Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat
Airfix 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
|Description and Catalogue Number:
||Airfix Kit No. A02070 - Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat
|Contents and Media:
All plastic injection molded kit including parts in gray styrene with recessed panel line and rivet detail and clear parts for canopy.
£6.66 (Export Price) or £7.99 (EU Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants
||Crisp moldings, separate parts for extended and folding wings and open or closed canopies, detailed engine, separate ailerons to correctly depict folding wings.
Decals for instrument panel, incorrect raised panel details, hard to find in the U.S.
The new Airfix Wildcat is an absolute cracker of a kit.
Reviewed by Rafe Morrissey
Airfix's 1/72 scale F4F-4 Wildcat will be available online from Squadron.com
Airfix continues to update its catalog with new tool versions of kits it has previously released. In this case, they have come forward with the F4F-4 version of Grumman’s famous Wildcat that supersedes their FM-2 version from the late 1960s.
These new kits are welcome additions and offer superior details, greater accuracy and a low price point that allows younger modelers to actually afford the kits, just like we grownups could when we were kids. Gone are the raised rivets that festooned most of the early Airfix kits. In their place are crisp recessed details that compare favorably to Hasegawa and Tamiya.
This new Wildcat has a lot going for it.
The panel line detail is nice and crisp and the overall shapes look spot on. It is much nicer than its closest competitor in price, the Academy kit, and offers more options than the more expensive and hard to find Hasegawa rendition. The shape of the lower windows is accurate and much better than the Academy kit.
Nice parts are included for the cockpit. What really sets the kit apart are thoughtful options such as including two separate sets of parts for folded or extended wings and separate parts for open or closed canopies.
Even better, the kit provides separate ailerons in order to correctly depict their offset when the wings are folded.
The engine detail looks very good and two separate banks of cylinders are included to correctly depict the 14 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engine.
Decals for two markings options are provided, another nice value add.
As nice as the kit is, there are a few areas that pose minor problems. First, the kit provides decals for the instrument panel rather than engraved detail. Admittedly, this is a minor gripe and for the price one really can’t complain, but it would be nice to have the option. Once Eduard comes out with a color zoom set, all will be well and it will still be cheaper than the Hasegawa kit.
The second issue is that for certain panels on the fuselage and wings, Airfix has molded them proud of the surface. Consulting the excellent monograph on the Wildcat by Dana Bell, one finds that none of the panels were raised above the surface of the airframe.
I can’t tell how they will look under paint and it is easy enough to run a needle around them and then sand them off but it is a bit of a pain- kind of like the pits in cherries, I suppose.
All in all the new Airfix Wildcat is an absolute cracker of a kit. It surpasses the earlier Airfix FM-2 at every level and is better than either of its competitors from Asian manufacturers and is far less expensive.
My only real gripe is that it is really hard to get Airfix kits in the U.S. Payback for 1776, I guess.
At any rate, if you have any interest in the Wildcat in this scale, track one down. Nice kitty!
Purchased by reviewer.
Text and Images Copyright © 2015 by Rafe Morrissey
Page Created 16 November, 2015
17 November, 2015
Back to HyperScale Main Page