A few days ago, I was captivated by a colorized photo that was posted by Rob Pollock during his normal “Friday Briefing” posting. The last picture he posted on Friday shows a group of planes on the deck of the American aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. The planes in the picture are from VF-6 and VT-6.
Ironically, on Friday I was looking at one of the Tamiya F4F kits in my stash.
That’s when I noticed the propeller ( that I had previously painted) was missing……………………
In this picture you can see the results of the assembly line work that day…………………
The two props on the left are for Accurate Miniatures TBF Avengers. The one with red, yellow, and blue tips was installed on my “8-T-1” plane.
The top middle is for a Tamiya F2F Buffalo.
The middle bottom is the MIA prop for a Tamiya F4F Wildcat.
The two on the right side are for Tamiya F4U-1 Birdcage Corsairs……………..
The missing Wildcat prop is in the bottom row, middle prop as shown in this picture. I had an assembly line going that was dedicated to painting props during the Accurate Miniatures TBF-1 “early” build.
Here’s a close up of the MIA prop.
I then started an unsuccessful search for the missing prop…………………. It never has been found to date.
So this forced me to scratch build a new one…………………… I had an old Monogram F4F stored away (that I built many years ago), so I “borrowed” the propeller from it. It had the proper hub, but the blades were wrong, because they looked like a Hamilton Standard blade.
I scrounged the spare parts bin and found what I thought would work. I used an old prop from a P-61 Black Widow, and spare leftover blades from either a Hasegawa Ki-61 or Bf-109. Between these items I managed to make a decent replacement for the missing item.
The new prop is on the right in this photo. I looks a little wider than the original part, but that could be due to a pitch angle. If I ever run across the missing item I can simply swap it out.
Now having spent the time to build one, I will probably stumble across the missing part…………..
Having built a replacement propeller and noticing the last picture in Rob’s “Friday Briefing”, I took out my Squadron Signal book on the F4F.
and found this photo inside that was taken during the same time frame as the one posted earlier by Rob.
I got busy building and painting two cockpits:
painted the canopy parts in Bronze Green as a base color.
Here’s a Group photo with most of the completed parts placed together. The engines assemblies are shown in the middle bottom while the wheels are on the bottom right of the picture.
Followed by the wings: you can see the canopies are now painted in “Blue Gray”………
Then I started another assembly line dedicated to painting wheels………………… Here they are after the sanding work was done to remove mold seams. The wheel sets on tooth picks in the white Styrofoam container are from Tamiya F4U-1 Corsairs. The 4 wheels in the plastic container are for these two Wildcat F4F’s. The two on the bottom left are for my Tamiya F2F Buffalo, which I plan on building as a Midway Island USMC plane for the Group Build if time permits, and the bottom right set of wheels are for another AM TBF-1C Avenger………………
and after they were painted………………….
Don’t worry, I put these parts back in the corresponding boxes. 🙂
I plan on building one of the F4F-4’s as a plane from VF-6 in the “Red / White” striped rudder markings and US insignia centers as used during the Coral Sea battle, up until around mid May 1942, just prior to the Battle of Midway.
Sine I have already completed a TBD Devastator from Torpedo 6, I figured why not build a fighter from the same Carrier.
I have a decent start on this one. So far I am pleasantly surprised at how easily this kit goes together.
As Tom Bebout stated, this “is one little gem of a kit”………………. I couldn’t agree more. This is my first Tamiya F4F. I will build more of them………………..eventually.
Comments are encouraged.
Have a good night.