GB-59 1/48 Corsair F4A-1A/Mk.II – WW2 PTO V

This forum contains affiliate links to products on Amazon and eBay. More information in Terms and rules

Vic Balshaw

Brigadier General
Jul 20, 2009
Username: Vic Balshaw
First name: Vic
Category: Advanced
Manufacturer: Tamiya Kit #61070
Model: Vought F4U-1A (Modelled as a RAF Mk.II )
Scale: 1/48
Extras: Techmod Decal TM48041 (still in post). Quinta Studio QD 48111, 3D Interior Dacal. Eduard EX033 Mask.

1. 20230215 6.JPG

3. 20230803.JPG

2. Build Decals 1.png

4. Version 1. JT260 Red P54.png

Could be a while before I get stuck into this, I'd like to get the Alfa Romeo out of the way and I've a wee break coming up with a few days in sunny Cairns.
Last edited:
Once again I've selected a subject that could be considered out from the left side of the field.

I intend to try and duplicate Corsair MK.II "red" P54 (JT260) of 757 Squadron FAA that is shown in the only photo I have (source internet) of this airframe. 757 Squadron were a Deck Landing and Training Squadron aboard HMS Unicorn sometime around July 1944 (according to some decal sheets). HMS Unicorn was a repair and support carrier in the East Indies Fleet which operated between the Indian and Pacific Oceans before becoming part of the newly formed British Pacific Fleet in November 1944.

It is unsure if my subject was in the Indian or Pacific Ocean at the time or indeed if it is on the deck of HMS Unicorn. In the photograph (original source unknown) my airframe is shown as the very worn and battle-scarred aircraft P54 (JT260) which is in total contradiction to all the decal examples I can find. Most decal sets provide a "red" P54 with complete roundels, but my ordered example has the central white dot with a blue outer roundel and is very small. As can be seen from the single photo, the bulk of the roundels have been wholly or partly painted out leaving only the two centre rings. As for the "red" P54, this now seems to be in black on a faded white panel. With all the wear and fading and the changes to recognition markings, I am willing to bet that the photo I've found was taken much later in the aircraft life when advances were well and truly underway in the Pacific.

If the judges should feel that this entry is not in keeping with the brief, not to worry, I can move it to the Start to Finish category and should I make a stuff up of this very heavy weathering………………not a worry.
Last edited:
From "Squadrons And Units of the Fleet Air Arm" 757 was reformed at Puttalam, Ceylon as a Fighter Pool squadron on 2 Oct 1943. It was later retitled 757 Naval Operational Training Unit with 3 squadrons (No.1 Corsair, No.2 Hellcat & No.3 Seafire). It taught pilots the latest tactics for use against the Japanese and provided deck landing practice. These were destined for the Eastern Fleet and later the East Indies Fleet and the British Pacific Fleet. It was moved to Tambaram in Southern India in July 1945.

You will find a history of Unicorn here.

757 was never based on Unicorn but clearly its pilots did use her deck on occasion for DLT as that photo you posted was definitely taken on her flight deck (you can see her forward port twin 4" poking out from under the deck edge). So a case of flying out from Puttalam, carrying out a few landings and take offs and home in time for tea. Unicorn sailed for Australia on 29 Jan 1945. Between Nov 1944 and disbandment in Jan 1946 it had detachments on a number of escort carriers for DLT at various times.

Corsair II JT260 was built as an F4U-1A. It joined 757 in July 1944 (after previous service with 1837 squadron) but was damaged in a deck landing accident in Jan 1945. While with 757 it was coded P54 (P for Puttalam; 5 for 757 squadron indicating it was the third second line single engined fighter squadron on that base; and 4 to designate the aircraft). By the point that this aircraft reached 757 the blue/white markings would be correct. You can in fact see that the previous markings have been largely overpainted (part of the yellow outer ring of the old roundel can stilll be seen on the fuselage. And the area of the old upper wing roundels are plainly visible.

I hope that this helps.
Looking forward to the start Vic. You probably know that the FAA Corsairs differed a bit from their US originals, the clipped wing being the most obvious. If you dig up my old build from a past GB (Don Sheppard's rig) there is some discussion there.
Thanks Andy. I've got your GB21 tread and will check it out. As far as I know, the most obvious changes were the clipped wings, a raised pilot seat (180mm) for better viewing and a couple of intake ducts on the mid to rear fuselage. :D
Yes, prop blades are a littler broader and the underside exit exhaust. I've also found a couple of VHF aerials on some pics, one on the underside and possibly one up front though my build still has the aerial mast up front. :)

Users who are viewing this thread