Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Tamiya 1:32 F4U1-A1 Corsair Build Thread

39 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 10:47 PM

As I would expect, but am continually impressed by, your work is exceptional.

And, since it's a corsair F4U, I'll be following along looking at your amazing building prowess and enjoying every moment.


"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, November 08, 2018 4:50 AM

Wow! That engine is superb and you have shown me a new way of doing the ignition harness which I had not considered before.

I just wish you could also include metric measurements as well !! :)

I have Zoukei-Muras Shinden in 1/32 ready to start and their new 1/32 Ki-45 booked to collect at the IPMS Telford Show on Saturday.

After seeing your wire work I am going to have to up my game and the Shinden will be an excellent learning opportunity.

Thanks for showing the technique




  • Member since
    July, 2016
  • From: NYC
Posted by Johnny1000 on Thursday, November 08, 2018 5:42 PM

That engine is looking good, especially around the cylinders. Are you planning on detail painting the reduction box? 

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, November 08, 2018 7:13 PM

Well.. thank you! 1:32 compels you to do more. I did the same level of nonesense in my 1:48 B-17 which had Eduard upgrades on all four radials. That was nuts! In 1:32 you at least have a fighting chance, but you're still drilling really small holes in really thin pieces of styrene. It's not for the faint hearted.

Got in the shop late today but got that last ignition lead installed, touch up painted the whole deal and added the last parts. The engine is complete and ready to go into the air frame. On the Trumpeter Avenger, not only was the engine detailed, but they included all the behing-the-firewall gear case stuff and engine mounts. These were then buried behind the skin. In order to show it all off I had to cut open the skin complicating the build considerably.

For some reason, the distributors didn't fit over the ignition ring properly and I had to doctor them a bit some they nestled in. I also added the magneto, the prop governor and the little part at the bottom which has something to with the oil sump.

These parts were supposed to be light gray, but I left the distributors semi-gloss black as I've seen in my pictures. Theoretically, there is some wiring that goes to an from the magneto, but enough it enough. This engine is done. 

I painted the valve bodies Tamiya chrome silver, and touched up the rest. Interesting about Tamiya paint... unlike normal acrylics, which when dry can really be reconstituted, Tamiya when dry can be sort of brought back to life with isopropyl alcohol. It's not perfect, but it let me re-use a little bit of the light gray I mixed that had totally dried in the little epoxy cup I used as my mixing bowl. I was able to use it to touch up the gear case and paint the few added pieces.

And lastly, I stuck the engine onto the airframe to see how it looks. There are some cowl pieces that need to go on before gluing it in place, and these parts have to be painted dark gray in their interiors (although I have no idea why since they won't be seen). I am contemplating either using a clear cowl piece to show off the hardware, or put one of the pieces in an open/upward position to do the same thing. There are some of the front bank exhaust pipes that are not aligning perfectly with the pipe extension leading to the outlet.

Hard to believe that a power package that little put out 2,000 hp or more. By the end of the era for the 2,800, they were getting 2,800 hp out of it. That's 1 hp per cubic inch. Now to put that in perspective, top fuel dragsters are now getting almost 10,000 hp out of a basically 400 cu. in. engine, but they last for about 1 minute of running time. The 2,800 was running thousands of hours putting out that energy. If you don't want something to last more than a few minutes, you can get a heck of lot of HP out it.

Once the cowl pieces are fit, I'll be moving on to the flight control surfaces.

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Friday, November 09, 2018 4:35 AM

I would use the clear cowl but paint the right hand side, leaving the left side clear. This way you can have a full paint job on the right side and still see the engine on the left.

it does take some careful masking and painting but with that engine, well worth the effort.



  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Friday, November 09, 2018 7:24 PM

The cowls are split top and bottom, so I'll leave the top clear and the bottom painted. The clear parts have a slightly frosted texture which tamiya has included on all the skin parts to give it a better paint adhesion. They recommended and I did dip the clear parts in Pledge and will check them out on Monday after they completely cure.

After studying more images of the R-2800 I noticed two other prominent pipes that could easily be inculded since they're right in the front bottom of the engine and could be seen through the wide open cowl. These are oil scavenge lines that lead from the oil scavenge pump that sits at the bottom of the gear case and goes to the oil receiver at the bottom onf the front cylinder bank and the other goes back through the engine and ends up probably at the imaginary oil tank. The smaller lines is copper colored phosphor bronze and the larger a piece of 0.032" brass, both of which were made chrome by the Molotow Chrome pen. Now the engine's done! Whoops I just noticed that I didn't put on the PE builder's plate. I can do that through the open cowl.

With the engine complete it was time to install the forward cowl leading edge and the open cowl flap ring. You can have it will the cowl flaps open or closed. I chose open since it shows off more of the exhaust spaghetti. As usual the engineering was excellent in locating the cowls to the engine, but becuase I had painted the lugs that tie the valve covers on selected cylinders to the rings. So the glue was having trouble getting a good grip. I ended up helping it along with CA.

The remaining two exhaust collectors were put in place and then the entire engine was joined to the fuselage by using tube cement just on the center ring which has the heft to provide a good joint. The cowls varied depending on whether you're doing version A, B or C. The "Big Dog's" Corsair was the earlier B version. This plane had opening cowl flaps at the 11 to 1 o'clock posirtions. These were eventually closed off permanently when the airplane had the habit of fouling the windsceen with leakage from the engine. The B model also had the original shorter tailwheel. It was raised in subsequent models to give the pilot of better view forward over the huge nose for carrier use. The long nose was the reuslt of having the fuel tank in front of the cockpit. A couple of tiny PE pieces help hold in the opened top flaps.

I liked how the new exhaust pipes nested into the others that were already in place.

This was set aside to dry. While the cowls were setting up, I started on the horizontal stabilizer. Both stabs are the same. It was clear that Vought chose to do this to simplify construction. One side has a series of circular access panels. So one the right side they're on top, and the left they're on the bottom. The trim tabs separate parts as is the linkage that operates them. You can have the elevators in neutral or dropped position using a different hinge part. I chose to have them dropped. Another B option is filling the holes in the tail. In the later models this was faired over with a rounded cover.

When I glued the horizontal stabs in place, again I marveled at the fit. No filler needed. I used tube cement here to give a little more coverage and dwell time. I just put it on the middle of the mounting stub and let the stab push it further towards the junction.

Next up was the tailstrut and wheel. It's a lovely affair with lots of parts, great detail and good engineering. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have glued it in yet since it complicates masking the interior from the white bottom color, BUT... it is held in tightly held by a sandwhich with part M2 that's also a body part. I could have put that part in without glue, painted the bottom, removed it and then glued in the tail gear. But that plane has left the runway and the tail gear is glued in.

I airbrushed flat white, painted the hydralic ram with the Chrome pen and then installed it, and glued in place M2. That ring just behind the wheel caster hole is the attachment point for the catapult. It's a tail dragger so I guess they have to link up at the back. The diagonal link ending at the tail is the arresting hook operating lever.

I ended the day putting on the tail wheel doors. These too have two version depending on whether you're using the short of long tail wheel. So much of this model is detailed in plastic that you'd have to do with after market or scratch build. I will, however upgrade the wing fold area since I found some good reference materials for some added piping.

Work begins again on Monday. Have a great weekend.


  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • From: Olmsted Township, Ohio
Posted by lawdog114 on Saturday, November 10, 2018 2:35 AM
Nice attention to detail. That 2800 is beautiful..

 "Can you fly this plane and land it?...Surely you can't be serious....I am serious, and don't call me Shirley"





  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, November 11, 2018 4:11 AM

Stunning engine! I would add the manufacturers plate now while you have complete access.


Zoukei-Muras' latest release is at this moment in my grubby little paws with the official release being December/January.

They've done it again and you should get one!

  • Member since
    May, 2013
  • From: Indiana, USA
Posted by Greg on Sunday, November 11, 2018 12:46 PM

Everyone is right, that engine is spectacular. Yes


  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, November 12, 2018 6:37 PM

Thanks guys! This is my third aircraft with radials. The first was the Yankee Lady that started with a Revell/Monogram 1:48 B-17 (old, awful kit) but had Eduard engine kits that were tiny, but very fine.

Then came the Avenger... a Trumpeter 1:32 with an R-2600 radial that had added stuff like this one including the Eduard PE engine set. Came out okay.

But practice makes perfect so the third one, so far, is the best. I didn't put that plate on today and I need to make a note to myself to do it. The cowl is very open and you see a lot of the engine so I can get to it. 

Today was mostly a painting day. It started with the wing center section bottom which has white, Interior Green and Intermediate Blue painting. I painted the white first and then masked and painted the interior green, all by the detail airbrush. I find I'm using this gun more and more since the spray pattern is so nice that I can hold parts in my hand while painting without covering myself.

A neat little assembly which will add a lot of hidden interest to the model is the oil cooler/intercooler intake trunk. It was a prominent feature of the early Corsairs. Later models had some of these intakes in the cowl lip.

Each side consists of 8 parts: 5 injection molded and 3 PE. One of the PE pieces will not be seen when the wing is assembled. This is the inlet facing side that will be seen in the wing opening.

This is the outlet side facing into the fuselage and shows that soon-to-be-hidden PE grill.

Lastly, I put together the main wing spar in the wing-folded position. Again it has multiple colors including the wing hinge area in the intermediate blue color.

It took me almost a 1/2 hour to try and match that intermediate blue color. Tamiya calls out A-20, an aerosol pre-mixed color. I don't want to use rattle can paint in the house for areas as big as the plane so I bought some Tamiya bottle paint to try and get a match. The medium blue I bought which I thought would work as a starting point didn't work. I then tried to lighten the Royal Blue, but that didn't work either. I then mixed up some Flat Blue and lots of white (white was used in all the other mixes too), and was getting closer. I was matching this all to the color sheet included in the model. I found that I needed to add a small amount of red since the color was tending to a blue green. Here's the output from all those tests and the one that I thought was the closest as designated by the arrow. I can probably get it a bit closer and then I'll need to scale it up to make a batch for the airbrush. Or... I might buy some Vallejo that's already matched to this scheme. I'm not a big Vallejo fan since it's more temperamental, doesn't thin with IPA and dries much slower.

Tomorrow I have some errands to run and won't get so much done, but I will be continuing with building the wing center section.


Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.


By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.