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Tom Cleaver
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Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1

February 3, 2013 · in Aviation · · 11 · 1.7K

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 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. 🙂

Reader reactions:
1  Awesome

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. Nice that supposed to be "sun faded" blue?

  2. Yes, the Corsair looks very worn)).
    Tom, I have long been wondering - how big is your collection and how much space it takes up? The more so because most of the models in the 32nd scale?

  3. Nice painting! Especially I liked application of the faded blue.

  4. You really have a knack for weathering the Navy/Marine A/C that is unsurpassed. Have a "Birdcage" waiting in line that I hope turns out half as well.

  5. Very nice painting and extremely convincing weathering.
    Reminds me I need to return to my FAA Corsair... someday! 🙂

  6. Another superb build, Tom. Your weathering technique is simply second to none. This is one area I really need to improve.

  7. said on May 18, 2013

    My Dad flew one of these birds "over there" and he say this model is RIGHT ON .. the way the weather had a way of the "final look" of each plane ! AMAZING ! Because he couldn't see ahead over the nose each plane had to zig-zag when taxying !

    • I always appreciate hearing from the folks who really know what they're talking about, that I "got it right". Thanks much. Wait till you see what I do with the upcoming 1/32 Tamiya "birdcage" Corsair.

  8. said on May 25, 2013

    TC .. what paint/s did you use to get the "muddy" tire effect that !
    I LOVE viewing your works .. a guy CAN learn lots from your example ..I THINK the "T" letter in your name really stands for ..."teach" ! AWESOME "jobs-builds" ! When you comment on someone's work, and say "nice build/work" .."WE" know it is a REAL, sincere compliment from someone that "knows"!

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