1/48 Academy F4U-4B
Jesse Folmar’s Korean Corsair
of this aircraft
pilot Capt. Jesse G. Folmar was the first American to shoot down a jet fighter
with a propeller-driven aircraft. Jesse recently passed away in July
2004. The following extracts of his jet encounter come from the Flight
Jesse G. Folmar:
"On September 10, 1951, we were scheduled to fly a strike mission against a
heavy troop concentration up in the Chinnampo area of
"At about three thousand feet, I rolled out of the right side of the cockpit and fell clear. As I pulled the ‘D-ring,' I heard an ear-splitting sound, and as I looked around, I saw a MiG come by me with his guns firing at my spinning Corsair. By my count, seven MiG-15s were in the area. Fortunately for me, they departed, and I hit the water about a quarter of a mile southeast of a small island. Lt. Daniels circled my position; the rescue plane arrived quickly and, if I remember correctly, I was in the water less than eight minutes before I was rescued!"
got this kit in
did some scratch building to improve this basic kit including:
Removed wing and cowl flaps &
replaced with items built from Vodka-Lemonade can metal;
cockpit detail including various levers, weapon selection boxes, gunsight from
sprue/card, seatbelts from masking tape with scratchbuilt buckles from Evergreen
U-shaped rod, opened up bulkhead behind seat;
tail wheel well, detailed & re-built tail wheel structures;
fins on bomb, added wire sway-braces;
funs on rockets, added fuses;
hydraulic lines to wheel wells and landing gear from stretched sprue;
hinges & actuating rams for main gear doors from sprue/fuse wire;
fuel filler caps to main & drop tank & sway braces to drop tank.
The fit was reasonable, but after cutting off flaps, getting the wing to mate with fuselage was rough. I used soda-can strips bent into an L shape to cover the topside wingroot gap (they’re about 2x over-scale!) and much plastic card/Tamiya putty underneath.
major markings were masked and sprayed, except decals on rear fuselage which
were kindly sent from
a blue was confusing. Dark sea blue was a common suggestion, but after
experimenting, it did not match colour photo’s of VMA-312 aircraft. Then
I saw an Italeri Corsair in the hobby shop which recommended Gunze Blue Angel
Blue, so I went with that. Out of the pot, it was too glossy/sparkly so I
flattened with Tamiya flat base & it looked spot on. The model was
pre-shaded with gloss black & I went with ARC feedback & faded some
areas & sprayed a few panels in different shades to replicate replacements.
Cockpit was painted a mix of Model Master USMC Green & Interior Green, then drybushed with interior green and a pastel sludge wash applied. Instrument panel was sprayed flat black, drybrushed with light ghost grey to bring out dials etc.
of real VMA-312 aircraft showed extensive heavy light grey exhaust stains –
bliss, I love filthy aircraft. Weathering consisted of:
Gunze Blue Angel Blue by adding a little white;
grey/red brown pastel sludge wash in panel lines;
exhaust stains sprayed on with mix of dilute white/grey, slowly built up with
short bursts from the Aztec;
spill discolouration with very dilute light grey airbrushed down masked fuselage
(artistic license here);
leaks with pastel sludge mix;
chips with silver pencil;
Swanny’s salt crystal chipping technique on the bomb for first time to give
paint colour variation – worked well except air-brush blast blew off some
I added the tricky-looking two-piece antenna wire. I sprayed some
stretched sprue with Tamiya AS-12, then drilled a locating hole in tail fin
& CA’ed in one end of sprue. The other end was CAed to the antenna
mast, with some slack in the line. A locating hole was drilled in the
fuselage side and another piece of sprue CA’ed half way down the first, then
pushed tight into the fuselage hole and a tiny drop of CA added to secure.
The main line was too loose and too far to port, so fearfully, I reached for the
heated wire. Risky, I’ve snapped heaps of rigging this way, but it
worked, with the main wire tightening up beautifully, pulling the fuselage wire
up tight with it.
hardest build yet, due to the poor quality kit and over-enthusiasm cutting off
major bits, but in the end, I’m very happy.
A few near-OOBs are now in order if I can just break the scratching habit!
Photos and text © by David Thompson