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1/48 KH FJ-2 Fury


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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....

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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!

Gil :smiley16:

Edited by ghodges
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Outstanding work Gil! I shouldn't be surprised given what a Master you are at these. I'm so impressed with the bare metal finish! I wonder of any drop tanks got damaged from the flaps being lowered, it looks like the flaps are resting right on the top of the tanks.

 

Wow, I commend you once again on another magnificent model!

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Gil -

Outstanding work on your Fury.  The natural metal finish is superb.  To me, the best feature is the folding wings; I'm so used to looking at USAF Sabre airframes, that the folding wings offer a unique look.  The other thing I noticed is that the Fury's wings seem wider chord-wise than the Air Force version.  You had some panels under the fuselage, aft of the airbrakes; assume that is where the arrestor hook was stored?  My high school physics teacher, Col Jeff DeBlanc was a Marine aviator, and he flew one of these jets.  During World War II, he flew Wildcats as part of the Cactus Air Force and received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Guadalcanal campaign.  If you have access to the History Channel's "Dogfight" series, his story is in it--highly recommended!  

 

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Thanks for the very kind words...

Mark: Yes....you have to watch the angle of the flaps or they can interfere with the fit of the drop tank pylon in the rear if they're too low.

John: To my knowledge, the wing was the same chord as the early Saberjet wings on the F-86A and E. I think the slats themselves actually have a wider chord to them by comparison, which may give the illusion of a wider wing. The kit "V" style tail hook is designed to be shown down, and as manufactured, the plane had 6 small doors that covered it when closed. Since I wanted the tail hook up,  I actually simply filled the wells with epoxy putty and sanded them smooth rather than trying to glue, fill, and sand all 6 of those small doors, and then just cut off the hook part to put in the very rear of the bay! Later model Furys simply left the doors off and the bay completely open, so if you do a later schemed -2, or the -3 Fury, you can just leave those doors off. And, I've seen that episode of Dog Fights....those guys did SO much with so little while holding the line and starting us on the road to victory!

Gil  :smiley16:

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Love it. Been holding mine almost finished until Caracal releases their sheets. Lot of different options like sea blue etc. plus a training colored one. I love yours so I can't wait to get the decals

Dave

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19 hours ago, Bradley25mm said:

Beautiful work on this one Gil👍👍. Got my copy of the journal last week in the mail. Great article of yours.

Chris

I second that!

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