1/48 Araii & Hasegawa F6F-3 Hellcats 

by Mark L. Rossmann



This build is not on the comparison of the kits paint or decals. These kits were built OOB and have their merits and drawbacks, each build into very nice Hellcats. The paint used on both is from Tamiya, there AS- line of military colors: AS-19 Intermediate Blue and AS-08 Navy Blue and Testors Gloss White. Decals for #17 come from AeroMaster 48-600, #19 from an old Microscale set #48-0096.  Both kits were built and taped off for spraying, the Tamiya paint is synthetic spray and the Testors are an enamel spray. Tamiya dried fast to a very smooth finish and the Testors I let stand overnight with equally good results. Both sets of decals went on nicely although the older Microscale took a little longer to loosen from the paper, The AeroMaster set also provides more information about the individual aircraft.

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Arii Kit Series #9:  F6F-3 #17 is from the USS Princeton in the fall of 1944, flown by Lt. Richard Stambrook VF-27. He was the units third highest scorer in there deployment, claiming his last kill a Nick 6 days prior to the sinking of the Princeton. A seasoned pilot he had earlier served with VS-3 in Dauntlesses and VF-6 on Wildcats.

Hasegawa kit# JT34:  F6F-3 #17 is from the USS Intrepid in February of 1944, flown by Lt(jg) Alexander Vraciu VF-6. Vraciu had shot down 7 aircraft in this plane, 4 on 2/17/44 that included three Zeke’s and a Rufe. The Hellcat sported the regulation squadron markings along with personal emblems and VF-6’s “Felix the Cat”. The fuselage of this very aircraft somehow survived the wholesale scrapping of Hellcats after the war, and has been married to the tail and wings of an F6F-5K and restored to airworthy condition. It can be seen at the Fighter Collection at Duxford England.

Information on aircraft and pilots from the decal sheets and Osprey Aircraft of The Aces #10 by Barret Tillmen.


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Photos and text © by Mark Rossmann