Monogram F8F-1 Bearcat
Monogram's F8F is a relic of days long gone, but it's still a pretty decent representation. Panel detail is raised but clean and pretty accurate. The kit is very simple, but still includes some cockpit and undercarriage detail. Armament consists of bombs and rockets, with a centreline fuel tank (suitable for modification as a recce pod for a F8F-1P field mod). The latest release includes markings for French and Thai aircraft. The printing isn't particularly clear, so aftermarket is probably the way to go here. Superscale has one set of French Bearcat markings available, and I'm reasonably sure it's for a Indochina-based bird. Carpena covers 2 Bearcats on the Indochine 1er Partie sheet, a F8F-1B from GC 1/21 Artois and a F8F-1 of GC II/21 Auvergne. Superscale and Model Art offer other alternatives.
Be aware that the Monogram kit actually depicts the tall-tailed F8F-2 variant, which was not used by the French. Backdating the kit will require reworking the tail fin and rudder. I expect the drawings in Squadron/Signal's F8F Bearcat in Action would come in useful here. For those of you willing to accepth the inaccuracy, please note that Model Art's decals are sized to fit the Monogram kit rudder.
References on the Bearcat are fairly common. The best source on French aircraft is the Avions title on Grumman fighters. Other sources include Air Internation vol. 44 no. 6 and Airfan Nos. 9-12.
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