Eduard 1/72 Grumman F6F-3 Weekend
By Matt Bittner
A couple of notes, right up front. First of all, this is technically not the Weekend Edition kit as it comes in the box. What it is is the demo sprue they had at the 2011 IPMS/USA Nationals that were held here, in Omaha, NE, in August 2011. Eduard was kind enough to give me these sprues as they were leaving the event, so I wanted to build it up. However, I did have the Weekend Edition instructions so built it as it would be built using those instructions.
For commonality, Eduard has broken the sprue up in such a way to maximize the number of versions you can build using just a few sprue. So, you'll have extra cowls, weapons, guns and clear parts meant for other versions. The main sprue that is not common to all versions is the sprue with the wing halves. That will be unique for each version.
The next step is to glue the gun pieces to the lower wing half and glue the wing halves together. I was actually worried about breaking off the guns during assembly and painting, but that didn't happen. I was also worried about the seam where the lower and upper meets, since it was at the control surface hinge-line. No worries as the fit was tight. I did hollow out the gun ends to make them look a little more realistic.
I painted and glued the engine pieces together, and glued the cowl pieces together. A little bit of sanding on the cowl seams to eleminate them, but there was no putty needed. I decided to white-glue the cowl to the fuselage for painting, but if you stuff the inside enough you can glue it on permanently with the engine in place.
Future was then sprayed onto the model, Techmod and Eduard decals applied (the Techmod decals are very thin and I messed up a couple, replacing them with ones from the Profipack -3 kit, including all national insignia) and then another coat of Future over that. Once that was dry I then applied an oil wash to bring out the panel lines, as well as some of the other structure and when that dried I sprayed Xtracrylix dull coat. Then it was pastel chalks for the exhaust and other effects and it was finished. I used a strand of .005" stainless steel wire for the antenna.
The other thing I didn't like with this kit is the external fuel tank. Part D26 (which I pointed out you need to keep in a safe place prior to assembly) leaves a gap in the fuel tank that needs to be taken care of, and the struts are very easily broken off. Plus the tank had a true seam going around the outside of it, that isn't handled in the plastic (but taken care of with one of Eduard's F6F exterior photoetch sets). In addition you can see some raised detail on the tank itself that ends. This is supposed to be for straps that were added to help hold the fuel tank in place, and are supposed to link to the fuselage. This is actually handled with the Profipack version of the kit.
Now to hunt down some early two color camo schemes for my next build.
Huge thanks to Eduard for giving me this kit to review. Awesome!