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Paul A H

F6F-5 Weekend Edition - 1:72 (7450)

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F6F-5 Weekend Edition

1:72 Eduard

 

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The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a highly effective fighter, the design of which took advantage of experience gained in aerial combat against the Japanese during the early part of the war. Fitted with a powerful Pratt and Whitney ‘Double Wasp’ engine, the Hellcat was a fast fighter, capable of 380mph. The F6F-5 was the second major production version of the Hellcat. It featured a more powerful engine and revised engine cowling compared to the F6F-3, an improved windscreen and a strengthened rear fuselage. The Hellcat earned a reputation as an excellent fighter; by 1945 it had gained the status of the most effective US naval fighter of World War II, having destroyed no fewer than 5,271 enemy aircraft. The F6F-5 was also operated by the Fleet Air Arm as the Hellcat F. Mk II.

 

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I remember reviewing Eduard’s 1:72 Hellcat when it was first released, and it's hard to believe that eight years have passed since then. While those eight years won't have been kind to most of us, this kit is still very much a spring chicken in modelling terms. As far as detail and engineering are concerned, it is very much state of the art. Inside the top opening box are over seventy plastic parts spread across three grey sprues and one clear sprue. As this is a ‘Weekend’ edition, there are no photo etch parts or canopy masks, but you do get two decal options and a full set of stencil decals. I would have no hesitation in describing this kit as a stone cold classic, making this edition something of a bargain.

 

The engraved detail on the surface of the airframe is up there with the best that I have ever seen. There is an intelligently designed blend of recessed panel lines on parts such as on the flying surfaces, and overlapping panels on the rear fuselage. The mouldings are all clean and crisp, with no traces of flash or sink marks. The rest of the kit doesn’t disappoint either. The cockpit is beautifully represented and features delicate, raised details. The main landing gear bays are of convincing depth and are also beautifully detailed. The wings fit into recesses in the fuselage sides, so there should be no join to fill at the wing roots and misalignment of the wings should be all but impossible.

 

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Two choices of tyres are provided, each with different tread patterns. Both are moulded separately to the wheel hubs, which should make painting the tyres and hobs nice and easy, even without paint masks. The engine and cowling are nicely moulded and Eduard have captured the shape of the lower intake for the oil cooler and supercharger (the famous Hellcat ‘grin’) very well. The transparent parts are thin and clear, and the sliding part of the canopy is moulded separately to the windscreen.

 

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Because this is a Weekend edition kit, two schemes are catered for on the decal sheet – an F6F-5 flown by LT. Cornelius Nicholas Nooy, VF-31, USS Cabot, September 1944 and an F6F-5 of VF-83, USS Essex, March 1945. Four-view colour profiles are printed in the instructions, while there is a seperate diagram for the stencils. The decals themselves look thin and glossy, so hopefully they will prove easy to apply.

 

Conclusion

 

I’ve said it before and have no problem saying it again; this is an excellent kit. The level of detail is superb, the engineering is great but not overly complex and in Weekend Edition guise it is superb value for money.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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