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Dan DeSilva
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1/48 Eduard F6F-3 weekend edition

April 7, 2017 · in Aviation · · 25 · 2.5K

I have wanted to build an -3 with red surrounds on the insignia since I first saw the initial Hasegawa F6F-3 boxing. I like to research my subjects, which can be very interesting and a little deflating at the same time. Apparently it is unlikely that F6F's in the squadron featured by the Hasegawa box top retained the surround for the time shown, although the period of time they were worn by other F6F-3's was very active operationally. After my yearly trip to Pensacola, where I always make time for the Blue Angels practice and a walk around the NMNA, I saw the F6F-3 they have on display, which shows a red surround to the insignia (as it was found under water) on a portion of the fuselage. This intrigued me, because that meant that for this airframe, which served with VF-38, it brought the red surround back from the Pacific to the US. After looking more into VF-38 I came across a few pictures of Oscar Chenoweth (with "Ruth-less" on the NMNA website!) who later served with VF-17-one of my favourite squadrons. The pictures of "Ruthless" of course did not show the insignia to confirm if the airframe had the red surrounds at the time. I have taken some speculative licence and decided to put red surrounds on the insignia on my kit- I am telling myself it is plausible if not entirely possible or actual!

This is the weekend edition of the F6F-3. Print Scale decals were used for "Ruthless". I wired the engine but neglected to take any pictures before adding the cowl. I modified the cowl ring using a resin cast of the old Otaki kit cowl ring. I had to modify the drop tank to the early configuration with a seam as the weekend edition only supplies the later style drop tank. No weathering, as lately I am so happy to be completing kits that I am more inclined to move onto the next rather than delay more for weathering, not to mention I am a bit hesitant to do it in the first place!

Testors enamels were used for the dark sea blue and intermediate blue with Tamiya white acrylic for the undersides. Hand painted canopy frames as usual, Future to prepare for decals, and two coats of microscale flat to finish it off.

Reader reactions:
4  Awesome

10 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. A hell of a Hellcat! looks superb.

  2. Dan, good looking Hellcat. I like the red surround insignia, myself. I conclude that depending on where the squadron/aircraft was during that short lived insignias time frame, the "rule" t wasn't adhered to by the book all the time.
    What do you think about the Eduard cowl versus the Otaki/Arii, going by your comment?

    • Hi Bernard thanks for the kind comment. I can say that the argument over what is the right grin for the Hellcat is a deep and dangerous one to enter. I personally think the eduard one is not great, the Otaki not the best, but better. The one I think is best, is the Aires replacement cowl. The Otaki is a close second, and I happened to have an extra resin copy from when I made enough to improve all my Hasegawa Hellcats-I didn't want to spend the money getting an aftermarket cowl, when i had a "correction" in the spares drawers! At the moment all my Hellcats are now locked down as to what I am doing with all of them.

  3. Beautiful build, Dan...nice work.

  4. This is a great looking Hellcat. I personally like the red surrounds on Navy and USMC planes... They look great with the blue...

  5. You're in luck if you want to weather this, since they didn't see a lot of ops in this insignia iteration. Exhaust stains, gunfire stains on the lower wing surface, not a lot else.

  6. Another well-researched, neat build, good job.

  7. This is what I would call a "Hell-of-a-Job"... Nice work!

    • Thanks very much for your comment!- it went pretty smoothly even for the cowl change I made. I am glad to be finishing stuff-I am tired of the part builts just lying around!

  8. Hell-of-a-Cat! Beautifully done, Dan! You have a great, steady hand for canopy frames. Do you hire out? LoL!
    Great job!

  9. Great clean build! Very nice - and the red-outlined insignia look nice on it.

  10. Great job Dan, that is a spectacular model

  11. Very nice, the red really sets it apart from other Hellcats

    • Thanks George, I would like to think it is a fair assumption this aircraft had red surrounds at the time of his victory. No pictures to prove otherwise!
      Love your pic of donald sutherland from kelly's heroes!

  12. Weathering is an individual decision & I like your model just as it is. Your paintwork is perfect in my opinion as is your photography. I am also a fan of the red borders. They add interest to an already fine model.

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