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Geoff M

Breakneck Bearcats

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My original idea was to build a couple birddogs next, but I started playing around with the Academy and Hobbyboss Bearcats so they are up next.  Pics coming soon!

 

Geoff M

 

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So I started on the Bearcats. 

Here are the sprues for the Academy version.  Evidently I had built one of these kits in the past and I threw the leftovers in this box so I have multiple cowlings and I also had an Eduard color p/e set for the cockpit so a bonus.  The kit is very nice overall with petite recessed panel lines and a little bit of rivet detail around the cowling area.  Multiple piece canopy if you want to display it open.  The biggest critique with this kit is the shape of the cowling.  It is a bit too squarish in profile.  I searched for a replacement cowling in various websites but none were to be found.  I do have a Cutting Edge replacement cowling for a F8F-2 that is slightly different from the -1 so I will save that for another day.  The academy kit is billed as a -1 or -2 with some different parts to use for the cowling and the tail.  Decals are provided for 2 -1s and 2 -2s.  My research showed that there is more to it than that, but the aftermarket world is not providing any remedies that I could find.  The biggest drawback is a difference in the windscreen.  On the -2 the windscreen has a shallower, longer slope to the top of the canopy.  Neither Academy nor Hobbyboss provide for this detail.  Leftover from a previous build are some Cutting Edge decals.  In the picture below it is the blue/red/yellow F8F-1 that I will be using.

4JaywQ7.jpg

wqnA4BM.jpg

 

Below are the Hobbyboss sprues.  More parts giving greater detail in some areas.  Again, this kit has very nice recessed panel lines with accompanying rivet detail throughout.  Not overly done in my opinion.  This kit provides parts to fold the wings if one chooses.  It will involve cutting the wings.  I will be doing mine extended.  Decals provide for 2 different aircraft both -1s.

 

tErSe4C.jpg

 

Close-up of the Academy fuselage.  Cutting Edge states that the exhaust area on this kit are more like the prototype.  I am leaving them as is.  Rivet detail on the front half of the fuselage.  Clean molding very little if any flash.  The bottom of the fuselage is part of the lower wing.  This arrangement can lead to step at the joint at the rear of the lower wing/fuselage joint.  Test fitting the fuselage showed no alignment or fit issues.

KdxqKLu.jpg

 

Hobbyboss fuselage.  Again nice panel line detail, rivets along the whole fuselage.  More correct exhaust area.  Wing is inserted into slots and fit very well.  Hobbyboss has the sprue attachment points on the mating surfaces of the fuselage so care must be taken to remove them flush.  Minor flash on some parts.  Test fit shows no problem areas.

4XCME0J.jpg

 

Comparison of the cowlings. Left: original Academy -1 cowling, middle: modified Academy cowling, Right: Hobbyboss cowling.  About 20 minutes of sanding to get this shape.  I used some drawings I found on line use as a guide for the shape and it matches pretty well. 

HjJVRCd.jpg

 

View of fuselage compared to drawing.  They both match very well. 

 

 

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This is where I am at now. 

Academy

gR5nfw0.jpgJYJBigT.jpg

5FkboCn.jpg

Hobbyboss

bIZqNEB.jpg

WblPbR6.jpg8VkG3eY.jpg

As you can see the major part of the build is over.  Now for the painting and little parts.  More to come.

 

Geoff M

 

 

 

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Nice comparison of the kits, and it looks like the kits came together pretty easily. 

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I decided to close up the big exhaust trench on the Academy kit so I've been doing the putty/sand routine to get it to look right.  I have also masked the canopies and glued them on.  I found an interesting glue that is new to me anyway at Home Depot.  I have added a picture of it too.  It seems to work very well for attaching canopies permanently.

 

After looking at the Hobbyboss kit and comparing it to the Academy, I couldn't let this go.  It would have been much easier before it was assembled but that's what we do right, make things harder on ourselves.  So I cut some sheet plastic to fit in the slot and sanded to shape.  Now I am using Tamiya liquid filler to smooth it out.  Overall picture with the canopy on.

 

3Ni149y.jpg

Still work to do, but it is coming along.

 

jq9N72s.jpg

 

H2bv2Jw.jpg

 

Hobbyboss kit with the canopy in place.

 

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A glue I found recently.  sets in 30 minutes, cures in 24 hours.  Excess can be trimmed away with a knife.

hU7hWmx.jpg

 

Geoff M

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Good catch with the exhaust trench. Once you pointed out the trench, It is so apparent in the previous post with the kit parts. 

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