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Grumman Hellcat F6F-3 - 1:48 Eduard - Weekend


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Hellcat F6F-3

1:48 Eduard - Weekend


The Grumman Hellcat was a US Navy World War II carrier based fighter aircraft designed to replace the earlier Grumman Wildcat. Although the two aircraft do look similar the Hellcat was a completely new design from Grumman. The aircraft featured the Pratt & Whiney R-2800 as used by the Chance Vought Corsair & The Republic Thunderbolt.
The Hellcat proved to be a well designed fighter able to stand up to carrier operations and the rough air fields used in the Pacific Theatre of operations. Grummans initial design was in fact so good that the Hellcat was the least revised aircraft of WWII. In total 12,200 Hellcats were built for the US Navy, The US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy. The Hellcat is credited with more kills in WWII than any other allied fighter.
Post war the Hellcat was phased out of day fighter service but continued in US service as late as 1954 as a night fighter. One notable exception was in late 1952 when F6F-5K Drones carrying 2000lb bombs were used to attack bridges in Korea. Post war the aircraft were also used by the Aeronavale (French Navy), using them in Indochina; and the Uruguayan Navy who used them upto the 1960s.

The Kit
Euards kit featues the F6F-3, which was the main production varient. On opening the fairly large box from Eduard you get 3 sprues of olive green plastic, one of grey plastic, and one clear sprue. All the parts are as you would expect from Eduard, crisp, well moulded and flash free. Detail is fine engraved panel lines and rivet detail.


The clear parts are very well moulded, crisp and clear. Only one of the two front screens is for this model. For the main canopy you get a choice depending whether you wish to pose the canopy open or not, the second being slightly larger to fit over the fuselage.


Construction starts as always with the cockpit. This is very well moulded and comprises of nine parts. There are no straps for the seat as presumably these were on a PE fret in the original boxing. Some tape straps would suffice I am pretty sure of. Once the cockpit is complete it is placed into the fuselage, at this stage the tail wheel is also added; and the modeller needs to open up a slot for the ventral fuel tank if its going to be fitted. The fuselage is then closed up.


Next job is the engine and cowl. The engine is provided as two banks of cylinders and a front cap. Again I suspect things such as wiring harness etc were on a PE fret you dont get in the weekend boxing. However properly drybrushed and hidden in the cowl the engine should look just fine. The engine is then fitted to the front of the aircraft and the cowl placed around it.


Following on from the front of the aircraft its time to move to the rear. The tail planes and rudder need assembling and fitting. Next it the turn of the main wings. The wheel wells need fitting to the inside along with the gun barrels. The wings are provided with separate flaps and ailerons.


To finish off the landing gear and wheels need to be made up. These appear complex, the wheels are four parts each with the landing great and doors being 10 parts each. I can see them being a little difficult to get right. Once these are done under wing rockets and the ventral fuel tank can be fitted if need along with the prop.



This being the weekend edition there is only one set of decals provided. These are for F6F-3 BuNo 25813 flown by Lt. C "Ken" Hildebrant of VF-33 based at Ondonga in December 1943.

There is no doubt this will build up to make a good looking model. I for one am a fan of the bare bones approach from Eduard. With the weekend editions you get the same excellent plastic without all the resin and or photo etched parts I dont like. Overall highly recommended for those who like their modelling life a bit more on the simple side.


Review sample courtesy of logo.gif

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