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Jon Kunac-Tabinor

North American FJ-3 Fury 1/48th Esci with added Elbow Grease

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OK it's time for one of "those" builds :)

The NA FJ-3 Fury has long been a fave of mine - I mean effectively its a Navalised F-86, but it's got Gloss Sea Blue on it - so what is not to like???

Now when I say, "effectively it's a Navalised F-86", that's a little understatement, because actually there's a fair bit of work to do on Esci's 1980s era model to make it look right.

Before I go further, I'm going to say this straight off: Without the excellent blog site of Tommy Thomason ( Tailspin Turtle on BM) this project would be a non-starter. Tommy provides free, modeller friendly info which enable anyone to find out a multitude of things about USN aircraft. The drawings you will see in some of the pics are from his blog, and are invaluable.

http://tailspintopics.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/fj-fury.html will be a good starting point, as will http://tailhooktopics.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/esci-148th-fj-23.html ( which follows on from my thread in Cold war aircraft on here - and is a testament to his willingness to assist).

Basically Esci took their F-86 kit and sort of semi "Furied" it i.e. made changes that didn't require a substantial re tool. So you get an F-86 fuselage with the cut out for the tailhook, new 2 cannon gun panels, modified undercart, and a new windscreen & canopy with matched canopy sill modifications on the fuselage. Wings are slatted and have the wing fold join added. However in boxing the kit as an FJ-2 or 3 this presents some serious issues shape wise, as both the -2 & -3 had fuselages that were different from the F-86, and different from each other.

Work to bring the model up to something that looks like an FJ-3 concentrates on 3 main areas then: Nose; cockpit & canopy, and fin/tailpane.

So, ship mates, razor saw in hand, here we go.....

First up - the Nose. The FJ-3 used a more powerful Wright J65 turbojet - which meant a larger nose intake was required to cope with the added airflow needed. This means the nose area is deeper.

Heres a pic of the stock fuselage:

P1060482_zpsc3rwx7m4.jpg

Note the lovely navy blue plastic, which is brittle but pretty easy to work with !!

Effectively this is a simple case of removing the lower forward fuselage and re-attaching to provided the added depth. The gap is backed with plasticard, and then filled in and made good.

Next the cannon panels need to be modified: Esci provide these as inserts instead of the Sabre's 6 x 50 cal MG panels. However on the Fury the cannon ports are further forward than the Sabres MG ports, ( the upper front one is almost at the intake lip) and the ports have a characteristic down angle when viewed from the side on. Its pretty easy to reposition the gunport panels to achieve this, and then back fill in the gaps. On my model this is achieved using some plastic card spacers inside the panels to pack out the internal void, and then its all back filled with CA/talc filler.

P1060484_zpsjfqyv7wv.jpg

P1060486_zpsjdl8ak0u.jpg

Which gets you here. Note the angled down gun panel, with muzzles further forward, and the lowered lower nose profile - which is also evident here:

P1060491_zpstoysi2kt.jpg

The kit intake lip part is now cut, with the plan being to splice in a section from a spare F-86 nose ring to deepen it. I've also cut out a section of the nose intake side to cope with the more forward location of the gunport panel.

P1060488_zpscis7eurx.jpg

Now one side is done, I will repeat this for the other side.

Finally - ever wonder what happens when you try to gently bend some warp out of a large brittle lower wing moulding from a 30 year old bit of plastic?

P1060489_zpsvzy8kjei.jpg

Fortunately its a clean break right long a very obvious stress flow line!! ( you can see the one on the other side as a dark line pretty much in the same place!) But there was a moment last night when the words "Oh deary me!" were uttered a few times :)

More to come.

Jonners

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Just tell 'em you're going to fold the wings!

I don't know how much help I'll be on this one, Jonners- I've only progressed as far as digging out the 'in Action' book, and wondering:

  • A) Why I didn't buy the Detail & Scale Fury book at the show recently
  • B) If perhaps (as wondered at the time) I already have it

but I haven't gone as far as answering B and therefore (hopefully) A.

By the way, Jon says that the kit has slatted wings, but they are "up and molded", as Hasegawa does with their (slatted) Sabres.

Oh, one other thing- it is the Grand Phoenix FJ-4 I have, not Hobby Boss.

bob

EDIT: Here's the cold war thread, and I've just added a shot there of the intakes, with some comments on the various kits.

Edited by gingerbob

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Gingerbob took the time to take pictures of the Hasegawa F-86, Esci FJ-2/3, and Grand Phoenix FJ-4 inlet nose rings to compare and contrast them. I added pictures of the inlets of the actual airplanes to his illustration here: http://tailhooktopics.blogspot.com/2015/04/esci-148th-fj-23.html

Note that the F-86 has a much larger fairing for the ranging radar above the inlet than the FJ's.

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Cheers Bob and Tommy - so heres how the nose has ended up:

P1060494_zpswbjurhm0.jpg

P1060496_zps5rjkayjc.jpg

The brittle nature of the plastic requires some respect.

I've also started to add in the new fin position - which is moved forwards and raised. Bobs comments about the F86D fin seem apt, but this isnt too hard.

P1060499_zpsjzak75pn.jpg

P1060495_zpsw2lwxxk1.jpg

Again the brittle blue plastic needs watching, but it does sand easily.

Im just trying to clarify the position of the rudder trailing edge with the rear of the fuselage exhaust and the tail fairing shape now.

Cheers

Jonners

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That head-on-ish shot reminds me of a grouper. Mind that plastic- I was recently playing around with an F-80 (old Monogram) and it was VERY brittle. Haven't done enough with my copy of the ESCI Fury to discover its limits yet...

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That head-on-ish shot reminds me of a grouper. Mind that plastic- I was recently playing around with an F-80 (old Monogram) and it was VERY brittle. Haven't done enough with my copy of the ESCI Fury to discover its limits yet...

Yes, it's a bit of an open-gob job!!

To make matters more "interesting" too Bob, I just cut out the wing slats, and the plastic is showing a nasty tendency to delaminate when scribed or cut.

Jonners

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Looking good Jon and good luck but I`m sure you won`t need it as you are making a difficult job look effortless!

In the view of the work that you`ve done on the nose the model looks like some sort of fish that Robson Green or somebody like that has caught,....it looks like it is gasping for breath,..poor thing!

Cheers

Tony

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Looking good Jon and good luck but I`m sure you won`t need it as you are making a difficult job look effortless!

In the view of the work that you`ve done on the nose the model looks like some sort of fish that Robson Green or somebody like that has caught,....it looks like it is gasping for breath,..poor thing!

Cheers

Tony

Yep it does have a certain gaspiness to it. Hopefully its more graceful lines will become apparent once all the Frankenstein bits are primed.

In the meantime, I'm wondering how Im going to describe the amended areas, as the plastic really does like to de-laminate at the merest hint of a blade or scribing tool.

Does plastic "age" and go like this - or is it just a feature of the styrene that was used in the 80's?

Jonners

PS in case you are wondering - the nose intake will have a FOD guard/ cover applied as the thought of recreating the trunking scares the Bejaysus out of me frankly! :)

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Funny you should mention that- I was indeed wondering how you would tackle smoothing that intake!

Plastic certainly can get brittle with age, but I don't know if age itself causes it, or other considerations such as sun exposure or possibly heat/cold. Remember what happened to that woman in "Brazil" who went for all the plastic surgery... (though if I remember right she had the opposite problem?)

Tommy has updated his ESCI/FJ-3 page, in case you didn't see- it answered several questions I'd been pondering, and gives me more hope for ruining the FJ-4's day.

bob

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I'm not sure if its too late to mention this but Steve Ginter did a Naval Fighters volume on the FJ-2/3 not that long ago. Didn't buy it but it looked cool.

david

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I'm not sure if its too late to mention this but Steve Ginter did a Naval Fighters volume on the FJ-2/3 not that long ago. Didn't buy it but it looked cool.

david

Cheers David -yes I know but its a tad pricey and I'm on a budget!!! :)

So - here's the rear fuselage work with many thanks to Jon Krolfor pointing this out more fully. So I armed myself with several photos of the area and began....

First up the attachment fairings for the tailplanes need to be widened, so thick plastic card is cut roughly to shape and cement in place

IMG_3159_zpslikrbeap.jpg

IMG_3160_zpsdauwbgfn.jpg

The fin insert is show here from the inside too

IMG_3161_zps5ky5o1xm.jpg

Next, industrial quantities of the CA/Talc filler are applied, and LOTS of sanding starts.....

...to get this

IMG_3162_zpskcedxlfe.jpg

IMG_3163_zpszkz2kua5.jpg

You'll note the rear exhaust fairing is added too - and the inside is again filled and sanded to a more Fury like appearance.

IMG_3164_zpsbbtq1inc.jpg

And to cut a long story VERY short - you keep going, adding the fin, filling, sanding, filing, sanding, filling, sanding until you get to this:

IMG_3165_zpsl0rzdnw8.jpg

More to come, and more to fix.

Jonners

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Damn, you're good! As soon as you have it finished, Kitty Hawk will announce it as part of their 2016 lineup.

-d-

Edited by David H

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Agree with David, you've made this look rather easy, but all those odd angles would of had me baffled!

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Damn, you're good! As soon as you have it finished, Kitty Hawk will announce it as part of their 2016 lineup.

No, I've got to do irreparable harm to my FJ-4, F-86D, and F-86F (and maybe ESCI Fury) before that happens, but fear not, I'm on the verge of doing it. Of course, if I were as bold as Jonners, I wouldn't hardly bother any kits at all, I'd just get a big bar of soap and start carving!

bob

p.s. From what I've read about trying to fit the wheel wells in the Grand Phoenix FJ-4, etc, I think stealing the fuselage for this purpose is the easy way to approach that kit, anyway...

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Rightly or wrongly I decided that the lower rear fuselage wasn't deep enough- so have shimmed this out a tad. It "looks" better, but whether its "correct".......

Jonners

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Rightly or wrongly I decided that the lower rear fuselage wasn't deep enough- so have shimmed this out a tad. It "looks" better, but whether its "correct".......

Jonners

A careful comparison using the best North American drawings I have suggests that the FJ-2/3 aft fuselage was slightly deeper. However, they aren't good enough to say for sure one way or the other (note that the fuselage break is different for sure). Just guessing, I'd say that the addition of the tail hook might be partly responsible for various reasons.

FJ-2%20vs%20F-86%20Side%20View%20Compari

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With Jon's permission, here is a rough draft of my Furious efforts:

DSCN3958_zpsjwhr24fu.jpg

DSCN3960_zpswbgq95rn.jpg

DSCN3961_zpsyi484pen.jpg

For these shots, I am using a Hasegawa F-86 canopy, because it was more "to scale" than the ESCI one, so ignore that the "skirt" is the wrong shape. I obviously haven't yet properly sculpted the fuselage in this area- just a quick chop to get me in the ballpark.

I also haven't yet addressed the dorsal fillet or the fin/rudder itself- here the fin is simply cut down to approximately the right height just for a quick study of proportions. I'll probably use an F-86 fin/fillet- parts of the Dog fin/rudder are the most like, but other parts aren't, so I'm still thinking.

Revellogram F-86D (warped) wing panels- I'll probably graft their slats (leading edges) onto a Hasegawa F-86 wing, or perhaps just butt them up to the Grand Phoenix fuselage. (They may not be perfectly positioned, but the slatted (early FJ-3) wing appears to meet the fuselage at about the same place as the FJ-4 wing does, which sure makes it convenient.) Also F-86D stab, which is the right size, but would need "engraving" to make a stab/elevator.

I'm not happy with the shape of the Grand Phoenix intake ring- I think it needs to taper less toward the bottom (from in front) and have a less prominent "beak" or overbite. But it is pretty close. Oh, that "bump" aft of the nose-wheel well needs to disappear- that was only on FJ-4Bs, if I understand correctly. I've cut a slit so that I can push it down to be flush, and thus fill its own cavity.

So, bearing in mind that this is just a mock-up, and that I haven't myself compared the interim result to photos, I welcome any observations about shape problems that I might not be aware of yet.

One thing I'll say, and I think Jon will be tackling this, too, is that the FJ-2/3 canopy skirt and fuselage "rim" where it sits are very complex shapes. Not only is there an angle change in profile (the obvious difference between F-86 and Fury canopies) but the cross-section also flares to meet the canopy line approximately where that angle change happens, or just behind that- it isn't just a matter of having the canopy skirt sit atop the basic fuselage shape.

bob

p.s. Something I'm wrestling with is door positions- it would save an awful lot of trouble to have the central main gear (wheel bay) doors and the big nose-bay door closed, as they are with power on, and can be with power off. On the other hand, it is common to have the nose gear door (and/or mains- I don't know if there's an "all or nothing" relationship) open when "at rest", too. Furthermore, the ammo bay door, which overlaps the leading edge and hinges down, is used as a boarding step as it is on the F-86.

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Hi Bob - nice start- and very much appreciated that you are going the fray!! The -4 fuselage certainly seems to be a better place to start than the Esci one. The curve on the top of the nose seems much more right ( something I need to address on my Esci fuselage) and the canopy sill runs flat aft of the "notches" ( should they be Buenos Noches?) wheres Esci's slopes down: But as that area is now about to be reworked that may be moot.

Interestingly the depth of the rear fuselage on the -4 fuselage looks deeper than on the -86 , well at least in the pics, so I'm happy I did a bit of filleting and shimming on mine.

I'm actually starting to think that your FJ-4 / F-86D cross kit would be the easiest way to get to a dash 3, but one has to go with what one has. Fortunately I have an Academy F-86 at had which can donate a canopy ( my trimmed Esci one still seems 'not right') and I will use sections of the tailplanes to extend out the Esci ones.

The only thing I need to find now is some decals - the long OOP Microscope set 48-117 appear occasionally on Ebay, but the than that I'm going to need a lot of white stencilling from somewhere....

Onwards mon brave!

Jonners

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I got that thar decal inbound, but I've got dibs on the VF-33 part- if there's enough left over to justify, I might be able to help!

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Actually, if I've followed Tommy correctly, the aft fuselage is not deeper, though the cross section changes a bit. Comparing ESCI and GP fuselages appears to support that, even though I expected to find the GP deeper. I do wonder if my fuselage might have a bit of a "hump", rather than flattening out as it approaches the cockpit (from behind, that is), but I've only just cut off the spine so far, haven't tried to fill the gap. Were I to try to make life easier for others, I'd cast a resin replacement spine, including fillet if not the entire fin/rudder...

bob

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Actually, if I've followed Tommy correctly, the aft fuselage is not deeper, though the cross section changes a bit. Comparing ESCI and GP fuselages appears to support that, even though I expected to find the GP deeper.

bob

None of the North American drawings I have are sufficiently detailed, i.e. provide fuselage station and waterline data at any point, to determine whether there is or is not a difference in fuselage depth between the fuselage break and the end of the tailpipe below the horizontal reference line among the FJ-2/3/4 and the F-86E/F on which the Fury was originally based. That said, if the drawings I have are accurate, the difference in depth among them is on the order of one inch, about twice the line weight of the drawing. Above the reference line, I'm also not sure whether the horizontal tail of the F-86E/F is at the same waterline as the FJ-2/3/4. The upper aft fuselage where the empennage is attached is different as is the exhaust fairing above the tailpipe.

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In a fit of Fury ( geddit?) I ordered a Hobbyboss FJ-4, principally for some cockpit components, windscreen and a few other items too - I'm going to see whether the intake trunking will fit my fuselage etc, as I really prefer my open mounted air suckers to be displayed un-muzzled :)

It should arrive today. But in the meantime I've been refining the exhaust area, and adding the air inlets to the rear upper fuselage sides

Jonners.

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Morning all!!

Well the FJ-4 model hasn't arrived ( thats the short version...) so in the meantime I've been working on the cockpit sill lip and air intake son the aft fuselage, plus the Esci canopy has been sanded down and re-polished, so accurate framing can be added.

P1060501_zps1pf3zecq.jpg

P1060503_zpsslewekal.jpg

P1060504_zpsuoujvelh.jpg

P1060507_zpslvg05mjc.jpg

P1060510_zpsobw8phpg.jpg

I'm starting to see an FJ-3 Now!!

cheers & onwards

Jonners

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Can you say a bit about how you shaped the canopy and matching fuselage "lip"? Did you get the canopy skirt the way you wanted then make the fuselage match, or is it really just smoke and mirrors? :winkgrin:

bob

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Hi Bob- hopefully these pics explain better than words, but the lip itself is made using a round swiss file to cut into the filled area and create the concave area- which is then blended into more using sanding sticks.

The canopy has been reduced in height, by removing the flanges then removing a thin V shaped wedge from the base of the canopy with the thick end of this being at the front of the canopy ( approx. matching the depth of the framing and tapering out to nothing about 2/3rd along its length). The windscreen has it curved lower "fuselage" areas removed and this is sanded flat. Its a bit of "by eye" work to then get the heights of windscreen and canopy to match. Then the remaining canopy framing is sanded of and the flanges re-attached, filled and blended back in, followed by re-polishing.

IMG_3175_zps8kdxclv0.jpg

IMG_3176_zps1mbuwvpp.jpg

I can do a fuller explanation of you want though :)

Jonners

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