Sweet Aviation Model Division 1/144 Royal Navy Wildcat VI and Flight Deck Set Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2004||Manufacturer||Sweet Aviation Model Division|
|Subject||Royal Navy Wildcat VI and Flight Deck Set||Scale||1/144|
|Kit Number||11||Primary Media||44 parts (28 in duck egg blue styrene, 15 parts in grey styrene, 1 in clear styrene|
|Pros||er, nothing else on earth like it; Wildcat VI looks to be pretty accurate||Cons||um, not for dog fanciers!|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Approx $16.00|
There are times some item of whimsey comes along and just strikes the fancy. About 28 years ago the first "egg" planes came out – small kits of famous aircraft that were ovate in shape and used a "Leggs" size plastic egg for a fuselage. I still have a DC-10 in the bright United colors of the era kicking around someplace, as they were cute and attractive divertimentoes from normal modeling. (One of my friends once said it was the type of modeling his dad would have called "Go to Hell" modeling. If you don't like it, well then you can go to Hell!)
Other oddities pop up from time to time, such as distorted small figures of famous actors and monsters. But this one was something I recently found on the shelf at Hannants and was compelled to pick up just for fun.
The model (the company or individual responsible seems to be FujitaYukinisa from Shizuoka, Japan, and the kit was produced in 2003) is a new kit of an FM-2 (Wildcat VI) fighter in 1/144 scale and is an amazing kit in its own right, but while it consists of new molds appears (from the comments in D&S No. 30) to have nothing in common with the Revell 1/144 scale F4F-4 kit. It comes with the correct 9-cylinder engine for this model with tall tail, short cowling and beautifully done scribing. Even the canopy appears to be in scale, something rare for this size of model. The undercarriage consists of 7 parts and is also neatly done.
The kit also includes a set of decals for four RN Wildcat VI fighters in two basic schemes – gray and green over duck egg blue and solid blue. A section of decking 10 cm x 11 cm (which has a feature to join it to other sections to provide for a larger area) is also nicely done with tie-down points represented, and two chocks are included.
But there the kit makes a bit of a diversion. It also includes a complete deck crew and pilot made up of...Japanime cats! The box art (from an artist named Yuki) looks more appropriate to "Pokemon" than a WWII fighter, but the idea is whimsy if there ever was one. The "crew" includes a pilot, two LSOs, one launch officer, two plane handlers, one announcer (!) and one idler sleeping on the cowling. To make it easy to paint them, each of the cats comes with decal eyes to make detailing them easy. The "announcer" also comes with a dickey and "Union Jack" bow tie.
The same company also makes several Japanese aircraft, of which a Zero and a Kate (I think) were also available at Hannants. All of them also come with cats.
I'm not quite sure what the point of all this is, but the idea is different and the model itself is very good. It is a change of pace.
And if you don't believe that, you can go to Hell!