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modelglue

Airfix 1/72 Wildcat line

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Hello fellows,

 

As I am digging back into the hobby I am picking up some project concepts that I shoved into storage before we moved houses.

 

I am currently working on an FM-1 that I have converted from the newer Airfix 1/72 F4F-4 kit and have a few varieties of the base kit in my stash. Namely more F4F-4 and Martlet IV, as you probably know they are the two variants produced so far. Is it likely Airfix will continue to branch off from this base mold and create the FM-2, F4F-3, various Martlet mks, etc? I have a few Admiral kits for the US versions I listed but they really don't hold up well next to the Airfix kits now that I have built one and fallen in love with it. 

 

I am considering sacrificing the Admiral kits to harvest parts to graft onto the Airfix kits to make the FM-2 to start, but if there has been any indication from Airfix I have missed, or, their previous production patterns would indicate that they might expand the line up I will hold off.

 

Cheers, Jeffer.

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I have no knowledge of what Airfix plans may be but watching the way they have developed kits in the past few years I would not hold my breath for any other Wildcat variant. Personally I would just go ahead and convert the kits you have according to your plans, it's going to be the quicker way to have the models you want.

There is of course an unwritten law in modelling that states that whenever a modeller completes some kind of conversion, the following day a company announces a new kit of the same variant, but in this case you'll have many modeller thanking you for your effort 😁

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Given the slightly podgy appearance of the Airfix kit, and its resultant shallow canopy, you might be better grafting Airfix details onto the Admiral kit.

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36 minutes ago, modelglue said:

Is it likely Airfix will continue to branch off from this base mold and create the FM-2, F4F-3, various Martlet mks, etc? 

Not in my opinion

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2 hours ago, Giorgio N said:

I have no knowledge of what Airfix plans may be but watching the way they have developed kits in the past few years I would not hold my breath for any other Wildcat variant. Personally I would just go ahead and convert the kits you have according to your plans, it's going to be the quicker way to have the models you want.

There is of course an unwritten law in modelling that states that whenever a modeller completes some kind of conversion, the following day a company announces a new kit of the same variant, but in this case you'll have many modeller thanking you for your effort 😁

I'll do it for you guys then. 😁

 

Thanks all for your replies so far. Perhaps I'll build the Admiral kits as is, and if I feel motivated I'll add details I like from the Airfix line as @Graham Boak suggests. I hadn't thought of that. If I can live with the two kits side by each, then I'll abandon the idea and if not I'll hack a Hobby Boss FM-2 up to accomodate my desires.

 

Thanks again, and I am happy to continue the conversation and digest any other opinions.

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7 hours ago, modelglue said:

 Is it likely Airfix will continue to branch off from this base mold and create the FM-2, F4F-3, various Martlet mks, etc? I have a few Admiral kits for the US versions I listed but they really don't hold up well next to the Airfix kits now that I have built one and fallen in love with it. 

I've seen no sign that they plan to but in any case, IMHO, it would be throwing good money after bad.  It's a classic case of using the wrong drawings.  In the prolonged discussion that took place on this site when the kit first came out, I think we established that Airfix asked the Smithsonian for drawings (which one might have thought was a good move) and received back drawings of the F4F prototype, which differed from the evolved design that eventually went into production.  To my eyes it just doesn't look like a Martlet/Wildcat (especially around the canopy and the fuselage spine). 

 

The Admiral kits (well, the Wildcat VI, which I have) were, ahem, "inspired" by the Hasegawa kit which is actually too slender where the Airfix is too rotund - but at least the canopy looks like a Wildcat's.  Moreover the Wildcat VI doesn't, as I recall, correctly reflect that variant's differences from its predecessors.

 

I'm keeping (and intend to build) my Admiral kits but don't dislike anyone enough to unload my Airfix Wildcats onto them.   It's a sad story because the detail parts on the Airfix kit are excellent: if only they'd used the right set of drawings for the fuselage, they could have blown the now ageing Hasegawa kit and its clones out of the water. 

6 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

Given the slightly podgy appearance of the Airfix kit, and its resultant shallow canopy, you might be better grafting Airfix details onto the Admiral kit.

I'm with Graham, for the reasons given.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Seahawk said:

if only they'd used the right set of drawings for the fuselage, they could have blown the now ageing Hasegawa kit and its clones out of the water. 

You got that right, my friend! It;s also a real shame that the best Wildcat VI/FM2 is the 1/144 Sweet kit!

Mike

 

Has anybody looked into how much of the new-tool Airfix Wildcat could be crosskitted onto the Hasegawa kit? Maybe using the Hasegawa fuselage, as the Airfix fuselage has always looked too porky to me.

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1 minute ago, 72modeler said:

Has anybody looked into how much of the new-tool Airfix Wildcat could be crosskitted onto the Hasegawa kit? Maybe using the Hasegawa fuselage, as the Airfix fuselage has always looked too porky to me.

No, I've sufficient stocks of the rather nice (and cheap) True Detail cockpit+wheelbay sets, designed for the Hasegawa kit, to cover my needs.  I've also on occasion used True Details wheels but to me they look seriously underinflated without a bit of tweaking.  Looks from Hannants' site that both are now OOP.

 

 

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10 hours ago, modelglue said:

 Is it likely Airfix will continue to branch off from this base mold and create the FM-2, F4F-3, various Martlet mks, etc?

I was once told that when such a 'series' of variants are produced the tooling is all done, if not at the same time, then as an immediate 'follow ons'.

We've not seen any such variants such as in the Mitchell or Wellington, so I'd say no.

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On 12/9/2019 at 11:19 PM, 72modeler said:

Maybe using the Hasegawa fuselage, as the Airfix fuselage has always looked too porky to me.

Building a 72nd scale Wildcat has been discussed in extreme detail by our friend Jumpei Temma. You may find a discussion of Hasegawa vs. Airfix fuselage on his web pages, but at the moment I'm no longer able to find them.

I have carefully compared the Airfix fuselage with plans and photos and, in my opinion, the problem is in the tail, relative to the rest of the fuselage.

I'm trying to figure out a simple solution, though I do not have a positive answer yet.

 

Claudio

 

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I beleive the Admiral FM-2 is the same plastic as the original Sword kit, in which case it's a clone of the Hasegawa kit with an extended tail and some changes to the cowl vents. What it doesn't have is the shorter cowl/longer fuselage section of the FM-2

 

DSC_1475.jpg?width=590&height=370&fit=bo

DSC_1480.jpg?width=590&height=370&fit=bo

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Claudio: if you look at the front of the canopy, you should see that above the windscreen the top rises in almost a semi-circle to the top.  There is a very clear view of this in Dana Bell's article in Airfix Mag (I think it was) at the time the kit came out.  The Airfix is much flatter, making the top too low.  But the lower part of the canopy is more accurate, thus meets the cockpit sill too high.  Airfix have produced a good match to the side view, but only by combining this undersized canopy with too fat a fuselage.  Which error came first I can't say, of course.  I hadn't noticed any error at the tail.

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The Sword/AZ kit is not correct at the front.

The portion between the trailing edge of the cowling and the wings' leading edge roots should be longer for the same amount the cowling should be shortened.

On the real thing the overall length remained roughly the same as with the P/W engine.

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Airfix used the drawings of the two prototypes that's why their fuselage is too tubby.

It was an error by Grumman who sent them the wrong stuff.

 

Edit / correction:

At least the plans appear to have been mixed up with those of the prototypes.

For me the fuselage spine, the canopy section and the general tubby appearance of the Airfix kit resemble the respective features of the prototype.

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5 hours ago, occa said:

It was an error by Grumman who sent them the wrong stuff.

No, in my estimation, it is putting people in charge of developing a new kit that have no detailed  knowledge of the real thing and who have never been up close to enough of the  aircraft being modeled  to know that the drawings, museum/restored aircraft is not correct to an aircraft in original fit. But, I freely admit I am an old curmudgeon when it comes to new tools that are not properly researched! (Now if Arma Hobby will only get around to doing Martlets/Wildcats...) :thumbsup:

 

5 hours ago, Tomas Enerdal said:

Jumpei Temma here (simply marvelous!)

I have all of his articles saved, but like Moa, Fuad,  Replicant, ToT, and several other BM'ers, I'm not even in the same zip code as those guys!

 

Mike

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It might have been better if whoever tooled the Wildcat had actually looked and read carefully a few references about the aircraft, the different variants and changes necessary because of these.  I agree that this last point may have needed a little more background knowledge than might be considered common, but is visible in photos, discussed in the references, and brought up many times on the net in threads about other Wildcat kits.  Not looking at any of these is careless at best.  However I'm not sure that the kit looks any more like the prototypes, which were rather different.  It seems more likely that it was a simple error which could have happened to anyone - but should have been caught before production.

Edited by Graham Boak

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Jumping back into this topic, I've just seen a post by Jamie Haggo on Facebook concerning a new release of the FM-2:

 

http://www.armahobby.com/70031-fm-2-wildcat-expert-set.html

 

I have no experience with this company, but they have posted renders of the sprues if any expert cares to compare the plans posted in the above link. 

 

Happy holidays folks!

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On 12/9/2019 at 4:19 PM, 72modeler said:

You got that right, my friend! It;s also a real shame that the best Wildcat VI/FM2 is the 1/144 Sweet kit!

Mike

 

Has anybody looked into how much of the new-tool Airfix Wildcat could be crosskitted onto the Hasegawa kit? Maybe using the Hasegawa fuselage, as the Airfix fuselage has always looked too porky to me.

Not trying to be a smart @$$, but why?  I've seen both kits and quite honestly, I'd just stay with the Hasegawa kit.  If only Eduard would reissue an updated photoetch set.  I've also had the Admiral / AZ Model kit and it is nothing more than a poor copy of the Hasegawa offering.  They had a few interesting decal options, but other than that, those kits are not worth having either.

 

I've never seen the Sweet kit, but I've read many positive comments about several of their 1/144 kits, too bad those are not scaled up to 1/72 or even if Tamiya would release one.

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On 12/9/2019 at 9:56 AM, modelglue said:

If I can live with the two kits side by each, then I'll abandon the idea and if not I'll hack a Hobby Boss FM-2 up to accomodate my desires.

Beware! The HobbyBoss 1/72 FM-2 is just an F4F-4 with a taller tail. I seem to recall it’s not even the correct height for an FM-2. The kit certainly doesn’t have the correct cowling, forward fuselage, engine, or exhaust locations for an FM-2.

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On 12/12/2019 at 8:35 AM, 72modeler said:

 (Now if Arma Hobby will only get around to doing Martlets/Wildcats...) :thumbsup:

Mike

If you are not really really happy right now you are going to be :)

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AH: http://www.armahobby.com/category/aircraft-models-wildcat

 

 

1 hour ago, VMA131Marine said:

Beware! The HobbyBoss 1/72 FM-2 is just an F4F-4 with a taller tail. I seem to recall it’s not even the correct height for an FM-2. The kit certainly doesn’t have the correct cowling, forward fuselage, engine, or exhaust locations for an FM-2.

Wait. It has exhaust locations?
Don't forget about the belly window panels by the way. And the antenna they've stuck on that clear part.

Edited by alt-92
links added

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