F8F-1 & F8F-2 Bearcat Wheels
BarracudaCast, 1/32 & 1/48 scales
Reviewed by Brad Fallen
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1/32 and 1/48 F8F Bearcat kits range in quality from excellent (Trumpeter’s 1/32 family) and accurate but sparsely detailed (ID Models and Combat Models 1/32 vacforms) to adequate (the 1/48 Hawk/Testors and Hobbycraft/Academy kits).
One thing all of these kits need are replacement mainwheels: Trumpeter’s tyres are vinyl, the Hawk/Testors and Hobbycraft/Academy wheels are simplified, and the wheels in the vacform kits are, well, vacformed.
BarracudaCast’s resin 1/32 and 1/48 F8F-1 and F8F-2 mainwheels solve all of these problems. There is no ‘one size fits all policy’ here, as is the case with the Academy kits which provide the same wheels in both its F8F-1 and F8F-2 boxings. As described in the instructions, Barracuda’s early wheels have “slotted hubs and diamond tread tires”, while the late wheels have “solid cast hubs and circumferential tread tires….[as] fitted to almost all Warbird and Air Racer Bearcats”.
The 1/32 wheels are slightly more detailed and crisply cast than their 1/48 counterparts. This is not intended as a slight on the quarter scale wheels, which are also excellent. All of the sets feature separately cast brake rings and calipers, which are added to the one-piece wheels to build up layers of detail.
Casting is perfect, with no air bubbles or other imperfections that I could find. Cleanup should be easy, too, with all of the parts designed with minimal attachment points to their resin bases.
The instructions are minimalist but contain all you need to know about preparing and assembling the parts. They include a series of small but useful colour photos of the resin parts being assembled, and a real F8F wheel.
BarracudaCast’s 1/32 and 1/48 F8F wheels are high quality drop-fit replacements for their kit equivalents. Some cleanup and assembly is required, but this is minimal and the sets would be a good introduction to resin for those who haven’t previously used this media.
Thanks to Barracuda Studios for the images and information
Barracuda Studio products are
available online from their website
Text and Images Copyright © 2017 by Brad Fallen.
This Page Created on 30 May, 2017
30 May, 2017
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