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Trumpy ASW Wildcat - almost done


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It's time to start something new!

With the Rata done and in the books (have to do the RFI photos!), the Zipper waiting for its replacement windscreen (should arrive in a week)

and the photo recon Spitfire waiting for the Mojo to come back, this group build is a perfect oppurtunity to another small project inbetween.

I had to choose between three Navy subjects in the Stash:

  • Trumpeter TBM-3 Avenger: as an ASW Avenger in the cool looking dark grey over white camo - everything but a small project
  • ICM's Sea Gladiator - tough choice but I'll postpone my first biplane
  • Trumpeter F4F-4 Wildcat - small not too complex (or so I thought)


The Wildcat should fit in my general scope which includes mostly recon planes and the MTO. Doing a Martlet in Dark Earth/Middle Stone over Azure Blue was high up on my wishlist.

Getting a F4F-3 kit proved hard, so I switched to the F4F-4 aboard USS Ranger during Operation Torch.
I really like the contrast of the yellow rim around the insignia.

There's plenty of photo material on the web - even on wikipedia:



I haven't yet chosen a specific airframe from VF-9 but thanks to my Silhouette cutter I'm not limited to available decals.

My project inventory so far:



  • Trumpy kit (of course)
  • eduard PE - covers some cockpit stuff, gun bays and the rest is pretty useless (imho)
  • Grey Matter resin wheel - I just hate vinyl tires
  • CMK Brownings - yes, I plan to show opened gun bays at least on one wing


Construction on the engine has already begun. Pictures will follow later today (or tomorrow :D)





Edited by Fanes
title change
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The engine

Behold, he's not starting with the cockpit!

I wanted to tackle the hard bits up first. Since the cockpit is practically invisible no super detailling will happen there.

First bits assembled:



What have we here?

The ignition ring had some nasty ejector pin marks. I thought that was an exclusive of the brand with a name close to Sh*tty Maug.

What would I do without my punch and die set?

The ignition ring only features 26 connectors for the 28 spar plugs. Made two from stretched sprue.

The push rods are a nightmare. They're around 0,5mm too short to reach the cam head. Another session with the punch and die and we're a little bit closer but the struggle isn't over.

I hope to get all of them in place with some brute force and CA after painting (they're just dry fitted).


Speaking about ignition:

Trumpy mised any representation of the spark plugs. So out with the 0,5mm drill.

Super detailling amterial from Anyz is there as well.

Are the spark plugs necessary with the closed cowling? - hell no!

I just want to practice with them for the upcoming build with open cowlings.



The cowling is a story for another post...

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13 hours ago, Alex said:

Love those 1/32 spark plugs - I had no idea those were a thing (but now I have to buy some).  Overall it looks like this kit might be a good candidate for an AM resin engine...

Yes and no - I guess.

Yes, the kit's engine is quite basic and there seems to be a replacemenct from Vector (which is more expensive than the Trumpy kit).

On the other hand not much will be seen through the cowl..

Just had another look at it:


What a beautiful beast - don't make me pull the trigger on this one.

12 hours ago, Alex said:

How do you plan to attach plug wires to those resin plugs?  Drill them and use coated, wire-core plug wires?  Seems like just gluing a butt joint would not be strong enough...

Good question, Alex! My first plan was to try a butt joint :D. The one piece spark plugs are incredibly tiny and fragile. They might even break if there's a drill just near them.

Have to check what the omniscient internet advises.

Edited by Fanes
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On 3/20/2021 at 10:00 AM, Wackyracer said:

oh looking forward to this one Joachim. 

Thanks Aaron - that reminds to revisit my Spitfire build :unsure:


Just a quick update today:

The F4F-4 features an intercooler and therefore has two scoops in the cowling.

Trumpy added two lumps to the clear cowling but no ducting.

I added the duct on the right side from styrene



More to come soon!

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  • 4 weeks later...

The engine

Inbetween finishing up the Zipper and a lot of stuff at work the Wildcat's engine recieved some paint.

Alclad Aluminium for the cylinders, Tamiya black for the push rods and Gunze H308 (should be close to engine grey) for the crankcase.



The next task can be seen right in the background: the ignition.

I added the one piece spark plugs from Anyz and the braided line 'copper' - well more like yellowish brass:D



Since the engine isn't really visible once the cowling and prop are on, this was used as a testbed for future builds.

What worked out? What didin't?

+ melting the braided lines ends with a soldering iron (snatched that trick from Brian's Tigercat build) to ease glueing with CA

+ overall looks

+ handling the tiny spark plugs


- the butt joints to the ignition ring look rather sloppy

- braided lines are way too big in diameter for the one piece spark plugs
maybe the two piece ones are a better fit


Next up:

Adding the eduard PE to the cockpit


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  • 2 weeks later...

Cockpit works

Trumpy's effort in the cockpit is okayish on the first look but quite quickly put to shame compared to what's possible in 1/72:

The eduard PE set is quite old and luckily without any preprinted stuff (not my cup of tea).

I made a start with the shoulder harness bar:



Of course the macro shot reveals that the coppe rwire is slightly crooked..

Next up the replacement for the ridiculous seat in the box.

I soldered the big parts to have a more rigid joint and added the small bits with CA afterwards



The other PE parts are mostly for the IP (will post photos once it's painted) and for the seatbelts.

One more comparison between the ugly Trumpy gunsight and the nice Tamiya part (snatched from their Spitfire):



As far as my research went the gunsights in the Spitfire and the F4F-4 should be quite similar.

Yesterday my latest order arrived and within a bottle of MRP's bronze green.

So I can start painting the cockpit this week!




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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Fanes changed the title to Trumpy ASW Wildcat - almost done

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