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David Hansen

Almost 1 year later....Another Corsair

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Hi Everyone,

 

As the title implies, i managed to finish yet another 32nd scale aircraft model. Building on the learning curve gained from my earlier Goodyear FG-1, i present to you my F4U-2 Corsair, in the markings of VF (N)-101 aboard USS ENTERPRISE.

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This model uses a combination of conversion parts from Lone Star Models (Radome), AMS Resin(Flame Dampeners) and OWL (Radio Altimeter antennae). I also used the Barracuda Studios Corsair Cockpit Placard decal set and the Diamond Tread F4U/F6F wheels.

As conversion efforts go, it was actually pretty simple, and one of the big benefits i had was the pilot who flew this aircraft is actually still alive! Bob Brunson flew this very plane and is alive and well in Estes Park, CO. Bob crashed in Bu Aer 02710, "Number 10" while coming aboard ENTERPRISE at night. Bob walked away with hardly a scratch, but his Corsair was deep sixed one night in May of 1944.

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This was my first big experiment in using Tamiya Acrylics; On my FG-1 i used Mr Color for the first time, but because of a lot of glowing reviews i heard about Tamiya (plus its availability), i decided to mix my own camouflage colours. Some of the blues were mixed to some Tamiya mixing Formulae from an old IPMS-Stockholm article, and some were suggested mixed via Martin Sanford. I mixed small batches of each major colour using the different formulas, and mixed and matched from the ones i liked.

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The single most controversial aspect of these planes is the paint scheme. There are only a handful of useful photos of these planes taken aboard INTREPID and ENTERPRISE, and what they depict is subject to some debate. Some people belive (and at least one book published) profiles of this aircraft with black flanks painted on the fuselage side. I was always a little skeptical about this; having spoken with Bob he was positive there was no black on the plane. Looking at "Better" pictures of the Marine F4U-2s assigned to VMF (N)-532, i've concluded the the Corsair in question had a heavily blended Non Spec Sea Blue fuselage, carried very far down the sides of the fuselage, and that the plane may have had semi gloss sea blue (Which is darker than Non Spec Sea Blue) applied to the fuselage sides, resulting in a combination flat finish/ semi gloss finish to the Fuselage. Given the degree of blending, in the picture you see below, its understandable that people would mistake the fuselage for black...

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The markings on these planes were very low-key. In fact, i refer to this model as, "A Very accurate depiction of a very dull paint scheme". There was originally a VF (N)-101 sticker applied  under the windscreen, but when the remnants of -101 transferred from INTREPID to ENTERPRISE, orders came to remove the decals. Richard "Chick" Harmer's F4U-2 actually had nose art painted on the cowling called, "The Impatient Virgin" but no photos or artwork have been seen.

The national insignias were painted on using MONTEX paint masks. For the most part they worked well, but the MONTEX instructions have the wing insignias slightly mislocated, and i didn't discover the error until it was too late. Due to the star and bar nature of the markings, i had to sort of apply the mask in steps; having applied flat white for the stars, i next located the stars in the proper positions, and then proceeded to build the remaining masks, element by element, around the stars.

I did have problems with the blues of the insignia lifting off in very small flecks, that required a repair job way out of proportion to the problem caused. I used Mr Color Levelling thinner to thin the paint, and it worked well, but these itty bitty chips of paint were maddening and had no rhyme or reason.

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F4U-2s had a simplified antenna installation, consisting of a wire running from the leading edge of the right stabilizer, up to the rubber tensioner assembly and then down to the ceramic lead-in point behind the right hand side of the canopy. There was a simple whip antenna, and a Transponder/ IFF antenna on the belly. The 2 radio Altimeter antennas were mounted along the keel. These antennas are photo etched brass, made by OWL and while delicate, worked great. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

In this shot, you can see the IFF antenna a little better, along with the flame dampening exhausts.

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I built a display base from 5/8" Plywood onto which i laminated a basswood carrier deck made by Nautilus models. It was painted with Tamiya acrylics and weathered with a wash of paynes gray and raw umber. First time i did this and for the most part i like it. The deck is a bit too blue- it should be a much lighter light gray colour- but not bad for a first effort. Not seen here, but i also had a brass nameplate made as well as a protective 1/8" thick acrylic display case.

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Close up of the antenna installation...

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The white light in the tail cone is a piece of .015 diameter Plastruct rod.

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As i write this, we are making plans to fly this model to Bob so I can deliver it in person. I am looking forward to it. If you ever get the opportunity to do something like this for a veteran, take my advice and do it. You wont regret it.

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david

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We can't have enough of these Corsairs. It is just a beautiful plane and you did a great job to achieve the look of that special VF (N)-101-Corsair.
I wouldn't call that paintjob dull, in fact i think it is vivid in a way. You don't always need to have colorful markings to make a kit look interesting.

The story behind that plane and your connection to the former pilot make this project very special. It would be great if you let us know about how that story is continuing.

Cheers Rob    

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Superb looking Corsair David, congrats with this nice looking model. I think Bob will be very grateful to you when he will see this model in first person.

Greetz

Danny

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