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Joe Caputo
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Thanks, again, iModeler! 1/48 Eduard F6F-3 Hellcat “Weekend Edition”

August 16, 2014 · in Aviation · · 23 · 2.4K

Photo caption reads: civilian aircraft is in flight. June, 1970, Charles F. Willis, then Alaska Airlines' Board Chairman, with his F6F-3 "Little Nugget" painted in his airline's colors. The big jetliners were emblazoned with "Golden Nugget". Photo taken over Puget Southnd. The aircraft was purchased by Bill Compton of Albany, Oregon and destroyed in a crash in 1977.

As the Hellcat builders before me, I had few, if any issues. It took me quite a while to decide what I wanted to do. Good friend, and fellow imodeler, Jack Mugan suggested the "Little Nugget" scheme, and offered the fine Draw Decal sheet. At first I still couldn't make up my mind, but being an F-3, my options were very limited. I'd already done the tri-color scheme on my old Otaki. Most American F-3's were in that scheme. This left the Brit scheme, which Simon was already into, the drone red/orange/pink (tempting), and the white "Little Nugget". I went with the racer because I thought a real racer would look good on the shelf with all my fantasy birds. The rest is history.

It was a quality kit, with fine engraving, and quite a bit of detail. There was no way it was getting done in a weekend, or even several weekends. I'm too slow for that. I thoroughly enjoyed the build, although the white, even with panel lines, was kind of boring. The Draw Decals worked as advertised, and although there weren't that many, they really brightened things up. While the actual aircraft did not have too much success, the kit builds nicely into something you don't see every day. Thanks again, imodeler !

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6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

23 responses

  1. Nice job,'ll definitely be a "different" addition to your Hellcat collection. I see you just couldn't bring yourself to dirty it up with exhaust stains, huh? 🙂

  2. Hey Joe, you finally finished her then.
    Lovely job, different as well.
    Well done mate.

  3. Always good to see one of the prizes in Headlines, Joe, especially when it's as neatly finished as this one. I'm pleased to see that you found an unusual livery for it as well. Great job.

  4. Way to go Joe…….nice to see a racer now and then. Nice work as usual.

  5. said on August 17, 2014

    Really fine, Joe. Gotta love that kit, and you did it up proud.

    BTW, like yours, my kits are shown open on shelves and rarely dusted as its about a 4 hour process. How about you?

    • Mine would be more like 4 weeks of dusting, scrubbing, repairing, etc. I have a lot of square footage in shelves, and most are full or getting there.

      • said on August 17, 2014

        I "hear" you, Joe.
        I think I'll just let Annie give the super-dusty models to the neighborhood kids for busting-up...following my journey into the wild blue, hopefully not TOO soon...

  6. Seeing a warbird in civilian guise is always interesting. Looks like the white laid down well for you. It's a color that I try to avoid as I can't seem to get a grip on it. What brand of paint did you use?
    Well done Joe.

  7. fine work...always loved that scheme...

  8. Really nice Joe, always good to see models in un common markings. As Al said the white went down very well. I use Floquil Reefer White and have my reserve stash guarded by an "Ork".

  9. Great choice of markings and an immaculate finish, Joe. Have you thought about photographing it on a light blue or coloured background? It might stand out a little better than white on white.

  10. Great looking build Joe. I think I have seen this modeled only once before. Nice looking in white and gold.

    California Steve

  11. Beautiful paint job. What kind of white paint did you use?

  12. Nice work for an unusual result Joe. I remember seeing that airplane, one of the first warbirds to ever show up at the Watsonville show, the first year I went.

    I note some discussion about dusting models, and here is an easy solution: get two old spray bottles, clean them out thoroughly. Fill both with tap water. Put in a capful of diswashing detergent in one and shake gently to spread it throughout. Spray the model with the soapy water, then rinse with the clear water. You're not using enough water pressure to knock anything off. Allow to air dry. The models will stay nice and new looking.

  13. Very nice Joe! Looks like it'll make a fine addition to the "museum"!

  14. Man that's nice! And really "out of the ordinary" too. I'm curious, did this plane have any success in air racing?

    • It had no success as a racer, and eventually crashed. One of the blogs, while I was doing a little research, had quite a discussion as to whether or not the Hellat was fast enough for air racing. Quite a few felt it was not.

  15. Joe,
    I have never seen the Hellcat in this livery. You did a great job

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