Radek “Panzer” Rzeszotarski built the Arma Hobby Wildcat FM-2 model for the competition on the pwm.org.pl forum. With very strong competition, it won 5th place. Congratulations!
See Radek’s Wildcat photos in our gallery, follow the stages of work and read the modeller’s comments!
The Wildcat is an iconic aeroplane, but unfortunately, most of its 1:72 scale miniatures are already very old. And if not, their quality is not up to today’s standards. When Arma Hobby announced their Wildcat I waited for it impatiently. Then, however, the box had to season a bit, until there was an opportunity to stick the model together – a competition at one of the modeling forums.
I completed the model and it was a pleasure to work on it. To begin with, I would like to share some general comments on its construction. Arma Hobby’s Wildcat is a very good kit, but also a difficult one. This is no longer a “single-sprue kit” like the Yak-1 or the Hurricane. Here, however, the level of complexity was imposed by the design of the original from the very beginning. But the designer of the kit did everything to eliminate these difficulties. That is why we have here a cockpit “bathtub” glued into the hull and the entire undercarriage subassembly inserted into the ‘cave’. Nevertheless, it is the cockpit and the undercarriage that require a lot of attention. Not because they are poorly made or designed, but only their clean and precise assembly guarantees problemless fit at the next stages of construction. On the other hand, other elements, such as the vertical and horizontal stabilizer, are so cleverly made that you have to be very sloppy to spoil something in their assembly. Overall, I will remember the build of the model very pleasantly, because, despite the complicated structure, the kit also provides a lot of good, modeller’s fun.
The aforementioned construction of the model forces us to paint its elements in subassemblies. Some people like it, others don’t. I liked it because when some painting activities (such as preshading) made me tired, I could switch to painting details and take a break from the tedious work. In chosen camouflage in Glossy Dark Blue, it was a challenge to obtain a realistic, but still interesting surface. Lots of photos from the era, also in colour, show that the US Navy planes were often badly worn and the conditions of service on the aircraft carriers gave them a hard time. Fading, repairs, paint abrasions – these are tempting things to recreate on the model. That is why I decided to use white and blue preshading, which was supposed to give me a very varied surface from the very beginning. Another means of achieving such effects was the intensive use of oil paints both to obtain the effect of fading and abrasions of the paint as well as dirt. To obtain the effect of paint chipping, I used a silver watercolor crayon. I also used the crayons to imitate the dirt deposited on the sidewalks at the wing roots. I used both Tamiya and AK Interactive paints applied with an airbrush as well as oils painted with a brush.
I still have in my stash an Arma Hobby deluxe boxing including both the Wildcat FM-1 and FM-2, which makes me very happy, because I will gladly build these models again, as there are a lot of interesting paint schemes for the Wildcats.
- FM-2 Wildcat Expert Set in the Arma Hobby webstore: link
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