1:48 HobbyBoss F8F-1 Bearcat “Beetle Bomb” Blue Angels
Here’s my grimy looking Blue Angels’ F8F-1 “Beetle Bomb” Bearcat circa late 1949 as it might have looked after a hard weekend working an airshow. Note the attached photo of the actual plane.
By early 1948 the Blue Angels were flying four blue F8F-1 Bearcats along with a 5th painted yellow, named “Beetle Bomb”, that was used as a stand in Japanese Zero for airshow dogfights. By mid 1949 the Angels transitioned to Grumman F9F Panther jets and “Beetle Bomb” (the second bearcat so named which is the one in the photo) was assigned to perform solo aerobatics in between shows. Unfortunately it crashed during a training session at Pensacola in April 1950 killing the pilot.
This is the 1:48th HobbyBoss initial F8F-1 Bearcat new tool released in 2012 that includes the necessary decals to make this plane. The real “Beetle Bomb” was stripped of all armament and had the early Bearcat wings with no machine gun bulges topside. Having built the much maligned HobbyCraft Bearcat using an Obscureco corrected cowling, I can say the HobbyBoss line of Bearcats are the most accurate looking F8F’s out there in this scale.
I built “Beetle Bug” (Why do I keep wanting to call it “Beetle Juice”?) in 2015 straight out of the box except for added PE seatbelts and BarracudaCast wheels. I don’t recall any problems and enjoyed the simple quick build. Paint used is Pollyscale Reefer Yellow acrylic and some Alclad II aluminum on the leading edges. In my stash I also have a HB F8F-2 kit plus the older Academy/HobbyCraft release with a bunch of Cutting Edge resin “correction” stuff ready to go. Guess you could say, I like Bearcats.
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.