General Motors FM-2 Wildcat 1/72 Arma Hobby

The F4F Wildcat fighter and its modifications were in service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps throughout WW2. In the early years of the war in the Pacific, the F4F-3/4 versions repelled Japanese attacks on Midway and Guadalcanal, while in the final stages the FM-1/2 versions aboard escort carriers assisted in the battles of Okinawa and patrolled the Atlantic on anti-submarine missions.

The FM-2 Wildcat kit was released by Arma Hobby some time ago. It was its first variation on the Wildcat theme. It was followed by the F4F-4 version and a limited edition FM-1 version. Only F4F-3 kit is missing for the complete line 😉

I started building the Wildcat kit at the suggestion of my friends from the 72insight blog. I started as always with the interior. The cockpit is detailed enough in the kit and there is not much to add. Just paint everything. The only interior improvement I made was the gunsight glass. The next step was to retrofit the landing gear bay, which is pretty empty in the FM-2 kit. I added the tubular structure that held the engine, the oil tank and the rear of the engine. In the later released Wildcat F4F-4 everything is already in the kit. The next step was to assemble the engine. Again, all I had to do was paint it. All this took me about three evenings in one week. After gluing the fuselage and wings together, I riveted the whole model and added the position and formation lights, which I made out of a transparent frame. On the bottom of the fuselage I added the IFF antenna and gun barrels made from brass tubing. The last “highlight” was the etched cockpit cover from Airone Hobby.

Camouflage applied to different versions of Wildcats, showing the evolution of the colouring of US naval aircraft during WW2. From the instructions I have chosen the all-blue machine of J.D. McGraw from USS Gambier Bay in 1944. There is a nice article about the pilot and the aircraft on the Arma Hobby blog.

I used the Gloss Sea Blue from Gunze C series for naval aircraft kit. I tried to break up the monochromatic finish by shading with a lighter base color and light gray. I have subtly shown the operational wear on the model. After all, the machines from aircraft carriers didn’t have as much opportunity to be muddy and dusty.
Once the camouflage was complete, the decals came next. Nothing to add here, just Techmod. A perfect job without problems. The only thing left to do was to glue the antennas, position lights and sliding cockpit cover.

With that, the Super Wildcat was finished and took its place in the showcase next to its younger brother Hellcat.

One thought on “General Motors FM-2 Wildcat 1/72 Arma Hobby

  • 19. 12. 2023 at 10:16

    Such clever and perfectly executed additions to an already very well engineered model from Arma Hobby create a brilliant FM-2 !


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