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Grumman F3F-2
“ Flying Barrel”
Pre War US Navy Fighter


Special Hobby, 1/72 scale

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Special Hobby SH 72106 F3F-2
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: 51 cleanly moulded dark grey plastic parts on one sprue, 5 cream coloured resin parts (cockpit), 18 PE parts on one fret, 1 clear injection moulded canopy, 1 instrument face film, decals by Aviprint for four aircraft and a 10 page A5 instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 6 very clear build diagrams and 4 pages of paint/decal drawings.
Price: USD$15.96  from Squadron.com
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Highly detailed interesting subject, high quality resin and decals.
Disadvantages: Injected canopy does not match the artwork.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended

Reviewed by Glen Porter

 Special Hobby's 1/72 scale F3F-2 is available online from Squadron.com


Here we go! I've just got back from the Editor's abode with a fist full of models for review. Yippee!

This has got to be my all time favourite pre-war U S Navy fighter. Trumpets blare, hold your breath. The Grumman F3F-2. That’s it, the bi-plane blimp. Those colours, rivalled only by the RAF pre-war schemes.

About three years ago, MPM did the F3F-1 which I bought at the time. Although many of the parts are straight from that kit, they've all been moved around the sprue and the moulding is far superior. The MPM kit had a resin engine and cowling, this one has them in plastic but it is just as detailed. The earlier kit had most cockpit details in PE, this one has resin with a small amount of PE. Special Hobby have supplied the rudder separate and four USMC colour schemes (MPM 2 US Navy) and they've made an effort to give a rigging diagram although the box art-work is still the best guide.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

The interior consists of resin floor and side consols, PE instrument panel, throttle quadrant, seat belts and pedals and plastic seat, rear bulk head and control column.

PE consists of the afore mentioned cockpit parts, 2 nifty two piece bomb racks and various external items such as aerial masts and flap actuators plus one large bit for a future F3F-3.

The only part to disappoint is the injected canopy. It is not quite as clear as I would like and I'm not sure but I think it may be the wrong shape. I'll have to find some more references to check.

In summary, both kits are buildable with the Special Hobby version requiring less clean-up, but they will look terrific side by side with those colour schemes!

Highly Recommended to all experienced modellers.

Thanks to MPM/Special Hobby for the review sample.

Review Text Copyright © 2005 by Glen Porter
Images Copyright © 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 09 August, 2005
Last updated 09 August, 2005

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