In-Box Review
Hellcat Mk.II
Grumman Hellcat Mk.II - Weekend Edition
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by: Drabslab [ DRABSLAB ]

Apparently, considering the long list of cats, cougars and other Tomcats one finds in their catalogue, someone at Grumman loved big cats. It all started with the F4F Wildcat, introduced in 1940 in both the US and UK Navies. From this Wildcat, Grumman derived by 1943 the F6F Hellcat which became one of the main fighters over the pacific where it accounted for 75% of all areal victories of the US Navy. It was finally credited with destroying more than 5000 enemy aircraft.

The British Fleet Air Arm "borrowed" about 1200 Hellcats that saw action off Norway, in the Mediterranean and in the Far East under a variety of names. The Hellcat MkII was the British designation of the F6F-5N Hellcat.

The box
The box does look attractive and it gives us already some info on the content.

It shouts "WEEKEND Edition" indicating that it contains the simplest 1/48 Hellcat offering in the Eduard catalog. The more advanced "profipack" gives the same plastic parts buts adds all kinds of goodies like marking options, resin wheels, photo-etch parts and painting masks. Let's see if this weekend edition has sufficient value without all that stuff.

You also find an overview of the most important colors needed for this kit. Reference is made to the GSi Hobby colors. Again a paint brand name is used to indicate the right colors. I should be used to it by now but it still annoys me that no independent color standard is used.

Inside the box you find the instruction sheet, a small set of decals, two transparent bags with plastic parts and another one with transparent parts.

The instruction sheet
The instruction sheet is tiny as if it wants to emphasise that this is a "weekend edition" which can be assembled with little effort. Still, it provides much better overview of the various assembly steps than the average.

It also refers to the Eduard Internet site where the same sheet can be found but with a full color painting guide. On that site you can also find the April 2012 Info Eduard magazine that contains some extra information on the different Hellcat offerings from Eduard.

The plastic parts
According to the box, the kit contains 125 plastic parts which, assembled, give a model of 215 mm long and with a wingspan of 275 mm. Quite a few of the parts are not needed. My spare parts box will be very happy with this but it does show that the sprues are firstly designed for the more elaborated Profipack or combo boxes, and not for a stand-alone kit.

However, this does not harm the quality of the crisp plastic parts. I could not find any ejection mark in a visible place, there is no flash and details like rivets, and panelling, are very well done.

Dimensioning is good except for the propeller which seems to be rather plump.

After this positive first impression I can't resist assembling a few of the major parts to check the fit; to my surprise, assembling the nose section and fuselage is not as straightforward as I thought it would be due to the very tiny positioning pins and corresponding holes.

Still, the fit is perfect, no putty needed on this one. This fitting shows that the kit may assemble fast but to put it decently together in one weekend as the title on the box suggests seems impossible.

The transparent parts are of equal high quality but there are a few very tiny parts that might be eaten by the big carpet monster during assembly.

The decals
In contradiction to the Profipack which gives decals for several planes, there is only one choice here for a British plane flown from HMS Indomitable in early 1945.

The sheet contains also some decals for the main instrument panels of the cockpit. I wonder if the painted photo-etch often found in Profipack kits would really make a big visual difference compared to these decals. After all, the canopy is quite small, hiding much of the inner works of the cockpit.

Overall assessment
If the term "weekend edition" is not taken to literally, and normal care is taken assembling and painting the model, then the end result will be excellent and at least on the same level of most kits from other manufacturers.

Comparing it to the more advanced Profipacks would be unfair. With this "Weekend Edition" Eduard responds in a very positive way to the aspirations of many modelers that the hobby is becoming to expensive and complex.

Instead of producing low cost - low value - and thus uninteresting - kits for these modellers, Eduard brings a high quality but affordable plastic kit under the Weekend edition header, relying on the, with photo-etch and resin spiced, Profipack range for the most demanding modellers.

Combine this with competitive pricing, active communication with clients and modelling websites, a decent internet site where additional information on kits can be found, a professional magazine... it it seems clear that this company has ambition and the approach to realise it.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: A high value plastic kit
Lows: The positioning holes and pins don't seem up to their task
Verdict: This Hellcat seems to be a straightforward built but remains attractive to both beginner and advanced modeller (on condition that the AMS bug has not bitten too badly).
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:48
  Mfg. ID: 84134
  Suggested Retail: 18.75
  PUBLISHED: Oct 02, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Eduard!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Drabslab (drabslab)

I made my first airplane models when I was about 11, a Mistubishi Zero, a Messerschmidt BF 109 and of course, a Spitfire. They were all Airfix and all 1/72. Sounds familiar? I remember I could not even pronounce Mitsubishi, I used to call it Mutsibutsi. I continued building mostly airplanes until...

Copyright 2021 text by Drabslab [ DRABSLAB ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


Hi Gaston In my experience, most resin props do come with separate blades because they are simpler to cast accurately. I must admit I'm a little mystified by the difficulty you describe when aligning the blades - it really is no big deal and a basic jig is simplicity itself to make. (I think we used to have templates posted somewhere on Aeroscale - I'll have to try to track them down to pin them for anyone else having trouble.) All the best Rowan
OCT 02, 2012 - 08:00 PM
I would definitely like to see three blade templates Rowan, so that at least the spacing of the blades is even. Getting the pitch regulated at the same time really compounds the difficulty... The best resin separate blade props I have seen are done by Vector: They fit extremely precisely at the base: For the Ventura I got one out of the two props to look OK... Some makers offer a jig with their props, but it's not that common. I still wish only single piece props were the norm in resin or plastic... Gaston
OCT 02, 2012 - 10:18 PM
You can make a very reliable prop blade jig in about 10 minutes using nothing more complex than some stout plastic sheet and a compass. Mark the hub center with the point of the compass and scribe or draw a circle to match the prop diameter and a second circle halfway between the hub position and the tip. Set out a straight line for the blade positions using some simple geometry and then glue a plastic card tab at the halfway point of each line, all you need to do is cut the tabs at an equal angle on the upper-facing edge to match the pitch angle you want. You drop the hub or spinner in the centre and position each blade against your tabs as you glue them in place, use a 5-minute epoxy to allow time for making adjustments. It takes longer to describe the jig than it does to make it! Not exactly rocket-science, I've been doing individual blade props like this since I saw the tip in SAM about 20 years ago.
OCT 03, 2012 - 02:19 AM
Les That is an elegant yet simple method for building props. Thanks for posting that. I think it took me longer to read than it would to build the prop!
OCT 03, 2012 - 11:58 AM
Cheers Les Yep, that's basically the same way I learned back in the '70s or '80s - probably from Scale Models magazine in its heyday. Just divide 360 by the number of blades to set the angles. You don't even need to worry about using a compass and protractor these days - just print a jig from a graphics programme. I never bother making a template for a specific diameter propeller - a series of concentric rings with radiating lines provides a neat "one-size fits all" jig. These took a few minutes to make this morning: All the best Rowan
OCT 03, 2012 - 08:07 PM
Those are exactly the the sort of thing I'm talking about. The only reason I use an outer circle at the scale prop diameter is that some manufacturers location 'holes' can be a a little deep, or occasionally a little shallow, and need some adjustment to get the o/a diameter right.
OCT 04, 2012 - 03:01 AM
Hi again Les Good point - I hadn't considered that. All the best Rowan
OCT 04, 2012 - 08:04 AM
Thanks very much Rowan!: This is exactly what I needed: will copy-paste those and kep them as reference. Gaston
OCT 04, 2012 - 08:10 AM
Hi Gaston, Paper templates such as Rowan posted are a big help. Another little item, which you also might find useful, is a circular protractor. I got a clear plastic one at Hobby Lobby for a couple bucks. Any art supply store would have them. A fancier version of what Rowan posted can be found here: LINK And if you really want to get fancy, Humbrol makes some nice cutting mats with prop angle templates printed on them. LINK Cheers, Eric
OCT 05, 2012 - 05:06 AM

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