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1/24 Airfix F6F-5 Hellcat

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Hi all,


I've just received a rather large box from a nice delivery man. The new Airfix Hellcat!


I've already got the Airscale cockpit set (photo etch & decals) - which looks lovely and a set of HGW seatbelts (Mosquito - they looked closest to me in the absence of any Hellcat ones in this scale). The kit has plastic moulded harnesses which are ok-ish but not for me.


The other thing I’m trying to get is some custom masks - I would say essential in this scale. Although, I have just noticed that Funkdecals are producing a part decal, part mask set which looks perfect - except I didn’t initially want to do a dark blue one. I’ve just finished a factory finish Corsair (primer) and that’s an option too. I also like the Fleet Air Arm options. But basically, 90% of all schemes are US Dark Navy Blue which will be tricky to make interesting. The more appealing 3 tone schemes are restricted to the F6F-3.


So before I get started, some obligatory sprue shots:



Lovely big box!






The instructions have 310 stages! 600 parts, so not a weekend kit...






The decal sheet: 






Hopefully this should give some scale:






The slightly iffy seatbelts:






The stressed skin effect:









Cockpit detail:






Engine Sprue:






The clear sprue looks good:






To summarise, it’s impressive but doesn't exude the quality of a Wingnuts or latest Tamiya kit. That said, I’m sure in the right hands it could look spectacular. 



Will update once I’ve got started.



Thanks for looking in,




Edited by Gisbod
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Thanks Alain,


Yes, it does look tinted in the shot, but rest assured it’s not at all, just sunlight effect I think.


I’m sure it’s lovely, it just has a certain retro feel to it compared to the very latest offerings I’ve seen from other manufacturers. Nothing I could really put my finger on, but I’ve just started a Wingnuts DH.9a kit and that oozes quality.





Edited by Gisbod
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Thanks Ryan and Wingman ;)


I’ve made a start this morning and it’s going together surprisingly quickly. I’m getting as much sticking together done on the interior as I can before paint. 


As mentioned before, the plastic is fairly soft, the cockpit floor seems a teeny bit warped - but should squeeze into shape ok. I’ve done a test fit of the fuselage halves and it goes together - with the internals fitted - with some pressure. I’ll have to keep an eye on that as I progress. Not quite a snap build.


That said, it’s a fun build already - it’s a lovely scale to work with ie it’s not too fiddly.


Here are some progress pictures.






A few sink holes to fill:












The first part of the Airscale set fitted (kit detail sanded off)









I’ll need to add some kind of seat cushion to replace the kit one moulded with straps.



Thanks for looking,




Edited by Gisbod
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Nice progress already.  One comment, if I may.  You mention how the fuselage halves go together only with some pressure.  Watch the fit of the internal bulkheads.  Part E28 is a little on the thick side and benefits from some sanding on the front face, which won't be seen.  Also give it a light sanding all the rounds the outer edge and you'll find that the fuselage goes together well.  Next, check that part E39 doesn't bow when you fit the 2 fuselage halves together.  If it does, the cause is the locating tab on the top.  Either widen the slot in each fuselage half, or narrow the locating tab.  Lastly, check the fuselage fit with each frame individually.  This kit builds well, from all reports, but the parts are all a tight fit, made tighter still with paint.  Apparently, most parts need cleaning up from things like ejector pin marks and mold-half marks.  The Typhoon was like that too, but I had a blast building that kit.


I've been following a You Tube build on this kit, and have joined a Facebook group too, which has given me many tips for building this kit.  Mine arrived today, but I'm not going to start immediately, mostly due to having no time thanks to family issues.  I'm keeping in touch with this forum to help keep me sane!!  The upside, if you can call it that, is that it will give me time to see what the aftermarket comes up with.  I'm mostly interested to see what markings might become available.


Hope you enjoy the build.  I'll be watching.





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Thanks Jose,


and thanks Michael, yes, I’ve had to shave a bit off the bulkheads and my radio trays too - you could see them bend when the fuselage was closed. I don’t think the dimensions are wrong, just perhaps that the recesses on the opposite sides just aren’t quite as crisply moulded as they might be.


It sounds like I’m being harsh on the kit, I’m not, it is very nice, just that the mouldings could be a little sharper.



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