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Greg Kittinger
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Academy 1/72 F4F-4 Wildcat, Atlantic Theater

December 8, 2022 · in Aviation · · 19 · 0.9K

This was a nice little kit – engraved panel lines and some larger fastener details around the cowl/nose area. They were a bit like new Airfix kits, waaayyy over scale! I added a few additional missing panel lines and then riveted the entire aircraft.

The one thing that was REALLY annoying was in the control surfaces. What were supposed to be riveting ribbing strips were instead deeply engraved lines. I tried to get this closer to real by gluing down some narrow styrene strips, sanding them down as close as I dared, and then riveting them. I should have filled in the engraved lines first, as I was afraid to sand too hard to get them closer to scale, as they came out a bit too stark for scale, but look more realistic than what was there. I've already come up with a different approach to take with the next one (I have another kit to build soon, along with a few other ‘cats).

Other additions: gun ports were just empty holes. They were also miss-aligned, so I reamed just a bit to restore a circle, then drilled styrene rod for gun barrels and inserted into the holes. There were no exhaust stubs – just a blank where they should have been. I reamed out some holes and inserted some hollow styrene. I added the aerial post on top of the tail and the whip aerial on the spine. Had to do a bit of finagling to get the wheels in the up position – not perfect and they project a tad more than they should, but I'm satisfied. I added filler caps to the drop tanks.

The engine was pretty non-descript and the cylinder heads were ill-shapen. Though it's hard to see, I added push rods, sparkplug wires and ring, and some additional components to the engine hub.

I hollowed out the nose air intake above the engine opening, opened up both ends of the coolers beneath the wings, and tossed the kit pilot and added a PJ Productions version. There was no cockpit detail – not even an IP – but with how tight it is and how thick the canopy bracing was, I didn't think you'd see it so didn't bother. It's hard enough to see the pilot!

I love the Atlantic scheme, and this was my first attempt. I used MRP paints over blackbasing. The top color was Dark Gull Gray, and I lightened panel centers with Light Gull Grey. Weathered as usual with panel line wash, pastel chalks, AK pencils, paint for some of the chipping, and a little bit of oil work. I tried to use what references I could find for weathering of ship-based aircraft – I made some assumptions about less chipping from thrown debris and less underside discoloration from dirt strips.

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

18 additional images. Click to enlarge.

19 responses

  1. Nice job Greg! Love the Atlantic Scheme.

  2. Nice job, Greg! Love the Atlantic camo. And guess what - even if Arma hobby is considered THE Wildcat kit in 1:72, they also forgot to include any sort of gun barrels or imitiation of them.

  3. You did a fantastic job on such a tiny kit Greg, the canopy glazing is so clean and sharp , I couldn't get it that good at 1/48,you're a super talented modeler ,well done mate.

  4. Excellent result on this Wildcat, Greg @gkittinger
    Some much beautiful additional detailing.
    It surely makes this kit look like a 1/48 or even bigger scaler.

  5. Greg,

    Some excellent work and your time and efforts pay off some great dividends with the rivets and extra detail in the control surfaces. The painting and the chipping is frosting on the cake resulting in some strong work.

    Two thumbs up.

    Had no choice but, to hit the like button.

  6. Amazing result, Greg!
    Fooling the scale for sure!
    Fantastic painting and weathering!

  7. Great work on this F4F! Very nice details!

  8. Good grief, Greg! That's some detailed work! I can't believe you riveted a 1/72 plane - and so effectively too. Lovely to see all that effort launched on an in-flight Wildcat - with great photography to show it off.

  9. Well done, Gregg. I always enjoy seeing your builds and flying displays.

  10. Nice work, Greg. That kit was based on the Frog Wildcat. You’ve proved how good it can turn out in the hands of a talented modeler.

  11. Nice detailing Greg, Turned out looking amazing!

  12. Great work on this Greg- the extra attention to small details really sets this apart. Well done!

  13. Beautiful work, Greg, I like the Atlantic scheme too.

  14. Greg Kittinger (@gkittinger)
    Almost every WW2 US Naval aircraft simply look good while wearing this Atlantic Scheme. Your little Wildcat is no exception. Someday I hope to complete a few kits of them myself, but not in 1/72 scale. My old tired eyes are just not what they once were, so that's the main reason why I no longer build in this scale. It's incredible the details you have incorporated into this Wildcat, and even more so considering the overall size of the model.

    My hat's off to you my friend, and I definitely will click on the "like" button before I leave. Well done !

  15. My favorite paint scheme, Greg (@gkittinger). It's hard to believe this is a 1/72 kit, and an Academy kit to boot. Well done.

  16. Another fine looking plane on a pole from the Kittinger Factor. Well done Greg, I've always like that Atlantic paint scheme.

  17. @gkittinger, Well, my flabber is gasted and my gob has been smocked too! 🤩That is amazing work Greg! It's a really impressive result my friend and a great model in any scale. 🤗

  18. Beautifully built, painted and weathered as always, Greg. I really like your flying 72nd scale builds.

  19. Nice photos but it looks even better in real life.
    Great paint scheme, sweet build!

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