Thomas Hudner and Jesse Brown’s F4U-4 Corsair dual builds

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  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    First off, I want to thank Gary Sausmikat @gwskat
    for help with locating a set of decals for this project. He also recently posted his dual Corsair builds in the headlines section. Here’s a link to his builds if you want to see them……….They are definitely worth checking out !!!!


    This dual build is something I have wanted to build for a long time now, since my Dad actually served here during the Chosin reservoir campaign with the US Army. Most people are not aware of this, but the US Army protected the right flank of the USMC and allowed the Marines to improve their defenses. The Army suffered horrendous casualties and they were heavily outnumbered by the Chinese.

    I am going to be building two 1/48 scale F4U-4 Corsairs. One will be the old reliable Hasegawa version, and the other will be a Hobby Boss kit. One will have the wings folded, while the other will be extended. I have built Corsairs from both companies in the past, and they look nice once completed.

    This is the decal sheet I will be using.

    My goal is to have this project completed by December 4th, 2020, which will be the 70th anniversary of the event when Lieutenant Thomas Hudner purposely crashed his Corsair in the vicinity where his wing man, Ensign Jesse Brown landed after losing oil pressure when an oil line was hit by small arms fire from below at the Chosin reservoir in North Korea. The story of this is told very well in a book entitled “Devotion” by Adam Mako.

    He tried to save his wing man and attempted to put out a fire and remove him from the cockpit where he was pinned when the fuselage caved in on Jesse’s legs. Sadly Jessie died, but this action by LT Thomas Hudner earned him the Medal of Honor.

    So please stay tuned for updates, and as usual, comments are encouraged.

    Thank you.

  • gary sausmikat said 8 months ago:

    Thanks for the kudos. I’ll be looking forward to seeing your build.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months ago:

    What an entry, Louis @lgardner, and what icinic deadlines you ‘ve set for it.
    Waiting eagerly for your start; it is a winner combo already!
    Thanks for hosting me here at this great KWGB!

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    Here are a few pictures that show the kits I have chosen to use, and the decals……….. Both kits are 1/48 scale and still sealed in the original shrink wrap. I just dug them out of the stash…………. Here we go !!!

    One plane will be the Hasegawa model. This one will be built with the wings extended, as this is the only option in the box.

    The other will be built using the Hobby Boss kit. I will build this one with the wings folded. There are two options available right out of the box with this model, as far as extending or folding the wings.

    Here are the decals………….

    A zoomed in photo of both planes.

    Apparently the maintenance officer thinks it is possible that the plane Ensign Brown perished in was Modex number 217. The rest of the surviving squadron members think it was #203. Here’s the information supplied about this with the decal instructions.

    Both sets of numbers are provided, and this will allow the builder the option to build either one……..
    #205 is the plane that Lt. Hudner was flying. The bureau numbers are correct, as this information was documented.

    Buckle up !!!! You just never know where this could end up………. I have a LOT of Corsair models in the stash, and it could end up being another “Iron Werks” style of build.

    You just never know………………… as I do have other building commitments at the moment.

    As always, Comments are encouraged.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months ago:

    That’s a great pile up of goodies, Louis @lgardner!
    Aahh, that feeling of unwrapping a kit…
    Waiting eagerly for your next installment, my friend!

  • gary sausmikat said 8 months ago:

    Hey Louis.

    I was considering the Hobby Boss kits but was reading that the outer wing sections represent the F4U-1 FAA conversion…..?? too short ??. I did not research this in detail so I’ll be curious what your thoughts are when you build this kit. I’m assuming this will be the folded wing kit…….that will look great, especially if you mount rockets!!

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    Hello Spiros, @fiveten
    Tonight I have unwrapped the plastic shrink wrap from the model box, and I know exactly what you mean……… It’s like an early Christmas in June !!! I posted a few photos showing the outer wing sections. Sadly I am disappointed about them being fabric covered, but this is life. You get up and move on and that’s that. Never give up !!!

    Gary, @gwskat
    Here are a few pictures of the plastic parts.

    They got the outer wings depicted as being covered with fabric like the earlier versions were. This is an error and I’ll have to do some filling in and sanding………. not what I wanted to hear right off the bat, but at least now I know about the problem. One way to fix it would be to get a resin wing fold set for it, but I’ll probably just fill it in and roll with it. I will see how it looks once completed. If I’m not happy with it I can go the other route and purchase the resin Wolfpack set. I have a set for the F4U-5 and later Corsair versions. They will not work because this plane was armed with six 0.050 caliber machine guns and the later versions had four 20 MM cannons.

    As far as the FAA clipped wings, That’s not present. The wingtips look like a standard F4U wing tip and not one of the shortened FAA versions.

    It will definitely have rockets, and possibly some napalm too. Here is a little clip of the instruction sheet. They have you drill out the holes for the rockets………

    This bad boy will be loaded up like a dump truck !!!

    Here’s another picture of the instructions showing the rockets and fuel tanks.

    My Dad told me that when he saw these Corsairs flying ground support missions in Korea, that they were so heavily loaded that he thought they wouldn’t be able to remain airborne for too long………. Dad said they looked like they were flying at a speed of around 250 knots or so when fully loaded. Maybe they were just slowing down to get a better time on target and gain accuracy …… who knows ??? I wasn’t there so I will not comment.

    As always, comments are encouraged.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months ago:

    Hi Louis @lgardner!
    What an ordnance for the Corsair!
    Can imagine them flying around, looking for the spots to make use of it (ie blast the hell out of the “bad” guys!) – what an imposing picture!
    Hope you go along well with the filling/sanding process, otherwise you can always search for alternates.
    All the best my friend! – and eagerly waiting for your next installment!

  • Erik Gjørup said 8 months ago:

    Bring’em on. I’m tuned in.

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    OK everyone……….. I have made a HUGE mistake and want to correct this before it goes any farther…….

    In my last post I mentioned the outer wings were supposed to be metal covered. To sum it up easily, I was WRONG !!!

    The outer wing panels were not covered with metal until Vought produced the next model, the F4U-5. I was looking online and saw what was written on Wikipedia and here is what they had to say…………

    I was not believing what I was reading, and at the same time learned something new here, (so that part was cool). All of my life I thought the outer wings were covered with metal starting on the F4U-4. Oops, my bad !!!

    So in order to confirm this, I looked at one of my many books on the F4U. Here’s what our fellow Imodeler and Corsair “Guru” Jim Sullivan had to say about it in one of his earlier books on the Corsair. It seems that Wiki got it right………….and this was confirmed by Jim, but most likely it was the other way around. Jim’s book was out decades before Wiki came into existence, so the credit goes to Jim in my book…….. Jim is always the “Go-to” guy about anything Corsair related.

    So if I have caused anyone confusion that was not my intent………..

    This is also backed up with photographic evidence. Here are some pictures to prove what I am saying. Look at these F4U-4’s They obviously have fabric covered outer wing panels.

    The plane flying in formation alongside this Corsair with the wheels down also obviously has fabric covered outer wings. Going by the US Stars and Bars, and the location of the outer / upper wing light, this plane is also most likely a F4U-4………

    This last photo I just had to put in here………….. Many of you have heard here on Imodeler, that all US Navy aircraft were quickly touch up painted if any bare metal was exposed while serving on duty……. This next color photo shows that this is not always the case………… This Corsair is obviously tied down on a US aircraft carrier deck……….. and it has plenty of bare metal exposed, as do the others parked behind it.

    So it pays to check your references, do a little digging, and not believe everything you hear……especially from those self proclaimed “Experten” who often get it wrong…

    Having read this news in various places, and having photographic proof to confirm what I just read about the cloth covered wing panels on the dash 4 series of Corsair I suddenly had a wonderful thought.

    I DON’T have to fill in the wings with putty after all, so that’s a big time win for me……

    Gary, @gwskat
    Here’s the final verdict on the wings in this version of the Hobby Boss kit.
    They look good to me, but I didn’t check on things like scale measurements or position of things like the navigation lights or landing lights and things of that nature. You can look at the photos of the kit parts I provided and make your own judgement. They look good enough “as is” for me. Hope this helps.

    As always, comments are encouraged.

  • Louis Gardner said 8 months ago:

    More detective work has confirmed that both of these F4U-4’s should have had the flat wind screen. On the earlier versions of the F4U-4, they still had the original rounded style of wind screen, similar to the type that was used on the earlier model Corsairs, starting with the “raised cabin” F4U-1A.

    Here’s what was written about the changes and it’s listed by the production block of the bureau numbers on Joel Bauger’s website. Here’s a link to the website if you want to do some digging of your own.

    Vought F4U-4 Corsair
    Bureau Numbers 80764 through 81758, and 81779 through 81828 had round windscreen, while bureau numbers 81759 through 81778, and bureau numbers 81829 through 82177 had the flat windscreen.

    LT Hudner’s plane was in the last block, with Bureau number 82050 being listed as the number for his plane.

    This is what is written about the final disposition of this airplane:

    82050 (VF-32) made wheels-up landing behind enemy lines near Koto-Ri to rescue Ensign Brown Dec 4, 1950. Pilot Thomas Hudner was rescued by helicopter and was awarded Medal of Honor.

    Ensign Brown’s F4U-4 was Bureau Number 97231. It fell in a later production block so it would also “most likely” have the “flat style” wind screen. Here is what is stated for the final disposition of this airplane:

    97231 (VF-32 attached to USS Leyte (CV-32) hit by AAA in Chosin Reservoir area Dec 4, 1950. Pilot KIA

    As always, comments are encouraged.

  • Spiros Pendedekas said 8 months ago:

    Hi Louis @lgardner!
    That was some nice info and went on reading it with great interest,
    I had no clue about the fabric/metal outer wing situation before the start of this GB.
    Also the exposed metal situation.
    So many things to learn!
    I can say with great confidence that the above revised info came as a joy to you: no filling/sanding/evaluating!
    All the best, my friend, waiting eagerly for your progress!

  • Erik Gjørup said 8 months ago:

    Always impressive what you find when you dig into something. Even a lot of accepted facts may prove wrong, nothing mentioned, nothing forgotten (don’t want to clutter your thread my friend) As always a pleasure to follow the ponderings and digging for material you usually attatch to your builds.
    One day, when I run out of stuff for the preferred type, I would like to build another F4 (have one on the shelf, from my younger days, that will either be rebuilt or just cleaned up, but that is far out in the future)
    Bring me more knowledge my friend 🙂

  • Robert Paschall said 7 months, 4 weeks ago:

    There is no such thing as too many Corsairs! @lgardner
    Looking forward to the builds buddy.

  • Robert Royes said 7 months, 4 weeks ago:

    Another marvolouis Gardner build, I always get a little more educated, I’ve thought about doing these two aircraft ,of course in 1/72, you’ve given us enough time so maybe…

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