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Tom Bebout
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Midway Group Build, 1/48 Tamiya F4F-4 Wildcat Lt E. Scott McCuskey

My final build for the Midway Group is a from VF-3 on Yorktown flown by Lt Scott McCuskey. From Little Rock, Arkansas, Scott enlisted in the Navy in 1938 and got his wings and ensign's commission in the Reserves in 1939. He began the war with VF-42 which was temporarily assigned to Yorktown. They flew some of the first -3 Wildcats and were conducting neutrality patrols in the Atlantic.

After Pearl Harbor, Yorktown was sent to the Pacific where Scott tasted his first blood. On patrol radar picked up a bogey and Scott and his wing man destroyed a Mavis flying boat, Then at the Battle of Coral Sea he got his first single victory, a Zero from the carrier Shokaku. Low on fuel he would land aboard Lexington just before her sinking. He would survive and then return to his squadron on Yorktown.

It was during repairs at Pearl, after the Coral Sea battle, that VF-42 would be merged with VF-3 under Jimmy Thach. They would be equipped with the new F4F-4 Wildcat. At Midway, McCuskey with three other pilots were sent to intercept attacking Japanese dive bombers. Sighting a V formation of Vals, he dove into the formation and shot down the outside plane, then turned and nailed the two rear aircraft. Later that day he destroyed two Zero's escorting torpedo planes. After the battle Scott would be the Navy's top ace with 6.5 victories. He would later serve on Bunker Hill with VF-8 flying the new F6F Hellcat. He would finish the war with 13.5 victories and retire as a Captain in 1965. He passed away in 1997 at the age of 82. The last photo is of McCuskey with Ensign Gay after Midway.

The kit in my opinion is one little gem of a model. Goes together well with no fit or alignment issues. I did add a True Detail seat, and used Model Master paints along with Tamiya from rattle cans. Nylon thread was used for the antenna. I highly recommend this kit to anyone interested in building a -4 Wildcat.

Reader reactions:
10  Awesome

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. One of my favorites Tom! Gee, it looks great here. That's some fine work for sure! 🙂

  2. Those Tamiya Wildcats are sweet,'s this one. Nice work!

  3. lovely Wildcat Tom - great job!

  4. Great work on your Wildcat, Tom!

  5. Great model, great photos and a great story line to boot... It doesn't get too much better than this. Thanks for posting it Tom. Two thumbs up Sir. I really like how it turned out.

  6. Well done Tom, beautiful finish.

  7. Another fine Felix bird! Great job.

  8. Ya know, one of the things I really like about this Wildcat is the fact that every panel line isn't overly high-lighted. The approach here is much closer to what one sees on actual aircraft in my opinion. I understand that the so-called "Spanish School" of weathering/finishing provides a more artistic or stylized appearance, but to me that isn't realistic. Just my opinion and I know many model builders readily embrace that look and that's just fine for them. For myself, Iike the more subtle approach seen here. 🙂

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