The second what-if model to emerge in the early stages of the Fall Modelling Campaign is the reverse of yesterday’s concept. Whereas the navalized F1J1 assumed that the Corsair was a failure, today’s postulates that the P-51 itself was a dog and the USAAC turned to the very competent Vought F4U1 Corsair to fill the gap for long range fighter escort. All the standard disclaimers about why this didn’t happen are still in place, but it does make for some fun at the modelling bench.
The basic idea was to put the Corsair into an Olive Drab and Neutral Grey set of markings, even though most late-model Mustangs were wearing overall NMF by that time. Maybe this squadron didn’t get the memo, or they were a bunch of staunch markings traditionalists. In any case, OD and Grey it was.
Although I do have a few F4U kits in the stash, most of them are for later marks (mostly Italeri and Special Hobby). There was one old Academy kit there, back from the time when they were allied with Minicraft, so it was chosen for duty. The kit has been thoroughly surpassed by the Tamiya kit, but it is well-suited to a whif treatment.
As I mentioned earlier, the tailhook had already been removed for installation on the navalized Mustang, and I really didn’t make any other mods for switching it to a land-based operation. Many Corsairs, especially those used by the Marines, were based on land in any case. Coincidentally, I found some unused nose art markings in the Hasegawa P-51 kit that was already in process. In order to use those, I painted a Red cowl ring and rudder. The markings were for “Blondie” of the 334th FS, 4th FG, as flown by Marvin Arthur. Wouldn’t he be surprised to find out he was flying a Corsair instead of a Mustang. The 334th was based in Essex, England during the later stages of the war.
Making a whif F4U1 was a fun exercise, especially for an aircraft that is not exactly a showcase for varied camo schemes. It will definitely stand out in a lineup of mostly GSB airframes.
This is completed model #411 (#36 for the year), finished in October of 2012.