Hasegawa 1/48 F6F-3 Hellcat


65343 (DQ93)




One aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The F6F Hellcat was the US Navy's finest fighter of WWII. I know that many will disagree with this and point to the F4U and its advantage in speed and carrying capabilities. They will also show how the Corsair lasted well into the 1950s and even the early 60s when the Hellcat had long been turned into razor blades. However, the fact is that the F6F accounted for more enemy aircraft than all other USN fighters combined. It also was built is very large numbers and served on fleet carriers while the bugs were still being worked out of the Corsair. It was a case of the right plane at the right time. It also helped that the Hellcat was maneuverable and easy to fly, this last trait was not one could put on the Corsair.


There have been a number of Hellcat kits in 1/48. Probably the first I can remember was the Monogram version. Still not a bad model, it has a number of operating features that were so well loved in the 60s, including folding wings and retracting landing gear. It also came with rockets so must have been a -5 version. There was also a 1/48ish version by Lindberg, one by Fujimi, and the still very nice Otaki (now Arii and also boxed by Airfix) Hellcat. This last mentioned one should be sought if kit price is a concern.

Hasegawa's Hellcat was a highly anticipated kit and is just a super as one expects from the premier airplane kit maker of the world (Tamiya makes most of its money from R/C cars). It is beautifully molded and well engineered. It really is difficult not to make a wonderful model from this kit. If the kit has a downside it is that Hasegawa only puts in the bits to make a specific version so you can't do a -5 from this one, not even an early one as the windscreen is the curved variety. I have built both the -3 and -5 kit and can highly recommend it.

What makes this particular boxing unusual is that it appears to be part of some sort of Japanese comic. There are three kits that I know of in the series, the other two being an Me-163 and He-162, which, as you may know, are both Dragon molds. It doesn't have the usual Hasegawa logo, but does say 'A.G.T. Hasegawa' in the logo that is there. It also comes with totally fictitious decals and is painted in a scheme that Hellcats just didn't carry, that of dark sea blue over white. In fact, to my knowledge, no F6F-3 carried anything other than the early medium blue-grey over light grey or the later three tone scheme.

So why should you buy this kit?  For one thing, it seems to be about $5 cheaper than the regular kit. 'Normal' kits of this plane sell for around $32.00. Secondly, if you are reading this review, you are probably the type that uses aftermarket decals on most of your models so the kit decal sheet really is a moot point and you'll spend the bucks on something like the new Superscale sheet on the -3 to use on your model. You could also be one of those that has to have every boxing of the Hasegawa Hellcat, so you'll need this one in your collection.

If you want a nice Hasegawa F6F-3 and want to save a few dollars, then this is the kit for you.

Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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