Designed around the new Pratt & Whitney 2,000HP radial engine and tuning the largest propeller ever attached to a fighter plane, the Vought F4U Corsair became a legend in its own time. The F4U-1 was the first production version of the Corsair. It had a inverted gull-wing and a framed canopy with a flat top. However many problems were found soon. For example, the port wing stall often gave the Corsair unstable landing. And another problem was poor visibility because of its long nose and framed canopy. Therefore F4U-1A: the cockpit was raised about seven inches, the framed canopy was replaced with a semi-bubble design canopy, and the taller tail wheel strut was equipped; was introduced. F4U-1D with clear vision canopy on frameless was introduced later for more visibility. Also the F4U-1D had two pylons under the center wing section that could carry the bombs up to 1,000 pounds and the napalm. Furthermore 5 inch rockets could be carried under each wing.
During the remaining months of World War II Bunker Hill participated in the Iwo Jima operation and the 5th Fleet raids against Honshū and the Nansei Shoto (15 February-4 March); and the 5th and 3rd Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa operation. On 7 April 1945 Bunker Hill’s planes took part in a Fast Carrier Task Force attack on a Japanese naval force in the East China Sea. The enemy battleship Yamato, one cruiser, and four destroyers were sunk during Operation Ten-Go.
In June 1942, the F4U-1 production models made their maiden flight. However, due to their restricted forward field of view, and because of a propeller wash effect caused them to stall left wing first during low speed landings, they first were used as land based fighters. Succeeding the F4U-1 in the summer of 1943 was the F4U-1A, which was equipped with an extended rear wheel landing gear shaft, a slightly modified glazed canopy, and a small triangular strip of metal bolted to the right leading edge of the wing to equalize the stall and avoid the roll to the left at touch-down.
When the Corsair was first introduced to combat in February 1943, it soon established an ascendancy over the Japanese planes then opposing it. The Corsair served well through World War II and Korea. It served as a day fighter, night fighter and ground attack plane. The Corsair served with the French Aeronavale and other foreign Air Forces well into the 1960’s.
Tamiya Vought Corsair F4U-1D
There is so much written about the Tamiya Vought Corsair F4U-1D already that there is little left to add about it. This aircraft -so important for the allies and the war effort- had a good representation of this subject missing from my personal collection. I did settle for a more basic 1/48 Revell Vought Corsair version a few years ago and traded for another kit the Vought Corsair w/Moto tug kit # 61085 I had in my stash.
Painting & Weathering:
I took some artistic license with this kit trying to avoid the use its included decals as much as possible. The underside was painted with Polly Scale ‘Reefer White’ and the top side was painted with Tamiya XF-66 Light Gray using my Aztek A470 airbrush with Tan Nozzle.
A small batch of XF-66 was mixed with XF-2 Tamiya Flat White (3-2 ratio) for random patches of faded base color. Dark Brown Enamel wash from AK Interactive (AK-045) was used for panel lines. Scuff and scratches were created using a white Prismacolor pencil from the craft store.