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1/48 Hasegawa F6F-3 Hellcat, VF-16 (19 posts)

  • Here’s a new build that I hope to have done by June 19th …………………… It’s going to be a “out of the box” build, nothing fancy.

    I’m going to try and build the Hellcat flown by a gentleman I met about 10 years ago who flew with VF-16 from the USS Lexington. He flew a Hellcat numbered #13 from the Lex, according to his obituary. He also was credited with a Zero kill during the “Great Marianna’s Turkey Shoot” which happened on June 19th, 1944.

    This is why I picked the date……………… I will reveal the story on how we met during the completed posting once the plane is completed.

    Here’s a picture of the Hellcat pilot I met, as he is sitting in the cockpit of his plane. His name was Arthur Payne Whiteway, and sadly, the photo came from his obituary.

    It just so happened that I found a perfect set of decals from VF-16 and a ‘Cat numbered “#13” in another hit I have in the stash. The decals for this build will come from the Hobby Boss kit, but I will be using normal Blue surround “Stars and Bars”.

    Lastly, here’s a color photo I found of the CO of VF-16 giving a briefing to some of his pilots on the Lexington. Who knows, my friend could have been in this picture……….. I’m sure he would recognize many of the faces.

    Here’s the kit I’m starting with.

    I had this wing left over from a previous build.

    I didn’t use the wing on my Alex Vraciu F6F, since it was replaced with a Danger Boy wing fold set and not needed. So I hung onto it for a day like today. Since I’m under a self imposed deadline, I’m taking any breaks I can. Using this pre built wing is one of them.

    Here’s the cockpit. It has been basically assembled, but still needs some detail painting and will benefit from a oil based wash.

    I finished the engine too………………..

    Like the cockpit assembly, the engine still needs some more details painted to have it ready to install once I get to that point.

    It looks like the Gardner “Iron Works” is back in business……………….

    Tags: 1/48, F6F, Hasegawa, Hellcat

  • Off to a fantastic start 🙂 You can never build enough Zero Killers !!

  • Tonight’s progress……………………………….

    Since I already had the cockpit done, it wasn’t too long before I had the majority of the airframe completed. I was “in the zone” and didn’t take any photos until the end. I was on a roll and didn’t want to stop……………………..

    I sprayed the cockpit side walls interior green. I left the rest of the fuselage interior bare plastic since these areas were most often painted “Grumman Gray”. The color of the plastic is close enough for the rear of the fuselage and interior ahead of the cockpit, especially since you can’t really see too much from the tiny rear side windows.

    So far the fit has been really good. I did have a minor mishap though. I managed to get a glue fingerprint on one of the stabilizers. Luckily I sanded it out and glued it on the underside………….. where it’s not too noticeable.

    I also used the kit wing since the one I originally planned on using had a pretty big step in the leading edge seam. Once I glued this wing together, it also had the step, but it is much smaller, and should be a whole lot easier to sand out. So it looks like I still have a spare set of F6F wings in the parts bin.

    The cowling is just temporarily held in position for the photo using white glue. I still have some seams to sand down, and possibly a little re-scribing work ahead.

    I just couldn’t resist taking this picture……………….

    The Hellcat parked next to it’s bigger cousin…………… the other Accurate Miniatures TBF-1C Avenger that I had started a little while ago. I held the Avenger’s cowling in place using clear tape for the photo.

    Hopefully soon they will be ready for painting……………………The underside of the TBF has already been painted white about a month or so ago.

    The Gardner “Iron Works” is back up and running.

    Comments are encouraged. I’m calling it a night.

  • I’m quite sure this’ll be yet another beauty after seeing what you turn out on a regular basis, Louis…from what I’ve seen, you’re ALWAYS “in the zone”.

  • Hello Louis. Another inspring project in progress. I like the subjects you built also for the historical background and the information you give with it. Now you mention you held the cowling of the Hellcat temporarily in place with some white glue. is it easy to take off again without leaving any or much residue? I use the white glue maily for clear parts who stay firmly in place, so the reason for asking you. Looking forward to your updates.

  • It does seem that I get cranking them out on occasion Craig……………………

    Thanks for the compliments about my subjects that I build. I try to include the background information about what I’m building to give it some life and make it more interesting.

    Thank you both for the compliments.

    I used this glue to temporarily hold the cowling in place. It’s Testor’s clear parts cement. I’m pretty sure it’s a white glue based product.

    I simply put a little drop of glue into the small notch at the top of the fuselage where I’m pointing at with the wooden tooth pick…………….

    and another drop here on the bottom side………………..If you look really close in the gap, you will see that there is still a little dried glue left in there. I’m sure it will come out easily if I spent just a little more time with this.

    Once I pulled the cowling off, most of the glue residue remained on the inside of the cowling. After a few swipes with a toothpick, I was able to get all of the dried glue off the kit parts. It didn’t affect the plastic at all.
    Here’s how the inside top of the cowling looked once I scraped away the old dried glue.

    and the bottom side:

    Hope this helps my friend………………..

  • Tonight was a great night for working on the Hellcat…………………..

    To begin with, I managed to get the drop tank and landing gear built and installed. I made sure that I took a few pictures along the way this time.

    In preparation for paint I stuffed some aluminum foil inside the cowling to keep overspray off the insides of it. Aluminum foil works great for little things like this.

    I cleaned up all of the seams. No filler was needed anywhere. The fit was really good on this one…………….. or maybe I just got lucky.

    Then it was time to spray on some Model Master Flat White FS 37875.

    Here’s a few pictures after I finished spraying on the white undersides.

    and a close up of the Hellcat “grin” that some have howled about on other web sights. Sure it may not be exactly 100 percent correct, but it looks good enough for me, especially since this one is strictly an “out of box” build.

    Here’s the Hellcat as it look right now.

    I’m going to let it sit overnight, and hopefully tomorrow night I can spray on another color, “Intermediate Blue”.

    Thanks for following along. Have a good evening.

    Comments are encouraged.

  • Aha you pulled the trigger on this one, you mentioned this project you had in mind back in December. The same kit when I did my presentation on a Hellcat at the end of the year. Looks really good so far, an honor to your friend and his legacy. Good story with this one, puts that #13 Hellcat I have on the shelf on a different level of the men who flew it. Will watch this project with interest.

  • Thank you Louis for your additional information on the glue used. Interesting to keep in mind to use in my future builds. The Hellcat is really coming together now, looking great. I’ll follow with great interest.

  • Yes Chuck I didn’t want to wait much longer on this one. I was hoping to have this Hellcat done by the Anniversary of the “Marianna’s Turkey Shoot”. Now after doing a little more research on my pilot friend, I noticed that he actually scored a victory on November 23rd, 1943 as well. I’ll go more into the details once the build is done. I found a few new cool photos too.

    You’re welcome Ferry. I hope this information was of help to you. Also the glue allows for easy disassembly of parts if used sparingly. I normally just put a drop or two on the items to be joined. Any more and you may have a harder time removing the part. I just noticed that this was also part of your question, and that I failed to answer your question completely.

    Thank you both for the compliments.

    Tonight I managed to mask off and spray some Intermediate Blue on the F6F Hellcat and the TBF Avenger……………..

    Here’s the F6F before the masking materials were removed.

    and after I took the masking tape off which revealed the white undersurfaces.

    Here’s the Model Master Enamel I’m using for the Intermediate Blue. It’s labeled as FS 35164, and is fairly similar in color to the “Blue Gray” that was used earlier by the US Navy during the War. To me it kind of looks a little darker and more of a gray shade.

    Here’s how the Avenger looked after I had finished spraying the same color on it. It was simply easier for me to spray two planes using the same color. Since I had to mix the paint for the Hellcat, I figured why not go ahead and spray the Avenger too.

    and how the TBF Avenger looked once I removing the masking. I like the contrast in the colors.

    I’m calling it a night. As usual, comments are encouraged.

    Thanks for watching and following along with these builds.

  • Nice work again Louis looking forward to seeing the completed paint job, that USN three colour scheme is a great looking scheme!

  • Louis ‘Grumman’ Gardner. You must be able to build these beauties in your sleep! And I could watch your builds all day. Great work.

  • Thanks for the compliments David M. The tri color USN paint scheme has to be one of my all time favorites. It’s right up there with Pre War “Yellow Wings” and late War Luftwaffe for me.

    Yes David L-S, I really like the Grumman planes. I just realized that “Leroy Grumman” and I share the same initials in our names ……………. 🙂

    Last night and earlier today I was able to get some more work done on the F6F and the TBF……………………..

    I masked off the demarcation line between the “Intermediate Blue” and the “Dark Sea Blue” colors on the side of the Hellcat.

    I prepped the Avenger wings for spraying the “Dark Sea Blue” as well, since I was mixing up the color and you know how the Gardner “Iron Works” assembly line goes…………….. 🙂

    This is the color I was spraying. It’s Model Master “Flat Sea Blue, FS 35042. Sorry for the sideways picture…………..

    Here’s a photo of the Hellcat shortly after I finished spraying on the Dark Blue.

    followed by the Avenger wings……………….

    This is how flat the paint dried. These Avenger wings turned out pretty nice.

    Here’s a few photos of the Hellcat before the masking was removed. It dried very flat in sheen also.
    Starboard side:

    and Port side:

    Here’s how the F6F Hellcat looks once the masking materials were removed. A little touch up in a few small areas and I can continue on with the build.

    I’m hoping that I can get some more done on this one later on tonight. Meanwhile I have some things to take care of out in the shop.

    Thanks for looking. More updates to follow soon.
    As usual, comments are encouraged.
    Thanks !!!

  • I drilled out the exhaust stubs. You have to look close to see them though.

    Then I finished the detail painting on the engine and glued it in place.

    It’s starting to look more like a Hellcat now.

    I have some more touch up work to do on the white underside and then I’ll add some decals.

    More to follow soon.
    Thanks for following along.
    As usual comments are encouraged.

  • Today I narrowly avoided a small disaster………………

    Luckily though I had a great reference photo to work from.

    Last night, after re-spraying the demarcation lines between the colors to give them a softer appearance, I gave the plane a nice coat of “Future” to prepare it for decals today. I let it dry overnight and got busy with the decals this afternoon……………

    That’s when I noticed the Hobby Boss kit decals provide a side fuselage number “13” that is too large. Plus I didn’t paint the demarcation lines between the “Intermediate Blue and the “Dark Sea Blue” in the proper place. I had the line between these two colors way too high. It should be down lower where I am pointing at with the small wooden stick.

    To top things off, I had already applied the fuselage US Insignia, the VF-16 squadron “Flying Airedales” mascot decals just ahead of the cockpit, and all of the other number #13 smaller decals on the engine cowling and fin assembly.

    The reference photo I had shows that the insignia had originally been with a red border, but it looks like the red border outline had been over painted with a color similar to the “Intermediate Blue”, and that the color used for the repainting of the outline didn’t match exactly.

    I didn’t want to, but I knew what I had to do……………………. which was very risky considering that I didn’t have any more small numbers and VF-16 mascot decals to replace these if my re-spray messed up…………..

    So I re painted the side demarcation line in Dark Blue, this time taking it down lower to about even with the lower “Wing” on the US Insignia, Where I’m pointing at with the wooden stick in the number 2 and 3 photos above.

    This was followed up by a light coat of “Intermediate Blue” to cover the rest of the fuselage number #13, and the outer borders of the fuselage US Insignia……………….

    Then I gave the plane another light coat of Future and will let it dry……………. I found some appropriate smaller sized #13 decals for the side of the fuselage, and a set of US Insignias stars that have the outline in a light blue color from another Hobby Boss F4U……………………..

    Please stay tuned, and Happy Father’s Day.