1/48th Hasegawa F6F-3 Hellcat USN PTO WWII
Late in the Hellcat mini informal GB, is one that I built when the kit was relatively new from Hasegawa. Around 1997 I built this one back in the day when the world wide web was still growing. The days when Fine Scale Modeler, Scale Modeler and SAM magazines were the go to sources for me to read about scale modeling. ARC, Modeling Madness, Hyperscale were just in their infancy and I wasn’t aware of them if they even existed yet. So any reviews came from what I read. At the time Hasegawa was state of the art. No one at the time mentioned if the cowl was wrong or any other critique of Hase’s Hellcat, this I learned long after it was built. The day of Verlinden resin, True Details, Airwaves aftermarket bits were available. Black Box, Kendall were just growing, Eduards was just getting started with their PE as well. The new kids on the block was Meteor productions with Cutting Edge. A little history of modeling in the 90’s. Aeromaster was in their stride with decals, a series of paint in Acylic and enamel and working with Kendall resin aftermarket cockpits and other enhancements. One of the offerings I had to have is AeroMaster’s special series of decals they introduced was The US Navy/Marines Top Gun’s of WWII. (SP48-08). A set of decals that had Corsairs, Hellcats and Wildcats that operated in the Pacific Theatre. The set came with a manual which also included a history and bio of the pilots that flew the aircraft in the decal set. As well as the marking and painting guide for each aircraft represented. Similar to many respects to Victories Spitfire decal series that was released recently. AeroMaster would later do a similar decal series for the Japanese aircraft which I missed. As both sets were not produced for very long. Beside unfortunately AeroMaster went out soon after.
The Hellcat is the 8th aircraft in the set, it was flown by Lt jg Alexander Vraciu, 19 June 1944, now records show he did not fly his personal Hellcat Modex 32, but that even #13 shown here as well is not totally verified either. As after battle reports would note the BuNo but not the side number of the aircraft. According to the report this is the aircraft he most likely flew on this day, shooting down 6 Judys during the Mariana’s “Turkey Shoot”. Flying with VF-16 at the time off the USS Lexington. Other than the decals, it is all OOB, paint used all AeroMaster Warbird acrylics, Dark Sea Blue, Intermediate Blue over White. Scheme painted free hand with my trusty Paasche H airbrush. I had envisioned building every single aircraft listed on this set. So far this is the only one. Though with surprisingly only 2 other Hellcat in the stash, at least I have several Corsairs that I can use. But will need to pick up some more Hellcats and Wildcats to complete this endeavour. Thanks for viewing, Fly Navy
15 additional images. Click to enlarge.