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Hasegawa's 1/72 scale
FM-1 Wildcat

by Thomas Pedersen


Eastern Aircraft FM-1 Wildcat

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Here is one of my latest projects: Hasegawa's 1/72 FM-1 Wildcat. This is a model that has been 6 years underway because of lack of interest in the subject. Then suddenly a month ago when I was going through the stash I found it again and realized that I only needed to attach the horizontal stabilizers and then it was ready for painting.



At the time I started this, it was the first time I tried to use etch (Eduard), and if i remember correctly it was fitting the firewall (visible through the wheel well) that caused me so much trouble the I put the kit aside. Having later done some more models using etch, this was a easy fix to rectify now. Eduards set consists of little more than the above mentioned firewall and a ignition harness and should not cause anyone other than me any trouble!





I can think of no problem regarding the construction of the kit. It was a typical Hasegawa effort with finely engraved panel lines, good fit and poor decals.



Painting, Markings and Finishing


I started painting the whole aircraft white ( a mix of Humbrol 22 and a few drops of Extracolor X21 RFC natural fabric). Then I used Humbrol 156 for the top surface, this color being lightened with some drops of white for the center of all the panels to create a slightly faded look. I find it much easier to do this than to pre-shade and in this scale I also think it works a little better.



After a few days I washed the panel lines with a heavy diluted Humbrol dark gray for the top surface and a light gray for the white areas. Exhaust stains was made with pastel chalk. Then followed a coat of gloss and I was ready to put the decals on.

The Hasegawa decals looks thick even on their sheet, but I wanted to use the kit decals because of the very cool cat just behind the cowling. But after fitting the first "star" on the side and realizing that the white in Hasegawa's decals was more like eggshell-yellow I quickly removed it again before it dried up. I found replacements for all the stars on an old Delta-hobby decal sheet (bought on a trip to Poland in 1992 for less than 25 cent a sheet), these decals are complete opposite of Hasegawa's being ultra thin, very fragile and able to react to Solvaset. The only negative thing was that I had problems with heavy silvering after a layer of Testor's Dull Coat.

After some days looking at the decals I gently cut around the stars and scraped the clear film of. Because the decals is so thin they still blended in nice after on more dull coat.



For the antenna I simply used a hair fastened with superglue.

Any comments are welcome, so I can try and correct any mistakes.



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Images Copyright 2004 by Thomas Pedersen
Page Created 02 December, 2004
Last Updated 02 December, 2004

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