Wednesday, August 20

Fun Modelling for a just a couple of bucks (literally) - Revell’s new tool tiny Corsair.

Nic has been tearing thru Revell’s catalogue recently three Bf109’s and now he gets his hands on “The Whistling Death” The Vought F4U-1A in 72nd scale and makes it look like a bigger scale than it is with his review build... 
Build Review:
Vought F4U-1A Corsair

Kit N°: 03983
Kit type: injection Moulded
Scale: 1/72
Sprues: 4 styrene + 1 clear
Part count: 64
Decals for 2 different markings:
- VMF-214 Squadron, US Marine Corps, Solomon Islands, December 1943 “Pappy Boyington”
- VF-17 Squadron, US Navy, Solomon Islands, February 1944

Revell’s recently released little new tool F4U-1A Corsair has pretty much passed underneath the radar of many modellers. Now, why is that? Is it because it is “another” Corsair? Is it because it costs only a couple of euro/bucks/pounds? We wanted to know what it looks like and what better way is there than to build it?

Building mainly in 1/32 and 1/48, it was ages since I built a 1/72 scale kit and the last one was a Super Sabre that took me, well about 5 years or so. For me, building a WW2 fighter in this scale is a bit of a challenge. I mean, finished this Corsair will have the size of a 1/32 scale droptank, but with over 60 parts. Build a couple of 1/32 scale kits and you get a lot of respect for modellers building 1/72 kits!
This new Corsair is a nicely detailed and engraved kit with some cool options. It’s moulded in white plastic – I don’t know about you, but I’m not jumping up and down about that – and breakdown seems logic and not too complicated. I like this, because it enables the experienced modeller to build it into a nice replica and the beginner to have an easy model with a good fit.

The two markings in the box are well chosen: Pappy Boyington’s “White 86” and a “skull and bones” machine. Having showed the box to my daughter, she wanted me to build the latter, because it’s got the same markings as “Skipper” in Disney’s “Planes” movie.
On to the parts. Fuselage and wings look good. No seperated flaps or folding wings, tough.
Revell provides the choice for open or closed cowl flaps, a very nice touch if you ask me. The front end and the engine breakdown looks a bit complex, but it builds smoothly.
The clear parts are extremely thin; I’ve never seen clear parts coming as close as these to the thickness of vacuform canopies. This makes them fragile though (as I will learn later in this build...)
I started the construction with the cockpit – surprise huh – and all it needs is some paint and a wash. Revell provides decals for the I.P., but I didn’t use those. Some dry-brush was good to bring out the details. Revell also provides decals for the seatbelts. For this scale that’s okay, but many will probably go for etched ones...
With the cockpit done and the fuselage closed-up, things went pretty fast. Fit is good, even where I had a worry, like the air intakes on the wings leading edge. When you look at the photos, the top fuselage cover doesn’t look like a good fit, but it actually is. Just the light playing... I didn’t use any putty on this kit. The wing-fuselage fit is the way we modellers like it: tight! Time to get the paint out!
This is what I like about the Corsair: it is a dream to weather. Perfect for different panel shades, pre- or post shading, chipping, the works! I used the last ModelMaster Chrome I had left – impossible to find some more – and bring on tiny dots of maskol. After painting, I’ll remove the maskol and voilà: chipping!
In a wave of nostalgia, I used my 25 year old Humbrol enamels for this kit. Well, to be honest, I didn’t have the colours in Acrylic and I was keen on finishing the kit, I was having a good time with it! I had my basic colour and about 10 different shades of it, using some white and black paint. This is fun!
A lot of the painting is done free-hand, but I also cut many little pieces of Tamiya tape to get more depth to some panels and shade the flaps, rudder, etc... While unmasking the canopy (I masked it inside and out) it snapped in two because it is so thin. Right in the middle! Disaster!! There you have it: a nice little kit, no problems during construction, painting went on great and than you mess it up with a dashing talent for clumsiness. I glued the two parts and if you just look quickly at it, you probably wouldn’t even notice it, but I will have to get me another one...
Now it was time for some future, decals, more future and a wash. I was surprised by the number of decals that went on it, some are so small that they look like chipping! They went on without any problem, but just to make sure, I used quite a bit of decal setting. I finished the fuselage with a flat varnish before painting the small details like the gear, hook, droptanks and prop.
I like this new tool Corsair. It’s easy to build and quick to do in between big projects. At under 7 euro, I think it is great value, but more importantly: great fun to build. So, instead of sitting in front of the TV for the next few evenings, why not build this 1/72 Revell F4U-1A?

Nicolas Deboeck

Many thanks to Revell of Germany for the Corsair kit we made -
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit, @RevellGermany or