Reviewed by Brett Green
Dangerboy Hobbies' Hellcat Wing Fold set may qualify as one of the simplest and most effective conversions available.
This conversion is designed for any of Hasegawa's excellent F6F-3 or -5 kits in 1/48 scale.
Seven resin parts are packed in securely in bubble wrap and a stout cardboard box. There are no casting blocks on the large parts, and only a few translucent feathers of flash in a few spots.
The three main parts combine to completely replace the kit wings. The central section provides upper and lower mid-wing in a single casting, and the outer wing panels are similarly simple single pieces. The simplicity of parts breakdown in no way compromises detail. Clever undercuts reveal structural detail inside the wing fold on the three main parts. This interior detail is very crisp, as are the panel lines and subtle fabric effect on the exterior of the wings.
There are a few tiny pinhole bubbles visible beneath the surface of the wing centre section. It is likely that sanding will open some of these tiny holes, so a few minutes with a tube of putty and a sanding stick will be a good investment. A slightly raised ridge of resin runs most of the length of the outer wing trailing edges on my sample. Light sanding will make short work of this excess material, but take care not to eliminate the delicate fabric detail of the ailerons.
Four additional resin parts represent the wing fold drop panels and outer gear well panels.
The construction method is as simple as the engineering of the parts breakdown. A pin on the outer wing slides snugly into a keyed slot in the leading edge of each inner wing fold. This method is virtually foolproof and appears quite secure. In fact, it will not be necessary to use glue on this join if you want to occasionally remove the outer wing panels and admire the interior wing fold detail to the maximum.
Dry-fitting the main conversion components with the Hasegawa fuselage reveals excellent fit. There may be a fine gap to fill at the bottom fuselage to rear of centre wing section join. The photos on this page show the main parts straight from the box (not even trimmed of flash) sitting in place with no glue, tape or any other adhesive.
This is a terrific, high quality conversion that will add loads of character to your 1/48 scale F6F Hellcat.
Thanks to Dangerboy Hobbies for the review samples.
Dangerboy Hobbies Wing Fold Conversions are available direct from Dangerboy Hobbies website
Review Copyright © 2000 by Brett