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F8F-2 Bearcat Cockpit
and
F8F-2 Corrected Cowling

Cutting Edge Modelworks

 

S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number: CEC48129 - Cockpit for the Hobbycraft Kit
CEC48134 - Corrected Cowling and Front Fuselage
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: CEC48129 - Seven parts in cream coloured resin; five parts in grey resin, one acetate sheet
CEC48134 - Eight parts in cream coloured resin; one part in grey resin
Price: CEC48129 - US$12.95
CEC48134 - US$14.95
Review Type: In-Box, Test-Fitted
Advantages: Excellent, clean casting; clever engineering; great fit; great detail but simple construction; minimal kit modifications
Disadvantages: Some delicate parts 
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Meteor Productions

 

F i r s t L o o k

 

You've just got to love that stumpy little F8F Bearcat. Developed too late to see service during WWII, this high performance fighter was limited mainly by its introduction at the dawn of the jet age.

Hobbycraft's 1/48 scale kit has a lot going for it. It is inexpensive, panel lines are crisp and recessed, the wheel well is nicely detailed and control surfaces are well represented. However, the cockpit and engine are pretty basic; and the contours of the forward fuselage are wrong.

Cutting Edge has released four sets to address these problems, two of which are reviewed here today.


 

Cockpit

Cutting Edge's F8F-2 cockpit set instructions are prefaced with the words that "...this is a simple set to construct". That's true, but it doesn't detract from the beautiful detail incorporated in its twelve resin parts.

Seven parts are cast in the familiar cream-coloured resin, while the smaller details are presented in Cutting Edge's more durable grey resin. 

Sidewalls are bristling with structural detail, wiring, switches and quadrants. No detail is added to the basic sidewall parts - its all moulded on. The seat with its moulded-on harness and cushion is another highlight. 

The instrument panel provides the option of using the resin instruments, or sanding off the back of the panel (thus removing  the instrument detail) and using an acetate backing sheet. I really like this option.

The remainder of this simple detail set comprises the front bulkhead, turtledeck, canopy bar, gunsight, control column, instrument coaming and rollover assembly.

The instructions are very good, using a combination of detailed text and diagrams.


 

Corrected Cowl and Fuselage

CEC48134 provides a new nose for the F8F-2 kit. 

A new cowling plus a large chunk of forward fuselage are supplied. The cowl is cast in one piece of grey resin and shows no sign of any casting connection - no cleanup is required at all. The section of fuselage corrects the shape of the exhaust washout but as a bonus also permits the cowl flaps to be positioned open. The fuselage sections thoughtfully include small tabs to positively locate the resin parts with the kit mid-fuselage. These parts will only need a swipe with a sanding stick to be ready to use.

Considering that this is a pretty major conversion, the parts preparation is surprisingly simple. The only modification to the kit is one straight cut along a panel line on each fuselage half.

I have already cut off the kit nose and test-fitted the resin parts. The fit and alignment with the kit fuselage and wing root is close to perfect.

The replacement exhaust stubs are really well done. However, they are also pretty delicate. Despite Cutting Edge's sturdy packaging, one side of an exhaust cover broke off during transit.

Cutting Edge even supply an engine mount for the Teknics R-2800 - a worthwhile investment to really finish off this project.

Gregg Cooper has done a terrific job mastering both of these sets. If you want to build a more accurate Bearcat, this is certainly the simplest way to do it!

Highly Recommended

Thanks to Meteor Productions for the review sample


Cutting Edge Modelworks Resin Conversion Kits are available at Meteor Productions Website


Review Text and Images Copyright 1999 by Brett Green
Page Created 23 September, 1999
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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