Plane Stuff's F4F-3/3A Conversion is available online from
u m m a r y
||17 parts in yellow resin
USD$35.96 from Squadron.com
||FirstLook / Preview
one-piece wing; high quality resin parts; correctly depicted
floorless cockpit; five cowl options covered; thoughtful
inclusion of machine gun barrels and seat with lap harness;
||Some trimming, thinning
and minor adjustment required
by Brett Green
Just Plane Stuff has released a conversion to depict one of the US
Navy's most significant aircraft, the F4F-3 Wildcat. This resin
conversion is designed to be used with Tamiya's 1/48 scale F4F-4
The main differences between the F4F-3 and -4 are the fixed wing,
four gun configuration and alternate cowl styles fitted to the earlier
Just Plane Stuff's 1/48 scale F4F-3 conversion comprises 17 parts
in yellow resin snugly packed in a sturdy cardboard box. The artwork
on the boxtop is by author, artist and HyperScale contributor, Rich
All the parts required to build any of the F4F-3/3A variants are
included. A British Fleet Air Arm Martlett III is possible too.
The one-piece, full span wing is the highlight of this set. This
wing is cast integrally with the lower mid fuselage area under the
cockpit, permitting the modeller to accurately depict the floorless
cockpit of the real Wildcat. The inaccurate cockpit floor was one of
the few shortcomings of the Tamiya kit, and it is nice that Just Plane
Stuff has thought to correct this.
Five variations of the cowl are covered by four separate resin
parts. Two different cowl rings (with and without carburettor intake)
and two different main cowl parts (2 cowl flaps and 8 cowl flaps) are
supplied. Two intake scoops for the inside of the cowl ring are also
provided. By combining these elements in different ways, all five
cowling variations may be modelled.
The casting blocks for the cowl parts are worthy of note. The parts
are cast onto a circular block with a central cone. The parts are
attached with a very thin and well defined ring of resin. I used a
razor saw to quickly and easily remove the parts. The photo below
shows two of the parts on their casting blocks, and two after removal.
Some additional details are included in the conversion. These
include a pair of oil coolers for the wheel well (Tamiya's kit only
includes one), a replacement seat with lap harness and machine gun
All the kit parts are crisply detailed. Casting quality is almost
flawless but there is a little flash on the lower wing, especially
around the wheel well and window openings. The trailing edge of the
wing is also a little thick for my taste, but it is a simple matter to
thin this area with a sanding stick.
The wing has been cast with an aluminium spar inside the resin, but
my sample displayed a minor droop at each end of the wings. A few
minutes under hot running water corrected this small problem. I also
sanded and polished the upper surface of the wings to eliminate a very
slight orange-peel texture.
Instructions take the form of four typewritten pages broken down as
General Notes, References, Building Instructions and Decal References.
The text is logical and helpful. There are no diagrams, although a few
illustrations would have been helpful.
I have test fitted the wing to the kit fuselage. I sanded the rear
mating surface of the resin fuselage section, and trimmed the rear of
the starboard wing root. The fit with the kit parts was almost perfect
after this fine tuning.
also fitted the front cowl ring to the main cowl cylinder. As can be
seen in the photograph (right), the fit of this part is near perfect
My initial impression is that some fiddling might be required to
correctly align the kit bulkhead and cockpit parts with the resin
central fuselage, but the task should not be beyond any moderately
My advice is to follow the Three Golden Rules of Resin Conversions
- test fit,
- test fit and
- test fit.