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Pacific Corsair

This is Tamiya's "Birdcage" Corsair-an outstanding replica of the "bent wing bird". The cockpit is very well detailed and you have a choice of having the wings ready for flight or folded and the flaps are dropped. There is a choice of versions; the U-1 or the U-2 radar equipped version. There is a pretty decent pilot figure and a choice of drop tank or bomb rack and bomb as well. There is also a choice of canopies. I believe that there are aftermarket sets for the cockpit but they will have to be very good to beat what is in the box. The only additions that I made were PE seat belts (there are seat belt decals in the kit) and the antenna wire.

The instructions are in Tamiya's usual style and are very good. The only problem with them is that, as all manufacturers do, they use their own numbers to indicate painting details. This gives a paint mix for the cockpit colour, so this will vary depending on how carefully you mix the paint (you would have to use Tamiya paint to achieve the shade they suggest). I used Aeromaster US interior green but I think, now that the lower half of the cockpit should be chromate yellow? I picked out panels in black, including the main instrument panel. The cockpit was given a wash of dark grey then dry brushed with grey and silver. The dial faces are flat discs, so I punched out the dials, from the decal, applied as decals and when dry added Klear for the dial glass.

I sprayed the wheel wells and interior of the gear doors interior green as well. I have since seen info that the wheel wells might have been salmon pink, or chromate yellow? Something that I have not seen on other models of the Corsair is the flap bays and flap ends painted anything other than the aircraft como colours. I elected to paint mine interior green, to add a bit of variation in colour. The only real poor fit was the centre flap halves, the lightening cut outs did not meet, so I added a shim of plastic card. This was difficult to trim but I managed it in the end. Another difficult area was sanding the seam lines inside the flap ends. This was achieved by making a sanding tool out of a wooden skewer (making an angled triangle in the end and super gluing a piece of emery paper to it, then trimming to shape). As I also wanted the wing fold option I sprayed the wing fold parts interior green as well.

  • corsair_tot
  • F4U-1Corsair3048
    Model by Mal Mayfield
  • F4U-1Corsair3031
    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