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Jim Sullivan
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1/48th HobbyBoss FM-2

January 26, 2021 · in Aviation · 18 · 2.1K

Just finished up with the 1/48th HobbyBoss FM-2 Wildcat. I had problems with the landing gear construction but likely self-inflicted. The FM-2 is finished in the markings of VC-80 while serving aboard USS Manila Bay (CVE-61) in late 1944. The model is airbrushed in MM enamels and overcoated with Testors clear flat. National insignia decals used were from the kit and the white numbers from the decal stash. Only non-kit additions to the build were TD wheels and the seat belts from a spare Eduard fret. This plane was modeled from a photograph (last picture in this batch) that I thought was interesting because of the unusual application of the tri-color paint as well as the geometric marking seen on the tail. Just had to build it. All comments and/or observations most welcome.

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12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

18 responses

  1. Superb build, Jim. @bentwing
    This 'unusual' tri-color scheme is very nice.
    Like the way you attached the antenna wire a lot.
    What did you use for the 'aluminum' pieces on the beginning and end of the antenna?

  2. Thank you for your comment John. The pieces you mention on the antenna rigging are micro tubing airbrushed white to replicate insulators seen at the ends of the rigging 'wire'. The challenge here is threading the 'wire' through that micro tubing. A steady hand and a strong set of Optivisor glasses is most essential (at least for me) to accomplish this. HTH

  3. Amazing build, Jim.
    I love the chosen scheme and I love your interpretation of it even more.
    Those antenna insulators rock!
    What are your impressions of the Hobbyboss kit?

    • Hello Spiros and thank you for your comments. As for the HobbyBoss FM-2 kit, is was quite nicely done but I found the instructions to be a bit vague when it came to assembling the many landing gear parts. Fortunately I had some Grumman factory photos of that assembly which answered most all of my questions. One other nit was that even though the cockpit glass comes in two pieces, the canopy has to be installed in the closed position. It will not work in the open position. So if you want an open canopy you'll have to dig up a vacuform one.

  4. Jim, @bentwing
    This is a very unusual FM Wildcat, and I really like it. About 5 years ago I built up one of the Hobby Boss Wildcats. Mine was the F4F-3 "early" version and I painted mine up with a Willow Green tail, using some pictures I found of the actual plane that was on display for the Navy at the World's Fair one year. 1939 or 1940 I think ? Maybe Chicago ? Not sure exactly...

    I never installed the spinner though...and I added "Neutrality Patrol" US Insignia on the cowling.

    These HB kits look and build up very good, but as you mentioned the landing gear can be a bit tricky. You did a wonderful job with yours, and the extra work with the antennae cables look really good.

    I pressed the "liked" button too. Good to hear from you, Stay safe.

  5. Thanks Louis, I'm glad you liked the FM-2 and my compliments to you on your F4F-3 model...very nicely done.

  6. Nicely done Jim, can't ever remember seeing one done in the tri-color scheme. Good to hear there's not a lot of problems with the HB kit. I have one in the stash and want to do it in the Atlantic white/grey scheme.

  7. Thanks Tom and that was one of only a very few I've seen that weren't GSB. That and its markings were what attracted me to it. The gray over white paint scheme should make for a nice model and I look forward to seeing you model it.

  8. Really like the colour scheme and I might just try the micro tube insulator and test out my eyesight!

  9. Nice build Jim. Another fine replica of a real warbird, complete with documentation. That makes your FM-2 more than just a model. The paint job is excellent and a match to the photo. FMs fought right to the end of the war flying mostly off escort carriers and they did some damage to the Japanese in the Pacific Theater. Thumbs up sir and another tip of the old flight cap.

  10. Great looking Wildcat!

  11. Thank you Robert.

  12. Looks great Jim! Nice way to kick off the new year.

  13. One of the best photo duplications I've seen, Jim, exceptionally true to life. Congratulations on completing this beautiful example of an aft-overlooked workhorse!

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