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F4U1-A Corsair

by David Anderson


F4U-1A Corsair
Lt. J.J. O'Connell, USS Kwajalein, 1943




B a c k g r o u n d


Marine Lt. J.J. O'Connell flew this F4U-1A Corsair from the deck of USS Kwajalein in 1943 for strikes on Rota and Pagan. At this stage of its career the Corsair was still considered undesirable for carrier use so O'Connell's Corsair returned to a base in Guam after the air strike.



Insignia just forward of cockpit depicts the "Hells Angels" squadron.



The Model


Two modifications are required to convert Tamiya's F4U-1D Corsair to an F4U-1A. The first item for attention is the different style of canopy. Tamiya simplify this task by providing an F4U-1A canopy in the kit.

The other job is to modify the tailwheel hatches.

I could not resist using Verlinden's F4U-1 superdetail set (No. 1220) which boasts exquisite cockpit detail, resin control surfaces (rudder and elevators) and a resin engine with etch metal ignition harness.

The kit main wheels were replaced with True Details wheels.

I used clear nylon thread for the antenna and fabricated the tension spring on top of the rudder pole by winding thin copper wire around a stainless steel pin. This pin is about half the thickness of a dressmaker's pin. When the copper wire is slid off the pin it stays the shape of a spring. I bent the ends of the "spring" into a hook shape for attachment to the rudder mast and antenna. It's fiddly work, but worth the effort.



Another area often overlooked is the navigation lights. This small feature can add a great deal of realism to a model. I filed off the kit detail, then drilled a small hole in each navigation light and inserted a little piece of stretched sprue. These two pieces of sprue were then painted the relevant colours. I filled the filed area with epoxy and sanded to shape when dry. A little clear gloss is brought them to life.



The model was painted in enamels and acrylics then AeroMaster decals (No. 48-076, 'Island Hopping Corsairs') were applied. Weathering consisted of an acrylic wash.



A d d i t i o n a l   I m a g e s


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  1. Fighting Corsairs, War Eagles Special No. 1, by Michael O'Leary, War Eagles Publications.

  2. F4U Corsair in Action, by Jim Sullivan, Squadron / Signal Publications, 1977.

Model, Text and Photographs Copyright 1999 by David Anderson
Page Created 09 November, 1999
Last Updated 26 July, 2007

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