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FAA F4u-1a Corsair, questions, questions ,questions ...


Gordon Parker
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As I, in my usual buzzard like fashion, circle closer and closer to beginning my 1/32 Tamiya Corsair, some questions remain and I would appreciate your thoughts on any of this.

I have decided on Don Sheppard's JT410 and will use EagleCals EC#163 as is my usual want, I am always looking for that Canadian connection.

Some models I have seen depict JT410's fuselage roundels as overpainted with one of the fusleage colours, I assume to cut down on the sheer size of the thing.  Again, photos are inconclusive.

Smooth or Diamond tread? I have read in several places that diamond block tread patterns was the norm for US Corsairs. However, photos I have scrutinized of FAA Corsairs are either inconclusive or have me leaning towards smooth tread. Is this an RAF/FAA preference?

http://silverhawkauthor.com/canadian-warplanes-3-chance-vought-f4u-corsair-and-goodyear-fg1d-corsair_1010.html

scroll down a bit to the  Corsair MkI.  and then down to a photo of a Corsair from 1831 sqd which looks like it shows an a/c with grooved tires!  There are several photos on this  page which lead me to my preliminary conclusions/guesses/assumptions/willingness to throw blindfolded at the dart board.

Interior colours seem to be a pretty hot topic. I found Tom Cleaver's article on Modelling Madness well reasoned and consistent with photos I have found:

https://modelingmadness.com/review/allies/us/cleaverkep.htm

I found his argument very well reasoned and suggests to me that it could be ... a variety of colours but definitely not a pink tail wheel bay.

OK it's salmon but c'mon, pink is pink.

This is a link an image of a FAA Corsair which shows cl,eary not white main gear doors.  The image is on https://www.asisbiz.com/il2/Corsair/RN1836.html

Flight suit; Photos I have found online look like the FAA pilots used the US style flight suits and Mae Wests, not being an expert on uniforms any advice would be helpful. Would the FAA have used RAF style helmets or US navy types?

Cowling colours? who the hell knows, I will likely follow the advice of IPMS stockholm and Tamiya and just make it dirty and hard to see.

Any thoughts, comments, advice, mild badgering will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Gord

 

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Roundel size probably has to do with a timeline of events.   Initially the red centers and yellow fuselage ring were painted out as the Corsairs were delivered with European Theater roundels.   The aircraft probably only sported two code letters like so:

 

cory.jpg

 

 

untitled2-jpg.336075

 

As seen in the photo caption, by late January 1945, they probably had the proper painted three codes.  It could be at this time the roundels were repainted to be of smaller dimensions.   Something like this,  though the is from an escort carrier in May 1945 (according to Asisbiz web page):

 

episode2_3_45-jpg.336099

 

regards,

Jack

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Gordon Parker said:

Any thoughts, comments, advice,

OK, if he's sees this @Dana Bell  would be able to help, his tow book on the F4U-1 Corsair are pretty much essential.  Tom Cleaver does write some good stuff, but some of it is wrong.  Always worth double checking.

Sometimes interior colors can be helped by giving the serial number, as there are some known changeover points.

 

For roundels, @iang  would be a very good chap to ask.  

 

@Grey Beema is a FAA buff, and maybe able to add some more info.  If I can think of anyone else, I'll add a notification.

 

HTH

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Hallo

Please check special FAA requirements! There are some different specificatons from US aircraft. Wings shortend and some other detail! I can search for it, it takes me one day.

Happy modelling 

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The Sovereign Hobbies web site has really good information on the colours (internal and external) for Corsairs so worth checking out.

 

Can't seem to paste the link but their web site is quite straightforward to find.

 

Regards

Colin.

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1 hour ago, fishplanebeer said:

The Sovereign Hobbies web site has really good information on the colours (internal and external) for Corsairs so worth checking out.

 

Can't seem to paste the link but their web site is quite straightforward to find.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

Is this the link you were trying to paste, Colin?

 

https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/collections/colourcoats-sea-british?usf_take=56

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Thanks Jack I think that has sorted out the roundel iussue for me. 

And Troy I did include the serial number. It is JT 410. Thanks very much for adding links to the experts.

Still unclear as to flight suit, tyres and interior colours.

and Dov, is there a place I can check out FAA requirements?

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The link on the Sovereign site I'm referring to is the one under 'Colour Schemes' as this has details of the interior colours of USN and USMC aircraft such as the Corsair and I'm assuming/presuming that they would have been the same on the aircraft delivered to the FAA.

 

Regards

Colin.

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26 minutes ago, fishplanebeer said:

The link on the Sovereign site I'm referring to is the one under 'Colour Schemes' as this has details of the interior colours of USN and USMC aircraft such as the Corsair and I'm assuming/presuming that they would have been the same on the aircraft delivered to the FAA.

 

Regards

Colin.

 

This one then: https://www.sovereignhobbies.co.uk/pages/us-navy-usmc-aircraft-colours-around-ww2. Scroll down for Corsair colours.

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One of the few photos I know of 1836 Squadron in the Far East.   Note that by September,  a couple Corsairs are already sporting smaller roundel.

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs WITH THE ESCORT CARRIER HMS VICTORIOUS DURING THE SIGLI RAID. 18 SEPTEMBER 1944, INDIAN OCEAN, DURING THE CARRIER-BORNE AIR ATTACK AGAINST THE JAPANESE REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE CENTRE AT SIGLI, SUMATRA.. © IWM (A 25753) IWM Non Commercial License

 

An often quoted dimension is from a Sam article by Geoff Thomas stating 16" with 6" centres for small aircraft

 

From VintageWings article:

http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/471/Navy-Blue-Fighter-Pilot-Episode-Two.aspx

Screenshot-2021-09-06-at-21-01-01-Navy-B

 

I think roundel style for modelling Sheppard's mount depends what you want to depict.  Early career would be as the above image, but during his success in the air is more likely the smallest size. 

 

regards,

Jack

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Hi Gordon,

 

Corsair II serial JT410 was the Vought-built Corsair #1924; it was delivered with standard US Navy wingtips which were almost certainly replaced with "short" British wingtips in service.  The first Corsair delivered from the Vought factory with short wingtips was JT425 (construction number 2545).

 

A May 1944 change order provided kits for "short short" wingtips for all remaining production (which would eventually cover all Corsair IVs) and kits to modify already delivered aircraft.  The short short tips would allow the Corsair to fit the 14-foot hangar decks of the Indominable, Implacable, and Indefatigable.  Although all the FAA Corsairs were expected to switch their short tips for short short tips, the change was really unnecessary for the 16-foot hangar decks of most British carriers.  From most angles, it's difficult to tell which tip is on an FAA Corsair (which is probably why the two different tips have been ignored in most references), so I have no proof that JT410 got the short short refit.

 

Interior colors for JT410 are fairly easy to guess.  Most interior spaces were primed with one (for Alclad) or two coats (for all other alloys) of yellow zinc chromate.  Note the "1st Coat" stamp found inside the FAA Museum's Corsair -- a second coat would have changed the appearance of that marking.  Most of the cockpit would have been sprayed Interior Green, a mix of yellow zinc chromate and black.  Instrument panels and side consoles would have been Instrument Black (and eggshell finish).  

 

NASM's F4U-1D was the 2840th Vought Corsair built.  Its seat, rudder pedals, joy stick, and side of its right-hand console were still painted Dull Dark Green, long after the color was dropped from the rest of the cockpit.  It seems likely use of that color continued at sub-contractors for some time.  This matters because JT410 was delivered well before NASM's example.  (It will also help add to the impression of any model's cockpit!)

 

Vought factory drawings have the following notes:

-- Undersides Sky 71-021 enamel (the US version of that color)

-- Landing gear structure to be Sky 71-021 or USN Light Gray (using up stocks of that older camouflage paint and components already painted for Navy use)

-- Main gear wells to be the same - Sky 71-021 or Light Gray

-- Upper surface camouflage to be Dark Olive Drab 1071-028 and Sea Gray 71-19324

 

I don't see any indication that the undersides might have been one of the USN grays, nor does it appear the FAA would have appreciated the change.

 

Anyhow, hope this helps!

 

Cheers,

 

 

Dana

 

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Thanks Dana, this is a great help and among other things, explains why so many of the b&w contemporary photos of gear bay and doors look to be "not white".

I have read in several places that wartime Corsairs used diamond block tires. However, pictures of FAA Corsairs have been muddying the waters for me. Photos of Corsair I's appear to have smooth tires and F4U-1D's have grooved. None of the photos of Corsair II's that I have found are all the clear but I am leaning towards smooth. Any Thoughts?

Also as regards the flight suits worn; contemporay photos (although not sure if these are from any of the carriers) look like the FAA pilots are wearing US gear, this makes sense as the training was all stateside. I can't see why that wouldn't continue as the American gear looks to be very comfortable and quite natty. I imagine that they would have switched to British flying helmets etc. Any thoughts?

Anyway, many thanks again Dana.

Gord

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3 hours ago, JackG said:

One of the few photos I know of 1836 Squadron in the Far East.   Note that by September,  a couple Corsairs are already sporting smaller roundel.

 

mid_000000.jpg?action=e&cat=Photographs WITH THE ESCORT CARRIER HMS VICTORIOUS DURING THE SIGLI RAID. 18 SEPTEMBER 1944, INDIAN OCEAN, DURING THE CARRIER-BORNE AIR ATTACK AGAINST THE JAPANESE REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE CENTRE AT SIGLI, SUMATRA.. © IWM (A 25753) IWM Non Commercial License

 

An often quoted dimension is from a Sam article by Geoff Thomas stating 16" with 6" centres for small aircraft

 

From VintageWings article:

http://www.vintagewings.ca/VintageNews/Stories/tabid/116/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/471/Navy-Blue-Fighter-Pilot-Episode-Two.aspx

Screenshot-2021-09-06-at-21-01-01-Navy-B

 

I think roundel style for modelling Sheppard's mount depends what you want to depict.  Early career would be as the above image, but during his success in the air is more likely the smallest size. 

 

regards,

Jack

Hi Jack,

Found a good pic of the upper wing roundels which is consistent with the side alterations. I guess I better get some masks that I can then mask.

 

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I just dabble with FAA, I am not nearly as knowledge able as the others @Troy Smith mentions but here is my twopenny worth.

 

As @Dana Bell states the Corsairs would have been delivered in the Vought equivalence scheme of: Upper Surfaces Dark Olive Drab & Dark Sea Grey with Undersides Sky 71-021.

 

And (I believe) British Type ‘B’ (Red / Blue) ‘C’ (Red Narrow White, Blue) underwing and ‘C1’ (Red Narrow White, Blue, Yellow) on the undersurfaces. 

 

When the aircraft were shipped to the British Eastern Fleet and the British Pacific Fleet the roundels would need to be changed (initially to remove the red and yellow then reduced in size and then Roundel and Bars) I am not sure if that would have been done in the Depot or aboard ship.  But I assume that the Squadron and aircraft codes would have bee applied by the receiving squadron on receipt of the aircraft.

 

If you look carefully at the photographs in the Imperial war museum photo collection (see Dogsbody’s post) you can see where the original roundels have been painted out.  I would guess that Dark Olive Drab, Dark Sea Grey and  Sky 71-021 were not colours carried in the FAA Paint lockers and that any modifications to the scheme would have been carried out using Temperate Sea Scheme colours (Dark Slate Grey, Extra Dark Sea Grey and Sky).

 

@JackG did some work around this airframe – Take a look here for his thread.

 

 

You will also need to fit the CO vents on the fuselage too for an FAA machine (you can see one on the fuselage side and one under the fuselage (level with the ’8’ in the photo of JT422 on JackGs post.  Watch out for aerials, masts etc because there seems to be quite a lot of variation..

 

As for equipment it is my understanding that the FAA aircrew trained in the US acquired US style flight suits but, their equipment would have been UK equipment.  I assume that this was because the Oxygen and Radio fit were different in FAA Corsairs.  There is a photo, if you follow Dogsbodys link and browse through, of Corsair Aircrew you can use for reference.  All in US flight suits (or privately acquired) but look at the footwear, shoes, plimsols (?)..

 

Lastly, good luck with your model, I’ll be following as I have a Corsair in the stash (1/48) to build as this aircraft.  I have previously built JT537/P136 another of Don Sheppard’s Corsairs and I am currently building one of Bill Atkinson’s lesser known Hellcats (JW867/W116).

 

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Hallo

 

If anybody wants FAA questions answered: Takes you very much time! It is worth to read it all.

 

https://www.armouredcarriers.com/projects

 

Here is it.

 

Beside this: BOOKS from Erik Brown

Wings On My Sleeve

Wings of the navy: Flying allied carrier aircraft of World War Two

Viewed from the Cockpit...many books

 

—— (1983). Wings of the Weird & Wonderful. 1. Airlife. ISBN 0-906393-30-2.

—— (1985). Wings of the Weird & Wonderful. 2. Airlife. ISBN 0-906393-44-2.

—— (1987). Wings of the Navy: Flying Allied Carrier Aircraft of World War Two. Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-995-5.

—— (1989). Duels in the Sky: World War II Naval Aircraft in Combat. Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-046-3.

—— (2002). Wings of the Luftwaffe. Airlife. ISBN 978-1-85310-413-8.

—— (2006). Wings on my Sleeve. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0-297-84565-2.

 

If you read it, you get a glimpse for aircraft and carrier ops.

 

Nice reading! I read all this books and the LINK above. It took ´me a long time!

 

Happy modelling

 

 

 

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Another detail. This aircraft, like other early F4U-1A's, had all-around cowl flaps like the Birdcage Corsair..  Check your photos.  The top three cowl flaps do not appear to have have battened down or modified with a batten plate similar to the USN aircraft. 

 

Don

 

episode2_3_45-jpg.336099

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5 hours ago, Grey Beema said:


 

 

 

As for equipment it is my understanding that the FAA aircrew trained in the US acquired US style flight suits but, their equipment would have been UK equipment.  I assume that this was because the Oxygen and Radio fit were different in FAA Corsairs.  There is a photo, if you follow Dogsbodys link and browse through, of Corsair Aircrew you can use for reference.  All in US flight suits (or privately acquired) but look at the footwear, shoes, plimsols (?)..

 

Lastly, good luck with your model, I’ll be following as I have a Corsair in the stash (1/48) to build as this aircraft.  I have previously built JT537/P136 another of Don Sheppard’s Corsairs and I am currently building one of Bill Atkinson’s lesser known Hellcats (JW867/W116).

 

Thanks Grey this is very helpful.  

Your thoughts regarding equipment make a lot of sense to me and I will continue down that rabbit hole. As suggested, I have been looking at the IWM photos and there are a couple of excellent photos of FAA aircrew onboard carrier. Definitely a mix of US style flight suits and british equipment. 

Gord

Gord

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11 minutes ago, don f said:

Another detail. This aircraft, like other early F4U-1A's, had all-around cowl flaps like the Birdcage Corsair..  Check your photos.  The top three cowl flaps do not appear to have have battened down or modified with a batten plate similar to the USN aircraft. 

 

Don

 

episode2_3_45-jpg.336099

Thanks Don, I had completely missed that.

Gord

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11 hours ago, Dana Bell said:

 

 

Vought factory drawings have the following notes:

-- Undersides Sky 71-021 enamel (the US version of that color)

-- Landing gear structure to be Sky 71-021 or USN Light Gray (using up stocks of that older camouflage paint and components already painted for Navy use)

-- Main gear wells to be the same - Sky 71-021 or Light Gray

-- Upper surface camouflage to be Dark Olive Drab 1071-028 and Sea Gray 71-19324

I don't see any indication that the undersides might have been one of the USN grays, nor does it appear the FAA would have appreciated the change.

Anyhow, hope this helps!

Cheers,

Dana

Hi Dana, one firther question,  do you have the FS numbers for the above colours?

Cheers,

Gord

 

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19 hours ago, JackG said:

Roundel size probably has to do with a timeline of events.   Initially the red centers and yellow fuselage ring were painted out as the Corsairs were delivered with European Theater roundels.   The aircraft probably only sported two code letters like so:

regards,

Jack

Hi Jack,

So you have been down this particular path before. I just discovered your earlier posts on your 1/72nd build. Do you have photos of any progress on that kit?

I am normally a 72nd scale guy myself but being retired AND owning a hobby store means I can get the big Tamiya kits at wholesale. How could I resist?

I assume you have RT Vol 25 #4/5 with the article and interview with Bill Atkinson? I  have the Eduard kits in my stash and plan to tackle that in the future (dim 'though that may be).

BTW your profile art is superb.

Thanks again,

Gord

 

 

 

 

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i still cannot believe Barracuda- or anyone else - has not done either a resin or (the way things are moving) a 3D printed parts conversion for the Tamiya kit in 1/32

 

so frustrating to have scratchbuild wing tips and scoops on a £100 kit and potentially balls it up

 

on pretty much every conversion i have seen the home made scoops look pretty meh

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Hi Gord,

 

The Archives has a ton of paper debating the Corsair's tires, but all of it covers to tires' composition (nylon, rayon, etc) and none of it mentioned the tread.  I'm sure that somewhere the Navy had some decision-making time on the tread for all it's fighters, but I'm afraid I've never found it.

 

Uniforms are outside of my expertise - others will know far more than I can guess at.

 

The easiest color equivilent is Sea Gray, which is 36118 in FS595a.  (Note that there was a color change in 595b.)  Dark OD is not well matched by any 595 color, though 34087 (again from 595a) is commonly listed.  Documentation shows that the color of OD varied greatly between and within wartime manufacturers.  Sky is 34424, but questions remain (at least in my view) about the nature of Sky from US producers.

 

The cowl flaps remained connect from the factory for quite some time - battening them down was initially a field modification.  There were also two replacement panels for the cowl flaps; the first had a tendency to rip off in flight, which is why a second version was created.  Like the battened flaps, the replacement panels were initially issued as field mods.

 

BTW, I've had so many questions about the changes in cockpit configurations that I'm now working on a self-published monograph on the subject.  I hope to go to press with the first Rivet Counters' Guide in about a month...

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

Dana

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