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Corsair A7D – Commission Build

March 6, 2017 in Aviation

A major departure from my usual subjects – I tend to stick to 1/32 WWI aviation, but this 1/72nd A7D was built under commission, as a presentation piece for the pilot who flew the original, pictured below. He was an RAF Test Pilot, on an exchange visit to Edwards Test Pilot School. The Hobbyboss proved to be quite a challenge, with some poor fitting sections – particularly the port wing, which needed about a kilo of filler – or so it seemed at the time. I added an Aires resin cockpit, as the kit part was ordinary to say the least. As you can see the dominant colour was Insignia White. I initially pre-shaded the panel lines, but was not happy with the first coat of white which went over it, so I stripped it back, and started over. I tried the “black-basing” technique, which was almost a disaster. After completely painting in Gunze black, I began building up multiple layers of Gunze white, but was almost at the point where surface detail was beginning to be obscured, without the black base coat being covered. By accident I came across Mr Paints, and tried their version of Insignia white, which worked like a charm. I can’t rate those paints highly enough ! I also had to create my own custom decals, from “Experts Choice” clear decal paper, as those on the original “ED 194” were not commercially available. I also had some invaluable input from a guy who goes by the name of “Old AF Sarge”, who I found on the web. He helped my identify the 2 badges on the intake and the tail, which were “Air Force Systems Command” and “Air Force Flight Test Centre”. He also sent me JPEG images of both, which I was then able to reduce, tidy up (a laborious pixel-by-pixel process), print and apply. I have to say this was the part of the build which I was most dreading, but it actually turned out ok

I handed the finished article over last week (by post – I was petrified of sticking it under the control of the Postman), but it got there in one piece, and the commissioner reported that he was very happy with the finish. “Relieved” is not the word !

3 additional images. Click to enlarge

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15 responses to Corsair A7D – Commission Build

  1. Nice representation…..did the “customer” specify the scale in which he so desired, or was that YOUR choice? I ask because there’s 48th and 32nd scale(s) available for the same kit. Just wonderin’.

  2. Nice job sir. The A-7 has a certain thing about it. Danced around them back in the seventies on the flight deck, trying to avoid that man eater of an intake.

    • You wrote: “trying to avoid that man eater of an intake.” I can only imagine! If that weren’t so serious, it’d be hilarious!

    • Thanks Robert – yes it’s strange how you can become attached to a particular air-frame. Not sure what it is about this aircraft, but it’s certainly a favourite of mine. I have a 1/48 A7E, which I intend to build in Greek Air Force colours, at some unspecified point in the future. You know how it is !

  3. Nice looking model Robert, you might like to change the tag from 1/32 to 1/72 !

  4. Robert, nice build on this. looks very nice, I only wish you would have tossed in a few more pictures. I’d like to check out a few more angles.

    • Thanks Terry. Unfortunately that’s the only surviving photo, as I’d taken the build record on my camera phone (hence the rather poor quality of the image), which then died a death on me. I lost all but 2, and the other one isn’t really worth posting.

  5. Very nice. Love the unusual scheme, and the effort you went through to get it right!

    • Thank you Greg. As I mentioned above the subject was way outside my usual area – and comfort zone – but the challenge of being able to produce a finish which wasn’t commercially available, and using only the photographs with which I had been provided, was the main reason I took it on. As always, there are areas on the finished item which I think I could – should – have done better, but overall I was pleased, and more importantly so was the customer. (I’m still waiting to hear what the original pilot thought of it when it was handed over – fingers crossed !)

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