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F4F & FM Wildcat
in Detail & Scale


F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale

Digital Versions: Only $12.99
Print Edition: Only $19.99

(Prices may vary in international markets.)

Purchase here:

Print Edition

Available exclusively from, this 108-page book contains over 245 photographs (more than 65 in color), 22 full color profiles and 22 drawings.

Click here to go to to order your print edition.

iBook Format

You can read the iBook version of our book on the Apple iPad or on any Mac Computer. The Apple Book digital version has 328 pages and contains over 375 high resolution photographs (90 in full color), 22 full color profiles and 22 drawings.

Need the Apple iBook App?

Click here to go to the iTunes Store for the free download of the iBooks App.

Kindle Format

The Amazon Kindle digital version has 324 pages and contains over 375 high resolution photographs (90 in full color), 22 full color profiles and 22 drawings.

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About the Book:

Detail & Scale published volumes on the Wildcat in 1988 and again in 2000.  This new work combines all of the content of those early works into the most comprehensive book on Grumman’s only aircraft to serve on the front lines from the first to the last day of World War II.  F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale includes many new photographs, many of which have never been published, along with over three dozen line drawings, artworks and full color aircraft profiles.


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Book Features:

Features of Detail & Scale's newest publication, F4F & FM Wildcat in Detail & Scale include: 

  • A detailed developmental and operational history of the Wildcat, and follow that with an all-inclusive chapter on the various U. S. Wildcat variants.  Every variant of the Wildcat is covered, including the XF4F-2/-3/-4/-5/-6 and -8 prototypes, the single example of the F4F-3S Wildcatfish floatplane, and the F4F-3/-3A/-4/-7 and FM-1/-2 operational variants.  Both the French G-36A and the British Martlets & Wildcats each have their own chapters which provide wide-ranging coverage of these two programs.
  • A comprehensive chapter on Wildcat Details, long the hallmark of the Detail & Scale brand, follows.  This chapter contains nine sections covering the cockpit, windscreen and canopy, engine and cowling, fuselage, landing gear, wings, armament, external stores, and tail details.  Complete coverage of almost every square inch of the various variants of the Wildcat is provided through more than 110 high resolution photographs (more than 70 in full color).
  • A colorful look at the paint schemes and markings used by the Wildcat during its operational life.  Changing Navy directives for camouflage treatments and markings are provided that chronicle the history of one of the longest operational periods of any WWII combat aircraft.
  • As with all Detail & Scale books, the final chapter covers the modeling history of the Wildcat, from the early kits that are now only collector’s items, to the gamut of kits that have been available for past half century.  The most popular scales of 1/144th, 1/72nd, 1/48th, and 1/32nd are treated as separate sections and the available models in each are reviewed.

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Detail and Scale is back with another electronic title in their growing library of digital references. This latest release takes the two titles previously released by Detail and Scale back in 1988 and 2000, adds new material, and renders this comprehensive reference for all things Wildcat. As with their previous titles, this electronic book uses the interactive features of the iPad and Kindle which you cannot replicate in printed titles. What does that mean to you?

  • You can use menu hyperlinks to jump straight to a section of interest
  • You can expand photos and drawings to full-screen
  • You can zoom in on details in photos and drawings for a closer look
  • You can search for specific text within the title
  • You can bookmark items of interest
  • You can highlight and annotate the book with your own notes

This format still provides the great insight into the subject, but there's lots more of it at your fingertips. What's more, my iPad is no heavier with 320 more pages of reference inside...

You can see in the sample pages above how the format is familiar, but when I tap the image and use two fingers to expand it, I can see the original high-resolution image, right down to the rivet details. 

Coverage includes:

  • Wildcat History
  • Wildcat Variants
  • French G-36A
  • British Martlets and Wildcats
  • Wildcat Details
  • Wildcat Paint Schemes and Colors
  • Modeler's Section

As the table of contents show, you'll see many excellent photos of the aircraft from period imagery, plus an array of nice period and contemporary color photos of the aircraft up-close as they also provide the in-depth walk-around reference.

As usual, the title also includes a nice array of color profiles which show how the Wildcat appeared at different time periods before and during World War II, in the Pacific and Atlantic Theaters, out of the Grumman and Goodyear factories, and in service with the USN, USMC, RAF/Royal Navy, France, and others.

Head over to Amazon or the iTunes Store and order a copy. This technology is also truly instant gratification as the title will download to your tablet on completion of your purchase.

For more information about this and other titles, visit their website.

Definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Detail & Scale for this review copy.

You can see the review at the website HERE


IPMS National Review

Detail & Scale F4F & FM Wildcat Digital Volume 7 

Published: January 20th, 2019
Product Image
Cover Image
Author: Bert Kinzey 
Reviewed by: 
Rob Benson, IPMS# 44038
Company: Detail & Scale, Inc. 
ISBN #: ISBN 978-0-9991959-2-5 
Other Publication Information: Illustrated by Rock Roszak, 328 pages, over 375 (90 in full color), 22 full color profiles, 22 drawings. 
Price: $12.99 
Product / Stock #: Digital VZolume 7 
Web Site: Detail & Scale
Product provided by: Detail & Scale, Inc.

Thank you to Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak for continuing to bring back a tremendous resource for the modeler, in a digital format with print-on-demand paperback format. Thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for allowing me to test out this new and exciting method of researching history, details, versions and markings of the F4F & FM Wildcat and variants. 


The publication is another extraordinary compilation of history, data, and images of a USN aircraft that was critically important throughout World War II. The content is organized into history, U. S. variants, French and British versions, aircraft details, paint schemes, and a very comprehensive and current modeler's section.

My initial reaction to this new Detail & Scale eBook continues to be very positive. There are many digital versions of print publications available, ranging from simple scanned images of typed pages to true multimedia blends. This digital volume from Detail & Scale is unquestionably positioned at the higher end of digital formats, with new material and excellent functionality. I ran numerous what-if research test runs developing information about the many aircraft described in the publication and found those test-runs to be fast, effective, and efficient without fail. I no longer buy hardcopy references if a digital version is available. If my tablet or computer is damaged or lost, I can simply download the digital volumes to the replacement devices. Try that with a hardcopy! But Detail & Scale is taking advantage of print-on-demand (PoD) technologies and at this time, many of their publications are available in one-off, PoD hard-copies for traditionalists. Everyone will be happy!

Content Coverage

Front Matter: The front chapter and book covers continue a Detail & Scale practice of a colorful content "teaser" with cover art depicting LT O'Hare in combat for which he received the Medal of Honor. The list of contributors and sources fills a good part of a page and is a testament to the thoroughness of the volume. On digital page ivof the Front Matter section is an excellent description of how to use the iBook format on an iPad. The author and illustrator's biographies appear on digital p. viii.

Introduction: The chapter highlights the overall layout of volume, giving the reader a great idea of what to expect through the volume, and the organization logic. Hyperlinked references add other excellent sources for the reader.

Chapter 1 Wildcat History: The Wildcathad a biplane ancestor like many USN aircraft. The design competitions, tweaks and tribulations are described in great detail. The extraordinary toughness of the F4F is evident throughout the chapter. Many combat stories appear in this chapter, along with the "Thach Weave." Data tables listing production numbers, bureau numbers, and post-production changes wrap up the chapter.

Chapter 2 U. S. Wildcat Variants: All of the Wildcatvariants evaluated and operated by the USN and USMC are included in this chapter. I found the design changes and overall evolution process fascinating. Many images, data tables, line drawings and other details highlight the differences between the variants. My personal favorite variant, the Wildcatfish,is given more attention than I've found elsewhere. The changeover to folding wings is particularly interesting. I did not know there was an XF4F-8 version! The chapter is richly illustrated with diagrams and image galleries.

Chapter 3 French G-36A: The short-lived French demand for carrier aircraft was to equip 2 carriers under construction prior to the start of WW2. France fell before the Wildcat went in French service.

Chapter 4 British Martlets & Wildcats: The British armed services used the Wildcatextensively. The aircraft were initially call Martlets, and later reverted to Wildcats. Many narratives, images, drawings and other artwork describe the very similar, yet unique adaptations of the F4F to British service.

Chapter 5 Wildcat Details: This chapter is a goldmine for anyone building any examples of the F4F family. Images of restored or original-condition aircraft variants from many aviation museums allow a prop hub to tailhook perspective of extreme detail. This chapter is the real meat of the volume for me.

Chapter 6 Wildcat Paint Schemes & Colors: Standard and non-standard paint schemes and many unique markings are found in this chapter. All of the major markings and color schemes are accompanied with beautiful artwork by Rock Roszack. Wildcatsfrom yellow-wings days through iterations of blue and grays are shown.

Chapter 7 Modelers Section: The F4F is historically very well-represented in scale model kits and after-market parts from many manufacturers. Some of these offerings are better than others. Each offering is described and discussed, including some more obscure and out-of-production kits. Many of the kit descriptions are accompanied by builds by master modelers. I found myself looking at the F4F examples in my built collection, and often muttering "whoops..."

More from Detail & Scale: This section has great links to a wealth of information on Detail & Scale products and related resources. More information on other Detail & Scale publications may be found here.

Content coverage summary: I found this volume's content and organization to be excellent. I had a limited understanding of the depth and complexity of the Wildcat'sdevelopment and operational history. I now have a much better understanding!

In terms of content, this is another exceptional publication. This volume is well written with an engaging style in addition to the tremendous wealth of photographs and other information. The new artwork is spectacular, the photograph resolution is superb, and the depth and variety of markings and color information make Digital Volume 7invaluable. As always, the ability of electronic media to effectively conduct research and find information reduces barriers to verify and/or discover other sources.

Other considerations: My review copy arrived in the form of an emailed purchase code I then entered into the iTunes Store download area. The volume was quickly ready to read and resident on my iPad.

If you are not familiar with tablets or other digital readers, an excellent guide to iPad operations starts on page ivof the digital publication. The Apple iOS signature taps, finger swipes, and finger pinch motions are easy to learn and are much the same as many touch tablet systems. The learning curve is a short bump to become proficient. You will soon learn to move quickly throughout the text. Once you learn the finger motions, you will discover that a double-tap pull-down title bar is very helpful. On the left-hand side of the title bar are icons enabling you to return to the library (quit), find the table of contents (a chapter screen with sections), and locate a nice help screen for adding highlights and notes. On the right-hand side of the title bar is a screen brightness icon, but best of all, there is a search icon and a bookmark icon. I found both of these to be very helpful. These features really aren't conceptually different from marking up a traditional book but have significant advantages.

  1. Highlighting can be done with different colors, perhaps for different topics of your interest.

  2. Highlights can be easily changed or removed (ever try to erase those bright yellow stripes in hard copy?).

  3. Bookmarks may be added, removed or edited.

Taking screen shots or grabs can be very useful for specific planning. Pressing the sleep/wake button at the same time as the home button will capture the visible screen. This function is great for annotating and planning details. There are many free drawing apps that can import an image and let you enlarge, mark up, or otherwise edit. If you need to put some ideas together for detailing, you can digitally scribble on the photo!

An iPad has a very small footprint so it will take up minimal space on the bench. All of your reference material is in one place, ready to use. Several images of screen operations are included to supplement the many online tutorials that others have posted for iPad operations on YouTubeand similar sites.

Even so, I certainly would expect the first question a reader would ask is, "Why do I want an e-book format, instead of a paperback?" The eBook provides unparalleled research abilities. Major libraries throughout the world now house the majority of their research materials in digital format, which serves multiple purposes of accessibility, archiving and reduced storage space, freeing up areas for other activities.

I like reading through traditional books as much as anyone, with the page-by-page discovery of storyline or new information. I also have tons of books in my library, mostly in dusty residence on stoic-looking bookshelves. This e-book format provides many advantages for the modeler. I cannot imagine that this publication will not be a stunning addition to any USN aviation enthusiast's digital or traditional library. I evaluated this copy in the iBook/iPad format, but operations on the Amazon Kindle platform are nearly identical. At about $12.00, you can't beat the price! The print-on-demand (PoD) paperback is a similar value at $20.00. Both are available through the link above.

Reading in e-book format, e.g., iBook, Kindle, Nook and so on, is generally a nice experience, with the advantages of portability, downloadable purchases, and reading in low light. In a reference book, these advantages are surpassed by the ability to search, add notes, screen capture or zoom into photos from the text for annotation, and have fingertip rapid access to information on your workbench without compromising space. In other words, bench space doesn't get filled by a reference book. Furthermore, quicker searching and data collection are majorbonuses.

I can't find any negatives in this publication or delivery format. Some could argue that the pages are too small (you can zoom), tablet devices are too expensive (prices are dropping), backups are impossible (cloud technology is pretty robust, even though it is stored on someone else's server), the content is static (no it isn't, look at the links and updates), and you can't fan the pages with your thumb and feel the heft of the book (OK, you got me there, but why would one want to feel the weight of the books I have on my tablet?). I love the format, and the learning curve is worth it.

I am extremely positive about this publication, as I continue to be for all of the D&S digital publications I use. I found Digital Volume 7to be an exceptionally effective and efficient research tool. But as mentioned in previous reviews of digital materials, a problem I do have is thatdigital publications force me to abandon an old tradition of having authors and illustrators sign their books!

Overall Recommendation

Detail & Scale F4F & FM Wildcat Digital Volume 7 has my highest recommendation. I can't see how anyone can justify not having this publication if he or she has any interest in the extraordinary history of the Wildcat, whether for model building or for historical purposes. I am certain that the same functionality of the iPad exists for the Kindle platform. To the best of my knowledge, this publication is not available in any formats other than the iBook or Kindle versions at this time. The ability to examine the Wildcatwithin and beyond the printed page, the abundance of color images, links to external resources, search functions, ability to quickly bookmark, highlight and add notes, all combined with the inexpensive cost, make Digital Volume 7 an excellent value. This exceptional eBook is for all who appreciate the tough Wildcat.

Thanks again to the wonderful folks at Detail & Scale! I am very pleased to see the Digital Volumes continuing to be released, and I'm sure I echo the thoughts of the modeling community in saying I hope to see many more of the Digital Series published. Thank you again to the stalwart Reviewer Corps for your hard work in making these review opportunities happen!



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