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Pacific Corsair


The first 2 coats of Klear provide a smooth surface for the decals and protect the paint from the weathering process. The second 2, or more, level out the decals with the surface and protect them. For an aircraft operating in the Pacific theatre (and the Mediterranean/desert too) I like to fade the paint. This can be scary, but the Klear allows you to remove it if it's not successful. This fading needs to be done over everything that would be exposed to the elements. I use enamel medium sea grey, heavily thinned and build it up gradually and randomly, but with thought. This fading was done over the previously lightened fabric areas as well. There is a slight problem though, because the area of the markings that sits on the fabric areas needs to be faded more, to match in with the more faded fabric. To achieve this I masked off the white areas and around the outside of the Stars and Bars on the wings. To achieve this I cut 3 narrow triangles for each point of the star affected and overlapped them. To mask around the disc I cut out a circle, of the correct diameter, using a circle cutter (surprise). The blue was then faded with the medium sea grey mix.

When this fading is complete then another coat of Klear is required, to protect the fading, from the rest of the weathering process.

I then applied a wash. I use white spirit and artists oil paint. I never use straight black, much to harsh. I generally use warm grey; it has a brownish hue, darkened with just a little black. I leave the wash for several hours. I wipe the excess wash off, in the direction of the airflow. This is so that the wash leaves a slight tint. Using a minute amount of neat oil paint and dragging it back with the finger, a cloth or cotton bud, to represent oil and/or grease marks can enhance this.

When the wash is complete and dry then I spray on the matt coat, I prefer acrylic for this, dries quicker. There is one more aspect to the weathering process, paint chipping. For this I use an artists silver pencil. It will not "take" on a glossy surface, so it has to be done after the matt coat. The model is quite heavily chipped, because the aircraft operated from runways made from crushed coral, which is very abrasive. The chipped paint is difficult to see on the light camouflage colours, but is seen well on the propeller. I also "dragged" (sort of dry brushing but using more paint, to get streaks) medium sea grey over the front edges of the wings and nose. This was in an attempt to simulate the coral cutting the paint, but not yet wearing it away. Again it is almost impossible to see. Finally exhaust and cordite staining was applied using well-thinned Xtracolor X504 exhaust. The cordite staining from the cartridge ejection shutes was taken back onto the flaps. Behind the cowl flaps I added minute dabs of warm grey oil paint and dragged it back with a cotton bud. I also added staining from the circular plate on the top of the nose and on the drop tank. I also added fuel spillage from the tank filler. For this staining I used oil and fuel from Lifecolor Tensacrom II range.

  • F4U-1decals02
  • F4U-1Corsair3055
    Model by Mal Mayfield
  • F4U-1Corsair3019
    Model by Mal Mayfield

About the Author

About Mal Mayfield (Holdfast)

Hi, my name is Mal Mayfield and I have been modelling seriously for about 25 years. My main interest is 1/48 scale second world war. I build all types and all combatants. I have built 1/35 scale "targets" and 1/72 scale modern aircraft, plus a couple of cars. I have also dabbled with figure painting...


The F4U Corsair, my favorite plane of WW II and Korea.
OCT 18, 2003 - 03:17 PM
:-) Thanks guys and gal. I really enjoyed build this model :-) Taylor If I managed to translate this correctly I got the kit from Model Base, in Worksop England and it cost 14.99 (The shop owner gives me a little discount so it cost me 14.00) :-) Wayne If you want to clarify any details just drop me a line :-) Mal
OCT 19, 2003 - 12:17 AM
MAL, I've heard rave reviews of the Tamiya kit. AND YOU HAVE done an OUTSTANDING job. I love your shading and weathering . suttle but affective. You article composition is great and very easy and informative. JOB WELL DONE. I like the colors better than the Dark sea blue scheme any day. KUDOS Todd
NOV 10, 2003 - 05:36 PM
:-) Thanks Todd, I enjoyed building the model and writing the article. Not sure I agree with you about the colours, I like the tri-colour scheme. I built the kit with these early colours to show, eventually the progression in camouflage. The colours are quite nice though :-) Mal
NOV 16, 2003 - 03:56 AM
I believe that Marine's Dream was painted in a field applied three tone scheme comprising sea blue/intermediate blue/white Mark Styling
JAN 14, 2004 - 03:52 AM
Simply breathtaking in its ghostly colours. And a great write up to boot. Shows the armour boys a thing or three...joke guys...only a joke.... Congrats...mines a 12 year old single malt. Cheers Peter
JAN 14, 2004 - 04:02 AM
verry nice work!!
JAN 14, 2004 - 04:39 AM
:-) Interesting, Mark, maybe at a later date than the scheme I have done? If not then Aeromaster might be interested in your research :-) Welcome to Armorama Thanks Guys Mal
JAN 14, 2004 - 09:13 AM
Highly unlikely the plane ever appeared with the added bars to national insignia whilst still in the earlier two colour scheme. Much more likely the scheme was modified when insignia was updated (like other F4Us of the period). Can't prove it as the only photos ever seen of this plane was when it was written off at Torokina Dec '43 and at that time it was in the three tone scheme. The only ace I knew that flew this airplane had no recollection of its scheme. Aeromaster have already used my research, but still managed to include errors in their decals. Mark Styling
JAN 15, 2004 - 02:58 AM
:-) Thanks for the info Mark, I still like this scheme (cos I aint gonna change it now) and as I wasn't there when this plane was around who really knows. There's possibly a million things wrong with it? I like the model, I like the scheme I like what I did with it, so at least I'm happy. In the end that's what matters to me :-) Mal
JAN 15, 2004 - 08:37 AM