1/48 Hasegawa F4U-4 Corsair

Gallery Article by Rian Jones on Mar 15 2011


The world lacks a really good model kit of the F4U-4 Corsair in 1/48 scale.  Hasegawa and Academy offer kits that are old and outdated, lacking accuracy and detail.  There is a resin conversion kit offered by CMK to convert the Tamiya F4U-1D into an F4U-4.  I tried that method and failed.  That left me with the alternative of building either the Hasegawa or Academy kit.  Of the two, the Hasegawa kit is more accurate in outline and detail.  I dove into the project using as much aftermarket and kit bashing as I could to create an acceptable model of the F4U-4 in 1/48 scale.  Having failed at the CMK conversion, I had plenty of parts from the Tamiya kit that I used as well as the cockpit set from the CMK conversion set.  I used the Tamiya kit's landing gear and tailwheel/tailhook assembly, the Quickboost resin engine and gunsight, and Ultracast resin wheels.  I added scratchbuilt details to the wheel wells and landing gear struts (including the retraction springs that are highly visible on the landing gear of the real thing).  I had to scratchbuild the tail wheel well since this detail was completely lacking in the Hasegawa kit.  Since the Hasegawa kit has raised panel lines, I rescribed the entire model.  The model was painted with Model Master enamel paint and the aftermarket decals are from Aeromaster depicting the famous F4U-4 White 18 from VMF-323 Death Rattlers.  The model post shaded and weathered with artist oils thinned in turpenoid and chalk pastels.

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I did a lot of scratch built detailing to this model.  The Quickboost engine is very nice but lacks push rods and wiring.  I added those details to the engine.  The kit had no wheel well for the tail wheel/tailhook, so I scratch built it using plastic strip and some parts cannibalized from the Tamiya kit.  I wound springs from 32 gauge beading wire using the shaft of a drill bit.  These springs were installed on the landing gear struts.

I hope that some day Tamiya will release an F4U-4 in 1/48 scale.  It seems like an obvious progression from the F4U-1 and F4U-1D kits that they have already released.  Until then, if you want a more accurate and up to date model of the F4U-4 in 1/48 scale, you can try tackling the CMK conversion kit or try updating the Hasegawa kit like I did.

Rian Jones

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Photos and text by Rian Jones