|F6F-5 Hellcat by Zoltan Pocza|
|Review by:||Zoltan Pocza|
The best carrier-based fighter of World War Two, was the Grumman F6F Hellcat. The Hellcat was armed with six .50 caliber machine guns as well as rockets, and the wings folded flat against the fuselage so more could fit on board aircraft carriers. The Hellcat\'s design sacrificed speed for a high rate of climb and exceptional maneuverability. It was also a very rugged and well armored design. The F6F-5, which utilized a redesigned engine cowl, new ailerons, a strengthened tail, and a water-injection system for the engine, which added 10% to the takeoff performance and increased its armament-carrying capabilities. The F6F-5 was first flown on 4 April 1944, and production continued through. November 1945. Over 900 more \"Dash-5\" Hellcats were delivered to the UK under the Lend-Lease program under the designation Hellcat Mk II.
As I had some bad experiences with overseas shipping when I started writing reviews I decided to write a few lines about packaging. It really does matter when you pay a lot for your kits as normally the people interacting with your package enrout do not always pay proper attention for each packages. This is not the first package I receive from HLJ, and I never ever had any issues. The shipping time was really friendly and I received my package, this not too small package without a single damage. HLJ paid proper attention to place the kit inside the box using bubble wrap - the big baloony type. This protects the kit boxing even if the shipping box is not handled that careful! But I should mention that the packaging inside the kit box itself is really convincing too! Trumpeter paid attention to protect the very fragile parts properly.
First when you open the huge box you\'ll see that his is not the big box that we used to get from certain manufacturers with about 50% air and some sprues. This is completely full from bottom to top, the amount of sprue and parts make this size necessary indeed! The kit features an incredible amount of 364 parts on 10 sprues, and a 14 pages booklet for the assembly instructions. A big sheet of decals are provided giving you two options for finishing:
The sprues are properly packed, at some delicate engine parts we can even see bubble wrap protecting the valuable parts but in the case of the bombs I\'ve found the breakdown of the parts really weird. The back part of the bombs are not engineered pretty well, and despite the good packaging these parts are already distroted partially because of this. There is alternative to this in a PE set available for this kit which priovides much better, and more realistic results Trumpeter were smart and saved some design and production work with including the engine sprues from their earlier F4U Corsair kits. As this version of the Hellcat is driven by the same Pratt & Whitney R2800 like the Corsair it was a logical step. You can even see the marks of it on the sprue, the sign clearly shows where it is originates from. The engine features a lot of nice details, but can be detailed even further with ftermarket sets or scratchbuilding. If you want to show the details then you have the option to use the included transparent engine cowl without painting it. If you don\'t plan to show it, it does not make sense to spend too much time with detailing it. Same goes to some internal details which are not even visible without modification.
As you can expect, this is a big kit! Length is 320mm, wingspan is 418.25mm. However, you can save some room with building the aircraft with folded wings as they were stored aboard the carriers. Optionally you might want to build it with one wing in extended and the other in folded position. It\'s not realistic, but looks really cool, takes less room from your shelf and shows both options at once.
It\'s not that difficult to judge this kit. This is a really nice work from Trumpeter. All the features like positionalbe wings, PE parts, rubber tyres and the tractor are nice additions to the high level of surface details in this scale. The Hellcat was always a really popular type among modelers so if you\'re about to find this type in this large scale, there\'s no better choice. The only alternative is the old Hasegawa kit, but this one beats it in all terms apart from the price. But for this price you get something you wont regret!
Photos and text © 2009 by Zoltan Pocza
May 13, 2009