Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1A Corsair – Ike Kepford
The kit itself is built OOB other than seat belts. The decals came from Cutting Edge and Aeromaster. I always find it suprising that airplanes as well-documented as VF-17's leading ace Ike Kepford's is keep turning up done wrong. Examining the decals, I realized it was the instructions from the (alleged) "experts." Note how the victory stickers are applied here: aligned with the tape on the fuel tank, not the panel lines no one paid attention to. Clearly visible in the photos. Also the fact that the national insignia was originally red-surround, overpainted with blue (which I did myself so it wouldn't be nice and even as it wasn't in reality). Again clearly visible if you actually take the time to look and see what is there in front of you. Also the worn-off paint on the prop, from throwing all that coral dust on takeoff from Piva Yoke on Bougainville.
The photos referred to were taken in late February 1944, after Kepford's final score, and just before they realized the Japanese had evacuated all surviving aircraft from Rabaul after the 90-day aerial campaign that began November 3 with the strikes by USS Saratoga and USS Princeton.
More U-birds to come.