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Friday, August 17, 2012

Siga/Ace North American FJ-1 Fury

Travelling down the 72 Land production line along with the Martin Mauler was another of the line of Siga/Ace postwar USN types, the North American FJ-1 Fury.

The Fury is essentially a jet conversion of the P-51 Mustang, which has very similar wings, tail and canopy. No wingfolds, though NA did devise a clever kneeling nosewheel, which allowed Furies to be packed together closely on deck to help with storage space. Being a first-gen jet it was underpowered, and development led to the more famous F-86 with a larger engine and swept wings. The FJ-1’s first flight was in September of 1946 and had been retired from squadron service by 1953. It served primarily as a test aircraft, though it did operate in VF-51 and Naval Reserve units. It was a contemporary of the Vought F6U Pirate (recently kitted by AZ Models).

The Fury was, if anything, a rougher kit than the Mauler. Though I certainly appreciated the injection molded canopy, the fit was approximate and there is a generous bit of filler under that blue paint. But the real trial came about when the time came for decals.

These markings are the rather famous “Weekend Warriors” nose script from the example that flew from the Oakland NAS in 1950. The decals look good on the sheet, but are excruciatingly thin, and react to water the way that other decals do to setting solution. They wrinkle, fold on themselves, and almost crumble on contact. Flooding the area to be decalled with water is essential, and even then you are trusting to luck in order to get them in place without a wrinkle. I did manage to get the largest decals specific to this particular aircraft down, but the smaller stencils were an unmitigated disaster. So you’ll see very little in the way of maintenance markings on this model. In retrospect, the biggest flaw is the loss of the red intake lip warnings around the nose. I really should have painted them instead of trusting to the decals.

Still, even with those problems it makes an interesting addition to the postwar naval lineup. I’ve got the Emhar FJ-4 in process now, and will of course add the Special Hobby FJ-3 whenever they get around to actually producing it.

I've been trying to space out the completed models because I haven't actually finished anything since early July. It just isn't a typical time of year to be working on models, especially when it is 92 degrees outside and warmer than that in the model room. We're supposed to see some 70s next week, so I'll try to get some painting done to advance the production line.

This is completed model #409 (#34 for the year), finished in July of 2012.


  1. Hello there, first off, this post doesn't have anything to do with model planes & I'm posting it here because I didn't see an email on the site. I've been reading The Swamp Thing comic recently & came across a letter you wrote to the author that was printed in issue 24. I looked you up because I live in Brea & found that somewhat interesting. Enclosed is the issue your letter was printed in, I figured you'd get a kick out of it. (It's on page 33 btw)

  2. Well, now, that's outta left field. Had many a letter printed in the 70s and 80s. Not that hard once you learned how to praise the issue lavishly! BTW, email is . I lived in Brea from around 1966 to 1985.