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Hello all


This build started in 2005, back then I thought it was a good idea to include pictures of the sprues as a way to publish an in-progress report in a “formal” manner as I saw done with other modelers, so here they are along with an Aires’ cockpit set.














While searching for references, I noted that some characteristics of the Corsair were, to my taste, oversimplified in the kit, like the exhaust tubes, tail landing gear and it's bay, radiator intakes, brewster bomb rack and to some extent the main landing gear.


I guess Tamiya choose easy of build over accuracy, especially on the underside that is not seen most of the time. What is surprising to me is that, after 13 years, except for the Aires Main gear bays I don’t know of any aftermarket options for this items; Ultracast’s exhausts only replace the kit’s parts but won’t tackle the whole area. The decision was made to butcher the model to enhance the accuracy.


Here are the pictures I took back then.

























Don’t remember why I stopped at this point but must have been a combination of missing references, hope for new aftermarket options and lost interest in the subject. Anyway, I decided it was time to continue.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Here are pictures of the current state of things; ten years later most of the pieces are ok with only a few delicate parts broken due to plastic becoming brittle.








In the process of cutting off the elevator, the detail that represents the fabric covered ribbing was damaged, my attempt at repair end up with an irregular surface. As an alternative, the CMK control surfaces are prepared, but they also required modifications to fit in the kit’s tailplane that is already attached, is worth noting that the CMK parts are a little short in length compared to kit’s ones.

For this build, the elevators will be placed in the dropped position. Reference pictures show how the longer actuators move the balance tabs, so they stay parallel to the tailplane. Here are both, CMK and kit’s elevators, it will be decided which ones to use once they are painted.





The actuator rods are made from stretched sprue, the arms of the tabs from photo-etch fret leftovers, a drop of Gator glue simulate the joint. The rudder and trim tab got a similar treatment.



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Moving forward to the fuselage, the central section along with the wing root is going to receive a lot of attention; the original plan was to add detail to the main wheel wells from scratch, ultimately decided to use the ones from Aires, here is the preparation to fit them in the kit.






Testing the fit of the parts, the left well match nicely but the one of the right not, I tried to fix it by bending it using hot water until I break it without even getting close to make it fit.




A new set was ordered, and while it arrived the build moved to the exhaust area mainly the one where the exhaust pipes go through the fuselage; after thinking for a while finally decided that the best way to replicate it was gluing a bit chunk of plastic and carve the passage of the pipes.




Once the new Aires set arrived, I discovered that the fit was a little better but not as good as the left side. The problem is that if the rear section of the well is aligned, then the front area is misaligned, not by much, but the base for the gear is way off center, and this could be a potential problem later on. 


In the end, I think that the best solution was to remove the front area to align it independently, in the picture you can see the part together with the one from the set I broke early, will see which one fits better.




Another feature worth of improving is the cooling vent under the fuselage (or whatever it is), in the real thing there is a folding mechanism that Tamiya omitted so, I took care of it with some plastic card; the ribbing detail inside the vent was carved directly over the kit’s part.




Evergreen's 2 mm plastic rod was used to replicate the exhaust tubes, I didn´t procure a firm attaching point for them, so I predict a headache in the future.




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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Hello again and thank you all for your kind comments, really appreciate them.


Slow progress those past weeks.


The reasons for separating the flaps was to detail the notch that exposes the actuator linkage and to better represent them as a separate part without depending on washes.




While looking for reference pics of the linkage, I also found that the actuators for the aileron’s trim and balance tabs have interesting details. Here is my attempt at it.




Let’s say the details are inspired on the real thing rather than being an accurate representation.


Source of frustration and time lost were the resin wells, every time I manipulate the wing's center section to dry fit other pieces, they just pop out, glued them back just to came loose time after; this happened several times until I tried something I saw in the forums, mixing acrylic nail powder and super glue.






So far the joint is still firmly in place, this mix also worked great to attach photoetched parts and as a filler.




The first time I knew of this technique with was in Paul Budzik's youtube channel, the idea of using acrylic nail powder came from the forums. To me is similar to using epoxy resin but without the exothermic reaction that can harm the plastic.



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   Your build is just taking on a life of it's own. I've never seen a Corsair build come close to this amount and type of intricate detailing. Truly amazing.   Looking forward to your next update.


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  • 8 months later...

Hello all


First, thank you Mr. Happy, Joel and Peter for your kind comments


A long time has passed, life became exciting for me since the last update but here is a small one.


Tamiya’s attachment points for the flaps are meant to be sturdy but doesn’t resemble even remotely what the real ones are. To make a more close representation some work is needed, the curved nature of the Corsair wing just add a level of difficulty to this task.

The inaccurate tabs of the flaps were removed. Also, some detailing was added to the sides using plastic card or by merely carving the original parts.




You can see the reworked parts alongside the original ones, note that the trailing edge corners have been repaired, but they will be shaped at the end of the build to avoid further damage.

One concern is how to maintain the extended flaps firmly in place using only the original attachments points. For this, I’ll take advantage of all the connections on the real plane even if they are not intended as such, for example, there is a rod connected to the leading edge of the flap that operates the mechanism for the flap doors at the bottom of the wing.




The little white rods you can see protruding from the flaps are an experiment to make a sturdy attachment point, it consisted of a metal wire inside a plastic tube from evergreen, a simply used the stretched sprue technique to shrink the tube around the wire. In theory this will make a flexible but robust attachment point that could be secured using regular plastic glue, right now it seems to be working since the flaps can be dry fitted securely in place.


There is a blank space on the fuselage where the inner flap aligns, this was closed using plastic card; in the real plane, there is an arm on the flap that goes inside the fuselage through an opening, since I’ll use all the attachment points available, this will be represented too.


Here you can see the first attempt at such detail, but during test fitting, the flap doesn’t align correctly with it, I realized that the opening need to be a little more to the bottom.




At the back of the wing you can see the kit’s attachment points covered with plastic strips, the separation lines between the flaps covers were filled and re-scribed at the correct angle, holes to attach the flaps were drilled where the hinges would be.


Another characteristic that needs attention are the intakes on the wing, Tamiya part is fine but it could be better since they are an interesting feature on the real plane. Before cutting anything I make sure I could improve this part, first I build the section of intake vanes for both sides, the one on the left is only dry fitted; for the round oil filter I’ll use photoetched mesh that is close enough in shape.




This is all for now, thank you for looking and, as always, comments and critiques are welcomed



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  • 4 weeks later...

Thank you John for your kind comment


Hello all, Just a small update


Before going ahead with the rest of the wings I want to solve the attachment points of the flaps; since the original fixing points were removed is critical to figure out how they will be secured, just in case some work inside the wings is needed before closing them.


The inner flap (next to the fuselage) proved to be challenging, if it was aligned parallel to the wing then the hinge arm that connects with the fuselage doesn’t match the place where references show it should be.


Only after examining several pictures from different angles it seemed to me that the flap it’s not parallel to the wing when extended, it sits lower and further back on the fuselage’s side.

Here are the pictures of the dry fitted flaps to test this arrangement, it’s not 100% accurate but now I can move forward with the build.












As always, comments and critiques are welcomed



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Hola Carlos,


Looks like you have quite the challenging build in front of you! However, you're doing a great job with all the modifications you're incorporating and the execution. Good luck with the rest of the build and I'm sure it will be a beauty when finished.







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  • 1 month later...

Thank you Elmo, Ramon, and 11bee for your encouraging words


Hello again, a small update and a request for help.


Going on with more work on the wings, the machine guns tubes are represented on the kit  as empty holes on the wing’s leading edge; to improve this detail first thought of putting plastic tubes between the leading edge and a pair of styrene pieces glued in place to provide both, a place to rest the tubes on and to keep them aligned. A notch was carved inside the edge so the tube ends could be flat.





After some more thinking it seems a better idea to close the wing and widen the holes to insert the tubes all the way through, it would be easier to clean up and will maintain the front perfectly round on the inside, let’s hope it works.


Another detail worth improving are the windows for the gun cameras (or whatever they are), they are represented only as an engraved detail but I don’t think they will look good only by painting them silver; the detail was removed and a piece of clear sprue was glued in instead.




Under the right wing, the three navigation lights are represented with a dome form but on the real bird they are flat to the surface so they were drilled out, I don’t decide how they will be detailed, either using clear styrene or some kind of clear filler. The formation lights on top of the wings will receive the same treatment.




Back to the flaps, The closure plates, between the inboard and outboard flaps, were removed, a new one was made from styrene sheet, this would provide a closer representation and also help to add rigidity to the group.




Now a request for help; I need to find information about what’s inside the gun cameras windows (or whatever they are), in some pictures they appear to be something like a square lens and in others could be landing lights; the left and right windows aren’t symmetrical so I suppose the interior is different. Also, I would like to know how the spent shells chutes are, what you can see if looking directly into them? because in the kit they are only empty holes. 


I’m sure you are thinking it doesn’t matter in this scale but, you know…... AMS.


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Only one of the windows (starboard wing) was for the gun camera, the port wing window housed the approach light, a contraption used to this day to help pilots and LSO's get their birds back on a carrier deck safe and sound. You can read more about the approach light at the link below, article includes a photo of said light inside its housing.




Here's some more info re: both the gun camera and the approach light, including photos and blueprints:




It's important to note that the gun camera port was installed right on the leading edge, whereas the approach light port was slightly below it, so the LSO could see it clearly from the carrier's deck. Also, make sure you remember to include the stall strip just outboard of the guns on the starboard wing. 


All that being said, SPECTACULAR work on your F4U, really inspiring stuff. Clean and precise, a real joy to watch, big ups Carlos!



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Here's some photos of the shell ejector chutes, not much going on so if you're not going to open up the gun bays (sans .50 cals) you can just box in each chute individually and call it a day.






Hope that helps!

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Hello TAG

Many thanks for that, very helpful indeed (interesting also), somehow that information was eluding me while searching for references.

Regarding the stall strip, I’m dubious if the plane I’m depicting has it or not (it would be the one on the kit box), for what I’m reading it was included for the carrier-based corsairs not necessarily for the land-based ones but I will include it.


Thank you again



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You are more than welcome, Carlos!


Re: the stall strip on land-based Corsairs, it was factory installed starting with the F4U-1A (which I believe is the plane you're modeling) and included in all subsequent variants throughout the course of its production run. The strips were also retrofitted in the field to older birds that were still in combat operations. If you look closely, you'll notice the stall strip on Marine and RNZAF land-based Corsairs, including -1D's. Here's a few examples.





And in this last one you can just make out the stall strip at the far left of the photo, slightly outboard of the gun ports.



Keep up the good work, can't wait to see more!






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