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Tamiya 1/48 scale conversion
Vought XF4U-1

by David Weeks


Vought XF4U-1

Tamiya's 1/48 scale F4U-1/2 Corsair is available online from Squadron.com



Here are some photos of my 1/48 scale Tamiya XF4U-1 conversion.

It took two Tamiya F4U-1 kits (I used a F4U-1/2 Birdcage and F4U-1D) to complete this project.



One could do this modification with only kit if the additional fabric work on the wings was dispensed with.




The following is a list of the modifications I made to the kit:

Fuselage Modifications

  • Shortened the fuselage (both forward and behind wing), relocated cockpit, shortened tail cone.

  • Filled and re-scribed fuselage panel lines (The XF4U-1 was hand-built and there were very few fuselage panel lines aft of the engine accessory compartment).



  • Filled in existing lower window rectangle and added “tear-drop” bomb aiming window under fuselage.

  • Added catapult hooks, scratch-built exhaust stacks and re-located forward antenna mast.

  • Used birdcage kit windscreen and flat topped canopy, lengthened aft end of canopy with sheet styrene, sanded off all canopy framework, re-located and then re-painted it.


Cockpit Modifications

  • Scratch-built main instrument panels.

  • Moved side consoles out-board and re-configured.



  • Added new lower sidewalls and scratch-built all added detail.

  • The only aftermarket parts used on model were Eduard Seat Belts and Placards.


Engine Modifications

  • Scratch-built details on engine crankcase housing to simulate P&W XR-2800-4 engine.

  • Scratch-built magneto housings, ignition harness, spark-plug wiring and misc. plumbing.

  • Added 30 cal blast tubes and gun ports in upper cowling.

  • Using second kit completed open cowling flaps over top of fuselage, added flap actuator details.

  • Used the propeller out of the birdcage kit.


Wing Modifications

  • Removed outer 50 cal wing guns and associated panels.

  • Used second kit to add fabric-covered areas further inboard on both upper and lower wing surfaces.

  • Added upper wing gun, ammo access panels and floatation bag panels as well as the under wing bomb bay doors.

  • Shortened ailerons and re-positioned aileron hinges, shortened and re-positioned left aileron trim tab.



  • Used second kit to lengthened the out-board flaps. Reconfigured all flaps from slotted to deflector plate type.

  • Used the upper flap parts from the second kit to create the upper gap spanners for the inner flaps.

  • Re-positioned all flying surfaces. Removed identification lights on lower right wing surface and most access covers on the wings and horizontal tail surfaces.

  • Added clear navigation lights to wingtips as well as all other position lights.

  • Squared up outer edge of oil cooler intakes.


Landing Gear Modifications

  • Added brake lines, several small details and the coil around retraction cylinders on main landing gear struts.

  • Removed tread from tires.

  • Added prototype inner door detail to the main landing gear doors, added detail to gear wells.

  • Scratch-build new tail wheel assembly


Painting and Markings



  • Used Floquil Old Silver and Alclad II Duraluminum sealed with Testors Metalizer Sealer for fuselage and lower wing.



  • Gunze Yellow (H329) over Tamiya Flat White was sealed with a mix of Gunze Clear Gloss and Flat for the upper wing surfaces.

  • All shading/washes were done with chalk pastels.



  • The early U.S. Insignia and the “U.S. NAVY” came from the Aero Master sheet “Neutrality Patrol – USN 1941”.

  • The serial number and the “XF4U-1” were pieced together from the Accurate Miniatures F3F-2 decal sheet.

  • The stencils were from a Scale Master F8U data sheet (1/72 scale).


  • Tamiya Conversion 1/48 scale XF4U-1 by David Weeks: Image
  • Tamiya Conversion 1/48 scale XF4U-1 by David Weeks: Image
  • Tamiya Conversion 1/48 scale XF4U-1 by David Weeks: Image
  • Tamiya Conversion 1/48 scale XF4U-1 by David Weeks: Image
  • Tamiya Conversion 1/48 scale XF4U-1 by David Weeks: Image
  • Tamiya Conversion 1/48 scale XF4U-1 by David Weeks: Image
  • Tamiya Conversion 1/48 scale XF4U-1 by David Weeks: Image
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Model, Images and Text Copyright 2009 by David Weeks
Page Created 26 January, 2009
Last Updated 30 January, 2009

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