Arii 1/48 F6F-3 Hellcat, converted to a -5.
I converted the venerable Arii/Otaki F6F-3 to a -5 by filling in the rear quarter windows, sanding off the exhaust fairings, and added sheet plastic to depict metal plates fixed to the underside of the flaps (which protected the fabric-covered flaps from burning away when firing rockets). I also added a resin cockpit set and vac canopy, resin wheels, underwing rocket mounts, replaced the engine magnetos and added an ignition wiring harness. The decals came from my spare decal box, and I painted the geometric carrier codes to depict a Hellcat from VF-17 off USS Hornet in early 1945.
Top notch Drew - If you hadn't stated it was the Okati kit i'd have guessed it was a more modern tooling. Brilliant job.
Thank you, Gregor!
Excellent work. Does the Otaki kit come with a full engine?
Thanks, Al. The kit engine is just a single piece - the front row of cylinders, crank case and magnetos. I dressed it up as best I could by cutting off the incorrectly shapped magnetos and replacing them with more accurate round ones, and used thin copper wire to add an ignition wiring harness.
I told you all so! With the addition of a very few aftermarket bits, the Otaki Hellcat is thoroughly competitive with "some modeling skill required."
Very nice Drew, a 10.
Thanks, Tom. I agree, the Arii/Otaki Hellcat is an under-appreciated kit. Their F6F and F4U Corsair kits are spot-on in outline, and have petite recesses panel lines (for those that care). The only real gripe is the lack of cockpit detailing. But if you build with the canopy closed, all you really need is a seat. The fit is outstanding on these kits, too. The engine on their F4U is really weak, though, and is best replaced. All in all, these are terrific kits, especially considering their age.