Now and again, someone will tell me they’re thinking of starting into scale modeling, or perhaps getting back into after many years away from the hobby. Inevitably the question will come up about kit recommendations.
I always start simple, asking what genre do they prefer – aircraft, armor, scifi, etc. If their answer is aircraft, and especially World War II aircraft, I only recommend one brand.
It’s not that there aren’t other great brands available. Eduard is certainly excellent. In fact, in terms of overall detail, they probably surpass Tamiya on their newer kits. Airfix makes some nice models that generally are easy to assemble. Trumpeter and Hobbyboss, while often lacking in research, are certainly quite fun to build and paint.
But none of them seem to have mastered the art of balancing fit, detail, and ease of assembly like Tamiya has.
This Corsair is a perfect example. While quite detailed and offering some nice features such as dropped flaps, open canopy, and folding wings if the builder wants, none of it is difficult to build. There’s no reliance on photetch, or multitudes of split-part assembly. It’s such a straight forward build that a novice youth builder could tackle it, yet advanced enough that any seasoned builder will make it shine.
The interior is quite nice, and the only change I made to the kit parts was to add an Ultracast seat, as I really like how their cast seat belts look. Painting and weathering was quite simple, with some drybrushing, washes, and chipping added in.
The exterior was painted with Tamiya XF-19 on the lower parts, and XF-18 on the uppers. Weathering consisted of various oil and enamel applications for washes, spots, splatters, streaking, and stains. Some airbrush fading and shading was applied as well. I wanted to give it a look of being used, but not worn, suggesting it was early in its combat service life.
If you’re new to aircraft building, or perhaps have simply not built one of Tamiya’s F4U Corsair kits, I’d highly recommend giving any one of the line a go. They’re simply a superbly satisfying build, from start to finish. And quite affordable – which is the icing on the cake.