My current project is a 48th scale Tamiya F4U-1 Birdcage. BuAer 02153 to be exact, the first production Corsair.
This is intended to eventually become a full-blown article on how to build a very early Corsair, but right now i’m trying to fine tune the shade of blue gray paint on the upper surfaces. A friend of mine suggested using Floquil US Navy ANA Blue Gray so i thought i’d give it a try. i looked at as many photographs of the plane as i could (both Colour and Black and White) , so i had a pretty good idea of what the Blue Gray “Should” look like.
Here’s are unaltered pics i took today of my Corsair with the outer wing panels sprayed Floquil Blue Gray.
Now you might say, “Well, that looks reasonably close. perhaps a little dark. Maybe the photo is under exposed a bit but not too bad.”
Keep in mind that i’m going for a brand spanking new, factory-fresh Corsair that might have 3 hours worth of engine runs and maybe 1 1/2 hours flying time on it.
Now, here is the photo adjusted so you can see how the Blue Gray looks in daylight:
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Now maybe i’m a colour Nazi, maybe not. It’s not my call. But when viewed up close the Blue Gray looks an awful lot like USN Intermediate Blue. Much more than the Blue Gray i was hoping for.
I swapped some messages with David Rapasi, who has done some invaluable research into these early wartime colours and he suggested a new mixing formula i’m gonna try soon. The paint is mixed up and ready to go. Just need to spray the wings and see how it looks.
Bottom line- Look as many photographs as you can and take the painted model out into direct sunlight. Go with your gut. If it says the colour is off, it probably is.