1/48 Grumman F7F-3(N) Tigercat, USMC, Korean War
This is AMT/Ertl’s original boxing of the Tigercat, the tools now owned by Italeri and since reboxed under their brand with minor improvements. The AMT kit is notorious for the awful tires used which would literally melt the wheels after awhile as the model is sitting on the shelf. And thankfully I was able to catch it when I first got it, to remove them as one of them had made its way to one of the wing panels in the box, leaving a mark on one of the wing panels. AMT’s plastic is very soft and quite easy to work with. With this build I also used Cuttings Edge cockpit set, True Detail wheels, Cutting Edge nose gear leg (White Metal) and the wing fold set. Also used was Aeromaster sheet #48-311 for the black scheme. I had originally set out to use the incorrect props, but ended up losing one of them, so an Ultra Cast replacement was used, can you guess which prop is the correct one?
The F7F-3(N) Tigercat was produced by Grumman, another line of “cats” coming from the NY based producer, Tigercat was first proposed in 1941, as a carrier borne twin engine fighter in line with the new “Midway” class of carrier being constructed by the Navy. But if proved to fast and big to for use on those carriers. So it was relegated to land based operations. However arriving too late in the war to participate in combat. The original name was actually Tomcat, but at the time the negative connotation of the name wasn’t acceptable. (have we come along ways in what is considered negative this day and age) so hence Tigercat was chosen instead. Primarily used by the US Marines for close air support in the Korean War. VMF(N)-513 used the Tigercat for night intruder missions. Originally arriving in GSB, they were painted black for their tasking. With the harsh Korean environment, they weathered rather quickly.
To achieve this weathered worn look, I used Xtracrylix Night Black, a glossy finish on the overall airframe. Then I used the new Testor (not really new, it feels like the old Polly S paint which Testors now owns) Polly Scale Grimy Black. As a post shade over the glossy black and random panels on the nose, wings and tail planes to give it a blotchy look. A coat of clear for the decals crossing my fingers and hoping that the clear would not even the 2 blacks, in fact was happy that it enhanced it. Then trying something new in the flat coat. Using Lifecolor Flat Clear for the first time, I couldn’t asked for a better result, very flat black finish as I wanted, and even left a blotchy appearance when it dried. Silver pencil was used for the chipping, brown, smoke and a touch of grey for the exhaust stains. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for viewing. My first build for 2014. (though most of it was started in 2013)
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.