Home > Valiant Wings Modelling > 'The Stash'

Grumman Hellcat Mk II 'Weekend Edition'

Scale: 1/48th
Manufacturer: Eduard
Ref No: 84134
Material: IM

Kit Review
This is the final one of my Eduard Hellcat builds and this particular Weekend Edition kit was released in 2012. Being in this simplified series it lacks photo-etched or things like paint masks or resin wheels etc.

Have a look at my F6F-3 build HERE, as the overall assembly is basically the same. You just have decals for the instrument panel and seat belts and with the engine you don't get an ignition harness in etched. I once again omitted the kit gun barrels and replaced them at the end of the build with the lovely brass ones from the Master set #AM-48-108. Just like the F6F-5N build this one needed all the stubs removed from the HVARs and fitted below the wings, so this was tedious due to the tidying up need because of problem caused to them by the mould misalignment. Make sure you open up the little dimples that denote where they go under the wing with a very small drill bit first, then use a thicker cement like Contacta to tack them into place, followed by a little extra thin liquid cement around the base of each to secure them long-term. Once don, leave the model for 24 hours for the joints on these to fully cure, otherwise you will find they ping off later during the build - alternatively leave them off until after all the painting etc, although that will require some careful painting. No drop tank was fitted to my chosen option, so that meant the mounting hole did not need to be opened during the initial fuselage assembly stage, I should really have depicted the mounting spigot underneath the fuselage at this point though, but in this scale it is hardly noticeable. 
Colour & Markings
Oh dear, why did I used old aftermarket decals! Yes, I opted to take from my decal sheets the old AeroMaster sheet for Royal Navy Hellcats (#48-399) and depict JX688 of NO.896 NAS as I wanted an HMS Empress machine in my collection. 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 white stripes around the wings, tailplanes and vertical fin, along with the white front cowl ring were all done later, but should have been done before the main scheme (look, I was coming back to modelling after a long break and I had (another) 'senior moment'!). The application of all the main colours was done in a patchy manner to give some tonal changes to the overall scheme, then once dry and varnished, a dark oil wash was applied to the panel lines. Wiping the excess away also imparts a slightly dark hue to the overall scheme and blends all the patchiness together - well I think it does!
The decals in the kit were fine, except there were no stencils, but thankfully I had two spare sets with the Techmod sheet I used for the Hellcat Mk I, so they went on here with no problems at all. All the AeroMaster decal though were a nightmare, they would not release from the backing paper and then would not adhere to the model. To add insult to injury, they then went on and silvered, the serial number being particularly bad and almost causing me to throw this one at the wall. I suspect that even being stored carefully these decals had passed their use by date and the glue etc., was ineffective. I know now, so in future if I used any old decals from them I will use something to ensure they stick and don't silver (e.g. dipping them in Klear).
Final Details
As with all 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), the canopy, aerial mast, leads and propeller. 

Yep, I really enjoyed the build, OK the decals were a disaster, but that is nothing to do with Eduard and I suspect that had I gone with one of the options in the kit, the decals would have performed as well as those did on the other builds. I tell you what though, stick your build Hellcat alongside a Spitfire in the same scale and you will appreciate how big it was, even alongside a Typhoon it makes the Tiffie look small and that's saying something!

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