Eduard, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||Eduard Kit No. 84181 - F6F-5 Weekend Edition
|Contents and Media:
||131 grey coloured plastic parts; 17 clear parts; decal sheet covering four markings options
USD$34.95 plus shipping available online from Eduard's website
£18.20 EU price (£15.17 Export Price) plus shipping available from Hannants
||High level of detail; excellent surface texture (combination of recessed panel lines, lapped fuselage panels and fabric control surfaces); straightforward parts breakdown; separate control surfaces; ample options including centreline fuel tank, rockets and bombs; excellent clear parts with different sliding sections for open and closed options; perfect moulding; high quality decals.
||Long undercarriage legs benefit from shortening; questions about the shape of the propeller blades.
||Eduard's 1/48 scale F6F-5 Weekend Edition is well detailed, features excellent surface texture and offers plenty of useful options to the modeller.
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was designed as a stop-gap upgrade of the lightweight F4F Wildcat, almost as an insurance policy in the event that the F4U Corsair, then under development, did not live up to expectations.
Despite the clear family resemblance to the earlier Wildcat, the Hellcat was an all-new aircraft. The resulting naval fighter was stocky in profile, large, powerfully armed and armoured, and heavy. The Hellcat secured its place in history with a remarkable kill ratio of 19:1.
A number of 1/48 scale Hellcat kits have been available for some time now. The old Monogram kit was a typical product of the 1960s with gimmicky moving parts, accuracy problems and poor detail. The ARII / Otaki offering from the 1970s was much better, but was let down by a low level of interior detail. Hasegawa's F6F family dates from the mid-1990s, but it is still a nice model - well detailed with petitely recessed panel lines. Perhaps the most frequent criticism levelled at that kit is the slighty squashed and undersized shape of the lower cowl intake - the Hellcat's distinctive "grin".
Eduard entered the fray with a brand new 1/48 scale F6F-3 Hellcat kit in February 2008 - time flies, doesn't it? - to be followed up with their FAA Hellcat Mk.I and Mk.II, the Royal Class packaging and a standalone F6F-5N Night Fighter ProfiPACK in 2010.
Eduard has now added an F6F-5 to their 1/48 scale Weekend Edition range with four marking options. These kits traditionally do not include photo-etch or masks, but they do benefit from a much lower price.
Eduard's 1/48 scale F6F-5 Weekend Edition comprises 131 grey coloured injection moulded plastic parts (13 marked not for use); 17 clear parts (3 marked not for use) and a decal sheet covering four markings options.
Note that this model features a specific and accurate wing and fuselage for the F6F-5 variant. You won't need to fit inserts or fill panel lines with this model.
Even after more than a decade, surface textures on the Hellcat stand up well in comparion to Eduard's very high standards today. In addition to crisp, finely recessed panel lines and selected rows of rivets, the Hellcat fuselage employs a subtle lapped panel effect. This really works well.
The fabric ribs on the control surfaces are also very convincing.
The plastic detail in the cockpit is good even without photo-etch, but for the PE junkie there is a small photo-etched upgrade available too. Straight from the box though, you should still get a very nice result from the multiple dial decals. Decals are also supplied for the lap harness straps.
The engine is a simple assembly with only five plastic parts, but detail is barely compromised. Pushrods are moulded in place.
The canopy parts are crystal clear and thin. Separate parts are supplied to permit the sliding canopy to be displayed open or closed.
Control surfaces are all supplied separately. These are tabbed to assist precise alignment in the neutral position. It appears that the ailerons and elevators may easily be repositioned after slicing the tabs off.
There was much discussion aout the shape of the "grin" lower cowl intake upon the kit's release. I think it looks pretty good - certainly better than the other 1/48 scale kits. You can read my initial impressions by following this link.
The main landing gear legs are too long, giving the finished model a somewhat stalky appearance. Shortening the legs at the oleo strut will be a fast fix for this issue.
Four marking options are included on the decal sheet. Three are in overall Gloss Sea Blue with one overall red drone.
The decals, printed by Eduard, are glossy and look great on the sheet.
A small separate stencil data decal sheet is also included.
Eduard's 1/48 scale F6F-5 Weekend Edition is well detailed, features excellent surface texture and offers plenty of useful options to the modeller.
Thanks to Eduard for the sample
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2022 by Brett Green
Page Created 11 May, 2022
13 May, 2022
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