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DECAL SHEET REVIEW


Yellow-Wings Decals F4U-1 Corsair "Birdcage"
1:48 Scale



vol_2_image

The Vought F4U Corsair was one of the most legendary airplanes of the 20th century, serving the U.S., U.K., Royal New Zealand air arm, and the free French.  The Japanese deemed it as the most deadly fighter of the war, and it eventually accumulated an 11:1 kill ratio.  Yet, the early days of Corsair operations were fraught with problems.  On final approach to the carrier, it could develop very troubling stall characteristics, and when landing on the boat, the landing gear produced a “bounce” that thwarted a successful trap.  Also, the canopy frame configuration and high nose made taxiing on a flat top unusually precarious.  

These problems were all eventually solved, but not before the Corsair entered service.  So great was the need for combat airplanes that the F4U was adapted to and adopted by other operators – and for missions other than the pure carrier-based role for which it was envisioned.  The British Fleet Air Arm was an early operator of the F4U (the Corsair Mk. I in FAA service) beginning in 1943.  They trained their pilots between NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, or NAS Brunswick, Maine.  Corsair Mk. 1s helped go after the feared German battleship TIRPITZ.  In the Pacific, they famously participated in raids in the Dutch East Indies and eventually the Japanese mainland.  As the U.S. Marine Corps did not operate much from carriers, the early Corsair was for them a perfect land-based fighter-bomber to support their island-hopping operations in the Pacific from early 1943-onwards. 

Yellow-Wings Decals covers some of the early days of the Corsair in this decal sheet that provides markings for three F4U-1s in 1:48 scale:

The choice in schemes here is really interesting.  The more I study them, the more I really like them.  First, the pre-war scheme is a hypothetical scheme, but it’s my favorite here.  As the instructions note, it sure would have been pretty!  Still, it does not represent an actual paint scheme that was ever seen on the Corsair – the scheme was planned, specs were drawn up and still exist in the National Archives, but delays in Corsair production precluded its application.  The USMC scheme is a great representative of a “clean” early Marine Corsair.  The Corsair Mk.1 scheme is also one of my favorites, and it’s quite impressively as represented here.  There’s also something interesting and unusual in depicting the Mk. 1 not in-theater, but as they appeared in their stateside setting role.

The instructions are expertly rendered and easy to follow.  The decal design is excellent, and the printing by Microscale is right up there with Cartograf and other leaders in the decal business.  Colors are vibrant, in near-perfect register, and carrier film is very thin and tightly restrained.  These decals are, in a word, top-notch.

The only issue I can see is that the yellow border on the small British roundels is just slightly off, with a barely perceptible thicker width at one point in its circumference than the other.  It’s something you can see only if you look at it carefully enough, and you can probably rotate the decal when placed on the model so as to fool the eye and make this virtually unnoticeable.

Many thanks to Wayne Tevlin of Yellow-Wings Decals for the review sample.  You can find Yellow-Wings Decals on the web at http://www.yellow-wingsdecals.com.  You can reach them by email at yellow-wingsdecals@att.net and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wayne.tevlin.3.  Thanks also to Jerry Lawson for sharing his input on these markings and FAA-marked Corsairs.

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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