|FM-2 Wildcat, ex
1/48 F4F Monogram
Monogram selled this kit as F4F, but omitted the oil
coolers under the wings, also the propeller indicates they had a FM-2 on hand.
To modern standards this kit was rather crude, especially the landing gear being
the cockpit nearly bare. But in these former times (mid seventies) there was no
other choice, and as the outline wasn't too bad I considered a FM-2 easier to build.
- The cowling needed heavy modifying. At first the cowl
was removed, then the "motor"
was cut out and later replaced with one from the F3A Buffalo kit of Tamiya.
The upper air intake was cut/sanded down, the hole filled with an appropriate
plastic part. Next the whole cowling got a layer of putty (sanded smooth after drying) because
the FM-2 cowl was slightly larger;
- The exhaust recesses in the fuselage sides needed some
material on the insides for carving/filing/sanding out the appropriate shapes.
- Next came what every kit manufacturer neclected till
today (same for F6F and TBF/TBM: The rear end of the panel immediately after
the exhausts protuded slightly (about a thumb's diameter). I cut out an
appropriate part from an aluminum fast food tray and filed recesses (flat angles)
in the fuselage to accept the material strength;
- Cockpit interior coarse reproductions of the side
consoles (no need for superdetailing as the rounded sides and the pilot hide
most; Instrument panel (different from that of a F4F!): Holes
bored into thin plastic sheet, another part of same shape covered with glossy
black, same for rear of instrument panel; when the paint got sticky both parts
are pressed together; after this is dry, instrument detailing with sewing
needle; final covering of instruments with clear laquer.
- Pilot scratch built;
- Windscreen and cockpit hood moulded from PVC (see page
- Antenna mast PVC cut and sanded to airfoil profile;
antenna wire string of stocking.
- Navigation lights clear plastic tinted with
appropriate colour from permanent ink marker pen (see page "lights");
- Whip antenna hair of a broom;
- Tip of vertical stabiliser hightened with inset part;
- Ruder scratch built;
- Elevators and ailerons scratch built;
- "Horns" on elevators thin steel wire (could
have been copper also);
- Pitot tube plastic tube with core of steel wire; "arrow"
on front added on.
- Auxiliary tanks polyester, horizontal ridge by inset
plastic part (all combined with cyanacrylate glue);
- Markings of VC-61 sprayed accordingly, then masked and
oversprayed with Sea Blue; numbers from odd decal sheet.
thoughts and tips for modeling see "Modeling ABC"