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Magic Factory F4U-1A-2 Corsair, 1/48th Scale, Kit No. 5001 Part 4

Magic Factory F4U-1A-2 Corsair, 1/48th Scale, Kit No. 5001 Part 4

By Phillip Friddell on 19th Apr 2024

Here we are once again, gathered not at the river but rather at the conclusion of our adventures with the Magic Factory F4U Corsair twofer, with some final thoughts and a picture or two.

First and foremost, there are two, count ‘em TWO complete kits hiding within that box. You already knew that, of course, but we thought we ought to remind you anyway. Those models are well engineered and easy to work with if you do your part, so we jumped in to see what we could do with the -2 offering once we’d completed the -1A and, thanks to an excellent kit and our recent experience with it were able to crank out a finished model in somewhat less than a week from start to finish. We used only what was in the box plus the kit decals, mostly to prove that this replica Hog is really and truly as good as we think it is. It was built pretty much bone stock but we opted to build it with spread wings rather than its intended folded option and corrected the antenna fit to that used by the -2. Other than those two things our model is 100% as intended by the good folks at Magic Factory, so what you see here (and in our previous segments) are what you can get right out of the box. 

The end results speak for themselves, we think. The addition of the birdcage canopy and radome turn the Corsair into an entirely different animal. You’ll still need to make a couple of tweaks such as fairing in the plug they give you for the outboard gun port nearest the radome, because it was smoothly blended into the wing and didn’t stick out from it, and altering the antenna configuration to -2 specifications. Land-based Corsairs frequently had their arrestor hooks removed so that was done here as well, and it’s also probable that you’ll want to omit the bullet resistant glass panel that lives behind the windscreen since it was generally left out of the variant in an attempt to reduce cockpit glare. We didn’t do that but you might want to.

We mentioned that we chose to try the kit decals and we have to say they’re among the best waterslide stickies we’ve ever used. They’re produced by Cartograf and are superb, easily as good as any kit or aftermarket decals we’ve used in the past, and there are two options for the -2 provided in the kit. We chose the Marine variant (for VMF(N)-532) even though we strongly suspect it depicts an airplane that’s been tarted up for a press visit and doesn’t actually reflect the way this particular airplane looked when it was flown to achieve its one confirmed combat victory. Other schemes are available in the wonderful world of aftermarket if you prefer to go that route.

Two more brief things before we leave you today, because someone will surely notice them. First, yes; we really did manage to break off the pitot tube during the course of photography—stuff happens so cut us some slack, ok? Also, those light blue panels behind the sliding portion of the canopy reflect the airplane’s original build, early in co-production with the real airplane’s F4U-1 cousin, when everything was painted in blue-grey over light grey. The 30 or so -2s that were built were repainted in the Navy’s then-new 4-color scheme prior to deployment to the Pacific, but photographic evidence shows those panels behind the canopy remained in blue-grey. The devil’s truly in the details!

This is our fourth and final installment for this kit and there’s just not that much to say beyond what we’ve already mentioned. Yes, it has a couple of warts as molded, but for the most part they disappear under a coat of paint. Everything fits, and the molding is precise. The engineering and tooling are the equal of anyone’s and the modeler can produce a fine scale replica of the real thing with just a bit of effort. If you build in 1/48th and have an affinity for the U-Bird it’s certainly a kit to consider. 

1/48 F4U-1A / F4U-2 Corsair Dual Combo 5001