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 Revell 1/72: F-89D Scorpion

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

PostSubject: Revell 1/72: F-89D Scorpion   Sun Feb 26 2017, 00:43

While the Northrop F-89 Scorpion may not have been the best of the early US jet fighters, it has always been a particular favorite of mine. There is something intrinsically pleasing to my eye of its design. It looks so agile - even when parked. And seeing pics and videos of one firing rockets from the wingtip pods is a sight to behold.

Here's a couple of links to the F-89 that I find interesting:

The Revell Kit

I was going to start on another project when this model arrived in the mail. I just HAD to start it. Inside the box was a single bag of parts which also contained the sheet of decals. The instructions were simple and on a single double-sided sheet of paper.

This kit is one of the early versions from 1987 (I know as the model had this info in RAISED letters on the bottom of the wing). Speaking of which, I had never come across a model that had raised outlines at every location a decal was to go. And it wasn't a simple box either, but each individual letter was denoted like a huge stencil. Yikes! I have know idea how they expected the decals to work like that sine they were, well, decals in single pieces. unbelievable So out came the sanding materials and away they went (along with panel line details, etc.).

This is a very basic kit as there is little detail, aside from the pilots, in the cockpit. The exterior isn't much better with the wheel wells devoid of anything remotely interesting. There is also a real lack of any decals aside from the main national insignia and numbering. The only "unit" emblem is a scorpion on the tail which, I believe, is from the 64th Fighter Interceptor Sqn., Alaska Air Command in the early 1950s. So the outside is pretty bare unless you wish to add additional markings from other kits or decal sets. I decided to just work with what I had.

Assembly was easy with only minor cleaning. The only thing that drove me nuts was the _very_ weird canopy assembly. Rather than having a single piece canopy that you would paint the metal structure on it, you are provided two separate pieces (one the frame the other the clear "glass") which must fit together. One inside the other! I can see where, if done well, this would be a neat way to avoid masking or freehand shakes when painting the canopy frame. But when done poorly, as it was here, then it is an exercise in patience to get the fit just right. I eventually did - but not until I put to much force on the side of the canopy and managed to crack it badly (more about this later).

I painted the model in Alaska Air Command livery and also accented the painting with different metallic paints to show the different metals on the plane (they don't show well in the pics). The model wasn't looking half bad. Wink

Now for something completely different..

I have always heard of modelers using Future floor wax to prep models for the decals and then sealing them afterward. I had never done this and felt this model would be my first to see if it works. Future, which is now called Pledge Floor Care Multi-Surface Finish, is used because it is really a clear acrylic (btw, do a Google search to see panic in the modeling community that occurred when the name was changed from Future to Pledge - wow!). The idea is that when applied directly to a painted model the acrylic fills in the imperfections left in the model surface by the paint and makes a smooth surface for the decals to bond with. Make sense right? I can happily report is seems to make a lot of difference - especially with the old crappy decals I was using here. After the decals set I added a final coat of Pledge and am very pleased with the results. I think it does a great job of sealing the decals and makes the paint colors / tones pop nicely. I left it a gloss coat but you can add DullCoat as usual if the model calls for it.

Last bit, I read that modelers like to dip the canopies and other clear parts into the wax to seal them. I brushed it on and it seems to have filled-in a lot of the cracks I caused when I had trouble fitting the canopy in the frame. Like getting your windshield fixed it really lessened the damage I caused. Great!

Sorry if this post is more verbose than usual. I think this particular model was a good choice as a starter vehicle to a more detailed version of the F-89 I plan to do at another time. For now though I am quite pleased with the result.

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