1/48 Hobbycraft F8F Bearcat “Gulfhawk 4” Al Williams
Here tonight is another Hobbycraft Bearcat. This one is finished in the colors of Al Williams plane the “Gulfhawk 4”. The Gulfhawk 4 was a civilian version of the F8F Bearcat and was called a G-58. Only two G-58’s were built.
The real plane only lasted about a year and a half. On January 18th, 1949, Al Williams had a landing gear problem that was noticed in flight. He opted to make an emergency landing at Simmons-Knott airport in New Bern, NC. The left landing gear leg collapsed on roll out. This ruptured the belly tank which trailed fuel on the tarmac.
The plane caught fire and was a total loss. Bystanders helped Williams out of the burning plane. The plane burned to the ground. Sad story…
This is the “Hobbycraft” model which went together well with no filler needed. Here again this one had a problem with how the propeller shaft fit into the engine crankcase. It’s too loose, so the prop sometimes appears to be at an angle compared to the rest of the engine… The canopy is a little thick but it’s presentable.
This one was finished using “Model Masters” enamels. The “Gulhawk 4” decals came from the old “Testors” kit. I was concerned about the white portion of the wing and stabilizer “sun burst” being too transparent. So I decided to spray these areas in white before applying the decals. It seemed to help some. Before applying the decals I gave the plane a coat of Testors “Gloss Coat” from a rattle can.
I also cut the large wing decals apart removing the clear carrier film. I didn’t want to take a chance on them silvering. The kit was built out of the box other than the decals.
The dark blue leading edge cowling wrap was masked off and sprayed as well. I didn’t want to push my luck with the decals laying down around this area.
As usual, all comments are welcomed.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.