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F7F-3N Tigercat

by Ron Cline


Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat


HyperScale is proudly sponsored by Squadron.com




This is my take on a Korean War F7F-3N Tigercat.

I used the the 1/48 scale AMT/Ertl kit. Both cockpits and the props are from Cutting Edge. At first, I was going to replace the inaccurate kit nose with the resin replacement from High Tech, but it fits so poorly that I gave up on it.

Instead, I used the beautiful replacement nose from Cutting Edge; it fits with minimal work. Even though the nose is a solid piece of resin, I decided to add more mass to it, since the Tigercat is tail heavy. I drilled a couple of deep holes into the nose, and inserted lead stick fishing weights. I also added a couple of lead sinkers under the cockpit, as far forward as I could get them. In the end, I STILL had to add more weight to keep it from being a tail dragger; I added more to the front of the nacelles, and in the nose gear well.

One modification I highly recommend doing to this kit is adding a wing spar. I ran a 3/16" brass tube just in front of the rear cockpit that extends out to the nacelles. This adds a lot of strength at a weak point of the kit, and since the finished model is heavy, it was needed.

I added wiring to the kit engines, and I replaced the wing lights with colored clear plastic sanded to shape.

I had completely botched my first attempt on the paint job, to the point that I put the kit away for some time. I finally stripped the paint and tried again, this time I was happy with it. First, I painted it overall Gloss Sea Blue. (I used mostly Model Master and Testor paints).



For the black I started with a base coat of Aircraft Interior Black, followed by selectively applying Testors Rubber (in the small bottle) to the upper surfaces. This is a dark brown color that I thought would give a nice impression of the black paint oxidizing. When this was dry I took some 1000 grit wet 'n' dry and lightly sanded wear areas to expose the GSB underneath. The remainer of the weathering was done with silver pencil for the paint chips, and pastels for the exhaust stains and general, overall dirtiness.

The decals were a mix of kit decals and ones from the 'stash'. The canopies are from Squadron, and the landing gear wheels are from the High Tech set.



Additional Images


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Images, Text and Model Copyright 2003 by Ron Cline
Page Created 27 August, 2003
Last Updated 25 March, 2004

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