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Tom Cleaver
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Tamiya 1/32 F4U-1 WIP posted

August 1, 2013 · in Aviation · · 28 · 2.5K

I am posting a WIP at the WIP Group of the -1.

Best. Model kit. Ever.

Reader reactions:
1  Awesome

28 responses

  1. well what is tamiyas formula for the words of nimitz "the world wants to know"

    • It's in the kit instructions. "-)

      • you can't share it...i'll never buy a 2 hundred dollar kit...i thought there were no secrets in this game..i think some of the rosey flesh tones are pretty close

        • Tamiya Pink and Hull Red

          • thank you...i'm surprised there's no dash of orange...

          • Actually I did put in a dash of orange for the thined coat I applied over the initial coat to get "weathering" but once it's all closed up you really can't tell, particularly with the coat of "Smoke."

          • interesting...keep us posted...the photo is very educational...wonder how complicated the wings will be...i figure mr. tamiya will give us a 1A and 1D next then a p-38 or p-47

          • If I was betting, it would be a razorback P-47 - since they already have the R-2800 from the Corsair, like the Spitfire and the Mustang having the Merlin between them.

          • i think that's a pretty good guess tom...the hase bubble top is very respectable and only 40 bucks...the trumpy 38 is very respectable for 80...the trumpy razorback is a dog imho...he could get his 100 or 2 a kit for that one and do a C to boot...i think you nailed it...the 1d corsair will be his bread and butter...i know you like the 1/2 but the 1D will bring in a fortune in the long run

    • Hi, Bob - I read somewhere that Floquil Pacific Daylight Orange, a railroad color, is a close match out of the bottle for the salmon primer Vought used.

  2. Twisting the knife again. Does Tamiya have the modeler paint the wheel wells salmon or is white?

  3. A early Bird Cage Corsair was pulled out of Lake Michigan in 2010 and is now being restoring for the Naval Museum in Pensacola Florida. I've seen several good photo's showing lots of salmon ed colored interior shots of the fuselage and wing ribs and the forward bay of the fuselage being salmon. Of course the airframe was resting on some tires which blocked the wheel wells. The landing gear struts appeared to be painted white. But, I haven't come across any good evidence ...others have mentioned retired Vought employees remembering early birds being sent down the assembly line with salmon colored wells. Which started a trend for modelers to make the leap that all Bird Caged Corsairs were painted salmon. At times these thing seem to be a c**p shoot for the accuracy police.

    • There are other shots of the Lake Michigan airplane that do show salmon wheel wells. Also William Reece has long championed that from descriptions of crashed airplanes.

      When we restored BuNo 133722, the manual said that landing gear was painted aluminum lacquer, which is what we found. Some airplanes were repainted with the gear in "underside color" (apparently mostly after the changeover to the tri-color scheme in May 1943). But still the factory spec for all Corsairs from -1 to -7 was aluminum lacquer.

      • You got the salmon color right. The color looks rather sickly and the photo's taken of the Bird being restored in Pensacola have that same look. I wonder if that color salmon is due to being under the water for so long...a combination of oxidation and chemical build up of hard or soft water to create a patina of a sickly salmon bordering on vomit. No one can accuse you of inaccuracy on this one. 😉

        • I've seen the color on a Corsair Yanks Air Museum has they will restore. It wasn't in the water, and this was the color (as I recall). William Reece described it from wreck recovery reports 15 years ago.

          • Tom,

            The "Warbird Exchange" and that other web site have photo's of the wheels wells of the Bird Caged Corsair taken from Lake Michigan and the wheel wells are the same color as the bottom half of the a/c. Gray. Some folks have speculated that the salmon colored paint was the primer and that in turn was sprayed over with Green Chromate or Zinc Chromate followed by the camouflage color. Anything that was not exposed to the elements was left in salmon,anything that was going to be exposed to the Sea or Fresh Water got salmon,followed by chromate and then gray paint. In looking at the promo pictures put out by Tamiya they have the wheel wells painted in Zinc Chromate with the interior of the landing gear doors painted in gray. I'm wondering since the a/c in question was recycled i.e. brought back to the states and turned into a training a/c which was then over hauled and painted again ...launched from the Wolverine and then subsequently crashed your mileage may vary.

          • The underside color was, so far as researchers have been able to discover, applied during repaints. If the Lake Michigan Corsair went out to SoPac in blue-grey/light-grey, and then had the Sea Blue upper applied in the field it would be likely that at that time the wheel wells could have been reapinted in the underside color. But both William Reece and Joe Hegedus, who I would consider Corsair Sensei, have documented it on operational airplanes.

          • Found this info written by Dana Bell about the salmon color paint, Its a Zinc Chromate primer that has been tinted with iron oxide to give off a red-tint or the salmon color. This color was a indicator of how coats of Zinc Chromate had been applied. So the first coat of Zinc Chromate was that apple green, followed by another coat that had iron-oxide ergo the salmon.

  4. Hey Tom, can't wait to see this thing done. I'm holding out for the -1A version to come out as I prefer the bubble canopy to the bird cage version...but after seeing your finished model, I'll probably cave in "resistance is futile"

    • Remember, it's the birdcage that was "the mount of aces." The F4U-1A was a latecomer and most of its combat was bombing bypassed islands in the Marshalls and Carolines for nine months till the Kamikazes came along. Myself, I've always thought the birdcage was the interesting airplane.

      • OK, I just saw the kit in the flesh... The bird cage will do just fine! Do you know if Maj Robert Owens "Spirit of 76" was white or light grey on the underside?

        • Good question. Some people say it was an early airplane painted in tri-color, which would make it white lower. But the more I look at the well-known side view and increase the contrast on the picture to get color definition lines, the more I think it has the upper/lower color definition line that is associated with the blue-grey/light-grey original scheme, meaning the upper color is "field applied," which makes sense since it is not "Norfolk scheme" (i.e., upper color brought down to the wing" but rather a straight-across color definition line that is associated with other "field applied" schemes. So myself, I lean to original blue-grey/light grey, with sea blue applied in the field. I'm torn between doing this airplane and Ken Walsh's airplane, which was from some video I have recently seen definitely given the field-applied sea blue repaint.

          I suspect (see my comments above with Steve Towle) that if these were early airplanes that came out to SoPac with "salmon" main gear wells, that those would have been repainted light grey during the repaint since that would have been done back at Espiritu Santo when the airplane was back for its 100-hour overhaul. So I might stick with a blue-grey/light grey airplane. Or one that didn't get its wheel wells repainted. Spirit of '76 looks to have the aluminum lacquer main gear, which would also be an indication it might not have had a repaint of wheel wells which often included repainting the gear.

          I had been thinking that the closing off of the upper cowl flaps might indicate a later airplane but I have a photo of Tom Blackburn's F4U-1A "Big Hog" that clearly shows it had the all-round cowl flaps like an early F4U-1, so that is not necessarily a "tell."

          Fun fun fun. The best we can do with black and white photos is "educated guess." There's been some noise lately that the red surround was never put on Corsairs, but I have five photos of guys standing in front of the rear fuselage of their Corsair and there is definitely a lighter-color surround on the insignia behind them, which I think means red, especially since there are pix with a darker-color surround, which would indicate overpainting the red with fresh insignia blue - Kepford's airplane definitely shows that in the air-to-air photos taken at the end of their tour (my guess is VF-17's airplanes lost their red-surrounds when the pilots got the 2 weeks in Australia over Xmas/New Year's and the squadron's airplanes were "stood down" for overall maintenance - incidentally, a matter or no small notice to the Marines, that VF-17 had their own airplanes that other squadrons didn't use when they weren't around, unlike all the Marine Corsairs which just went from unit to unit as pilots were rotated at the end of their tours and the unit replaced).

          • I've looked at black and white photo's of early Marine Bird Caged Corsairs were the paint lines... the spray patterns don't match and its obvious that the ground crews have been swapping cowling parts or rudders off of other birds or off of airframes that have crashed. Whats to say as time progresses that a crashed airframe is source for parts and used in later version? As long as the parts work and the bird is kept in action... Models don't represent the life of a/c they represent snap shot which is based on a old black and white photo.;) Playing sir echo.

          • Entirely right Steve. It's impossible to "c**p up" a Solomons Corsair too much. In fact, I might use your idea about the replacement cowl. 🙂

  5. Sounds good. Was just fondling this at the LHS. But I simply don't have a spare $160 right now. Eventually will probably end up with one, I like birdcages best too. Yeah there will be a lot on the contest tables. I'll be the guy with the Special Hobby Fiat G-50!

  6. Can't wait to see you finish this one, Tom!

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