Tamiya F4F-4, converted to an F4F-3, “Wildcat”

March 22, 2013 · in Aviation · · 7 · 4.2K

Keeping the "" thing going...

I really wanted to add an -3 to the collection and since there was none out there, finally decided to convert 's outstanding F4F-4. Overall it was not such a hard thing to accomplish, (I did it so...), but here is how I did it.

Corrected the cockpit floor

I added only the -3 seat from the "Just Plane Stuff" conversion set. (I originally considered using this set, but the one I had I found to be of pretty poor quality). Otherwise the cockpit is OOB.

I had the move the main spar forward about 1/4 inch. I filled the seams, top and bottom of both wings and rescribed the main spar. I eliminated the outboard wing machine guns, access panel and ammo boxes. I also filled the seams on the -4 weapons bays and had to rescribe the style found on the -3. They are thinner and longer, and I had to add the small blisters to those gun bay doors with strip styrene.

I also used Quickboost .50 machine gun barrels for the wing MG's.

I filled and sanded down the nose scoop in the cowling.

I filled the gun camera port, moved the pitot tube to the mid way point on the port wing, added wire brake lines and a stretched sprue antenna and True Details resin wheels.

I used aeromaster decals, which I love because they just react so well to my choice of setting solutions.

Paint is Model master Enamels and weathering is thinned oils and pastels.

I build models to look as though they were "Rode hard and put away wet". This aircraft was based at Guadalcanal during the early days of the campaign, and flying from rough, cut out of the jungle mud and coral strips put a terrible toll on man and machine alike. If you think she looks TOOO dirty, google pictures of Henderson Field and look at the shape of the aircraft stationed there.

So...After I did the whole thing and got her all done, I stop by the local hobby shop and what do you think I saw? . F4F-3. Early and late. Dammit!

Reader reactions:

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

7 responses

  1. Ya dun gud, Freddie...it's appropriately dirty - nice weathering job.

  2. Nice work - definitely looks like a member of the Cactus Air Force.

  3. It's amazing for such an unprepossessing plane how many fans of the type there are out there.

  4. Very nice work and an interesting scheme.

  5. said on May 18, 2013

    A job WELL DONE .. GREAT model .. Dad said it took a long time to hand crank the landing gear UP after taking off ! THESE pics I got to show him !

    • I believe, if I recall what I read correctly, it took thirty eight full cranks to get the wheels up, at which time a ground observer would watch the aircraft fly off with a distinct wobble as the pilot operated the gear mechanism. Your Dad could validate that I bet!

  6. said on May 19, 2013

    GUYS .. I had thought of "posting" a couple or so of my models I have built .. from the Sikorsky UH34D, SNJ, F9F Panther, Cessna L-19 birddog, Fury, Corsairs, P-51 mustang, old DC-3, and more .. BUT I feel like a rank amateur compared to what you all have done .. it is unreal how REAL they look ... JOBS WELL DONE ! Have found to build a 1/32 scale is NOT as easy sometime s as a 1/72 scale, depending on the model .. to get some of my models I Google and put in what I am seeking, and choose, buy, and it is shipped ! Am getting good at using tweezers, though ! HAPPY MODELING !

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