Author Topic: Seac Corsair  (Read 1366 times)

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Offline kitbasher

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Seac Corsair
« on: September 04, 2007, 12:04:18 pm »
I wanted to do something in a week – just to see if it can be done – and settled on an idea I’ve had for a while.  It involved recycling a completed model and I know that didn’t meet the One Week GB rules (so it couldn’t have counted anyway), but commitments meant that I couldn’t have a first stab at a OWGB anyway.  It was my one small way of seeing if it could be done.
Started off by dusting down an ancient Airfix Corsair (literally – it’s been hanging up in the loft for the last 3 of the 10 years since I built it) which looked like this:


Day 1 gently removed out the prop (it was never glued into place) and clip the wingtips by the regulation scale 8 inches.  Can’t be bothered with stripping so paint the undersides Humbrol 126 (to represent ANA 602), the fin/rudder, tailplane and wing upper surfaces Humbrol 155 (to represent ANA 613 – and I would say a faded version at that).  Day 2 paint the fuselage Humbrol 155 and apply a second coat to the wing upper surfaces.  Then the first interruption which meant losing a day, but Days 4 and 5 added roundels, fin flashes and some of the white SEAC identification stripes, paint the canopy framing, and touch up the paint in general (decals come from generic Almark, Aeroclub and Xtradecal sheets), touched up the canopy framing, applied serials and squadron codes and sealed with Johnson’s Clear.  All momentum lost over the British public holiday – painting 1:1 scale house takes priority!  7 days later finally finish off with varnishing, etc.
Even starting with a built model my self-imposed deadline was missed by a mile, but I suppose I may have done had I not missed so many modelling opportunities.  Hats off to the OWGB guys – it’s pushing it to get a kit built in a week if you’re fitting it around a job and the domestic side of life, so well done to the lot of you.



And here’s the background story….

Following the outbreak of war in the Pacific and South East Asia, the RAF found itself operating increasingly obsolescent aircraft against Japanese forces.  Whilst the Curtiss Mohawk and Hawker Hurricane would eventually help stem the tide, a better, more effective alternative was needed.  Numerous designs were considered, and the RAF came very close to selecting the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.  However, with the Royal Navy and the Royal New Zealand Air Force having already selected the Vought Corsair for supply under Lend Lease terms, the Air Staff considered a radical solution.
Training and logistical issues would be streamlined if the Fleet Air Arm and the RAF were to operate a single fighter type in a particular Theatre of Operations.  Aircraft could be transferred between units much more easily, and indeed switched between land and carrier-borne operations.  So it was that the RAF chose the Corsair for exclusive use in South East Asia Command.  Although the RAF and the FAA would continue to exercise independent functional control of their Corsairs, training and logistical support (including airframe assignment) was co-ordinated by HQ Joint South East Asia Fighter Force – training being headed by an FAA admiral, logistics by an RAF Air Marshall.  A single pilot training course was established at Perth, Western Australia, although the RAF element did not include deck landing training.
RAF and Royal Navy Indian Ocean and Pacific Fleet Corsairs were built to a single standard and finished in a standard initial camouflage scheme of overall ANA 602 Light Gray with a disruptive pattern of ANA 613 Olive Drab on the upper surfaces and fuselage sides (not unlike the RAF’s night fighter scheme of Medium Sea Grey and Dark Green).  Joint Corsair Training Unit aircraft retained this basic scheme.  Unsurprisingly, the RAF’s Corsairs (exclusively Mk IIs, ie F4U-1Ds) were operated without arrestor hooks, these being removed immediately prior to delivery to squadrons.
Corsairs were operated by the RAF in India and Burma, where the ‘basic’ scheme was initially modified to a form of the Temperate Land Scheme by painting the Light Gray elements of the upper surfaces and fuselage sides in Dark Earth.   Fleet Air Arm Corsairs had the same areas finished in Extra Dark Sea Grey.  In both cases National and Theatre identification markings were applied according to Theatre requirements.
The Corsair was a great success in both the air-to-air and ground attack roles, and played a vital part in the campaign against the Japanese.  Following the end of the war, 5 and 30 Squadrons held on to their Corsairs until they were replaced by Tempest IIs in January 1946; 60 and 81 Squadrons continued to operate theirs in the Netherlands East Indies with until late 1946 until replaced by Spitfires.


My RAF Corsair has been finished as KL260 of 60 Sqn.  The real KL260 was a Thunderbolt II and served with that unit in Java until at least October 1946, and may have still been on squadron strength upon the type’s retirement a month later.  A picture of KL260 appears on page 71 of Camouflage & Markings No 5, ‘RAF Fighters 1945-1950 Overseas Based’, by Paul Lucas.
 
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Offline kitbasher

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Seac Corsair
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 12:16:41 pm »
...and I'll make sure the phots are smaller next time!
What If? & Secret Project SIG member.
On the go: Arrow, Beaumaris, Battle, Bronco GA.1, Buzzard II, CASA 2.217, Corsair GR.1, EE P12, Hawker P1067, Hellcat IV, Ice Cream Tank, JP T4, Jumo MiG-15, Macchi MC.205, Meteor F.8R, Phantom FG1, Puffin, Sea Hawk T7, Spitfire XII, Ta154, Val, Wellington.

Offline Brian da Basher

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Seac Corsair
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 04:55:47 pm »
Yowsa kitbasher, that's one really impressive recycling of a Corsair! It looks natural in that SEAC camo and markings! Great stuff!
:thumbsup:
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Offline Radish

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Seac Corsair
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2007, 02:53:35 am »
It certainly looks the part!!
Nice one!!
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Offline NARSES2

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Seac Corsair
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2007, 02:58:47 am »
Very nice - I'll soon have a companion for her  ;)  
Decals my @r$e!

Offline Glenn Gilbertson

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Seac Corsair
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2007, 03:10:56 am »
Very convincing model and backstory - well done!
 :thumbsup:  

Offline lancer

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Seac Corsair
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2007, 03:07:52 pm »
Excellent work.
If you love, love without reservation; If you fight, fight without fear - THAT is the way of the warrior

If you go into battle knowing you will die, then you will live. If you go into battle hoping to live, then you will die