French Hellcat- 1/48 Hasegawa F6F-5
I have always wanted to build a French Hellcat, and years ago when i was able to get hold of some Model Art decals I set aside a Hasegawa 1/48 F6F-5 for this build. After some research, I noticed that the drop tank on French Hellcats and late service USN Hellcats did not have the typical "post" type mount as seen in WW2 photographs. I modified a drop tank from a Hasegawa 1/48 F4U-5 kit with the straps, braces and pipe as seen in the photos I found.
I wired the kit engine, which i find looks convincing once sealed in the cowl. I used a True Details cockpit in this build. I swapped the kit cowl for a resin cast of an Otaki Hellcat cowl that I made quite a while ago, back when you could order casting resin through the mail from the US to Bermuda. It is considered "hazardous" to ship in the mail nowadays!
I used bombs from an Eduard Profipack Hellcat kit which comes with an etch fret that supplies fins for the plastic bombs in the kit- the "weekend edition" supplies the bombs but no etch fins.
I used Testors enamel for the USN GSB and then coated with Future for decal application. After the decals were applied I brushed clear flat to seal them in and dull the finish. After this, I sprayed some exhaust staining on the fuselage. One day, i will go a bit further with chips and other staining and fading- but for this time i was a bit leery to try that as I have been happy to get quite a few kits done this summer, and didn't want to prolong completing the kit.
13 additional images. Click to enlarge.