by David W. Aungst
Soccer War Corsair
scale F4U-1D Corsair is available online from Squadron.com
so often I run across an aviation picture or artwork that captures my
imagination and inspires me to build a model. The box art on the Hobby
Craft FG-1D "Post War" Corsair kit (stock #HC1529) is one such
occurrence. The box art depicts a Salvadoran FG-1D as seen in the 1969
time period. I do not remember seeing this box art when the kit was first
released some time ago, but when I came across the kit on the shelves of a
hobby shop this spring, I had to buy it (Click
thumbnail at left to view the larger image).
What really got me was the fact that I had almost never seen a Corsair
in any colors except blue (all blue, tri-color blue, blue/gray, etc...).
Here I have a shape that everybody recognizes in a color scheme that just
looks wrong. I had to build it. The background aircraft in the Hobby Craft
box art is a Honduran Air Force Corsair (either an F4U-4 or F4U-5). The
two countries participated against each other in a minor conflict known as
the "Football War" (or "Soccer War" as it is known in the States). The
background aircraft may someday be the subject of another Corsair model to
go with the one built in this article.
While I loved the box art, I was not particularly happy with the actual
model kit in the Hobby Craft box. It is not that the Hobby Craft
kit is a bad kit. The trouble was that I had just recently completed the
new F4U-1D Corsair from Tamiya and the Hobby Craft kit is
not as nice as the Tamiya offering (in my opinion). I decided to
secure another Tamiya kit and build it using the Hobby Craft
The Tamiya Corsair builds extremely easily. I had no
construction problems (especially since this was my second time building
the kit). I mostly built the kit straight from the box, only adding the
The Tamiya kit already provides the launchers
and pylons. All I needed was the weapons. I wanted 5" HVAR Rockets and a
couple of W.W.II vintage bombs. I obtained all of these from the
Hasegawa P-38L kit.
- I had trouble with the size of the rockets. Either Tamiya
made the wing launchers too small or Hasegawa made the rockets
too big. It is hard to say which is the case. In either event, I was
only able to mount two rockets under either wing. The fins on the
rockets would not clear each other if I attempted to put any more
rockets under the wings.
- I think the bombs are 750 Pound bombs. I understand the F4U-1 kit
from Tamiya actually provides bombs. Why Tamiya chose to
delete them from the F4U-1D kit is a mystery to me. I did need to add
bomb sway braces to the pylons, though. I obtained these from a
Monogram F-8 Crusader kit.
wanted to add a DF "football" antenna under the fuselage and a large
blade antenna on top of the fuselage. I obtained these from the Hobby
Craft FG-1D kit.
The model is painted in Testors Model Master and Floquil
Military enamel paints. All the interior portions of the kit, including
the cockpit, were painted in Zinc Chromate Green. I used Testors
Model Master Interior Black to paint the instrument panels in the cockpit.
I heavily weathered the interior surfaces as the airframe was pushing 30
years of use by the period of the "Soccer War". I used washes of tans,
brown, and black with dry brushing of light green, light gray, and silver.
The camouflage is the whole reason I built this model. The colors I
settled on for the camouflage are different from those specified in the
Hobby Craft kit instructions. The kit instructions only call for three
colors on the upper surfaces and are much more gray, instead of the
greener colors present on the box art. The painting instructions are also
somewhat lacking as they do not show both sides of the aircraft and give a
completely different pattern from that seen on the box art. They also
provide a scrap view of a second aircraft tail to show the placement of
the optional aircraft serial number, and this scap view has a different
pattern than that on the main drawing. I took all these disagreeing
sources to mean I was on my own for the camouflage pattern and chose to
use the box art as my guide, not the instruction sheet. After some playing
around, I came up with the following colors to match the artwork on the
cover of the Hobby Craft kit:
- Dark Green (F.S.34079)
- Tan (Custom Mix)
- 10 parts Tan Special (F.S.20400)
- 5 parts Insignia Yellow (F.S.33538)
- 5 parts Flat White
- 1 part SAC Bomber Green (F.S.34159)
- SAC Bomber Green (F.S.34159)
- Aggressor Green (F.S.34258)
- Light Ghost Gray (F.S.36375)
All of these are Testors Model Master enamels except the
Dark Green (F.S.34079) which is Floquil Military enamel.
These are my interpretations of someone else's artwork interpretation.
I have not found it written anywhere what the true colors of the
Salvadoran camouflage were. Hence, I have no idea what the real colors
actually should be. I have seen a single color photograph of an FG-1D in
this camouflage, but the picture is grainy and taken from the shadow side
of the aircraft, making it hard to determine the colors. It does look much
darker, overall, than the Corsair on the Hobby Craft box art.
Whether my model is right or wrong, I built it to represent the aircraft
in the box art.
I started by painting the bottom of the model in Ghost Gray and the
entire upper surfaces in the Aggressor Green. I then added a random
coverage of about 50% of the upper surfaces in the SAC Green. I continued
with a random covering of the Tan color, keeping in mind that I wanted to
simulate a person with a spray gun just standing next to the aircraft and
creating patches of tan that were within an arms reach. I finished with
the Dark Green, applied using the same consideration that I used on the
Tan color. The box art showed that the Dark Green was also used for
smaller "highlight" spotting around the airframe. When I was done, I felt
I had captured the spirit of the box art as well as creating the most
complex camouflage I had ever attempted (except for a couple of JAWS
camouflaged A-10 Warhogs).
The decals came from the Hobby Craft kit. They presented no real
difficulties and reacted well to setting solution. I only needed 12 decals
for the whole model. I did note that the kit decals were very brittle
compared to other decals I have used. I tried to move one of the decals
off of its backing paper before it was completly ready, and the decal
started to break up. I gave it another minute to free itself of the
backing paper and then had no trouble moving it. The breakage was internal
to the decal (not a full tear) and did not effect movement or placement of
the decal after it was free of the backing paper.
I heavily weathered the airframe with thinned down enamel paints using
washes and air brush shading. Then I applied a significant amount of
silver dry brushing. Additionally, I picked off a significant number of
bolt heads on the removable forward fuselage access panels using the tip
of a 10/0 brush and silver paint. From what I read, the Salvadoran
Corsairs were well used and abused. For a more complete discussion of what
I do to weather my models, see my posting on
Images and Project Summary
thumbnails below to view images full-sized.
Click the "Back" arrow on your browser to return to this page.
18 August 1999
Extra Detailing /
Text and Images Copyright © 2001 by
Page Created 31 July, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
Back to HyperScale
Back to Features Index