Grumman Hellcat F6F-3 1/48 by Eduard. Pacific Theatre of Operations WW2.

The business end of the brute showing the aircraft’s wonderful lines. Hellcats were very robust and needed to be as they flew off carriers. They could take a lot of punishment and carried bombs, rockets and machine guns. It was a follow on from the Grumman Wildcat.

This is the second 1/48 scale Hellcat model I have made. The first, by Hasegawa, was very fine as you would expect from the Japanese manufacturer. It was only let down by the decals which were not opaque enough. Unfortunately, while attempting to airbrush over them, a slight mishap occurred-a load of model boxes from my stash fell on top of it and put paid to her glorious career!

This Hellcat is by Czech manufacturer Eduard. At first glance it seemed an excellent kit for a reasonable price. However, during construction, I found the fit was slightly out in the wings and fuselage and the instructions are a little unclear in places, especially with the incredibly complicated undercarriage structure. Nevertheless, I persevered only to find at the end the decals were incredibly thin and curled very easily. Still, I managed to get most of them on ok but I left off most of the tiny stencils which were barely visible. Overall, despite the great surface detail, Eduard kits in my opinion leave a lot to be desired, although you can’t really complain about the price of their cheaper ‘Weekend’ offerings.

This aircraft with the striking shark mouth markings was part of VF-27 on board the carrier USS Princeton (CV-23). The Hellcats wreaked havoc everywhere they operated in the Pacific. I have given mine quite a weather beaten appearance. Overall, they accounted for some 200 enemy aircraft.
This Hellcat has the uncommon ‘F11’ markings and with two kill markings in the form of small Japanese flags below the cockpit
More weathering underneath
I really like the three colour camouflage scheme of these American Pacific theatre aircraft. You can really go to town on the weathering too, although I tried not to get carried away! I think subtlety can be far more effective.
I tried to achieve a subtle feathering between the main colours with my airbrush and despite using a 0.3mm needle, it turned out not too badly, if I say so myself!
Box art
Fascinating documentary about the ‘brute’ by the American and British pilots who flew them.
For those of you with an engineering bent, how the Hellcat was built! I never imagined a film about a production line process could be that fascinating till I saw this! This film gives a glimpse in the power of American manufacturing during WW2 and just confirms how insane the Japanese were to take on the USA!

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