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Wildcat, F4F-4, 1/48, Tamiya, My build #4

I often see the F4F referred to as a ‘stubby little plane’ or something similar, but to me the squared off angularity of it’s wings and tail compliment the roundness of the fuselage nicely which I think is quite esthetically pleasing.

This is my 4th plane model after getting back into it this spring, and my first Tamiya. Back around 1980 or so I built a couple of Tamiya armor models, a German Panzer IV I think and something else I can’t remember. The Tamiya kits were very good then, but I don’t think they produced aircraft models then. This was went together real well, but I did have a couple of problems, mostly my fault. Somehow the tail wheel got torn off and lost in the abyss of my basement work area – chances of finding it are as good as if it fell in the ocean…so I had to scratch build one, not to exact but generally the right size and at least the tire is round and black. Also, the very last piece I was going to put on, the rear canopy half, broke in two as I put the glue on it…late at night…tired and hard to see straight…ARRGGGHHH…so I glued it together and got it to fit the best I could. I think I over stressed it by trying to push on the fuselage to test fit it in the open position too many times, it was spread apart one too many times and split apart right along the top ridge.

The Tamiya kit is nice though, I had read to be wary of getting the cockpit/firewall,wheel wells and landing gear to go together right, but I was careful and didn’t have a problem. I do not like the Tamiya decals though, too thick and don’t adhere well.

The decals are the “USS Independence” version, the model is basically “OOB” except the replacement tail wheel.

This is my first 3 color scheme, and I tried to get feathered edges with my spray cans – I am fairly pleased with the result on that and this is the first model I’ve used “Future” on – thanks to folks here for advice on that and thanks to Seamus Boughe for a tip he posted sometime back on how not to have fuselage seams – that worked very well!

I didn’t weather this. After much consideration I didn’t want to because I thought I should ‘quit while I was ahead”…plus I like this tri-color scheme very much and don’t want to louse it up. Olive Drab is already ‘drab’ and adding more ‘drab’ to it doesn’t detract too much, but the blue/blue/whit scheme is too pretty for me to be doing a sloppy grunge-up job on…

I look forward to the day when I can post a model on the level of the inspirational pieces I see here – thanks for letting me contribute!

Now, going to the local hobby shop today to spec out paint for my next project, the Hasegawa SBD-4 Dauntless

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

9 responses to Wildcat, F4F-4, 1/48, Tamiya, My build #4

  1. very nice…i love it in the three tone…rarely seen scheme…great job

  2. Looks good Ralph. Might try getting more light on the subject or modify the image on your computer. Just a suggestion not a criticism.

  3. Thanks Al, the morning sun this morning is pretty much the maximum amount of light I can get. I would prefer to photograph my models with sky for background but there are so many trees around here that’s difficult, unless I am looking straight up at it. I actually did some photo editing on the bottom view to be able see anything but white. Photographing such a small thing is a challenge, I’ll say….

  4. Nice build, Ralph! I love the Tamiya Wildcat – it’s one of the most trouble-free kits I’ve built.

  5. Good build there Ralph, Tamiya are a favourite of mine, there kits usually o together without many issues of fit.
    Well done Ralph.

  6. Wildcats are cool a/c and fun to glue-up. And, Ralph, yours is well-done.

  7. Ralph,
    Very nicely done

  8. Nice build and finish, Ralph, I agree, this plane is so ugly it’s beautiful!

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