S u m m a r
Catalogue Number and Description
Models 4273 - F6F-3/5 Hellcat Wheel Bay
Contents and Media:
||Grey and cream coloured
resin, acetate film, photo etched metal
||Excellent detail and casting;
will address a known shortcoming in the Hasegawa kits
scale F6F Hellcat Wheel Bays will be available online from
addition to the prolific Aires Masters Series is 4273, a 1/48 scale
mixed-media wheel bay set for the 1/48 scale Hasegawa kits of the
Grumman F6F-3 and F6F-5 Hellcat.
Hasegawa kit first released their 1/48 scale Hellcat (an F6F-3) in 1995
and has since followed it up with (currently) 21 different releases
making it one of the main players in their catalogue. The kit does
suffer from inaccuracies in the cowling and the wheel bays but it does
builds into a nice replica with a minimum of effort straight from the
Should you wish to go the extra distance however, this new kit from
Aires will overcome the kit's wheel bay shortcomings. It provides you
with 20 resin pieces and 14 photo-etched ones.
The resin parts provide you with 'tubs' to fit inside each wing to make
up each wheel bay, undercarriage doors, and undercarriage retract arms.
The parts are cast in mid-grey flexible resin which is much more user
friendly than the older, brittle resin that Aires originally used. The
casting is very much up to the standard we have come to expect from
Aires. The parts are all perfectly cast and crammed with detail.
the thumbnails below to view larger images:
etch-metal parts are basically tiny detail items with the larger of them
being the torque links. Other parts include the up locks, and gear door
reinforcements. The metal used to produce the fret is soft and easy to
work with. It is very easy to manipulate and does not have a "memory" in
case you goof up and have to flatten the part before having another
attempt at folding it.
Does it fit? Yes it does but you will have to do a lot of grinding,
thinning and sanding of the kit parts to let it do so. This has always
been the scariest thing for me when using any Aires detail set. I
recently put their cockpit set into a Hasegawa F-8 and by the time I had
finished removing and "reducing" the kit parts as Aires quaintly
advises, the fuselage walls were practically transparent. If I can offer
any advice here it is the old standard modelling term of go slowly, go
carefully, and frequently dry fit!
Accurate? The parts compares well with the like the pictures in my
Detail and Scale book so I will have no misgivings in using it.
A small instruction sheet is included. It carries 'exploded views' of
the suggested assembly sequence as well as a 'parts map' to assist you
in identifying the tiny photo-etch parts.
As with all Aires kits no painting instructions are provided so you will
need to look elsewhere for this information.
The kit comes packed in the standard small kit packaging used by Aires
and it very well packed indeed! The resin parts sit in a vac formed tray
which in turn sits on top of a thick cardboard header onto which the
photo etch fret and instructions are also placed. A further vac formed
clear plastic cover is then slid over both the tray and the header and
it both traps and displays the resin and photo-etch parts. Staples are
then punched through the header card and the plastic cover to fasten
them together. Great packaging indeed and it will ensure that the kit
arrives in your hand with all the parts intact.
Yes, I know I always use the same words for any review of the packaging
in Aires kits but it really is well done and relevant seeing as most of
us rely on mail order for our kits, decals and detail sets.
This is a nice update from Aires that will rectify the wheel bay
shortcomings of the Hasegawa Hellcats
Thanks to Aires for the
Text and Images Copyright © 2006 by
Page Created 08 March, 2006
Last updated 07 March, 2006
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