Hasegawa 1/48 F6F-5 Hellcat '10,000th Hellcat'

KIT #: 09341
PRICE: 2400 yen SRP
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2000 Limited Edition

The F6F Hellcat is arguably the best Allied carrier borne fighter of WWII. Designed before the US entered the war, it matched the powerful R-2800 radial engine with an airframe that was not only fast, but maneuverable and fairly easy to fly. It had a properly slow landing speed and combat showed that it could handle a fair amount of battle damage. The Hellcat also had the greatest number of air to air kits of any other naval fighter of the war and made more USN pilots aces than any other type.

Once the war was over, a huge number were scrapped with some sold to other nations. They were also used by some reserve units and during the Korean War, were used as unmanned drones to attack targets in the North. Fortunately, some survived to be put in museums or returned to the air as warbirds.


Prior to the release of this kit in 1995 as both the -3 and -5 boxing, we had only the much older Monogram and Otaki kits. The Monogram kit had multiple working features as typical of the day while the Otaki kit was actually much more modern in the tooling of the kit. Even after the release of the Hasegawa kit, many modelers used the Otaki cowling as it had a more accurate front shape (the Hasegawa version having a lower intake that is more rounded at the upper edges).

The original tooling is for the -3 version and as such, you will need to fill some panel lines to do a proper -5. The kit does include some sprues and pieces that are not in the -3 kit. This mainly being the windscreen section and the ability to have wing mounted rockets. There are no bomb racks in the kit and that was another telling point for the later Hellcat.

The cockpit is nicely done and typical of Hasegawa in the 90s in that it also provided a decal for the instrument panel. There are fixtures for the inside of the cockpit walls to add the busy look of things. The kit's engine is a full set of forward cylinders with a half set attached to the mounting wall. There are holes to open for the rocket stubs and fuel tank before adjoining the upper wing halves to the lower section. Assembling and attaching the tailplanes and the wing to the fuselage completes the basic airframe. No separate flight surfaces with this one. Landing gear are nicely done with fairly good tire detail.

The gear and gear doors are then attached followed by the tank and rockets. The rocket stubs are separate from the rockets so you could easily model the kit without the rockets. The prop fits into the usual polycap and the windscreen and canopy are separate. I think the canopy, though thin, might ride to high to properly pose in the open position.

Instructions are standard fare with Gunze paint references. Two options are provided. One is the box art plane with VBF-87 aboard the USS Ticonderoga in 1945. The other, also from the same time period, is from the USS Essex and VF83. Decals are nicely printed but are off white and are really best replaced with more modern versions in the proper shade. Both planes are overall gloss sea blue. As a note, it was the norm to paint landing gear, wheels and wheel wells in the gloss sea blue. Having said that, it was not uncommon to find planes with a white wheel or bare aluminum main gear, especially if they were replacements. Check your reference photos.


I have built two Hasegawa 1/48 Hellcats and found them to be quite trouble free. The -5 took a bit more work as areas had to be modified or filled, but nothing major. There are replacement cowlings in the aftermarket world for those who want one that is more accurate. Thought the Eduard kit is newer by about 20 years, it is a much more fussy kit so you may wish to keep that in mind.

July 2020

Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved

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 Previews Index Page   Back to the Previews Index Page