Mike Posted May 28, 2021 Share Posted May 28, 2021 Grumman F6F Hellcat Kit Build #3 9788366148949 Kagero via Casemate UK The Hellcat was designed as a replacement to the earlier Wildcat, and although they bear a distinct familial resemblance, they are completely different aircraft with no commonality of parts to speak of. It was the preeminent US Naval fighter in the Pacific Theatre, having an R2800 Double-Wasp engine pulling her along by the propeller and a ruggedness that many a pilot was grateful of after getting in the sights of a Japanese Zero. She was also a good gun platform, agile in the air, and easier to land on the deck than the Corsair it fought alongside. It was widely deployed by the US, and in British service it was initially known as the Gannet (why?), but reverted to the Hellcat name soon after for simplicity, with over a thousand in service with the FAA until the end of the war. In American hands there were many pilots that became aces thanks to the skill of the pilots and the quality of their rides, achieving incredible kill ratios against the Zero that remained respectable against later Japanese designs, accounting for roughly half the US kills in the Pacific Theatre. The Hellcat was also a capable ground-attack aircraft, which was demonstrated in support of the US ground-troops during the hard-fought Island-Hopping campaign that eventually led them to Japanese homeland islands. After the war America withdrew the type from front-line service soon after peace broke-out, but retained it as Air National Guard (ANG) and used it as a disposable drone aircraft, carrying a 2,000lb bomb to targets in Korea while under external control. In the short-term it was replaced by the Bearcat that was faster due to an uprated version of the same R2800 engine, being more manoeuvrable and therefore more dangerous, but ultimately destined to have a relatively short life in US service thanks to the burgeoning jet-powered revolution. The Book This is the third edition of a new range from Kagero, the descriptive Kit Build series, which doesn’t need much more explanation unless you don’t readily understand English. It is printed in full colour in a card cover, which are sometimes referred to as a “bookazine” these days. The text is written in English on the left and Polish on the right, which translates to English on top, Polish on the bottom for most of the captions. It has 58 matt-finished pages within, and is bursting with colour on every one. There are two builds within the book, one of the 1:72 Eduard F6F-3 by Robert Wąsik, the other in 1:48 of the Hellcat Mk.1 by Robert Skałbania, the latter in British service. The 1:72 Hellcat is built as a care-worn airframe of VF-15, who took part in the Marianas Turkey Shoot, operating from USS Essex, in a well-scuffed tri-tonal Semi-Gloss Dark Blue and Intermediate Blue over Insignia White scheme. Over 25 pages of step-by-step instructions, the various techniques employed to give the surface of the aircraft the appearance of wear, explained in both words and pictures, showing just how to achieve very realistic effects. The 1:48 Eduard kit is depicted as a Royal Navy FAA airframe with moderate wear and a little bit of fading thanks to the sunny climes of the Pacific Theatre. This one has a stack of aftermarket thrown at it from a mix of providers, including Eduard, Aires and Master, adding a resin engine that has some of the cowling panels removed to show off the detail. Both models are built to a very high standard with variable amounts of aftermarket and scratch-building used to further improve the detail of the models. Each build finishes with a number of pages devoted to high quality photos of the completed models, some of which are extreme close-ups. The final 11 pages are devoted to side and wing profiles of various US airframes, and as a little bonus, a set of vinyl US stars are included for your use. Conclusion As long as you mix in some talent to go with your kit, this book should give any modeller with a little experience a raft of new techniques to try or adapt to their way of doing things. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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