The Polish kitmaker has boxed its 1/72 F4F-4 Wildcat and P-39 together with new decals, tape masks and 3D-printed resin parts. CHRIS CLIFFORD investigates.
Fans of aircraft employed in the Pacific Theatre during World War Two will love Arma Hobby’s latest product. The special Cactus Air Force package (70049) includes the firm’s new-tool F4F-4 Wildcat and P-39 from 2021 and 2022 respectively, although the latter item has new parts so modellers can portray the P-39D and P-400. Cactus Air Force was the name afforded to Allied air assets throughout the Guadalcanal campaign in the Pacific Theatre, from August to December 1942. ‘Cactus’ was the official Allied codename for the island of Guadalcanal.
Above: Superb 3D-printed resin parts are supplied for both kits.
Another bonus with this boxing is that of 3D-printed components accompanying the already excellent styrene; on the P-39D/P-400 these include machine-gun breech ends, a pilot seat, gun barrels, the upper nose cowling and optional exhausts. Printed items for the Wildcat comprise a seat, cockpit sidewall features, engine firewall/ignition ring details, gun barrels and exhaust ports. A pair of 100lb bombs and racks are supplied too.
In terms of colour schemes, those for the P-39 parts involve two aircraft in Dark Earth, Dark Green and Sky (both large sharkmouths and nose art), and the other two wear more standard Olive Drab over Neutral Gray. All four Wildcats (US Navy and US Marines) sport the period’s Non-Specular Blue Gray over Light Gull Gray. The liveries in detail are:
• P-400, BW151/13 HELLS BELL, 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, Lt Robert M Ferguson, August-November 1942
• P-39D-2, 12 Beth, Capt Paul Bechtel, 12th Fighter Squadron CO, December 1942
• P-400, BW156/12 Fancy Nancy, 67th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, August-September 1942
• P-39D-1, 41-38400/56, Lt Vernon Head, 68th Fighter Squadron, 347th Fighter Group, December 1942
• F4F-4, 29, Lt Samuel Folsom, VMF-121, US Navy, 1942
• F4F-4, 2, Maj Marion E Carl, VMF-223, USMC, February 1943
• F4F-4, BuNo.5192/F12, Lt James ’Pug’ Southerland II, VF-5, US Navy, USS Saratoga, 1942
• F4F-4, BuNo.03417/19, Lt Stanley ‘Swede’ Vejtasa, VF-10, US Navy, USS Enterprise, 1942
This is a well-considered dual boxing, which should interest many modellers keen on 1/72 scale World War Two subjects. It costs €56.36 direct from Arma Hobby, but it’s also available from Hannants in the UK for £64.60.