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Harvey R.
35 articles

Eduard F4F-3 Wildcat, 1/48. 'The Navy's First Ace'

September 22, 2022 · in Aviation · · 25 · 1.2K

Following 's amazing 2022 new tooling of the infamous A6M2, I eagerly looked forward to their rendition of the and this kit certainly doesn't disappoint.

The Kit

Unsurprisingly the first Wildcat Eduard releases is the -3, depicting the first version Wildcat to be accepted into service by the . The kit comes with a wide variety of markings from the bright yellow wings of the pre-war, up to the arguably most famous use of the Wildcat in the Battle of Midway as well as a variety of schemes in between.

The kit comes with a variety of options to enable the build of various engine/intake versions, with many parts awaiting their turn to be used on future cats like the Martlet and FM-2. In my build thread I made it pretty clear that there is no majo issues of note with the build, it is a simple yet detailed model that goes together with minimal effort and presents a hugely detailed end result. Although the Wildcat certainly isn't the most glamorous or famous aircraft of the war, it is nonetheless a very important cog in the allied war machine and if you've been unsure on building one all I can say is you're doing yourself a disservice by not picking up this kit.

Building wheels up wasn't as difficult as other planes, the undercarriage doors fit decently and the wheels were simply sanded down roughly in half to fit a bit better. I've certainly dealt with worse. The propekler The pilot used was from an old Tamiya kit.

The Aircraft

The Eduard kit presents you with 6 options, one 'belonging' to Edward 'Butch' O'Hare. In reality this scheme included of 'F-3' was little more than a Cat dressed up for the Propaganda newspapers. Instead I decided to use the decals for that scheme and switch out the numbers for a different bird, you could easily make 'F-1' which was used by VF-3 and Jimmy Thatch is photographed flying it alongside 'F-13' in flown by 'Butch', however I went for 'F-15'. Whilst no photos exist of this machine, it is the one noted as being flown in O'Hare's Medal of Honor citation when he achieved an ace in a day by shooting down 5 G4M Betty's threatening the Lexington. Whilst modern researchers have generally lowered this score to 3 kills, it nonetheless is a noteworthy story from the worth representing. Well, that and I also joined a groupbuild for 'Great Aces' elsewhere and I figured the first US ace was a perfect scheme for my Wildcat.


I can't stop saying praises of this kit, you get 6 great marking options, incredible detail, great fit, and for a good price. What is there not to like?

I've always found Eduard kits to be so close to perfect but often lacking in a few small areas, often incredibly minor thing but they leave you thinking 'how did you overlook that?'. For their Tempest it was the cockpit design and the weird join seams which (from what I've heard) largly were solved with the Mk.II release. For their Spitfire it was the oversized rivets and propeller design. I still am not a fan of how Eduard makes their engines/propellers designed to be glued to the model, and the Wildcat has that issue of course but I do think this is the closest Eduard had got to making a 'perfect' kit in my experience if such thing exists.

Oh boy, uploading photos is a pain. Managed to get it to work by adding a border which I imagine changed the file type or name? Really pain in the rear I have to jump through these hoops.
Reader reactions:
21  Awesome 1 

25 responses

  1. Beautifully done Harvey !

  2. Excellent build and article Harvey. I'm not a huge Wildcat fan personally but this is absolute eye candy- and tempts to build one of these myself! Bravo and thanks for sharing!

  3. Yeah but the hoops you jumped thru were worth it, the pics are pretty durn good. Need a spinning prop though.
    Think I need to try a wheels up.

    • Thank you, personally I'm not a fan of the acrylic disc options but I do need to integrate a motor into a build at some point. There's definitely space to do it in the chubby Wildcat if built wheels up.

      • A wargaming friend of mine asked me to knock together a 1/72 zero, flying mode. At the end, I knocked off the prop blades and made a quick disk, took some liquid glue and made some blurs. You know, it didn't look bad at all. Seen it done with sprayed flatcoat too. Cheers.

  4. This is a wonderful result, Harvey! Excellent in every respect!

  5. Fantastic build! I love F4F!

  6. Well done, Harvey!

  7. Lost of words, Harvey @scalerambush
    A truly amazing result on this Wildcat.
    It was a pleasure to follow the building process.

  8. Beautiful result, @scalerambush. I like it a lot.

  9. Fantastic model ! @scalerambush, That is beautiful work Harvey! 👍

  10. Awesome build and great photos, Harvey (@scalerambush). It was fun following your build.

  11. Ditto. Ditto. Ditto! All of the above, Harvey. Your build thread was very informative as well. Liked you “dog fight” photos! Very creative all the way!

  12. Excellent build and weathering.

  13. Looks great, Harvey. I don’t like jumping through hoops either, I’m holding back on a couple of posts until the problems are solved.

  14. The underside weathering looks fantastic!

  15. Nice job, Harvey. Like the pics as well.

  16. Perfect Harvey, I love it

  17. Subtle and dramatic paintwork - very inspiring. Great to see a wheels-up Wildcat too.
    Nicely painted pilot - is he from the Corsair?

  18. She's a beauty - love the paintwork and weathering.

  19. As they've said above , great work,on all three.

  20. A brilliant presentation Harvey! Your photographs are treat enough, but your article shines as well. Liked!

  21. Unbelievable work, the details are incredible.

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