Review: Grumman F8F-1/F8F-2 Bearcat #SW72021
Brand: Sword
Scale: 1/72
Review by: Sebastijan Videc
Sample by: My own wallet :)

 

Introduction

F-8F Bearcat was the last of the feline line of Grumman prop driven fighters. The fastest WW2 fighter entered front line units to late to see combat in WW2 but was then used in Korean war by the Navy and Marines and by French AF in the Far East Asia...

I've been looking for a 1/72 scale Bearcat for some time now... Old Monogram kit is hard to get (you might try Ebay) these days. I've first seen this kit in Prague last year, but the shop was closed and the next day the kit was gone... Luckily I bought it a few months later on a local competition from a fellow modeller and I wasn't disappointed of what I got in a box.

First Imperssions

The kit is packed in a sturdy top-opening box. Plastic is packed in a bag, including the decals, while transparent parts and engines are packed separately to avoid scratches... The kit includes 56 injection moulded parts, two-piece canopy and a two resin blocks of engines... My example has two front cylinder parts I guess they made a mistake with packing. You also receive two decal options; F8F-2 bird of VF-151 during '50s and F8F-1 of VF-3 during 1946. Decals are very nice with minimal carrier film and in perfect register.

Overview

The kit looks very nice. The main external difference between F-1 and F-2 versions was that the latter had taller tail. Sword resolved this problem by including fuselage halves for both versions. Also different part for lower engine cowl is included for F-2. The panel lines are nicely engraved and there's just some small amount of flash present. The transparent parts are nicely moulded though not crystal clear a dip in Future might help them. The cockpit and landing gear are a bit simplified but nothing a bit of detailing can't improve. The armament consists of 4 nicely moulded rockets, external fuel tank and 4 20mm guns, which are crude and should be replaced.

 

Parts, Sprues

Click on the images to enlarge

Sprue A
Lower wings, wheels,...
Sprue B
Upper wings, prop, engine cowl,...
Sprue C
Clear parts, resin engine

Instruction Sheet

 

Decals

Click on the images to enlarge

 

Conclusions

Finally a nice 1/72 Bearcat kit on the market which will satisfy experienced modelers and beginners as well. And don't be too surprised of the kit part #13 the sword.

I recommend this kit!

Photos and text 2006 by Sebastijan Videc

July 22, 2006

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