The latest book, and digital book, from Detail & Scale is actually the third time that the F6F Hellcat has been covered by them. They released the original book in 1987 and then again in 1996. This book is more comprehensive than either of those volumes.
The printed version is available from Amazon in a soft bound book containing 102 pages of information. No Detail & Scale book would be complete without excellent photographs and this book is no different. It contains 270 photos, mostly in full color (192), and of course the fabulous artwork of Rock Roszak. In this case, there are 23 profiles and drawings that highlight the changes and markings of the Hellcat. The line drawings are actually done by noted aviation historian, Dana Bell. Letís see what is inside.
The book starts out with the prototype and progresses through the XF6F-6. The drones and Blue Angel variants are also covered. The Hellcat history is covered and gives a good overview of the development of the most prolific air-to-air fighter ever built. Besides the prototype XF6F-1 with its covered propeller and natural metal finish, there are plenty of pictures of four bladed variants too. The XF6F-2 looks quite unique with a four bladed prop. The first production fighter, the F6F-3, entered service in a little less than 15 months from the concept to production. A remarkable feat for such a prominent aircraft. The Grumman Iron Works had another winning Navy fighter on its hands. Each unique night fighter variant is also covered, including cockpit photos and radar photos. Everything that the modeler would need to do it right. The F6F-5 was the last production variant and it is covered in depth. The addition of rockets and the small structural changes are addressed in photos and text. The final prototype, the XF6F-6, is shown including the cockpit and revised cowling. How do they find this stuff, especially since there were only two every made?
The Blue Angels started their existence in 1946 using the Hellcat. There are some neat pics of the "Navy Flight Exhibition Team". This section is followed up by the very colorful Hellcat Drones. Besides being used in the testing of nuclear weapons on Bikini Atoll and during missile testing, they were actually used in combat in Korea and had some success. Thus ended the combat career of the Hellcat with the US military.
Foreign Hellcats are covered and all the nations flying it are addressed, such as Great Britain, France and Uruguay.
An interview with David McCampbell is the next section and this is well worth the price of the book itself. Minsi, Minsi II and III are shown. Minsi IV was given to him when he returned to the States for a bond tour.
Then comes the thing that Detail & Scale are famous for the detail shots. This section is filled with beautiful color photos, starting in the cockpit. The differences are highlighted between the -3 and the -5. The same applies to the canopy and the engine cowlings. This section is everything that you could hope for as a modeler. While the photos are great the text contains some very interesting facts that the modeler will love to know about.
Hellcat paint schemes and markings are covered in the next chapter. The Hellcat developed throughout the war so itís camouflage developed as the war progressed. From the early war blue grey over light grey to the tri-color scheme right on through to the Gloss Sea Blue. Likewise the markings ranged from circle star to the red surround to the white star and bars. Because the Hellcat was used post-war as well there is the star and bars with the red stripe as well.
Then comes the final section, the one that sets Detail & Scale apart from other reference books, the Modelers Section. Older kits in a variety of scales are discussed. Then the more recent kits are discussed from 1/144th to 1/24. This is a very extensive listing.
This book is typical for the whole Detail & Scale line of books and eBooks. They are thoroughly researched, lavishly illustrated and a one stop shop for the model builder. This book is a great addition to any library. It is also available in Kindle version which offers additional options like the ability to enlarge photos. Still for those old school like me, I enjoy the ability to have a book in my hand. The photos and drawings are first rate. The detail photos are really useful for any modeler. The information is really informative for the historian.
Another great addition to the Detail & Scale library.
Thanks to Detail & Scale for the review copy. You can obtain your copy by ordering on Amazon at this link
Item Reviewed: F6F Hellcat-in detail & scale
Floyd S. Werner, Jr.
Photos and text © by Floyd S. Werner, Jr.