F4U-1A/2 Corsair (2 in 1)

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/48
MSRP
$58.99
Product / Stock #
81788
Company: Hobby Boss
Provided by: MRC - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

Hobby Boss first released their new-tooled F4U-1A Corsair back in 2012. Thirteen years later in 2023, after numerous reiterations and re-releases, they have produced a 2 in 1 release with extra parts to provide a kit of the -1A and -2, respectively.

Construction, as is the norm, begins in the softly detailed cockpit. There is no provision for any type of seat harness, so I used a set from a Warbirds Decals sheet. Overall detail in the cockpit is soft, and the instrument panel decal is lacking in detail.

Step 2 has the modeler construct the engine, replete with a full exhaust collection ring and exhaust. The instructions are confusing in this step (as with many other steps), so the fitting of the exhaust system was done by trial and error. Parts of this subassembly are nicely detailed, such as the exhaust system & transmission housing, while the cylinder heads are soft.

Step 3 involves assembly of the main wing spar. Here you need to decide if the wings will be folded or not. I opted to have them unfolded. Parts G20 and G21 are stubs that are intended to support the outer wings. Unfortunately, they do not fit. I ended up snipping them off, which results in a very fragile join of the outer and main wing sections. The leading-edge oil cooler intakes don’t fit as well. A great deal of putty and sanding were required to attain a reasonable fit. The landing flaps fit was OK.

Step 4 assembles the tail gear/arresting hook. While a bit fiddly, the completed subassembly is nicely detailed.

Step 5 brings together the previous subassemblies, all sandwiched between the fuselage halves. The fit of the fuselage is poor. The cowling is also added in this step, as well as the horizontal stabilizers and rudder.

Steps 6 & 7 bring together the port and starboard out wing sections. Parts are provided to display the machine gun bays open, complete with ammunition belts. I simply closed them up. The fit of the bay doors was not amazing, but not as bad as some of the other issues with this kit. Of note is that the outer wing sections are identical. The -2 starboard wing had the outer-most .50 caliber weapon removed to counter for the added weight of the radome. The modeler will have to correct/fill the outer blast tube to be accurate.

Step 8 has the modeler attach the outer wing sections to the main spar, which is impossible unless you omit parts G20 & G21. As mentioned earlier, this results in a very fragile join. Also in this step is the assembly of the main landing gear. Like the tail wheel assembly, the detail here is good. Having said that, the fit of the completed gear into the wheel wells is difficult. Achieving perfect symmetry for contest standards will be difficult, at best.

Steps 9 & 10 complete final assembly. The windscreen and canopy, drop tanks, antennas, and propellor come together here. The propellor boss is a two-part assembly which does not fit well.

Steps 11 – 20 are for the -2 variant of the kit(s) in much the same sequence as the -1A, and cover the different parts.

The decals are in perfect register, but the whites are not opaque enough. When the national insignia are applied to the model, the Dark Sea Blue easily bleeds through the whites. The decals responded very well to Micro-Sol.

The kit is also coated with a mold-release chemical that makes painting the model very difficult. Make sure you wash the model in warm soapy water before assembly!

PROS:

  • Two kits in one box.
  • Nicely detailed engine.
  • Nicely detailed landing gear.
  • Decals in perfect register.
  • Fully detailed machine gun bays.

CONS:

  • Overall poor fit of parts.
  • Whites on the decal sheet allow bleed through of darker colors.
  • Soft cockpit detail.
  • Instrument panel decal lacks detail.
  • No provision for seat harness(es).
  • Instructions are often vague or confusing.
  • Soft cylinder head detail.
  • Identical outer wing sections inaccurate for the -2 model.

My gratitude and thanks to MRC and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review this model.

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