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Tom Cleaver
887 articles

A very well-kept secretthe Otaki 1/48 Hellcat

March 21, 2013 · in Aviation · · 7 · 2K

This is the , now a good 37-38 years old. It was one of the first kits with engraved detail, and if you are careful with the attachment of the wings (which will need a bit of putty) and get hold of a True Details resin cockpit and True Details canopy, the kit can hold its own with the Eduard kit - it's shape is among the best. If you know what to do about removing cowling flaps (a bit of putty in the engraved detail) and changing the trim tabs on the ailerons, you can do an early, middle or late production -3 or early F6F-5 - close off the rear quarter panels and you can do a later F6F-5. The kit can be found for under $5, so with the TD cockpit and canopy and even paying Evil Bay prices for an aftermarket decal sheet, it will still come out far less than either a Hasegawa or Eduard kit.

This was done a good 7-8 years ago, using an Aeromaster FAA Hellcat sheet to do a Hellcat I off HMS Formidable at the time of the Borneo strikes in early 1944. TD cockpit and canopy, Tamiya paints.

Proof that just because it's old doesn't mean it isn't good.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

7 responses

  1. Profile Photo
    said on March 21, 2013

    Great Hellcat Tom - a real oldie but a goodie! Airfix released this moulding back in the 90's along with a few of the other Okati 1/48's Spitfire Mk8 & Their P-51D. My late Grandfather served on HMS Formidable in WW2 so its a 10 for me !:)

  2. Can't agree more about the early Otaki kits. I built the P-40 many moons ago. Came complete with engine & removeable engine panels.
    Your build does justice to an old mold.

  3. Absolutely Tom, a great kit with some excellent possibilities. Love what you did with it too, looks awesome.
    I have two of them built OOB over the years and even that way they look great.
    Great job!

  4. For a seventies vintage kit it certainly scrubs up nicely! I remember seeing these at my local toy & hobby store a couple of decades ago when I lived in the UK. They were going for only three or four quid then, an absolute bargain & no I didn't buy one, what was I thinking! Thanks for bringing these gems back out into the light of day!

  5. Considering how old that kit is, its remarkable that it stood the test of time so well. I hate the canopy, engine, and cockpit but Otaki captured the general outline and shape very well; in some ways better than Hasegawa did with their 32nd scale, 70s vintage "Uber-Kit".

  6. I'd add a pair of "True details" wheels for the Corsair for this Otaki kit. They look remarkably like Tamiya's Corsair wheels which were used on the Hellcat too. These wheels are a excellent representation of the real A/C.

    Some Otaki kits were way a head of their time when it comes to the rivet department. Before, the "Mad Riveter of Trumpeter fame" or even some of those Hasegawa F-104s in 1/72nd or in 1/48 scale. Otaki had the Ki-43 Oscar,Ki-100, and the Ki-44 Hei /Tojo all of them having some major rivets which by today's standards for some manufactures is the norm.

    Two thumbs up, you don't have to have gold plated models to have fun. Also, one can spend a reasonable some of money and still come up with some accuracy.

  7. Very nice Tom! You've done a great job dressing up that classic. I also like your choice of markings, something a bit different

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