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Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat

by Randy Lutz


Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat


Tamiya's 1/48 scale F4F-4 Wildcat is available online from Squadron.com


Tamiya's 1/48 Scale Wildcat


Here is my Tamiya 1/48 Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat as flown by Lieutenant James E. Swett of VMF-221, while based at Henderson Field, Guadalcanal in April 1943. This model represents the Wildcat that Swett was flying when he downed 7 Vals on one mission.



The decals as provided by Cutting Edge feature 7 kill markings. However, these should not be applied to the model, as the 7 Vals were Swett's first victories of the war. He would have had to have been clairvoyant to have kill markings before the fact! This particular Wildcat was shot down that same day, after the 7 kills were obtained.

I tend to build out of the box or with very minor enhancements, and the Wildcat was no exception. Listed below are the modifications I made to the kit. Special thanks goes out to Brandon Wood for supplying valuable information about Swett's Wildcat.



  • seat replaced with Ultracast resin seat

  • sliding portion of canopy replaced with vacuform piece




  • radio compartment air scoop drilled out

  • carb air intake opened

  • formation lights added to underside

  • antenna wires made from stretched sprue

  • hoist points drilled out



  • all gun barrels drilled out

  • landing light replaced with MV products lens

  • oil cooler screens replaced with photo-etched screens



Painting and Decals

My Wildcat was painted using Xtracolor X162 USN Blue Grey, M-485, FS 15189 and X137 Light Gull Grey, FS 16440.



All markings are from Cutting Edge sheet CED48120. I found the Cutting Edge decals to be a bit of a disappointment as they were thicker than Micro Scale printed decals and the registration was off on the star insignias. For each star I had to make a mask to protect the decal and airbrush the camouflage around the image to cover the protruding white portion.

Finally, the model is weathered with chalk pastels





  • Famous Airplanes of the World No. 16 Grumman F4F Wildcat

  • Famous Airplanes of the World No. 35 Grumman F4F, F6F, F8F

  • Famous Airplanes of the World No. 68 Grumman F4F Wildcat

  • Osprey Air Aces No. 3 Wildcat Aces of World War 2

  • Aero Detail No. 22 Grumman F4F Wildcat

  • Detail and Scale Vol. 30 F4F Wildcat

  • Squadron In Action No. 84 F4F Wildcat

  • Squadron Walk Around No. 4 F4F Wildcat


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Article Copyright 2001 by Randy Lutz
Page Created 15 July 2002
Last updated 04 June 2007

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