1/48 AMT F7F-2N Tigercat night fighter
Hi all, I hope you are having a good Christmastime with friends and family.
I have had this kit sitting for a while waiting to get the outer wing panels properly set to finish the kit. It is the AMT 1/48 F7F-2N.
I made use of Obscureco replacement Hamilton standard props to fix the kit blades which are backwards- a feature still present in the Italeri re-box of these molds. I also used HiTech resin parts- the F7F-2N/3 cockpit and F7F-2N radar operator's cockpit. HiTech is a French company- I do not think these sets are still available, but they are really good by my estimation. There is even a satchel featured in the radar operator's cockpit that was used to house the shroud (I attached it to the main panel) for the radar scope when not in use! I made resin casts of the kit plastic and rubber mainwheel parts- as I had heard that the AMT vinyl tires could react with the kit plastic (one of my kits did- the 3 others did not) and "melt" the plastic hubs. I believe that the Italeri re-box now has injected plastic tires in place of the AMT vinyl tires.
I also made use of the old Cutting Edge cast metal nose gear leg- it gives a stronger support to the forward end of the airframe as you have to add so much weight in the nose. Lastly, the Cutting Edge wingfold set- I know that there is now one for the 1/48 F7F produced by Wolfpack.
As you can see in the photos, I crammed as much weight in the nose cone as I could, and I boxed in the nose gear well. I did a lot of searching on the internet as well as using my own photos of an F7F at Duxford years ago to get the angle of the folded wings correct.
I can say that the diagrams in the squadron in action book are suspect at best. I am confident I have done my best to get them right! I made jigs from my research out of stiff paper and they worked quite well to hold the wings steady until the super glue set up.
I used the Squadron F7F-3N vac canopy set for this kit. I used a photo of the F7F-3N rear canopy in the Squadron in action on the F7F to set the angle of the radar operator's canopy. I wired the engines- hard to see once they are in the cowls!
I had to use aftermarket decals (Aeromaster) for the aircraft number (23) as the AMT decals were incorrect in size and placement- I used the picture of an F7F-2N in the Squadron book to get them right- it is the airframe that AMT chose to feature in their kit.
I hope you enjoyed seeing this build and i hope it will help others trying to set the angles for the outer folded wing panels. The next F7F I do will be an F7F-3P, using the Italeri kit decals (thanks to a helpful and generous fellow modeller) and one of my AMT kits with folded wings again! Hopefully it will not take "a while" to do, but I need to scribe the photo doors in the right places before I attach the wing stubs and move ahead!
I hope you all have a Happy 2017!
Dan from Bermuda.
19 additional images. Click to enlarge.