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Tamiya F4U-1 Corsair 1/32

April 29, 2016 in Aviation

This is my third build of the superb Tamiya kit and here are the reasons for my infinite F4U loop.

First, this is a marvellous subject. I like the paint schemes and really, nothing weathers like a Pacific Corsair. The wear and tear that can be observed on the Henderson Airfield machines are so manifold and rich, I just couldn’t keep my hands off from another subject. 465 was captured on two different photographies, one even colorised, although not very precisely. The Dark Sea Blue is rubbed down, scratched, bleached, chipped and resolved by fuel leakage – a dream. There are no obvious special features like nose art or win flags, she’s just a simple war horse and that’s exactly what I was looking for. The aircraft is painted in the familiar scheme of white, intermediate blue and dark sea blue. The reference fotos show that white tape was used at 465 to cover the panel lines around the fuel cell. I didn’t like the looks of it, so I used my creative freedom and depicted a point in time when the tape had been removed. I tried to show that some of the underlying paint was teared off when doing this.

Secondly, I wanted to learn new modelling techniques and try some new products and so I found that a familiar kit was the right platform for my experiments.
One of these products was the Mr Colour line from Gunze. These paints are lacquer based and especially when it comes to applying intermediate gloss coats as a base for washes, they proved to be perfectly stable against all sorts of chemical and mechanical attacks. This makes it an excellent base for weathering. While Mr Color Clear and Semi Gloss Super Clear are worth a recommendation, unfortunately their Flat Clear takes away some contrast and color intensity from the surface leading to a quite boring look if light conditions aren’t perfect. I’ll have to continue looking for the perfect flat clear.
Chipping I did in the past with the hair spray method was alright, but I wanted to find a method that would allow me to achieve a less arbitrary distribution of the location of the chippings. Reference pictures of Corsairs show that on the front wing roots the paint goes off along the rivet lines. I studied the right procedure by test-painting the according parts separately. The paint was removed and a new attempt started till I was satisfied with the result. I haven’t counted the attempts but I think they were more than five. Using Revell Paint Remover, there was no loss of quality of the plastic at all.
My answer finally to the problem of determined chipping: let the paint dry only for fifteen minutes and use very hot water. With that you can carve the chippings easily with a tooth pick.

I hope you enjoy!

32 additional images. Click to enlarge

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21 responses to Tamiya F4U-1 Corsair 1/32

  1. jaw dropping! i so much want to build this kit but i have already run out of space building 1/48!

  2. Very nice build, Halvar….a superb kit and a joy to work on.

  3. Great to see finished build from you, Halvar, especially when it’s as nice as this one. This is obviously a classic kit and you’ve made the most of it. Thanks for sharing your weathering techniques as well.

  4. What a wonderful job you have done, I love the chipping and subtle color variations. If you’re going to build more than one of any plane, the Corsair is a perfect candidate.

  5. Great weathering, Nice lookingearly Corsair.

  6. Halvar, This is gorgeous !. Looks very real without looking over done.

  7. Another great looking build, Halvar.

    Re the flat varnish – Army Painter Anti-Shine Matt Varnish is superb, and widely available; I buy it the large rattle-can version.

  8. It looks fantastic. Great finish, looks like real thing. Thanks for sharing this bird! 🙂

  9. Hello Halvar….Congratulations on your fine birdcage Corsair build. Outstanding weathering and paint job. Just a note on your comment about one of the actual Corsair photos being ‘colorized’, Actually, its an original color photo now residing in the National Archives.

  10. Beautiful! Excellent result with all the chipping and weathering. I’ve got two unbuilt corsairs (1/72), and although I have one destined for Honduran scheme, I’m saving the last one for a pacific theater bird. Yours will be my reference!

  11. Looks wonderful. The pictures tell the whole story about the effort you put into weathering this bird, and the results are fantastic!

  12. Very Nice Halvaar. I like the weathering in the panel lines and i was curious to see how those Eduard Brassin tyres with the Firestone tread looked. Glad i got a set for myself! I also like how you depicted the fuel stains on the fuselage sides. Haven’t worked up enough courage to attempt that just yet…

    • Thanks, David.
      Yes, the eduard wheels are nice. The Tamiya wheels are nice too, but I found no way to remove the seam line of their rubber tyres.
      Regarding the fuel stains: I know what you mean. It’s good that in this case you can create them by NOT painting the dark sea blue over the intermediate blue which means that you can just continue painting, if you don’t like what you did.

  13. Very nicely done, and very convincing.

  14. Very nice! Great weathering.


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