On March 1, 1945, just 11 days after the United States Marines stormed Iwo Jima’s black sand beaches, Lt (jg). Noah B. Butt, Jr. of VC-76 landed his General Motors FM-2 Wildcat (White 4) on South Field after experiencing difficulties with a drop tank. White 4 was the first U.S. Navy plane to land on Iwo Jima.
Wanting to build an FM-2 Wildcat involved in the Battle for Iwo Jima, I was pleased to see Arma Hobby release a FM-2 Wildcat in 1/72 scale. I researched on-line build reviews for both the 1/48 Hobby Boss FM-2 and the 1/72 Arma Hobby FM-2, and decided to go with the Arma Hobby kit.
Founded in 2013, Arma Hobby is a Polish model manufacturer that has been releasing 1/72 airplane kits, and they are set to release their first 1/48 kit shortly. I have been following them for the last few years waiting for them to release a kit I wanted to build.
As is customary for Arma Hobby, they have released several boxings of this kit; an Expert Set (with photo-etch parts and masks), and two basic kits. There are three sprues included in the basic kit; one with fuselage, wings, and engine; one with cockpit, undercarriage, and horizontal surfaces; and one with the clear parts.
The casting is very well done with a minimal amount of flash, and the level of detail is very impressive for a 1/72 kit. The recessed panel lines and other surface detail are very nice and not overstated.
The level of detail in the cockpit parts is extremely nice and both types of wheels are included. Some of the undercarriage parts are quite delicate, but that is what you would expect for a 1/72 scale Wildcat.
The canopy comes in two parts so you can you can show off all that nice cockpit detail with an open canopy. The canopy parts are clear and thin.
The instructions are very well done with good illustrations. Decals are provided for White 29, flown by Lt (jg). Heatherly Foster, III, (VC-93/USS Petrof Bay); and White 35, flown by Lt. Ralph E. Elliot, Jr. (VC-27/USS Savo).
The decals, printed by Techmod, are in register and come with a lot of stencil details which will show up nicely on overall glossy Dark Sea Blue planes.
This looks like a really nice kit for 1/72 scale. I have red a few on-line builds, and it appears that it is well engineered without a lot of fit issues. Looking forward to building this kit.