As I may have noted on this blog before, I enjoy the transitional periods of aviation design: going from biplanes to monoplanes and from props to jets. Some of the also-rans and never-builts in those categories are fascinating aircraft. And many are available in resin, if not in injected plastic. So it is no surprise that I have built a lot of planes from the early days of jet aircraft, especially naval aircraft, from the late 40s to the early 60s.
Following the recently completed (but not yet introduced on this blog) FJ-1 and AM-1 Mauler, I decided to add the Emhar FJ-4 and F3H Demon. The story I have heard is that these are two kits that were in development at Matchbox when the company ceased production. They certainly look like Matchbox models, except for the absence of trench panel lines (in fact the lines are light raised). The cockpit, especially, seems to be in their style. That is not a compliment, alas. The ejection seats are rudimentary and built as part of the cockpit tub and there isn’t any detailing.
We need to have the FJ series completed in 1:72. True, RVHP produced an FJ-3 in resin (though I have heard that RVHP is temporarily shutting down due to illness) and Special Hobby announced an FJ-2 in plastic in 2009 (though they have yet to deliver). I know there is a Falcon conversion set out there, but have never seen one.
I like the F3H Demon just because it is a unique shape. That small nose and those close, semicircular intakes. And, like the FJ-4, there is an aftermarket Xtradecal sheet with alternate markings, so you are not confined to what comes with the kit.
Another WW2 twin has been added at the same time as these two naval fighters. This is the Trumpeter Vickers Wellington. There seems to be a lot of IMC controversy about the two Wellingtons that have been introduced in the last few years, from Eduard and Trumpeter. The engineers complain about lots of detail inaccuracies from Eduard, and the visualists complain about the overdone fabric effect on the Trumpeter. I’m not too thrilled with the fabric effect, but I have seen photos of completed models, and with some light sanding and a coat of paint I don’t think it looks too bad at all. And I have heard that the Trumpeter kit builds pretty well, always a consideration for me. So that is the one I’ve chosen. I will be using the Eduard kit’s decals for the Middle Stone and Dark Earth camo with the donkey nose art.
Next: some Luft46 and late-war jets added to the production line.