Eduard’s new F4F-3 Wildcat is a beautiful and well-engineered kit. The recessed panel lines, raised and recessed rivets are gorgeous. The kit contains five gray and one clear sprues, beautiful pre-painted photo-etch parts and a decal sheet, which provides markings for six different planes.
The kit, however, is not without its flaws. The 58-gallon drop tank, which all productions of the F4F-3 could carry, is absent from the instructions. There is mistake with the decal callouts (what is identified as Nr. 59 should be Nr. 54). There are raised demarcation lines on the edges of the prop blades for the yellow tips. These should be sanded down. There is nothing inside the wings to hold the guns, so when you insert them into the holes, they won’t stop and you could easily lose a gun inside the wing and end up with a rattle.
The kit’s fit is amazing. Virtually no filler or putty is needed. The rudder and elevators literally snap into place. The ailerons fit a bit tightly and need some adjustment. The engine bearers and the landing gear are thin yet very flexible. Use caution with getting everything into position as to avoid snapping a part. When completed, they look really nice.
The cockpit - with the added pre-painted PE parts, is stunning, and it fits inside of the fuselage halves perfectly. However, the braces for the seat (parts L32 and L33) are really small and make the seat a bit tricky to mount.
Eduard has also included pre-cut tape masks. When applying tape to the canopy, be aware that four pieces you apply to the top are not perfectly square. They are ever so slightly trapezoidal—if you don’t get them on with the correct orientation, the tape edges will not line up with the frames.
The decals included in this kit are Eduard’s new ‘removable cover film’ decals. If you’ve never used these, please consult some excellent videos on YouTube. The decals used in this review - for the purposes of a separate review—are from Starfighter Decals.
Overall, this is an excellent kit with stunning detail and exacting engineering. It is a really enjoyable kit to build and I highly recommend you get this and build it! Don’t let it sit in your stash…she’s too pretty for that. You’ll really enjoy the build processes of Eduard’s Wildcat!
Thank you to Eduard for the donation to IPMS USA and thank you for the opportunity to review it. It was a joy.
Thank you Bill & Phil for all you do for the Reviewers!