FM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARD

Czech firm Eduard has reworked its Wildcat tooling to provide the General Motors-built FM-1, as CHRIS CLIFFORD reports.

FM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARD

Fans of Grumman’s Wildcat have been well served since Eduard released its first 1/48 new-tool kit two years ago. Both the F4F-3 and F4F-4 have been issued, replicating airframes from different production periods. But you can extend your scale coverage of Wildcat sub-types with Eduard’s recent FM-1 ProfiPACK (82204).

Read a review of Eduard's original F4F-3 kit

The FM-1 was built by General Motors and the format changed with deletion of the two outer wing guns. Eduard’s ProfiPACK offers the requisite styrene parts…  including the correct wing panels, alternative instrument panel parts, canopy mirror positions and aerial masts. However, extra refinement is ensured by the inclusion of plain and pre-coloured photo-etched (PE) metal. Pre-cut tape paint masks are also supplied.

FM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARD

Metal help

The PE fret carries plenty of details for the cockpit – instrumentation, seatbelts and control levers – but also oil cooler grilles and a surrounding frame for the wing-mounted gun camera – among other items. Styrene-wise, Eduard’s usual fidelity of design is evident throughout. Especially impressive is the radial engine, which has two full cylinder banks and separate reduction-gear housing and valve push-rod arrangement (all the bearers and rear ancillary equipment are present too). The cockpit is also stunning, offering finely moulded instrumentation, switch boxes and the like. You can opt to simply use the plastic instrument panel, or add the PE items to a flat background.

FM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARD

Markings for six different colour schemes are supplied on the substantial decal sheet and there’s impressive variety in camouflage via US Navy and Fleet Air Arm airframes. Light and Dark Gull Gray, plus Intermediate Blue and Sea Blue, and white, are worn by the US examples in different patterns. The options are:

•    FM-1, 14, VC-1, USS Block Island (CVE-21), autumn 1943
•    FM-1, BuNo 15334, VC-33, USS Coral Sea (CVE-57), November 1943
•    FM-1, A2, VC-33, USS Nassau (CVE-16), September 1943
•    FM-1, BuNo 46776/4, VC-13, USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60), spring 1944
•    Martlet Mk.V, ‘B’ Lim Lady, 846 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, HMS Tracker, June 1944
•    Martlet Mk.V, JV377/6-C, 882 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Searcher, August 1944

Eduard’s Wildcats instantly became the best on the market, and this FM-1 is every bit as good, while offering splendid choice in liveries… and the chance to replicate yet another sub-type. It’s great value too, at £22.86 direct from Eduard, but it can also be found in the UK via Hannants.

FM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARDFM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARD

FM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARDFM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARD

FM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARDFM-1 WILDCAT PROFIPACK BOXING FROM EDUARD