Grumman F6 Hellcat Title

Model Details

Kit:
Eduard Profipack F6F-3 Hellcat, 1/48th scale.

Detailing Items:
Out of the box.

Paint:
Mr Hobby, Tamiya, Revell and oil paints.

Awards:
IPMS(UK) Nationals 2012, Commended in the 1/71 up to 1/48 Scale (Prop) Standard Kit Class.

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Grumman F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo 40467, Lt Alexander Vraciu, VF-6, USS Intrepid, February 1944
This is the first WWII aircraft from the Eduard range that I have built so far, there are a few sitting in my stockpile that will have to wait for now. My initial impression of the kit was how good it all looked, and with it being a Profipack kit, it came with paint masks and various sheets of etch.
From start to finish, this project had taken me about eighteen months to two years to complete the model with regular breaks during this period. This is typical for me, as I am always jumping from one project to another, then another. I started on the cockpit interior and opted to use the pre-printed etch that came with the kit for the dash. After painting and detailing the parts, the etch was added to the dash then the interior was assembled. This was then finished off with a bit of weathering before being put aside. All the wing assemblies were completed and cleaned up before any detail parts were added to the undercarriage bays. Some dry fitting was done with the cockpit interior to the fuselage and the wings for fit and getting an idea of how she would look. Next, the engine was built in sections for painting before final assembly with any etch detailing followed by weathering.
The fuselage was assembled and the join lines were cleaned up with a few panel lines rescribed. I glued the wings in position , the way that Eduard mount the main wings to the fuselage is a presise andstrong joint. When I was happy with everything of the main fuselage construction, the cockpit opening was masked up and the model received a couple of coats of primer. Before spraying the basecoats, I pre-shaded the panel lines using Tamya Matt Black. The first base colour I did was Mr Hobby's H316 White, done in light coats to allow the pre-shading to show through. After leaving to dry overnight, the fuselage was masked with Blutac for a soft edge and masking tape before spraying the second colour which was Mr Hobby's H56 Intermediate Blue before leaving overnight to dry. Masking the fuselage using the same method as before so that the final colour of Mr Hobby's H54 Navy Blue was sprayed over the tophalf of the fuselage and upper surfaces of the wings. The last items for spaying were things like the undercarriage bay doors, cockpit canopy, undercarriage gear, bombs and the prop.
The fuselage was now ready to receive a coat of Gloss Clear prior to adding all of the decals for the markings of Lt. Alexander Vraciu's aircraft from February 1944. Once all of the decals were finished, a coat of Matt Clear was blown over the model ready for the finishing session of weathering. I decided to experiment weathering with oil paints on this model, here I made a dark wash of oil paint and re-highlighted the shading on the panel lines, especially where the pre-shading had gone because of the darker colours on the fuselage. This worked out very good so I continiued with the underside of the fuselage. Next I recreated chipped paint using a small piece of sponge dipped in some Aluminium paint and gently dabbed along all the leading edges of the wings, tail, engine covers anf prop. The next stage of weathering involved fuel stains, oil streaks and smoke staining from the guns and exhaust. Once this was all finished, final assembly of the model was carried out before the final stage of my weathering where I airbrush my dirt wash over the model.
The end result has been a very pleasing model after the time I have spent on the project. The experiment I had done with using oil paints for weathering the aircraft. This is the second Eduard kit I have built, the first being a Mirage that was given to me, but I am happy with the quality of the kit. So when I start of the FW190's, Aircobra's and the B-24 in my stockpile, it will be something to look forwards to.
© Copyright Michael Lomax
All images © Copyright H M Lomax