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Boris Rakic
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From the Hornet’s nest: Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat at Midway

My contribution to the - ' 1/48th scale -4 in the markings of VF-8 from USS Hornet.
Established in September 1941, this squadron played a rather unfortunate role during the battle. During the search for the Japanes carriers on June 4th, ten of its planes had to ditch after running out of fuel, costing the lifes of two pilots.

The Hobby Boss kit is a nice one, although I prefer the Tamiya offering for its overall fit and detail. More on this build can be found in the Group Build Forum here:

Last but not least, a big Thank You to Louis Gardner for the idea and organizing this Group Build!

4 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Wonderful looking Wildcat. Great detail on the panel lines


  2. Great looking 'Cat, Boris! Your weathering is excellent.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. A most impressive build, sir...I like that very much.

  4. Boris, really looks like the real thing!

  5. You are very welcome my friend. I'm glad you joined us.

    Your Wildcat is fantastic. I really like it. Thanks for sharing it with us...

  6. Spot on weathering Boris! Beauty mate.:)

  7. Outstanding work on your Wildcat, Boris! I am especially impressed with the weathering technique you used on the finish.

  8. Nice! Looks like it's ready for take off!

  9. Very nice Boris, good weathering technique.

  10. Good old Stanhope Ring, the Hornet CAG. Proof that there is indeed an inverse relationship between graduating position and later performance. He was #1 in his class at Annapolis, already tagged as a "future Admiral" (so long as he didn't screw up - more on that later) which certainly gave him good reason for his conventional, way-inside-the-box thinking. No challenge to The Way Things Are Done from this guy. He dutifully went up the promotion ladder and like a good pre-war officer ended up as Air Group 8 CAG.

    So, the morning of June 4, he launched to go for the Japs, not knowing they had been given incorrect location. He got out to the point of no return, and there were no Japanese ships. No turning north with an educated guess like McCluskey. Ring executede the Standard Pre-War Maneuver for such a situation: head for the nearest land base. In this case, Midway. Which took AG8 out of the battle completely and insured the loss of the 10 Wildcats.

    Ring never commanded in combat again, but the Canoe U Protection Society made sure nothing was said, since he had followed the regulations, and he ended up in Training Command. Promoted to Captain by the end of the war, he retired in 1949, and was given as a parting gift...

    Wait for it...

    Promotion to Rear Admiral.

    Yes indeed, the trade school boys do indeed take care of their own.

    Interestingly enough, no useful Navy unit commander during WW2 graduated in the upper third of his class at Annapolis, other than Raymond Spruance, who was at the bottom of the upper fourth.

    • Great thumbnail sketch Tom, gives some great context to the characters and events!
      Clearly the qualities needed to succeed at peacetime?Annapolis were not the qualities needed to succeed in the Pacific.

    • Well Tom, since you're naming names, I'll add Capt Marc Mitscher to the list of the Hornet's under achievers at Midway.
      He didn't allow any after action reports other than his whitewash report that is full off at best "massaged" versions to cover the p**s poor performance of the air group. That ADM Nimitz accepted it, was another "ring knocker" moment.
      Mitscher was "magnificent" later in the war, but at Midway he was anything but.

  11. Lovely work Boris. It may be the Hobby Boss kit, but it looks a gem.
    Wonderfully judged weathering

  12. Beautiful Wildcat Boris! Nicely done.

  13. Nice job on the HB kit, Boris. Beautiful weathering and finish overall. I agree, I like the Tamiya kit better, but the HB kit is very VERY close, and other than a fw minor fit issues, she builds up very nicely!

  14. Great work Boris, don't see many Hornet subjects other than TBD's.

  15. Hello Boris,
    Excellent finish.
    regards, Dirk/The Netherlands.

  16. Nicely done Boris

  17. I like that very much. Excellent work. I can imagine it flying off the end of your bench on the way to battle!

    From the comfort and safety of my peachy peacetime armchair, I really admire all the guys that took those tiny single engined aircraft to war, especially over water, whether or not they were celebrated aces. I guess that’s why I make so many WWII subjects.

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