by: Darren Baker [ ]
IntroductionThe F4U-5N Corsair came along too late to see combat during World War Two, and was only issued to US Forces in 1946. The F4U-5 did see service during the Korean War as a photographic aircraft and a night fighter, this model represents the night fighter version of the F4U-5N. In this review I will take a look at how Hobby Boss has done with the F4U-5N Corsair in 1/48th scale.
The following is the introduction supplied by Hobby Boss;
The F4U-5 is the last propeller-driven fighter of the US Navy to be produced. They are developed from the F4U-4; the prototype of the aircraft is a converted F4U-4 (BuNo.27296). A series of latest technologies were applied to the aircraft, and the first flight was taken on December 21, 1945. The F4U-5 had the longest nose of all the Corsairs, the extend nose contains the 2300hp R-2800-32W engine and the automatically-adjusting turbo supercharger. The cockpit was redesigned, and also the canopy. The F4U-5's production was limited to 233 examples with the ending of the war.
ContentsAs with all models I have seen from Hobby Boss this kit is packaged in a sturdy cardboard tray with separate cardboard lid, this should result in the product reaching you in good condition with reasonable handling by the postal service, I feel this is an important aspect with more and more orders being placed over the internet. The contents breakdown as follows;
11 grey sprues
1 clear sprue
A decal sheet
A painting a decal application guide
An instruction booklet
An examination of the box contents left me with a positive opinion due to the cleanly moulded parts and some very fine moulded parts being included. On the parts included with this offering I did not notice any moulding faults being present on the kit parts. I was surprised to look over this offering from Hobby Boss and not find any photo etched parts in the mix; not a bad thing, just an observation.
My reference covering this particular Corsair is limited and so I cannot be 100% of all the details of this model. I was able to find reference for the cockpit and I am happy that the contents of this kit will provide a pretty accurate office in the Corsair. One area that will need addressing is the lack of harness detail for the seat. Decals are provided for the instrument panel which matches my limited reference but this area could be improved via the use of one of Eduard panel sets. The side consoles have raised dial details and so should look the part with careful painting.
The Pratt and Whitney R 2800 32W has been very nicely rendered in this offering from Hobby Boss. The twin banks of cylinders are nicely represented and as far as I can tell accurate. The ignition coils look a little on the thick side, but being made of plastic they are about as good as it can get within the constraints of the material. I feel this has good enough detail to satisfy most modellers and for those who want to go further the after-market manufacturers are already working on this model.
Hobby Boss has done a very good job of the undercarriage on this model. The detail is good for an injection moulded kit, but I would have liked to see the inclusion of weighted tyres. The addition of scratch built brake lines will bring this area together to the satisfaction of everyone except those that like to go down the resin route.
The fuselage, wings and tail of this model are very good when it comes to panel line detail and the lines of the aircraft. The panel lines are very light and recessed with the addition of texture on the wings, which looks to me to be accurate. The altered contour behind the cockpit has been tackled and again is accurate on this model. The engine cowlings are not removable and so a large part of that very nice engine cannot be seen, but Hobby Boss has very accurately replicated the vents that changed with the introduction of the F4U-5N and the flame dampeners have also been supplied in the kit. The control surfaces are supplied separately, and while not workable it does make it easy to place the control surfaces as desired. The wings have also been supplied with parts to depict them folded, but this aspect of the model is not covered in the instructions and I did not manage to find any images of the F4U-5N Corsair with folded wings; with that said space on aircraft carriers is at a premium and so I believe this would have been stored with folded wings. The radome on the right wing looks to have an accurate profile from my limited reference and it was present on all of the night fighter F4ís from the U-4 variant on. The four 20mm cannons, 2 mounted in each wing look to be correct in this offering, but I felt the detail was a little lacking. There is no external armament for this model, but you do get a couple of drop tanks if you do not want the model to be clean.
Decals and Instructions
The instruction booklet is supplied as a stapled book and uses black and white line drawings which do seem up to the task. One thing that did surprise me is that there are only nine steps between start and finish of this model. The decals supplied are acceptable to me as they do not have excessive carrier film, but I am concerned about how glossy they are and there is some discolouration present from the protective film. The decals represent the most famous F4U-5N Corsair of the Korean War, the aircraft was flown by Guy P Bordelon Jnr who became the US Navyís only propeller aircraft ace of the conflict. The decal colour is correct as while they were applied white they were over sprayed with a blue tint to make them less visible at night. One correction that needs to be made to the decals is the removal of the minus symbol that is present in (VC-3).
ConclusionThis is a very good model of the F4U-5N Corsair as flown by Guy P Bordelon Jnr during the Korean War. It is very hard for me to find fault with the model other than the issue with the decals which for the most part is easily corrected. So with all things considered this is a very nice model of a Korean War F4 Corsair which should look very nice when completed.