Another completed model, this time in the slow-burn Sabre lineup. As you might remember, I finished an FJ-1 Fury back in July, That was the beginning of the USN’s Fury (Sabre) development cycle, and today’s example was the finish: the North American FJ-4 Fury.
The kit, which most are probably familiar with, is from Emhar. I’ve heard that the aircraft kits they produced were Matchbox projects that were in motion when that company finally closed their doors. There is a fair amount of circumstantial evidence for this. The style is definitely late Matchbox, some raised lines and some trenches. Even the decals sort of have the thick Matchbox look to them. I’ve always enjoyed their kit selection, especially their emphasis on early Cold War USN fighters, and as long as your engineering expectations are not high, they can be built into acceptable models.
The instructions were somewhat vague in spots, and I’m still not sure I’ve got the weapons pylons in the right positions. Any sensible modeller would cover up the problem by a massive weapons load, but I’ve always liked having the model pretty clean and uncluttered, if only to emphasize the shape of the airframe itself.
The decals came from an Xtradecal sheet (72-037) which was produced for the Emhar kit. Since I am always on the lookout for a colorful paint scheme, I chose the CATG (Commander Air Task Group) aircraft for VA-214. The unit was based on the USS Hornet in 1958. All the color is in the decals, as the camo scheme is basic Light Gull Gray over White.
I felt like I was rushing the one a bit, so there are some problems. I should have searched harder for a wheel mask to use, and some of the exterior detail painting could have been touched up. One of the small stencil decals was captured by the Carpet Monster, never to be seen again.
There are still two models that are needed to show the full development cycle of naval Sabres/Furies: the FJ-2 and FJ-3. Both Special Hobby and Valom are threatening a -2 sometime in the future, but it has been on both lists for quite a while. The Falcon vac conversion is always available for the -3 if you can manage vacs. I believe that RVHP had a -3 in resin, though they seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth lately. So I guess I’ll wait until Special Hobby comes through.
This is completed model #413 (#38 for the year) finished in October of 2012.