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John Clark
23 articles

1/48 Hasegawa F6F-5 Hellcat

January 21, 2015 · in Aviation · · 25 · 2.9K

This was flown by Texas pilot Arthur "Ray" Hawkins of VF-31 on the USS Cabot in September, 1944. I added an Obscureco cowl, Quickboost engine, and Squadron canopy. The pilot figure was bashed together from my parts box...head, torso, legs, upper arms, and lower arms. The paint is a mix for Gloss Sea Blue but its actually more of a satin finish. The decals are box stock and were a bit difficult. The carrier deck is from . Comments are always welcome.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. Beautifully done, John...a nice little "presentation". Am I to understand all the decals depicted were included in the kit? And what do you mean when you say they were 'difficult'?
    The deck and the plaque really make the model stand out.
    How about a little background on the signed photo?

  2. Thank you, Craig. Yes, the decals were the stock Hasegawa decals that came with the kit. They were a little hard to work with and resistant to setting solutions. I have since learned they respond better with Mr Mark Setter and Mr Mark Softer. Next time I try to use Hasegawa decals I will try these products. The signed photo was simply downloaded from the internet. I am afraid its not one signed for me but it was the only one I could find. I like building aircraft flown by Texas pilots when I can get the documentation together.

  3. Superb 🙂 Once again very well presented John, well done, a fitting tribute to the pilot too.

  4. Very nicely displayed, John, not to mention neatly built and finished.

  5. Nice Hellcat and well presented !

  6. Fine result, John. The pilot adds a greater depth of interest.

  7. A very nice Hellcat! The pilot looks very realistic. Well done!

  8. Not easy to get visual interest with the dark blue scheme but you managed to do just that.
    Very nice.

  9. Thanks, Al.

  10. Just an outstanding build of the Hellcat! Agree with your choice of Hasegawa's kit. With a replacement cowl, it don't get any better.

    Again, FANTASTIC build!


  11. A lovely presentation John, both in model and pictures.
    A fine tribute to a fine pilot.
    Well done sir.

    • Thank you, Simon. I have always been fascinated with the machines but I have found more enjoyment in associating them with the men who flew them.

  12. Nice work on this. Interestingly, VF-31 was led at that time by LCDR Robert A. Winston, who had published "Dive Bomber," an account of prewar training to become a naval aviator. Reading that book as a kid was what got me interested in naval aviation. I have since discovered he wrote "Fighter Squadron" after the war, which is an account of his time with VF-31 and as CAG on the Cabot for the final part of her tour. Though long out of print, both books can be found through Amazon and I highly recommend both.

    • thank you, Tom. I will look on Amazon now.

    • For those interested, here is a bio of Winston, a very interesting guy.

        • Lt. Hawkins flew with the US Navy Blue Angels precision flying team as a wingman from 1948 through 1950. He flew the last air show performance that the Blue Angels performed using the Grumman F8F Bearcat piston aircraft and the first air show performance with the Grumman F9F-2 Panther jet aircraft.

          In 1950 when the Korean War broke out Lt. Hawkins once again found himself in the seat of a Navy fighter plane in combat. He flew with the other members of the Blue Angels in VF-191 as Executive Officer off of the USS Princeton during the conflict. Lt. Hawkins flew on the first carrier based jet bombing mission of the Korean war.

          After his service in the Korean War Lt Cmdr. Hawkins resumed his work with the Blue Angels as their flight leader from 1952 through 1953 and was the first pilot to survive bailing out of an aircraft going faster than the speed of sound.

          While commanding officer of NAS Atsugi in Japan during the Vietnam War, he worked to recover Japanese family artifacts lost during World War II. He was awarded the Emperor of Japan Third Order of the Sacred Treasure for this work, which historians say was the highest award ever given by Japan to a foreign military officer

          Captain Hawkins retired from the US Navy in 1973 and worked as Secretary/Treasurer of the The National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola Florida, retiring in 1997 as chief of staff.

  13. fine job john

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