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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:02 am
Posts: 9961
Location: EG48
Manufacturer's website

One of the hurdles for Essex class carrier builders is the sheer size of the air group - in excess of 100 aircraft in some cases by the end of the war. This can be a challenge for many builders and when I saw a couple boxes show up at my local hobby shop I decided to buy one to see if it might be worthwhile for people to consider. The come four to a box instead of the standard six to a box for the standard aircraft sets and retail for $22.99 versus the $9.95 MSRP of the standard sets. Late war standard squadron size when employing corsairs was 36 aircraft, so a building wanting to use these and have a full air group would pay just over $200 per squadron versus $60 per squadron if the only option was list price. A curve ball is that each box has two with the wings folded and two with the wings down and locked. If you want a squadron with completely folded wings you need to double your order to get the number desired. Now that the math is out of the way, let's get to the actual review.

File comment: One folded and one deployed - two of each per box.
Trumpeter06405_01.jpg [ 89.86 KiB | Viewed 150 times ]

The aircraft come in a box divided into four compartments by foam with a cut out for each aircraft. They are individually twist-tied (coated and not bare wire) to a piece of cardboard to keep them from bouncing around during shipment and shelf stocking, etc.. All four of mine were in one piece with no damage from shipping.

File comment: Four aircraft on their cardboard mount
Trumpeter06405_02.jpg [ 96.59 KiB | Viewed 150 times ]

Four colors are used on each aircraft - a close match for the non-specular blue/gray and light gray used from 1941 until early 1943, black for the props and tires, and silver for the canopy. No attempt was made to color the canopy frames separately or to do the yellow tips on the prop blades. Quality of paint application is decent - the photos make it appear more pebbly than in person. There is a slight smudge visible on the bottom of the fuselage that I believe is due to contact with the black cardboard. I tried to gently remove it with a wet Q-tip but saw no change. As it is faint and on the bottom of the fuselage it shouldn't be a visible detraction at all and will likely look lok part of the shadow if even noticed on a crowded deck.

File comment: Top & Bottom - down & locked and folded.
Trumpeter06405_03.jpg [ 109.61 KiB | Viewed 150 times ]

Astute observes may also note that the corsairs have three propeller blades and this is the start of where these pre-painted Corsairs really start to fall apart for use on US carrier models without some rework. The devil is in the details, as they say. The kits are of F4U-1A Corsairs and not -4 Corsairs. This is fine - the vast majority of Corsairs that saw service on US Carriers during WWII were F4U-1A or F4U-1Ds. However, the paint scheme is not correct for a Corsair at the time they actually were in use on US Carriers. Without a significant repaint, these Corsairs are at best suited to some of the land-based units in the South Pacific before the Tri-color scheme was in place (ordered in February of 1943). VF-17 was issued F4U-1 birdcage Corsairs but they had been modified into a tri-color scheme by the time they hit Bunker Hill for shakedown.

File comment: Top & Bottom from a slightly different angle - not the darker smudge after of the wings on the inverted Corsair
Trumpeter06405_04.jpg [ 71.93 KiB | Viewed 150 times ]

It will be up to the builder to decide if these faults and prices are worth it to have a bunch of teeny tiny planes on their carrier decks without having to assemble and paint them.

Tracy White -Researcher@Large

"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
-Barbara Tuchman

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