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1/48 Scale F8F-2 GULFHAWK 4.

The real aircraft was not a “racer.” I went to what we call here in the U.S.A. as an “Air-Show” which had several airplanes, along with many other airplane related items.

Mike is a fellow modeler from our IPMS/USA San Jose, CA club who related to me that he knows Tony who is the guy down in Southern California who worked on the Bearcat as it crashed landed not too long ago. (ca: Mid 1990’s).

I got the guys name and wrote a letter and as time went by I received some fabric from the “CAT.” I became excited and made up my mind that I was going to build a model of it as I found out that there was already a decal sheet made along with a cockpit P.E. set. How lucky can a modeler get?

I experimented with my paints and came up with an orange-looking color to what I thought matched the piece of fabric that I got.

I took in the account what I learned about paint:

“It is not what color is on your model, but how well it was applied.”

Since 1984 my paint mix has been 4 parts thinner to one part paint. It should be like “WATER.” Shake up your paint bottle, then put a stick down to the bottom of the jar and pull it out real fast. “THERE SHOULD NOT BE MORE THAN 3 OR 4 DROPS OF PAINT COMING OFF THE STICK…BAR NONE.”

Here is a darn good lesson to learn: I took the model to the annual IPMS/USA which was held near in Santa Clara, CA. I knew it would win a first place award, but a fellow modeling friend came up to me and ask: ” Rodney, is this your Bearcat,?” and I said yes, then he said that my main gear door’s were on backwards, meaning that the right door was on the left gear and that the left was on the right. He further said that I should fix the doors as I will not win any awards. The doors were put on with super glue so there was no way to fix them at the show. I took the model out of the contest.

A few days later I discovered my mistake. My instruction’s was showing the front of the model pointing to the left. I assembled the doors with the front of my model pointing the the “RIGHT.” I got the door’s fixed in time for the next contest.

Later! RJW

33 additional images. Click to enlarge.


3 responses to 1/48 Scale F8F-2 GULFHAWK 4.

  1. That is some serious quality work Rodney. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing with us.
    All the best!

  2. Beautifully done!

  3. I was at EAA when Elmer Ward put the Gulfhawk down in the field south of the runway. It was weird that he took off but never saw him again. Found out later he had a loss of power and bellied in. He was okay, but the plane took a bit more work. Just recently took to the air for the first time since the crash only 1 or 2 years ago. (In USN colors.) I would have loved to see it in the air with Race 57!

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