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Thread: Wildcat

  1. #1
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    Default Wildcat

    The Grumman F4F Wildcat was a US carrier fighter during WW2. It was introduced in 1940 and first saw combat with the Royal Navy where it was called the Martlet.

    The Wildcat was the US Navy's second monoplane fighter after the Buffalo, and although lacking in speed compared to the Zero, it was durable and successful, and production continued until the end of the war.

    The F4F-3 was armed with 4 x 0.5 inch machine guns and could carry 2 x 100 lb bombs. The F4F-4 increased the number of guns to six and it also had folding wings allowing more aircraft per carrier.

    This example is an F4F-3 of VF-3 US Navy circa 1942.

    Last edited by Clave; 04-25-2010 at 02:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    Nice job. You might, though, want to double check the size, placement, and coloring of the VF-3 insignia. Photo evidence shows the insignia should be entirely with in the rear half of that 6-sided access panel below the windscreen. The WW2 version of the insignia had a white background, not yellow, and the red on the fuse was not as pronounced as in your sample.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    I'll look into that...

    Meanwhile here's some more:

    Grumman F4F-3 of VF-6 US Navy 1942.



    Grumman F4F-3 of VF-7 US Navy 1940.



    Grumman F4F-3 of VF-8 US Navy 1942.



    Grumman F4F-3 of VF-39 US Navy 1943.

    *Removed pending further research*


    Grumman F4F-3 of VF-41 US Navy 1941.



    Grumman F4F-3 of VF-72 US Navy 1941.



    Grumman Martlet I of 804 Naval Air Squadron Royal Navy 1940.



    Grumman Martlet I of 805 Naval Air Squadron Royal Navy 1941.

    Last edited by Clave; 05-03-2010 at 05:18 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    More nice profiles . . .
    Correction to the VF-3 F4F-3 looks much, much better.

    Your “Grumman F4F-3 of VF-7 US Navy 1940” shows the F4F-3 armament with the F4F-4 pitot tube. F4F-3 pitot tubes were spar type and slightly outboard of the mid-point of the left wing. When the -4’s came, because of the now folding wings, the pitot tube were move to the tip of the left wing; this after a brief flirtation with a Z shaped pitot tube on the underside trailing edge. Anyway, the fastest and easiest way to tell a -3 from a -4 in flight is to check the location of the pitot tube.

    Your “Grumman F4F-3 of VF-39 US Navy 1943.” depicts another -3 armament with a -4 pitot tube, unless you want to call it an FM-1. Only the first 10 FM-1s had six guns, all the rest carried only four. For the paint job, I’d say you’re showing an FM-1, not an F4F-3 or -4. Last F4F-4’s in action were VF-11 and VF-21 operating out of Guadalcanal in the spring and summer of 1943. Both of those squadrons’ planes were the overall non-spec blue grey over light grey; neither used the three tone sea blue over blue grey over light grey.

    On your “Grumman F4F-3 of VF-41 US Navy 1941,” the side numbers should be “41-F-7” not “7-F-14” Also the finish should be more like those you show for VF-7 and VF-71, what you have on the VF-41 bird is entirely too blue.

    Most of your USN examples appear to be missing the regulation USN and bureau number markings on the vertical stabilizer.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    Most of your USN examples appear to be missing the regulation USN and bureau number markings on the vertical stabilizer.
    I'm going to have to deal with that one at a time...

    The VF-3 one:


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    VF-6 bird revised with generic tail number:


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    VF-7 pitot tube fixed and tail number added:


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    VF-8 tail number (most of these are generic/guesswork)


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    VF-39 camo hack - I might just dump this one altogether...


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    VF-41 - Metal finish and corrected numbers:


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    And finally, a new one from VMF-111:


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    Cool stuff mate.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    Got to thinking about the VF-39 profile and did a little checking. You were better off with the VF-39 bird being an FM-1. VF-39 was established on 1 June 1943 as VC-64. Stations and assigned aircraft for the remaining of calendar 1943:

    8 Jun 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle, scheduled for assignment aboard USS Tripoli by 1 Sep 1943. Aircraft on hand: 4 FM-1

    15 Jun 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. No aircraft on hand: .

    21 Jun 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. Aircraft on hand: 3 FM-1.

    28 Jun 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. Aircraft on hand: 3 FM-1.

    7 Jul 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. No longer identified as to be assigned to USS Tripoli (nor were any of the other VC rons working up, whereas they were in June). Aircraft on hand: 4 FM-1 & 1 TBF-1.

    14 Jul 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. Aircraft on hand: 5 FM-1.

    21 Jul 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. Aircraft on hand: 7 FM-1 & 3 TBF-1.

    28 Jul 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. Aircraft on hand: 11 FM-1 & 4 TBF-1.

    3 Aug 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. Aircraft on hand: 12 FM-1 & 4 TBF-1.

    9 Aug 1943 - VC-64 at NAS Seattle. Now scheduled for assignment to USS Prince William, no date set. USS Prince William is at San Francisco. Aircraft on hand: 13 FM-1 & 6 TBF-1.

    17 Aug 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Seattle. Redesignated as VF-39 15 Jun 43. USS Prince William is at Pearl Harbor. Aircraft on hand: 13 FM-1 & 7 TBF-1.

    24 Aug 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Seattle. Prince William is headed west towards SoPac, not east to Seattle. Aircraft on hand: 12 FM-1 & 8 TBF-1.

    7 Sep 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Seattle. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 12 FM-1 & 9 TBF-1.

    14 Sep 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 12 FM-1 & 9 TBF-1

    21 Sep 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 12 FM-1 & 9 TBF-1.

    28 Sep 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 12 FM-1 & 9 TBF-1.

    5 Oct 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 23 FM-1 & 9 TBF-1.

    12 Oct 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 24 FM-1 & 9 TBF-1.

    19 Oct 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 24 FM-1 & 9 TBF-1.

    26 Oct 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey and NAS Pasco. Prince William in SoPac theater. Aircraft on hand: 22 FM-1 at NAS Pasco & 9 TBF-1 at NAS Whidbey

    2 Nov 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Whidbey. No longer noted for carrier assignment. Aircraft on hand: 23 FM-1.

    11 Nov 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Pasco. Aircraft on hand: 23 FM-1.

    16 Nov 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Pasco. Aircraft on hand: 23 FM-1 & 3 F6F-3.

    23 Nov 1943 - VF-39 at NAS Pasco. Aircraft on hand: 33 F6F-3 & 12 FM-1.

    30 Nov 1943 - VF-39 enroute to Pearl Harbor. Aircraft on hand: 33 F6F-3 & 12 FM-1.

    7 Dec 1943 - VF-39 enroute to Pearl Harbor. Aircraft on hand: 36 F6F-3.

    14 Dec 1943 - VF-39 NAS Pearl Harbor. Aircraft on hand: 34 F6F-3.

    21 Dec 1943 - VF-39 NAS Barbers Point. Aircraft on hand: 36 F6F-3.

    29 Dec 1943 - VF-39 NAS Barbers Point. Aircraft on hand: 36 F6F-3.

    Looks as though the first guess of an FM-1 was correct. VF-39 does not appear to have had any F4F-3’s in its inventory.

    Your VF-41 -3 looks real nice. My father was in VF-42 on Ranger at the same time. VF-42 -3's were much plainer. No squadron insignia, no fuselage stripes or cowl colors, no yellow on the upper wings, just the Ranger green on the vertical stabilizer and rudder and "42-F-x" on the side in black. The one assigned to him had originally been assigned to to the CO of VF-71 as the painted over side numbers left a raised impression of 71-F-1 and there were traces of Wasp black around the edges of the Ranger green on the vertical stabilizer. That particular plane never made it to combat as it was wrecked at Otay Mesa CA in January 42 by a ships' company aviator who borrowed it to get his monthly flight time; propeller pitch malfunctioned (not unusual for the time period) on take off and that was that. Plane was a loss, but the pilot walked away.
    Last edited by R Leonard; 05-02-2010 at 08:40 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    Masses of information there thanks!

    I think I'll quietly drop the VF-39 machine, and pick up on some other squadrons once I get more Wildcat versions drawn - this is a bit of a background project anyway, I need to get back to earning...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Wildcat

    Quote Originally Posted by R Leonard View Post
    Your VF-41 -3 looks real nice. My father was in VF-42 on Ranger at the same time. VF-42 -3's were much plainer. No squadron insignia, no fuselage stripes or cowl colors, no yellow on the upper wings, just the Ranger green on the vertical stabilizer and rudder and "42-F-x" on the side in black. The one assigned to him had originally been assigned to to the CO of VF-71 as the painted over side numbers left a raised impression of 71-F-1 and there were traces of Wasp black around the edges of the Ranger green on the vertical stabilizer. That particular plane never made it to combat as it was wrecked at Otay Mesa CA in January 42 by a ships' company aviator who borrowed it to get his monthly flight time; propeller pitch malfunctioned (not unusual for the time period) on take off and that was that. Plane was a loss, but the pilot walked away.
    You mean like this one
    http://www.ww2incolor.com/us-navy/Wildcat-ranger.html

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