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Diecast Airplanes
1/72 Warplanes
SkyMax United States

Photographs Copyright © Collin Riley 2005-2014
Grumman F8F-2 "Bearcat", VF-72, BuNo 121546, Leyte, Phillipines, 1954
Nice model with fairly good fit and finish, and very good paint application. As with most of the SkyMax dark blue navy types, the blue hue seems to be just right. Some diecast makers apply a sort of deep sea blue, whereas the color I remember is more greenish blue. However, a teacher once said no one can remember colors, so I take even my own opinion with a grain of salt.

There are a lot of accumulated problems with this model, and each new release seems to add to the model's woes. As with the second release, the main gear doesn't fit properly, so I had to apply sticky clay between the gear platform and the wing to straighten the legs. And again, I had to trim part of the shock absorber attachment to clear the "pipe" in the wheel well. Additionally, the gear wants to collapse forward, and to stop this I anchored both the tail wheel and port-side main gear to the glass tabletop with spots of tacky clay (see pictures). (If the sight of this clay bothers you, try squinting. This will blend all the blues together. ;-) As before, the wing has a serious case of anhedral, which is evident in several pictures. With this copy, the canopy had ejection problems: press the top of the canopy and release and the canopy would pop off. This can be kind of fun: press, pop; press, pop; press, pop. A hearty self-administered pinch will break the trance. To fix the problem I cleaned the attachment grooves, which were contaminated with glue.

Question of the day: Which is more therapeutic, diecast collecting or fixing problems with diecast? Mmmm.

(For color, I added a Corgi diecast Zero; the Zero is just one of several Japanese types the Bearcat would have faced if WWII had lasted another six months.)
Type Fighter
SkyMax item no. SM1008
Production run Unlimited

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