Hasegawa 1/48 F6F-3 Hellcat

KIT #: 09134
PRICE: 19 Euros on sale
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Spiros Pendedekas
NOTES: Initial release


Well designed, powerful and rugged, with its faster competitor, the Vought F4U Corsair, initially having problems with visibility and carrier landings the Hellcat was a key element for the US Navy in the second half of the Pacific War.

Soon after its combat debut in September 1943, its abilities contributed in securing air superiority over the Pacific Theater. With 12,275 units built in total (in just over two years!) the successful type was credited with destroying a total of 5,223 enemy aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Fleet Air Arm.


Hasegawa came not later than 1995 with their great (especially for the time) quarter scale Hellcats, regularly reboxing them till 2015. The specific kit was the 1995 initial release, found sealed in 2003 at one of my hometown’s toy/hobby shops (sadly all, but one, now closed) and at a price I could not refuse. Typically for Hasegawa, the kit comes in an excellent quality medium sized top opening box, featuring a beautiful box art of a VF-9 USS Essex bird.

Upon opening the box, I was greeted with 72 medium gray parts, arranged in 6 sprues. Molding of the relatively hard plastic is first class with practically no flash and the panel lines are finely recessed.

Cockpit is really nicely detailed, even for today’s standards and will look sufficient for most of us. Instruments are finely molded raised, with instrument decals provided as an option. The modeler is supposed to open the two fuselage cutouts, in order to fit the rear view windows that the specific type featured.

The prominent engine is also looking great (the front row would benefit from a wiring harness set). The one piece cowling, though well molded, features a less prominent chin than in reality. The one piece prop, which is secured in position by the very effective polycap, is nicely done. Landing gear is finally very well rendered and the bays look busy enough.

Transparencies are excellently molded and crystal clear. However, the canopy cannot be installed open, meaning that the great cockpit will be less visible, unless you go for a vac formed canopy. Instructions come to the usual outstanding Hasegawa pamphlet style, containing a short history of the type, a parts map, a color list, with the construction spread in 10 clear steps, including full color callouts, where applicable.

Two identical schemes are provided (Navy Blue topsides, Intermediate Blue in the middle and the complete fin and white undersides), for a USS Essex and a USS Lexington machine. Colors are given in Gunze/Mr. Color codes, but also in generic form. The almost 30 years old decals are very well printed and, despite some yellowing, look usable, but the “white” represented as “ivory”, so, your call (and there are nevertheless numerous aftermarket options).

Instructions want you to first assemble the cockpit and trap it between the fuselage halves. The engine, main wing and tail planes are next, followed by the landing gear, drop tank, prop, transparencies, and some teeny-tiny stuff (guns, pitot tube, antenna mast), ending a simple, straightforward build.


This is still a very nice kit of the Hellcat. Excluding the cowling chin, which is less prominent than it should (but to many of us it looks acceptable and, nevertheless, resin replacements are available), all other shapes look accurate. Molding is crisp, panel lines are finely recessed, cockpit is superb, the other key areas (engine, landing gear and so on) are great. Transparencies are nice, but the canopy cannot be attached open. Decals are well printed and look usable, but the white is represented as ivory. Instructions are excellent and the build itself is uncomplex. Definitely a kit worth tackling.

Happy Modeling!

Spiros Pendedekas

May 2023

Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction  in part or in whole without express permission.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Review Index Page

Back to the Previews Index Page