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bootneck

McDonnell F3H Demon - Warpaint Series No.99

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McDonnell F3H Demon

 

Warpaint Series No.99

 

 

 

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Hot on the heels of my last review from Guideline Publications comes No.99, the McDonnell F3H Demon. The Demon was large, ugly, underpowered and soon superceded as front-line interceptor; however it comes from an era when US military jets, especially naval ones, were adorned with bright hi-vis liveries and markings. As such, models of these would look good in any display case or collection.

The F3H was McDonnell's offering of a single seat, short range, carrier-based fighter with the ability to climb rapidly to high altitude in order to intercept incoming enemy bombers; to meet the US Chief of Naval Operations requirements for the 1950's. The first prototypes, designated XF3H-1, were ordered in 1949 with the first flight being achieved in 1951.

During these trials periods, considerable changes were made to the designs shape in virtually all areas of the wings, fuselage and tail; and are all described in crisp terms by the author Tony Butler within the book.

Most pages within this 52 page edition contain a combination of historical and technical data, which is supplemented by photographs or profile drawings; superbly produced by Richard J. Caruana, and provide the story of the United States Navy's first all-missile-firing jet aircraft interceptor.

 

 

 

 

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There are 30 full colour profile drawings, laid out five to a page as shown below, and each profile has a short descriptive narrative alongside. In addition, some illustrations also have an enlarged view of that squadron's emblem and/or motto alongside. These are helpful to the modeller as colour call-outs are described by the names (i.e. Gull Grey) and also by their associated FS numbers. Also to be found within these short texts is data on the particular individual airframe illustrated and included serial, squadron and location for the aircraft at the particular date described.

 

 

 

 

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There is also a full colour 4-view profile and plan illustration, to be found within the front cover, providing much detail in the placement of markings and colour demarcations.

 

 

 

 

 

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There are also various tables of data distributed throughout the book, each giving a set of pertinent information relevant to the F3H Demon. As the table below shows, there is also a section on the available model kits; by manufacturer and scale, plus after-market parts and decals. This is useful for the modeller who perhaps wants to find a kit to build using this publication as a guide to colours and markings.

 

 

 

 

 

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The centre page of this book is taken up with a set of general arrangement diagrams; on a single A3 sized page in landscape format and printed to 1:72 scale (although I'm sure this could be enlarged or reduced as required with any good photocopier), and these show the layout and surface detail to a high degree.

In past editions of these Warpaint Series I have found that these diagrams are usually printed on a standalone pull-out sheet, with diagrams on both sides, all held within the book by staples. This edition is slightly different as the diagrams are on a single page which means that the pages on the reverse contain text and illustrations that are part of the book and, as such, it would not be simple just to remove the g.a. diagrams (for working at the modelling bench for example) as that would make the book incomplete.

 

 

 

 

 

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This example page, below, from the book shows a typical mix of b&w and colour photo's interspersed with historical narrative plus an inserted table of relevant data. All of this, and other elements throughout the book, help to build a picture and timeline of the F3H Demon's production and service history.

 

 

 

 

 

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In total there are 29 colour and 104 b&w photograph images printed alongside the text. Other diagrams, showing development changes and ad-hoc sketches are also included. Some of the photographs are also interesting for background information, such as the early F4H-1 Phantom seen in the bottom image on this page.

 

 

 

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A set of additional close in photographs has been included in the "In detail" pages towards the back of this edition. These show extra details, especially on the early prototypes XF3H-1 and F3H-2.

 

 

 

 

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Conclusion


Suddenly I feel an urge (or is it a Nurge?) to build the F3H Demon! Guideline Publication's latest has arrived just in time to be found on the tables at SMW 2014; or possibly as an early Christmas present? The FH3 Demon was certainly a colourful aircraft and yet still very military; and this edition is a welcome source of information on the Demon; especially for its excellently produced illustrations, both drawn and photographic, that accompany this well researched and detailed history of the first all-missile-firing naval fighter from America's early jet era.

This book is one that should appeal to anyone who likes 1950's high visibility jets of the U.S. Navy and is very much recommended.

 

 

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Review sample courtesy of

 

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