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F6F-5N Nightfighter (84133) 1:48 Eduard Weekend Edition With the success of the F6F-3 already in service, the F6F-5 was the natural evolution based on combat experience. Key improvements in the F6F-5 were a more powerful engine utilising a water injection system, revised windscreen that had a single armoured windscreen and spring loaded aileron tabs. The night fighter version came into service in the fall of 1944 was designated the F6F-5N and this was easily identified by the wing mounted AN/APS-6 Radar protruding forwards from the starboard leading edge, and the 20mm canon in the wing. While all F6F-5 aircraft could carry a 20mm Cannon in each wing along with a pair of .50 Cal machine guns, only the night fighter version used this operationally. The British designated the Night fighter version as the Hellcat NF II. My respect goes out to these pilots. Flying a single engined aircraft over the sea at night must be quite an intimidating experience, let alone with the prospect of combat mixed in. The Kit The Eduard kit has now been with us since 2008 and has been regularly re-issued in multiple boxings. The moulds still look good today though. This boxing has the basic plastic plus the edition of resin parts for the guns and radar carried by this version. Construction starts in the cockpit. The seat, rear bulkhead and control column are attached to the cockpit floor. Next the side consoles and instrument panel are added (a decal can be used for the panel if you dont want to paint it), Once the cockpit is complete it can be added into the fuselage halves along with the tail wheel. Dont forget to open the hole for the centre line tank if you want to use it. Next up the engine is made up. This has two banks of cylinders to which the gear box is added at the front, along with the shaft for the prop. Once complete this can be added to the front of the fuselage and the cowling built up and added over it. Construction then moves to the rear of the fuselage with the addition of the tail surfaces and rudder. The main wings are next on the build schedule. They are conventional upper/lower, left & right. The wheel wells need adding as does the appropriate wing armament before the two sides are glued together. Separate control surfaces are supplied for both wings. Once the wings are on construction moves back to the main fuselage with lights being added to the underside. Next step is the construction of the main wheel bays with some additional details. Following this the main wheels are built up and attached to their legs. The gear doors can then be added. Is using it the main fuel tank can be built up and added. Lastly the canopy, prop, and night fighter radar unit can be added. Decal options are provided for two aircraft as seems to be the norm for weekend editions now. F6F-5N, VF(N)-90, USS Enterprise 1945 F6F-5N, Bu.No. 78704 Capt R Baird, VMF(N)-533, Le Shima, Okinawa, June 1945. Each option is illustrated with a four-view profile. The decals, which are printed by in house, they look crisp, thin and glossy and the colours used are nice and bold. Conclusion This is a great kit from Eduard, good to see it in this configuration. Recommended. Masks If needed masks are also available for this kit. Review samples courtesy of
F6F-5N Nightfighter 1:72 Eduard Weekend Edition With the success of the F6F-3 already in service, the F6F-5 was the natural evolution based on combat experience. Key improvements in the F6F-5 were a more powerful engine utilising a water injection system, revised windscreen that had a single armoured windscreen and spring loaded aileron tabs. The night fighter version came into service in the fall of 1944 was designated the F6F-5N and this was easily identified by the wing mounted AN/APS-6 Radar protruding forwards from the starboard leading edge. The British designated the Night fighter version as the Hellcat NF II. My respect goes out to these pilots. Flying a single engined aircraft over the sea at night must be quite an intimidating experience, let alone the prospect of combat mixed in. The Kit The original kit was released by Eduard back in 2011, and has been re-released in different boxes periodically over this time. Now it is in a light grey plastic and the moulds are wearing well with crisp finely moulded parts. The kit featuring fine engraved panel lines. There are three main sprues of the grey plastic, and one clear sprue. Construction starts where else but in the cockpit. The rear bulkhead and right side panels are attached to the cockpit floor. The main instrument panel is made up and then attached to the cockpit floor as well, along with the control column and pilots seat. Seatbelts are provided in this kit as decals. Once the seat is on the left hand side panel can be installed and to finish of the cockpit the rudder pedals are attached. The cockpit assembly can then be inserted in to the fuselage and the main fuselage closed up. Before this is done remember to add the tail wheel part and a panel under the cockpit. The flashed over tab hole for the external tank must also be opened up at this time. Construction then moves to the wings, these are of conventional upper & lower parts each side. Before they are closed u the holes in the outboard lower wings for rockets must be closed up, and the insert for the main guns must be added in. Once assembled the wings along with the one part tailplanes can be added to the main fuselage. The modeller then moves to the front of the aircraft. The engine cowling is made up as is the 5 part engine. The engine is attached to the front of the main fuselage and the cowling added. The first decal option provides for a slightly different main gun arrangement and these can now be added. Next up for construction are the wheels. These are of two part construction being the main wheel and separate hub. When complete these are attached to the main leg, and the main gear door is attached to the outside of the leg. The centre line tank is constructed, and then this and the main landing gear can be attached to the main airframe. The night fighter radar unit is then attached to the starboard wing, and the propeller is added to the front. Lastly the canopy parts are added. These can be posed in either the open, or closed position. Decals As usual now for the weekend editions Eduard provide two decal options. Both aircraft are overall Gloss Sea Blue which white markings. The decals are from Eduard and look like they will pose no problems; F6F-5N, NuNo,78669. Maj Brue Porter Commanding Officer VMF(N)-542, Yontan Airfield, Okinawa 1945. F6F-5N, VMF-511, USS Block Island, 1945. Conclusion It is good to see this excellent kit re-released in a weekend edition. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of