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Michael Turner
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Jumping in on the Hellcat theme…

December 6, 2016 · in Aviation · · 13 · 1.8K

This is a Mk. I of No. 800 Sqn. FAA flying off HMS Emperor and flown by Lt. Blythe Ritchie. According to , he scored two and one shared Luftwaffe aircraft in this Hellcat. The Mk. I is the -3 in Royal Navy service.

This is my first build from the Eduard Hellcat Dual Combo (No. 8223) and is basically out of box. I added an internal bulkhead/frame behind the rear quarter window. Eduard would have you glue photo etched pieces to the inside of these windows but I couldn't see that on any photos that I found, either in books or on the web. My conclusion is that these pieces area actually internal bracing between the aft cockpit bulkhead and the bulkhead aft of the quarter windows. I know all of that is in there even if it is hard to see. I also filled in some erroneous panel lines on the lower fuselage between the wings.

The above modifications were based upon a build on Modeling Madness by William Reece as well as my own research.

Painting was as generally as per the instructions with 41 Olive Drab (Gunze Sangyo H52) for US equivalent Dark Green, Sky (H74) for US equivalent Sky but substituting 43 Neutral Grey (H53) for US equivalent Dark Sea Grey rather than using H305 as specified in the instructions.

I made my own mask for the "132" on the nose rather than use the supplied decals. They didn't come out quite the way I'd hoped for but they look more like they were freehand sprayed than I could otherwise achieve without them coming out a mess.

I didn't add any scrapes or paint peeling because Navy aircraft operated in a highly corrosive environment and would have had any exposed metal quickly painted over.
Otherwise weathering was a combination of pre-shading and post- dirtying, exhaust and gun stains, etc.

I still have the Mk. II (F6F-5) to build.

Thanks for looking.

Reader reactions:
5  Awesome

5 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. Holly Hellcat Batman, there seems to be cats everywhere. Nice job Michael, I've always like the Hellcat in that paint scheme.

  2. Another great Cat! What a beauty Michael! I love the underside shot. 🙂

  3. Beautiful build, FAA Hellcats are a good change from USN markings.

  4. Fantastic FAA Hellcat. Thanks for jumping on board with the Hellcat "theme". You're plane is a welcome addition.

  5. Yeah...what they said! 🙂

  6. Nice to see an RN Hellcat.

  7. Yep - another beauty! Love the scheme, and your finishing work is very nice.

  8. Can´t beat an American plane in such "colourful" (almost gaudy ;)) FAA uniform. Looking great.

  9. Great looking model. I have the Eduard pair, and have for years. You may have pushed me over the edge.

  10. Nice work. Grumman is one of the two exceptions to the "US Equivalents" for British/FAA aircraft. They contracted with DuPont (right down the road) for exact-match paints. All Grumman-built Martlet/Wildcat, Hellcat and Avengers were in correct FAA paints. FM-1 and FM-2 Wildcats and TBM-1C and TBM-3 aircraft built by Eastern Aircraft were US Equivalent OD/Neutral Grey/Light Grey. (This according to Corky Meyer, who knew what he was talking about)

    Information for future projects.

    • Grumman cockpits were all Bronze Green (except hellcat, which was Interior Green), with all Eastern-built aircraft Interior Green.

      Also info for future projects.

  11. Another great Grumman, go Royal Navy!

  12. Love it! Nice to see a Brit "Hellcat"

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