Airfix 1/72d F4F-4 Wildcat …Year of the Cat & 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway(late)
I had originally planned to have this build included in my Battle of Midway Hiryu vs Yorktown
adversaries collection, but never got it started before the Midway GB window had “closed”
Hence the Year of the Cat.
I must admit I did not enjoy building this kit with the landing gear extended and the wings folded. The landing gear cannot be installed after the fuselage is assembled. To get around masking the gear for painting, I painted the camouflage on the areas around the wheel wells prior to joining the fuselage. Then I touched up the seams later.
Attaching the outer wing panels in the folded position was a challenge, for me anyway. There isn’t a structure that makes for a solid joint. The round hinge sort of fits into a small depression in the stub wing and there is a raised gluing surface on the underside of the outer wing panel that butt joins with the triangle door on the stub wing. None of that is especially clear in the instructions. You’ll have to hold the joint together while the glue sets up and I recommend that you give the glue a day to set up, unless you want to start over when the joint pops. However once the jury struts are attached it’s pretty stout.
Be advised that with the wings folded the model is very top heavy and without much provocation will happily roll like a ball, right off your bench. Fortunately being a product of the Grumman Iron Works the only damage was to the antenna on the vertical stabilizer which I replaced with brass rod. I used fine E-Z line for the rigging, but even though I pulled very taut i think it’s to big for 1/72d scale. I also used fine wire for the “plumbing” in the wing fold.
I used the last of my Polly Scale USN Blue Grey for the topside color and Tamiya Grey Primer for the underside. I used Flory wash and various powders and stains to grunge it up a little. The decals are a combination of the kit decals and Starfighter Decals sheet for the Battle of Midway. That concludes the Year of the Cat section.
For the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Midway GB my original plan was for this sort of presentation:
This represents Lt(jg) Art Brassfield’s White 10 of VF-3 flying off the USS Yorktown during the Battle of Midway & Lt Kobayashi Michio’s Val Dive Bomber from the IJN Hiryu.
Lt(jg) Brassfield’s section engaged the first echelon of Lt Kobayashi’s dive bombers, breaking up the formation, causing several aircraft including Lt Kobayashi to jettison their bombs. Lt(jg) Brassfield shot down 3 Val’s in this attack, later as the surviving Val’s were withdrawing after bombing the Yorktown, he shot down another Val that was about to strafe
the crew of a VT-3 Devastator that was abandoning the aircraft after ditching.
Lt Kobayashi had remained in the area sending strike reports and homing information back to the Hiryu and was shot down by Wildcats from the USS Enterprise sent to reinforce the Yorktown CAP.
Lt(jg) Brassfield survived the war with 6.5 victories and eventually rose to the rank of Captain and commanded the USS Hancock CVA-19 in 1963-64.