The 1/72 Eduard Hellcat Dual Combo FAA kit

Discussion in 'Model Kit Reviews' started by Ruud, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Ruud

    Ruud Member

    Apr 1, 2010
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    Hellcat Mk.I / Mk.II DUAL COMBO 1/72

    The F6F-3 was the Hellcat Mk. I in FAA service, and the F6F-5 was the Hellcat Mk. II.

    1st - Nice art work, box is full, but not Hasegawa jet crazy full. The instructions are nice and clear and easy to follow. Each set of sprues (2 planes, thus each sprue X 2) is bagged separately. The clear sprues are bagged individually. There are 2 sheets of PE, one colored cockpit stuff, and the other mainly for the engine (also the bomb fins). Nice decals sheet for 6 options. Not Cartograph minimal carrier film, but still minimal. Also two sets of Masks are included. I guess Eduard had been moving to end opening boxes, this is just your regular top bottom box.

    2nd - What great surface detail. Very fine though, so easy on going heavy with the paints and/or sanding. It comes with one set of wings for the -3 and one for the -5. Included are 3 different cowlings (any of the 3 for the -3 depending on when it was made). 2 different main wheels (plain and diamond tread). The hub is separate from the tire, so that should make for easier painting. Two full sets of ordnance are included (a drop tank, 2 X 250 lb and 2 X 500 lb bombs, and 6 rockets). Did i mention how nice the surface detail is? Yes, well it is good enough to mention twice. I've never seen rivets represented this finely. One also gets different canopies for if you would like the canopy closed or open.

    3rd - The cockpit. By my count, there are 26 pieces of PE for the cockpit. There is a different instrument panel for the -3 and the -5. The seat belts look to be different than the ones offered in Eduard's USN -3 and -5 boxings. This is correct as the FAA used the British style seat belts. If you want to minimize the use of PE, there is a second instrument panel included with molded on details. For the engines, Eduard includes the wiring harnesses in PE. Each bomb is a 7 PE pieces affair. Sway braces, the fins, a spinner... The drop tanks also come with PE braces.

    4th - a few things of note... The FAA rarely used USN ordnance, so these bombs and rockets are of no real use. I'm sure they carried some at some occasion, but (in the case of the British Pacific Fleet) the RN tried to be fully self supplied. It is alright that you shouldn't use the USN ordnance as the oleos of the main landing gear are set for a rather lightly loaded Hellcat. The instructions would have you use the -3 windshield on the -5 model. One of the easiest ways to identify a -5 is by it lacking the small windows behind the canopy and by the windshield not having the "upper" framework. From what i can see, the mask is for two -3 windshields (whoops). The 6th decal option, well they ran out of room. So there is only a side profile and an web address to see the full profile. That web address doesn't exist, so best to go to This is the full instructions, including decal option 6 and with some additional information on each of the 6 planes.

    All in all i would rate this kit an A-. I've read that the accuracy of the kit is great and that it is very build-able (unlike some other Eduard kits). The 1/72 is essentially just a mini 1/48 Eduard Hellcat with some parts being simplified (like the flaps etc.). For FAA fans, this is a must get.

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