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t15dja

Airfix 1/24 F6F-5 Hellcat

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I'm now quite well into my build of the 1/24 Hellcat by Airfix, but I thought I'd share some pictures of where I've got to plus some brief thoughts on the build to date. The only after market additions I've used are (1) a pair of resin wing tanks produced by Nigel's Modelling Bench (in order to avoid seeing an empty space inside the wings) and (2) a set of fabric seat belts by HGW. I'll also be using the Eduard canopy mask set (I'm useless at masking canopies!)

I've used Mr Color number 365 gloss sea blue for the outside and as you can see I've also started weathering by very gentle use of some ultra fine Flory polishing sanders.

In summary, I highly recommend this kit. The fit of the parts so far has been excellent - I've only used tiny amounts of filler in a few small places along the top and bottom seams. There are a few areas of burring here and there (unlike the 1/24 Typhoon, which requires a serious amount of clean-up) but so far this has been very easily sorted with a sanding stick or blade.

Two areas that could be improved - the kit seat belts are too thick for the scale - they can be used but the HGW belts are sublime. Secondly the machine gun barrels have very soft detail. I see that Master have subsequently released a set of brass barrels and I would certainly have purchased a set had I not sealed up the wings by now.

Otherwise I can't really fault the kit. The engine and cockpit are mini-kits in themselves and the detail is superb. I added ignition leads by using copper wire to my engine. This was extremely fiddly and time consuming but definitely worth it in my opinion. The kit instructions are a great help in showing where the wires should go. On the subject of the instructions, they are generally excellent but I have noticed just a couple of incorrect part number call-outs and some missing colour instructions on a handful of parts.

So far I haven't used many decals other than those supplied for the instruments and placards, but they have been fine so far. 

 

I'll post up a few more photos as the kit nears completion.

 

If you've been wondering whether to buy this kit then I would say definitely don't hesitate - its too good to miss!

 

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Edited by t15dja
typo

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Posted (edited)

A few weeks later and more work has been done on the Hellcat, although, as always, not as quickly as I would like!

I've managed to attach the engine. This was not as easy as I expected, since the engine and all of the panels had to be dry-fitted in order to get the angles right and try to eliminate any gaps etc. Holding the engine and then individually the many panels in place, without moving the engine too much took a lot of trial and error. I more or less managed it but it isn't perfect.

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I also added some "mesh" to the front of the air intakes to hide the ugly seam and locating pins. This was sourced from a Tamiya 1/35 tank left-overs.

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I also added some copper wire to simulate hydraulic brake lines over the "silver bit" (not sure of correct terminology) of the undercarriage leg, having first sanded off the moulded lines in that area.

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I masked off and painted the cowl for the "Paper Doll" variant

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I've also started to apply the decals. I haven't used any clear coat, just sanded things down first using Flory polishing sticks. The decals have gone on very well. I've used the standard process of applying Microset and Microsol.

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Then applied Flory "Dark" wash....

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To end up with this effect, which I think looks quite good.

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Applying the Paper Doll "face decals" to the cowl and panels is a bit of a challenge, given the curved surfaces. The bottom engine panel in this photo is now glued on, whereas the upper panel is held on with Blutak just while I apply the decals, since I intend to display the engine when the kit is complete. This is how they look when first applied.....not looking good!

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However with copious amounts of Microsol they did eventually settle down. Some more "Dark" wash has been applied, which will need a tidy up. Propeller isn't glued yet.

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I've also started applying some "Grey" wash to the wings

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..with this result....

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More to follow........

Edited by t15dja

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Posted (edited)

Absolutely gorgeous work! Looks real! Those flory washes have made things pop

Edited by Wince

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I couldn't resist a quick dry fit of the various components. Tailplanes, wheels, canopy and propeller aren't fixed yet, but hopefully this will give you (and me) an idea of how big this thing is! That's an A2 sized cutting mat that it's sitting on.

 

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I have this one and you work is most impressive so now you have given me something to aim for.

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Many thanks, Peter, you won't be disappointed. The attention to detail on this kit is top notch in my opinion. Mind you, because of that it does take a long time to put together, at least in my case!

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Posted (edited)

Well, I'm onto the final furlong with the Hellcat now. Undercarriage struts,  doors and wheels added, canopy masked and painted, engine panels painted, all decals applied to the aircraft, control surfaces attached, most weathering done.

Really just a matter of assembling everything and then turning my attention to the ordnance. 

 

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Edited by t15dja

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Right-ho, I'm calling the airframe basically done now. In these final few w.i.p. photos everything is attached except the canopy and propeller. The upper engine panels are removable but shown in place in these photos. 

I'm currently just finishing off the missiles and bombs and they will be attached when she appears in the "ready for inspection" forum....I'll include a link below when that's done. I'll also be adding the aerial wires. 

This has been a very enjoyable build...the detail is superb. I don't think I've used any filler other than to sort just a few small sink marks and around the blade joints on the prop. I highly recommend this kit, although it is enormous....remember that is an A2 cutting mat!

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I've finally finished it!

Here's a link to it in the "Ready for inspection" section:

Thanks for looking!

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3 minutes ago, crobinsonh said:

Great build - well done

Many thanks! It took a lot of time but was definitely worth the effort. 

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Thanks, Peter. Are you intending wire the engine with ignition leads? I did as you can probably see and used black copper wire to do that. It did take a long time but was definitely worth it. 

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8 minutes ago, t15dja said:

Are you intending wire the engine with ignition leads

I adding the ignition leads much to my horror but I will persist and I have just added some progress pics.

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