What-If Build: Grumman F5F-2 – 1/48 Minicraft
Fresh off the workbench is Minicraft's gem-of-a-kit, that is, their Long-Nose XF5F... schemed-out in a what-if 1943 Tri-tone Blue. This is my third Navy whiffer and I can say I'm happy with the slightly esoteric and (for me anyway) appealing results.
The kit itself is fairly simple, but with a very "Minicraft-ishly" spartan cockpit. With that (and the sparsely open wheel wells) push aside, the kit itself was a delight to build. Fit was excellent and the parts were all cleanly molded. Though the fuselage required some putty at a few seams, the upper and lower wing (each piece the full span) required no putty what-so-ever!
To the cockpit, the main modifications were: the addition of a gunsight lens, seaback thinned appropriately, and harness bar and harness added (replicated F4F). The only other place were I felt that there was some need for added detail was the rear cockpit, or turtle-deck area. This area is highly visible, however the kit had no previsions for this area... Thus I did some fanciful scratchbuilding loosely based off what I could see was in the area on the real XF5F aircraft.
The only other modification to the base kit was that I added some rivet random detailing on the upper side of the plane.
Primary paints were Vallejo colors, however some MM colors were interjected here and there. Decals from the spare bin. Red outline insignias were specifically used because I like the way they contrast with the Tri-tone scheme. The Number 5 was chosen because, well... F5F. Umber and Black Oil wash was used over a matt finish, giving an overly grimmy look, but again, I like the artist results this produces.
My biggest regret of this build? Forgetting to Future the canopy...
I hope you enjoy this scheme and my build!
9 additional images. Click to enlarge.