Trumpeter 1/32 F8F-1 Bearcat

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  • Built: 2008
  • Enhancements: Eduard USN Seat Belts
  • Decals: Berna French Bearcats

As soon as this kit was released I bought it with the idea of doing a French Bearcat used in IndoChina. The kit was purchased from France as there, the model came with the French decals included

My idea was to do a very weathered Bearcat as seen in all the photos. I belive these machines came from the USN. They operated from forward airfields, so were exposed to all weather conditions. Bearcats were used in an air support role to lift the siege at Dien Bien Phu. The loss of which led to France withdrawing from Vietnam The Model assembled fairly easily. I glued all the panels in the closed position and kept the wings spread. Fit was pretty good. The rivet detail around the underside centre had to be deepened as it disappeared, a common thing with Trumpeter kits. The weathering process was started by priming the model in Floquil Silver. Over this maskol was dabbed on with a sponge before a patchy coat of Xtracolour Chromate yellow was sprayed over the wing roots, around the gun bays and forward fuselage. Again maskol was applied with a sponge concentrating on areas that would have seen high wear. Next Xtracolour GSB was sprayed over the entire model. This was then lightend with white and sprayed in a cloudy pattern over all upper surfaces. To this mix, some light grey was added and the resulting colour sprayed in a random pattern around wing roots and the spine of the aircraft. Some intermediate blue was also added and sprayed in random vertical streaks down the fuselage and chord wise across the wings. The dabs of maskol were then removed by the simple expedient of using my finger to rub them off. A clear coat followed, and then decalling commenced. The decals behaved fine and sank into the recessed detail with the aid of Micro set and sol. Exhaust stains were added using highly thinned black and light grey shades. Finally some earth brown shades were lightly dusted over the wingroots, using the airbrush. I added intake blanks from plastic card to hide the visible seams inside the wing intakes, and some stretched sprue to represent the cowling cooling flap rods as I had posed these in the open position. Some arming wires were added to the rockets and bombs with fine fuse wire. I made the mistake of adding brake lines to the undercarriage with florists wire. This is far too stiff and served to force the undercarriage legs out, so that they were perpendicular to the dihedral rather than perpendicular to the ground. This was one of the first models I entered in a competition, and to my amazement was awarded Third place in the now defunct Eagle’s Day held in Melbourne that year, and a First Place at SCALEACT at Canberra Australia in 2016

Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat. GC1/21Armee De La Air Bach-Mai. Indo China 1953

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