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Grumman Hellcat Mk I 'Weekend Edition'

Scale: 1/48th
Manufacturer: Eduard
Ref No: 8435
Material: IM

Kit Review
This is the second of my four Eduard Hellcat build and this particular Weekend Edition kit was released in 2017, the Hellcat only previously having been available in the combined Mk I/Mk II 'Dual Combo' version (#8223 released in 2008 and 2014). Being in this simplified series i lacks photo-etched or things like paint masks and resin wheels.

Have a look at my F6F-3 build HERE, as the overall assembly is the same. You just have decals for the instrument panel and seat belts, which are quite acceptable really and with the engine you don't get an ignition harness in etched. I chopped off the gun barrels again, as I added brass one at the end of the build in their place. The drop tank also lacks the rest of each strap in etched, so I just found plasticard strips that were the same width as the rest of the strap moulded to the tank and cut lengths so that once the tank was in place I could bridge the gap between the tank and the underside of the fuselage. I have to admit that my chosen option could have actually had the chopped aerial mast, but I had no period images to hand and could not confirm this, so went with it in situ, regardless of the hassle getting it to secure (and remain) in place!
Colour & Markings
I opted for another option other than the two in the kit and thus used the Techmod sheet #48065. Although the canopy masks in it are for the Hasegawa kit (which I will therefore use later with my build of a -3 converted to a F6F-3E), the decals are fine with the Eduard kit too. I opted for JV131, E•L of No.800 NAS on HMS Emperor in September 1944 complete with will D-Day stripes. All the colours came from the Hataka lacquer set 'RAF Coastal Command & RN FAA' (#HTK-CS49) with Sky (#HTK-C026) for the undersides and Dark Slate Grey (#HTK-C202) and Extra Dark Sea Grey (#HTK-C140) on the upper surfaces. The stripes were applied afterwards, which was daft and I must have had a 'senior moment' as I should have done them first and then masked them off before the overall scheme was applied. White was also used as the base for the red cowl front, with Tamiya X-7 for the red itself applied in a number of thin coats to build the colour density. The drop tank was Insignia White (#HTK-C049), although really I think could have left it off for this particular option?
The Techmod decals were superb, they had perfect register and colour and settled down into all the recessed detail with just a little Micro Sol. The sheet came with two sets of stencils, although I used the ones supplied in the kit for this particular build. 
Final Details
As per my other builds the final tasks are to install the undercarriage, fit all the clear lenses (again, the tip light lenses need trimming to fit), then the drop tank, canopy, aerial mast (which I should have truncated for this particular aircraft - will do that later, honest!) and propeller. 

Another superb kit that fits together with little of no problems and in this simplified Weekend Edition you can actually do all the main assembly in a couple of days. It took me longer to paint and weather the model than it did to build it, it really is that easy.

See my other builds here:
F6F-3 Hellcat 
Hellcat Mk II
F6F-5N Night Fighter

Paints used
Alclad II lacquer:
White Aluminium
Aqua Gloss (varnish)

Gunze Mr Hobby Aqueous Hobby Color acrylic:
Mr Surfacer 1000 Grey
Mr Finishing Surfacer 1500 (Black)
Mr Levelling Thinner
H58 Interior Green

Hataka lacquer:
HTK-C026 Sky
HTK-C202 Dark Slate Grey
HTK-C140 Extra Dark Sea Grey
HTK-C049 Insignia White

Tamiya Color acrylic:
X-1 Gloss Black
X-2 Gloss White
X-7 Gloss Red
X-22 Gloss Clear
X-23 Clear Blue
X-24 Clear Yellow
X-25 Clear Green
X-27 Clear Red
XF-85 Rubber Black