1/72 F6F-3 Hellcat "Loading at the Ondonga Airfield"

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Although most of my models mainly concern Greek themes, but I did not resist the temptation watching the parts of new Eduard Hellcat during the presentation of the kit and i decided to build.
Picking up photographs and not only for the Hellcat I found a photo of parked aircraft at the Ondonga airfield and I got the idea to build the model on diorama with Hellcat of ace Ken Hildebrandt December 1943 in loading situation.


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"Ken Hilderbrandt"


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Very good for the size the Eduard Hellcat kit with enough detail in all parts, for more information click on the picture below.

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I started the construction from the cockpit as usual, by applying very detailed photo etched parts, whole area of the cockpit painted with Gunze H58 interior green and I did dry brushing with lighter tone.

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Then I joined the two halves of the fuselage with the perfect fit as it had almost no filler except from some small points I used liquid filler from Gunze.

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The next step is assembling of the engine with detail that was surprise me, because the scale is 1/72!!!
The engine sprayed with Alclad ALC-101 Αluminium and became washing with Black Oil Color to show the details.
Assembled the engine hub and was painted with FS 36270 US Medium Grey from Humbrol , applied the ignition cables from photoetch and painted them with Coal Black from Humbrol, and the engine is ready.

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Because as said earlier I was surprised with the detail of the engine, it would be a pity not to appear, so I decided to open a panel from the engine cowling.
But I did not stop only there ....
I cut the cowling flaps (it was closed) and I built new from aluminum sheet and glued opened.
With dry fit placed the engine cowling and I believe that it was right to opened the panel.

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I cut the panels of the guns bay in the left wing.
Having done the necessary measurements for dimensions of the boxes, I made in an exploded view whole the area from aluminum sheet.
I opened the holes where they pass the barrels of guns and riveting the points where necessary.
Bending all the points I had set and I glued the corners with super glue.I built the covers for the boxes from aluminum sheet and forming based of the plans I had...and the result are what you see in the photos below.
I put it all in the wing, that has a very good fit so well.
The guns and the ammunition boxes will be placed at the end after painting, simply I put it three weapons from spear box to see roughly how it fits.

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In the kit the eduard provides the tail wheel with hard rubber tyre, it was used more in the aircraft carriers planes, but in bases on land was used tail wheel with pneumatic tyre, in the painting options eduard gives an aircraft on the Ondonga base this is what I select to build, so I changed the solid wheel.
In the photo below you can see the construction of the wheel with pneumatic tyre.

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After all these conversions the kit continued normally with the process of painting.
I started first from the bottom surfaces using Gunze Sangyo H316 White FS17875, continue with the side surfaces with the White Ensign WWII USN Intermediate Blue FS25164, and for the top surfaces used the White Ensign WWII USN SEA BLUE FS25042.
All colors were sprayed with free hand without masking.
For the interior of engine cowling and gun bay I used the Model Master Yellow Zinc Chromate.

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The construction continued with the application of decals are applied perfectly using little improver of Microscale.

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The diorama also contains some vehicles which it was necessary to complete the scene.

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For the Willys Jeep i used the Academy model from WWII Ground Vehicle set.

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Because the kit was a bit poor in detail, I did some minor interventions which was the following....new front bumper, seat backs, instrument panel, steering wheel, awning frameworks, pentals, new gear levers transmission and new side mirror.

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The Jeep painted with enamel Humbrol 155 olive drab and washed with oil color and I did dry brushing with lighter tones.

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I did not wrong in the photo of the kit below, but  because, I had the kit of Hasegawa GMC Dump Truck in my stock, the conversion it was not difficult.

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So I made the flatbed and fuel tanks from plastic sheet and reconstraction the cabin in some additional points such as, new instrument panel, steering wheel, pentals, new gear levers transmission and new side mirror.

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The GMC painted with enamel Humbrol 155 olive drab and washed with oil color and I did dry brushing with lighter tones.

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And here you can see the size of the vehicles, compared with my hand.

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The diorama was built on a piece of wood sized 45x33cm and for the ground I used sea sand and white cement in the ratio of 70-30.
The palm trees were made as follows, for the leaves I used paper cut to the appropriate dimension and I painted with various shades of green, the logs are from twig pine tree, and I dry brushed with gray pastels.

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The figures come from the 1/72 Airfix USAAF personnel group, in some of these I changed little the attitudes for to match at the position that placed them.

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For the PSP I used the Eduard 1/72 PSP colour and i painted with humbrol metalcote steel and dry brushing with pencil powder.

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The fuel barrels the ammunition boxes and the jerry cans come from Academy WWII Ground Vehicle set, all these painted with Humbrol 066 Matt Olive Drab and dry brushing with lighter tones.

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This was my attempt representation loading at the Ondonga Airfield I hope you like it.
I would also like to give a big thanks to Eduard for the assignment of samples of Hellcat and PSP.


 

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