Eduard, 1/144 scale
Reviewed by Graham Carter
The Grumman F6-F series needs no introduction but suffice to say that the F-5 variant was one of the most produced fighters of late WWII and served in a number of versions and by a number of air forces. This is my first look at one of this celebrated series of kits and I am most impressed.
Presentation is quite different from ‘normal’ Eduard kits, arriving in a clear plastic sleeve with distinctive decoration and a strong card insert to protect the sprues.
The inner sealed bag contains two sprues , the larger one in mid-grey of 37 parts plus a seperate cowling piece and a small clear one of three parts, as well as an 8-page A5 colour instruction booklet, a 100x60mm decal sheet and a 40x20mm mask sheet.
The single main sprue is exquisitely moulded, as are the seperate cowling and transparencies.
There is no visible flash and the panel lines are incredibly fine although, if truth be told, they should be invisible in this scale but just add that little bit of surface effect a model needs.
The undercarriage legs are amazing - super fine and even have hollow scissor links!!
For this scale the cockpit is fine - a floor, armoured head rest, seat and instrument panel which are both enhanced with tiny decals for instruments and belts. The engine is just a detailed face but that will be more than enough for most modellers. The centre-line fuel tank is a masterpiece of five pieces including the support braces. If the modeller selects the fourth decal choice then the modeller will have to fill a hole in the fuselage and remove the very fine wing cannons, unless they have already been fed to the carpet monster during construction. The seat and instrument panel are added to the completed fuselage and I think positioning the latter is fraught with danger and would probably recommend adding it when the fuselage halves are apart.
Colours are called out in Modelmaster , Gunze Aqueous and Mr Color for most details except the undercarriage bays.
Markings and Masks
Decals are provided for four aircraft, the first three in overall navy dark sea blue:
’59’ of VBF-12, USS Randolph in April 1945 with a light grey tank,
‘109’ of VF-83 on USS Essex in March 1945 with white nose and blue tank, and bombs can be fitted to this variant if the correct holes are cleaned out early in the construction, and
’13 of VF-46 of USSIndependence in April 1945 with blue tank.
the fourth choice is an overall Identity Orange F6F-5K radio-controlled drone of Chincoteague NAS in 1949.
Decals are printed in-house by Eduard and look to be very thin and with good density.
The masking sheet is an eye-opener with masks for painting the tyres and wheels and for the canopy panels!! Only the very dextrous among us will be able to apply them to each and every canopy panel - this clumsy little duck would end up with most of them attached to his fingers! Anyway, they are provided and should result in a superbly framed little canopy.
If 1/144 is your thing then these little treasures will be a must for your collection/stash - a lovely kit.
For your sake I hope Eduard do some of the other variants with different cowling and cockpit transparency options - I’m sure a Hellcat I or II would be welcomed by FAA fans.
This is great little package and I can see why the series are so welcomed among the 1/144 aficionados.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text Copyright © 2020 by Graham Carter
Page Created 8 April, 2020
8 April, 2020
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