1/32 F4U-1D Corsair Gun Bay Kit
For the Trumpeter kit
Stock Number: 2098
Reviewed By  Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853

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MSRP: $35.95

Soon after receiving the Aires Ammo Gun Bay for the Trumpeter 1/32 F4U-1 Corsair kit, I opened the package to examine the contents and there were the normal fine detailed resin pieces, which Aires in noted for. Other than the resin parts, the kit also contained one fret of photo-etched parts which are to be used to add even finer detail to the machine guns and gun bay area. Trumpeter has done a fine job of detailing on their parts as well and already having the Trumpeter kit, a comparison seemed to be in order. I decided that the only way to be fair was to build both, side by side, and see the differences between them.

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The machine guns on both kits are done very well, but Aires has a little bit of an edge with its detail. This really doesn't matter since the ammo belts are routed over the machine guns, which blocks some of the details on the guns. I also found that after the upper & lower halves of the wings are glued together, the gun barrels, on either kit, couldn't be seen, although the Aires kit allows more of the ammo belts to be seen. In order to attain this, a lot of work is involved starting from cutting the parts carefully from the resin stubs to cutting sections of plastic from the top of the wings. The cutting off of the upper wing panels is what makes it possible to see more of the ammo belts. The inclusion of resin panels in the kit, glued in the open position, replaces the panels, which were cut out. The adding of the small P.E. and resin parts to the machine gun bay is what gives the Aires kit the advantage. Almost any kit such as this involves a lot of work. This is not a shake & bake type conversion and it can be done with medium skill levels.

What makes the work even more time consuming is the fact that the directions are not up to par. There are many bits of plastic that need to be removed from the inside of the upper and lower wings that are not stated or shown in the directions. This, you have to figure out. The bottom half of the wing needs plastic to be removed so that the Gun Bay assembly can fit flat to the inside of the wing. Nowhere is that mentioned nor does the diagrams show that. The lower wing also needs another chunk of plastic taken out of the inside edge of the wing which will then need to be puttied and sanded flush. Either there is another sheet that wasn't included in my example or Aires thinks that one will soon figure this out when trying to glue the wing halves together. Once removed there is no way of reversing this process. So study what has to be done and then study it again.

The Aires kit does look a little nicer than the Trumpeter parts, but you will have to decide if the time and work involved is worth the difference in appearance. It took me about 10 hours total but that included building Trumpeters parts as well. One must make that a personal decision. I would only consider it if I wanted to showcase the gun bay for whatever reason. In comparison the overall look of the gun bay does look quite nice and after some dry brushing and a wash, it can look awesome.

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Because of all this work, I would and could not recommend this kit to novices or anyone who has a week stomach when it comes to cutting large portions of plastic from parts of a model that costs so much.

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I will recommend this kit to those with the experience, the heart and the patience to cut into such a beautiful kit. Overall the upgrade is much better because it shows more of the realistic workings of the inside of the gun bay and more of the overall detail inside.

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I want to thank Aires Hobby Models for giving me the chance to review this kit and my thanks also to IPMS for allowing me to review it.