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Grumman F6F Hellcat
A Complete Guide to the Famous American Naval Fighter

by Richard A. Franks

Valiant Wings Publishing
Airframe and Miniature No. 15

S u m m a r y

Publisher and Title:

Valiant Wings Publishing
Grumman F6F Hellcat
A Complete Guide to the Famous American Naval Fighter
Airframe and Miniature No. 15
by Richard A. Franks

ISBN: 978-1-912932-11-5
Media: 224 pages in A4 portrait mode, many photographs and walkaround, colour profiles, historical manual drawings, line drawings and model details.
Price:


GBP£22.95 plus shipping available online from Valiant Wings

GBP£22.95 plus shipping available online from Hannants

and stockists worldwide.

Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Beautifully produced on quality paper, well bound so that it can be opened flat, masses of great information - photos, drawings and colour schemes - and excellent lists of all things a modeller needs to produce the next masterpiece.
Disadvantages:  
Conclusion:

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every Naval Aircraft modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it wholeheartedly..


Reviewed by Graham Carter



 

FirstRead

 

This range of superb reference books need no introduction as they have become the go-to sources for modellers and those interested in specific aeroplanes since they first started to appear eleven years ago. It is a solid A4 224 page volume, well bound with a glossy card cover and printed on quality glossy paper that allows excellent reproduction of images and drawings. While primarily aimed at the modeller, there is much to appeal to the historian and technically-minded person as well.

 

 

The glossy card cover has a nice bespoke illustration of F6F-3 from VF-9 in 1944, by Arkadiusz Wröbel. Inside we find a Preface of thirty-odd pages tracing the lineage, development, and variants of the aircraft, all illustrated with masses of clear photos. Here, also, is an overview of the aircraft’s service history with the USN and various Allied nations such as the UK FAA, France and Uruguay, most of which used them until well after WWII .

The main part of the book is the two sections covering the ‘Airframe Chapters’ and ‘Miniature Chapters’. The first looks at:

  • prototypes in four pages,

  • production types in five pages , and

  • recce, night-fighters, drones, test airframes and projects in thirteen pages

There follows a large section on the Camouflage and Markings carried on these aircraft in all forces and what a wonderful variety there are, all illustrated by Richard Caruana in full colour. Most have a photo to back up the drawings and there are some great model possibilities. Included here are stencil diagrams and three pages on identifying tail markings.

The ‘Miniatures’ section begins with a list of the available kits in all scales from 1/144 through to 1/24, with an assessment of the pros and cons of each, after which are five very detailed kit builds. These are an Eduard “Dual Combo”1/72 Hellcat Mk I/MkII ( Libor Jekl), Cyber-Hobby F6F-3 Hellcat built as a Hellcat Mk II ( Libor Jekl), Eduard “Dual Combo”1/72 Hellcat Mk I/MkII in 1/48th (Steve A Evans) , the Trumpeter 1/32 F6F-5N Night Fighter (Steve A Evans) and finally the mighty Airfix 1/24 F6F-5 Hellcat ( John “Tiggie” Wilkes). All builders are well known for the quality of their modelling and their clear photos and explanations of how they produce their models are worth a detailed read.

 

 

The next section, ’Building a Collection’, is 18 pages showing the differences between variants in isometric drawings by Wojciech Sankowski. These annotated sketches are invaluable to the modeller although, again, I think that it would have been useful to have had some lower surface drawings as well.

The ‘In Detail’ section occupies forty-four pages and give the reader an enormous number of colour and B&W photos from modern and contemporary sources, along with technical manual drawings and excellent notes. This is really a highlight of this and other volumes in the series and provides an invaluable source of information for the interested technophile or the super-detailer.

 

  • Valiant Wings Publishing  F6F Hellcat Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  F6F Hellcat Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  F6F Hellcat Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  F6F Hellcat Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
  • Valiant Wings Publishing  F6F Hellcat Book Review by Graham Carter: Image
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Finally, there are four appendices covering, in alphabetic lists by scale, all of the kits that have been available, accessories, decals and a one-page bibliography of books, official publications and periodicals. The work that has gone into compiling these lists is quite astounding.

The volume concludes with a fold-out double-sided eight-page set of 1/48 scale drawings, by Richard Caruana - showing side and upper and lower views of a number of variants.

 

 

Conclusion

 

This really is an exceptionally useful volume that should be in every Naval Aircraft modeller’s library, regardless of which scale one works in, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Thanks to Valiant Wings Publishing for the sample.


Review Copyright 2021 by Graham Carter
This Page Created on 19 July, 2021
Last updated 19 July, 2021

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