1/48 FM-1 Wildcat

Next up is the Hobby Boss FM-1 Wildcat. The Wildcat was designed by Grumman but in 1943 Grumman shut down the Wildcat line to start making the more advanced F-6F Hellcat. General Motors took over building the Wildcats and the variants were designated FM-1 and later FM-2. The Wildcat by this time was obsolete as a front line fighter but continued to serve on small escort carriers against submarine and shore threats.

As usual starting with the cockpit. The kit cockpit provides some nice details and is fairly accurate. I used some photo etch seat belts to detail the seat better. The dash is al hand painted. Starting work on the engine and landing gear bay now.


With the cockpit finished I moved onto the landing gear bay and the engine. The landing gear bay was detail painted and weathered. The engine was then assembled and painted. To represent the magneto wires I first drilled a slight hole into the cylinders then attached a 32 gauge .75” long wire to each hole. The wires were formed and trimmed to fit into the ignition ring. The cockpit, landing gear bay and engine were then installed in the fuselage. Finally the cowl was installed. I have the wings and tail mounted. Starting to do the base coat of paint. It will be painted the tri-color scheme (White bottom, Intermediate Blue middle and Dark Sea Blue on top)

The Wildcat is now ready for displaying. I completed the painting and applied the kit decals. Also I added some EZ-Line for the antenna. Overall this has been a very nice kit to build. The detail is good and the assembly/fit is very good.

The decals went on without any problems and with a little bit of Microsol they laid down nicely. Aside from the addition of photo etch seatbelts, engine wires, and the EZ-line, the rest of this is straight out of the box. Looks like I will need to look at getting some of the other Wildcat variants from Hobby Boss.

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