Tamiya 1/32 F4U-1A Corsair

By Kirby Siemering

Here is my build of Tamiya's gorgeous Corsair F4U-1A I did a while back (I know, another one! But it is such a beautiful kit). The subject is Greg "Pappy" Boyington's 833 from the famous Black Sheep squadron VMF-214 based on Vella Lavella in late 1943. The kit was a pleasure to build with excellent engineering from Tamiya and plenty of detail to play with.

As such, aftermarket was kept to a minimum only using Barracuda cockpit stencils and placards and Montex canopy and insignia masks. I scratchbuilt some additional engine detail, the cowl flap pulley system, and wheel well plumbing. Scratchbuilding the cowl flap pulley system in particular sent me a bit nuts and, given my time again, would probably just stump up for the Vector replacement set.

The copper wire added to the engine conveniently matched the colour of the ignition wire conduits on the reference I was working from. Just needed to flat coat them afterwards (although still a bit shiny under the photographic light). The small drainage pipe from the crank case to the sump was a PITA!

Paint was mainly Gunze and Tamiya acrylics, weathering with hairspray chipping, salt fading, and oils. Chipping on the wings was double layer hairspray using aluminium and zinc chromate primer colours. A trick was to use Tamiya Flat Aluminium as the base rather than a shiny metalizer and thin hairspray layers which gave the top coat some grip resulting in smaller and more controllable chips.

© Kirby Siemering 2021

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This article was published on Friday, January 15 2021; Last modified on Friday, January 15 2021