We model builders are usually enthusiasts and history buffs. At least, that has been my experience. This interest is usually fed by books, magazines, museums, history podcasts and even travel to historic places. But what is an enthusiast if he or she cannot own, hold and display something? Be it models, memorabilia, reproduction items or even bits of the real thing:
I would love to own my very own Corsair prop blade, gun sight or instrument panel. However, these opportunities do not come my way often. Even if they did, I imagine the cost would heavily outweigh the benefit. To put it in perspective, that “pre-enjoyed” prop blade pictured above is listed for more than $3k. Sure, having a 6 foot prop blade in my hobby room would be very cool… but not that cool. Then again, that Corsair rocket selector box was a mere $150 plus shipping.
What about a replica in the form of a model?
Eduard, being the innovative company as they are, developed a series of scale models of aircraft instrument panels. So far they have focused on Luftwaffe subjects which, I am sure, appeal to some people. They certainly make for interesting builds:
But for some strange reason Eduard has completely missed the boat and has not made an instrument panel for the best aircraft of the second world war. Or any other aircraft for that matter.
It’s a good thing that someone else saw the light and has issued an instrument panel kit for the Corsair. Actually, they make a ton of large scale instrument panels for us enthusiasts. In addition to instrument panel kits, Aerocockpit makes other scale model instruments and decals. These mini instrument panels were designed for the radio control crowd. I suppose if you are going to build a 1/4 scale airplane, you might as well get a quality instrument panel in there before you go out and crash it. However, even if you are not into RC, these panel kits are detailed enough to provide a neat display item.
The kit comes with colour instructions, a pre-drilled instrument panel, a bag full of pre-assembled instruments and a bag of accessories (lights, screws, stickers and adjusters). Sold separately is the gun sight. I do not think it is correct for early Corsairs but it looks the part.
I thought the set looked sharp right out of the box so I only painted the screws and the lights. It goes together very easily. After spending part of one evening painting a few small bits, I had everything assembled the next evening. I suppose it would be relatively easy to weather this kit but I chose to go with a clean build.
I then bought a “floating frame” to mount it. A very fun little project that makes for some nice wall art for a Corsair enthusiast.
Another Video Build!
I made a quick video on building this instrument panel kit. You can see it here or click below.
This nifty little display is on the wall of my hobby room but it would be at home in an office, cubicle or anywhere else. Some builders have mounted their panels on acrylic sheet and slotted the finished display in a wood holder. That would make a fine desk display.
I enjoyed this project and it scratches an itch for something Corsair related. I’m not sure if I will ever buy an authentic Corsair piece but if something comes my way, I’d consider it. It would have to be something that is unique to the Corsair though. Not some generic second world war turn and bank indicator.
So what do you think? Is something a little different something that interests you as well? Do you have authentic vehicle pieces or memorabilia at your house? Is this the start of a serious addiction?
All these questions from one little instrument panel….