1/48 Hobby Boss F4F-3 Grumman early Wildcat
For your enjoyment on “All Hallows Eve”, here is my interpretation of an early Wildcat from “The Iron Works “. So if you’re done passing out candy and have some time for yourself please check it out. As always comments are welcome.
I’m a big fan of the Yellow Wings Navy. These planes just look great. Any of them during this colorful era do.
The real plane from the USS Ranger (VF-4) that was my inspiration for this build is in the second picture. This picture is from the book “US Navy Aircraft Camouflage and Markings 1940-1945”. The real version of this model was bureau number 1863, and was part of the Worlds Fair in New York in 1940. In the black and white picture I posted from the book you’ll notice that the plane has a spinner. There are no Neutrality Patrol US insignia on the forward fuselage.
I took the liberty to add these markings and didn’t bother with the spinner, as the plane may have looked later on in its career. Sadly like most of its stable mates, this one didn’t survive too long. It was lost at sea on August 3rd, 1942, while serving with VMF-111.
The Navy used an aluminum colored paint to protect their aircraft metal surfaces (although sometimes a gray was used), so I didn’t have to worry about the “natural metal” look.
This is a really sweet build and I was happy with how it turned out. The hardest part about the build was that I made a mistake and attempted to spray the Model Master “Metalizer” aluminum first, then masked it off to paint the other colors. When I removed the tape it left marks where the tape was adhered to the plane.
So I ended up stripping the Metalizer Aluminum Plate color off, and then painted on all of the other colors first. I painted all of the red stripes and red cowling trim. I used Model Master paints and “Aluminum Plate” Metalizer for the build. Once everything was dry, I used Model Master Metalizer clear gloss sealer over the entire plane. Once it dried the clear provided a nice surface for the decals to adhere to.
Then I gave it another coat of clear to seal the decals. The propeller was painted anti glare black on the rear, then red, yellow and blue tip stripes were sprayed on. Once this dried I used bare metal foil for the rest of the prop and added the manufacturer logos.
The plane looks more glossy in person than it does in these photos. I also used bare metal foil on the canopy frames.
I used railroad dry transfers to replicate the bureau number. It was the closest font I could find and looks a little off to me.
The kit has a great little engine and the landing gear are well detailed. There is even a chain for retracting the landing gear (yes the pilot had to manually crank the gear up) and a nice oil tank and inter coolers are provided.
If you’re a fan of the Wildcat this is a great little kit. Mine didn’t need any filler anywhere. The fit was that good.
Enjoy! And I hope you all had a safe and Happy Halloween.
33 additional images. Click to enlarge.