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Birdcage Corsair - Finished


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So I've done navel gazing.  I have four planes in my stash that might qualify for this.  Namely, these kits are the Airfix 1/24 Hellcat (tempting), Trumpeters F4F Wildcat (I've had enough of Trumpeter for the moment, after last years builds), and two Tamiya Corsairs (F4U-1 and F4U-1a).  I've had Tamiya's wonderful 1/32 kits sitting in my stash for years, together with some after market products for each kit, so it's about time I built them all.  I've never built a Birdcage Corsair, so the choice was easy in the end.


So here's my offering for this GB.






I may add the Grey Matter engine accessory bay kit to this, and I have to make sure I have all the paints needed which I'll sort tomorrow, and then I'll begin.  Can't wait to get started :lol:.





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Not a huge amount of progress so far.  I went out on Monday to buy the needed paints, which became a problem as stocks have run low here thanks to the pox ridden times we now live in.  I've also ordered the Grey Matter engine accessory kit, to add more complexity to an already complex kit, and I'm still getting my thoughts together as to how to proceed.  I may also have bamboozled myself with all the Eduard etch I bought in a moment of over enthusiasm.  I'm starting to find that I don't use as much of these as I have before, so I'm being very selective.  Also, some of it is way to tiny for my aged eyes.  An emoji of someone groping about in the dark would be appropriate here, please Admins.  Or this  :lol::




As with most kits, I've made a small start in the cockpit.  But I've also started looking at the other innards which will be largely painted in that salmon primer.  My preffered method is to build up some of the parts so that I can airbrush the colour over an entire piece, then add on all the other bits that might be a different colour.  I also add on as much etch parts as possible before painting, as here.




There are etch parts for this, but I'm using the kit parts modified instead as I think they have  better depth.


In this next pic, you can see the pilot's seat has been built while still on the sprue, then painted silver so I can scratch it later after painting the interior colour.  I've also started on the bits that fit in the tail and will be painted in salmon primer.




Some of the fuselage parts have also been added prior to painting.  Top is bare bones, and bottom is ready for paint.




I've also started on the wing centre section.  I'll probably add the spar and a couple of other parts that won't interfere with stuff like the oil coolers and paint the whole in salmon.  My thinking is that after this, I'll add more stuff like the wheel well detail, paint the lot in salmon, then go over the wheel wells once fully built in the underside colour.  I'd appreciate any thoughts on that from those who have built this, or know more about the Corsair than I do (which is not much at all).




The one thing I have done is the instrument panel.  Here, I've used the kit parts and decals rather than the etch bits as I think the results are better.




So, a couple more questions for the Corsair experts, if I may.  Firstly, I need to think about the underside colour.  My plane will be Intermediate blue top and gray lower, but what shade of gray?  I know it should be light gray, but how light?  Secondly, since I'm adding the engine accessories I'll be cutting out the fuselage behind the engine itself.  What colour to paint in here?  Salmon or chromate yellow?  Ditto the insides of the engine cowling.  Advice here would be appreciated.


That's it for now.  Hopefully in another week, I might have something more to show.  Until then, stay well.





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You may want to visit this thread for reference.


Colorized period photos - Aviation Discussion - Large Scale Planes


I believe the underside would have been Light Gray 602. (second photo)

And Blue Gray 1 from the first photo although there are other thoughts on exactly which blue gray.

Some model paint manufacturers like MMP seem to equate Light Gray 602 to 36622 and blue Gray to 35189.







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Thanks for the colour chart, Dave.  Very helpful.  Looking at it, blue/gray and intermediate blue look very similar although the latter looks very slightly lighter than the former.  Given the colours faded quickly, intermediate blue could be used on a non-factory fresh Corsair.  I'll give that one some thought.  Looking at the link you've provided, that Corsair looks darker on top and lighter on the sides, with the light gray looking almost white.  I can see I'm going to have to play about with some colours before this build is done.


As to the engine accessories area, in the absence of any further info, I'll follow the lead of another build I've found on this site and go with salmon.  I'd post a link to that build, but my saved link is on another computer.


I've been getting into the build a bit more, and I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere.  I have about another twenty pics to post, but as it's late (1.35am), I'll do a small update now and hopefully another one in the next 24 hours, other factors allowing.  :whistle:  After the last update, I continued adding etch bits to the model before painting.  Here's a few more parts "enhanced".




Those bits on the side of the rudder pedal links were very fiddly, but not nearly as fiddly as what was to come.




So then I got to painting firstly the salmon, then the interior green.  Unfortunately, Muggins 'ere didn't look at the selected paint pot properly, and the green turned out to be semi gloss.




Errrrr.....  Yeah.




Take two.




Found another colour almost identical, and this time in flat. 


So the first part to build up was the side consoles in the cockpit.  There's quite a few parts here, mostly small, to which I added most of the Eduard etch bits suggested from their kit.  These were beyond fiddly, and got worse still as they provide switches to poke up through the enhanced console panels.  And there's a lot of them.  Almost all of these did in fact get added, thanks to some help with the magnifier helmet I bought some time ago then forgot about until now.  Good investment that, for a long sighted old bat like me, but it really took some time.  Also, I was very surprised how successful I was given that I tried this unsuccessfully with my P-39 build, but I think it may have been because the Corsair has a lot more switches so the etch switches are bigger.  Nothing for the carpet monster this time :D.  Here's the firewall, console, rudder pedals and pump thingy all ready for assembly.




That's it for now.  Next update I'll show it all assembled  and some detail shots.  Until then, goodnight world.





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10 hours ago, BloorwestSiR said:

Nice start on your cockpit Michael. I have the Eduard PE set but decided against it on my Corsair. I still have a few more in the stash so it won't go to waste. 




That Eduard cockpit PR set is certainly fiddly, Carl, and you need to have your best eyes on for sure.  I bought this kit and then the -1a when they first came out and stashed them, then bought the Big Ed sets for both so as I have some money tied up in them, they'll get used.  However, these days I'm a bit more selective of what I use as sometimes I now find I can do better with the kit parts, these being such excellent kits.  Case in point is the instrument panel which I think is better than the Eduard rendering.


So, on with the last of this update promised last night.  Having got the main parts painted and detailed as shown in the last pic in yesterday's update, assembly is very quick, and I think difficult to mess up in these Tamiya kits.  But first, a couple of close up shots of the main parts, starting with the consoles and all those switches.










Rudder pedals:




Bottle and pump thingy:  (Someone put me out of my misery and tell me what this is please!!  :unsure:)










Aformentioned thingy, rudder pedal heal boards and instrument panel attached:










So that part of the kit is now complete and only needs the gun sight and glare shield to go on, which will happen later.  Next step is the pilot's seat and rear bulkhead assembly, then on to the cockpit sides. One final picture of the build to date is the tail wheel/arrester hook frame now attached to the fuselage.




One final thing.  This package arrived in the mail today.




It's the engine accessories kit ordered a week or so ago.  This looks like a nice resin kit, and even comes with the cowlings too, so no need to worry about hacking up that part of the fuselage in an effort to cut them off.  :lol:.  I'll put this aside until I get to the wing centre section and build this on then. 


That's it for now.  Next update should be the pilot's seat going on to this.











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11 hours ago, dennismcc said:

This is good, I have one of those but have not had the nerve to build it yet so this will be a nice guide for me. What paints are you using especially the salmon.






Thanks Dennis.  I felt the same way for years as I've had these Tamiya kits in my stash since each was released.  I think my modelling has improved in the five or so years I've been participating here so time to have a go, and they're such good kits too.  It's a great pity Tamiya haven't released any more planes in this series.


As to the paints, I used the Tamiya formula pretty much, except that I had to substitute Vallejo hull red as my local hobby shop is very short on stock of Tamiya paints thanks to the pox ridden times we live in and the isolation of this town.  I grabbed an old Tamiya bottle that I'd cleaned out, put some masking tape on it and marked dividing lines on it so I could get the paint proportions right.  It looked a little dark to me so I added a little flat white too.  Looking at the painted bits now, I'm wishing I'd added a little light brown too, but too late for that now.  Maybe the issue with it looking a bit dark is perhaps the difference between Tamiya's and Vallejo's idea of hull red.  But it still looks pretty good to me.


Hope this helps,



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20 hours ago, CShanne said:

Based on my research, that is a carbon dioxide bottles used for getting landing gear down when the hydraulic system does not work. It is one time use per bottle. 


Thanks for the info.  That sounds right too, given the handle adjacent to it.  Geez, Health and Safety would go nuts over the Corsair's cockpit, having the pilot sat with a bottle of CO2 on one side, and an oxygen bottle on the other :lol:


Speaking of which, the pilot's pew is now finished and mounted to the instrument panel/console assembly.  This is the rear cockpit frame and armour plate, head frame and aforesaid oxygen bottle, the mount for which has been enhanced with some photo etch.




Pilot's seat with bottom mount.  The seat is the kit part, sprayed Tamiya AS12 then blobbed with liquid mask.  The springs at the back have been treated with a dark wash to enhance detail.  The belts are Eduard steel items.




All the pieces assembled.  I've attempted to show some wear on the leather of the pilot's head rest.  However, I'm not sure if that will stay.






Once glued onto the forward portion of the pilot's office, I used the fuselage halves to ensure correct fit.  Forgot to take a photo at this stage.... :blush:






To complete the assembly, I next built up the glareshield, gun sight and armour glass.  Both sides of the glareshield were painted matt black, but the top side received a slight buff to bring out some detail.  The gun sight parts were painted gloss black and middle section was glued onto the bottom section of the sight ( which is cast with the glareshield) once dry.  Then the edges were painted dark brown for the leather protective padding, then buffed when dry for a little leather shine.  Next, the top of the gun sight, also painted gloss black on the edges, was added.  I did think of adding an electrical wire to the sight, but none are visible in the photos I've seen, so this was left off.  I think it would not be seen on the model anyway.  The last thing is to add the armour glass, and the edges were painted matt black before being glued into place.  Here's a few shots of the entire assembly.








I'm presently working on the sides of the cockpit.  I have the choice of photo etch parts or kit parts here.  I'd like to use the etch parts which are as fiddly as the consoles (more switches!!) so I'm putting that lot together first.  If it doesn't look good, then I'll revert to the kit parts.  I'd also like to add a little wiring here too, but it all looks like a tight fit.  Again, I'll see how that goes.  However, Before I go any further, I need to do some surgery on the fuselage halves to allow for the fitment of the engine accessories bay.  I think this is the point where the model build will continue or languish on the Shelf Of Doom. 


See you soon with another update, I hope.





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