FM-2 Wildcat 1:33 (Card Army - nr 2)

  • This is about the final step in the construction of the radial engine. Hundreds of parts for an assembly that mesures not more then 4 cm in diameter.... the CC template for the central ring with the wiring fanning out from the center is fine, except for the length of the cables: they are just to short. Therefore it was impossible for me to realize the exact connections to the cylinders. But I think the overall impression looks convincing enough...


  • Thank you, Helmut, for your kind words. This model is very challenging, but at the same time it is so complex that it is sometimes almost beyond my skills, and therefore your compliments are very wellcome!

  • See how the newly finished engine shines on the nose of my Wildcat...!

    Obviously the cowling will be next in the row. I presume it will be easy to just slide it in place and thus make it removable. (Therefore the propeller shaft will of course have to be removed in advance ^^)

  • Hello JC,

    it was well worth the work ! With the engine attached she is a decisive step closer to completion.

    What do you plan with regards to the folding wings?

    Kind regards


  • @ Helmut: not one drop of glue will be used to fix the cowling; the fit is so perfect in this model that it will hold by itself!

    @ Zaphod: I want to go all the way for the Wildcat, so the wings of my model will definitely be in folded position. And I will, of course, pay special attention to Seo's building report...

  • Quote

    This model is very challenging, but at the same time it is so complex that it is sometimes almost beyond my skills

    This is why I have given a hard pass on all of the Card Army releases. They look awesome, but I fear that their complexity limits them to very advanced modelers (which group does not include me).

    Chris Coyle
    Mariposa, California

  • @Chris Coyle: I think you are absolutely right. When I purchased this model, my intention was to keep it as a 'collectors item'. But soon I could not resist to give it a try... And as I said before: with my 'Halinski level skills" I am surprised about each succesfull step.

    The finished cowling waiting to be mounted and in place. Fit was almost too perfect: If the diameter had been 0,1 mm less adjustments would have been inevitable. Now it holds by itself is removable!


  • I started constructing the frames for the inner (fixed) wing sections. Seo met some serious problems while he was covering these sections. Therefore I will be extra careful during the next steps...

  • Let it be clear: I worked with the same precision as I have done since I started this build and believe me or not: I encountered exactly the same problem as Seo at exactly the same spot. Seo adjusted parts of the frame to solve the problem. I had been warned and while cutting out the part I had left an extra strip of the cardboard to adjust the rear of the skin part. Look at picture number 4 and you will see that extra millimeter; I tried to give it the exact color, I think that in fact it is hardly visible.

    But the mystery remains... One thing I can say for sure is that the fact that there are two layers of skin has nothing do do with it: the lining at the inside is printed on very thin paper and I used glue very sparingly.

    Now let's see if for the right wing part things will be the same -I think I already know what will be the answer.

  • WOW, what a cool model... 8o


    Man darf nicht verlernen, die Welt mit den Augen eines Kindes zu sehen.
    (Henri Matisse )

  • Hello JC,

    your correction works well, warned by Seo you could retain the uninterrupted skin.

    Watching two very experienced model builders encounter the same problem makes me think that there really is a small glitch in the -otherwise great- kit.


  • A number of very tiny elements (most of them being part of the wing folding mechanism) had still to be added before the left and

    right wing sections could finally be attached to the fuselage. Another major step in the 'Wildcat' adventure....

  • The flaps have fully detailed insides, with inside lining and a very fragile and time-consuming frame. The diameter of the central bar makes it impossible to guide it through holes in the ribs and therefore the bar has to be constructed piece by piece -a real challenge. And what is more: 95 % of all of this will forever be invisible: flaps in down position for a parked aircraft with folded wings does not make sense :):

  • To finish this step I first had to add at both sides the fairing around the wing root (where the wings meet the fuselage), to assure a more streamlined shape (the real thing also has these same elements). And then there are these intriguing small triangular traps or doors that normally are closed; apparently it has something to do with the folding mechanism; I suppose they have to be in open position as soon as the wings are being folded.

    I am now making nice progress: the frames for the outer wings will be next.

  • For me this is one of the most convincing phases in the build of the Wildcat: the beautiful in depth details at the insides of the folding wings. I am happy to have chosen the much more complex version with folding wings, because many of the details will remain visible once the folded wings will be in place.

    Clearly visible on the second picture: the wing locking mechanism and the hinges -needless to say that they must correspond exactly with their counterparts on the fixed wing sections.

  • After the time consuming frames inside the flaps on the fixed wing sections, a second pair of flaps was waiting to be constructed with the same kind of complex frames. I really had to force myself this time.... But they are in place now, and the ailerons will be the last step before the wings will be united with the fuselage:

  • Well, here are my wing sections with the ailerons in place and ready to be attached to the fuselage.

    Surprised about the position of the ailerons? let me tell you that I have looked closely at hundreds of pictures of the Wildcat parked with folded wings, and not one of them did not have the ailerons lifted; even in a row of twelve airplanes,on the flight deck of a carrier, each one had the ailerons placed identically...

  • With the wings in place, some areas of the fuselage might have become difficult to reach. Therefore I have added at this stage the two antennas on top of the fuselage and a third one under the belly (partly visible on this picture). Under the left wing tip I fixed the thin and fragile pitot tube.

  • Hello JC,

    you are closing in on the final stages of assembly - she will turn out great, a nice companion for your Dauntless.

    Kind regards


  • Yes indeed: the finish is in sight now. The propeller unit will be the last step... The bird has finally folded its wings. Sorry, no moving wings in my case, just a Wildcat quietly parked on a flight deck with folded wings and an opened canopy (parked Wildcats with folded wing often have their canopies opened on WW2 pictures).

    I am very satisfied with how the model looks now. Like I said before: each successful step in this build makes me feel happy :)

    The last picture shows the power cables (optional items in the instructions) connecting the two wing sections. I think they add a lot to realism.

  • I hope to show you soon the finished model with the propeller in place, but one question remains: there are still these two optional fuel tanks….. I have been looking for parked Wildcats with folded wings and external fuel tanks under the wings in place and I did not find enough images for a clear answer; I was wondering: these airplanes with lots of extra fuel on board could cause a lot of extra damage on the flight deck in case of a direct hit. Could it be that these tanks were mounted under the wings only once the wings had been unfolded and the aircraft, intended to fly with external tanks, was ready for departure? In that case presenting my model without the tanks seems more logic…

    I am sure that someone will have an answer -there are people who know everything about anything😊

  • With the propeller in place, my Wildcat is now finished. It was quite a challenge, but at the same time an adventure.... I enjoyed every minute of it.

    In my first post I used the word 'diamond' -and a diamond it is. And by that I do not mean what I made of it, but above all the exceptional quality of the design and the impressive level of detail.

    As I told you earlier, this Wildcat used to fly with wheel caps covering the hubs, so I added a final picture where you can see them in place.

  • Congratulations !!! JC.

    It's been a great pleasure to follow your construction and thank you so much for sharing photos and your feedback.

    I look forward to see your next construction soon.

    Seo by the Bay

  • Congratulations JC,

    you did a great job on this gem. As you write this is certainly one of the most challenging planes available and I can only guess what a wonderful feeling it must be to lean back and take a first look after applying the final parts.

    Kind regards


  • Well done, i love it :thumbsup:

    Kind regards



    Man darf nicht verlernen, die Welt mit den Augen eines Kindes zu sehen.
    (Henri Matisse )