This is my first completed build since 2021 – a small one, to be sure, but a completed build nonetheless. I have been wanting to learn more about the Bearcat for some time – all I knew about it was that the Bearcats on the old Revell Midway kit looked to be even larger than the F6F Hellcat, so I’d always pictured something like a Skyraider. Little did I know that it was actually smaller than the Hellcat – but had the same powerplant, giving it even better performance characteristics.
The kit used is the 1975 boxing of the classic (read “old”) 1967 Monogram kit. I originally wanted to finish it as it appeared when it entered service in 1945-46 and ordered a set of Print Scale 72-013 decals with a 1946 VF-3, but after studying the kit realized it was a F8F-2, which didn’t entered service until 1948. Fortunately the decal sheet had an appropriate subject, White 103 which served in VF-61 on the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) is 1949. The decal sheet identifies this aircraft as from VF-83 on the Coral Sea (CVB-43) but numerous photos confirm it as VF-61 on the FDR.
The kit is pretty primitive, and wasn’t helped by a poor paint job or the most difficult decals I have ever tried to use. I was using a new Gloss Sea Blue that was extremely matte finish, and the gloss coat spattered as it went on. As for the decals, they were too close together and so thin they were extremely difficult to apply. The decals is why what should have been a weekend build took weeks to finish.