Aires 1/72 F6F-3/5 Hellcat Detail Set First Look
|Date of Review||December 2008||Manufacturer||Aires|
|Subject||F6F-3/5 Hellcat Detail Set||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||7035||Primary Media||Mixed (Resin & Photo-Etch)|
|Pros||Fantastic recreation of the engine, cockpit and gun bays for those who want to super detail thier F6F-3 or -5 kits||Cons||No details of what parts of the model are included or detailed in the kit is printed on the box.|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$66.95|
In this set, Aires, one of the great model detail manufacturers in the Czech Republic, provides numerous resin parts and a medium fret of photo-etch details that will super detail the engine compartment, cockpit, and gun bays for your F6F -3 or -5 Hellcat. This kit is essentially a combination of the Aires Gun Bay (7088), Cockpit (7032), and Engine (7016) detail kits with extras thrown in which make it specific to the Academy kit
Going in order of the instructions, the set starts with the cockpit. Included are resin parts for a new floor; left, right and rear walls; seat; and control stick. PE Parts for the cockpit include two different instrument panels (one for the -3 version and one for the -5), rudder pedals, and various handles and small details.
Next up is the engine compartment. By removing large sections of the plastic body and replacing them with the kit parts you can create a super detailed engine compartment. The engine is built up (rather than cast as one piece) by gluing each cylinder head onto the block, and using wire to simulate the individual valve rods. A PE wire harness, exhaust headers, engine mounts, and radiator scoop are all added prior to mounting into the model. The results should be very realistic.
The last area is the gun bays. Included are two resin gunbays, 8 machine gun bodies, and 6 barrels. PE Details include the bay access hatches, ammo feed boxes, and some of the other small details of the bays (like the belt carrier trays which feed into each gun).
Overall this set will add an amazing level of detail to the Academy F6F-3/5 kits. However, it is not a complete detail of the entire aircraft. For that you will need to add something like the Eduard PE set with which you can detail the landing gear, wheel wells, etc. and possibly the True Details wheels. Realistically, if you're going to spend the money for this kit, then the additional investment for the others shouldn't be a big deal.
You should be able to find this detail set at your local hobby retailer or one of the many online hobby shops. Trust me, this is worth looking for!
Definitely recommended for experienced modelers!