Cutting Edge 1/48 & 1/32 F4U-4 Corsair Decals
Reviewed by Chris Banyai-Riepl
With Trumpeter's new 1/32 Corsair kit in the hands of many anxious modelers, Cutting Edge has decided to come out with a nice selection of decals for it. Not to be limited to just 1/32, they have also scaled all of these down to 1/48 as well, which should get many modelers to drag their favorite Corsair kit out and build one or two. There are a total of three decal sheets for each scale, with a total of seven 1/32 options and nine 1/48 options. I'll describe the 1/48 scale sheets and note on which 1/32 sheets the same scheme can be found.
Starting with the 1/48 scale Part 1, the first option is an F4U-4B of VMF-214 at K-3 (Pohang), Korea, 1953. This aircraft also appears on the 1/32 scale Part 3 sheet. Finished in overall glossy sea blue, the plane has white codes "WE" on the tail, a white "22" under the windscreen, and the VMF-214 badge on the cowling.
Number two on the 1/48 sheet (and number one on the 1/32 Part 1 sheet) is an F4U-4B from the Honduran Air Force in 1969. This plane, serialed F-96995, took part in the "Football War" in 1969. The 1/48 decals include the blue and white rudder and wingtip markings, while the 1/32 sheet just has the white portion, leaving the modeler to paint the light blue underneath.
The final option on the 1/48 Part 1 sheet is not duplicated on the 1/32 sheets and is an F4U-4 of VF-713 off of the USS Antietam CVA-36 in January 1950. Another Korean War bird, this plane has a string of bomb mission marks under the windscreen and plenty of white markings to break up the monotonous sea blue. The tail code is a white H, and the fin has a white cap to it.
Moving on to the 1/48 Part 2 sheet, the first aircraft here is an F4U-4B from VMA-332 off of the USS Bairoko CVE-115 in the Yellow Sea in July 1953. This attractive Marine Corsair has a white band around the cowling, with red dots. The same scheme is the first option on the 1/32 Part 2 decal sheet, and both scales provide only the red dots, leaving the modeler to paint the white band.
The next two aircraft are both from VF-32 and are special aircraft, the first being the aircraft of the first black naval aviator and the second being Medal of Honor recipient Thomas J. Hudner's aircraft. These aircraft are duplicated on the 1/32 Part 1 sheet. Ensign Jesse L. Brown was the first black naval aviator and was flying this particular aircraft (97231) as flight lead when he was shot down near the Chosin Reservoir on December 4, 1950. Lieutenant JG Thomas J. Hudner crash-landed his Corsair next to Brown's plane and attempted to free Brown from the wreckage. Brown was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Hudner the Medal of Honor for their actions that day.
The last option on the 1/48 Part 2 sheet is an F4U-4 from VA-14 "Tophatters" as seen in September 1949. Flown by LCDR Lou Burke, the commander of VA-14, this plane has a yellow propeller hub and fin cap, with white markings everywhere else. This scheme is not duplicated on the 1/32 sheets.
For Part 3 in 1/48 there are two aircraft presented. The first option is a rather interesting F4U-4 of the Olathe, Kansas Naval Reserve Training Unit in March 1956. Most of the aircraft is finished in Light Gull Gray over White, with the usual insignia orange reserve band around the rear fuselage. Where it gets interesting is with the sea blue accents. The rudder, lower outer wing sections sans control surfaces, and the stabilizer tips are all painted in sea blue, making this a very striking aircraft. For those 1/32 modelers, the same scheme is duplicated on the 1/32 Part 3 sheet.
The final Corsair on the 1/48 Part 3 sheet (duplicated on the 1/32 Part 2 sheet) is an F4U-4B from VF-113, flown by Commander John "Tex" O'Neill off of the USS Princeton in Korea. This plane carries the name "Little Lady" on both sides under the windscreen, and on the right side there is a large scoreboard with 112 mission marks. The propeller hub and fin cap are blue.
Below are the 1/32 decal sheets
All of these decals are well printed and should give those with the Trumpeter 1/32 Corsair kit some great inspiration. For those who have a pile of Hasegawa or Academy 1/48 Corsairs in their closet, these new sheets might be just the ticket to pull them out and finish them. My thanks to Meteor Productions and Cutting Edge for the review samples.