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Tamiya 1:32 Birdcage Corsair .... and yes of course it will be Royal Navy!

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On 8/4/2020 at 1:49 AM, Grunhertz said:

I've just finished Norman Hansons, Carrier Pilot and He appears in there as well

I had just finished that last year and couldn't remember if he was in it, I had to search through my Kindle for him,  it doesn't mention him by name though but does describe the incident and you can work out it was him involved. 


14 hours ago, Muttley said:

this was the best I could get re access

Not to worry, thanks for the effort though but year looks later.


Well today I plucked up the courage for, what was to me, the hardest part of this scheme. Producing the 7M letters. One of the initial reason for picking this particular aircraft was the ease of the lettering (requiring only straight lines) before I started looking into the pilot and fate of this aircraft. I don't have dimensions of the lettering so a lot of it will be by eye, this picture being a good reference




In this picture you can also see that the area around the code has been scrubbed and looks faded. I am wagering that the code was recently changed and getting rid of the old code left a lighter patch. So I will try and replicate this. I don't have any pictures for the other side but I will assume that set up is similar to this one. First up was to mask off the lighter area and cut out my figures from masking sheet.




So like I said I don't have the dimensions of the code but I have the picture and also a copy of a 1:72 set of decals for this aircraft. This allowed me to work out the heights in relation to the fuselage roundel. My rough estimate suggested a height of 14mm and a width of 2mm ( I later worked out the ratio of the lettering in the pic above, AFTER I sprayed and I think a better width would have been 1.2mm, oh well never mind!). This equates to 17.6 inches, just shy of 18 so allowing for my Bobby fudge factor I was happy with that. Also rounding up the mm allowed me to use my Tamiya masking sheet which has 1mm graph printed on it, an absolute god send in this instance! So I set about with my drawing skills and the sharpest blade I could find. Now ready for the white backing




I also cut out a second stensil as close as possible for the other side. 

While doing this you can see above I also sprayed the area behind the cockpit so I can apply that glazing as well now as shown below. 

I then lined up the stensil, on the first picture you can see it is in line with the panel line above so again with the grid paper this made it easy to line up staright. After a bit of faffing and to-ing and fro-ing I hit it with some red, very carefully and lightly at first of course. I gave myself a drum roll for the removal …...




Not bad at all if you ask me! Yes it is a little bit lower than the original and also a bit wider as well, and on the other side ….




Looks a little bit messier close up but generally work able. Next is to try and mask over the code to leave a thin outline of white before I go ahead and add the top coat. That's when I find out if my lines are parallel lol

Cheers now


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Good day every one!

Before I start on this upodate I had an intervention regarding this particular aircraft, just as I had fitted the rear tunnel windows a kindly gent in the know pointed out that this particular aircraft was quite unique as it didnt have any! I had never noticed but have a look at this image

Capture 3

Where as if you compare it to this image you can see it is really quite obvious ...

Capture 7

...if you know what to look for, so I am grateful to this intervention and learned something new to boot!

So I continued to mask up, the 7M was a right pain and im a bit worried that it might go to put, but lets just have a bit of confidence, so ready for the top coat, here she is (edit: this is just before i masked the 7M!)


You can see I have also highlighted the fabric ribs, not sure how this will come through but we'll give it a go! It was out with the paints. First was Model Master Acryl Gunship grey, this is very similar to the primer and plastic so its quite hard to see it going down, after that I used my special mix of Model Master Acryl US drab and dark green. This went on much clearer! However my airbrush really struggled today. It was really hot and humid and I had to stop and clean every few minutes. I persevered and this is the result




You can see a few areas on there that need a bit of touch up, so got that done and its time for the big reveal! Oooh my nerves were a wreck but this is how she fared

20200808_174826 20200808_174817 20200808_174858


So it looks not too bad! I'm going to put it down for a few days, walk away and then come back and see if anything needs addressing, my OCD is already looking at that 7M!

But thats all for now, thanks for looking in and encouraging this!


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Thanks for the encouragement! Much appreciated! I had a couple hours today so I built up the wings and flaps, I glued in the wing, added flaps and also that tail planes, at least I'm not having to constantly pick them up off the floor now! After they were dry I looked at a bit of weathering. I didn't want to go overboard but looking at old pictures these machines showed quite a bit of wear. I had previously sprayed on ally, then chromate primer before the top coat. My first thought was to gently remove upper layers of paint down to the ally (which I did protect with a gloss coat). Initially I tried a cotton bud (Q tip for us Canadian dwellers!) dipped in nail varnish remover. Now my bottle is probably several years old so has lost a lot of its volitility and I also dried out the bud as well so it wouldn't just strip everything!. My first attempt was on the starboard wing, but I mistakenly started at the wingfold instead of further inboard where the wear should have been! so that's an area I may have to revisit because I got excited and removed too much! I took a lot of care on the wing walk areas. I am not sure if RN aircraft had walkways painted on so I opted not to paint them in (I've seen them with and without). My Q tip was very dry and it took a lot of rubbing to wear the paint down to show the undersides (which is a good thing!). I tried to keep it refined and natural, I think it looks ok...

Here is the starboard wing, this would have worn a lot more as it was used for entry by the pilot as well as ground crew. Normally the flaps are housed and used as a step up onto the wing so they got a rubbing as well. I also masked off a couple of step panels to simulate wear to just those areas.


The port wing was used a lot less, mainly for maintenance and a ground crew strapping the pilot in.


There are also a couple of areas I rubbed down with 4000 grit wet n dry to just reveal the primer area. Again just trying to make it look natural (and I have since refitted the flap above! That just doesn't want to stay in) You can also see above that I have started the landing gear. These come split in two and Tamiya have you insert a .7mm metal rod in there to strengthen the oleo. I built these up more and they are now ready for a splash of paint


Again a lot of nice detail I don't really need to add any more to them. After that is sealing in the airframe colours. I want to do a gloss coat as I still have the kit decals to apply but I have notorious problems with a decent acrylic gloss. I think I need to work on my technique. But that's all for now.



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You’d never know that there’d been side windows - great stuff! Continuing to drool 🤤 (must get a mop, sorry 😬) away in the corner here.

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