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Trumpeter's 1/32 scale kit backdated
F4U-1A Corsair

by Jamie Haggo


Vought F4U-1 Corsair


Trumpeter's 1/32 scale F4U-1D Corsair is available online from Squadron




I had always fancied doing a Corsair with the red outlines to the national markings so purchased Trumpeterís F4U-1D as this made the conversion to the -1A fairly simple.

After a plea on LSP I received a Verlinden cockpit but this was designed for the Revell kit. I also had in mind a monster weathering job so decided to get hold of some of Eduard national markings to make it easy to do.

There are some nigh on impossible to remove pin marks in the wheel bay so I went out and bought the Aires set, (more of these later.

By this stage I was suffering pretty badly with AMS so it was out with the wallet again to get the Moskit exhaust set with the resin insert. The kit here is pretty poor; the exhausts are way too thin and the openings much too large.



I decided to start with the cockpit but after a base coat and a wash I had quite a few models for a magazine to do so the project was put on the back burner for a while. When the urge came to pick it up again I decided to do the engine, I donít really enjoy construction too much, Iím more of a painting kind of chap and the engine looked awfully tedious which it proved to be. Most parts were painted and weathered on the sprue before gluing with superglue. I am fairly rubbish when it comes to washes so the cylinders were painted black and then given a heavy dry brush with Humbrol silver, this worked out quite neat. To finish off the motor, I added an ignition harness from wire from the Little-Cars range, if you havenít got any yet I thoroughly recommend them.


With the engine done it was onto the cockpit, I decided against using the Verlinden side walls as I suspected that the contours were different. Brett Green, in his Osprey book "Modelling the F4U Corsair", scratch built his but I used the kit stringers/formers with the Verlinden details. The interior was sprayed with Tamiya XF-5 light green, washed with Humbrol black and then this was blended in with a light mist of the base colour. The green was further shaded with the base colour lightened with yellow and white and then it was post shaded with Tamiya black and red brown. To finish off a dry brush of yellow was applied then all the detail bits picked out.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

This process was repeated in the tail wheel bay then the fuselage halves were closed up. The cockpit coaming was detailed with scrap plastic and wire and painted black.

The wings were next. I donít like folded wings on naval aircraft as I think it spoils the lines, therefore this model was to have its wings spread. As mention I had bought the Aires wheel bay, these have wonderful detail moulded but there is a major snag. They just donít fit, after painting and weathering I dry fitted them and was horrified to discover a 5mm gap at the trailing edge. Out with the Dremel! The upper wing was ground and sanded wafer thin and the wheel bay roofs the same. I even had to reduce the height of the walls to shoe horn them in, after much swearing and cussing they were in but if I were you Iíd save your money and put up with the wheel bays as they are. The rest of the airframe went together fairly well.

The flaps were a bit of a pain being very fiddly. I followed Brettís advice and used a blob of blue tac as a third hand. After they were attached a couple of the flaps suffered some damage from handling so be careful.



The next job was to fit the Moskit exhaust panel. The inside was sprayed black and pipes assembled before removing the section of plastic on the wing centre section, unfortunately I over did it somewhat so had some gaps which required filling with thick superglue. Although expensive (around £25), the Moskit set really does make a big difference to the look of the kit in this area and I thoroughly recommend it.


The rest of the airframe was assembled with no real fuss, the fit being very good. The cowl flaps are quite odd looking being gap toothed. These were replaced with sheet metal cut from a Coke can.


Painting and Markings

Ah, my favourite bit. I wanted to do a VF-17 machine with the red borders to the national markings so purchased the Eagle Cals sheet EAG 3220 and picked the aircraft of Lt JG ďBigĒ Jim Streig. This would allow me to weather the aircraft to destruction, lovely.

The first step was to mask the engine and wheel wells with blue tac. Then I masked the canopy using the Eduard Kabuki masks but modified the sliding portion to represent the extra bracing strip of the 1A. With all that done I sprayed Alclad Aluminium over the entire airframe. I didnít prime because I wasnít after a pukka metal finish and I have not had a problem before, as long as the coat is a thin one there is no problem. With the aluminium dry (after about 5 minutes) I applied Humbrol Maskol with a sponge where I wanted the paint chips to go. With that done I could start on the camouflage.


When I paint aeroplanes I do not apply a base colour and then weather it, I apply the paint in layers, weathering as I go. The first stage is a pre-shade with black, my idea is not to leave the pre-shade showing through but it helps to darken the panel line itself, sometimes on a deeper line you do not have to run a wash into it.

For the underside I used a base colour of Tamiya flat white which was shaded with clack and grey as I went along. I donít lighten the centre of panels, what I do is spray the tinted paint in a random fashion which is more prototypical. I also used this technique in the areas of the national markings. With the white done I applied the Eduard masks and sprayed the red portion, fading and tinting the paint as I went. With the red portions masked the blue was painted, faded and tinted and masked. Now I was ready to tackle the blue bits.


I used a mix of blues from the Tamiya and Gunze range, the paint was built up in layers. I tinted the paints with white, tan, black and a tiny bit of yellow, be careful with that as you donít what it turning too green!

The areas where there were decals were buffed with a ladies nail buffer and applied then the whole model was sealed with Xtracrylics matt varnish, even that was tinted with light grey.



The decals were weathered as well. A very thin wash was flowed into the panel lines and scratches and chips added with a silver pencil.


Finishing Touches

The undercarriage was painted weathered and attached, the Aires gear doors were initially added on upside down but this was spotted by an eagle eyed LSPíer and sorted out. The final job was to add the Contact Resine wheels, the Revell -1A prop and the whip aerial.

Phew, she was finally done and I am pleased with how she has turned out. I found the construction a bit of a chore but then I always do but the scope to weather these land based Corsairs more than made up for it.



The Trumpeter kit can be a bit tricky and fiddly in places and there are some accuracy issues but over all it is a good kit and looks really neat next to my Hasegawa Hayate on my shelf.

Accessories Used

  • Verlinden cockpit - thanks to the LSPíer who sent it to me (sorry I forgot who you are)

  • Aires Wheel bay

  • Contact Resine wheels - Thanks to Franck Oudin

  • Revell Prop - Thanks to Ross at LSP

  • Eagle Cals Decals - EAG 3220

  • Moskit Exhaust and panel

  • Little Cars wire (ignition harness)


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

Modelling the F4U Corsair
Osprey Modelling 24
Author: Brett Green
US Price: $17.99
UK Price:
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: October 10, 2005
Details: 80 pages; ISBN: 1841768804
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2006 by Jamie Haggo
Page Created 23 August, 2006
Last Updated 22 August, 2006

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