Verlinden | F6-F5/3 Hellcat Cockpit & Gunbay

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This set hit the modeling world, causing quite a bit of aftershocks. We all knew that when Verlinden puts out a new up-date set there is no doubt that the set is fantastic. But we would like to know what does his set mean, is it a start of a 1/32 set series or is it just a test set to see how profitable is the market in this scale?

The first thing that was a big surprise to my eye which is well accustomed to the Russian or German cockpits is how big this thing really is.

The Brownings below the U.P. MK108.

Well anyway to the set now. The set has 16 resin parts in the usual 'Verlinden grey-green'. Then it has one fret of photoetched parts. When compared to the thickness of other frets like the ones from Eduard or even previous Verlinden sets this one is thicker. The set also in clouds two about 15 cm long 2mm in diameter plastic tubes and a sheet of lead foil.

The cockpit is made up of the typical floor, two side consoles the back bulkhead and the instrument panel. Verlinden changed the concept, so in opposed to the Bf 109E set which had the sides photoetched and then you had every item on the consoles cast separately. On this set everything on the sides of the cockpit is cast in one piece. But there is no problem since at Verlinden they are really masters with casting resin making undercuts and so on. But on the plus side these 'consoles' require less amount of clean-up. As you can see on the photos the level of details is masterclass. The instrument is resin. I don't know in my book photoetched ones are sill the best. Anyway maybe it would be a nice idea to add a film with instruments on it. But a modeler can easily add this by himself (Waldron US bezels range or even from the Hasegawa's Hellcat instrument decals) Only minor clean-up is necessary for all of the cockpit parts. You blend in the side consoles with the fuselage with a wide photoetched part. The seat is not as straight forward as you have to reproduce the seat mechanism that secured the seat to the bulkhead. Maybe there is something provided by Verlinden but it isn't obvious not even on the instructions. As with all PE buckles you have to be really careful that you remove all the metal flesh, but as said PE parts are a bit thicker so this should be easier to accomplish.

cockpit dryfit

Now to the gunbay. The parts are designed in a fashion that you are supposed to use the supporting parts on the kit's wing. The Brownings are beautiful. Maybe they should be added to the Mustang set as well? Because they certainly rate right up there with Urlich Puchala guns. But a thing that impressed me more were the ammo feeds. You get two ammo belts that are the best solution of this problem in this scale.I mean you cannot possibly use the photoetched parts because they are too thin, then if you make a single round at once, you finally give up after about 2 cm of ammo belt. The ammo feed guides are also spectacular.

As you can see from the photos of the set, it is really great. I recommend it to anyone who has interest in Pacific warbirds. With the full coverage on the Corsair by Lonestar and this set on the Hellcat, then the set on the P-38 by Waldron, you may just build yourself a collection in a fairly decent time span.

PE fret

I can't shake off the feeling that Verlinden made a compromise on this set. It is like they first released the Bf 109E set which is really fantastic and has many parts thus covering almost every detail. Then the Mustang set which is a little bare. The Hellcat set goes right down the middle of this. But all the sets have the Verlinden quality brandmark on them. This set is another winner from Verlinden, absolutely worth the money. Thanks to Verlinden Productions for the review sample. Now how about that Fw 190A cockpit, gunbay, wheelbay engine detail set?

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This review was published on Saturday, July 02 2011; Last modified on Wednesday, May 18 2016