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Airfix 1:24 Grumman Hellcat

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1 hour ago, Bomber_County said:

Craig, wow you do not hang about, looking amazing…….

Cheating😀  As I posted at the start, I built this over winter 2020-21. I'm just terrible at getting the posts up. All written and photographed then so I'm posting in installments with RFI at the end. I wish I could build them this quick🤯

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With aforementioned photographic skills apart, I've cracked on. So these are some pics with most parts in place but not glued and some bits of tweaking to paintwork needed. It's always a dilemma for me what to glue and not what. Most of my models are either commission or go on eBay for sale and then the thorny subject of trnasport rears its ugly head. Frankly, most couriers are total rubbish. "Fragile"; "This Way Up"; even "Glass" notices go unheeded. To use a specialist courier is in the region of £200 so, even with a sale of £400 or £500 most clients won't pay that for delivery. The best of a bad bunch option is leave as much as possible for the client to fit on arrival. By this I'm meaning aerial masts, undercarriage gear if possible, propellers. Depends on the client and their willingness of course. Then it's bubble wrap and the largest box of packing peanuts you can find and pray. 


As we've said, you can't do much with Glossy Sea Blue and the damned stuff didn't even chip or fade, at least not on F6F-5 s it appears! I played around with the non used port extended wing with regard to some subtle and selective wearing of nuts and panel lines around the ammo bay doors. Looked ok round the ammo bays but not in other areas, just to stark and random for me so I went with the starboard wing ammo  doors  with a bit of silver wear and tear



The flaps, I unilaterally decided, would be one up one down. I always have a "mind's eye" view of what the plane's doing and this one has had a major hydraulic failure and the port flaps are stuck up. Not sure if that would happen in actuality but it added a bit of variety. Also, hopefully, the subtle lightening of the fabric covered flap area shows against the metal of the wing



Engine area looks ok now. I'ts not easy to see all teh pipework thats gone in. Hopefully, my new camera and trial and error will show this in the "Ready For Inspection" shots



The blue lines on the control line bundle, I DON'T like and they'll be replaced later today..Urrrgh!



Lastly, exhaust staining. My Hellcat will be panels off, thankfully. I realised during dry engine fit that there can be problems with panel fit depending on the final engine positioning on the airframe. The fits and tolerances on this kit can be so fine at times that even with great care, it doesn't take much of an error <1mm maybe over a couple of fit points and, cumulatively, that can leave an over or under fit on the panels. Dry fitting mania is needed. 

There are myriad patterns of exhaust stains and colours depending on mix ratios and other things. I went for these as a reference pics as I liked the "ribbing "effect further down the fuselage:




still a bit of touch up to do here though so they'll appear next post hopefully.


Folded wing lightly in place does cover up the cockpit but it's visible from the other side



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Just entering the "don't screw up an OK model by keeping adding bits till it's ruined" stage :D

I wasn't going to fit the external drop tank but then, yesterday, I had a thought of "what about if it's been dropped- literally?" on the floor I mean. So I messed it up a bit and bent a few things and I'll  make a decision tonight about whether it's going on...:mental:




the tanks gone on and it looks good.



I've also got the exhaust staining somewhere near the reference pic I chose earlier


Wing and its fittings also preliminarily on, I'm adding nothing else before I ruin it. I thought I'd take a few shots of the underside and a few of the first time everything's  been on together. New camera due on Friday so quick learning curve on focus stacking to try and get some nose to tail and finished shots next week. 


Thanks to all who followed the build so far, your comments and ideas are always welcome.




Well, The moment has arrived. After two years (allowing for a pandemic and sneaking a transparent B17-G build for a friend in between), it's time to pass the Hellcat to the RFI forum to await the flak LOL :evil_laugh:

It's been a good build, lots of research and lots of collaboration.

Next up, I await the issue of Airfix's Spitfire MkIXC which I've got on pre order then a commission build of a 1/32 Lancaster. Unfortunately the HK not the Border, but it'll be great fun all the same.

Link to the RFI forum is here:




Edited by Craigyboy
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