Hellcat F6F-5 1/48 Hobbyboss
A few years ago I was at a local club day admiring the work done by my fellow modelers and mooching through the boxes under the tables of models for sale (always the best bit of the day for me) when I came across the Hobbyboss Hellcat, I picked it up taking in the lovely high quality art work on the box "can I look inside ? " I enquired "yeah , yeah course you can mate, help yourself " was the reply , a bit eager I thought to myself , what was inside was a beautifully packaged kit of parts that looked crisply moulded and well presented with the clear parts wrapped and bagged separately and the same for some of the more delicate parts a nice looking decal sheet complete with stencils and a lovely ,full colour glossy painting guide and better yet a wings folded option. I had a crafty look at the price on the sticker , a tenner ,wow ! I thought, this guys an i***t I thought hee hee I casually waved my tenner under his nose which he almost snatched and pocketed in one quick movement like a frog catching a fly with its sticky tongue, SOLD ! he shouted and did a little victory dance ( he didn't , I made that last bit up lol), so my prize went home with me and sat on the "to do" pile until this year when I completed the Eduard dual combo Hellcats which you may have already seen and I decided to finish of the set with this little beauty - wings folded obviously, a first for me. I decided to do a bit of reading up on the kit first in case there were any problems to be encountered with the wing folds etc... Ah ! now I see , the cheap price , the eagerness of the vendor it all became clear , this kit is a turkey, a lemon , there are a ton of things wrong here, firstly the dimensions of the fuselage around the cockpit area look to be about 20% oversize , Homer Simpson would probably find it roomy in there ! , next there is a ton of un needed detail inside which makes it difficult to close the two fuselage halves and which I eventually dispensed with , the external fuel tank is the wrong shape but luckily I had one left over from the Eduard kits ,there are no guns provided by Hobbyboss even though the Hellcats weaponry is clearly visible , the exhaust stubs didn't fit and had to be snipped of. I was able to source guns and exhaust stubs from Hannants along with camera ports to build the FAA option I wanted.
At this point I could do with some advice , I'm fairly sure the American missiles provided with the kit wouldn't have been used by the British FAA however I do have a set of British missiles from a Tamiya Mosquito ,does anyone know if I could use them accurately on this kit ?
I used the decal sheet "Yanks with roundels - part 1" to build a Hellcat II flown from HMS Ameer around Dec 1944.
In conclusion there are a lot of things wrong with this kit the worst being the oversize dimensions which cannot be fixed but can be hidden by going with the wings folded option ,the other problems can be fixed ,on the plus side if you do want a wings folded Hellcat in 1/48 which I did then as far as I know this is the only game in town and if you're not too hung up on detail it does eventually build up into a decent kit.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.