Royal Navy Aircraft -
This is essentially the same Hasegawa kit as below, but with a different fuselage to incorporate the "birdcage" canopy.
The summer of 1943 saw a step change in British carrier aviation capability as new ships were matched to a new generation of highly capable US aircraft, developed on the back of bitter war experience and incorporating rapid technological development. Perhaps the most capable of these aircraft was the remarkable Chance Vought Corsair. Based around the immensely powerful P&W Double Wasp rotary engine of 2,000 HP, the Corsair featured distinctive inverse gull wings that allowed the most efficient aerodynamic join between wing and fuselage whilst also shortening the length of undercarriage needed to keep the aircraft's huge propeller clear of the deck.
At first, the Corsair's bad-
Corsairs began to be delived to FAA units in June 1943. Royal Navy Squadrons conducted
initial training and work-
The Fleet Air Arm operated more than 2,000 Corsairs of all types during World War
2, including 95 Corsair I (F4U-
Operation Tungsten, Kafjord, Norway, April 1944.
This is the Hobbyboss kit with some very minor modifications and decals from my spares box. In deference to Vought's apparent use of substitute paints instead of normal FAA colours, I have used a lighter grey and olive drab instead of Extra Dark Sea Grey and Dark Slate Grey.
The Corsair saw its first combat operations with the Royal Navy on 2 April 1944, when Corsair Mk.III aircraft from 1834 and 1836 Squadons in HMS VICTORIOUS provided fighter cover for Operation Tungsten, a massed air attack by the Fleet Air Arm on the Battleship Tirpitz in Kafjord, Norway.
Hasegawa's Corsair is a straightforward and well executed kit. Decals are from the box, although I have substituted Modeldecal roundels since the Hasegawa colours weren't quite right (no roundel blue border).
Mk IV Corsairs were built by Goodyear and supplied directly to Fleet Air Arm units in the Pacific. As such they lacked the normal Temperate Sea Scheme camouflage and were painted in standard US gloss blue.
Vought /Goodyear Corsair IV
Early RN Corsairs had cropped wingtips to allow stowage below decks in the smaller RN carriers.
"For great bravery in leading an attack to within 50 feet of a Japanese destroyer
in the face of intense anti-
Lieut. R.H. Gray, D.S.C., R.C.N.V.R., of Nelson, B.C., flew off the Aircraft Carrier, HMS Formidable on August 9th 1945, to lead an attack on Japanese shipping in Onagawa Wan (Bay) in the Island of Honshu, Mainland of Japan. At Onagawa Bay the fliers found below a number of Japanese ships and dived into attack. Furious fire was opened on the aircraft from army batteries on the ground and from warships in the Bay. Lieut. Gray selected for his target an enemy destroyer. He swept in oblivious of the concentrated fire and made straight for his target. His aircraft was hit and hit again, but he kept on. As he came close to the destroyer his plane caught fire but he pressed to within 50 feet of the Japanese ship and let go his bombs. He scored at least one direct hit, possibly more. The destroyer sank almost immediately. Lieutenant Gray did not return. He had given his life at the very end of his fearless bombing run."
Built in 20 mins (genuinely), painting took another 4 evenings. This is the best
of the 3 Hobby Boss kits I have built so far, going together perfectly without the
need for any filler at all (even the wing roots). Decals are the left-
The Corsair was supplied to the Fleet Air Arm in 4 distinct batches, the Vought built Corsair I (with "birdcage" canopy) and Corsair II (with raised cockpit and "Malcolm" bubble canopy), the Brewster built Corsair III (which suffered similar quality problems to the Buffalo and was deemed too unreliable to use in combat) and the Goodyear built Corsair IV. A final Corsair V version was cancelled after VJ day.
This particular aircraft of 1843 Sqn was embarked on escort carrier HMS ARBITER, assigned to protect the British Pacific Fleet's essential logistic "Fleet Train". Of particular note is the (partial) reinstatement of proper British red, white & blue roundels, although those on the fuselage still include a white centre to distinguish them from Japanese markings. Just to confuse things, whilst the white X on the 1841 Sqn Corsair above indicates that the Aircraft belongs to the HMS FORMIDABLE Carrier Air Group, the red X on this one is simply an aircraft specific deck code.
Vought /Goodyear Corsair IV