Converting the AMT Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat in a F7F-3P

by Claudio Kalicinski © 2007 Modeler Site

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The main reference I consulted to build this kit was the Grumman F7F Tigercat book (Vol 1y2) by Adam Jarski from AJ Press, but first of all I’d like to advise you to get rid of the tyres supplied with the kit since they have the strange quality of attacking the plastic, melting it just when coming into contact, so don’t keep them….you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.


Thus, you may replace them with the Cutting Edge’s (CEC 48137) which are the best or the True Details resin ones (TD48091) I chose since they’re cheaper but not bad; nevertheless, they needed some sanding since they appear too “weighted” when compared to the ones in the references pictures.

Coming back to the kit, AMT identifies it as the F7F-3, this is the Tigercat day fighter version, however if you watch carefully, you’ll realize that actually, it’s a hybrid, since it has some features typical of the fighter version (with nearly no operational use) and others of the reconnaissance version which was the one I decided to represent, but soon, I found out that the available information was really very scarce.

After looking at the available references pictures carefully, I reached the conclusion that the kit would need the following modifications, markings aside, to be converted in a F7F-3P:

The 3P version was equipped with 4 cameras placed at the back of the fuselage (two on the left side, one on the right and other on the lower area) in rooms that had sliding covers and it was difficult to see them when the airplane’s on the ground since those covers are usually closed. The kit comes with an opening to place the camera on the right side, but it doesn’t have the lower one and one at the left side.


Most of the -3Ps didn’t have the underwing pylons for HVAR rockets. Though they have two underwing ones and a centerline pylon where the 570 liters (150 gallons) and 1135 liters (300 gallons) fuel tanks were usually placed.


The ADF antenna should be added to the fuselage behind the cockpit.



I started as I use to, with the cockpit and though you may use resin or PE detailing sets such as Cutting Edge (48066) or Eduard (48178), I decided to detail the interior using plasticard, copper, bronze and steel wire. First, I replaced the AMT seat with one I scratchbuilt from plasticard as follows:

With the help of Corel Draw, I drew the different parts of the seat which were printed in 0,2 mm plasticard, to be later cut, assembled and painted Model Master Interior Green (1715)


Next, I added an Eduard set that replicated WWII American seatbelts (ED 48028) painted Model Master 1170Light Tan, and the buckles in Humbrol 11 Silver. I only glued the belts lower sections since the ones which will cross over the pilot’s shoulders, will have to go over the shielded plate of the headrest which I had to build and glue later.

Then, I added wires, hoses, levers, handles and boxes to detail the cockpit’s walls. Even I used a small gear coming from a clock for the left panel, since it replicated the exact shape of the stabilizer trim lever.

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