Do we finally have a Corsair -4 worth building?
In the wonderful world of 1/48 models – when it comes to Corsairs there are two alternatives: Tamiya and Hasegawa. These two seem to have split the variants simply. Tamiya has all the early war Corsairs while Hasegawa has the late war and post war variants. Every one of these kits, while not perfect, makes a quality model with minimal fuss.
Except for the F4U-4
Despite it being the ultimate version of the fighter (later variants would more accurately be described as strike fighters or fighter bombers), there just doesn’t seem to be a go-to for the -4. Hasegawa makes/made/makes one but it is very old with raised panel lines. I believe this isn’t originally a Hasegawa kit either – its an old mold bought by Hasegawa years ago.
Academy sells a -4 but it has had mixed reviews. I can’t say much about it because I have not built one (yet).
Tamiya does not make a -4 but one can make a -4 out of a -1D Corsair with the help of a CMK conversion kit. That was what I did when I made my first -4 Corsair:
And wow… what an unbelieable chore that was. The resin shrunk and did not fit in key areas (flaps and cowl front!) and I had to buy ultracast flaps in order to get any flap to fit. The end result was a solid “meh” but I got my -4 into my collection:
But then Hobby Boss stunned the world with their announcement of the definitive F4U-4 in both early and late models! I of course signed up for one and swallowed hard at the asking price. When it got to the top of my build pile, it was supposed to have a True Details Cowl and Prop. However, after ordering and receiving 2 sets of warped parts, I just stayed with the kit parts. I decided to use a set of Fine molds styrene seatbelts as well as a Scale Aircraft Conversions F4U-4 metal landing gear.
The cockpit floor and consoles went together very easily and had lots of molded on detail. A drybrush made this detail pop. I added some space PE handles
Sidewall – the framing is from the kit but for some reason the kit did not include a thottle quadrant or a flap setter – I added those from the Eduard Set
Wow! This is pretty much the hands down most detailed 1/48 kit engine I have come across. The only thing I did was add the ignition wiring and paint. Most of it fit like a glove but there were a few adjustments needed. I drilled out the ignition wiring collar to accept all the wires and I drilled out the exhausts. In these pictures they are not quite “rusty” yet, that was done later.
You won’t see the detail at the back of the engine because once it is installed, it is fully contained in the fuselage… so I didn’t pay too much attention to it.
This is no aftermarket set. The kit comes with a well detailed gun bay in both wings. All I did here was drybrushing and a wash – neat little feature. I couldn’t figure out how to get the ammo to “lie down” flat. However, once it was sandwiched in the wing, it all worked out.
The Scale Aircraft Conversions set for this kit is very nice and very easy to work with. I did not have a lot of experience with metal gear but this set required little cleanup and was a drop fit for the kit parts.
The kit features a multi-part tail gear build and the metal pieces from SAC worked perfectly:
The mains are in two parts – fit is perfect.
These are an improvement over the kit parts and appear very durable
The Scale Aircraft Conversion legs are very nice and very easy to work with.