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Lt. Jim Wilkin’s CORSAIR - Cockpit update #2


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When I lived in Miami in the 80s a USMC WWII Corsair pilot and I became friends. His name was Jim Wilkens and he shared his memories, his log book and a few small photos of himself while he was flying out of Espiritu Santo with VMF 225. As a result of that friendship I built the old Revell Corsair as a tribute to his service. No big deal but I did add a couple upgrades like a scratch built seat, belts, gun sight, exhaust and a scratch built bomb rack. I also printed my own dry transfer markings.

 

Back then this kind of extreme weathering was unheard of, but I didn't know the "rules" I just tried to replicate the condition of these birds based on the photos that were available at that time. Needless to say the IPMS judges were not impressed.

 

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I always hoped that someone would release a better 1/32 Corsair but when Tamiya did I just did not have the time or a workspace to build one. Running a business has a way of sucking the life out of you and keeping you from enjoying hobbies. Then a few years ago I realized that time wasn’t on my side so I jumped back into the hobby with the goal of building enough skills to tackle my dream build, my friend’s F4U-1A.

 

So after some research and viewing the entries in Jim’s log book, here I am hoping my eyes and hands hold out long enough (I’ll be 76 in December ’22) to accomplish what appears to be a daunting task.

 

And so it begins:

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Edited by Archer Fine Transfers
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Thanks for all the encouragement! It means a lot.

 

Photos of VMF 225 in the war are hard to find, but I did find these two.

 

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Aircrew-VMF-225-Espiritu-Santos-New-Hebrides-11-May-1944-01

 

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Vought-F4U-1-Corsair-VMF-225-White-435-BuNo-02435-at-Vella-LaVella-during-a-Jap-bombing-raid-Nov-1943-01

 

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Woody,

That Corsair looks AMAZING. 

:goodjob:  :clap2:

It is always nice to read a background to a build..

:thumbsup:

Looking forward to another bent WINGY THINGY. 

:yahoo:

Keep up  the EXCELLENT  work.

:thumbsup:

 

edit Super photos too of the original Corsair.

:yahoo:

Edited by MARU5137
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This will be an awesome project, Woody!  The Tamiya Corsair is best model kit I've ever experienced and I'm sure you'll enjoy the heck out of building yours!  Make sure you pick up Barracuda's cockpit stencil decals for it... they really make the cockpit POP!  Awesome OG Revell Corsair too!

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I love your original Corsair build! The new one will be a fun one to watch. I plan on doing a Tamiya -1 or -1A at some point too. 

 

Here is a nice little map of Esperitu Santo. By 44 it was a major base, it became a base as we went into Guadalcanal, and by 43 was a very big base. Most Marine sqaudrons deployed to the Solomons would go through three combat deployments, after each one they were pulled back to Esperitu, given leave in Australia. When they came back, they got new airplanes and a month or so to work up, and then they got sent back to the Solomons. 

santo_bases_map-234x300.jpg

VMF-225 was there from March to June of 44, doing work up for their later deployment to Eniwetok, and they were at Guam by July. 

US Marine Corps Fighter Squadrons of WWII by Barrett Tilman has a little overview of each Marine VMF, it's a fascinating read. 

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