Cyber-hobby 1/72 F6F-3 Hellcat

KIT #: 5060
PRICE: $41.00 SRP
DECALS: Six options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Golden Wings series


The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a carrier-based fighter aircraft developed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat in United States Navy (USN) service. Although the F6F resembled the Wildcat, it was a completely new design powered by a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800. Some tagged it as the "Wildcat's big brother". The Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair were the primary USN fighters during the second half of World War II.

The Hellcat was credited with destroying 5,271 aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (5,163 in the Pacific and eight more during the invasion of Southern France, plus 52 with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm during World War II), which was more than any other Allied aircraft. Postwar, the Hellcat was phased out of front line service, but remained in service as late as 1954 as a night fighter. 


As most of you know, this is not the first Cyber-hobby Hellcat. Not surprisingly, the sprues on this kit are almost identical to the earlier boxing of the F6F-5N previewed many months back. The differences are the lack of a wing radome sprue that also carried the longer gun barrel insert. This sprue is replaced by a smaller one having standard gun inserts. Also a bit different is that the small rear windows in the F6F-3 are added to the clear sprue, which has the same sprue number as that for the earlier kit.

As with the previous boxing, the kit is loaded with options. You get separate open and closed canopies. You can have the wings folded if you wish. The tail hook can be modeled extended or retracted. You can build the kit with the wheels up.

 A nicely detailed engine and accessory section is provided. In the cockpit, a photo etch brass harness is included. There are also things under wings. A centerline tank, dual bomb racks and rockets are available. Now one does need to do their research on this as early -3 Hellcats had no ability to carry bombs or rockets and I believe that rockets were a late production addition. Holes in the lower wings need to be opened to attach these items so there is no need to be concerned about filling pre-opened holes. As always in wartime production, as upgrades became available they were added. For the longest time I thought that rockets were only on the -5, but that is not the case. I also like that the ailerons are separate items. When the wings were folded, the control rods were disconnected and so the ailerons did not remain in the neutral position.

Instructions are well drawn and have the usual Gunze and Model Master paint references. Markings are provided for six different airframes in three different paint schemes. Five of these are shown to the right. Four are in the USN tricolor scheme. White 29 is from VF-5 in 1943, white 99 from VF-6 aboard the USS Intrepid during 1944, white 13 with VF-27 aboard USS Princeton during 1944, and the one not shown, white G29, aboard the USS Nassau in 1943. The other two are Royal Navy planes with different schemes. The one with invasion stripes was with 800 Squadron during 1944; I am assuming the invasion of Southern France. The other one is in SoutheastAsia markings with the white bands and was with 804 Squadron during 1945. The large decal sheet is well printed and in register, though the reds seem a bit too bright to me. All of the various bands and stripes are included on the sheet so no need to be concerned about painting them. You will need to paint an edge of the gear door for the first British option, though.

One can argue the merits of 'yet another Hellcat', however it is a popular subject and I see them built all the time. This one from Cyber-hobby is well done and gives you options that are unavailable in other kits in this scale. It is a well detailed kit that will look great on your display shelves.

September 2012

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