1/48 Italeri F7F-3P Tigercat

Gallery Article by Marcello Rosa on Apr 29 2020



A very nice kit from Italeri, real value for money. The fit is fantastic. Even potentially problematic steps like getting the angle of the dihedral wings correct were made easy by having features that limit the degrees of freedom in the construction (i.e. no possible ways for getting it wrong). This resulted in an enjoyable, drama-free build. No purchased upgrades, but I had some ideas on how to make the R-2800 Double Wasp engines look a bit more realistic, by combining the Italeri-provided parts with some home-scrounged items. Thus, some details in the engines were scratch-built (photos below). 

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The Italeri kit gives you decals for 6 versions of the F7F-3. I decided to build the photo reconnisance version (-3P) from a squadron based in the US in the years after World War 2 because of the nice orange coloured details in the nose, engine nacelles and back end. I thought this scheme would add to the challenge. I think the result was worth it. I have no idea if photo reconnisance Tigercats ever carried bombs and rockets, but being a Marines plane I guessed they would tend to keep the capacity to wreak some damage "just in case". Anyway, you could also imagine this as a plane from an alternate reality in which VMP-354 deployed to Korea. 

For more details, photos, and tips on the construction, visit my personal web site (www.marcellorosa.com).

Marcello Rosa

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Photos and text by Marcello Rosa