Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1
This was done in around 1996, and depicts an early F4U-1 as it would have been seen in service on New Georgia or Bougainville. Corsairs were so scarce that Marine squadrons in the Solomons in 1943 didn’t have their own airplanes – when a unit would complete its tour and head for the rear, the replacement unit would take over the airplanes left behind. With tropic sun and saltwater environment, plus being used to the maximum, these airplanes soon became “well-worn,” since maintenance for appearance’s sake was not done. As a matter of fact, it was a definite “point of contention” between the Marines and VF-17 that the Jolly Rogers had their own airplanes (which were also more modern that what had been provided to the Marines). While an airplane might have a pilot’s name on it, and even carry victory markings that pertained to that individual, it was unlikely that pilot flew a majority of the missions in his tour in that airplane. As Marion Carl told me, “You took the one that was in condition to fly when it was time for you to go.”
Thus, a Corsair in the Solomons is the exception to the rule that “less is more” rule for weathering. It would be possible to get “too much,” but from the photographs I worked from, this airplane would be considered “moderately worn” at the time.
OOB all the way with this one. And yes, I know (now) that Tamiya made a mistake with the foot step in the flap. By the time I learned that, however, the model was out at Planes of Fame where it’s displayed from the left side so no one sees that anyway. 🙂
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.