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Jim Harley
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USS Saidor VMF-213 Tamiya 1/48 F4U-1D/FG-1D

July 3, 2020 · in Aviation · · 16 · 2.6K

At the 1976 Rickenbacker AFB Airshow I saw my first at first sight. The Canadian Warplane Heritage had owned and operated her for years before selling her to Brian Reynolds. Brian owns and operates the Olympic Flight Museum near Seattle. Brian elected to send her to John Lane for a complete restoration. When she emerged it was wearing the colors of VMF-213. Paying homage to her CWH history she was painted as Aircraft 115. As of this post date she has been sold and moved on to new owner in CA.

This model is straight out of the box, I only added P/E seatbelts and cut the tail feathers. This is one fine kit...I'm just amazed at the quality. She's painted with , Mr. Color, and Alclad metal paints. I experimented a lot with this one, using hairspray chipping, salt for fading the prop, and oil paints to fade the actual finish. The only reference photo I have of the original 115 depicts a pretty clean airframe so I didn't want to over due the weathering. It still needs an antenna, the tires need some "wear" and brake lines. This kit sure makes building fun!

Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

16 responses

  1. Very nice looking aircraft

  2. That's beautiful Jim. Excellent build of a fine kit, thanks for sharing.

  3. Great build, Jim.
    Building an F4U myself currently, hope I can get it as nice as yours.
    Well done.

  4. I'm from the Olympia area and remembered seeing this Corsair way back in 1998 or so at The Olympic Flight Museum. It was painted blue with I believe New Zealand Navy roundels. Flew right over my house numerous times! The crew was having trouble starting the big R-2800 but it finally caught and what a sound! I was also fortunate to have sat in this same aircraft two times in one night. The Museum hosted "Night of the Corsair" and I had my photo taken each time. The photographers weren't sure the 1st photo came out correctly. So, I had to get up in the beautiful plane a second time! (Both photo's came out perfectly). The second photo I was able to wear an authentic flight helmet from a W.W. 2 flight instructor complete with his original goggles: ANJ-6530's and my own vintage Navy G-1 flight jacket. That particular Corsair had rails, no floor, for your feet if I remember correctly. But, what an incredible feeling it was to actually sit in a plane that I had been in love with since birth, it seems..You definitely could not see over that long nose, just like the pilots said. My daughter and I also were witness to this plane flying back to the museum after it's restoration. It flew right over both of us! We were both very happy to see it in it's new colors. Sorry for the long read but that particular plane was one of my favorites and brought up alot of memories. Too bad it was sold and left the area.

    Nice build on the model! I love the new paint scheme!

  5. That's a beautiful build, Jim.
    Love the painting and weathering too (those oil spills on he prop are amazing, among others!).
    Got the "Bird cage" version to build; looks to be an equally great kit as yours.
    Well done!

  6. Nicely done Jim. You nailed the weathering! The paint wear looks very realistic.

  7. Welcome back Jim, nice to see your excellent looking Corsair. Well done, and did you ever finish that P-51B? Inquiring minds want to know.

  8. Excellent model and back story as well Jim. There is nothing more pleasurable than being able to build a model that inspired our love for aviation. Like you, though growing up in So Cal, pops would take us to the Chino Air show in May, and it was the Corsairs and Mustangs that would steal the show for me. Getting there very early and walk around them was always a treat. Nice to see you back as well. Thanks for sharing your model and story.

  9. Welcome back Jim @jimh
    You nailed this Corsair my friend... It also happens to be my favorite aircraft of all time. Each time I look at the pictures you posted, I happen to notice something new. You did a very nice job on this one, as you do on all of your builds. Race 57 is still my favorite ! You knocked that one out of the park ... This one is a very close second .

    I pressed the "liked" button too. It seems that most of us have a good Corsair story... I watched this one get restored when I was a kid.

    Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

  10. Thanks guys, I appreciate all the comments. It’s good to be back. Virus aside I took on another job so it’s been a struggle to find any free time. Things are settling down and my stash will start getting picked at. @tom b, there is a Panther in the works! Toko Ri special. I actually filmed this build and will have it on my YouTube channel Harley909 in the next week or so...if you’re interested in watching paint dry 🙂

  11. Striking colour scheme.

  12. Outstanding work in all respects, Jim! I especially like your choice of carrier ID markings, and your weathering looks spot-on. Well done, sir!

  13. Very nicely done Jim and a fine choice of markings.

  14. Great looking Corsair - the scheme with all that white is a standout, and looks like all your weathering techniques paid off nicely. Well done!

  15. A beautiful model Jim. What a great color scheme too!

  16. Thanks again for all the kind words! Lots more in the works!

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