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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Victoria Cross Corsair - 1/48th Tamiya FG-1D Corsair IV

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

The 1/48th Tamiya F4U-1D Corsair kit is considered to be one of the best fitting model kits around. It is typically reasonably priced, has good details, optional folded wings and dropped flaps, giving model makers excellent results right out of the box. Not bad for a 1998 release.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit with raised features

  • Finely scribed panel lines

  • Well engineered wing-fold design that fits nicely in the down position as well

  • Optional raised or lowered flaps

  • Nicely detailed wheel wells and landing gear

Build Inspiration:

I am certainly a fan of the Corsair, generally speaking, with its unique "gull wing" to allow for clearance of the huge prop while maintaining shorter (strong) landing gear for carrier operations. The heroics of a particular Canadian pilot got my attention for this inspired build. Decorated with one of the highest awards in WWII, Robert Hampton Gray (serving in the RCNVR - Royal Canadian Navel Volunteer Reserve) earned a Victoria Cross a few days before the end of the war in the Pacific. Gray was flying with the Royal Navy’s 1841 Squadron at the time. On August 9th 1945 while successfully attacking enemy shipping near Onagawa Wan, Honshū, Japan, Gray's Corsair was hit by return fire and crashed into the sea. Gray did not survive the incident.

Heads-Up Report:

  • Some ejector pin marks need to be removed (mainly from the wheel wells)

Kit Additions / Modifications:

  • Aside from the scratch-built seat belts and Aftermarket decals (which gave me some problems) this Corsair is built Out-of-the-Box

End Result:

This kit was painted in the standard Corsair finish of dark Navy Blue (FS 15042). Back in 2009, I was building museum examples of my model aircraft, therefore the weathering isn't what it should be for a combat WWII aircraft . I also had to cobble together the markings as the decals I bought broke apart, so the end result was that the whites don't match well.

The After-Build Report:

This Tamiya kit has aged extremely well all things considered. It is definitely on my recommended list for most model makers. My only hesitation is that the additional complexity of the wing fold and flaps may seem a bit much for some novice kit builders or those wanting a real straight-forward assembly. The reasonable price of this kit also makes it a great value.

Another interesting note I read, long after the build, is that there has been some research suggesting Hampton Gray's Corsair aircraft on that fateful day was probably not number 115. The debate continues on which aircraft number it may have been, however flight logs have ruled out 115 after it was revealed that 115 was flown by another pilot after the August 9th crash.

Completed build #115* December 2009 using the 1/48th scale Tamiya F4U-1D Corsair kit

* Notice this was build number 115 for me... Coincidence.. I think not. :)

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is suppose to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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