FM-2 Wildcat / Martlet VI

Sword 1/48th model kit


kit review and photographyby Steve Jantscher

with added commentary by Bob Ferreira

Plastic B-
Decals B
Resin B
Instructions A

kit review and photographyby Steve Jantscher

with added commentary by Bob Ferreira


This kit reminds me of early (mid 1970s) Hasegawa kits. The plastic is of the "hard" brittle type, with very fine but somewhat ill defined recessed panel lines. As has been mentioned elsewhere, the surface of the plastic pieces evidence a slightly rough or fine sandpaper like texture. This will be corrected with a bit of polishing, but really shouldn't have to be. The instructions are more than adequate, and are matched by some good decals.

I have asked my friend Bob Ferreira who knows his Wildcats to examine this long anticipated Wildcat version. This is what he has to say,

"Is this a Tamiya kit? No. This kit is neither Tamiya in its design or details. Is it an FM-2? Yes. The kit is fairly good at covering the changes that make an FM-2 instead of an F4F-4. The pros: fine recessed scribing with no rivets. Yes, I know there were rivets all over the Wildcat, both in Tamiya's world and the real one, But, personally I still do not want them. The decals are nice but, only supply markings for two overall blue birds, one Brit and one US bird. The cockpit seat and side walls are cast resin and look nice. Cons: The landing gear is usable but, has flash. The engine is in two halves which may prove to be a problem. The prop is a bit crude. Finally, the canopy is vac-u-formed. The vac-u-forming is clear and there are two but, I always have a problem fitting a vac-u-form canopy. When you compare Tamiya's F4F-4 Wildcat kit to the FM-2 you will see that the main body parts are all new on the FM-2. The landing gear looks like it came from the Tamiya. So, for those of you who want an FM-2 without the problems of flash clean up and vac-u-formed canopies may wish to try fitting a few Tamiya parts in the Sword kit. This also, means that a lot of the after market parts for Tamiya may well fit the Sword kit. For those of us who really want an FM-2 this a good kit. IF, want just any old Wildcat buy Tamiya."


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I'm sorry, but since the review has been published that product appears to have gone out of production.