Tamiya Corsair Mk.II, 1/48. The Fleet Air Arm.
This article is part of a series:
After getting more into the hobby and posting on a few other places, I've decided to make an account here and post my most recent builds. Critique is always important, and keeping confined to one forum or social media can limit the opinions available. I normally build aircraft in pairs or small groups with a central theme, this time the theme was simply 3 different Corsairs, one of which I found a huge amount of inspiration from a post on this forum.
To start things off, here is a Tamiya 1/48 Corsair. This is the F4U-1D kit, but halfway through I had a change of heart and built it as a 1A. The aircraft represents the Corsair Mk.II JT383, flown by Fleet Air Arm ace Leslie Durno sometime towards the end of 1944/beginning of 1945.
What can really be said about the Tamyia kit that hasn't been said already? Not much. It's a great kit, a good price, and in my opinion is the best F4U-1 kit on the market in 1/48, though it is starting to show it's age as it turns 25 years old this year. This kit was built with a few additions, firstly it received Ares Quickboost control surfaces for the rudder and ailerons (the elevator included in the pack went towards another Corsair), and Montex paint masks were used to achieve the FAA British Pacific Fleet markings. Notable is the roundel on the underside, Montex suggests this to have a red middle ring which makes little sense to me as red was banned from being used in markings due to issues with friendly fire, also if the Corsair did have red roundels why not just keep the standard roundel? Looking at the one photograph of the aircraft I deemed this to likely be white, overpainted with the standard insignia blue, I tried this and the effect came out too subtle (as visible on the upper wing roundel), so I repainted it in a colour roughly similar to the SEAC 'Indian Blue'. Finally to finish things off an Aeroboost RAF North African Campaign pilot was acquired and suffered a removal of legs to force him to sit rather than stand, this naturally isn't the correct uniform for a FAA pilot but I was inspired by that classic coloured photograph of a rather bearded Hellcat pilot with his sleeves rolled up. In hindsight, I should have added some PE seatbelts to go over him.
Other than that, everything else was built out of box. The tailhook received a small cut before being bent and the gap filled with 'sprue glue' (literally bits of sprue melted into an almost empty tamiya cement), the flaps were also bought down to a full 70' down angle which required some cutting, and some plasti-card was inserted to form some missing details on the flaps. The aircraft was painted with Tamiya paints, essentially XF-21 Sky, XF-62 Olive Drab and a combination of Tamiya greys to produce something similar to ANA 603, it's worth remembering that whilst the lend-lease aircraft had Fleet Air Arm colours, they were painted in America with equivalent colours so they should look different to a Seafire, the biggest example of this is US aircraft just using Olive Drab instead of Dark Slate Grey.
The stand was build using an 3mm x 150mm acrylic rod and inserted into an acrylic disc, the rod was then bent after heating with a hairdryer to create a slightly more interesting pose to mimic a landing approach.
This was my 4th Tamiya Corsair (my 5th, an F4U-2 was build alongside and finished a few days after) and I plan on building many more.