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In-Box Review
Vought F4U-1D Corsair
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by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]

Originally published on:

F4U Corsair history

The F4U Corsair is one of the most famous of WWII aircraft. In production from 1940 until 1953, with 12,571 aircraft built, it saw service with the US Navy and Marines in WWII and Korea, as well as with the British Fleet air arm, Royal New Zealand Air Force, French Navy and a host of smaller air forces until the 1960s.
The prototype of the F4U first flew in 1940, and at the time had the largest engine, propeller and wing span of any fighter plane in the world. The aircraft had to overcome some technological challenges imposed by it's advanced design and high speed and as such didn't appear in combat until 1942. The US didn't deploy the Corsair on aircraft carriers because of perceived difficulty in supplying parts at sea, but the Marines used them extensively from land bases. The Royal Navy did approve them for carrier use, clipping the wings by 8 inches. The Corsair completely outclassed the F6F Hellcat and most every Japanese aircraft it met in combat. The rugged airframe and R-2800 double wasp engine also made the Corsair an excellent ground attack aircraft.
The F4U-1D was introduced in April, 1944. It had water injection that increased power to 2250 hp, speed to 425mph, and had hard points for 5" rockets on the wings, plumbing for two drop tanks, raised the pilot's seat by 7", and used a Malcolm hood canopy for improved visibility. It was widely deployed from aircraft carriers and was widely used for ground attack missions as well as fighter interception.
Tamiya Vought F4U-1D Corsair

The Tamiya kit, introduced in 1998, has been a popular, well received kit. Designed to show the wings in either folded or fixed position, it has come out in several different variants. It comes in a traditional box with nice artwork showing a carrier based aircraft in flight. The sprues are all carefully bagged to protect them, with an extra protective paper inserted with the decal sheet to protect them.

The "A" sprue is common to all Tamiya 1/48 scale Corsair kits. It contains 39 parts, including the fuselage halves, engine, some cockpit details, and options for tail wheels and antenna. Fully engraved panel lines are nicely done, rivet detail is clear and there is a texture difference for the fabric covered control surfaces. The cockpit needs little to upgrade it other than seat-belts. The engine cowling is a loose part and was placed over the cockpit to keep it from bouncing about the box.

The "B" sprue is also common to the Tamiya Corsairs. It contains 40 parts in a very symmetrical format, containing the wings and lower center fuselage. Again, details are very nice and clear.

The "E" sprue is specific to the -1D variant. It contains 26 parts including the two drop tanks, some cockpit details, fuselage behind the canopy, and a standing pilot figure, made to be positioned on the wing next to the cockpit. Aircraft parts are very crisp and nicely detailed, but the pilot is a little soft on detail, which in this scale is difficult to define.

The "F" sprue is the clear parts sprue, with 7 parts. There are two Malcolm style canopies, one with framing and one without, one windscreen, plus gun sight, landing light and the fuselage window to aid in landing the aircraft. The parts are nicely detailed and very clear.
Instructions and markings

Instruction are foldout type, showing assembly in 13 steps. Directions are clear and specific, and easy to follow. Individual parts painting is called out in each step.

Markings are for three aircraft.
VF-84, wing 167, Bunker Hill, Feb 1945, overall sea blue with yellow cowling band.
VMF-112, Wing 1, Bennington, Jan 1945, overall sea blue with yellow propeller hub.
VMF-913, wing 107, Cherry Point, NC, Jan 1945, overall sea blue.


I did not see any flash, molding flaws or sink marks. Ejector pin marks all appear to be hidden. If you want or need more detail in your kit, there are a number of aftermarket detail sets available, providing wheels, struts, complete engines, gun bays, control surfaces and cockpits, as well as decals.

As for ease of assembly, I bought two of these kits, intending to build them with my 10 year old son. He built one in a day, without help from me, and has plans for the other. I'll have to get one for myself.

I purchased my kits online from Lucky Model for $21.00, including shipping.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on Aeroscale.
Highs: A well detailed, easy to assemble kit.
Lows: Pilot is not well detailed. My son didn't want to share with me and let me build one.
Verdict: A good kit for a simple, OOB build, for almost any age modeler.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 1/48 scale aircraft series No. 61
  Suggested Retail: $20.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 06, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Russ Amott (russamotto)

I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...

Copyright 2019 text by Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]. All rights reserved.


They are? Maybe I'm doing it wrong as I've built the kit twice and havent had any trouble. The kit assembles so well it's not even a challenge.
JAN 09, 2011 - 07:15 AM
Andy, thanks for the help with this. Yes, it is a great and easy build, and an excellent intro for anyone new to the hobby.
JAN 09, 2011 - 07:48 AM
They are? Maybe I'm doing it wrong as I've built the kit twice and havent had any trouble. The kit assembles so well it's not even a challenge.[/quote] -The upper wing join is a complex, and tight fitting, zig-zagging line that tends to squish any glue into the upper wing surface if assembled without trimming at the join in some of the smaller bends at the front (this is compounded by a very thin skin surface making for very small mating surfaces too, which gives you no room to put the glue on)... Removing the squished glue means risking erasing the neat continuous appearance of the outer wing join... No room for much glue at all at the join, and I don't like the slightest creaking in my models... The thin skin joint is an inevitable by-product of the realistic-looking folded wing option... Ideally two sets of wings should be provided... Also, scraping the inside of the split trailing edges (ailerons in this case) to scale thickness, as I always do, tends to modify the geometry and engineering of the wing fit in some kits... I remember removing the Corsair wheel well's detailed outer wall completely, which made fit a lot easier with the wings down... Other builders of this kit report doing the same... Not really noticeable but... Basically, some simpler kits tolerate having their wing trailing edges carved to scale thickness, but, as with the real items, here the bent wings and dropped flaps make everything more complicated... The complexity is inherent to the subject and is not really the kit's fault once the folded wing option was included... The Corsair's bent wings, and resulting 6 part flaps +2 spanning spacers (strangely missing in the kit if I remember correctly), was the subject of a LOT of cussing by WWII mechanics and pilots alike, and it certainly gets in the way of anyone's thin trailing edge mania in model form... One aspect of the kit that discouraged me (at that time long ago when I had less patience) was that the rudder trim tab actuator is a hugely prominent (and very long!) rod mounted on an obvious lever/post that is very visibly apart from the rudder surface on one side, and Tamiya represented all of this just as a moulded-on blob... This requires scrapping off a large surface near the super-delicate fabric effect, which is the best I have ever seen on any kit except for Eduard's I-16's wings... Despite these annoyances, which are almost entirely due to the subject matter, the superior accuracy of shapes of this kit are almost unreal compared to most other Tamiya kits, which are mostly not in the same league in this regard... Gaston
JAN 09, 2011 - 05:26 PM
Being a Tamiya kit, I presume the wing components fit snugly? I haven't built a Tamiya Corsar myself (at least yet), so this is just based on looking at the kit's instructions online. Would it work to put glue just to the wing spar, fit the outer wing assembly in place and carefully apply liquid cement to the wing seams? And if the wing halves happen to be the same thickness, some styrene sheet could be glued inside as additional spars. Looking at the instructions, I can't say for sure if there's enough room because of the wing bulkheads, but I guess one could alway cut holes for the additional spars.
JAN 09, 2011 - 07:59 PM
Great review Russ. I did have a chuckle about your son not letting you build the second one sounds like me and Allen at times (buy two kits to keep the peace then one of us ends up building both) I throughly enjoyed building both Tamiya Corsairs one wings down and one wings up and have to agree so easy to build and fit together like a dream Nice to see your son taking an interest in the hobby too
JAN 09, 2011 - 08:06 PM
Hi all, The Tamiya kit is indeed very nice and having built the model with the wings in both extended and folded positions I can't remember having had any difficulties in one or the other configuration. Below is the model I've built with the markings of the boxing reviewed by Russ... If you like nitpicking, you should know that the leading edge wing tank refueling caps should be erased on this variant (located under the wings). The F4U-1D had external fuel tank carrying capacities which made the leading edge fuel tanks redundant. These were only present on earlier models. The circular under wing light on the left wing should be removed as well. However, the famous cut out in the flap does not need to be filled this time, unlike on earlier models, since it was introduced during the F4U-1D production. Jean-Luc
JAN 09, 2011 - 09:48 PM
looks like a nicely detailed kit, although the ejector marks in the gear bay appear to be a paint to remove!
JAN 10, 2011 - 04:44 AM
There I was, just about to pull the trigger and buy this kit, then I saw the finished bird by Jean-Luc. There is no way I will ever come close to that level of artistry! Nice job! Anthony
APR 17, 2019 - 10:09 PM
nice build jean-luc. great weathering job. i am currently building the birdcage version in the tri color jolly roger and am having some confusion on the dark blue part. what color did you use for your build? and i don't think it is the same as what i need to use if i am correct. i have a bottlel of model master sea blue, and a bottle of lifecolor non specular dark sea blue or sea blue, i don't remember exactly and can't check at this time. i also have a can of tamiya as-8 navy blue which is what the directions say to use.i would rather use the model master or decanted tamiya if i could. i have seen the blue stated as dark sea blue and sea blue at different times so am unsure even though i have built a hellcat in these colors years ago. i just don't remember what i used. thanks-joe
APR 18, 2019 - 12:53 AM

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