Dave J Posted August 18, 2013 Share Posted August 18, 2013 1/32 Vought F4U-1 Corsair “Birdcage” Tamiya 1/32 Aircraft SeriesCatalogue # 60324Available directly from HobbyLink Japan The rumours have been flying around the internet of Tamiya producing a 1/32 scaled F4U Corsair for some time now… I had my suspicions that we may get one since 2009, after talking to one of the Tamiya lead designers at the Tokyo Hobby that year, he did a great job of not giving much info out, but tried to dodge a few of my questions at the time. Also a while back, I remember reading an interview with Mr Tamiya, and one of the questions asked was along the lines of what were his favourite aircraft… His answer was The Zero, Spitfire, Mustang and the Corsair. The Corsair was his most favourite as he could remember F4U’s flying over head when he was a child in Japan after the Second World War…. So now step into Mr Tamiya’s shoes… If you were an owner of a model company, would you kit your favourite aircraft/subject? Hell Yea! So it was only a matter of time! History of the F4U Corsair In June 1938, the U.S. Navy signed a contract with Vought for a prototype, the XF4U-1, BuNo 1443. From this date the F4U Corsair legacy began… The Corsair entered service in 1942. Although designed as a carrier fighter, initial operation from carrier decks proved to be troublesome. Its low speed handling was tricky due to the port wing stalling before the starboard wing. This factor, together with poor visibility over the long nose, made landing a Corsair on a carrier a difficult task. For these reasons, most Corsairs initially went to US Marine Corps squadrons who operated off land based runways, with some early Goodyear built airframes were built with fixed wings, these airframes were designated FG-1A. The USMC aviators welcomed the Corsair with open arms as its performance was far superior to the Brewster Buffalo and Grumman Wildcat. XF4U-1, BuNo 1443. The Corsair was able to outperform the Japanese primary fighter, the A6M Zero. While the Zero could outturn the F4U Corsair at low speed, the Corsair was faster and could out climb and out dive the A6M Zero in any dogfight that it faced. This performance advantage, combined with the ability to take severe punishment thrown toward it, meant a pilot could place an enemy aircraft in the killing zone of the F4U's six .50cal Browning machine guns and keep him there long enough to inflict major damage. The 2,300 rounds carried by the Corsair gave just under 30 seconds of fire from each gun, which, fired in three to six-second burst making the F4U a devastating weapon against aircraft, ground targets, and even ships that may be found in its gun sights.From the first prototype delivery to the U.S. Navy in 1940, to final delivery in 1953 to the French, a total of 12,571 F4U Corsairs were manufactured by Vought and other licensed factories, across16 separate variants/models, which made it the longest production run of any piston-engine fighter in U.S. history. The F4U Corsair served in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, Fleet Air Arm and the Royal New Zealand Air Force during the Second World War, as well as the French Navy and other smaller, air forces until the 1960s. It quickly became the most capable carrier-based fighter-bomber of World War II. Some Japanese pilots regarded it as the most formidable American fighter of World War II. The U.S. Navy counted an 11:1 kill ratio with the F4U Corsair. As well as being an outstanding fighter, the Corsair proved to be an excellent fighter-bomber, serving almost exclusively in the latter role throughout the Korean War and during the French colonial wars in Indochina and Algeria. The Kit Tamiya’s 1/32 Birdcage Corsair is beautifully presented with eye-catching artwork of James A. Hatford’s VF-17 machine on the cover of the top opening style box , with shiny silver foil embossed title. The box is jammed to the rim with parts and items require for one F4U Corsair, the breakdown of the parts are - • 14x sprues in typical Tamiya light grey plastic.• 1x clear sprue (2 if you have the export version that a clear cowl is included).• 1x sprue in black plastic for the display stand.• 2x sheets of decals• 2x nameplates for the display stand.• 1x sheet of masking material for the canopy• 1x set of soft vinyl tyres,• 1x Small bag containing a screwdriver and some fittings for the stand.• 1x A4 sized instruction manual;• 1x A3 sized colour painting guide;• 1x B5 sized reference book printed in colour.• 2x Frets of photo etch. The total parts count for the kit is over 500+ parts, this may seem like an intimidating kit, but a number of parts are for different variants and configurations of the F4U Corsair. But going off the past releases of the Spitfires and Mustang, the kit will fall together without any issues. Personally, I have built two Spitfire kits and this was most certainly the case, no doubt the Corsair will be the same.Exterior surface detail is marvellously done, perhaps out doing the 1/32 Mustang detail. Panels lines are finely recessed and rows of rivets which are very subtle pin marks. Several different sized rivets are noticeable, along with hinges and slotted head screws over the airframe. Fabric detail on the control surfaces and outer wing areas is very satisfactorily, as other manufactures can be over heavy on representing fabric covered panels. Fuselage halves are split vertically, which seems to be the common practise these days from manufactures. But Tamiya have cleverly engineered the kit to have the turtle deck and front fuselage cover as separate parts to cover the small differences in the F4U variants. These inserts slot into place on panel lines, which require no filling. This is a great practice that Tamiya has been using since the 1/32 A6M Zero release. Two different cowl flaps parts are supplied for either open or closed positions. Normally the cowl flaps were deployed in the open position on the ground to prevent the engine from overheating in the hot tropical conditions of the Pacific. All the control surfaces are proved as separate parts so you can pose them in any position, but the fancy option of having them moveable like the Spitfire and Mustang have been left out of the Corsair kit. Personally, I am for this, as I thought the moveable surfaces were a little bit gimmicky, and I opted to glue them into position with the two Spitfires that I built. The horizontal stabilisers and tail have sturdy slotting tabs on the fuselage for these parts to slide onto to locate. When Tamiya announced that they were releasing the Corsair, a lot of people were wondering if the wing folding mechanism would be moveable. This isn’t the case, so you are only able to choose the wings folded or extended… So choose wisely! The wing tips have been cleverly designed so an Clipped FAA version can be released in a later date. The inner wing details like the wing intakes and gear bays are fantastically detailed, most modellers will be very happy with the detail that is provided, but I am sure that some will want to add some plumbing for the hydraulic lines in the wheel wells. The cockpit is designed correctly for and F4U-1 Birdcage, with the lower seat frame compared to the later variants that was raised by 180mm/7in (5.14mm/0.2in in 1/32 scale) to see over the long nose. A total of 45 plastic parts assemble to make the cockpit, plus another eleven Photo Etch parts for the harness (without pilot figure). The all parts are crisply moulded and highly detailed, down to the smallest lever. To sum up everything in the cockpit, Tamiya have even included the pilot relief value on the control stick. The instrument panel follows the tradition of past 1/32 releases with a plastic, clear parts and then a decal on applied to the rear of the clear part. You shouldn’t have to add any aftermarket items here, bar some harness, but no doubt the resin wizard Roy Sutherland of Barracuda Studios, will knock up a couple of things for the “front office”, that you may want to include. A newly tooled Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine has been tooled up by Tamiya for the Corsair. This mini kit within itself puts other manufactures efforts to shame. The R-2800 engine is totally made up from plastic parts, but the ignition harness is not included. So you may want to add these by using fine wire to depict the leads to each cylinder. The kit includes the mid hexagon style distributor caps that is attached to gearbox along with General Electric ignition system. This setup was fitted to F4U-1A’s and replaced on F4U-1’s in the field, as the previous Bendix ignition system was prone to failing. The early teardrop distributor caps and Duplex ignition system is available as separate upgrade part from Barracuda Studios. Each cylinder bank is split into two half’s per bank, for front and rear banks. The cylinders are finely moulded as it they were resin parts, these will surely pop with a coat of silver paint and oily black wash. Exhaust pipes are nicely done and the ends are hollowed out. The transparent parts are moulded in a sparking clear plastic. With careful handing you will able to buff these to a nice shine with a clean piece of soft cloth without any compounds or future/clear varnishes. Kabuki self adhesive masks are also supplied, but are not pre-cut. Tamiya recommends to cut them out with a sharp knife blade, but I find cutting them out with some fine nail scissors works a lot better. Or the other options is to wait for Eduard to release their die-cut masks or order an set from RB Productions that is currently available to order. As per the Spitfire and Mustang kits, is a nice addition of two pilot figures are proved in injected plastic. One pilot is in a standing pose pulling his left glove on or off, and the second pilot is seated posed in full flight gear. The detail on the figures have improved greatly, as I thought some of the detail is very soft on the figures in the past, especially on the RAF Spitfire pilots. Also included is the black plastic stand to display you Corsair in flight. This attaches via a screw and nut setup on the underside of the fuselage. This is the purpose that Tamiya supply the screwdriver for. Two self-adhesive name plate options are included to attach to the stand, either black text on a silver background or silver text on black. The Main wheels are supplied as vinyl parts, and the tail wheel is injected plastic. Personally, I am not a fan of the Vinyl wheels in any kit, as they sometimes are difficult to clean up and get them to take weathering products. If vinyl isn’t your thing, you now have a fantastic replacement options from Barracuda Studio’s that cover all three different tread options that were fitted to Corsairs. Two Steel photo etch frets are supplied along with the kit, which contain the parts mainly for the seat harness, armour plating for the canopy, tail wheel assembly and wing oil coolers. The steel is a much tougher material to work with, as it is more stiffer than the brass that most manufactures use these days. Steel is good for frames and parts that don’t need to be bent into shape, but troublesome for parts like harness. Its best to anneal these parts with a cigarette light prior to bending them. 6 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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