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F4F-3 Wildcat Kit

Eduard 1/48 F4F-3 Wildcat Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2022 Manufacturer Eduard
Subject F4F-3 Wildcat Scale 1/48
Kit Number 82201 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Very nice kit Cons See text
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $55.00

First Look

F4F-3 Wildcat Kit
F4F-3 Wildcat Kit
F4F-3 Wildcat Kit
F4F-3 Wildcat Kit

The Grumman F4F Wildcat was the monoplane derivative of the F3F series. Designed around the standing carrier operations requirement, the F4F provided additional firepower, greater horsepower, and less lift as it lost the upper and lower wings of the F3F in favor of a fixed mid-wing configuration. In keeping with the F3F legacy, all versions of the F4F retained the non-folding wing until the advent of the F4F-4 and General Motors-derivative FM series. The F4F-3 was the principal carrier fighter in the early days of World War II. It was initially considered inferior to the Japanese Zero until experience showed that what the F4F lacked in maneuverability, it more than made up for in firepower and the ability to take punishment. The F4F-3 was arm-ed with four 50 caliber machine guns and a good ammo supply. These aircraft were lighter and more maneuverable than the later F4F-4s, but their fixed wings took up too much valuable deck space aboard the carriers.

Here is the latest new-tool kit from Eduard, the F4F Wildcat series. In this initial release, the kit represents the F4F-3 Wildcat, but you'll see parts in the box that reveal that several variants are coming. The kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on five parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one fret of color-printed photo-etched details.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit interior w/photo-etched instrument panel and side consoles
  • Choice of open or closed canopy
  • Nicely detailed main landing gear and 'wells'
  • Choice of land or carrier-based tail wheels
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable ailerons

Markings are provided for six aircraft:

  • F4F-3, 1850, VF-41, 41-F-4, USS Ranger, 1940
  • F4F-3, unknown, VMF-111, 111-F-13, 1941
  • F4F-3, unknown, VF-3, F-3, USS Lexington, 1942
  • F4F-3, 4109, VMF-211, 211-F-11, Wake Island, 1941
  • F4F-3, 2531, VF-42, F-2, USS Yorktown, 1942
  • F4F-3, 4006, VMF-221, 22, Midway Island, 1942

Notes:

  • The instructions are quite busy with this kit. Even though all six examples in this kit are F4F-3, the kit provides detail differences inside and out for the production block of each aircraft. The details, especially in the cockpit, are called out by the decal subject identifier to help you select the right parts for your build.
  • The cowlings include variants for the FM-1 which will come with the F4F-4 release of this kit (which will also need different wings).
  • Painting instructions are also called out in the construction drawings as well as in the color profiles. Paint colors are provided in Gunze Sangyo Aqueous and Mr. Color as well as Mission Models paints.

This kit is easily the best Wildcat kit in 1/48 scale and I look forward to getting this onto the bench!