Finished the Fury this week! This is the 1/48 Kittyhawk FJ-2, and is the first really "correct" FJ Fury in 1/48...the older ESCI effort being a mis-mash of F-86 and Fury parts that wasn't really accurate for either one.
This KH kit is one of their better efforts...not perfect, but darn close to it. Most importantly, it gives you the separate leading edge slats that were the main difference between it and the later -3 Fury (soon to be released). The kit has a lot of options, with open gun bays, ammo bays, speed brakes; separate flaps, ailerons, and rudder, as well as the option to fold the wings. It also has a complete engine. I elected to build mine with everything closed up and left the engine out. The various doors actually fit pretty well making it pretty easy to close the gun and ammo bays. Despite how the instructions look, you can build the cockpit tub without the gun bay wall parts. The down side to leaving out the engine is having to come up with a tail pipe, unless you cut it off of the engine (I used some plastic tubing).
The cockpit detail is "adequate", using decals for the main panel and side consoles. The cockpit decals NEED to be cut up to fit in their positions properly, but the instructions do not show or mention that. I look for someone to release an aftermarket cockpit set that will better address the lack of detail here, as well as the plainness under the canopy behind the seat.
The overall fit is good...BUT, you DO need to test fit all assemblies and make some "adjustments" to get parts aligned right and avoid problems. You need to add some plastic shims (ala vacuform style) between the front/rear fuselage halves to give more gluing surface, as there's almost NO positive locating pins/tabs to aid when joining them. The wing fold joints are very good, but I do recommend adding some sort of pins if you build them out (unfolded). The kit doesn't supply anything to strengthen that join when the wings are extended. It also does not include the jury struts to support the wings while folded. Another anomaly is that KH molded the locator pins for attaching the drop tanks to the pylons, but forgot to mold pins on top of the pylons to attach those to the wings! I had to drill and add wire pins for that....
The kit decals (used here, except for the stars) come off the sheet easy and lay down well with a good setting solution. The blue on the kit stars is way too light, so I used some from my spares box. Also, on THIS particular scheme, the red/yellow fuselage stripes are TOO short, and do not come together on the top of the fuselage. Luckily, the open canopy covers that gap (barely)! I used AK Extreme Metal Aluminum overall, with Alclad Aluminum for the wing center panels and some other various panels.
This was a pleasant build for the most part, with most of the "problems" coming from closing up panels, leaving parts out, and engineering the nose gear assembly to be added later in the build. It looks like the early FJ-2, and the wing fold option with the slats and flaps hanging down is another snappy look for my shelf. I look forward to getting the FJ-3 kit when Kittyhawk finally releases it! Comments, questions, and critiques welcome, as always. Cheers!