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F4U-1 birdcage

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Hi guys,


Thought I would try and enter this build as it was a stalled-out birdcage early "Guadacanal or Munda based F4U-1 conversion of the old Revell kit "sweetheart of Okinawa" kit.

it started out as a nightfighter but since decided to change to one of Ken Walsh's white 13.

I can't remember who sent me the horizon conversion but thanks.


About all I had done was the engine and the cutouts behind the cockpit started

i am using a Hasegawa r-2800 as it is slightly more detailed.

Rescibing will take quite a bit of time.

I'm trying to get the vac canopy framed and sand out and polish the poor quality of the vac forming (pimples and scratches)


I want to finish soon, because my next project will be like building two planes from scratch B-26 Marauder

I am collaberating with Lucca Penneti in Italy, hopefully we will both have some

marauders on our shelves soon.


Jon Payne


1st pic rescribed cowl, scratch-buit air/oilcooler intake....rescribed cowl because panel line on front cowl ring was too far forward, and scratched the cowl flaps because they were not correct looking.

I also read anytime a corsair was on the ground the cowl flaps were opened to stop any overheating problems during startup and taxiing.

anyway here is first pic.

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Hi Jon,


nice subject, I will follow with interest.






I too am following your B5N Kate build it is simply stunning!

would love to get some plans from you for abuild like that one day down the road!


thanks Loic



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here is a grainy shot of the resin cockpit.

a lot of sanding of both the cockpit assy and fuselage sides to shoehorn this black box resin cockpit (my first resin cockpit by the way)

forgot to take pics before buttoning up but will try and shoot a less grainy pic (light was low so my ASA was set way too high to get an exposure 1000 asa)


this was quite a bit of work but was very well worth it. I sanded down the resin panel and trimmed an eduards color panel with clear plastic sandwiched to represent the glass in the panel.

i have to say it is very well worth it do have the color panel - it really spoils you. (needless to say another first for me)


The scallops were vac pieces and required a lot of trial and error and WAG on how deep they should be since they were not the resin plug type conversion.

I had to really scour pics from many Corsair books to even get a good glimpse.


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another starting shot -


I have to say Murphy inspired this F4U-1 build and also reading the books The Jolly Rogers, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Black Sheep One and Osprey's F4U aces of the pacific.


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What conversion for the scallops is that Jon? And which one did you use Murph?


I have the Lone Star plug and I'm wondering if there is a better one out there?

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I'm pretty sure it is the old horizon vac conversion came with really inacurate placement guides for the vac scallops behind cockpit.

I used Watanabe's side profile to determine size of cutouts and then just sanded the vac pieces down to fit behind.

It was really hard to see exactly how deep right behind the armor plate they went. If you are using the resin plug (which I didn't have) that would already determine

placement, size and depth very much simplifying what gave me some head scratching.


the horizon kit also came with a vac two piece radome - my original intention was to use the radome sprue from a Hasegawa F6F-N but could not get anyone on the site to cough one up. So I just ended up making a F4U-1 early corsair white 13 of Lt. Kenneth Walsh VMF-124 (I believe the first unit in theater with the Corsair on the "Canal" in Feb 1943). The crappy Radome, plus reading about Lt. Kenneth Walsh in the early days had me change from the F4U-2 to the F4U-1. Plus I wanted to do the early colors and six position no bars stars, with lots of weathering (kinda like Murph's)


I have both of the trump Corsair kits and will be doing one as Greg Boyington's F4U-1A white 740, and the other as Kenneth Walsh's late war F4U4 in which he got his last kill (21st) after being an instructor most of the war.


Murph inspired my F4U1 build after seeing what could be done with the old Revell kit, and he is right about the canopy framing, it's challenging.

Also the framing varies quite a bit from plane to plane for some reason, my aft end of sliding section has NO framing at back edge. Some have the curved top armored? piece like Murph's, and some have solid framing last section and top armored. some F4U-1s have the plexi over the scallops replaced with sheet metal.


Quite a few variations. One of the most famous being a "scramble" photo of the "black sheep" with a F4U-1 with sheet metal over scallops in background.


My Vac clear "birdcage" pieces were badly formed with cloudy. scratched and pimpled appearance so I have had to sand and sand and polish and will eventually dip in Future acrylic floor polish several times to get them clear enough. Then I will most likely leave the canopy open to show the great BB resin pit and Eduard color zoom panel.

If you tell me which plane you are doing I may have a pic of that....I know I have a photo of "line rider" F4U-2. And a couple more too.


Just let me know and I'll dig up a photo for you, as I have really gathered all I could from the references I have.


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I don't have a lot of Corsair refs, but Allan has been helping me out a lot. I'd appreciate any scans of -2s you might have though :rolleyes:



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I don't have a lot of Corsair refs, but Allan has been helping me out a lot. I'd appreciate any scans of -2s you might have though :)





You got it Chris.


Will scan some tonight and post for everyone interested in a F4U-2 nightfighter Corsair

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Biography -Wikipedia sourced


Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Walsh enlisted in the Marines on December 15, 1933, at age 17, becoming a mechanic and radioman. Upon receiving his Wings of Gold in April 1937 he was still a private, but was promoted to corporal soon thereafter. He flew scout-observation aircraft over the next four years before assignment to VMF-121 in North Carolina. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was a technical sergeant, becoming a warrant officer in May 1942, and was commissioned a year later. He was also one of a handful of Marine aviators qualified as an aircraft carrier landing signal officer.

Assigned to VMF-124, Walsh was one of the most experienced pilots in the Corps' first Vought F4U Corsair squadron. The unit arrived at Guadalcanal in February 1943 and was immediately committed to combat. He claimed his first three Japanese planes on April 1, 1943 and two more in his next combat, May 13, 1943, becoming the first Corsair ace.

Walsh brought his score to 20 by the end of August 1943, including two combats over the Solomon Islands that earned him the Medal of Honor. He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 8, 1944.

He returned to combat in 1945, flying with VMF-222, scoring his last kill at Okinawa on June 22, 1945.

Walsh remained in the Marine Corps for a full career, flying transports in Korea and retiring as a lieutenant colonel in February 1962. He was a frequent participant in history seminars and often assisted researchers and historians interested in the Pacific War.

He died at age 81 from a heart attack. He left a widow, Beaulah and a son. LtCol Walsh was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

[edit]Medal of Honor citation


For extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty as a pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron 124 in aerial combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area.

Determined to thwart the enemy's attempt to bomb Allied ground forces and shipping at Vella Lavella on 15 August 1943, 1st Lt. Walsh repeatedly dived his plane into an enemy formation outnumbering his own division 6 to 1 and, although his plane was hit numerous times, shot down 2 Japanese dive bombers and 1 fighter.

After developing engine trouble on 30 August during a vital escort mission, 1st Lt. Walsh landed his mechanically disabled plane at Munda, quickly replaced it with another, and proceeded to rejoin his flight over Kahili.

Separated from his escort group when he encountered approximately 50 Japanese Zeros, he unhesitatingly attacked, striking with relentless fury in his lone battle against a powerful force. He destroyed 4 hostile fighters before cannon shellfire forced him to make a dead-stick landing off Vella Lavella where he was later picked up.

His valiant leadership and his daring skill as a flier served as a source of confidence and inspiration to his fellow pilots and reflect the highest credit upon the U.S. Naval Service.


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