Sunday, January 7

Construction review PT II: 1/48th scale F4U Ground service (5 figure set) from Magic Factory

Yesterday, Gary looked at the two 3-D printed resin engine options for Magic Factory's 48th scale F4U-1A/2 Corsair kit. Today, he gives us another in-depth examination of the crew to service them, in PT.II of his review...

Construction review PT II: 48th scale F4U Ground service (5 figure set) from Magic Factory

To accompany their recent F4U-1A/2 Corsair kit, Magic Factory have collaborated with Master Precision to produce a new series of 3D printed upgrade sets. The first batch they released three sets which focus on the Corsair engine and some ground crew figures, ideal for a maintenance vignette or part of a larger diorama:
-1/48 P&W R2800 (Separate display version) 3D print for Magic Factory F4U kit 5001 (7505)
-1/48 P&W R2800 (Maintenance version) 3D print for Magic Factory F4U kit 5001 (7506)

These engines we reviewed yesterday in Part I of this series at this link. Take a look, you might like it!

Today I look at the ground crew to service the aircraft - I mean, what good is a great model without figures to tell the story?
-1/48 F4U Ground service (5 figures) for Magic Factory F4U kit 5001 (7507)

Setting the scene below: US Marine Corps ground crew conduct maintenance on F4U-1 Corsairs. There are several interesting things to notice in this photo such as how a simple board is mounted adjacent to the engine to provide a secure stand for crew and that the cowling panels are removed as two halves (top and bottom) and the wings are folded even though this is clearly a land based location.

Construction review F4U Ground service (5 figure set)
From Magic Factory
Kit No #7507
1/48th scale
3D printed resin kit
Price:$60 USD  from Hobbylink Japan
To offer modellers a way to build a maintenance vignette or diorama, Magic Factory have also released a companion set of five (5) ground crew figures. These are offered in various positions as if they are working on and around the F4U airframe. Of course this set is quite generic so you could easily use them on many 1/48th scale US WW2 aircraft.

The figures are printed as a single piece with protective cage. I found the resin easy to work with and after a 5min soak in some hot water the softened supports came away fairly cleanly. In addition to the five figures, the set also includes a Corsair specific maintenance "stand" which was designed to lock into place on the forward cowl ring, allowing ease of access to the engine sides. Unfortunately this "stand" part was missing from my review set.
The internet contains much inspiration when it comes to period photos of USMC Corsairs being maintained, on either side of the engine. This F4U-1 is undergoing a field engine replacement and offers us a good glimpse of not only the aircraft but the crews that repaired them.
The first figure is crouching and would be best placed on the provided maintenance stand board. Under macro magnification some minimal voxel layers are visible but to the naked eye these all but disappear.
The second figure is clearly designed to go under the nose working on the engine from below. I like the stance of this figure as it looks quite contorted, much like the photos of real crew. It also makes sense that he is wearing no shirt as was common for crew working in the tropical conditions on the pacific islands.
Another useful reference photo as it gives plenty of ideas on realistic ground clutter like oil spills, rags, buckets and boxes. It's all these little details that help tie your model to the base when using figures.
The third figure is also crouching and would look good next to a low part of the airframe such as the main landing gear.
This colourised photo shows to good effect the Corsair specific "stand" which was designed to slot into a hole in the forward cowl ring with the other end sitting in the air intake slot on the wing leading edge. One could be fitted to each side of the nose as shown here.
Probably best placed on a wing, the fourth figure is lying sideways with a wrench. Another example of an interesting pose that you don't often see in figure sets
The fifth and final figure is also standing under the nose, holding a screwdriver. Overall the figures seemed to be well sculpted for 1/48th scale and will good once properly painted.
These figures are clearly meant to compliment the 3D printed engines I reviewed yesterday on the Corsair kit. Although the figures are generic enough to be used for other projects but when paired with a Corsair, Magic Factory or otherwise, they work really well.

CONCLUSION - F4U Ground service (5 figure set) From Magic Factory Kit No #7507
This and the other two upgrade sets are an excellent addition to Magic Factory's new tooled F4U-1A/2 Corsair kit. The engines are super simple to use, being direct drop-in replacements for the kit plastic parts. The ground crew figures are well sculpted and designed to work together as group or more generically on any appropriate aircraft in 1/48th scale.
Overall, I highly recommend these sets.

Gary Wickham