F4U-1 Corsair Painting: Department of Not Even Close

  • 6 posts
  • Last reply 8 years, 1 month ago
Viewing 1 - 6 of 6 posts
  • David Hansen said 8 years, 1 month ago:

    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:

    — Image [pic5] not found —

    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.

    david

  • Lawrence R.(Larry) Schmidt said 8 years, 1 month ago:

    I have used Model Master and White Ensign Blue Gray. My default Blue-gray is Xtracolor which is lighter. The White Ensign is darker than the Xtracolor and the Model Master is the darkest. I think that newly applied paint would be a fair deal darker than faded and salt-washed paint. I offer the caveat that my visual observations are based on 65 year old Mark 1 eyeballs. I don’t think they are as calibrated as they used to be. I love the early Blue-gray Navy and Marine Corps airplanes. I have followed several threads on this subject on Hyperscale, as it is an area of interest to me. I will be following your build with interest. Adios, Larry.

  • Deleted User said 8 years, 1 month ago:

    FWIW, I think from looking at the photo(s), it’s a tad lighter than Intermediate Blue (which is, presumably, a “good” thing). You’re real close to that color you’re lookin’ for IMO.

  • David Hansen said 8 years, 1 month ago:

    Hi Larry,

    I agree with you about the MM Blue Gray. i built a Tamiya F4F-4 and i liked the end result. The finish on a brand new F4U is (maybe) ever so slightly darker. I know i could have gone with the Model Master straight from the bottle and come close, but i want to give David Rapasi’s suggestions a try. He’s built a ton of Tamiya Corsairs (posted over on ARC) and his Early versions look distinctly darker than what you often see. I may wind up re-inventing the wheel in the process but i want to see if i can come up with something sort of in-between David’s interpretation and the MM Blue Gray, which i admit comes closer than the Floquil.

  • David Hansen said 8 years, 1 month ago:

    Hi Craig,

    i agree the 32nd scale F4U-1 is very close- especially for a combat-worn South Pacific veteran. That high-waterline demarcation between the grays is rather exotic and seen on only a handful of Corsairs. Only other planes i’ve seen that on are the PV Ventura and the prototype TBU Sea Wolf.

    -d-

  • David Hansen said 8 years, 1 month ago:

    UPDATE-
    I got the blue gray sussed out. pics to follow in a week, maybe sooner.

    -d-

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