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Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat

Attack Squadron, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number:

Attack Squadron Kit No. 72018 - F8F-1 Bearcat

Scale:

1/72

Contents and Media:

59 parts in grey resin; 28 photo-etched parts; vacform canopy; markings for three aircraft.

Price:

£44.99 plus shipping available online from Hannants
and specialist retailers worldwide

Review Type:

First Look

Advantages:

Perfect casting; excellent detail

Disadvantages:

No depth behind wing intakes.

Conclusion:

Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Luke Pitt


HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron
 

Introduction

 

The Grumman F8F Bearcat was a brutally efficient design, small, fast and highly-manoeuvrable. The aircraft (by all accounts) was a pleasure to fly. The airframe mated to the magnificent Pratt & Whitney R-2800 (arguably the best large reciprocating engine ever built) was to all intents and purposes the finest piston engine fighter Grumman ever produced.

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

The Bearcat's rugged good looks has meant that the plane has been “kitted” many times by various manufacturers over the years, but this new 1/72 scale  kit from Attack Squadron may be the best rendition I have seen in any scale thus far.

 

 

FirstLook

 

The kit is presented in a stout white box with a fairly average looking illustration of the aircraft adorning the box to lid. When opening the box however, one is greeted with some 59 of most politely cast resin pieces I have ever seen in a 72nd scale kit.

 

  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
  • Attack Squadron 1/72 scale F8F-1 Bearcat Review by Luke Pitt: Image
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The finely engraved panel lines for example, are both accurate in the location and rendered to a very high standard. The fuselage is broken down into four distinct pieces (to facilitate the wealth of interior detail included) but, surprisingly fits together so well, it would be impossible to tell (if it not for a slight variation in resin colour on the finished pieces) once glued together.

 

 

Basically, anything that could be seen on an “unstripped” fuselage is included from, a complete cockpit through to the rear of the water injection tank and wheel well bay to a complete engine. The interior of the cowling even has the stiffening ring fasteners included. The wings have the flaps and ailerons cast separately as are the tail plane, rudder and elevators.

All the parts are beautifully cast and exhibit excellent detail. The only “glitch” in the wing assembly is that the induction air intakes lack any real depth and would best be hollowed out to some degree. The undercarriage is rendered to a high standard with the main undercarriage doors being almost cast “in scale” (in terms of width and thickness). The wheels themselves even have a tread pattern.

 

 

A 28 photo etch included a number of items on the airframe and engine that would be impossible to cast thinly and cleanly in resin.

 

 

A very clear and distortion free Vac Canopy is included and really tops off an already impressive kit. An 8 page instruction sheet is included and is note worthy as is both clear and easy to follow.

 

 

3 decal choices are provided for in gloss sea blue with two in French markings and one in US Navy service.

     

 

Conclusion

 

You know. I have a lot of Bearcat kits in my stash (in various scales). All, exhibit flaws of some kind or another, with some more serious than others.

This kit however, is almost vice free.

A combination of cleaver engineering and unparalleled attention to detail push this kit to the very top of the pile in regard to straight “out of the box” builds ability. Granted, the kit is expensive but, it’s also very well done. I’d be tempted to say this may well be the best kit of the Bearcat available (in any scale) today.

Highly recommended.

 


Review Text and Images Copyright 2014 by Luke Pitt
Page Created 3 April, 2014
Last updated 3 April, 2014

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