Monday, March 4, 2024

1/72nd Hobbyboss F4F-3 Wildcat


overall it is a nice model, I liked the flashy paint-job

       In an effort to distract myself from building a vast (unauthorized) underground cave complex for Zhodani Commando's cavemen I decided to build this kit. The "easy assembly" is a bit of a misnomer, it is easy to build if you don't mind that the wings and the fuselage don't quite fit together, or that there is no option for retracted landing gear and no trace of a pilot. Assembly required a fair bit of filing and a dash of brute force to get the wings and fuselage to accept each others company (I had the same problem with the Dewoitine D-520 from the same manufacturer). Once that was done and a bit of putty and filing had been administered the retracted landing gear needed to be scratchbuilt. After all that it made up into a decent looking model, fine panel lines and an excellent look.

I have to admit that I love the garish late 30's paint work on US aircraft

this model perfectly captures the portly profile of the Wildcat
the usually reliable Vallejo aluminum spray had some differences with my primer  and there was some crazing in the metallic finish, in a display model this would have led to a complete repaint, this is a wargaming toy so I decided to just live with it

the Wildcat always reminded me of a bumblebee,
an angry bumblebee

bottom view, you can spot my less-than-masteful scratchbuilding work on the landing gear

        Overall this is an OK kit. As a static display model it would be fine but I find myself questioning how well it will work as a gaming piece. The kit is a solid block of plastic, it weighs a ton. Keeping it on a magnetic post will prove troublesome. That is if I figure out how to insert a steel plug somewhere for the magnet to stick to.........
        I'm going to go back to the Aifix kit if I build any more, the parts are easier to assemble and the hollow body will accept my usual load of finish nails for magnetic basing.


  1. To bad they didn’t keep that at the very beginning of WW2, such an awesome paint scheme, then it would be harder not to be spotted from above


    1. Like Richtofen's red triplane it just shouts "Bring it!"