Jump to content

Recommended Posts



Here is the next project, I've started it to give a break from the monotony while working on two Mustangs at the same time. I'll be doing a F4U-1D as depicted on the box, flying from Bunker Hill in Feb 1945 on the mainland Japan air strikes.




First up is the rear canopy bulkhead. The kit seat just sits on these large plastic box, where the real one was suspended from a framework. So I've started by removing the large mounting block and sanding everything flush.




I filled the gaps left by a mix of CA + talc




Here are the miscellaneous cockpit pieces ready for paint




Here are my options for the seat; I was not skilled enough to perfectly bend the PE seat that comes with the Eduard detail set, so instead I'm going to cut the mounting frames off the Ultracast resin seat and use that instead.




Here I installed the seat mounting frame that comes with the Eduard PE set.




Here are the two major subassemblies after the addition of some paint and the first PE details.




I know that late-on after Vought switched to F4U-4 production, they started painting the upper cockpit sidewalls black, but as this aircraft was probably built around November/December 1944 or so and this is still a Vought-build airframe going by the serial number, I'll leave the entire sidewall interior green.


Also, does anyone have any pointers on wheel bay colors? Most of the online discussion I can find is for early birdcage Corsairs. The best I've been able to gather that for the overall-GSB F4U-1D, the wheel bays and gear door interiors were painted with leftover paint, usually the same exterior GSB, while the wheel legs/struts themselves were an aluminum lacquer. I am planning to paint both the wing and tail gear bays glossy sea blue unless anyone else has some better evidence.


Thanks for reading and your assistance with research.


Edited by MeneMene
  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think F4U-1D's would have had wheel bays and the interior surfaces of the gear doors in specular sea blue; I usually mix a very small amount of clear flat with the paint I use for these areas so they are not as shiny as the surrounding exterior surfaces- I think this gives a more realistic appearance. I would strongly suggest your getting or at least looking at the Warship Pictorials number 7 and 8 by Dana Bell, which cover the birdcage and F4U-1 variants in detail, including all interior and exterior colors. Especially worth having if you plan to build any of those variants. I am not affiliated with @Dana Bell, nor do I receive any compensation for mentioning his publications- I'm just a satisfied reader as well as a modeler who appreciates his answering our Corsair and other aircraft questions here on BM. Good luck with your model!


  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Completed some more work on the cockpit




Test-fit looks good, once I apply a matte coat and add some final details I'll close up the fuselage.




Next up is the engine cowling. Here are the two Vector resin parts prior to removal from the casting blocks. I will need to saw off the front cowling ring and replace it.




For the color of the cowling interior of a F4U-1D, would you recommend yellow zinc chromate, or specular sea blue like the rest of the landing gear bays?

Edited by MeneMene
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Some better shots of the interior before closing everything up:







Joined together:



For the ribbing on the interior of the cowling, I printed an alignment guide and then attached the pieces without too much difficulty.




The look of the cowling is now much improved. The size didn't quite line up for me so I built up the edge of the cowling with milliput and tamiya putty to match. There's still a little work to do to smooth everything out but for now it is adequate. Again, I will happily accept any advice on what color to paint the cowling and cowl flap interiors. I've seen pictures of an aircraft with interior green, but I don't know if the aircraft had been restored or anything else about it's providence. I've heard some sources say it was painted in a similar fashion to the wheel wells. Right now my choices are yellow ZC and the same sea blue I used in the wheel bays, recommendations are appreciated.




I also started some work on the Vector resin engine. Here you can see an alignment comparison between the kit engine and the resin core- it looks like it should be easy enough to shorten the resin piece to make it match the kit engine in how far it protrudes forward.




I got to work with some sandpaper:




And in the ended up ended up with a resin piece of the proper length with a perpendicular join. I'm still working out a mechanism for getting this piece on dead center of the engine plate and with the correct rotational alignment, and then i'll remove the post the kit uses to mount the engine.



  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/20/2020 at 12:17 PM, 72modeler said:

See the link- this should answer your cowling interior query.




Thanks for the reply. From the linked article:



In October 1944 the new factory instructions for the F4U production called for application of Interior Green on all internal surfaces including the cockpit. As an anti-glare measure, all cockpit panels above the lower edge of the instrument panel were to be painted matt black. Curiously, the new directive did not explicitly state what was to happen with the cowling’s inner surface. Thus, subsequent machines showed either Zinc Chromate or Interior Green cowlings, until the last standardisation of colour post-war whereupon black was introduced in this area.


How much to believe though? I've found lots of conflicting information. From what I understand, the switch to the black cockpit sides started when Vought started producing the F4U-4, so applies mostly to the Goodyear FG1-D's made after that time. Other things I've found definitively say that the only interior green on the aircraft was found in the cockpit, and other primed surfaces would be yellow zinc chromate, and that the Cowls, like the wheel wells, were painted in "leftover paint". So from this it would seem that Sea Blue would be in order for the cowling interior. Long story short, I'm still not sure.

Link to post
Share on other sites



It's the sad lot we have as modelers when trying to be accurate in the colors applied to the interior and exteriors of our builds....directives were not always followed, and then not always in a timely manner; substitutions undoubtedly took place due to  supply issues; there were always exceptions the "the rules," and then there was re-painting after damage/repairs in the field with whatever paints and/or spray equipment was at hand. Then there's the sad truth that you really can't use very many restored aircraft as a color reference, and many of the documents and records for painting interiors and exteriors and/or changes in directives that were issued are not available.


In my modeling, I try to research as much as I can and compare the  information from those sources, and ask for  advice and references from other modelers whose knowledge and expertise I have come to respect, but the bottom line is you do the best you can with the information you have available to you. I have seen a lot of restored and airworthy Corsairs in my time, including the USN and Air and Space Museums, and the colors used for the cowlings, wheel bays, and cockpit interiors is all over the map!


You do what you feel is the correct finish, and until a former  Corsair crew chief, maintenance crewman, and/or Vought/Goodyear/Brewster plant worker sees your model and says otherwise, then I say who's gonna know? (Having said that, I did have a former Korean War Sabre crew chief nail the colors I used for the ammo access bins and doors on a 52st FIW F-86F I did a long time ago at a contest!)


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got the fuselage together without much difficulty




As well as the wing center section:




The rear of the gear bays had a large gap between the bulkhead and the skin, so I filled the area with milliput and sanded smooth




Preliminary detailing of the wheel wells with some wire, more to go but this is a start




I also drilled out the opaque formation and recognition lights on the wings and filled them with krystal klear




Here are the lights with tamiya clear paints on top



  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Even more of the landing gear plumbing done. Just need to add the cables to the door actuators like this on the other side and I'll be finished and ready to move on.




Either going to do the outer wings/gun areas next, or keep working on landing gear.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

After wrapping up the gear bay, I got to work on the wing guns.


I got a set of two Master brass P-51D guns for my two Mustang builds, but concluded that those kits did not need them.


I took six of the recessed gun mounts from these sets, and after slightly drilling out the openings on the Corsair wind leading edge, glued them in place with thick CA. This lets me use those two sets I got, plus I still have four leftover guns for a future P-51B or something like that.




I then mounted the outer wing sections in place. The mechanism Tamiya provides, a pin sliding into a corresponding hole, didn't line up at all. I triple checked that I had used all the right bulkhead pieces, so I have no idea why it didn't fit. Instead, I just cut the pin off, and glued the wings in place after carefully lining them up. Some small areas needed a touch of filler but otherwise the fit was good.









  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Got the flaps installed. I had an Ultracase resin set, but either because of it or the way I built the wings, the fit was poor. Instead, I opted to use the kit parts for the inner flaps (filling the wing step which only appeared on later aircraft) and build my own covers from plastic sheet, and use the resin flaps for the more complicated outer sections.


I still needed to add some shims to lengthen the resin flaps so that they would fit up against the inner parts.




I added the covers on the underside from some thin plastic card.




Added the actuator wire to the inner cowl flaps




Also busied up the landing gear with photoetch parts





  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Continuing work, filled in the wingtip lights with a block of clear sprue before sanding and polishing it to shape.



I also cut out the recesses for the landing light and gun camera on the wing leading edges, and plan to fill this with a transparent material later.



This landing light in the wing was only present on earlier Corsair models and needs to be filled. The problem is maintaining the molded fabric texture.



I started by filling it with milliput and mr surfacer



I then laid down some tape to form a channel, and then heavily applying Mr Surfacer in the gap inbetween before removing the tape. This left a raised section of Mr Surfacer with straight edges, and I also sanded down the sides to blend it in a bit.



I filled the leading edge cutouts I made with acrylic gel.



Once dried and sanded smooth and polished, it looked reasonably transparent with a final brush-applied coat of gloss varnish on top.


  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

TIme to work on the engine:


It's a resin replacement from Vector, Here are the parts I'll be using. I won't include the exhaust stubs on the back of the cylinders as they won't be visible.



After initial painting and assembling, I inserted wires for the ignition harness.



Final result:




Here it is assembled in the cowling:



Here is the kit's Mk VIII gunsight, and the armored glass that also served as the surface for the gunsight reflection:




Primed in gloss black, ready to go:



To make the mask placement/alignment easier, I elected to spray the white first for the Bunker Hill carrier markings, and then paint the sea blue around that.


Ready for further painting:



For the tail hook, it seems like most of the postwar corsairs have a striped hook in black and white. I'm having trouble getting good photographs of wartime aircraft. Should I leave the tail hook as it is, or should I repaint it silver? This will be an F4U-1D in the spring of 1945.





  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...