice, boo-boos and all. As I have said to you before, you are the Rembrandt of the rattle can.

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