Richard's Academy/Airfix Hellcat for Simon

rtfoe

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Hi Guys,
Here's my entry of what Simon would have built if he had received it before he passed. The Academy Hellcat re-boxed by Airfix.

It's been mothballed for years together with the AFV Hellcat and held together with white glue for easy access to the interior for painting. I don't know which was more accurate but major mods were done to the structure of the Academy kit mainly the side sponsons, rear curvature and nothing else.

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Even as a mothballed kit, the Hellcat is only 40% finished if you include installing the details like the stowage, mantlet water proofing, accessories and painting and weathering. I have left the turret detachable for painting the exposed interior. Here's what it looks like dismantled with a whole sprue to add the accessories...no PE or resin as I'm going to do the Simon thingy of scratching and improvising.

H6.jpg


My work will be helped by this little booklet I have that's been with me for donkey ages and was lucky to get it at an old books sale. The basic images have given me an idea where to make the corrections.

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I was going to start by doing some scratching to the radio compartment area in the rear bustle. Apparently this simple box actually looks like what it is if you check out the reference in the next image showing the standard radio.

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What I can do is add junction boxes and some stowage cans and wires just to make it look busy...just like the reference below.

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So far Academy has given most of the parts for the loaders and gunners position with one or two minor things to add.

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The bar that runs over the turret comes in a few configurations. The one that Academy supplies is bent upwards...I rather like the straight version seen here.

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The gunsight isn't in the right place and should be about parallel with the gun barrel but since I'm going to cover the mantlet with weather proofing canvas I can reposition it without much surgery.

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The magazine holder can be made with thin plastic card and perforated. The kit part is just a large gap.

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The aerial guard is also out of position and can be moved.

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The gun locking mechanism needs a bit of scratchery.

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No gunsight given at all at the gunners position so scratchery need here also.

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The grill is wrong on the Academy kit. It's suppose to be square and not diamond shaped. The AFV kit does a better grill presentation. The fuel caps are in the wrong place so needs shifting. The rear hatch is not prominent enough.

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In the end there is quite a lot of work. Simon would have used 10 percent of the kit, basically the road wheels as they have the right number of nuts.

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the kit is actually not too bad, I mean with the right stowage and some little corrections will look like a Hellcat.

I will have to get together two part putty, gauze, tissue, white glue, CA, wire, driveway dirt, pewter but in this case I will be using copper sheet and one or two drops of blood if I'm not careful and start.

I hope this makes the finish line.

Cheers,
Richard
 

The Smythe Meister

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Hi Richard,
Looking very nice even at this early stage,certainly a clean build! :thumb2:
I really like these Hellcats and will follow this with great interest.
As an aside,(and you probably already know),as a part of the "Saints and Soldiers" franchise,there`s a film called "Saints and Soldiers,Battle of the Tanks,(or in some countries,"Saints and Soldiers,The Void").This story is based around a couple of Hellcats,and whilst not being the greatest War film ever,it`s certainly worth a look for all the details you can see of the M18s. It`s on Amazon Prime,and probably other sources too.
Just a thought.
Will be looking out for the next update!
Cheers,
Andy
 

rtfoe

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Thanks Andy, I've seen that and also one show about gunsmiths/collecting and selling that came across a Hellcat where they had to test fire the gun to get its networth for sale.
The Hellcat was one of the best looking tanks in WW2 with its torsion bar chassis that made it one of the fastest tanks. It also had quite a lethal gun. The speed made up for the light armour and a speedy get away.

Cheers,
Richard
 

Jim R

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Hi Richard
You don't do things by half do you. Blood is certainly needed if you are to 'build like Mr T'. I would have missed most of the things needing correction even with your reference photos - you must have very observant eyes :tongue-out3:
Jim
 

rtfoe

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Thanks Guys, Steve, Jim, Richard, Lee, Graeme and Fernando, actually I'm more of an exterior kind of builder and not in the same league as Simon's wizardry in scratchery and interiors. So far I've only worked on the posterior, 'sideterior' and 'fronterior' correcting shape, height and size. Now basically I'm going to correct the little details I missed out after looking at the reference properly.

The major correction will be the rear deck.... yes the grills, hatch and fuel caps have to be dealt with. This will be a challenge to cut as I have already sealed the hulls together. The others are pretty minor and because they are hard to see will be done with the art of gizmology effects most associated with influences from Shep and his book. I always do a once over before any armour build to get inspiration...

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Cheers,
Richard
 

rtfoe

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I have begun by attacking the rear deck fuel caps, shaving them off and sanding down flat. I have saved the fuel caps and will re-position them as I don't see the point in re-making them. I have also started cutting out the grills...

H20.jpg

Cheers,
Richard
 

John Race

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I'm sure you'll do a great job Richard. Front row seat please with Pork in Plum sauce, veg and egg fried rice. Thank you.
 

Jim R

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Hi Richard
Strange coincidence regarding that Shep Paine book. I've been trying to find a copy for a while but those I've found have been asking silly money. I am currently waiting delivery of a copy from a seller in Greece. About half the price Amazon wanted. Just hope it arrives OK.
Jim
 

Mini Me

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Hi Richard....I'll follow along and see how this baby turns out. Rick H.
 

rtfoe

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Hi Richard
Strange coincidence regarding that Shep Paine book. I've been trying to find a copy for a while but those I've found have been asking silly money. I am currently waiting delivery of a copy from a seller in Greece. About half the price Amazon wanted. Just hope it arrives OK.
Jim
I was lucky to get two of his books when I first started back into the hobby. Missed out on his How to Paint Figures, saw a hard cover version in Perth and kicking myself for not buying it. Quite a bit of his technique is still relevant today.

Cheers,
Richard
 

Allen Dewire

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OOOOOH, Richard is going 1/35 this time. I bet your eyes are happier than a pig in a poke. Like you, I only got 2 of Shep's books too. Never saw the one on figures, The dio book is one of my favorites. Have fun with the surgery and scratchy Sir.

I'll be behind the bar, as usual...........

Prost
Allen
 
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