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Chance Vought F4U-5N Corsair, Early version. 1:48

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Chance Vought F4U-5N Corsair, Early version

Hobbyboss 1:48


A 1945 design modification of the F4U-4, first flown on 21 December 1945, was intended to increase the F4U-4 Corsair's overall performance and incorporate many Corsair pilots' suggestions. It featured a more powerful Pratt and Whitney R-2800-32(E) engine with a two-stage supercharger, rated at a maximum of 2,850 hp (2,130 kW). Other improvements included automatic blower controls, cowl flaps, intercooler doors and oil cooler for the engine, spring tabs for the elevators and rudder, a completely modernized cockpit, a completely retractable tail wheel, and heated cannon bays and pitot head. The cowling was lowered two degrees to help with forward visibility, but perhaps most striking as the first variant to feature all-metal wings, a total of 223 were produced. The F4U-5N was a radar equipped variant with the radar housed in a pod mounted under the port wing, between the cannon bay and the wing tip. A total of 214 were produced and proved very successful in combating the low and slow night intruders used by the Communist forces in Korea, which the US jet powered night fighters found troublesome to intercept. Originally pitted against night flying Yak 9’s early in the war, they couldn’t cope against the Mig jet fighters.

The Model
Continuing their release schedule with the different variants of F4U Corsairs, Hobbyboss have now released the F4U-5N. The top opening box has a nice artistic impression of the aircraft in flight whilst inside there are nine sprues of medium grey styrene, two separately moulded parts, one sprue of clear styrene and a decal sheet. All the parts are very nicely moulded with fine panel lines and rivet detail throughout. There’s no sign of flash or other imperfections and only a few moulding pips, but what there are, are on some of the finer parts, so care will need to be taken when removing them and cleaning up. The one thing that jumps out on you is the wings. The 5N had all metal wings but, unfortunately Hobbyboss have included the original fabric covered outer wing panels used on their earlier marks. This is a great shame and shows the sort of laziness that has plagued the Hobbyboss brand, certainly with their aircraft kits. Fortunately the styrene looks thick enough for the modeller to sand the “ribs” down to make a nice flat surface. Of course some research will be required to add any panels that were fitted.



Apart from the wing style problem this kit, as with most of their aircraft kits, should go together fairly easily. It’s not a complicated build, but there are areas that quite a bit of detail, particularly the engine, where the parts are quite fragile and fiddly. Naturally as with most aircraft builds, construction begins with the cockpit, and the fitting of the two side consoles and two piece seat to the floor. The rudder pedals are glued to the back of the instrument panel, for which a decal is provided, even though the IP has dimples where the instruments are mounted, a good panel to use those Airscale instruments and bezels you’ve promised to use one day. The panel is then fitted to the top of the console ends, whilst the front bulkhead, with separate compass attached is glued to the front of the floor and the rear bulkhead with separate headrest attached is glued to the rear. The joystick and control wires are glued to an under floor section, which is glued into position with the joystick passing through the hole in the cockpit floor.



The engine is a model on its own, with the two cylinder banks moulded as single items which are then joined together and fitted with the single piece inlet manifold complete with the myriad of pipes. The exhausts are next and care should be taken to get the right parts in the right place as it’s crucial to get them exhausting out of the right places. The two piece crank case is fitted with the two magnetos and with the propshaft pushed through it from behind, glued to the front of the engine along with the pushrod ring. The accessory gear box is made up form three parts and glued to the rear of the engine.



The wings are designed such that the modeller has a choice of whether to pose them folded or spread. The choice is pretty much made with the assembly of the wing centre section which includes the lower fuselage and gull wing sections. The two radiator baths are glued to the single piece bottom wing section along with the folding point ribs, before the two upper wing sections are attached. The leading radiator intakes are then fitted with their grilles before being glued onto the wing. The fold points are detailed with three piece fold mechanisms and two piece spars. When posing the wings extended you won’t need to add the mechanisms and you use the straight spar part instead to the bent part. Unfortunately the flaps, although separate have been moulded in such a way that they cannot be posed drooped, although I’m sure with a bit of modelling it can be done should you wish.



The seven piece tailwheel/hook assembly is now built up and along with the tail hook has the option of being built extended or lowered, do ensure that the correct parts are used for the option you wish to build. The tailwheel, cockpit, and engine assemblies are now fitted to one half of the fuselage, along with the cockpit sidewalls and tailwheel bay structure, which is made up from five parts. The fuselage is then closed up and the centre wing assembly glued into position, as is the engine cowl flap section and cowling. Just behind the cockpit, on either side, two panels are attached, whilst in the cockpit the two part gun sight is fitted. The horizontal tailplanes are each single piece parts, to which the elevators and control rods are fitted.



The elevators and rudder appear to have the same problem as the outer wing panels, in that they are shown to have a fabric covering. As with the wings, the 5N also had metal control surfaces with the possible exception of the elevator trim tabs, which from historical photographs look like they still had a fabric covering. Bearing that in mind, and the extra work involved in correcting the problem, it’s probably best to do so before fitting to the fuselage. Once the outer wings have been rectified you will need to open up the flashed over holes for the cartridge ejectors and rocket stubs, although I’m not sure if these were always fitted to the 5N, just the standard 5’s. Another oddity is the fact that Hobbyboss have provided all the cannon bay access doors as separate items, and yet haven’t provided detailed cannon bays. So you might want to glue all the doors into position before adding the lower halve of the wing to ensure getting a flush fit. With the wing halves joined together the fold joint rib is fitted, along with the cannon muzzles and separate ailerons and outer flaps.


The outer wings can now be fitted to the inner wings and in whatever position you have chosen. The windscreen, canopy and fin/rudder are also fitted at this point in the instructions. The main undercarriage assemblies are now built up. Each assembly consists of the main oleo, scissor link, retraction actuator legs front mounted door and two piece wheels. The completed undercarriage assemblies are then fitted into their respective bays along with the main and tailwheel bay doors. The two piece radar pod, single piece four bladed propeller, propeller hub, three aerial masts and two exhaust deflector strips are attached. Finally the two, two piece drop tanks are assembled, fitted with what looks like a vent tube, and glued into position via their pylons. The rocket stubs, if fitted are also attached, finishing the build.

There is just a single aircraft option provided on the decal sheet , that of F4U-5N of VC-2, Korea 1953. Although well printed, in register and with good opacity, there’s something not quite right with them. I’ve searched the interweb for corroborating pictures and there seems to be some confusion out there as well. Some photos show the aircraft with white codes whilst others show the aircraft as having green codes, and Stars and Bars, even the box art seems to show everything in white. I can see why they would have been green since they were painted on a night fighter so maybe Hobbyboss have them right. They certainly look slightly odd, particularly due not being used to seeing them that colour.


Well, what can I say here that I haven’t already said in the review? It’s a great looking model, which will probably be a nice quick and fairly pain free build, but only if you ignore the fabric effect on the outer wings, rudder and elevators. If you can’t ignore that stuff, then it’s time for the sanding sticks, maybe some filler and a scribing tool, to get to something that resembles like the real thing. It’s entirely up to you. Recommended.


Review sample courtesy of

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Most, if not all kit makers & decal companies who attempt this scheme, do the same thing & produce decals like this (although usually in a very light blue, greens a new one to me). The scheme they are attempting to reproduce is that of the a/c of Lt. Guy P. Bordelon of VC 3 which, owing to its nightfighter role, had its markings lightly oversprayed with the standard sea blue to tone them down thus producing the light blue effect.

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Those wings are a deal breaker for this Bent Wing Bird Fan :(

Also i'm not convinced they got the fuselage length right either

FWIW....All the VC-3 F4U's used at Kimpo had oversprayed markings


Bordelon's -5N was no different


Shame she didn't survive the war.




Edited by mungo1974
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