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 Siga Model: 1/72 North American FJ-1 Fury

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Posts : 273
Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : California

PostSubject: Siga Model: 1/72 North American FJ-1 Fury   Thu Feb 23 2017, 00:46

The Aircraft

I had not seen the North American FJ-1 Fury before this model (having seen only the later variants of the plane) and was surprised by what I found out about it. The FJ-1 made its first flight on Sept. 11, 1946. This aircraft was the first operational jet in the US Navy and made the Navy's first jet-powered carrier takeoffs and landings at sea. It also had a unique nose gear that could "bend" and allow the plane to kneel onto a dolly to allow the ground crew to position it on the carrier deck. Only thirty of the FJ-1 series were built.

The Fury entered service aboard the aircraft carrier USS Boxer in August 1948 and served in VF-51 "Screaming Eagles." They were found unsuited for carrier use (without catapults) and were withdrawn to reserve units by May 1949. They Fury had a top speed of a little over 500 mph at 9,000 feet. It was armed with six .50 caliber machine guns firing from the nose. The Fury was finally retired from service in 1953.

The Kit

This is another kit maker I had not heard of before building the model. It looked to have everything a person could want as the instructions were clear and well-illustrated, the plastic of good quality, the clearest (really the best) plastic canopy I have run across, photo-etched parts for the cockpit, and finally, decals..LOTS of decals.

The kit is a 1997 kit by Siga Model of Japan and is in 1/72 scale. The kit gives you two options for building the model: 1) as it served on the USS Boxer in 1948, and 2)as it served in the US Naval Reserve in Olathe, Kansas, in 1953.

I opted to make the model as it appeared in active duty aboard the Boxer as flown by Commander Evan Aurand. I started with the cockpit assembly which came out nicely with the addition of the PE parts. I really like how it came out (not that you can really see anything under the closed canopy). Building the model went smoothly until I started fitting the fuselage halves together. The mold was off (which you can see in the nose and tail angle pics I've included) and skewed. I was able to force-fit the halves together and make the wings and tail look almost correct. But the canopy was way off with a gap between one side of the canopy and the fuselage that was almost 1/8 on and inch! So I had to use filler and raise one side level with the other. Now..the decals.

The decals, had they been better made, would have been awesome to have on the model. I think they had every marking possible that appeared on the real aircraft. Unfortunately they were worthless as they were ultra thin and fragile. I do not think that age had anything to do with this as they were not showing any indication of aging, curling, etc that you would normally encounter on an older kit. Rather, I think they were not that good to begin with. I created a thread asking for help to save this model as I gave up after putting on two decals and piecing each one together after the fell apart. PMM came through with his hint about spraying the decals with Krylon (see thread for more info). It didn't save all of them, and I really was not in the mood to put all the microscopic labels on everything at this point, so I just did the large decals I could manage.

Here are the results:

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