SAM F4U Corsair Comprehensive Guide

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This review was submitted by Thomas Voigt.



Publisher: SAM Publications

Title: The Vought F4U Corsair- A comprehensive guide

Author: Rafe Morrissey and Joe Hegedus

After publishing various volumes on modern aircraft like the Phantom, the Harrier or the Hunter, Modelers' Datafile’s latest volume covers a World War II Classic again: The gull-winged Vought Corsair.

108 of the books’ 143 pages cover the development history of the various versions or sub-types, from the prototype to the post-war AU-1 and F4U-7. After a short excursion into combat history, each chapter describes the main characteristics of a version and its main differences to the previous type, but as many changes have been introduced during the production process, it is not always possible to relate each change to a production batch.

At the end of each chapter we’ll find a short description into the camouflage & markings used by the version during its service. This section covers the interior colour too, giving the modeler sufficient information on the different shades of zinc chromate, interior green etc.

Each chapter is supplemented with a lot of photos and detail-drawings, a very good combination of contemporary pictures and photos of aircraft on display in museums all around the world. The majority of them cover details of the aircraft, so modelers get a lot of information for building and detailing his Corsair.

After reading the book I become more and more fond of the idea to add the photos and drawings to the versions chapter, instead of putting them together in separate chapters, like in some of the former volumes of the series.

The colour profile section contains 7 pages with 28 Profiles, only two of them in non-american markings (British), which is a bit disappointing, as air forces of New Zealand, France, Argentina and others have used the Corsair too.

The “Kiwi Corsairs” are covered better with many fotos in the “In Foreign Service” chapter, which concentrates on this country and the Fleet Air Arm, including some nice colour photos of FAA Corsairs in the Extra Dark Sea Grey/Dark Slate/Grey/Sky scheme. Argentinian Corsairs are mentioned briefly and the French in the chapter on the F4U-7.

The chapter “Modelling The Corsair” is shorter than in some other volumes of the series, less than 20 pages. At first, I missed the detailed in-box reviews and building reports, but the pros and cons of most of the available kits and of some of the older ones are well described in the text or compiled in a list, illustrated with 24 photos of very good models.

Finally the scale drawings: Nicely done, but only the F4U-1a, F4U-1c and the “clipped winged” FAA Corsirs are covered. Why the authors have not included at last one of the later versions is still a mystery to me, especially as many of the kits of these later versions have more flaws in shape, than the earlier ones.

Nevertheless I would definitely recommend the book to modelers interested in the Corsair. Aside from the missing drawings, the authors have very well accomplished their intention to gather the huge amount of available information on the development of the Corsair and compile them it into one single volume.

Review by Peter Willicks via Thomas Voigt for Prime Portal
Copyright 2011