Review: Wildcat Arriving!, A Review of the New Eduard's 1/48 Grumman F4F-3
Ever since building the very good but not perfect Tamiya F4F-4 Wildcat back in the mid 90's you would think that they would follow up with a -3 and FM late Wildcat. But no we were just given just the one. Hobby Boss has produced a series of Wildcats in which for some reason I have not picked up any. And the reviews for them have been positive except for the FM pair which have issues. But when Eduard's announced the new Wildcat and a -3 being released about the time Tamiya was putting the P-38J on the shelves. I just had the urge to get one. And it arrived during the week from Gordon at Sprue Brothers.
So lets quit yacking and start the touchy feely by seeing what is in the box.
Upon removing the lid, 3 baggies of clear and medium grey sprues sit in a bit of an oversized box, well packed however, nothing is loose inside any of the bags.
The instruction booklet is at the bottom of the box along with Eduard's masks, PE set, a correction sheet in the build process for the landing gear and engine details. And a very nice set of decals.
The Eduard's instruction booklet is well laid out, with a history summary of the Wildcat, parts map, color call outs for Gunze and Mission Models brand of paints. Of course you always have the option of your choice of paints, these are just for reference. The process of assembly as usual starts in the cockpit, section A.
6 Wildcats from an early Yellow wing, to US Navy and US Marine Wildcats up to Midway are the schemes offered in the kit.
The first sprue to share is the clear parts, excellent, crystal clear and right off the bat several different windshields and canopies are provided, a big hint what Eduard's have planned in the future for other variants of the Wildcat, I am sure a Martlet will be soon be in the pipeline.
Next sprue is the fuselage halves, petite crisp panel lines, fine riveting not as prominent as the Tamiya Wildcat, I can't say about the Hobby Boss as I have never seen the mouldings on their kits. Some details within the cockpit as well.
Next are the wings, again excellent details. First thing to notice is the separate ailerons. The -3 did not have folding wings. Or plumbed for drop tanks.
The next sprue contains the engine components, cowlings, 3 different sets, 3 different cowl rings, the prop. Interesting sprue with the options of cowlings. Even 3 different engine crank cases which 2 are on this sprue, a 3rd one appears in another sprue.
The pushrods are supplied in the kit, a nice touch, separate rows of cylinders heads of the engine are well defined, the prop looks correct for this version. 3 crankcases are provided as well 2 are shown.
3 cowl rings are provided 2 of the 3 shown. The cowlings are in halves, 3 sets are provided, checking references to see if a pair is for a Martlet.
Also Eduards provides 3 different forward cockpit walls.
The next sprue, has the flying surfaces, rudder, stabs some interior components, gear bay details. Drop tanks are on this sprue but not used for this version.
The horizontal stabs are moulded less the elevators, which allows them to be posed deflected down if so desired.
The crisp and nicely moulded details like this section of landing gear component. The rudder and elevators are nicely detailed if memory serves me are fabric.
The bomb racks were used by the Marines and you see them often mounted on their aircraft, though available for the Navy as well.
The final sprue has bulkheads, interior components, wing spars, landing gear and wheels.
The rear main gear wall also contains the wing spars which will help set the correct dihedral when the wings are attached.
The main gear legs are well done, the details are fine and to scale, they do look fragile but the gear is compact and the design should be sturdy once assembled and installed.
The cockpit floor seems to have the correct layout and typical design for a US naval aircraft. with a window mounted low on the fuselage. 2 of 3 choices for the instrument panel/forward cockpit bulkhead.
And finally the wheels which Eduard's have separate front and rear hubs, tires are nicely moulded as well. Much easier to paint unless to build a different version, resin wheels will not be needed.
This kit looks great and look forward to start building it. Just like the recent Zero this looks like a winner. Though Tamiya never gave us a -3, Hobby Boss seems to be good. Still the Eduard's kit provides a nice kit at a reasonable price (about 50.00 with the shipping) and more of them to follow as shown in the sprues. I may just jump into the build on this one.
1 additional image. Click to enlarge.