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Harvey R.
36 articles

Tamiya F4U-1 Birdcage Corsair, 1/48.

April 21, 2021 · in Aviation · · 20 · 2.2K
This article is part of a series:
  1. Tamiya F4U-1 Birdcage Corsair, 1/48.
  2. Tamiya F4U-1D Corsair, 1/48. A Folded Bird.

The first of many Corsairs I did was this one, built alongside an -1D. I started this back in April last year and completed in just 3 weeks, which is a record for me but that is largely due to having plenty of time off due to lockdown.

Resin flaps were used in this as the kit comes with ones that are down, however it really isn't a difficult modification to make the kit parts be up if you wish. One advantage of the resin set is it doesn't have the foot step on the right inboard flap which shouldn't be on any aircraft until the F4U-4 came into service (with 1Ds afterwards being produced with the cut out, plus some having their flaps if damaged replaced with one with the hole).

Definitely a fun build, I'm a big fan of these early Birdcages and the colouring looks great. This was painted with Tamiya paints mixed up as specified in the instructions (you know its old when it lists paint with XF, not their AS spray cans). Its funny actually, I remember looking in a toy shop as a kid and seeing a Corgi die-cast with this exact scheme and really wanting to buy it but obviously not having the money, so now I finally got one. Complete with the really poorly detailed tamiya decal of the eagle.

Definitely wouldn't mind making another one of these beaten up Corsairs, I did this one with mutli-layer chipping fluid so you can see the salmon red primer and the metal in various degrees. I ended up chipping this too much and toning it back with spraying aluminium over the top, but it was my first time using chipping fluid so it would never be perfect.

Fun fact: The Tamiya Corsair doesn't have the best wheels up conversion out there, the doors don't fit very nicely into the wells sadly. This was the first time trying it and I put way too much filler on it, loosing all the edges. I had no idea how to rescribe detail (not that I'm much better nowadays anyways), so simply drew the wheel doors on with a pencil. Actually works surprisingly well if you ask me, but I haven't used that method again since.

Reader reactions:
16  Awesome

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. A great build, Harvey.
    Paintwork is very nice.
    Stains and chipping to me look very nice.

    • Thank you! It's definitely fun being able to go a bit wild with oils and stains, the Corsair really let's you go as heavy or light as you'd like with weathering.

  2. Beautifully done,nice stand also!

  3. Really nice weathering job and great save on the undercarriage doors!

  4. Excellent weathering on this, Harvey. This is one of those planes that you can really beat up. I especially like the worn paint on the wings.

  5. Beauty job all around Harvey, great colour mixing and impressive pencil work.
    The stand looks great too!

  6. The Corsair is a modeling standard and there are more posts of this subject . . . more than one can count, However, once in while one stands out and it makes you appreciate their build of the model. I can only echo what has been written about the painting and weathering. It looks natural and not over done. This is model you can feel proud about Harvey.

    Two thumbs up.

  7. Brilliant save on the landing gear doors. They look great, as does the entire project!

  8. Looks fantastic! I use pencil all the time, especially as I build a lot of old poorly detailed kits. Paintwork and weathering is excellent. Well done.

  9. That's one pretty plane! Being the corsair enthusiast I am, I appreciate the use of the red salmon paint, lol.

    • Thank you! All the different colours and shades, as well as locations of paints that Corsairs had sure make it a headache for us modelers 80 years later.

  10. Very nice Harvey, IMO not enough models are displayed this way.

    • I definitely feel the same, I think it's largely due to models not having a wheels up option anymore. Airfix is the only company that comes to mind that still regularly have the option in 1/48.

  11. Amazing work, Harvey! Weathering is substantial!

  12. Great take on a classic kit, definitely liked.

  13. Very nicely done Harvey, my compliments to you on a fine Corsair build.

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