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Jim Sullivan
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1/48 HobbyBoss Early F4U-4

March 15, 2017 · in Aviation · · 28 · 3.7K

More often than not I now find myself building a model based on some photo that grabs me. Such is the case with this build. I used the HobbyBoss -4 with the curved windscreen or as HobbyBoss calls it, the early version. The model is in the markings of VF-4 as seen aboard the USS Tarawa in 1946 as seen in the last photo in this batch. The kit presents a bit of a challenge as some shape corrections are needed. The front landing gear door as well as the area of the wheel well where that door retracted is is the 'chin grin' on the bottom of the engine cowling. The landing gear door issue was resolved by hitting the spares stash for a set of doors from the old Hasegawa kit. The wheel well issue was resolved by cutting away a bit of plastic on the bottom of the wing center section and shaping that opening properly. I replaced the kit cowling with the True Details (TD) offering which is a bit better but still doesn't capture the air scoop look correctly. I used the TD weighted wheels trimmed to remove some of the excess bulge. The cockpit is a mix of kit parts and the TD F4U-4 cockpit set with individual instruments from the Airscale decal sheet. Decals were from ye ole decal stash box. The 'T' on the tail is masked and airbrushed. Paint was MM dark sea blue enamel (FS 15042) and all was oversprayed with Testors semi-gloss clear. The thing that really grabbed me on the photo of the real Corsair was the faded fabric covered outer wing panels. GSB paint was quite durable and when it did fade it usually just lost its gloss sheen and dulled out. For whatever reason, the outer wing panel fabric-covered portion did fade. While that's unusual, the fact that the fabric covered rudder and elevators showed no sign of such even more puzzling. Perhaps they had recently been re-covered or replaced. In any event, I tried to replicate what I saw on the photo. Any comments or observations are welcomed.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

8 additional images. Click to enlarge.

28 responses

  1. Excellent work Jim. Like you, the F4U is my all time favorite. I really like this one. The original photo is a great touch.

  2. Great looking "Red Ripper" Corsair. Authentic to the photo.

  3. Jim, that turned out well. I think this is the first HB series Corsair I've seen built, and I didn't know that the windshield was curved. Not since Monogram. That is a great photo, you've done her justice.

    • Thank you Bernard and HobbyBoss released that F4U-4 Corsair in three versions, the early one with the 'curved' windscreen, the later version with the 'Flat' windscreen and the F4U-4B version. It's a kit worth building but it requires a bit of modification to bring it closer to the way it should look.

  4. Stellar work, my are all your builds. And knowing you, I also know that's it as "authentic" as it's gonna get. 🙂

    • Thank you of the challenges with that build was replicating the squadron emblem. I think what I ended up with is a bit too big but I was cursed to have to work with parts of the decal sheet from Monogram's old Hellcat kit and the white circle had to be big enough to accommodate that.

  5. Jim, Well done, on another attractive blue machine. It sounds like you had some challenges on this one, but you did very good. Looks great !

  6. Another stunning creation! Love these menacing looking Corsairs in Dark Sea Blue color scheme. Well done Jim!

  7. Great build of this beautiful aircraft, Jim.
    You nailed the look of the faded areas by much and its a very nice touch to make the paint scheme look more "busy"
    Well done 🙂

  8. Thanks Bernd, that faded area on the wings was a fun challenge to attempt to replicate. It was basically a mix of GSB and intermediate blue highlighted a bit with a fine application of very thin GSB over the wing rib area.

  9. Great looking Corsair. I'm building the HB -7 at the moment. The wings still show fabric so I've had to putty over them. The cockpit floor is also wrong, having a slot for the control column. Of course I didn't find this out until after the cockpit innards were complete

  10. Great build Jim! Fading looks nice, as does the rest of the finish.

  11. Terrific work on that Corsair, Jim! The faded outer wing panels and weathering are superbly done.

  12. Jim,
    Great to see the finished project. You are indeed the Corsair master

  13. You've gone to a lot of effort on this to produce a great result. Love it!

  14. Thanks Tony, I appreciate that.

  15. Hello Jim,
    Job well done. As mentioned above, you went to great lengths to get it right. The picture of the "real "Corsair was very impressive. You explained the weathering on the outer panels from the plane.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

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