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F4U-1A Corsair

21st Century Toys 1/18 F4U-1A Corsair Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2006 Manufacturer 21st Century Toys
Subject F4U-1A Corsair Scale 1/18
Kit Number N/A Primary Media Styrene
Pros Excellent desk or 'hanging' model for the adult or young aspiring aviator. Nice finish and detailing Cons  
Skill Level Novice MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

F4U-1A Corsair
F4U-1A Corsair
F4U-1A Corsair
F4U-1A Corsair

Many of you are familiar with the fantastic aircraft and armor releases from 21st Century Toys. Their early 1/18 scale P-51D Mustang and Bf 109E were simplistic, but still colorful hanging from the ceiling or sitting on the shelf. Since those early releases, in the aircraft category alone, we've seen some amazing subjects in continuously increasing levels of difficulty and detail. We have all in 1/18 scale: Ju 87 Stuka, F4U Corsair, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning, Spitfire Mk.I, P-40B Tomahawk, Fw 190D-9. Many of these have been released in several different color schemes.

This release is a reissue of the F4U-1A in a very colorful paint scheme. The aircraft is painted in the colors of Lieutenant Commander Rodger Hedrick of VF-84 based on the Aircraft Carrier USS Bunker Hill. As with the original release, this Corsair retains all of the nice working design features.

You can see in the title image that the Corsair is packaged in the same rugged, bullet-proof box that the earlier releases. Inside, each major component is wired to the carrier box with one or more tie-down wires, ensuring that no harm will come to the aircraft in transit. With the help of my trusty wire cutters, the Corsair was free and clear of the packaging.

The main components of this release are the fuselage, center wing section, outer wing panels, horizontal stabilizers, external fuel tanks, and pilto figure. The landing gear is up and locked for transit, but snaps down smartly when you're ready to set the aircraft on the gear. With a few snaps, the main components come together.

This release features folding wings, though you'll want to be careful with this as the wing tabs are a solid fit. To lower the wings, fold them down and insert the tabs on the outer wing panels into the corresponding slots on the center wing section. Carefully push the wing panels into place until the gap between the inner and outer wing panels is gone. To fold the wings, CAREFULLY pull the wings straight out until the tabs are clear and fold the wings up.

The canopy, propeller, and tail hook are also movable. The landing gear is retractable but be careful to release the down-locks on the main gear struts before retracting the gear or else you'll never keep the gear down again.

The tail wheel casters very realistically whereas most of the other taildraggers released by 21st Century Toys keeps the tailwheel locked in take-off/landing position.

You can see in these photos how nicely done the aircraft finish is straight out of the box. I have done nothing to this model other than remove it from the box and snap it together. Well done!

While I may update the finish on the aircraft at some point, this F4U-1 looks great exactly as-is and is hanging in my workshop at the Cybermodeler labs.

This release is definitely recommended. You can find these at any one of the retailers listed on the 21st Century Toys website.

My sincere thanks to 21st Century Toys for this review sample!