Book Review
Modelling The F4U Corsair

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

7.25 x 9.75 inches
80 pp
245 color illustrations

I. Introduction
II. The F4U in Plastic.
III. The F4U in Detail.
IV. F4U-1 Birdcage Corsair, 1/32 scale.
V. F4U-1A “Jolly Rogers” Corsair, 1/72 scale.
VI. Fleet Air Arm Corsair Mk.II, 1/48 scale.
VII. South American FG-1D, 1/48 scale.
VIII. Korean War Close Support F4U-4, 1/48 scale.
IX. F4U-5N Korean War Night Fighter, 1/72 scale.
X. F4U-7 French Corsair, 1/48 scale.
XI. Further Reading and Research.
XII. Index and Colour reference Chart.

This new addition to Osprey Publishing’s line of wonderful modeling manual reference books focuses on one of combat history’s most famous and successful fighter aircraft, the F4U Corsair. Introduced by the Vought Aircraft Company to the U.S. Navy in 1938, the first production designs of the Corsair were primarily carrier based fighter designs. But problems of design kept the plane from being used in U.S. carrier operations at this time. However, the first land-based Marines Corsair Squadron entered frontline service in 1943 with the famous “Jolly Rogers” VF-17 (which is represented here in one of the build chapters!). The Corsair immediately demonstrated superiority over the Japanese fighters with impressive kill ratios.

Shortly after this introductory use of the Corsair, the British Fleet Air Arm adopted the Corsair, and unlike the U.S. Navy, operated their planes from carriers beginning in 1944. Following in May of that year, The Royal New Zealand Air Force became the third Corsair operator’s in the Pacific, with F4U-1A’s, 1 D’s, and FG-10’s, serving with thirteen RNZAF squadrons.

The Corsair continued to develop throughout WW II, the Korean War, and all the way until the end of the 1960’s, all the while quite successfully, with additional use by the French Navy and a number of Latin American countries.

Chapter 1, and beyond…
And so with the importance and colorful history of this winged subject, the author has put together a fine collection of modeling projects, that stretch through the lifespan of this magnificent war bird, in various scales, and various difficulties, wrapped them all up with dynamite photo’s and excellent explanatory text into one volume with a little history also!

The book begins with a very detailed introduction covering the history of the Corsair, which includes a two page chart listing all F4U Corsair production variants, with designation, individual characteristics, and important notes and comments on each one listed... very important and useful information to assist the modeler with accuracy in building and representation.

Next the author then discusses the various plastic kit’s that are available of the F-4U Corsairs, listing manufacturers, and a short discussion of each one, ending with a detailed chart that lists recommended Corsair kits in 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32 scale.

Following this chapter, the author then presents the reader with a “walk around” style photo-shoot of a full sized subject, with close-up photo’s of Corsair parts; wings, flaps, elevators, engine shot’s, cockpit and instrument panel photo’s, all in full-color glory. An overall excellent resource!

We then move into the “bread and butter” of the book - it’s build chapter’s, seven in all, covering seven separate Corsair versions in 1/32, 1/48, and 1/72 scale, using base models by Tamiya, Hasegawa, Trumpeter, Hobbycraft, and High Planes Models, respectively.

Each of the separate build chapters begins with a detailed chart-style breakdown of the project, listing the following; Subject, artist / modeler’s name, skill level, base kit used, scale, markings, and any additional detail sets that are needed for the build. Filled with full-color step-by-step photo’s and detailed instructional text, these projects truly represent the Corsair in miniature with total accuracy in constancy.

I will say that these projects are geared toward the intermediate / advanced and even master modelers, as some of the builds are extremely detailed and quite intense in skill... But I do believe that beginners as well can help to advance and improve their modeling skills by studying these pages text and photo’s instruction.

Each of the build projects provides the reader / modeler with different challenges and techniques for each of the variants represented here, and the author does an excellent job of discussion and explanation of each, all the while keeping things exciting and refreshing. The book reads extremely well and is surprisingly easy to understand, with even the most complicated of procedures seem easily accomplished.

The final project, “The F4U-7 French Corsair, 1/48 scale”, is my favorite, using Hasegawa’s F4U-7 Corsair kit, mostly OOB, but with a little scratch building and some Adeco decals, making a most impressive final subject packed to the wingtips with ordnance and total accuracy! I almost forgot to add that at the beginning of each build chapter, the author has a little summary of each base kit that is used in the different projects, highlighting the kit’s benefits and downfalls.

The book's reference pages end out the chapters, with a recommended listing of research reading materials, and internet websites useful for the same…and an eight-color reference/marking chart with detailed explanations of each of the colors listed.

Overall, a fine example of instruction of what can be done with a bit of molded plastic, glue, and paints, mixed with the talents of Brett Green (who also is the editor of Hyperscale.com, online modeling magazine). Osprey Publications’ new modeling manual delivers what it promises and will surely be a welcome addition to your war bird library shelf…with detailed full color photo’s, excellent easy to understand text instruction, and some really cool build chapter subjects, this one comes highly recommended from this modeler's point of view… A fine point of reference for your next Corsair build!

Many thanks go to Sheeba Madan of Osprey Publishing, New York, for providing the pre-release review sample for this exciting new manual.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on ARMORAMA
In this review we will take a closer, first hand look at one of Osprey Publications latest new releases, covering one of history’s most easily recognized and distinguished war birds, # 24 in the Osprey Modelling Series, “Modelling the F4U Corsair”, written by Brett Green.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 1841768804
  Suggested Retail: $18.95 U.S
  Related Link: Osprey Publishing Official Web Page
  PUBLISHED: Sep 23, 2005
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


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