Tamiya F4F-4, converted to an F4F-3, “Wildcat”
Keeping the “Wildcat” thing going…
I really wanted to add an F4F-3 to the collection and since there was none out there, finally decided to convert Tamiya’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? Hobby Boss. F4F-3. Early and late. Dammit!
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.