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F7F-3 Tigercat - BuNo 80405 - VMF 312 MCAS - El Toro, CA 1946

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Haha, no, I had almost forgotten how long freeing THIS many parts from pour blocks takes.............and I haven't even remotely gotten to the seemingly hundreds of smaller parts incluing a ton on resin pools. 


Progress has been made, and will get some real progress this weekend as I have a 3 day weekend comging up, and am planning on some personal time with the big kitty:








This I think is a major reason more people don't do resin kits. The labor it takes to see one through to fruition is VERY taxing.   This wont be an issue for me with the passion I have for the subject, as I will readily apply the "anything worth having is work working for" mantra to this build whenever necessary. 

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Yikes!  I feel better about the amount of resin that I have to deal with on my G-10 build.  Much better!  I can imagine the effort it takes to separate all of that resin from the casting blocks but like you said... passion gives us the will to go that extra mile!

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Being as this is a VERY expensive kit, of my all time favorite aircraft, I would love to say that things have started off perfectly, and that all was a wonderland of happiness and joy.............


Its not. Far from it. Things have not started auspiciously. Although it does feel reminiscent of the Walrus. That is a bit of a disappointment really, but this IS a full resin kit, and as such you have to expect some things are going to have to be fixed by YOU the modeler, to get them to fit, and/or look right.


I started off in the nose. I wanted to make sure that all that weight up there had a place to sit properly and did not interfere with the nose well, forward cockpit firewall, nor closure of the fuselage. 

Well, pretty much ALL of that was true. The forward weight is actually drawn in on the instructions and appears maybe was an after thought after maybe the main chunk was not enough. In any event, both the weights do NOT seat in the fuse together where they should be in any configuration:








If you put the main nose weight where it should go, the forward most chunk does not fit:








If you seat the forward weight were IT should be, then that pushes the main chunk out of position and too far back so it inerfeares with the forward cockpit firewall:









This all leads to this. This also at this point does not contain any of the cockpit nor wheel well parts:






Lots and LOTS of work to do there.





I decided to move onto the nose well and cockpit floor to see how those fit. I forgot what a HUGE chor it was to sand how large flat surfaces, even ones as small as the pit floor. Its quite draining actually. I cant say I like it in the LEAST. But, as things go its a necessary evil if I want a 1/32nd Tigercat.

The port side of the nose well doesnt fit too bad here actually but at this point I noticed the canon tubes dont even go all the way forward to meet the inside of the fuse where the gun openings are:








It was at this point that I decided to try the starboard side.   BUMMER. Im not throughly sure what HpH was thinking. Some of the molded on details on the starboard side nose well completely interfered with the canon tubes.  

Not just in ONE spot but in TWO. You can see the gap at the rear of the well the molded on detail creates in the second pic:










I chopped those two parts out and moved on. I filled the areas, but will definitely need to replace the canon tubes with brass tubes. 




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Next up I decided  to take a stab at the wings and see if things were more on par with what this kit should be. I chopped the wings out of their pour blocks, and cut out the upper wing engine vents, and underwing landing light hole.  I added the underwing light and PE ring first:








With all of the issues I just had previously, I figured I better test fit, so I cut out all the small resin posts HpH has you put in previously molded holes, to see how the wings lined up.



GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!   This issue unfortunately is even worse than any of the other issues with fit I encountered with the fuselage.

The issue is this, and I had Shane (who also has the kit) check his to see if its the same:


- the upper wing sections both look really good, and all alighns up with respect to rivets and panel lines, no issues here:








- The lower wing panels look fine too; from the root of the wing till where the engine nacelle gets glued onto:








However......................if you look close, you will see there is a line of rivets RIGHT next to the wing tip cap on all wing sections except the starboard underside.

This pushes all rivet and panel lines about 1 or 2mm to the outside and completely off alignment with the upper wing section. You can see here compared to the port underside. You can see the tip line of rivets on the right, on the port side, and on the left you can see the missing row of the starboard side:








There really is no way to fix this without destroying all the detail on the wings surface. Im going to engage HpH and see if they can send me a new lower starboard wing section.

At this time, Im just hoping against HOPE that its just my copy, and not ALL copies. That would be disastrous. Im not really sure how to rectify if that is the case. We shall see.


I decided instead of subbing in #9 lead shot for the OOB stuff, I was going to chop down the soft lead w/gloves on, and see if I could make that fit. 

After about and hour of whittling and chopping at both lead weights, I got them to fit.

I also took all the shavings and stuffed them back inside the main weight, as Im not sure how close Ill be for nose weight, but I have a feeling Ill need all I can get:








I also trimmed up the main cockpit firewall, floor and rear buckhead, to see how they fit in the mix. Once I had the weights chopped down enough, those parts seemed to fit right in:








This FINALLY led to some good news. The fuselage now finally fits as it should with all parts inside:










Im off to the LHS today to get some brass tubes to replace the OOB canon tubes. Im also going to work on cockpit assembly, as Im not quite ready for pain on those parts as Im awaiting a shipment of MRP paints that include some WW II interior green.



Cheers till next time! 

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Great start but I have to agree with you the cannon tubes and the misaligned rivets on the wings are a big bummer. I have the Me410 in the stash and was thinking of starting it but l wonder if it is not more than I can chew. I will follow your build with much interest.



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Glad to see you get a start on this Brian, not glad to see the issues already! Resin kits can be tough but this is a little much for such a high end kit! I'm sure that HpH will take care of the issues.


Will be great to see this come together!  :thumbsup:



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Hi Brian. I was lucky enough to hold a completed one of these at Telford recently and I was struck by just how heavy the finished model was. Is the landing gear strengthened or full metal?

Also, are you using HPH's own epoxy adhesive to glue the parts together? Mirek patiently explained that this particular glue could be used to fill slight gaps and sands at the same rate as the surrounding structure. It might prove useful.

The model was beautifully rigid and looked superb even in it's unpainted state. You are in for a real treat and I'm confident all of your hard work will pay off.

Enjoy your big cat build, I know I shall enjoy following along.



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That's a bummer about the wing rivetting, Brian. But I doubt it's just your copy, sadly, as the rivets are moulded into the surface just like everything else, and would be present in the mould this way. Which means every copy coming out of the mould would be like yours. HpH would have to retool the wing to fix this.



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SUPER work.. :bow:


HpH/Mirek mighty impressed by your WIP.(I showed the WIP thread to him).


The completed model which he allowed ME to hold was heavy but oh SO NICE.


you're doing a fantastic job.


Keep it Coming.



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