Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Sign in to follow this  
Duncan B

Accurate Miniatures Grumman F3F-2

Recommended Posts

I stumbled across this GB by chance only last week but the timing couldn't have been better. Thanks for letting me join in and I promise to finish something :)

 

My entry for the GB will be the lovely little Accurate Miniatures 1/48 scale Grumman F3F-2. I have only recently acquired this kit to feed my recent 'attack' of Yellow (Wings) Fever that I seem to be 'suffering' from.

 

Here are the obligatory box shots

 

F553D912-2530-46A2-AE4C-F9507FBE3595-M.j

IMG_4824-L.jpg

IMG_4825-L.jpg

IMG_4826-M.jpg

IMG_4827-M.jpg

 

It'll be my first biplane in a very long time however the rigging is very simple and AM supply photo-etch for what rigging there is, we'll see how that turns out in due course. I haven't decided on a particular aircraft yet but, again, AM go the full 9 yards and supply a decal sheet that allows the builder to build any of the 81 F3F-2s ever built including the prototype. The only US Navy unit to use the -2 in front line service was VF-6 from the USS Enterprise, all the others went to the US Marines.

 

I've read nothing but good reviews for this long out of production kit so I'm looking forward to making a start.

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm looking forward to watching this one Duncan. I built the F3F-1 when they were first released, I remember it being a lovely kit to put together if you take some care with the fit of parts.

 

I'm not sure if the moulds for these went to Academy (I think they currently hold the Grumman Avenger tooling) but I wish that, whoever it is, they would release them again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, nimrod54 said:

I'm looking forward to watching this one Duncan. I built the F3F-1 when they were first released, I remember it being a lovely kit to put together if you take some care with the fit of parts.

 

I'm not sure if the moulds for these went to Academy (I think they currently hold the Grumman Avenger tooling) but I wish that, whoever it is, they would release them again.

I know Academy have released the Dauntless (as have Italeri), B-25 and the Vindicator but I haven't seen this one kitted by them. The whole package from the box inserts, instructions through to the actual plastic parts are superbly presented so I find it amazing that Accurate Miniatures went out of business. I've only ever seen one of these built up so maybe that explains it, you can have the best product in the world but if nobody buys them.

The Accurate Miniatures Avenger is supposed to be the best of the lot but I'm not sure Academy or anyone else has ever reissued it.

 

I'm hoping to make a start to this one today. The instructions are very detailed and even give assembly tips but need to be read through before starting. First step will be to spray all the interior parts silver (aluminium).= then we'll see how much more I can get on with after that.

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Duncan B said:

I find it amazing that Accurate Miniatures went out of business. I've only ever seen one of these built up so maybe that explains it, you can have the best product in the world but if nobody buys them.

Me too Duncan, perhaps the subject choices didn't grab enough modellers attention, though I found them quite appealing. Maybe releasing  a 'Hurrimessfire' would have been more a more popular choice.

 

2 hours ago, Duncan B said:

I'm hoping to make a start to this one today. The instructions are very detailed and even give assembly tips but need to be read through before starting. First step will be to spray all the interior parts silver (aluminium).= then we'll see how much more I can get on with after that.

That sounds like a good plan Duncan, as you say the instructions are quite detailed, and remind me a little of the 'Old School Airfix' locate and cement instructions. I also found it useful to have a dry run of things - if the parts allow it. 

 

Hope things go well with the start. :popcorn:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent choice Duncan alway's great to see a Yellow winged scheme and an interesting aircraft too,just recieved Academy's boxing of the Dauntless

certainly AM knew how to mold a good kit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, stevej60 said:

Excellent choice Duncan alway's great to see a Yellow winged scheme and an interesting aircraft too,just recieved Academy's boxing of the Dauntless

certainly AM knew how to mold a good kit.

They sure did, I have an original Accurate Miniatures SDB-1 and an Academy SBD-2 and they are both beautifully molded pieces of plastic that apparently build very well too.

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And we’re off! Not a huge amount of progress today because I had a large delivery of stock I had to deal with (pesky work!).

 

I have started by throwing some Missiom Models Faded Aluminium around all the internals and then commenced assembling the cockpit. 

 

IMG_4837-600x388.jpg

 

For a 19 year old kit the level of detail is wonderful, if you zoom in you can see the very fine rivet detail on the seat back. A better modeller than me could really go to town super detailing this. 

 

Duncan B

Edited by Duncan B
Auto spelling can’t!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, dnl42 said:

I'm also a fan of AM kits, so I'm looking forward to seeing this built. :popcorn: The Wayback Machine has AM's build article on the kit that you might enjoy.

 

Academy did rerelease the Avenger; it's their kit 12285.

 

 

Thanks for the links. I had forgotten about the Academy Avenger, will have to see if I can get hold of one. 

The build article will come in very handy. I need to find more photos of the real thing so I can check on the various finishes. 

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, Duncan B said:

I need to find more photos of the real thing so I can check on the various finishes. 

 

I have been using this site as a reference for my build, I hope that it provides some useful photos for you.

 

Military Aviation Archives

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Duncan B said:

maybe that explains it, you can have the best product in the world but if nobody buys them.

I can remember when A/M hit the modeling world. Everyone seemed to love them, but no one bought them. I personally think it was because they were 2-3 times the cost of other kits at the time. That may have been a local issue, or may have been all over I'm not really sure ? But to someone like me on a budget saw Tamiya and Hasegawa kits as cheaper. Considering thats what i usually bought ? 

 

Dennis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, nimrod54 said:

 

I have been using this site as a reference for my build, I hope that it provides some useful photos for you.

 

Military Aviation Archives

Thanks for the link John, it will be very useful.

8 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I can remember when A/M hit the modeling world. Everyone seemed to love them, but no one bought them. I personally think it was because they were 2-3 times the cost of other kits at the time. That may have been a local issue, or may have been all over I'm not really sure ? But to someone like me on a budget saw Tamiya and Hasegawa kits as cheaper. Considering thats what i usually bought ? 

 

Dennis

I must admit that I hadn't heard of AM at the time but I wasn't modelling at that time. I was in the middle of my sabbatical from modelling, the phase we all seem to go through when our kids come along!

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cockpit tub is now complete and sitting in the left hand fuselage part.

 

IMG_4841-600x452.jpg

 

You have to really pay attention to the instructions otherwise the temptation to rush on could bring problems further down the line. In this instance they say not to glue the cockpit in place until after mating the fuselage halves. 

 

IMG_4842-308x450.jpgIMG_4843-600x432.jpg

 

I hate painting and detailing cockpits, I don’t know why but it is one of my least favourite modelling chores (maybe I should just build drones?). It’ll soon be mostly hidden which is a bonus. 

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As @dnl42says Duncan; for someone who has a well-known hatred for detailling model cockpits you do a damned fine job of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Progress has been made, quite easy so far in fact. The fuselage is basically complete (minus the engine and cowl).

 

IMG_4846-600x451.jpgIMG_4847-600x476.jpgIMG_4845-600x370.jpgIMG_4848-600x433.jpg

 

No filler has been required so far but there are a couple of seams that will need a little Mr Surfacer 500 run into them. Trying to tidy up the sprue attachment points from the bottom side, along that ridge, was the trickiest part so far. 

I will have to decide at which point to start the painting. Will probably get the fuselage tidied and get that done before going too much further. The wings are one piece items so could be painted now. 

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/27/2018 at 6:27 PM, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I can remember when A/M hit the modeling world. Everyone seemed to love them, but no one bought them. I personally think it was because they were 2-3 times the cost of other kits at the time. That may have been a local issue, or may have been all over I'm not really sure ? But to someone like me on a budget saw Tamiya and Hasegawa kits as cheaper. Considering thats what i usually bought ? 

 

Dennis

 

I see you're from Chicago. Did you shop at Stanton Hobby, back when AM kits were new?

I was still a teen when they first came out, so they were out of my league, but I would always oggle thise nice black boxes when at Stanton's. A new years later when I was an undergrad in college, some of my friends pitched in and got me the A-36 kit for Christmas. It was revolutionary to me, and I didn't know how to harness it's potential. In the end I only had a mediocre model of a cool looking mustang, but I had such an adventure building it.

 

Sorry to hijack the thread, but that was a fun trip down memory lane.

 

 

I'm going to follow this build very closely as it is one of my favorite aircraft. And Duncan, the cockpit looks fantastic!

Edited by SoftScience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, SoftScience said:

I see you're from Chicago. Did you shop at Stanton Hobby, back when AM kits were new?

No most of my youth and younger adult years were spent in Al’s Hobbies in Elmhurst. I would spend 2-3-4 hours there on a Saturday and think nothing of it. I knew the entire staff on a 1st name basis. Al’s was a family business of 3 generations & around for 60+ years until they finally were killed off.

     Towards the early 2000’s i would split my time with Al’s. Going to Venture and Chicagoland hobbies in the north suburbs, and north side of the city. I left the hobbie in 2005 and whenni came back only Chicagoland was still standing. ☹️ Its 50 miles each way for me but i get to go a few times a year as my in-laws live 2-3 miles from there. My apologies for the thread drift, for a quick trip down memory lane. 

 

Dennis

Edited by Corsairfoxfouruncle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No need to apologise Gents, part of the run fun of building an older kit is the memories it brings back.

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another update, it seems to be going slowly but in fact actual build time has been quite quick. It’s just that I’ve not been getting a lot of desk time to push on. 

 

I have found a photo photo online of the actual aircraft I want to do. I haven’t checked my decals to see if I can actually do it yet but that’s a minor issue!

 

IMG_4850-600x428.jpg

 

I have a couple of smaller items to add to the fuselage and top wing then I’ll be throwing some primer and paint on them. I figure it’ll be easier to do the bulk of the painting at this stage before final assembly (I haven’t made a biplane in my adulthood so I’m making up the process as I go along).

 

IMG_4851-600x450.jpg

The kit includes a PE ignition harness for the nicely detailed engine. 

 

IMG_4852-600x450.jpg

The only filler of any sort needed so far has been some Mr Surfacer run into the joint between the top deck and the fwd fuselage. It’s not perfect but there is too much detail to get in there with a more aggressive method. 

Paint next. 

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What ‘fun’ was had fitting the undercarriage doors and the undercarriage legs, not!

IMG_4855-600x375.jpg

Twisting the doors between the A frames resulted in the whole panel popping off and taking the oil cooler with it. I cut more material off either side of the door panels and then they literally popped into place, today’s top tip. 

 

IMG_4854-600x516.jpg

The main legs were a trial of patience too. I found that using superglue to attach the legs to the A frames and letting that set before trying to locate the top of the leg in the wheelwell worked best. The undercarriage is really sturdy now at any rate. 

It’s a bit of a mess where I had to reglue around the front of the lower panel but I’ll clean that tomorrow once the glue has fully set. 

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Accurate Miniatures kits sometimes had those weird "tricks" you had to do, in order to fit things. Like stretching the fuselage to fit the avenger turret, or needing to smear goat's blood on the canopy of the vindicator in order to fit the wing of the Yak-1. :)

 

 

I saw a video on how to do the f3f doors and I think your approach was pretty similar. Can't find the video now.

Edited by SoftScience

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, SoftScience said:

Accurate Miniatures kits sometimes had those weird "tricks" you had to do, in order to fit things. Like stretching the fuselage to fit the avenger turret, or needing to smear.goat's blood on the canopy.of the vindicator in order to fit the wing of the Yak-1 :)

 

 

I saw a video on how to do the f3f doors and I think your approach was pretty similar. Can't find the video now.

Stretching the fuselage!!

I had a couple of dry runs at fitting the doors and it was obvious that the cut outs at each corner of the part needed to be made bigger. Once I did that they clicked into place 'nae bather av ah'  as they say around here. I get the feeling from this kit that it was designed by a modeller who knew what he wanted from a kit. Everything fits together so well and the detail is amazing for such a small aircraft. I have to keep reminding myself it's 1/48 scale, maybe once the wings are on it'll have more 'presence'.

 

Duncan B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's progress Duncan. Accurate Miniatures models do have some quirky build sequences, but whilst the fit of parts can be tricky they look fantastic when everything is together. @SoftScience is quite right about the Avenger turret, it does take a bit of jiggery-pokery to get it in position but it does go... eventually.

 

I hope that you don't mind if I use your build as a guide for positioning the struts on mine, the Special Hobby instructions can be a bit vague at times or maybe it's me being a bit thick. :confused:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×