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F8F-1 Bearcat

Trumpeter, 1/32 scale

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number and Description: Trumpeter Kit number 02247 -  F8F-1 Bearcat
Scale: 1/32
Contents and Media: Plastic, vinyl, decals (two options) and photo etch  parts
Price: Around AUD$82.50, distributed in Australia by J.B. Wholesalers
Available through specialist hobby shops worldwide
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Best “out of the box” Bearcat available in any scale.
Disadvantages: Some parts lack finesse; unispired marking choices
Recommendation: Recommended.

 

Reviewed by Luke Pitt


Trumpeter's 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat is available online from Squadron
 

Background

 

The Grumman F8F Bearcat was a brutally efficient design, small, fast and highly-manoeuvrable.

The aircraft by all accounts was a pleasure to fly and would have been highly successful given the “slug fest” that might have occurred over Japan if World War II had continued.

The Bearcat's only action occurred over Indo-China in the hands of the French and South Vietnamese Air forces where it proved to be a rugged and efficient gun platform.

Its good looks has meant that the Bearcat has been kitted many times by various manufacturers over the years, but the Trumpeter kit is the first injection example in 1/32 scale and has been eagerly anticipated.

 

 

FirstLook

 

The first thing that strikes you about this kit is the pretty average box art. I defy anyone to tell me box art doesn’t sell kits. This box art just didn’t grab me. This can be an important consideration when we modellers are faced with so much choice on the hobby shops shelves (or internet shopping cart).

Of course, what really counts is what is in the box.

Trumpeter's 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat is made up of 366 plastic parts over 14 sprues with a small fret of very basic photo etched parts, two vinyl tires and a large decal sheet (with two options) being provided.

 

  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Trumpeter 1/32 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
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The kit contains a conventional aircraft breakdown with provision for all the control surfaces to be positioned. The outer wing panels are separate too, permitting the wings to be posed either folded or unfolded, with full detail iside the wing folds.

The highly detailed engine, that contains 86 parts and shows a high degree of detail. The cockpit contains 20 parts and equally well detailed.

The peculiar raised "stitching" on the control surfaces is very heavy and will either need to be sanded off and replaced or, at least, reduced.

 

 

Trumpeter provides plenty of access panels as separate parts for example with the wing gun and engine access panels for. If desired, these can be displayed in the open position. The external stores options include two iron bombs, four rockets and one centerline tank.

The plastic parts for the most part, are well done, but lack some of the smaller details and, dare I say, the “finesse” that one might expect from manufactures like Tamiya or Hasagawa. The rivet detail, for instance, is acceptable but nowhere near as restrained as, say, Trumpeters 1/32 scale Messerschmitt Me 262 kit. I guess with a coat of paint these will become less obvious, but still, I would have liked them a little finer.

The canopy is a bit of a surprise. Trumpeter has traditionally provided very thin and clear canopies’ in this kit, however it is quite thick with a large mold line down its spine. The mold line can be easily removed with sanding and polishing but the thickness of the canopy is a worry. While it is not overly thick it could have been thinner. The fit, however, is first class.

 

 

The decal sheet is basic but thin and very usable. Two marking choices are provided. The first is the Commanding officers’ aircraft of the 19th Air Group at N.A.S Alameda in June 1947. The second is a Naval Reserve aircraft (No 95447 operating out of the Navel Air station in Akron Ohio in 1951).

 

 

I thought that the decal choices were a little uninspiring. I would have liked a French, Thai or Vietnamese aircraft given as an option

 

 

Conclusion

 

This is one of those kits that I think is good but not great. I was expecting more and maybe that was the problem. The kit ticks all the right boxes, but kind of leaves me feeling a little flat. Maybe it was the canopy? Or the decal choices? Or maybe it was the rivets? Whatever it is, in my opinion the kit lacks something.

I do, however, recommend this kit as it is accurate in outline and has more options than you can poke a stick at. The detail level is quite high, with the cockpit for example requiring almost nothing in the way of aftermarket items.

Recommended      

Thanks to J.B. Wholesalers for the sample

Text Copyright © 2008 by Luke Pitt
Images Copyright 2008 by Brett Green
Page Created 9 June, 2008
Last updated 9 June, 2008

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