Revell 1/72 F6F5 Hellcat build and paint, part 1

This one will be shorter, because if I delved into detail and the number of  repaints, failed experiments that had to be puttied and sanded over and over in the course of three (!) years I’d have to write a 500-page long book.

So,  what did I do to kit 04140?

– Drilled engine cylinders, got it wired (incl that ring around the crankcase) and painted.

– Cut off the MG barrels from the part, measured lengths, replaced with needles. Glued wing parts together.

– Tried to shave off detail from cockpit backwall, failed, broke the detail, used plastic packaging and made the detail anew, glued two needles as support for the pilot’s seat and the seat itself. Painted cockpit, applied decals and glued it in the fuselage halves. Added sloped armored with headrest and that bar, which the shoulder straps pass over.

– Cut off the cooling flaps of the cowling, painted the inside and glued it to the fuse after appropriately shortening the engine stub and gluing the engine on its place. Made new cooling flaps from beer can Alu, glued them on, felt incredibly satisfied with self. Glued horizontal stabs. “Removed” antenna from top of vertical stab, glued it with a sticky tape “somewhere safe”, forgot where it is, decided will make new antenna from etched frame “some day”.

– Cut off what’s over the instrument panel. Made new detail from beer can. Found out later this cover had to be flush with nose and “enhanced” it with Milliput. Reference showed that it also had to be flush with IP itself – more filing (thanks for the set of diamond files, Dad!).  Finally removed the support for the gunsight – will replace it with a resin one from Quickboost.

–  Three brands of filler were used to fill up the aft end of the wheel wells and none reached satisfactory results. Screwed things, used plastic scrap to cover up wheel wells. Used more scraps to recreate lost/missing detail.

– The right-hand wing “spur” was broken, so after two attempts of re-creating it with different fillers I cut into the wing, glued in a new piece of plastic and shaped it up as a spur. After breaking the new one repeated the operation.

– Removed the flap attachments. Used Milliput to fill in the voids Revell left under where the wing flaps would be. Used a wet flap detail to shape the 1/4-circular zone under the flap. Drilled holes in the wings and flaps, inserted rods in the flaps.

– Made a big cut in the ‘Cat’s belly where the oil cooler exhaust opening is. Glued a flat plastic piece, filled, shaped and sanded with Milliput till nothing broke my bird’s lines. Then ruined them again, using a cylindrical bit to create a sloped “tunnel” towards the oil cooler.

– Removed protruding rods from tailwheel structure. Made a new cover for it, strenghtened the strud, drilled three lightening holes. Levelled the tailwheel housing “floor” shaped it closer to the original. Made a cut under the tailhook compartment, glued in a loop of wire to repesent tie-down point.

– Painted the whole thing decanted chrome silver. When dry added accents from Revell 360, lightened with Revell 12.

– Glued and almost faired in the windshield. Painted the whole airframe + bits a mixture of Revell 52 and 54. When I saw the end result my first thought was “Gee, I would have never gotten smth as close to Blue Angels blue even if I tried!”.

Pics and more to come one of these days.

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