Tamiya’s 1/48 F4F-4 Wildcat, slightly wrecked

dio-wildcat-ewing-main.jpgParker Ewing joins us again with this wonderful build of Tamiya’s classic Wildcat. Here he shows how to handle a kit that might be giving you some headaches- you wreck that sucker! OK….. in a historically accurate way.

The 1/48th scale Tamiya Wildcat IMHO is likely one of the easiest assembled models ever made. If you’re ever in a rut, this model is the ticket. I won’t bore you with the construction because that’s what it is ….boring. There are zero challenges, fit problems or issues. A true weekend build. But get Mr. Aires involved as I did, and things change quickly.

I learned a great lesson on this model though I’ll share with you. When I first started this hobby I was a bit militant in my building in the sense that once I started, I bulled through and finished, no matter what. Despite losing heart on some projects halfway through, I’d keep going, and the quality inevitably suffered. Well, a few days into this build, I got to the Aires gun bay. To say it wouldn’t fit is like saying Judas did a bad thing.

dio-wildcat-ewing-1.jpgMaybe I’m just not good with their stuff, but after sanding ad nauseum, it wasn’t going in. Then it hit me……just put it away. For the first time ever, I boxed up a running project and went to something else. I felt a bit strange but hey, it’s modelling, not life.

dio-wildcat-ewing-2.jpgA few months later I was reading about the story of Wake Island and came across a picture of a derelict Wildcat taken by the Japanese. It looked ransacked for parts. That picture totally inspired me and gave me an idea. I opened it back up and went to work. The fit of the gun bay became irrelevant b/c the wing now laid on the ground. If you tore that model off the pin holding it down, you’d see cream colored resin hanging out the bottom, but it’s impossible to see otherwise. Everything else was my standard fare. Gunze acrylics thinned 50%, future, and Pollyscale flat. It was fun and quick fitting the random guns, barrels and other stuff around the site. Since I had no undercarriage to build, it was done in no time. The base is Plaster of Paris with lots of railroad sand mixed in. Once dry, I airbrushed lighter coats until I was satisfied.

dio-wildcat-ewing-3.jpgMy lesson I learned is this: If a project begins to annoy you, you have the option to put it aside.
If and when you come back to it, you’ll be amazed how clearer things will be. There are modeling sessions where I just don’t have it. I’m being lazy, impatient, careless, or all the above. When those times come…I go do something else. Maybe it’s the Lord prompting me to read the Word! Always the better optionJ Either way, it makes for a happy modeler and a better end result.

My name is Parker Ewing, and I’m 39 years old and blessed with a wonderful wife and three wild little boys. I became a Christian at 21 but didn’t discover modeling until around seven or years ago. For me, the hobby is the perfect storm of history, patience and skill. My biggest challenge is prioritizing modelling time and not going overboard with it. I’ll admit I’ve sat through a few sermons thinking about the seams on that B-17. That said, it keeps me home, occupied, and has even made me a little money. Any questions or advice is more than welcomed. I can be reached anytime phudson33@aol.com.

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