ManCave Modeler presents...


F6F-5N Hellcat Night Fighter
Night Fighter Squadrons 103 (VF(N)-103) & 90 (VF(N)-90)

The F6F Hellcat was a carrier-based fighter designed to replace the F4F Wildcat and to counter the Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero, it was the United States Navy's predominant fighter during the second half of the Pacific War. Powered with the same 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine used in the Vought F4U Corsair and the P-47 Thunderbolt, the Hellcat had a top speed of close to 400 MPH,
Making its combat debut in September 1943, Hellcats were able to outperform the A6M Zero and establishe air superiority over the Pacific theater. Hellcats were credited with destroying over 5,200 enemy aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, more than any other Allied naval aircraft. After WW II the Hellcat was phased of service but remained in service as late as 1954 as a night fighter.

F6F-5N Hellcat Night fighter version was fitted with an AN/APS-6 radar.
Some were armed with two 20 mm (0.79 in) AN/M2 cannon in the inner wing bays along eith four .50cal M2 Browning machine guns


Crew 1
Span 13.06 m
Length 10.24 m
Height 3.99 m
Wing Area 31.00 m²
Weight, Empty 4,190 kg
Weight, Loaded 5,714 kg
Weight, Maximum 6,990 kg
Speed, Maximum 605 km/h
Rate of Climb 17.80 m/s
Service Ceiling 11,430 m
Range, Normal 1,520 km
Range, Maximum 2,460 km

The Kit:
Cyber Hobby 5080, 1/72nd scale

It is one of three F-6 Hellcats currently available from Dragon under their Cyber Hobby brand.
It contains 7 sprues molded in gray, a small brass photo etched piece with the seat harness and a Clear sprue with a two canopies, a two piece opened and a singled piece closed.
The engraved panel lines are reasonably crisp and Cockpit detail is a little sparse with no dials and no decals to represent them.

Click to enlarge
The Build:
This is a strictly out of box build
Once assembly began it was pretty straight forward. the parts aligned perfectly with no issues.
The interior detail isn't very extensive but decent detail considering the scale. Like all Aircraft of the era, the interior is chromate green with black cockpit panel and a few other colors for buttons and switches.
The wings come with Multiple mounting points which need to be drilled out depending on the version being built. In this case, three rockets on eact wing outside of the guns.

Click to enlarge

Paint & Decals:

The color scheme for this aircraft is typical of the period of U.S. Naval Aviation, Overall dark blue

The was painted in alclad dull aluminum and overcoated with F/S 15042 Sea Blue overall
and the usual Chromate Green interiors


The decals were a cause of annoyance for me. The white index numbers on the light blue paper were extremely difficult to read. But once you figured out which were which, they went on nicely. The pure white on the Dark Blue really stand out.
I would have liked some gauges and dials for the instrument panel though.


Final Note:
This kit is really designed to be built with the wings folded. When built extended, there's a small but noticeable seam at the pivot point. The dark color helped hide it, but it's something that might bother some builders. Not a weekend build, but a relatively quick and simple build.
Eduard makes an interior kit (EDU 73404) to upgrade what's in the kit, and if you chose to build this with the canopy open it might be worth the additional expense.



The Arrow on the rudder caught my attention and I thought it might be a nice little addition to my 1/72 collection of VF-103 "Sluggers".
It turned out that after a little research, this aircraft, assigned to VF(N)-90 was in fact originally assigned to VF103(N) although not yet called the "Sluggers"

Established as Night Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED THREE (VF(N)-103) on 6 Apr 1944.
Disestablished and Night Fighter Squadron NINETY (VF(N)-90) established on 25 Aug 1944.
Disestablished on 21 Jun 1946. Insignia approved on 7 Mar 1945
Deployments. 24 Dec 1944-14 May 1945 USS Enterprise (CV-6) CVG(N)-90 Grumman F6F-5N/5P Hellcat

So although not officially a "Slugger" it seemed only fitting to add their baby brother to the Slugger Collection

just my


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Last Updated April 14, 2019