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1/24 Hellcat NF Mk II, 892 NAS, 1945


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Great progress and this looks a great kit.  As you say, a bit of wash and a light dry brush will pop the detail.

 

In terms of the detail behind the cockpit, there are a good few pictures of FAA 5NFW Hellcats on Indomitable wings folded with the belly hatch open.  I don’t know why but at least you could see into the belly of the beast..

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On 7/7/2021 at 7:26 AM, Grey Beema said:

Great progress and this looks a great kit.  As you say, a bit of wash and a light dry brush will pop the detail.

 

In terms of the detail behind the cockpit, there are a good few pictures of FAA 5NFW Hellcats on Indomitable wings folded with the belly hatch open.  I don’t know why but at least you could see into the belly of the beast..

Thanks for the tip - depending on how the interior looks I might leave the hatch open then. The problem would be the seam all along the top which might be annoying.

 

One thing I have been puzzling is the armament - it seems the 20mm armed -5Ns in the FAA were few and far between, to the extent that it would have been a rarity indeed to see. I will probably end up doing this as a standard 6x .50 armed NF.II. I will feel happier opening up the ammunition/gun bays then.

 

Got a bit of work done on the cockpit - modelling opportunities have been few this week :crying:

 

tn_Hellcat (21)

Sidewalls completed, decals and placards added from the kit decal sheet and a light Mig Starship Wash applied.

tn_Hellcat (19) tn_Hellcat (20)

I really like the level of detail in this kit - enough to be interesting but not overwhelming.

tn_Hellcat (18)

All these little Airfix decals went on beautifully, although two of them did disintegrate a bit - need to watch out there... :hmmm: I used MicroSet and Sol with good results.

 

Next will be the instrument panel and then I'll try putting the fuselage together - test-fit revealed a gap at the bottom of the fuselage around the aftmost bulkhead - when I checked it, the bulkhead was very slightly misaligned with the one in front of it. The reason is there's no exact fit between the two, just a tab. The instructions advise using the fuselage as a jig to position the bulkheads correctly, but I only used one of the halves to set the bulkheads, when they presumably meant to tape the whole fuse together. :doh: Nothing a bit of scraping can't fix!

 

Cheers for the comments so far!

 

Alan

 

 

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Dang, that cockpit is fabulous!

 

On 7/6/2021 at 3:52 PM, Thom216 said:

Folding wings, and maybe triced to the underside of an above shelf...?🤔

AFAIK, the F3F was the last Grumman aircraft to able to be triced. The SBD and TBD could be triced.

g17425.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi again, long time no update!

 

Got the fuselage together - was a bit of a fiddle to line everything up:

tn_Hellcat (23)

On 7/5/2021 at 2:55 PM, shortCummins said:

would it be rude to ask for a guide to just how big this is? perhaps put a bottle of paint or extra thin next to the cockpit for comparison?

Not at all! Here's a Tamiya paint pot:

tn_Hellcat (27)

And a 6-in ruler:

tn_Hellcat (28)

While not the biggest model I've made, this scale makes everything seem big!

 

Cockpit finished apart from washes and effects for the most visible bits:

tn_Hellcat (24) tn_Hellcat (25) tn_Hellcat (26)

Airfix have managed the impossible - an accurate, precisely engineered kit cockpit with incredible levels of detail, all right off the sprue. I'll have more to say about this kit as the build goes on, overwhelmingly positive...

 

This is one happy Hellcat!

tn_Hellcat (22)

 

...much like the builder.

 

Cheers,

Alan

 

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Build progression moves on to the wings - great care needed to follow the correct instructions.

 

tn_Hellcat (30)

Wheel well detail is exceptional. It's like they tried to replicate as much of the interior bracing and rib detail as possible.

tn_Hellcat (31)

The fit of these parts is also perfect. You just slot them in and glue it fast.

tn_Hellcat (29)

There's so much interior detail in the wings as well. Again, all very clearly shown in the instructions and right and left wings mostly contained on one sprue each.

 

This kit is precision engineered art.

 

Alan

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she's looking very nice, thanks for the "size references" she is going to be big isn't she, will she fir in a display cabinet?

 

rgds

John(shortCummins)

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Whenever I see builds like this, I have the “Have I got room for this in the Cave” discussion with myself..

 

Great looking build..

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47 minutes ago, Grey Beema said:

Whenever I see builds like this, I have the “Have I got room for this in the Cave” discussion with myself..

Discussion or self lecture? I'm the latter...:fight:

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Thanks very much for the comments so far! This is a LOT of work and I'll be pushing it to finish by September. 

 

Managed a small update yesterday:

tn_Hellcat (33)

I primed the interior parts, having masked off the cockpit - also assembled and primed the .50 cals and the ammunition boxes. Airfix provided two sets so it would be rude of me not to build them both for show!

 

Also the die is cast as far as the wing configuration - the left wing will be folded while the right is extended and the flaps are up. That will just about fit on my shelf now!


No going back!

 

Cheers,

Alan

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On 7/22/2021 at 3:20 PM, Alan P said:

tn_Hellcat (26)

Airfix have managed the impossible - an accurate, precisely engineered kit cockpit with incredible levels of detail, all right off the sprue. I'll have more to say about this kit as the build goes on, overwhelmingly positive...

 

Is that instrument panel from Aerocraft or did you modify the Airfix one? I see that you have included the radar scope and rad alt.

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17 hours ago, Bertie Psmith said:

 

Is that instrument panel from Aerocraft or did you modify the Airfix one? I see that you have included the radar scope and rad alt.

Thanks for noticing, it was the Airfix cockpit which coincidentally includes the radar screen and radalt face. I did add a tinted screen for the radar but everything else is out of the box. 

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5 hours ago, Alan P said:

Thanks for noticing, it was the Airfix cockpit which coincidentally includes the radar screen and radalt face. I did add a colour screen for the radar but everything else is out of the box. 

 

So the Airfix IP is completely wrong for the majority of Hellcats? I'm surprised I hadn't heard of that before now.

 

I've just read that there are alternative IPs in the kit I guess they will bring out a nightfighter before too long.

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I love this build - great work Alan.

 

You are making me battle more and more internally as to whether I have room for this in the Cave.

 

I would build mine as a standard MkII with this as the background

 

During Jun / Jul / Aug 1844 NAS (part of 5th NFW, HMS Indomitable) detached six Hellcat MkIIs (Aircrew recalled from leave, maintenance crew and fighter controller) to HMS Formidable  to act as Night Fighters (4) and for PR duties (2).  

 

The Hellcats for PR duties had the normal camera mounts of a PR Hellcat but once on board Formidable they were stripped of guns (by order of the pilots) to make them a little lighter and then they spent two days waxing and polishing to try and push up the maximum speed.

 

The Night Fighter Hellcats were bulk standard MkIIs.  No radar.  On 25 July, SLt Bill Atkinson flying JX772/X119 and three other pilots were on a night patrol. Two of the aircraft were forced to return to Formidable with mechanical problems. Atkinson and the other pilot, Sub-Lieutenant Mackie, were directed towards a radar contact. The contact was a flight of four Aichi B7A Grace torpedo bombers. Atkinson shot down three of them while Mackie, flying JX778, got the fourth.

 

I have already built JX772/X119 using Eduards 1/48 Duo Combo boxing and I am currently working on another of his Hellcats in this GB (I think Atkinson & I are related).  The internal argument I’m having now (watching your build progress) is, should I build another JX772 but in 1/24th and where would I put it?

 

Grrrrrrr....

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22 hours ago, Grey Beema said:

I would build mine as a standard MkII with this as the background

 

The Night Fighter Hellcats were bulk standard MkIIs.  No radar.  On 25 July, SLt Bill Atkinson flying JX772/X119 and three other pilots were on a night patrol. Two of the aircraft were forced to return to Formidable with mechanical problems. Atkinson and the other pilot, Sub-Lieutenant Mackie, were directed towards a radar contact. The contact was a flight of four Aichi B7A Grace torpedo bombers. Atkinson shot down three of them while Mackie, flying JX778, got the fourth.

 

The internal argument I’m having now (watching your build progress) is, should I build another JX772 but in 1/24th and where would I put it?

This sounds like a great project, and by the sounds of it you've already made up your mind and just need to put up a couple of new shelves to resolve the dilemma! :lol: The next few photos will seal the deal...

 

It's slow and steady as we go, just taking time to savour the building experience 😍

 

tn_Hellcat (35)

The empennage is complete - each stabiliser is a sandwich construction which traps a pole assembly to allow full travel of the elevator. The trim tabs are also fully poseable, as is the rudder and its trim tab. Of course it all slots together snugly like a snapfit kit, the rudder assembly isn't even glued as it slotted so tight when I test-fitted it.

 

tn_Hellcat (34)

Waiting for the paint to dry on the gun/ammunition bays before fully assembling the wings - completed the radiator underneath the wings and added some of the firewall detail before getting started on what's probably the centrepiece of the kit - the mighty P&W R-2800 engine.

tn_Hellcat (36)

Needless to say, everything fitted like a glove. So far the only fit issue I've had is that underside fuselage gap, which will be a CA glue filler job.

 

I know people sometimes throw around the term 'it was a joy to build' but this really is. Well engineered, beautifully detailed and a snap-fit, it's also blisteringly accurate and builds so tight and robust it could almost be an Ironworks product in itself.

 

Cheers,

 

Alan

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