A Good Year for Corsairs
Here is my 32nd scale Tamiya F4U-1 Birdcage, built to depict the prototype Goodyear FG-1 built in Akron Ohio and first flown in about June of 1943.
Goodyear missed introducing the Corsair during the earlier Blue Gray and Light Gray paint scheme days but was one of the first companies to implement the Navy-Designed “Graded Tone” scheme. In a nutshell, the scheme consisted of the two blues and the white gradually blended together, rather than having a sharp, clearly delineated colour change.
The concept proved much more difficult to apply in practice, but Goodyear in the beginning at least tried to implement this directive. The early Goodyear Corsairs did not have white bars on the national insignias either. They did however have the infamous, leaky “wrap around” cowl flaps. I depicted these open to illustrate how much of a vision problem these flaps presented to the pilot for forward vision.
All the hype that you hear about the Tamiya Corsair kit is true. It is simply the most impressively detailed, brilliantly engineered, and well-fitting kit i have ever experienced. Every time you come up against an assembly that you think will give problems, it just goes together quickly and easily.
The model was painted with a combination of Model Master enamels, Tamiya Acrylics and Lacquers, and Mr Color Lacquers. The Tamiya Liquid white surface primer performed very well for painting the vast expanses of white underbelly and dried quickly with very little grain, and wet sanded beautifully. The Mr Color Lacquers also sprayed beautifully, drying incredibly fast and not obscuring any of the fine surface detail on the kit.
I used Roy Sutherland’s BarracudaCal cockpit placards, and the Barracuda Studios resin F4U/F6F “slick” tyres, per photographs of the prototype. I also used the new G-Factor Brass antenna posts and pitot tube.
This is the 1st 32nd scale model i have finished. While 32nd is not my chosen scale, i do make an exception for the Corsair. This model is everything the other 32nd scale Corsair kits should be, and while it is not cheap, it will reward the serious modeler with many hours of enjoyment. All you have to do is follow the instructions closely and prepare to be amazed.