Eduard, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Eduard Kit No. 8433 - F6F-3 Hellcat Weekend Edition
|Contents and Media:
||84 sand coloured plastic parts on 4 sprues, 16 clear plastic parts on 1 sprue, 8 page A5 size instruction sheet, 2 decal sheets for one aircraft.
||USD$19.95 available online from Eduard
and hobby retailers worldwide
||Cleanly moulded parts, with a good level of interior and exterior detail. Options for an open or closed canopy.
||Full marks to Eduard for producing an excellent Hellcat
Reviewed by Simon Wolff
Eduard's 1/48 F6F-3 Hellcat Weekend Edition is available online from Squadron.com
The Hellcat was designed to replace the earlier Grumman fighter product, the Wildcat. Taking a mere eighteen months from the prototypes first flight to the type’s first combat. 12,274 Hellcats of all types were produced of which 4,403 were -3’s. The Hellcat alone claimed 5,156 enemy aircraft.
For a single engined 1/48 scale kit this is a large model in an appropriately large box. So what do you get? Well construction is fairly conventional with split fuselage halves, same with the wings and horizontal stabilisers (separate rudder part). The two stage radial engine is contained within a three part cowling (two side parts and front ‘ring’) while the cockpit is reasonably detailed with a floor, seat, dash couple of panels and rudder pedals. There are no seat belts indicated on the seat so you will need to make your own here. Also it looks like from the instructions that you will need to decide whether you are going to build your model with the centreline fuel tank or not as a slot needs to be cut open in the fuselage bottom to allow fitting of the fuel tank parts. Also the tail wheel and Perspex parts for the fuselage ‘windows’ need to be fitted before you join the fuselage halves. Eduard give you two canopy parts, one for if you want the canopy to be closed and one for if you want it displayed with the canopy in the open position.
The cockpit interior detail of the kit parts is quite reasonable, but for me the exterior parts look more impressive. Certainly the undercarriage and wheel bay detail is quite substantial and well detailed. As for the fuselage surface exterior this has what I can only describe as an armadillo like look to it in that the trailing edge of each vertical panel section is slightly raised more than the leading edge of the next (make sense?). I have no idea if this is the case with the actual aircraft or not certainly a weird sensation when running your fingers along the fuselage!
Something I have not seen before in any kit is the tyres are separate plastic parts (like a Polo mint) with the wheel hubs also moulded separately.. nice idea in that it will make painting the tyres a damned sight easier for those of us with a not very steady hand when it comes to painting the defining line between wheels and tyres.
All the kit parts are very nicely moulded with only very slight flash that will require some little tidying up. I have to say the level of detail on the kit parts is nothing short of marvellous.
As is usual in these Weekend Edition kits, markings for one aircraft are provided. This is a replacement aircraft flown by a Lt. Moseley from VF-1 of the USS Yorktown during the battle of the Philippine Sea in 1944. All looked in register and finely done with little very little decal film. Something else I have also not seen before is the upper wing stars and bars has a grey instead of a white background colour, not saying this wrong just not something I have seen before. The decals come in two sheets, a second sheet holds the major aircraft stencils and quite substantial they are! So be prepared to spend quite a bit of time applying the little things as there are heaps of them. While at first glance the tiny stencils merely look to be symbolic of the actual writing they are in fact legible under a magnifying glass.
There is also a host of unused parts including another two alternative parts for the cowling and front canopy, these may be for a -5 version but I can not be certain.
The instructions look quite clear and easy to follow, on the last page along with the black and white markings layout is a statement that full colour instructions are on wwww.eduard.com, have not had a look at this yet could be interesting.
In closing I can’t find anything obvious to fault this kit with, I think it is a lovely kit of the type and can definitely recommend it.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2009 by Simon Wolff
Page Created 2 June, 2009
18 June, 2009
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