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Postwar Wildcat - NAMU FM-2 1/144


ajmm
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This has been trundling along for a while, this build. But a burst of energy (oddly enough as I was off work sick) has seen it over the line.

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The FM-2 Wildcat needs no introduction, and if it does then there are plenty of better written potted histories than I could manage. 

 

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Suffice to say it was the last of the Wildcat line, with a more powerful engine and a larger tail to compensate.

 

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The Sweet kit is also well known. The only edits I made to it were to put a spare seat in the cockpit (can't be seen); to widen the diameter of the cowling (as the Shelf Oddity instructions wisely advise); and to put the prop in my dremel to lathe down the somewhat exaggerated staggered hub into a spinner.

 

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I was very tempted to use the lovely Shelf Oddity etch set for this (https://shelfoddity.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=58 quite challenging-looking but I think I'd be up to it). In the end, though, I've decided to save that or another 'cat...

 

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I did use the superb (https://shelfoddity.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=25) Shelf Oddity decals. These were an absolute joy to use, even considering all the many many little stencils I had to put on. Not a whisper of silvering and all perfectly well behaved. There is a small etch fret as well, so you can put rocket stubs and other little details on. 

 

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I plan to do the blue and natural metal ones the decals provide for, so will use the full detail set and the subject-specific etch on a future build.

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The Naval Air Modification Centre (NAMU) trained mechanics and had a number of bright yellow aircraft assigned to it (including a rather fetching Helldiver). Here's my Wildcat parked up in September 1946...

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As well as being used to test things like HVAR rocket, they were used as trainers and tugs...

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I sprayed the whole thing in Mr Hobby 329 which worked well, but required quite a few layers to get the right depth and shade.

I used oils, pencils and pastels to weather (I refuse to believe that a bright yellow radial remains clean for long).

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I was particularly smug about my little pitot which I scratch built...

 

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The aerials at the back caused me some grief, but I got there in the end (kept reminding myself that it was better than trying to rig a Gladiator...)

 

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And that's that. 

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With something totally unrelated but also on the bench...

 

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And now this goes to join its sibling Wildcats...

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Thanks very much for looking!

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I thought this model was 1/72 when I first looked at it. Looks great - overall yellow Wildcats are new to me.. What did you use for the aerial wires? Looks really realistic for 1/144. Those Sweet models are unbelievable; I have several of their Wildcat kits and they are very nice.  Is the P-38 the 1/144 Fujimi kit? Thanks for posting.

Edited by Hobo
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That would be a great model in any scale, but especially so in 1/144.

 

Nice scheme, degree of weathering and fantastic work on the aerials.

 

Regards,

David

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Thanks very much for the kind comments guys! I enjoyed this build. 

 

5 hours ago, Hobo said:

I thought this model was 1/72 when I first looked at it. Looks great - overall yellow Wildcats are new to me.. What did you use for the aerial wires? Looks really realistic for 1/144. Those Sweet models are unbelievable; I have several of their Wildcat kits and they are very nice.  Is the P-38 the 1/144 Fujimi kit? Thanks for posting.

 

Hobo, thanks. I use Uschi Van Der Rosten Super Fine elastic thread. I don’t use magnifiers but very strong lighting is essential as it’s easy to lose track of the thread - it can be wildly frustrating but can also pay off I think. 

 

Not the Fujimi kit but a repaint of the F-Toys kit. I’m actually finishing off a Fujimi P-38 as well. I don’t really like the kit - some of it is brilliantly well done but then some of the fit is terrible - thinking particularly of the nose panels. Hateful exercise making that look ok. F-Toys is a little better in that regard but shame they only offer the F/G models. I built one here before but I see I need to update the images. (The old F-Toys J looks dreadful, I reckon, very much more toy than kit).

 

Thanks again! 

 

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