Trumpeter 1/32 F6F Hellcat
By Boyd Waechter
In the past year I’ve built several Trumpeter 1/32nd scale kits and I can say that the F6F Hellcat is one of their better models. It does have its share of problems:
- weird hump in the fuselage just behind the cockpit, but not noticeable when the canopy is slid back in the open position;
- the base of the prop blades need to be reshaped;
- the tires are a bit too thin with Barracuda’s replacement resin wheels a better option to use.
I did not have any real problems building the kit, though I did spend quite a bit of time making sure the outer wings mated up to the center section pieces smoothly. Ditto on the gun bay doors which I elected to close. Things that I did do to improve the kit were:
- Made my own lap belts and shoulder straps using RB Productions hardware.
- Used Barracuda F6F/F4U resin wheels.
- Scratch built the straps and cabling for the belly tank which are not included in the kit.
- Using a head on photo of the prop as a guide, I reshaped the bottom of the blades to match the real thing.
- There are replacement cockpits and upgrades, but I felt what Trumpeter provided was sufficient so I saved my money.
- Replaced the national insignia’s with those from a Techmod sheet. Those insignias on the kit decal sheet are too small and way too thin.
- Used Fundekals decals to model David Carmichael’s airplane flown off the U.S.S. Randolf, an Essex class carrier. Excellent decals.
- Used EZ Line for the antennas (2).
To paint the model, I used Model Master’s Gloss Dark Sea Blue enamel thinned and then sprayed on in several sessions. After over coating the model with Future and applying the decals, I sprayed the model with a satin clear coat to tone it down for a more scale appearance and to blend everything together. Photos show the F6Fs flown off the U.S.S. Randolf to be in pretty good shape, so I kept the weathering to a minimum.
This was a really nice build and I can highly recommend any of the four 32nd scale F6F Hellcat kits that Trumpeter has released.
© Boyd Waetcher 2019
This article was published on Saturday, March 09 2019; Last modified on Sunday, March 10 2019