Another Tamiya 1:32 Corsair
Just so you all know I’m not sandbagging a shelf full of models to post on the site. I really just discovered iModeler in the last week so I’m playing catch up and really enjoy hearing all your feedback.
My bride gave me an airbrush for my birthday last year, so this is the first warbird that was all airbrush vs. rattle cans. More on the later…Obviously, everyone knows the Tamiya warbirds are the bomb, they go together like dream and are very accurate. So I chose the Vought F4U-1A Corsair, late model (non-birdcage) version. On the build I really don’t have much to share, it was the finishing that I was focused on.
Again, I enjoyed learning a great deal about the plane as I worked on the model. I have a nephew in the Marines, so there was only one option for the service branch—the USMC. Not that the Jolly Rogers wouldn’t have been fun, this had to be a Marine bird.
It’s funny how much time we all spend detailing the cockpits of these planes. You can hardly see the details, but we all feel a desire to make the working surfaces as detailed as possible. So, I did my best.
After building a Mustang, I took note that the cockpit of a Corsiar is really a cramped working area in comparison and very utilitarian.
Once the whole bird was assembled I primered it with Vallejo medium gray primer. Ok, here’s where I need to vent a bit. While I think the Vallejo Model Air paints are great, their primer is not that great. I recommend using the black primer for small surfaces (canopy glass, etc). But otherwise, using rattle can primer is much faster and gives a harder finish. I just cannot get the Vallejo paints to stick as hard as the company claims they do.
Maybe it’s just me, but dang, I pealed paint off three week later when I was removing the canopy masks. And they claim the stuff is hard after 30 mins…whatever.
Anyway, I also purchased the entire Vallejo US Navy Air War & USMC color kit. I figured they know more than I do, so why not use their paints. After I shot the whole plane I was in a mild state of panic because the “Sea Blue” looked really, really dark based on all the assembled kits I’ve seen. But I soldiered on.
Relying on the facts that all birds in the PTO had the c**p beat out of them by sand, salt and humidity, I figured I’d lighten the entire bird through distressing and it would add to the final outcome.
I spent a while deciding which unit designation was the the best for me. I hate using the factory decals since everyone does the same bird based on whats available for decals. My decision was made partly because I ripped one of the number decals during the application. So this became USMC, 88. Pick your unit…
After all the tedious surface decals came the fun part—weathering.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy this part. I use pastels for almost all my weathering at this point. Mainly because I don’t trust myself to do this with the airbrush. Many folks use pastels for the overall distressing, but one thing I have learned is if you intent to clear the entire model at the end, pastels melt. So go heavy on your weathering and the clear will pull it back to what you want in the end.
My Lazy Trick
Lastly, I do a shortcut on the panel seams. Purists, stop reading now. I use a brush tip artist marker. The method is to draw the marker over the seam and then blend the entire panel line with a Q-tip. Yes, you go through a pile of ear swabs, but it works. If you don’t like it, just wet the swab and wipe it off.
I also use Jo Sonja acrylic paints for my stained surfaces. I have used these for years on my duck decoys so I thought I’d try them. A little burnt umber or paynes gray and you have oil stains or weathered surfaces. Again, if you don’t like the effect, add water and wipe it away.
That’s all folks. I look forward to your comments. Keep building!
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.