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1:32 F4U-1A Corsair Engine Bay (for Tamiya kit)

James H

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1:32 F4U-1A Corsair Engine Bay (for Tamiya kit)
Grey Matter Figures
Catalogue # GMALB3203
Available from Grey Matter Figures for £26.40


In actuality, this new set from Grey Matter Figures isn't an engine bay set, but what it does provide is the hardware to the rear of the engine bulkhead panel, on Tamiya's new Corsair releases. Tamiya does a good enough job of the engine anyway, and of course, there is an Eduard Brassin release, should you want to go the full aftermarket route. Up until now, however, you've had to option to open things up further. Let's take a look at this set and see what it offers, and how easy it looks to implement.




This release is packages into an almost bomb-proof cardboard box, with a separate lid. The only identifier is a side label which actually identifies this set as a Corsair Accessory Bay set, which is sort of more accurate than the text on the instruction manual, but I digress. Inside the box, a small re-sealable bubble-wrap wallet is ever so neatly wrapped up further in red tissue paper. Those resin parts are split between three small zip-lock wallets inside the bubble-wrap sleeve. The instruction sheets are carefully folded and placed over the package contents. Anything I have ever received from GMF is always subject to the same rigorous, high standard of packaging.




For a relatively small bay area, it was certainly very well-appointed, with hardly any breathing space in there. This set consists of TWENTY-THREE parts, cast in a supple, light grey resin. That area behind the engine actually contains the engine's supercharger housing, hydraulic reservoir, fire suppressor cylinder, two oil tanks, intake air duct system, and of course the engine bearer framework. There are other detail parts in there, such as a section of plumbing which stretches between each wing root.




Of course, some remedial surgery will be required on your Tamiya kit, but nothing that should really cause any problem to the average model builder. You can pretty much build the kit up until the end of the wing stage. Here, you will need to place the interconnecting plumbing section along the forward main spar. This fragile part has a couple of small protectors cast onto its rear. Just remove and clean up.








GMF's instructions do now say that when it comes to cutting away the forward fuselage panels, you can opt to remove just one side if you wish. If you decide to open everything up, fear not, because there are a couple of resin cowl pieces to display with the model, cast with interior detail. Also included are two forward wing-root faring points, where they meet the lower, forward cowl. Having all that interior detail would be pointless if there wasn't a new internal bulkhead, and the new GMF part is excellent, resplendent with raised rivet detail, as well as some wiring, and connector points into which you can add your own plumbing.

The new engine mounting framework consists of four tubular, welded sections, which need little clean up, apart from removing the small resin casting lugs. These particular parts in my sample have the slightest bend in them, so will need a quick dip in hot water for them to spring back into shape.




You will need to carefully follow the instructions, as the engine bearers and all that ancillary detail need to weave in and out of each other. Generally though, this looks a simple enough detail set to implement.

Resin casting is excellent, with nothing more than the a few narrow pouring spouts to remove. Some parts don't even have this to bother you. The whole set seems to have been designed to cause as minimal amount of fuss as possible. I can't see any general casting flaws, but you will have to remove the very lightest of fuzzy flash off some parts, and the occasional paring seam. Again, only very minimal work required to ready this whole set for assembly.










The instructions are printed across two sheets of heavyweight paper. Whilst the images look very good, some printing does seem to have suffered, with photographs looking washed out, while others retain deeper, richer appearance. If yours suffers from that, I would ask GMF to email you a replacement. The photos themselves have all parts clearly numbered against a key of all the parts within the set. That's a pretty neat touch. Where you need to pay extra attention to a specific point of construction, these are highlighted by the use of clearly annotated text boxes. Paint codes are also supplied in Tamiya format, so at least you'll have an idea of how this set should be painted. Of course, you should cross reference with any images that you can find online too.






There are a core of modellers who do like to see what lurks behind various cowls and panels etc. It's a sort of technical voyeurism. Also, if you want to depict a maintenance or crash site diorama, then this set certainly helps towards achieving that ambition. Whilst there are quite a lot of parts, construction, if taken carefully, shouldn't be a problem, and there is only minimal surgery required to the host kit. All parts are finely created too. In all, a really nice aftermarket set for your Tamiya Corsair!


Very highly recommended


My sincere thanks to Grey Matter Figures for sending out this review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.


James H




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