Vintage 1/32 Hasegawa F4B-4 Pre-War Bi-Plane
I had this model sitting in my stash for over 20 years. Never gave it much of a look due to its age, and many other more modern models waiting to hit the workbench. But one day between projects, and commission builds, I needed to do something unique and different. I opened the box and observed some fairly nice molded silver/grey plastic, good details, and small parts count. I thought to myself "with a little scratch building and additional details, with a flashing paint scheme, this could be a real eye-turner. I also was on a bi-plane kick recently finishing a few Wingnut Wings models, and the new Revell Boeing Stearman. So I gave it a go. My biggest disappointment with the kit was a lack of good detail in cockpit, a toy looking pilots seat, and the engine molded in one piece. So I added some details to the main cockpit housing b/c with open cockpit this is a very visual area. I scratch built a new seat, and added some seat belts. I modified the instrument panel by drilling out dials and added Navy style dial decals. I also needed to order a new decal sheet from "Yellow Wing" decals b/c original sheet was rotted out and very overly simplified. Construction begins and this baby falls together with "0" fit issues even with the modified cockpit. I could dry fit a huge part of the model with no glue and minimize gaps. This was also the easiest bi-plane I ever built due to the great engineering of this old kit. Just plan ahead with the assembly, test fit, and glue. I know these planes usually appear very clean but I needed to make it look a little dirty. Therefore I kept weathering fairly light but still had some fun with pre-shading, pin-washes, light dry-brushing, and some filters, I was very pleased with the outcome and she finished up fairly quickly. I finally did some drilling for the rigging, and rigged with EZ-Line. Best stuff if you have not tried it already. I cannot recommend this model more, despite its vintage status, it really is a fun, easy build and is impressive once complete. I hope you enjoy the pictures.
17 additional images. Click to enlarge.