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Tamiya F4U-1

October 6 2009 at 1:42 PM
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from IP address 72.48.244.200

Here's Tamiya's 1/48th scale F4U-1A built as Chico Freeman's VF-17 mount. Start to finish took about a week and a half to accomplish. It's a typical Tamiya kit in terms of buildability, but a couple of extra things will help:

This particular kit is famous for having a wing-fold joint that's tough to get flush if you want extended wings. The problem is easy to side-step by attaching the upper wing panels, then the lower wing panels, using only those internal wing-fold parts necessary to box the wheel wells. Once you've got the wing panels joined there should be minimal cleanup to accomplish, and the uppers can then be attached to the lowers and the wing installed on the fuse. If you're careful you won't need filler for any of the above.

The kit's interior is adequate, but an Eduard Zoom set really helps a lot. My model has a QuickBoost engine too, but the kit engine can be just fine if properly painted and detailed.

The arresting hook was removed per normal practice for a shore-based F4U unit. That was before I discovered that VF-17 sometimes bounced off of carriers to refuel on longer missions. The hook is now back on, but it isn't in either of the photos. In that light, you might notice that the windscreen is slightly off too. That's already been fixed, chalking up yet another win for white glue as a canopy adhesive! The kill markings under the starboard windscreen are now in place but, once again, weren't there when the model was photographed. Oh yeah, and the old side number needs to be fixed too---it was probably a "6" rather than a "0". It's amazing what you discover when you publish something on an international web site looked at by thousands of people. Sigh...

Radio antenna wire fit runs from a mast just aft of the canopy to the stub mast on the vertical stab per photos; the antenna fit (barely visible in the photos) is stretched sprue. VF-17 experienced a lot of trouble with their radios and in consequence removed the forward mast and re-did the antenna suite. The rectangular hole where the mast had been was covered with an aluminum scab patch, which was painted over on many of the squadron's aircraft but not on Freeman's.


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