Did Early War Wildcats Have Drop Tanks?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Mr. Ed, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I'm trying to decide whether to include drop tanks on my F4F Wildcat. I'm building the earlier version - the one with the red dots in the middle of the American stars and the red and white stripes on the tail rudder. The kit instructions show this version with drop tanks in place but I thought they were a later innovation. Also, assuming I don't include the drop tanks, what should I do with the holes where the pylons attach? I assume I should fill them in but then the schematics in the kit instructions seem to show that there were some sort of holes there to begin with. Does anyone know if this is true?
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Messages:
    3,541
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Engineer and overgrown schoolboy
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Terry? :)
     
  3. renrich

    renrich Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    4,542
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    real estate
    Location:
    Montrose, Colorado
    I don't believe the Wildcat with the paint scheme you are using had drop tanks.
     
  4. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Renrich - I'm inclined to believe you're right. Looking at my references last night I didn't see ANY Wildcats with drop tanks. Of course that doesn't mean that it's impossible. Tamyia's instruction sheet depicts an early model Wildcat with them and we all know Tamyia can't be wrong. Right?

    So like an idiot I glued them on.

    Looks like I'll be ripping them off tonight. At least the mounting posts will fill in the holes on the bottom of the wings, which was the real reason I glued them on to begin with. Then I'll have to sand them down and restore all those raised rivets. Great fun that'll be...
     
  5. Markus

    Markus Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I donĀ“t recall John Lundstrom mentioning Wildcats with drop tank in his books about early war carrier combat. IIRC one Wildcat sqn. had to abort a mission at Midway due to runing out of fuel, they had definitely no drop tanks.
     
  6. JoeB

    JoeB Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    809
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    The red and white tail stripes and red center of the star were removed from USN a/c by an order of May 15 1942. The first F4F external tank was a 'bathtub' shaped 42 gallon centerline tank introduced around the same time, but apparently not used in combat until the Guadalcanal campaign. The standard 58 gal underwing drop tanks were introdudced as field modification from late summer 1942, were used in combat (first?) by VF-10 at Santa Cruz in October but apparently usually carrying only one at that time.

    Joe
     
  7. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Markus and JoeB:

    That's exactly the information I was hoping to get. It's especially good to hear since I ripped the tanks off last night and I'm not about to glue them back on again, no matter what information I get. There was something about them that just didn't look right.

    Thanks!
     
  8. Crimea_River

    Crimea_River Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Messages:
    25,136
    Likes Received:
    960
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calgary
    To plug holes, stretch some sprue over a candle then cut the sprue near one end where the melted part tapers with the non-melted part. Apply some CA glue in the hole, insert the sprue into the hole until the taper fits firmly. When the glue sets, cut the sprue, file and sand.
     
  9. Mr. Ed

    Mr. Ed Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Crimea - when I cut the tanks off the base of the posts stayed in the holes. I then sanded these down and the holes were filled (mostly). It was a lot harder to restore the detail. There were both straight and curved recessed lines and raised rivets. Masking around the area helped minimize the damage, and my ability to restore detail is slowly improving, but I can tell you it doesn't look as good as it did before I started working on it. I could have saved myself some time and aggravation by leaving the tanks off and not bothering to fill the attachment points. But I didn't see any of these indentations in any of my research so I had to get obsessive about it and be as accurate as possible.
     
Loading...

Share This Page