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 REVIEW: Falcon Models FA721011 US Navy Grumman F9F-5 Panther, VF781, USS Oriskany, Lt Joseph MacBrien, RCN, DFC

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Join date : 2017-02-18
Location : Vancouver

PostSubject: REVIEW: Falcon Models FA721011 US Navy Grumman F9F-5 Panther, VF781, USS Oriskany, Lt Joseph MacBrien, RCN, DFC   Mon Jul 24 2017, 00:08

Falcon Models FA721011
US Navy Grumman F9F-5 Panther, Bu No. 126034, D109
Flown by Canadian Naval Exchange Pilot Lt. Joseph J. MacBrien, RCN, DFC
VF781 (later VF121), USS Oriskany CV-34, 1952-53
1/72 Scale

March 2014 Release

Although the achievements of the 22 Royal Canadian Air Force exchange officers flying USAF F-86 Sabres in the Korean conflict are relatively well documented, not well known is the fact a Canadian Naval Pilot also participated in the conflict.

Lt Cdr J.J. MacBrien, RCN, was an exchange pilot flying a Panther aircraft from the American carrier, USS Oriskany. He was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Leading a flight on an interdiction mission against supply and storage targets near Pukchong on 01 February 1953, he was cited for "extraordinary achievement" in accomplishing the mission. "Despite marginal flying weather, heavy anti-aircraft fire, he displayed courageous leadership and outstanding pilot the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service".

After his service in Korea, MacBrien was promoted to Lt.Cdr and retired from the RCN. He later went on to have a successful career with Canadair in Montreal.

This model was a suggestion of mine that I made to Falcon Models over a year ago.

Falcon’s F9F-5 Panther is one of their older toolings and despite showing its age somewhat - is still a great model.

The F9F-5 version of the Panther added the more powerful J48 engine and visually differed from the F9F-2 (Falcon's other Panther tooling) primarily in having a taller fin and revised engine intakes. Falcon provides parts for gear up or gear down options and a display stand is included as well. Paint quality is above average and all the parts fit together well with no major issues. Falcon Models does not provide pilots - but as shown in my photos, a Hobby Master F-86 pilot fits perfectly.

Only a few corrections were necessary to the initial artwork.

1) The red lightning stripe on the nose was not properly placed and needed to be placed above the outboard cannons.

2) The very tip of the nose of the aircraft was originally to be painted completely red. However a photograph (taken by Lt. Cdr. MacBrien himself of a sister aircraft from VF781) revealed that the tip of the nose was actually the same blue colour as on the rest of the aircraft.

3) Originally the artwork showed MacBrien’s name underneath the cockpit on the starboard side - but correspondence with MacBrien’s daughter revealed that he recalled that “your name was always on the side of the aircraft you boarded on” which meant moving his name to the port side.

Overall a very nice model and one that applies equally to Korean War, US Navy, or Canadian themed collections. Very highly recommended.


Below: Photo taken by MacBrien himself showing D108 on approach to the USS Oriskany during 1952-53.

Lt. Joseph J. MacBrien RCN, an exchange pilot from the Royal Canadian Navy, serving with the U.S. Navy fighter squadron VF-781, lands his Grumman F9F-5 Panther (BuNo 126034) aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) off coast of Korea on 15 November 1952. VF-781 was assigned to Carrier Air Group 101 for a deployment to Korea from 15 September 1952 to 18 May 1953.

Lt. Joseph J. MacBrien, RCN, DFC

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REVIEW: Falcon Models FA721011 US Navy Grumman F9F-5 Panther, VF781, USS Oriskany, Lt Joseph MacBrien, RCN, DFC
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