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F4U-1D Corsair



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 02221
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: 355 parts in light grey and clear injection moulded plastic; metal shafts for ailerons and flaps; rubber tyres; photo-etched parts for control surface hinges; markings for two aircraft
Price: Purchased for 6,500
Review Type: QuickLook
Advantages: Outline and appearance conforms to published plans, photos and existing kits; high quality mouldings; ambitious workable features including all control surfaces and wing folds; well detailed R-2800 engine; much more restrained surface details (rivets etc) than earlier releases.
Disadvantages: Inaccurate cockpit (solid floor included); slightly gap-toothed look to open cowl flaps.
Recommendation: Recommended.


Previewed by Brett Green

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Trumpeter's remarkable release juggernaut rolls on with their 1/32 scale F4U-1D Corsair.

This is a sensible choice for the first Corsair release, as the -1D variant saw service in both WWII and Korea, has ample stores options, and is relatively easy to backdate to a -1A.

Trumpeter's 1/32 scale F4U-1D Corsair comprises 355 injection moulded parts in grey plastic and clear styrene (including a clear cowl), rubber tyres, a small bag of metal rods, a photo-etched fret with hinges for control surfaces and an acetate sheet with printed instruments.

The surface of previous releases have been covered with recessed rivets. On the Corsair, the rivets have been greatly reduced in quantity; appearing in single rows along selected panel lines. I know that this is largely a matter of taste, but it looks much better to my eye.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Fabric texture on the rudder and ailerons are much more subtle than earlier offerings, but the wing outer panels are overemphasised. A few minutes sanding will help.



The overall quality of the moulding is very good. Ejector pin marks have mainly been confined to the invisible rear surfaces of parts with only a few exceptions (such as the wing fold interiors). There are some shallow sink marks at the base of the propeller blades.

Control surfaces are movable, including the four separate flaps. Each control surface is connected using a brass rod and photo-etched hinges. The foot-step in the starboard inner flap is not a cut-out. It is accurately outlined with recessed panel lines, .

The wings folds are also workable. Each is hinged via a single narrow attachment point, so care will be required when handling the model and operating the wing fold. Many modellers will choose to glue the wings in position - either folded or extended. The wings also feature separate access hatches for the .50 cal machine guns and ammunition trays.

The tail wheel and hook are retractable. The main gear legs are not "sprung" this time (a move in the right direction, in my opinion), but the oleo struts are supplied as separate parts that are inserted in the upper part of the gear legs. The struts are located with a small pin, but the modeller could easily cut off the pin and reposition the overall length of the gear legs if desired.

Tyres are rubber.

The cockpit is fairly typical of earlier releases. Detail is adequate but the basic parts will benefit from extra detailing in this large scale. The biggest problem is the full floor as supplied by Trumpeter. The Corsair had no cockpit "floor" as such. The seat was attached to the rear bulkhead, and the pilot's footrails were the only metal between the pilot and the bottom of the fuselage. Also, the kit seat has a few nasty ejector pin marks that will be hard to reach.

Verlinden already offers a 1/32 scale resin replacement cockpit for the old Revell Corsair kit; and Eduard has a comprehensive photo-etched set, but I have no way of knowing whether these will fit the Trumpeter kit. However, I think we can safely assume that at least one after-market company will come to the rescue with a brand new resin cockpit

Detail in the engine is very good. Almost eighty parts go into this busy-looking R-2800, including all the appropriate pushrods and plumbing. There is no ignition harness supplied, but an hour or so with some fuse wire and a pin vise will fix that omission.

A single-piece open cowl-flap ring is included. The cowl flaps look a little gap-toothed, with even spaces between each flap, even at the hinge line. Adding a wedge of plastic sheet behind each gap will go a long way toward addressing this issue.

Plenty of stores are provided - two bombs, eight rockets and two drop tanks.

The transparent parts look good too, being thin and clear.




Dimensional Accuracy


I have compared the kit fuselage and wings to up-scaled plans from the F4U Corsair issue of the Japanese periodical, "Famous Aircraft of the World". These drawings do not appear to be completely definitive (as comparison with a well-regarded kit reinforces) but they are the only scale plans that I have available at this time. I will conduct further comparisons in the near future.

The most complete set of plans was for the F4U-4, but dimensions and outline should be essentially the same as the -1D.

The plans were originally 1/72 scale. They were increased by 225% to 1/32 scale. Trumpeter's fuselage and wings conformed very closely to the dimensions and profile of the drawings. The exceptions were the lower fuselage line and the diameter of the cowl.



As a further comparison, I checked the Tamiya fuselage and cowl against the same drawings increased by 150% to 1/48 scale. The areas of discrepancy were similar.



Further examination of photos suggests that the outline of the Tamiya and Trumpeter kits are good: while the drawing in "Famous Aircraft of the World" depicts the rear fuselage as slightly too short in height and the cowl too large in diameter.

In summary then, the overall outline of Trumpeter's 1/32 scale F4U-1D Corsair looks quite accurate.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:






Trumpeter's 1/32 scale F4U-1D looks accurate, has fairly retrained surface features, excellent engine detail and will be a worthwhile recipient of corrections and additional detailing in the cockpit. The clear cowl, working control surfaces and wing folds will represent an attraction for some modellers, and a gimmick for others.

The Corsair is a popular modelling subject in 1/48 and 1/72 scale. Trumpeter's 1/32 scale F4U-1D will be an attractive addition to the range of excellent Corsair kits in the smaller scales.


Purchased with the Editor's funds.

Text and Images Copyright 2003 by Brett Green
Page Created 02 October, 2003
Last updated 02 October, 2003

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