HobbyBoss 1/48 F4F-3 Wildcat (Early)
I was drawn to this kit not because I am a huge fan of wildcats but because I am a huge fan of stretching my dollar. So I was interested when I saw this on Amazon for $25 including shipping.
This feisty little fighter builds up very nice out of the box and has good detailed in the cockpit, engine, and landing gear. Surface detail is good too, however when it comes to attaching the main wings take care as there are only miniscule tabs to help with proper alignment.
I found the decals a bit hard to work with- they look good when they are on but they get soft very quickly and are difficult to get into place. I might be crazy but I think that they decals for the top wing stripes were not identical- that or I am just bad at applying them evenly. The decal for the engine cowl was a 3 part ensemble that was a disaster from the start so I just skipped it and painted my own.
I used Vallejo paints as per the usual arrangement. I highligted panels and rivets with Tamiya panel liner and I think I got a bit too heavy on the yellow wings since this prewar bird was probably not too dirty. Despite using multiple coats of Future to seal my work before detailing, the yellow paint still absorbed the panel liner and ended up looking more grimy than the look I was aiming for.
Over all I am please with the result despite a multitude of "unforced errors" during the building process (did you see the crack in the canopy where my 8 year old daughter "found" the piece on the ground?") Coming in at $25 this kit represents a great value for someone looking to build a number of different Wildcat variants. Now that I have this one under my belt I may just have to level up and get the Eduard kit.