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General Motors FM-2 Wildcat Mk.VI (ED-48138 & ED-72138) 1:48 & 1:72


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General Motors FM-2 Wildcat Mk.VI (ED-48138 & ED-72138)

1:48 & 1:72 Euro Decals by Fantasy Printshop




Grumman began development work on a new carrier-based fighter in the mid-30s, starting with the F2F, which was a biplane, but it and the successor F3F led to the basic shape of the Wildcat, minus two of the wings.  Initially, the new aircraft was outpaced by the Brewster Buffalo, and Grumman had to redesign their aircraft to carry a supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial engine, and later, new flying surfaces that gave it the needed improvement, receiving orders from the US Navy as a very sensible and prophetic backup-plan in case the Buffalo was a let-down.  Initial orders from France were delivered to the British Royal Navy after France fell before delivery, where it was initially designated as the Marlet. The US Navy would adopt the type in late 1941 after the Buffalo turned out to be a disappointment, although it was quite a manoeuvrable little aircraft that saw some service elsewhere.  Originally armed with 4 x 0.50 cal machine guns, the F4F-4 was introduced in 1941 with an increased 6 guns to improve the aircraft's punching power.  Although the armament was increased to 6 guns, the ammunition capacity was not, giving pilots less time with their fingers on the trigger, which was generally disliked by the pilots for obvious reasons. The extra weight from two more guns and the new wing fold gear also reduced performance, which could keep the pilot in harm’s way longer than with the early mark.


It was the primary US Carrier fighter during the early years of America’s war, with production continuing until 1943 when they switched over to building the replacement Hellcat, but one factory continued to make Wildcats for the British Fleet Air Arm (FAA), many from General Motors, bearing the FM prefix for clarity, which the British Fleet Air Arm renamed the Wildcat Mk VI, just to re-confuse us.  The Wildcat’s smaller size and slower landing speed was a boon on the typically smaller carrier that the British Navy operated in large numbers as escort carriers.



The Decals

This set of decals is available in 1:48 and 1:72, with the major differences being the size of the sheet and the layout of a few of the smaller decals due to space constraints.  Each set contains decals for nine General Motors manufactured FM-2 Wildcats that were involved in fighting during WWII, with a variety of colour schemes to tempt you into building more than one.


  1. FM-2 Wildcat, ‘7’ of Composite Squadron 4 (VC-4) based on USS White Plains 1944
  2. FM-2 Wildcat, ‘22’ of Composite Squadron 93 (VC-93) based on USS Petrof Bay, April 1945
  3. Wildcat Mk.VI, JV699 ‘J-F’ of unknown Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm based aboard HMS Trumpeter, December 1944
  4. FM-2 Wildcat, ‘20’ of Composite Squadron 36 (VC-36) based on USS Core, April 1944
  5. Wildcat Mk.VI, JV140 ‘B-IS’ of 882 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm based aboard HMS Searcher, 1945
  6. FM-2 Wildcat, ‘G50’ of unknown training Squadron based in the USA, 1944
  7. FM-2 Wildcat, ‘A16’ of Composite Squadron 78 (VC-78) based aboard USS Matanikau, 16 November 1944
  8. Wildcat Mk.VI, JV851 ‘J3-V’ of 794 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm based at RNAS Eglington, November 1945
  9. FM-2 Wildcat, ‘3’ of Naval Aviation Modification Unit based at Johnsville, Pennsylvania, USA, 1944






The decals are printed to Fantasy Printshop’s usual high standards, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin gloss carrier film cut close to the printed areas.  The 1:48 sheet is A5 in size, while the 1:72 sheet is smaller at A6, which is half the area.





1:72 (ED72138)



1:48 (ED48138)





The sheets contain the national markings and personalisations for each of the decal options, but you’ll need to use the kit stencils to complete your model, as you probably expected.  If you’re a Wildcat obsessive (and we’re not judging), it’s great value.


Highly recommended.


Review sample courtesy of


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