Grumman Wildcat was among the first modern deck operating airplanes and it features all metal construction, retractable landing gear, enclosed cockpit canopy and strong armament. With all of this features it become interesting for Belgium, France and UK. Actually, version initially proposed for the Belgium and France were diverted to UK and this version was called Martlet and very first version was Martlet I. In general it is based on US version F4F-3 but featured some construction and equipment differences.

Grumman Martlet by AZ Model

No matter that it is not hard to convert scale kit from Wildcat into the Martlet, it is very good to see that finally very good kit of this plane is released and kit with stock number AZ 7322  scale 1/72, was released in the summer 2010 by AZ Model from Czech Republic. Kit is very simple made in regard to the number of parts but they are very precise and very good fit during the kit assembly. Inside box is also one decal sheet with excellent printed decals. You can complete French, British or Greece machine.

Build of the kit is very easy and straightforward. Note that cockpit interior have to be painted in the Bronze Green while the rest of the interior like undercarriage bay or engine cowling interior have to be in light grey, paint is called Grumman Grey. Cockpit canopy is very thin made and it is very easy to be cut down into two pieces and left it in open position.

Some notes when you build this kit… please note that sample machine NXG2, given in box, have metal covered machine guns holes in the wing leading edge. They was alter later and on this area was used red fabric as cover. Landing gear is painted in black and the rest were remained in the natural metal colors. Wheel hub have to be in the external camouflage color. Top of the aerial must have to be in shine metal color and please note that you need to add small mechanical gun sight in front of windscreen. Use also alternative part from kit box for the propeller hub. Also note that at the port wing bottom is one small reflector, it is engraved on kit, you need to paint it or make small detail conversion.

Some little correction have to be made and mostly they are related to the engine cowling. It need few new panels and note that rear edge of the cowling are stepped. This is very tiny detail as well you need to extract just some 0,3 mm of the rear line.

This kit is great refreshment and excellent addition to all who like this early war machine and all those who prefer to build Fleet Air Arm machines. Even above mentioned issues are not critical and they require some ten minutes to be solved and result is very good model. It is on you to add some extra details in the cockpit, at least pilot belts, as well details in engine. Personally I like this very much! Full model build you can see on our forum!

Srecko Bradic

Sample kit is provide by Filip Tomci from AZ Model

Paint for this build provided by Vallejo

Archive images used as reference for this build- Rich Dahn via Mark Nankinvil