ALMOST as good as the 32nd scale Tamiya Corsair…… The 72nd scale Tamiya Corsair
Following on James Kelley’s excellent article on the 32nd scale Tamiya Birdscage, and because i am totally bereft of originality, i thought i’d post an article on my latest labour of love.
This is my latest 72nd scale Corsair, Number 3, done in the markings of Major Herman Hansen of VMF-112, while deployed aboard USS BENNINGTON. This plane is fairly well documented in photographs, but not built nearly as much as Roger Hedrick’s infamous “This End Up” Corsair deployed aboard USS BUNKER HILL.
I’d be insulting everyones intelligence by saying, “Basically it was straight out of the box”, but what i will say is the model looks just as good built from the box, as this one does here. But for those of you who want the rundown, here goes…
1) The R-2800 engine was rigged with an ignition harness. I had to add a ring of styrene behind the kit crankcase so i had enough surface area to drill holes with a #80 drill bit to rig ignition lines through.
2) The landing gear was improved by adding tie down rings from HO scale eye bolts, and shrink rods and brake lines were added. God do i hate doing that. The tail wheel truss was opened out, the catapult holdback fitting was replaced, and a new tailwheel post was made from plastic rod. The arresting hook was cut free to get it out of the way, then re-attached using a piece of copper wire as a locating pin.
3) The wingtip lights were notched out and replaced with chunks of clear sprue. Tamiya has since discovered that the wingtip lights are a lot bigger than what they put on the 48th and 72nd scale kits. I also bored out holes near the wing fold line and added windows for the gun camera and LSO Line Up light. That white thing was the beginnings of a re-built wing stall warning strip. The ID and formation keeping lights were sourced from MV lenses, found in the model railroading section.
4) The elevators and rudder were cut free of the empennage and repositioned in a more realistic fashion, and new antenna posts were made from brass rod, filed down to a more or less aerofoil shape. The light in the tail cone is a piece of Plastruct .010 styrene rod.
5) This is from my NEXT Corsair project, but i added Plastruct rod to build up the back of the seat frame. i also added photo etched belts and buckles from Eduard (not shown)
6) The underwing flap fairings are a bit undersized in the kit, so i removed them and built new ones from Evergreen bar stock and carefully sanded them to the right profile.
7) The model was painted with a mix of 70% Model Master Insignia Blue, and 30% Model Master Gloss Sea Blue. I applied a glosscoat of Future and used mostly the kit decals, although i overpainted the stars and the BENNINGTON Pine trees with Flat White to fix the ivory-coloured tone of the kit decals. After sealing the decals down with another coat of Future i applied an enamel wash of Model Master Gloss Engine Gray to the panel lines. This was then sealed with a semi gloss made from adding Tamiya Flat base to Future. The anti glare area on the forward fuselage is just Future, with even more Tamiya flat base added to it. It’s a cheap way to go and it gives me lots of control over how dull or shiny the final surface is. And then i got up to this point, and lost interest. And there it sat on the Shelf of Doom for over a year…
8) And then finally i got a burr up my backside and finished the thing a few weeks ago.
These kits really are great. They have more foibles than the 32nd scale Corsairs, but they are easier than the 48th scale ones. Roy Sutherland once said that 72nd scale was made for paint schemes, and there’s a lot of truth in that. Between this kit, the Eduard Hellcat, the Academy Helldiver and the Hasegawa Avengers, Wildcats, and Dauntlesses you could pretty much spend your entire career building carrier based subjects. I’m well on the way now. I’m doomed. No hope for me.
Hope you likee.