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F4F-3 Wildcat Undercarriage Detail

Eduard 1/32 F4F-3 Wildcat Undercarriage Detail Set First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review January 2008 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject F4F-3 Wildcat Undercarriage Detail Set Scale 1/32
Kit Number 32183 Media Photo-Etch
Pros Fine details to update the exterior of Trumpeter's F4F-3 Wildcat Cons
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

F4F-3 Wildcat Undercarriage Detail
F4F-3 Wildcat Undercarriage Detail

Eduard from the Czech Republic is easily the most prolific producer of aftermarket details. Period. Their series of photo-etched detail sets have brought additional fidelity to otherwise bland subjects, and have taken even the best-produced models and kicked them up a notch or two with details that cannot be produced with injection-molded plastic.

This release tackles the main landing gear bay of the Trumpeter 1/32 F4F-3 Wildcat kit (early or late versions). This set comes on two frets of photo-etch and as you can see in the images, provides lots of nice-looking details.

The primary focus is on the bulkhead/firewall just ahead of the cockpit. When the landing gear retacts on the F4F (as also with the F3F), the main landing gear pulled up inside that gear bay leaving the main wheels flush with the fuselage sides. When that gear is down, there is an interesting array of gears, pullies, and bicycle chains used to drive the landing gear mechanism. While Trumpeter replicates much of this detail with molded-on details on the firewall, it lacks the depth and detail that an AMS modeler would appreciate.

Eduard has you remove all of that molded-on detail off the firewall and replace it all with the details below. The set starts with a new face for the firewall as well as detailed interior surfaces for the fuselage well. Onto the new firewall go a number of tracks, guides, shields, and hinges for the landing gear. This is some impressive work!

This set is rounded out new centerline gear doors and hydraulic brake lines for the main gear.

While this set will really set off the detail in Trumpeter's F4F-3 kit, this detail set is not for the beginning modeler. You will need to be able to remove the photo-etch parts from their frets (simple once you know how) and then be able to apply these details using cyano adhesives without gluing yourself to the kit parts. It isn'tdifficult, or else these sets wouldn't be so popular.

You should be able to find any of these detail sets at your local hobby retailer or one of the many online hobby shops. Trust me, they are worth looking for!

My sincere thanks to Eduard for this review sample!