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TopDrawings 73 – Chance Vought F4U Corsair A, C, D, P Mk.I-IV (9788366148215)

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TopDrawings 73 – Chance Vought F4U Corsair A, C, D, P Mk.I-IV (9788366148215)

Kagero Publishing via Casemate UK




The distinctive Gull Wing design of the Corsair made it one of the stand-out fighters of the Pacific theatre, helped greatly by the fact that it was also an excellent aircraft.  With its Twin Wasp engine and massive propeller, which required the gull-wing design so that it was less likely to strike the deck on take-off and landing, it was fast, manoeuvrable and carried sufficient armour and armament to give a good account of itself against the Japanese Zero, a goal in which it was aided by the dwindling pool of experienced pilots available to Japan toward the end of WWII.  Initially fitted with a "bird cage" canopy with limited visibility, it was later given a better blown hood, which coupled with an 18cm increase in the height of the pilot's seat and a 15cm lengthening of the tail wheel strut, gave the pilot better visibility both in the air and on the deck, which when taxiing around with a 13'4" prop was pretty important to the deck crews.


We have kits in just about every scale from 1:350 upwards, with most major manufacturers getting in on the act, as other people's Corsairs don't make money for them, and it's a popular subject.  The TopDrawings series majors on scale plans, which is the primary thrust, but also includes a little background information, some pertinent profiles, and often a bonus of decals or masks targeted at the subject matter in hand.  With this edition, you get a handsome A4 glossy print of a pair of US Navy Corsairs carrying out a rocket attack on some poor unfortunates, which was last seen on the cover of their Monographs #56.




The book is written in English on the left of the page, with polish on the right, which translates to top and bottom for the captions to the various drawings within.  The book itself is bound in a card cover and has 20 pages, and the rear cover devoted to additional profiles of two F4U-1Ds and a loose A3 sheet printed on both sides with overhead plans of the -1C and -1D airframes on one side and the British Mk.I and Mk.IV on the other.  The first half of the plans show the variants from the -1C, -1D and the British Mk.I.  After this the colour profiles of a -1D, Mk.II and a -4 are printed on four pages in colour, augmented by the aforementioned two on the rear cover.  After the break there is another set of plans of the Mk.II, Mk.III and Mk.IV, with some head/tail-on plans into the bargain.  The final three pages show side profiles with the changes between the variants visible, showing just how ungainly the bird cage canopy really was. Throughout the book, there are a number of smaller diagrams that show the two types of rocket the Corsair typically carried and prop profiles.








These books are essential for the modeller that enjoys comparing their models against scale plans, and wants them to be as accurate as possible, with the print a nice bonus that has drama and poignancy at the same time - I've already put it up in my workshop as it happens.

Highly recommended.




Review sample courtesy of


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Just a FYI (not to take away from Mike's Review) for Modellers contemplating

RNZAF aircraft:


The overall Silver/Aluminium F4U-1D Corsair NZ5531 at top of page, never wore those Roundels types

depicted (Pre- WWII NZPAF/RNZAF), rather Post WWII, it wore Type C/C.1  Roundels on fuselage.

Wing Roundels were "RNZAF Post War" Roundels (sort of an early D type Roundel) as found on RNZAF

FG-1D's in Japan as shown by Ventura Decals -  See links below




Ventura Post WWII RNZAF Roundels on FG-1D in Japan


Profile Depiction of RNZAF F4U-1D Corsair NZ5462.

RNZAF Corsairs in Pacific Theatre never wore arrestor hooks, they were removed

upon delivery to RNZAF SU's (Servicing Units) who "owned" the aircraft, prior to operational

use by RNZAF Squadrons.





Edited by LDSModeller

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Having read the review, I decided to give this book a go as the FAA Corsair is something I am very into. I have built up a large photograph collection of original photos and I would say that I have a good level of knowledge regarding this aircraft in FAA service.


This book is not just lazy but incredibly remiss of anything regarding FAA Corsairs. The profiles merely show clipped wings. There are no vents shown underside or fuselage sides, incorrect cowl flaps, incorrect aerial and mast configurations, no fuel tank caps on wings, the step is still shown in the flaps, skinny wheels, incorrect tail wheel doors, incorrect rocket rails, no British Rockets, incorrect designations for British Aircraft, only one type of wing clipping, no British PR Corsairs, etc etc.


Basically they have copy and pasted the US Corsairs, clipped the wings and called it an FAA Corsair. If you are looking for a reference for a British Corsair, this is not it. Not even close.



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