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Tamiya 1/48 scale F4F-4 Wildcat

October 20, 2015 in Aviation

One has to admire the brave men that flew these relics against the Japanese, who undoubtedly had some of the best aircraft in world during the onset of WWII. As one veteran of Guadalcanal once told me, “you have to remember these aircraft came out of the same era as the Ford Model A”.
But somehow, the pilots that flew the Wildcat, made them work, using effective tactics and the mere survivability of at least protecting the pilot, as with this example.
This particular aircraft was flown by James J. (Pug) Southerland) of VF-5 from the USS Saratoga On August 7th,1942 Southerland was credited with the first air to air victory over Guadalcanal. Southerland was himself shot down shortly after, but managed to bail out, and eventually returned to his unit.
Southerland survived the war with 5 confirmed victories.
The model was built from the trusty Tamiya kit, that is still a wonderful kit to build. I built this one in 2003. However old this model is I still cherish it a lot, as this is the first model where I applied some of newly learned technics like pre-shading and weathering.

7 additional images. Click to enlarge

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29 responses to Tamiya 1/48 scale F4F-4 Wildcat

  1. What i like this aircraft ! Thank you for this nice built, Terry.

  2. Very nice indeed, Terry, and the finish looks definitely up to date! This kit is on my long-term “to build” list.

  3. “…trusty Tamiya kit…” indeed. Exceptional quality and fit – bar none. I have 4-5 on my shelf in varying motifs. Nice job on yours as well, sir. Thanks for posting.

  4. If this was your first attempt at weathering then I’d say you got the hang of it very quickly.

  5. Hello Terry…Nice job on your build of the Tamiya Wildcat kit. Good weathering and choice of markings. For sure, a model to be proud of.

  6. The F4F-4 was not a “relic” and if you look at the victory/loss ratio at Guadalcanal, I think you’ll have a better idea of what was what about the Wildcat.

    That said, very nice model.

    • Sorry you didn’t appreciate my relic comment, however I never said it wasn’t a good airplane, quit the contrary. It was a tough little dude, and as you know had a lot of success, but I think a 1936 design was no doubt behind the times of the sleek designs of a lot of other aircraft at the time. But the pilots made it work, and work very well indeed.

  7. One of the “foot-in-the-door” fighters, like the P-39, P-40, even the Buffalo. All we had until the newer, better ones were operational. Like the book title, by Walter D. Edmonds, They Fought With What They Had. It’s a history of the first days of the air war in the Phillipines. There was to be a followup volume, but that didn’t happen. Shame, he was a favorite author of mine, it was he who wrote Northwest Passage.
    I haven’t seen the 3 volume series, Bloody Shambles, about the Far East. Certainly the title gets your attention.
    Prewar Navy pilots liked the -3 Wildcat, without the folding wings, it was lighter and had more ammo.

  8. I read a bio of one of the few Hellcat night-fighter pilots who was stationed in the Pacific with a Wildcat group. He finagled the chance to take a Wildcat out for a spin and was thoroughly impressed – he thought it nimble and responsive compared to his normal mount.

    Great-looking Wildcat Terry. Just a bit of metal showing through, and for an early go at weathering it is very attractive. Nice job.

  9. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    A WILDCAT has always been a very nice sight too see as well as a welcomed one ( at least in my eyes ). A lot of good history as well as stories involved in those birds. This one for sure is no exception.
    One detail calls my attention, and believe me it does so in a very positive way. It is the fact that the weathering carries on even to the emblems on the wings. These are not over done and so seems to be part of the paint scheme. Well done Terry, very well done.

    • I just read the rest of the comments as mine was being posted.
      Terry … your use of the word “RELIC” … was way understood.
      And I see you apologized, I don’t see for what, that was your opinion and one should not feel bad for a opinion, maybe for the context or the way it was said, but never for a opinion, and much less for a personal opinion.

      • Thanks De4ever, I didn’t really mean it as an apology, more as an acknowledgement to a misunderstanding. More importantly I enjoy this forum and believe it should be gentleman talking about the models. This is not the place for disagreements. I appreciate the way you and the others got back on track. Thanks

  10. Hi, Terry – a great job on a great kit. I really like your subtle weathering techniques. Outstanding work! I built the Tamiya Wildcat several years ago, and it’s one of the best 1/48 plane kits ever produced. I’ll have to post some pics of mine sometime. Again, terrific job on your F4F.

  11. Terry,
    Another example of your excellent workmanship.
    Outstanding. I have built a number of these kits and I whole heartedly agree it is a wonderful kit. I built one for Jefferson DeBlanc and his opinion of the F4F was that it was one of the most stable gun platforms he ever flew. Again, this is outstanding

    • Thanks Frank, I appreciate your comments.
      I think being a stable gun platform is one trait US aircraft seem to have in common. Giving into the age old saying “Fast is fine, but accuracy is final” (Wyatt Earp)

  12. Great looking Wildcat. Subtle weathering and an all round beautiful finish make this Wildcat a winner!!! Well done Terry!!!

  13. Beautiful build, Terry ! The Tamiya F4F is a great kit and your result is stunning, well done.
    ( why is mine still in the box ?)

  14. Nicebly built and well-photographed model. I think every serious builder who is a student of WWII in the Pacific needs to have a model of Pug Sutherland’s Wildcat in their collection. Truly one of the most noteworthy engagements of the war, to say nothing of the ordeal that awaited Saburo Sakai on his way home.

  15. Nicely built and well-photographed model. I think every serious builder who is a student of WWII in the Pacific needs to have a model of Pug Sutherland’s Wildcat in their collection. Truly one of the most noteworthy engagements of the war, to say nothing of the ordeal that awaited Saburo Sakai on his way home.

    • Absolutely David, everybody needs a “Pug” F4F in their collection! Swede Vedjasta (?) too! He’s one of those early USN, “First Team” boys that show huge amounts of intestinal fortitude when it was needed most.

  16. Outstanding Terry! One of my personal favorites. Love your weathering, and your choice of markings. Tamiya’s kit is a fantastic model to build and you kicked a*s!

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