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Diecast Airplanes
1/72 Warplanes
Hobby Master United States

Photograph Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014

F-6F5 (F6F-5) Hellcat, Minsi III, USS Essex, USS Essex, David McCampbell
Air Power Series. Finally, a 1/72 Hellcat worthy of consideration, and (with all due respect to the Matchbox effort of a few years ago) Hobby Master has created a little masterpiece that could have no equal, at least in 1/72 scale.

The mould...is just about perfect. Where the Matchbox mould was a bit clunky, with a thick tail section and spine running behind the cockpit canopy, the Hobby Master version has a properly thin empennage and spine. The overlapping aluminum panels in the tail section are represented by thin, understated wraparound panel lines. Where the Matchbox mould included some raised rivets, the Hobby Master has smooth skinning, and is created in a more "mature" manner—not so exaggerated, but more understated.

The wings are properly thin, with a perfect angle to the outer dihedral. The landing gear fits snuggly in both up and down configurations.

The paint...was applied superbly, being smooth and without flaws or blows. The color is excellent, being the same color I saw on examples of P2V's and a Hellcat based at Naha in the mid-1950's (midnight blue, I think, which has a tinge of cyan or green). The prop is colorful, with all the tags and tips demanded by the modern collector.

The parts...fit with few problems. The antenna gave me trouble at first, until I realized that it was flat on one side to fit the hole in the fuselage. By and large, I dislike models with little fiddling parts, but attention to detail and excellent quality control has made the fiddling almost painless.

The cockpit...is well equipped with seat, straps, stick, and...A PILOT! What a joy, for a Hobby Master model! The pilot figure is well painted, but unfortunately can't be displayed with the canopy in closed position. Hobby Master, please offer pilot figures for your models, separately packed if you will, and sold as a sideline. I would love to photograph HM models in flying mode with gear up, but it looks kind of ridiculous with nobody flying the thing. The canopy has just the right curve at the top, something missing in the Matchbox effort

The box...has an error. The Hellcat is identified as a F-6F5. The correct nomenclature is F6F-5.

All in all...a wonderful bit of modelling; I can't wait to dig into my FAA version; it looks even more exciting with all that great camouflage color!
Type Carrier-based fighter
Hobby Master item


Distribution Unlimited


Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014 Email Diecast Airplanes & Waterline Ships