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1:32 F4U-1A BIG ED

James H

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1:32 F4U-1A BIG ED

Catalogue # BIG3349
Available from Eduard for €71,25
Bunny Fighter Club price: €60,56






Yes, the ‘Birdcage’ Corsair was nice, but the one we all really wanted to see was the bubble canopy variant! Of course, after a period of selling their initial tooling, the F4U-1A was released in the last months, and despite Tamiya’s reputation for moulding and engineering excellence, it sure doesn’t stop Eduard bringing out a number of upgrade and detail sets. These are now packaged in the popular BIG ED set, saving you a little money. As I write this, a new F4U-1A specific Brassin cockpit has also just arrived, and we’ll bring that to you as soon as we can. In the meanwhile, let’s see what’s inside this new BIG ED set. I also enclose separate product links, as well as the one for the whole suite.  


  • BIG3349, F4U-1A (for Tamiya kit), €71,25


  • 32365, F4U-1A engine
  • 32366, F4U-1A exterior
  • 32828, F4U-1A interior S.A
  • 32829, F4U-1A placards
  • 32784, F4U seatbelts
  • JX176, F4U-1a masks




F4U-1A engine




All photo-etch sets here are packaged into Eduard’s familiar, slim letterbox format sleeves, with a protective card inner. This particular set contains two, bare brass PE frets which include detail for the engine, radiator cooling flaps, and also a set of replacement PE engine cowls. A small amount of remedial work will need to be carried out, such as drilling holes so that ignition lines may pass, and also removal of the sockets around the collector ring. I’m not a massive fan of this, and flat ignition wires. I would perhaps just drill the plastic sockets, and add lead wire, using the wiring guide here.








Other areas of detail are very good though, such as the small actuators which sit within the cooling flap ring. These will take a little time to assemble. Those internal faces also undergo a change, with a metal facing plate for each one.


A real seller for me is the inclusion of the main circular cowls, which after being belt to shape, are then lines with the internal framework. These should look very nice when complete. It’s just a pity the metal is bare brass, as chipping down to a nickel-plate surface would have looked excellent.


F4U-1A exterior




This is a single-fret release which helps to tidy up a few areas that Tamiya were a little remiss with, such as the bare ends of the wing flaps, and a little rib detail etc. A suite of wiring looms are also included for use in the gear bay and wing fold area too. A notable area of change is the tail wheel bay where various brackets and a box are installed, onto which the rudder cable horn will be attached. That’s a particularly nice touch, onto which you can possibly add the wires/rods too.






A bare minimum of surgery will be required for this set, and nothing too worrying either; just a little end rib detail removal on the flaps. Certainly no headache



F4U-1A interior S.A



As the suffix denotes, this set contains self-adhesive parts, which I’ve always found to work very well due to adhesive strength. Just make sure you align things before setting them together! This set contains TWO frets; one in nickel and printed in colour, and the other in bare brass. The first fret is essentially the various cockpit consoles, switches etc, along with the now familiar two part, layered instrument panel. This layered approach also applies other elements within this set. Colour printing is excellent, but of course, you will need to remove a certain amount of detail so you can install everything.






The second fret is where the rest of the detail comes into play, with everything from foot pedal sheathing and brackets, through to upgrades for the fire extinguisher and its mounting bracket. This fret offers a lot in terms of detail which Tamiya missed out, whereas the first fret deals with upgrading current detail, mostly.


Other parts on this fret include more wiring looms for bulkheads, seat detail, sidewall detail including throttle and avionics upgrades, and also edge trimming for the canopies, instead of the smooth plastic edge that companies still seem to mould on their kits.

This set is NOT to be used in conjunction with the forthcoming resin cockpit set, and must simply be used to detail the plastic kit parts. The resin pit will contain its own PE sets, and a number of details will be incorporated within the resin itself. This is a very nice upgrade set, but with some careful surgery required to install it.



F4U-1A placards



Again, this set contains a single fret, but with quite a high parts count. As well as the actual placards, there are some parts that appear to be duplicated from the Interior set, including console detail, and a good number of the avionics. However, some parts are present only this set, such as the data and manufacturer plate for the Pratt & Whitney engine. I would have though these would have been included in the engine set! It sort of makes this set reasonably important if you bought the other sets, despite the duplications. This set would be a perfect stablemate to the Zoom Interior set, if you don’t want to bother with the other sets in this schedule.





F4U seatbelts



I’m not really a believer that you either love or hate photo-etch, colour seatbelts. I have activelt tried to avoid them in favour of the textile belts, but I recently had to use a set inside my 1:32 Do 335, and I have to say that they were actually very easy to use. A couple of toothpicks were used form a ‘wave’ into the belts, so they weren’t absolutely straight, and of course, assembly is minimal. I think the overall effect was very good. This set consists of a single, colour PE fret that is beautifully printed. The stitching may look a little heavy, but in all, this should build up into a very attractive set. If you aren’t a fan of metal, then Eduard have released a set of fabric belts.



F4U-1A masks



These are a real time saver, and in my opinion, worth every penny. When you spend 4 hours masking a Mosquito cockpit, you really understand the true worth of having a specific masking set. Of course, the cockpit canopy is the main player here in this set, with the sliding hood being supplied as frame outlines only. Don’t fill in with liquid mask if you use Klear on your canopies, or you’ll fog things up. I would use scrap sheet infill to do the job.




Masks are also supplied for wheel hubs and other small, peripheral detail.


Overall, these are excellent upgrade sets, despite some of the inclusions, omissions and layout being a little odd in places. Essentially, for the interior, you have numerous options to detail the kit, and I would look at the Eduard site and the instructions, and check exactly what each set offers you before you commit to buy. In all though, certainly worth checking out if you have one of the new release 1A kits in your stash.


Highly recommended


My sincere thanks to Eduard for these review samples. To purchase directly, click THIS link.


James H




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