Enter keywords or a search phrase below:


10 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Sunday, December 30, 2018 12:02 PM

This is one I started a few months ago while proceeding slowly with an early B-26 conversion, thinking it would be a quick build, but that has not been so.  No fault of the Tamiya kit that is used as the basis, but the KMC set to be used turned out to require a lot of work because it had some poor guidance.

The KMC conversion parts and instructions.  The rudder needed modification as the aerodynamic counterbalance came down too far.  The lower part was cut off and attached to the fin so that it looked more like photos to me.  I didn't use the cowl except as a guide for positioning the cowl flaps, which caused trouble because they were too low  on the cowl and did not align with the exhaust depressions.  The cowl didn't fit the Tamiya kit very well.  They tell you to put inlet ducts in the bottom of the cowl which is not accurate for the FM-2.  They do tell you to remove the magnetos from the kit engine but you are still left with the wrong number of cylinders and incorrect nose section.

The FM-2 had metal plates where the lower fuselage window were on earlier Wildcats so they were backed with plastic card and filled with Epoxysculpt.  The oil cooler was behind the engine in the accessory compartment so the remnants of the wing oil coolers were ground away and the remaining depressions filled with Epoxysculpt as well.  The FM-2 had two exhaust stacks on the bottom like the earlier Wildcats but they were smaller and under the cowl with larger reliefs into the fuselage behind the cowl.  More grinding and filling.  Since the FM-2 had no outboard guns the accompanying shell chutes and bulges, ammunition loading doors below and gun access doors on top of the wings must be removed where the outboard guns were on the F4F-4 and FM-1.
The change to the KMC FM-2 rudder.



Epoxysculpt was used to fill in behind the KMC exhaust reliefs as they were too shallow to allow representation of the exhaust pipes under the cowl sides.  It was also used to modify the propeller hub, although for many FM-2's the Tamiya hub would be correct.




The front cowl ring from the Sword FM-2 was adapted to the Tamiya cowl.
All the Tamiya cowl flap detail was filled with CA and sanded smooth.  Cowl flaps were cut from the KMC resin cowl.  This is the first attempt to get them in the correct location, but it took me three tries before they looked right compared to photos.  They were located much too low on the KMC cowl.
The Vector engine and other parts in progress.  Eduard seat belts and pre-painted instrument panel details were added.  I have heard people say that the floor on the FM-2 was solid outside the rudder foot rails but I did not find that supported by photographs.  There was some disappointment
registered while building up the cockpit when I dropped the rudder pedals on the floor and then gracelessly stepped on them.  Tamiya was kind enough to send a replacement part rather swiftly even though I had admitted the mode of failure.
The Vector engine.  Brass pushrod housings and bell wire ignition wiring was added, and Epoxyscuplt was used to make the lamb chop baffles between the cylinders.  This is not the Vector engine that comes with the Vector conversion set for the HobbyBoss FM-2, which does have the lamb chops in resin. An .060 diameter length of music wire has been installed in a hole drilled in the crankcase for later propeller installation.


The Vector engine in the cowl.  The cowl flaps are now in their final position.  The inside of the fuselage, cowl, and landing bay are painted zinc chromate green.  Here is the source:
A photo of an FM-2 cockpit.  It is identifiable as an FM-2 by the fuel filler tube visible to the left of the rudder pedal, the larger tube below the smaller curved pipe.  This was moved forward from a position beside the seat of the F4F and FM-1.  This image is from a very good page on F4F variants, here is the link to it:


Work progresses on the underside of the wing.  Never mind the inboard guns that are protruding. MIndfade to be corrected later, only the F4F-3 had that feature.
The left side exhaust, which had two stacks.
The right side exhaust, which had three stacks
The fin and rudder.


To see build logs of my models, go here:


  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, December 30, 2018 12:17 PM

That's quite a nice project. Wasn't the FM-2 the most successful fighter aircraft in WW2?

What's the markings plan?

I'm watching this one.

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Sunday, December 30, 2018 12:26 PM

Hi, Bill.  Gonna do it in the Atlantic scheme.

I just happened to have read this morning that it had a kill to loss ratio of 35:1.  Quite remarkable.  Possibly because it went against poorer trained Japanese pilots late in the war, or more encounters with bombers, but still almost twice that ratio of the next best.  Maybe we should be building FM-2's instead of F-35's?Surprise


To see build logs of my models, go here:


  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, December 30, 2018 12:34 PM

That’s quite a project that you have started there! 


F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton



  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Sunday, December 30, 2018 12:42 PM

I'm sure you've seen this link, I've always found it to be pretty reliable.

  • Member since
    January, 2004
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by ChrisJH666 on Sunday, December 30, 2018 1:38 PM

That's coming along really nicely John

In the queue: 1/48 Beech Staggerwing (RAAF), P38 (RAAF), Vultee Vengeance (RAAF), Spitfire Vb (Malta), Spitfire VIII x2 (RAAF), P39 x2 (RAAF), Martin Baltimore (Malta?), Martin Maryland (Malta), Typhoon NF1b, Hellcat x2 (FAA)



  • Member since
    June, 2013
Posted by bvallot on Monday, December 31, 2018 8:58 AM

What a fun build to watch! Very nice John. =] I always enjoy conversions and puzzle planes coming together on the forum. I've heard about the KMC conversion but never saw it in action. Glad you're giving it a go.

Glad to see you're not using the kit engine. Good for you. The Wright R-1820 was a single row engine which incidently caused the cowl to be a little shorter. Not sure how much difference that's making at 1:48 scale. Can't be more than a few millimeters. It's pretty cool to see KMC included the waffle shaped intakes between the cylinders. All of that is coming out quite nicely. I would suggest sanding down the trailing edge of the cowl flaps to bring them closer to scale if it's not too late to do so.

So happy to see this variant on the forum. Can't wait to see the rest. =]

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England
Posted by Bish on Monday, December 31, 2018 9:45 AM

Thatsn some very nice work tehre John. I have never heard of the FM-2 version of the Wildcat, nice to see somthing new.

'I am a Norfolk man, and i glory in being so'

On the bench: Dragon 1/72nd Ar 234B-2b

                      Airfix 1/72nd SM.79

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, January 04, 2019 11:25 AM

Really nice surgery there John!



  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, January 04, 2019 2:39 PM

The start of this somehow slipped by me, but I'm glad I caught it now.

Great project, John, and certainly beats a similar project I tried with the old Monogram kit (and without the nice resin) some, er...decades ago. Looking forward to seeing it in its 'Atlantic' colors! Yes


 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."



  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Northern California
Posted by jeaton01 on Monday, January 21, 2019 8:18 PM

A little more progress on the FM-2.  A lot of white, the bottom of the flight surfaces are flat insignia white, which at this point is still gloss because there is no flat insignia white in my stocks.  The fuselage sides are to be gloss white, but are still flat white at this point.  The clear coats will take care of that.  The topsides are dark gull grey.  For the first time I used clay rolls to mask that little dark gull grey in front of the tail.  I may yet finish this project.

I will try to thin down the cowl around the exhaust some more.  Have to do it with an Exacto knife at this point.



To see build logs of my models, go here:



Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.


By signing up you may also receive reader surveys and occasional special offers. We do not sell, rent or trade our email lists. View our Privacy Policy.