HISTORICAL MINIATURES BY GEORGE GRASSE
GRUMMAN F2F-1 (9626), 3-F-9 of VF-3B, USS RANGER c. 1936
GRUMMAN F2F-1 (9675), 2-F-4 of VF-2B, USS LEXINGTON c. 1935
by George Grasse
ATTACK SQUADRON 1:48 SCALE RESIN KIT AS 48036 OF THE GRUMMAN F2F-1
ATTACK SQUADRON GRUMMAN F2F-1 BOX ART
GRUMMAN F2F-1 (9664) THREE-VIEW PLAN
|Image credit: United States Navy and Marine Corps Fighters 1918-1962, compiled by Paul R. Matt, edited by Bruce Robertson, Harleyford Publications, published by Aero Publishers, Inc., Fallbrook, CA, 1962.
GRUMMAN F2F-1 (9626) 3-F-9 IS THE FIRST OF TWO MODELS TO BE BUILT
GRUMMAN F2F-1 (9675) 2-F-4 IS THE SECOND OF TWO MODELS TO BE BUILT
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #1
|FUSELAGE GETTING STARTED: Three different views of initial fuselage construction and painting. The cockpit piece with the bulbous front bulkhead is one resin piece. The seat, seat buckles (PE), and control stick were added.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #2
|FUSELAGE CONTINUATION: The top fuselage shows the addition of the front decking with interplane struts and the attachment of the fuselage nose piece to which the radial engine is attached. The bottom fuselage shows the same assembly procedure but you can faintly make out a bulkhead PE piece that glues to the fuselage nose piece before gluing to the fuselage. The stubby fuselage is quite apparent.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #3
|WINGS GETTING STARTED: The top wings are first oversprayed with two light coats of Tamiya TM8046 Light Sand. I have found in the past that the final "yellow-orange" color blends well with the undercoat. After thorough drying, I oversprayed the wings with Tamiya TM8034 Camel Yellow. In this case, I oversprayed with three light coats to get an even finish.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #4
|WINGS AND THINGS: Despite kit reviews that praise the "going together of parts", I had a bit of trouble but only required sanding and trial fitting repeated a few times to get the fit right. The lower wings were the main problem - they did not fit snuggly into their recesses. I'm just reporting what I encountered.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #5
|ENGINE DETAIL: The engine is a double row of radial cylinders cast as one resin piece. I had to remove a fair amount of flashing around the delicate exhaust pipes that protrude on the sides and near the bottom. This was not difficult with a sharp X-Acto tool but one has to be careful not to break off one of the exhaust pipes. The PE fuel injection ring was a little problematical mostly because there weren't any recesses into which the ends could fit. Rather, they were bent and pushed over the top of one of the cylinder heads and held with super glue. I only hope I got them in the right place because the instruction sheet is vague on placement.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #6
|FUSELAGE SIDE VIEW: Nothing to report here except to note the extreme stubby structure of the fuselage and the rather undersize twin-row radial engine. Of course, Grumman improved on this F2F series with the F3F series and eventually the single-wing F4F series. This is rather a quick build for even a beginning modeler who wants to finally tackle a resin kit.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #7
|FUSELAGE RIGHT SIDE VIEW: The fuselage and struts are painted with Vallejo VC0989 Sky Grey. The under surface of the top wing (not shown) and both surfaces of the lower wing were painted with Vallejo VC0997 Silver. The tail unit is painted with Model Master 2028 Willow Green (USS Ranger).
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #8
|FUSELAGE LEFT FRONT VIEW: All colors noted in the previous panel apply except the tail surfaces here are Model Master 2023 Lemon Yellow (USS Lexington). Note that the outer wing struts have been added. Barely visible are attachment points at the forward wing root and on the forward inside wing struts. These are trimmed-down, hard metal "turnbuckles" from the Gaspatch single-ended turnbuckle set. The upper wings have already been pre-rigged.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #9
|TOP WING ATTACHED: The attachment of the top wing was probably the easiest of any biplane I've built and I did not have to resort to brass tubing/rod struts. The upper wing was pre-rigged and that is why you see the dangling "wires". I'll connect those up next and go to work on the landing gear.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #10
|LANDING GEAR BUILT: I wasn't sure about the kit's landing gear sub-assembly from a strength point of view. The landing gear strut has a thin copper wire cast into its structure which would hold the strut together if it cracked but would not, in my opinion, support the model. Additional support comes in the form of small PE bracing struts. So, I gave it a try and found that when all of the sub-assembly was completed, the strength of the landing gear was impressive. However, I cheated. Of the two bracing struts, the bottom one is built from four of the kits PE parts. The top bracing strut is brass rod bent in the shape of the kit's PE bracing strut. Also, I added a horizontal brass rod that runs from well up into the fuselage and down the main strut (this sill be disguised as a hydraulic line).
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #11
|LANDING GEAR CLOSE-UP: This view clearly shows the brass rod replacement struts and the horizontal "hydraulic" line reinforcement. Why go to all of this trouble? When I was a teenager building mostly the Aurora WW1 kits, I had a tendency to cause the landing gear to break either a wheel broken off the axle or the struts cracking and breaking. Ever since then I have given special attention to landing gear support as evidenced in this model and all of my other WW1 and BTW (Between the Wars) models.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #12
|PROGRESS PHOTO TO DATE: This photo the same landing gear treatment on the other Grumman F2F-1 being built this time with the wheel temporarily attached. Note that the rigging wires are now attached (this was done on both models before the landing gear was addressed).
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #13a
|DECALS APPLIED TO THE F2F-1 OF VF-2B: The tail decals had to be made and were printed using the font set "Shurti" size 6.5. The "2-F-4" decals are from Yellow Wings black numbers sheet. The white chevron was cut from the Tauro TA1411 White decal sheet and then outlined with Yellow Wings black pinstripes. The fuselage band was painted in Vallejo white with Yellow Wings black pinstripes. All other decals are from the kit's decal sheet.
UNDER CONSTRUCTION PHOTO #13b
|DECALS APPLIED TO THE F2F-1 OF VF-3B: The tail decals are a combination of the "F2F-1" decals from the kit but the Bureau Number from Yellow Wings' F3F-1 decal sheet. Size and density of the white are slightly different. The "3-F-9" decals are from Yellow Wings black numbers sheet. The true blue chevron (not visible) and the cowling color were hand-painted using Model Master 4659 French Blue and outlined in Yellow Wings' white pinstripes. All other decals are from the kit's decal sheet.
|GRUMMAN F2F-1 (BuNo 9675, 2-F-4 of VF-2B, USS LEXINGTON, 1935
|GRUMMAN F2F-1 (BuNo 9626), 3-F-9 of VF-3B, USS RANGER, 1936
|Vallejo VC0989 Sky Grey
|Fuselage and Struts
|Vallejo VC0997 Silver
|Flying Surfaces except Upper Surface Top Wing
|Model Master 4659 French Blue
|Section Color (VF-3B)
|Model Master 2028 Willow Green
|Tail Color (USS Ranger)
|Model Master Lemon Yellow
|Tail Color (USS Lexington)
|Model Master 1768 White
|Section Color (VF-2B)
|Tamiya 8034 Camel Yellow 1
|Upper Surface Top Wing Only
|Model Master 1778 Chrome 2
|Landing Gear Struts
1 Sprayed over two light coats of Tamiya 8046 Light Sand
2 Mixed with one third Model Master 1781 Aluminum