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F6F-5N Nightfighter
ProfiPACK Edition

Eduard, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

Eduard Kit No. 7079 - F6F-5N Nightfighter

Scale:

1/72

Contents & Media

Sixty olive green and seven clear styrene parts, one plain and one coloured PE fret, a pre-cut paint mask and decals for four subjects.

Price:

On-line Stockist

Price

Eduard

US$24.95

Hannants

£11.66

Squadron

US$22.46

Modelimex

12.29

Hobby Link Japan

¥1760

Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

The base kit is the best 1/72-scale Hellcat available because of its accuracy, excellent detail, quality of production and range of options. The Kit has an option to build two aircraft armed with cannon, which adds interest and variety.

Disadvantages:

The lack of flame damper exhausts may frustrate some.

Conclusions:

I think that Eduard’s are the best 1/72-scale Hellcats available; and like these, this is a superb kit. The Profipac Editions supply an unrivalled mix of detail, quality and options that add to their value for money; and this is the case with the review kit.

If you find that Hellcats, nighfighters, US Navy or Royal Navy carrier-borne aircraft spin your wheels, then you should buy this kit. I definitely recommend it.


Reviewed by Mark Davies


Eduard’s 1/72 scale F6F-5N is available online from Squadron.com
 

Introduction

 

The outstanding success of the F6F as a carrier-borne day fighter is widely known. Perhaps less well known is its success as a nightfighter. A response was needed to increased rate of Japanese air activity at night. This was due to the US Navy’s air superiority by day; due in no small part to the introduction of the Hellcat. This led to development of carrier-borne nightfighters; which the US Marines would also use from land bases.

The US Navy fitted radar to a number of aircraft types in response to this nocturnal threat; one of which was the Hellcat. It shone in this new role and became the most successful US nightfighter type; going on to become the mount of several night aces.

The last F6F-5N was withdrawn from Navy service in September 1953; VC-4 being the last unit to use the type.

 

 

FirstLook

 

I think that it is safe to say that most modellers view Eduard’s Hellcat kits as the best available in 1/72 scale. I certainly believe this to be so. They come in several boxings that cover various versions of the F6F. Eduard’s Hellcats are boxed in one of two formats; these are called Weekend and Profipac Editions. Weekend Editions offer just the base kit and one decal option. Profipacks add a number of things to the base kit that comes in the Weekend Edition; namely, coloured and plain PE details, a canopy mask, and usually four of five decal options. Both are tremendous value for money in my view. There are also quite a few detail accessories for these kits, many of which Eduard makes.

There have been plenty of articles on the Eduard Hellcat kits, both here on HyperScale and elsewhere; so I see no point in covering old ground. Please see this review by Brett Green on the F6F-5 Profipac Edition if you want to know more about it. You can also download or view the kit’s instructions in PDF form from here. This F6F-5N kit is packaged the same way as for other Profipac Editions of the F6F.

This review will now focus on the features that apply to the nightfighter version.

Very little in terms of parts is needed to transform the standard F6F-5 kit to an F6F-5N. The most obvious feature is of course the radar pod mounted outboard on the starboard wing.

 

 

This is a simple two-part assembly that slides over the wing leading edge. The kit instructions include a plan with dimensions to guide its placement. The modeller must cut a short length of plastic rod to fit to the instrument panel. This represents the radar scope and there is a small PE face to fit to its end. It seems surprising Eduard did not include this part, but it is of no great concern that they did not. Two of the four decal options have 20-mm cannon in place of their innermost .50” machineguns in each wing.

 

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These fit over the wing leading edge where the machineguns were after they have been cut away. There are no flame damper exhausts, which may be because they were frequently removed in service. Their absence may have simplified the tooling, but I think that they should have been included. Fortunately flame dampers are not too hard to make if needed.


 

Colours & Markings

The four decal options are all painted overall glossy sea blue (FS 15042). They are for:

  • F6F-5N of Lt. William E. Henry, VF(N)-41, USS Independence, September, 1944.

  • F6F-5N of VMF-511, USS Block Island, April 1945.

  • Hellcat Mk II (with 20-mm cannon) of No.892 NAS, Drem Airbase, Great Britain, May to August, 1945.

  • F6F-5N (with 20-mm cannon) of Maj. Bruce Porter, CO of VMF(N)-542, Yontan Airfield, Okinawa, May, 1945.

The kit’s colours and markings guide is cross-referenced to the Gunze Aqueous and Mr. Color brands of paint. They describe the overall colour as being Navy Blue, but do not provide FS.595 codes. This is a minor point as most will be familiar with the paint brands quoted or know the correct colour to use. The kit decals appear to be of excellent quality.

Like with all Eduard Hellcats, this one is straightforward to build and has the potential to be a stunning model.

 

 

Conclusion

 

I think that Eduard’s are the best 1/72-scale Hellcats available; and like these, this is a superb kit. The Profipac Editions supply an unrivalled mix of detail, quality and options that add to their value for money; and this is the case with the review kit.

The parts to change the standard kit into a nightfighter are simple enough. However, the lack of flame damper exhausts may be an annoyance for some. The option to build two aircraft armed with cannon adds interest and variety.

This should be a straightforward and pleasurable build as we have come to expect of Eduard’s Hellcat kits. If you find that Hellcats, nighfighters, US Navy or Royal Navy carrier-borne aircraft spin your wheels, then you should buy this kit. I definitely recommend it.

Thanks to Eduard for the sample


Review Text & Images Copyright 2012 by Mark Davies
Page Created 18 July, 2012
Last updated 18 July, 2012

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