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  1. British Mastiff 2 6x6 Wheeled Protected Patrol Vehicle (SS-012) 1:35 Meng Model via Creative Models Ltd The Cougar on which the Mastiff and Mastiff 2 are based is built by Force Protection Inc. and is based loosely upon the previous South African MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), but integrates many innovations and lessons learned from previous experiences with asymmetric warfare and urban combat. It has a V-shaped hull with the wheels mounted externally, and the engine is in a separate compartment at the front of the vehicle, away from the crew area. The V-shape of the hull directs the blast away from the crew compartment, improving survivability, which has been proven many times since it entered service. This variant is the six-wheeled chassis option, but there is also a 4x4 version in service elsewhere. The British Army bought an initial quantity of the 6x6 version as the Mastiff Protected Patrol Vehicle (PPV). The Mastiff 2 was developed after experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, and is fitted with the CREWS II remote weapons station, while earlier versions have been retro-fitted with a manned turret, the whole vehicle surrounded by protective armoured screens to pre-detonate shaped-charge warheads such as the Soviet-era RPG-7, taking the power out of the jet of molten metal and helping to protect the crew further. The CREWS II turret can mount either a 7.62mm GPMG, a 12.7mm heavy machine gun or a 40mm automatic grenade launcher for self-defence, and the hull armour can protect the crew from armour-piercing rounds up to 12.5mm and detonating explosives up to 15kg, with increased ground-clearance improving mobility along with more effective run-flat tyres and a fuel-tank that can withstand a substantial blast without rupturing. The seats are enhanced to protect the crew from deformation injuries in the event of an IED blast, and an advanced anti-spall liner further guards against fragment injury to the increased passenger load of up to ten soldiers. Since the withdrawal of coalition forces from the Middle East, many British Mastiffs have been withdrawn from service to conserve scant resources, with some finding their way into a delivery to the Ukraine to assist with their fight against the invader. The Kit This new variant of the original 2015 tooling of the 6x6 Cougar from Meng will be a welcome addition to any MRAP collection, and as it's from Meng, you know it will be a great kit to build with tons of detail. It arrives in a standard Meng top-opening box in a satin finish, and inside are a wealth of sprues for you to pore over. There are fifteen sprues in light grey styrene plus a hull part in the same colour, two sprues in a flexible black styrene, four sprues in clear styrene, one of which is in turquoise tinted clear styrene, six flexible styrene wheels, a short run of poly-caps, a slide-moulded .50cal Browning machine gun breech in light grey styrene. The decal sheet is separately bagged with a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and the instruction booklet is Meng's usual affair, in four languages, and colour profiles at the rear for the painting and decaling instructions. There are also three pages of sand-coloured thick card that gives additional information about the Mastiff 2 in four different languages. First impressions are excellent as usual with Meng's offerings, and the part count is high, with some nicely tooled detail evident. Inclusions such as PE, flexible styrene and tinted windows to simulate the bullet-resistant glass are the icing on the cake of what is a great looking model. From the box you can build either a desert or green camouflaged vehicle that have a different aerial fit due to the green option being a Ukrainian vehicle. This is pointed out at the top of the instructions, and will dictate your aerial choices and colours during the build. Construction begins with the V-shaped lower hull, which needs a few holes drilling in it, after which the leaf-suspension can be installed, plus a rear towing bracket and two-step crew access with PE mesh treads. The three main axles are built up in broadly the same manner, with the steerable front wheels having additional parts, including track-link rod and bearings. Each one is fitted to the lower hull, with an armoured transfer box between the front and rear axles out of which the transmission shafts project. A pair of fuel tanks with PE thread-plate tops are built up next to install under the hull of your mastiff, which is nice. You are also tasked with building a front bumper/fender bracket assembly that carries the slat armour later, and has a pair of towing shackles on the underside. The Mastiff rolls along on six tyres, although in the event of an IED blast, it has been known to limp home on less. The tyres are flexible styrene, with separate hubs, space for a poly-cap in the middle, and a thick rear to the hub that hides the poly-cap, trapping it in place. At this point the model is flipped over and work begins on the crew cab starting with the floor, which is stepped down at the front sides to form a base of the seats and up in the passenger compartment to further protect the crew from blasts. The drivers' seats are first to be built up, with insulating concertina bases that contain the usual complement of adjustments under a tough protective gaiter. The seats are made up from two parts, consisting of the main seat, plus a rear with the headrest built in, which once joined are placed on the base, and a pair of flexible styrene belts are added to each one from the black sprues. The driver's pedal box is installed into the short front bulkhead stub on the left, and an armour panel is placed behind each seat up to head-height on three pegs, with a scissor lift perch insert in the middle of the passenger area. The dash is a full-width part, and the instrument panel has several decals supplied to detail its surface after painting, plus a couple of stencils on the co-driver's side, adding a steering column with wheel into the left, as they originate from left-hand drive vehicles. An equipment bay is fixed to the deck behind the co-driver’s armour after adding detail parts to it, with two large lightened brackets on the raised left-hand edge of the compartment. Near the rear are another couple of equipment boxes on the right, then the floor is inserted into the lower, resting on a couple of cross-members. The seven passenger seats are each made from two main parts plus another two for the supporting framework, and they each have a set of flexible styrene belts added before they are glued in place. There are additional bare frames attached to the side walls for additional seats if they are needed, with more equipment at the right rear that also mount a pair of fire extinguishers that have stencil decals applied, as does the MFD screen at the top of the equipment stack. The upper hull is a complex moulding with some great detail on the outer skin, and the interior headlining is dropped in, covered in realistic quilting texture of the anti-spall lining. Several clear rectangular light-fittings are inserted into recesses in the linings, painting the bezels black beforehand. A radiator grille and the multi-part turret ring for the top-mounted CREWS II weapons station, which is trapped in place by another ring on the inside of the crew compartment. The interiors with the seats and equipment already installed are then slid into the hull, clipping into a slot at the edge of the roof liner, after which a pair of pull-down MFD screens are fixed to a C-shaped bracket that can be posed down in front of the windscreen or raised flush against the roof, as per the accompanying scrap diagrams, which also show the location of the screen decals if you need to fit them. The windscreen is made up off the model, starting with a two-part frame with raised wire-cutters added at each end, followed by the tinted screen panels. The assembly is then glued over the windscreen that has clear windows slipped into the frames beforehand, making the thickness appropriate for the scale. The side windows are similarly glazed with clear parts in the frames, then boxed in with extended frames that have tinted panels in them. A palette on angled legs is added above the windscreen with a pair of short antennae on two of the mount lugs, plus a front camera assembly that is made up from two styrene parts, a lens for the light and a clear dome that fixes over it, taking care not to trap any dust or other debris in there, with the same precaution taken for the windows. The upper hull is completed by adding the rear bulkhead with large door aperture moulded-in, then it is installed onto the lower hull, enclosing all the detail inside that should still be visible through the windows and/or back door. The rear bulkhead has an aerial bar that is placed above the door, and in the centre is a rear-facing camera that fits in a framework box, and behind it is a cruciform sensor that’s covered over by a clear box. The short front fenders and long rear fenders are built up following this, with the various light clusters added front and rear, plus muffler for the exhaust on the right fender, and a large stowage box on the left side. The exhaust then goes up over the door frame through a flexible wrapped hose that exits the back of the muffler on an angled adapter. The rear fenders are simple side sections that cover the two rear axles and have the light cluster added to the bulkhead, which also has a flexible black styrene mudflap glued to the underside. These are all attached to the sides of the vehicle in preparation for the appliqué armour panels that are made next. Each inner surface is built from two layers with an additional top section, to which the outer layer is fitted along with a small front element on the thicker portion. Along the thin bottom edge of the assembly, a row of pegs are inserted into holes in the panels whilst still attached to the sprue, so that once the glue has cured, you can remove the sprue gates and make good without having to manhandle the pegs individually, with the attendant risk of loss due to tweezer malfunctions that feed the carpet monster. A few small stencils are shown applied at this stage because they are really small. The completed side armour can then be glued in place on the sides of the hull, locating on five small pegs that match up with holes in the side of the hull. The next phase involves fitting all the additional parts that adorn the exterior of a modern AFV, starting with horizontal two layer tapering louvres that mount over the bonnet access hatches, and fixing a V-shaped towing bar on a narrow tray down the left side of the vehicle. There are also a few small boxy parts glued to the fender in front of the exhaust muffler. On the roof over the rear door are a pair of exit hatches, which have handles inside and out, plus a pair of hydraulic lifters on the sides, allowing them to be closed or posed open away from the centre line. The back of the vehicle has four stand-off brackets fitted into slots in the bulkhead, which are surrounded by more appliqué armour boxes with additional brackets for later installation of slat armour. On the roof, the clamshell turret hatch closes over the hatchway, and is joined by a pair of side armour panels with small boxes and details installed inside, and another panel at the rear that has a stowage box applied to the outside, then work starts on the .50cal that is built around the slide-moulded breech with the short cooling jacket perforated for realism. The barrel, breech top, charging handle and twin grip finish the weapon, while the mount is constructed from two main halves plus a few smaller detail parts, adding the Browning into the groove on the top, building up an ammo can with a portion of link making its way to the breech, and the front splinter-shield with the bottom mount that the M2 and its mount drop onto. The finished gun is then inserted on the base on a peg that slots into a corresponding hole in the front. At the very front of the vehicle a two-part frame is latched onto two grooves in the bumper bar, and two sensor boxes with whip aerials are fixed to brackets either side at the front of the fenders, braced by a Y-shaped bracket to the armour on the door, and with a panel of crisply-moulded slat armour laid over the frame that has a pair of cut-outs for tiny inserts and diagonal corners that wrap around to join the side panel of slats over the front wheels. A sloped box-section of slat armour is detailed with wing mirrors, indicator and reflectors before it is fitted over the side window, with two more sections and more reflectors over the rear wheels. The rearmost side slat armour panel has a cut-out to accommodate a side camera in a quadrant fairing and another camera that points perpendicular to the direction of travel from within the armour. The exhaust pipe is extended along the edge of the roof by two more lengths plus a two-part rear muffler that exhausts through the hollow tip over the back door, protecting the side-view camera from the heat with a rectangular part that fits over the top. The rear is closed over by a pair of narrow doors that have small windows near the top, which have clear glass in the frame, and a boxed tinted section placed over the outside. Handles and a protective cage are added inside and out, and they can be posed open using a pair of slat armour supports on the oversized piano hinges that run most of the outer edge. Each door has a fixed outer section of slat armour that joins up with the diagonal section on the side, plus a folding inner section that moves with the door, using different parts for open or closed. The last parts are a trio of aerials, taking note that the green painting option doesn’t have them on the profiles. Markings Modern AFVs aren't particularly overly marked on the outside, so the decal sheet isn't massive. There are two camouflage choices in this boxing, with decals to match, as there have only been two colours used on the type so far. From the box you can build one of the following: British Army Desert Camouflage Ukrainian Marines Green Camouflage The decals were printed in China and although they aren’t up to the standards of the best decal printers, they are suitable for the task, having good register, sharpness and colour density. The MFD screens could have been a little more detailed, but it’s unlikely many unclassified photos exist of them, so it’s not hard to see why, and they won’t be seen too clearly from outside anyway. Conclusion A very well-detailed model of this modern MRAP, and the inclusion of Ukrainian colours is particularly relevant, allowing the modeller to do something a bit different from a desert Mastiff 2 in British service. The tinted windows are a good boost to realism, giving the impression of thick bullet-resistant glass. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Hi everyone!) my following work. Completions: wires to the equipment. Used Tamiya acrylic paints, filters AK-interactive, pigments Homa. Thanks for attention. Yours faithfully, Konstantin.
  3. Kit manufacturer: Panda models Scale: 1/35Type: Cougar 6x6 JERRV Extras used: Legend Productions figures and meng water bottles Paints and colours used: AK, Tamiya All done and happy with how it turned out, especially being my first armour model. Enjoyed it a lot, especially the weathering and base. Please let me know what you think. I must thank everyone who followed my build and helped with advice for various aspects. I will be taking it for the Flory stand at Telford if anyone wants to see it in the flesh. Some pictures of the truck first, then the diorama... -------------------------------------------------
  4. Greetings. This is my first RFI post and my first completed model in about seven years. It’s the Sword F9F-8T/TF-9J Cougar. The Cougar (along with the S-2 and F-111B) holds a special place for me. My father worked on these aircraft at the Grumman Bethpage facility as an electrical assembler and installing wiring harnesses. Unfortunately, when the F-111B program was cancelled, so ended my father’s employment with Grumman. Since I pretty much limit myself to /72 scale, I was rather excited when Sword announced the “Twogar”. In the box, the kit looks very good, but it doesn’t take long for the some of the short-run “features” to pop up – maybe that’s why I haven’t seen any of these built up yet. It looks like a two-seat Cougar and the shape looks good to my eye, but the detail is very soft. The panel lines are complete, but too soft to do my usual pin-wash. I ‘m not ready to re-scribe and entire model yet, and maybe a white finish should just have fine penciling to accent the lines anyway. The series of “fish gill” vents along the lower front fuselage are perceptible as a series of small bumps, not all of the center fuselage vents were open on my example. I elected to drill out the airbrake holes (don’t look to closely at the alignment) and the cannon troughs. The axle holes in the wheels are just dents, but that matches the very short axles on the main gear legs, the wheels ending up in full contact with the brake stacks. The result is a toe-in of the main wheels. The tail bumper wheel, which is typically extended with the gear, is represented as a lump just below the exhaust. I found late in the build that the left main gear leg extended further than the right from the wing. Both legs looked to be the same length, so this may have been an error in my assembly of the gear bays. I had already removed the locating pins on the gear legs as the didn’t seem to have any place to go in the wells, but ended up removing some of the gear leg to get things to look level. I also found that the nose wheel fork was not deep enough to grip the nose wheel at the axle line. I filed some of the inner fork away, but was concerned about breaking the fork. So it is now only just deep enough to take the wheel and looks more like a one-piece nose gear reminiscent of 1960s kits. The cockpit is painted ModelMaster Dark Gull Grey with details picked out with Prismacolor pencils. The kit provided resin seats have surgical paper tape seatbelts and wire overhead ejection handles added. Not taking any chances, the nose is filled with lead shot encased in Epoxy Sculpt External colors are Floquil Reefer White and Testors gloss red (the little square bottle). The standard markings are from the kit decals. They are printed by Techmod and are very thin and fragile. Many of the two dozen or so stencils had a tendency to wrap around my tweezers or fold upon themselves, making it difficult or impossible to get them onto the model. The unit specific markings are computer generated with a laser printer. It wasn’t until I started applying the decals that I realised that I had scaled the aft fuselage MARINES AIR FMF PAC legend too large and had to reprint tem about 30 percent smaller. Maybe this wasn’t the best choice to get my modelling legs back under me, but I have two more of these kits, so maybe I’ll take on more of the detail deficiencies in future builds, particularly the landing gear and the tail bumper. Thanks for looking. Sven Old Viper Tester
  5. I have a soft spot for Grumman's cats. From the cute Wildcat, to the butch Hellcat and all the way to the flashy Tomcat, I think the company has built some of the best looking fighter aircraft in history. Over the summer I started a double-build of the venerable Hasegawa kits of both these planes. It's taken quite some time to finish them, but here they are. Both kits are built straight out of the box, apart from the Sidewinders, which come from the Hasegawa Weapons Set III. Colors are Gunze acrylics and Tamiya white primer. In particular the Tiger is really a candidate for a new tooling, it has raised panel lines, most of which disappear after you have taken care of the fuselage seams. Apart from that it goes together very well, I only needed some filler on the intakes, which are a slightly dubious fit. The main landing gear is a bit of a vague fit, but doable with some trail and error. The decals had yellowed but I was lucky to get another set from a fellow BM-er. Unfortunately no aftermarket decals are available for this kit. It's decidedly underrepresented by both kit manufacturers and aftermarket companies. The Cougar is slightly newer and has the traditional Hasegawa panel lines, very fine, a bit too fine on the underside, I struggled to get the wash to adhere to them. This kit also needed some filler around the intakes and the rear wing to fuselage joint, which requires quite a lot of filler to smooth out. Apart from that, it's an easy build. This was also an older boxing and in this case the decals had both yellowed and cracked. The Cougar also isn't a popular aftermarket subject, but PrintScale do a nice sheet with some Panthers and Cougars, which I used. I believe Sword do a modern tooling of the Cougar but as far as I'm aware not the fighter version. I'm very happy to have these lovely 50s cats in my collection. Hopefully we'll get some modern toolings of both, which will be the perfect excuse to build some more of them.
  6. Here is my latest aerobatic kit, a Cougar Blue Angels. It was abandoned by a friend who gave it to me (half built). The kit is really sharp in the edges and with recesive panel. No coments about decals... they were destroyed at water contact.. so i had to use the Panther Blue angels Revell decals from my next proyect (now naked), and the "Blue Angels" from an old hasegawa kit (f-18 i think).. It was painted with modelmaster Blue angel Blue (1772), and Alclad II. Now my aerobatic collection rose to 10. Cheers! Orlando.
  7. F9F-8 & F9F8P Cougar 1:48 Kitty Hawk The Grumman Cougar was a development of the companies F9F Panther. In most basic terms the Cougar had a swept wing to the Panther's straight wing. As the US Navy considered the Cougar to be a development of the Panther both had the same F9F designation with cougars starting at F9F-6. The F9F-8 was to be the final fighter version of the Cougar. It had an 8" stretch in the fuselage and the wing was modified to have a greater area and chord. The wing improvements would give better low speed handling, a higher angle of attack, and increased fuel capacity. Other improvements would be ability to carry the new Sidewinder missile, and some were even made nuclear capable aircraft. A total of 601 were delivered to the US Navy. In addition to the fighter versions the F9F-8 would be produced as a reconnaissance aircraft, this would be designated the F9F-8P. For these aircraft the nose would be lengthened by 12 inches to accommodate the camera equipment. All guns, the radar system and armament control equipment was deleted, and there was some re-arrangement of the panels in the cockpit to accommodate this, and the addition of camera controls. Additional ducting was provided to channel hot air from the engine to the camera bays. A total of 110 would be produced. The Kit The kit arrives in a fair sized box, inside which we find 4 sprues of grey plastic, two clear sprues (in their own box), a small photo-etched fret; and two sheets of decals. The four sprues of grey plastic are all bent double, so if you separate them you have eight. I wish they would not do this as there is potential for damage when they do it, and when you have to separate them. The details on parts are good, with engraved panel line detail. There is some flash on the sprues, but none on the parts. The sprues are quite large, and the sprue gates heaver than on other kits. Care will be needed removing especially the smaller parts. Construction starts as with most aircraft kits in the cockpit. The first area of business is to make up the ejection seat. The kit provides both the Grumman seat and the Martin Baker Seat. Now there were two different types of headrest for the Grumman seat, and the MB seat used in the Cougar. There is no mention in the instructions which one to use, so the modeller will have to consult their references. Once the seat is made up it can be installed in the cockpit tub along with the control column and rudder pedals. The instrument panel and front bulkhead are also installed at this point. The instruments on the panel and side consoles are supplied as decals, or as photo etch parts. Two different decals are provided for the instrument panel however the instructions make no note of which one to use for which option. The rear decking, sidewalls and instrument shield are added to finish the cockpit off. Construction then moves onto the front wheel well. This is built up from seven parts and the front landing gear is added (thought this will probably be left till later). The front gear is a two part leg with a conventional left/right tyre to build up. Once the wheel well is complete, this together with the cockpit can be added to the front fuselage and this closed up. The instructions then have you adding the front gear doors and airbrakes to this complete front section, though I suspect most modellers will leave these parts until much later on. The next section deals with the construction of the fighter version nose. If making the photo-reconnaissance version then please skip to the next section. A very good rendition of the fighter nose is in the kit. The four 20mm cannon along with the ammunition containers are all provided in the kit. A lot of this detail will not actually be seen. The nose section can then be closed up around the cannon section and the nose mounted refuelling probe added. If the modeller is going to make the photo-reconnaissance version then the next steps deal with making the camera bays. If making the fighter version then you have already made the fighter nose! The model comes with a quite comprehensive camera fit. The different cameras and equipment racks are built up and added to the camera nose section. The camera nose refuelling probe is also added. A lot more of the camera detail will be seen through the extensive glazing in the kit. The appropriate nose can then be added to the completed front fuselage, and construction can start on the main body of the aircraft. The lower main body is a one art section ith left and right upper parts. The main wheel wells need to be built up and added to the lower section along with the arrestor hook. Parts are then added to the ends of the section where the wings join. These will the insides of the fuselage if the modeller wishes to have the wings folded. Even if the wings are straight then they need to be added as they stiffen the structure. The left & right upper parts can then be added. Construction then moves to the underside of the main body with the addition of the main landing gear. This is a one part main gear leg with a one part main wheel. These are added with a retraction strut. A tail bumper is also added at this point. The construction now moves to the rear fuselage section.This is of conventional left & right construction. The three part exhaust needs to be made and installed before you can close the two halves up. The two part rudder and the tail planes are then added at this point. Once complete the the tail section is added to the complete main body. Once done it's time to turn your attention to the wings. These again are of a conventional upper & lower construction. There is a detailed end plate you need to add which like the main body part not only adds detail if you wish to fold the wings, but also provides some structural properties if you do not. Separate control surfaces are provided for the wings, and a photo-etched upper slat is provided. Final construction steps are to add the wings, in either the folded or open position (note if closing them then there is a small tab which must be removed from the main body). Photo etch wing fences are also added at this point. The forward fuselage part can then be added to the rest of the main body. The canopy is added along with under wing pylons. Fuel tanks, early sidewinders, and rocket pods are available as underwing stores as needed by the modeller. Canopy The kit comes with two canopy sprues. One for the fighter version, and one for the reconnaissance version. Both main canopies look the same so you effectively have a spare. The parts are of excellent quality, clear and distortion free. Decals A large and a small sheet of decals are included with the kit. Markings are provided for 3 fighter versions, and two photo-recon versions. F9F-8 Of VF-61. Grey over White aircraft with large yellow side markings. F9F-8 of VF-121. Overall Gloss Sea Blue aircraft with red markings. F9F-9 of The US Navy Blue Angels Display Team. F9F8P of VFP-61. Grey over White aircraft with some red detailing F9F8P of VFP-61. Overall white aircraft with large high visibility red areas. The decals are well printed, with no register issues and look colour dense. There are no markings for the intake lip areas including the thin white strip for the Overall white aircraft which will be difficult to mask. The main walk area on the wing is provided for only two of the decal options which seems a bit strange. Also the Yellow for the Blue Angles markings looks a little off. Conclusion It is great to see a new tool Cougar released, something some of us US Navy fans have been waiting for. It is also good news that this can be built as either the fighter or reconnaissance version. The instructions are lacking in a few places, however this does not detract from the kit. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops
  8. Mister Song is back! Source: http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/forum/25-modern/ After the future F2H-3 Banshee (http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234946848-148th-mcdonnell-f2h-3-4-banshee-by-kittyhawk-in-2014/), KittyHawk is obviously working on a 1/48th Grumman F9F Cougar family. Herebelow a F9F-8T test mule. V.P.
  9. Sword (http://swordmodels.cz/en/) is to release a 1/72nd Grumman F9F-8P Cougar kit - ref.SW72087 Two decals versions: - VFP-61, BuNo 144406,USS Kearsarge(CVA-33),1957 - VFP-62,BuNo 144416,USS Saratoga,(CVA-60),1958 Source: http://www.hannants.co.uk/product/SW72087 V.P.
  10. Grumman TF-9J Cougar 1:48 Kitty Hawk History Initially, the Navy envisaged no requirement for the Grumman Design 105, believing that the Lockheed T2V-1 SeaStar would fill all its requirements for a carrier-capable two-seat trainer. Nevertheless, Grumman was authorized to complete an F9F-8 airframe (BuNo 141667) as a two seater under the designation YF9F-8T. To provide space for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage was extended by 34 inches. The two crew members (student in front, instructor in rear) sat in tandem under a large rearward-sliding canopy. An auxiliary windshield was provided internally ahead of the instructor's seat, which enabled the aircraft to be flown with a partially-open canopy. To save weight, two of the four cannon were removed and the ammunition capacity was reduced. The first flight of the YF9F-8T took place on April 4, 1956. In the meantime, the T2V-1 Sea Star had run into lots of problems with its boundary-layer control system, a feature which was in the mid-1950s still a relatively new innovation. In addition, the T2V-1 was unarmed and could not be used as a weapons delivery trainer. This led the Navy to take a fresh look at the two-seat Cougar, and they eventually acquired 399 production F9F-8Ts between July 1956 and February 1960. The production F9F-8Ts featured some structural strengthening, and most were fitted with a in-flight refuelling probe in the nose, which increased overall length from 44 feet 4 1/4 inches to 48 feet 8 3/4 inches. Late production F9F-8Ts were equipped at the factory with the capability of carrying two Sidewinder missiles under each wing, but this capability was seldom retained in service. The type entered service with the Naval Air Training Command in 1957. They equipped five squadrons. The F9F-8T played an important role in training most of the pilots who were later to fly combat missions in Vietnam. The F9F-8T was also used for the first demonstration of the Martin-Baker ground level ejector seat when Flight Lt Sydney Hughes of the RAF ejected on August 28, 1957 from the aft cockpit of an F9F-8T while flying at ground level at 120 mph. Later, F9F-8Ts were operated by the Naval Parachute Facility at NAS El Centro, California for ejector seat tests. For these tests, they were operated with the rear section of their canopies removed. A radar-equipped night fighter version of the F9F-8T was proposed by Grumman in 1955. It was to have carried an AN/APQ-50 radar and was to have been equipped with an all-missile armament. However, the performance was considered insufficient to warrant production. In 1961, Grumman proposed a modernized version of the F9F-8T with updated systems and a Pratt & Whitney J52 turbojet in place of the J48. However, the Navy selected the Douglas TA-4F instead, and the updated two-seat Cougar project was abandoned. In 1962, the F9F-8T was redesignated TF-9J in accordance with the new Defence Department Tri-Service designation scheme. In 1966-67, four TF-9Js of H&MS-13 were used in the airborne command role to direct airstrikes against enemy positions in South Vietnam. This marked the only use of the Cougar in combat. The two-seat TF-9J continued to serve with the Navy long after its single-seat relatives had been retired to the boneyards. The last squadron to use the TF-9J was VT-4, which finally relinquished its last TF-9J in February 1974. Two F9F-8T trainers were acquired by the Argentine Navy in 1962, and served until 1971. The Cougar was the first jet to break the sound barrier in Argentina. One aircraft (serial 3-A-151) is on display at the Naval Aviation Museum (MUAN) at Bahía Blanca, while the other was sold to an owner in United States The Model This all new kit from Kitty Hawk has already caused something of a stir within the modelling forums, probably more due to the fact that the single seater/s will also be released than the twin seater was first. There of course have been some concerns expressed about some area, particularly the shape of the windscreen and the canopy, but from what I can see in my hand it looks pretty accurate and not like the pre-production test shots. Although, having said that the main canopy could have done with more of a bulge and undercut on the sides as, while it is there in the kit part it’s not really bulging enough. The rest of the kit is beautifully moulded with no sign of flash, as we expect from new kits these days. There are a few flow lines on the wing surfaces, but they don’t impinge on the surface detail. The ejection pin marks are mostly in non-visible areas with only the ones on the cockpit side consoles that may cause concern. Although these will be covered up by the console decals it might be an idea to fill and sand them down to ensure they are not visible under the decals. There are no sink marks visible on the review sample, but the sprue gates are quite large and will need some care in removing the parts. In fact this and the rather soft styrene makes the kit feels a little like a short run injection moulding. There are six sprues of medium grey styrene, one of clear, a small etched brass sheet, the decals and a ball bearing to be used as nose weight. The well printed instruction booklet is beautifully printed and the drawings are nicely done although some care will be need as there are areas that aren’t all that clear as to parts location. Construction begins with the assembly of the ejection seats. Now, the kit comes with both types of seat fitted to the Cougar, the early aircraft were fitted with a Grumman designed seat, whilst later aircraft were fitted with Martin Baker seats which had a better ejection envelope and quickly replaced the earlier seats. The Grumman seats are each made up of six styrene parts and a photo etched harness, whilst the Martin Baker seats are made up of four styrene parts plus the etched harness. With the seats assembled it’s onto the rest of the cockpit. The cockpit tub is fitted with the rudder pedals and joysticks for each pilot, followed the instrument panels and there supports. Decals are provided for the side consoles and panels, Alternatively the modeller can use the instrument panels and side consoles found on the etched brass sheet and carefully paint them to suit. The front, rear and mid bulkheads are now attached along with a few detail parts, plus the coamings for front and rear cockpits. The two side panels are then fitted, producing a solid cockpit tub. Before the cockpit can be fitted to the front fuselage section, the nose undercarriage bay is constructed, which also contains the airbrake bay. This is made up of the bay roof to which the four bulkheads that make up the nosewheel bay are attached as is the rear bulkhead of the airbrake bay. The nose wheel consists of the main oleo, lower leg/yoke and a two piece nose wheel/tyre. There are two nose vents that need to be fitted from the inside of each half of the nose fuselage before the cockpit tub and nosewheel bay, complete with nose wheel are sandwiched into position between the two, not forgetting the ball bearing which I presume needs to be glued intot eh extreme nose as it's not actually mentioned. The instructions now call for the various eternal vents and aerials to be fitted to the nose section, along with the nosewheel bay doors, airbrakes, their respective retraction jacks, refuelling probe, clear blast screen, gunsights and intake splitter plates. It might be an idea to leave some of the more fragile items off until later to prevent breakages/loss. The assembly of the midships section of the fuselage begins with the construction of the three part inner main wheel wells which are then attached in their respective positions on the under fuselage panel. These are followed by the tail hook, (which can only be posed retracted), and the inner bulkheads of the wing fold joint complete with separate hinges. The inner wing upper sections are now attached, and if building an earlier version of the aircraft you will need to fit four small plates to the inner walls of the air intakes. Each main undercarriage is then assembled from a single piece oleo, complete with the scissor link, (which looks really fragile and will require careful removal from the sprue gate), and the single piece main wheel, which, when fitted into position has the retraction jack fitted. The colour callout for the jacks moving part is red, which leads me to assume a ground lock is fitted, thus not suitable for a landing display. The red section will need to be thinned down a bit then painted silver for anything other than a parked display with the undercarriage extended. Continuing the construction the tail bumper is added to the rear of the centre section whilst the lower anti-collision light is fitted to the front. The central beam between the main undercarriage bays is attached followed by two aerials to the rear, one on either side of the tail hook bay. The main undercarriage doors are then attached. As per the nose section, a lot of the above parts should be left off until after the build is complete to prevent breakages and loss. The tail section is now assembled with the construction of the tail pipe which is made up of two halves and the rear engine face. This is than sandwiched between the two halves of the tail section which includes the fin and upper rear fuselage. To this the upper and lower rudders are fitted along with the single piece horizontal tailplanes. The completed tail is now attached to the centre fuselage section. The outer wing panels are made up of upper and lower sections and the wing fold panel. To the wings separate two part ailerons are attached as are the navigation and landing lights. The completed wings are then attached to the inner wing panels at the wing fold joint. If the wings are to be posed folded then a couple of the tabs will need to be removed first and these are clearly indicated in the instructions. Before the nose section is attached the centre spine panel is attached to the top front of the centre section, as are the upper anti-collision light, the photo etched spoiler panels and photo etched wing fences. With the nose section attached it’s just a matter of attaching the six pylons, (three per side) the windscreen, with added photo etched rear view mirrors, and canopy. Weapon loads provided in the kit include two drop tanks, four AIM-9B Sidewinders, and four 2.75” rockets. The drop tanks are made up of upper and lower halves, the Sidewinders as single fuselage including two front and rear fins, with a separate pair of front and rear fins added. The rocket pods are again in upper and lower halves closed off with front and rear panels. The Sidewinders and rocket pods also come provided with pylon adaptors Decals The decal sheets, printed by Kittyhawk themselves are very well printed in register, with good colour density and opacity. There is minimal carrier film and the decals are slightly glossy. The largest of the two sheets contains the majority of the markings complete with a full set of stencils, with the smaller sheet containing the instrument panels and Argentine insignia. The four options are:- TF-9J Cougar of H&MS-13 as used in Vietnam TF-9J Cougar of the Blue Angels TF-9J Cougar of Training Squadron 10 (VT-10) TF-9J Cougar of the Argentine Navy Conclusion This has the hallmarks of a great looking kit straight out of the box, although the cockpit really could do with extra detail and I’m not really sure about the fuselage breakdown, but surmise that this is due to the other versions projected to be released. The choice of markings is very nice too, particularly the Argentine machine. All in all a very nice package, but one which I feel will require some care and plenty of trial fits to get right. Highly recommended with the above caveats. Review sample courtesy of and available soon from major hobby shops.
  11. Grumman F9F Cougar Detail and Scale Digital Publications I very much doubt that there is a modeller on here that does not own at least one Detail and Scale book. They have been providing us modellers with 114 different books between 1978 & 2004. Although they have stopped with traditional print books it seems they have fully embraced the digital era. This is now Detail and Scale's second book in their new digital range (The first was the F3H Demon). Despite some views on the web, the sky has not fallen in; neither has the the traditional print publication industry been pronounced dead! The new book is packed full of the usual facts and figures, with a good narrative we all expect from D&S. There is the addition of a lot more photographs, including colour ones which were to expensive to include in the traditional paper copy. One good feature is that you are able to enlarge the photographs on the page to show as much detail as they will allow. Another new addition is new artwork created by Rock Roszak. Features of Detail & Scales second digital publication, F9F Cougar in Detail & Scale include: A complete developmental history of the Cougar, including how it grew out of the Grumman F9F Panther straight-wing fighter when the United States was confronted with the swept-wing MiG-15 in the skies over Korea. A chapter on Cougar variants that covers the XF9F-6 prototypes and every production version of the Cougar that followed, explaining the differences in configuration for each, including two photo-recon versions and the two-seat F9F-8T. A chapter called Flying the Cougar that features pilot reports from five Cougar pilots who flew every variant of the aircraft, including the drone configuration. A Cougar Details chapter with over 190 detail photographs of every aspect of the Cougar, including the cockpit, windscreen and canopy, internal armament, fuselage, wings, pylons & external armament, landing gear, tail, and engine. An entire chapter dedicated to documenting the various paint schemes seen on the Cougar, including the Gloss Sea Blue, Non-Specular Light Gull Gray over Gloss Insignia White, various training paint schemes, and the colors featured on F9F drone and drone controller aircraft. A chapter on Cougar Squadrons, featuring over 175 photographs and pieces of artwork showcasing which units flew the Cougar and how the aircraft were coded and marked. Units covered include Navy fighter, attack, photo-recon, training and fleet air service squadrons, plus Marine, Reserve, miscellaneous, test and evaluation squadrons, and the Blue Angels. Detail & Scales usual Modelers Section that discusses, reviews, and illustrates the scale models of the Cougar, ranging from those over 30 years old to those being released today. Other features of the book include line drawings of every Cougar variant, two dozen illustrations of ejection seats, internal gun configurations, photo nose cutaways and more, and 34 full color aircraft profiles plus unit logos which adorned various F9F aircraftall created as original art and specifically for this publication. The following are some views from the new book (they have been cropped); The new digital publications do offer a lot of improvements over the print publications. The books are available from the iStore and through Amazon. You do not need a tablet/digital book reader to view them, the Amazon kindle app is available for computers to use, although I have found this does not have as much functionality as my iPad (other tablets are available!) when viewing the book. The books are $9.99 from the US Kindle store, and £5.99 from the UK one. Conclusion Detail and Scale seem to have taken up all the new age of digital publications have to offer, and seem to have actually improved what they can offer to the modeller via this new medium. My only worry is that of my wallet if they continue in this vein! Highly recommended. Information and screen shots thanks to Detail and Scale, though my wallet is responsible for my copy of the book. For further information visit
  12. Grumman F9 Cougar, pics thanks to Bootneck Mike.
  13. F9F Cougar Walk Around Book Squadron Signal The Grumman F9F Cougar was the US Navys first swept wing aircraft. The aircraft was in fact a Grumman Panther with the straight wing replaced with a swept one. The USN considered the Cougar an updated version of the Panther hence why they are both designated F9F with the Cougar starting at F9F-6. The aircraft was developed by Grumman in a fairly short span of time, first flying on 20th September 1951. Deliveries commenced in mid 1952 and ran to 1954 with 646 being built. In addition a further 377 two seat trainers were delivered between 1956 and 1960. The type was too late to see combat in Korea but did have a fairly short combat career with the TF-9J trainer being used as a fast FAC in Vietnam between 1966 and 1968. Cougars were withdrawn from front line service in 1958/59 to be replaced by F11F Tigers and F8U Crusaders. Trainer versions lasted until 1974. The book is on the standard Squadron Signal format of landscape A4. The author is Ken Neubeck and most of the photographs in the book are his as well. The pages are glossy and most are in full colour (except where Black & White pictures are used), there is some great artwork from Don Greer on both the front and back covers. The book starts with a one page introduction to the Cougar, and then follows with specification pages for the different designations. Following this there is a page showing all the different nose and canopy variations of the aircraft. The book has photos mainly of aircraft preserved in museums so the modeller needs to bear this in mind. All photos are captioned so you are in doubt what you are looking at. The cockpit photos are very clear and some are from the Grumman archive so there can be doubt if they are authentic. Conclusion I had not seen one of these books for a while and this one was very good. I like the layout and the quality of the photos (Well done Ken!). With all the details, internal and external; you are presented with an overall comprehensive look at the Cougar. This will be of great help to the modeller, interest to the US Navy fan, or general aviation buff. These books are the next best thing to having access to an actual aircraft. Highly recommended Available in the UK from Hannants. Review sample courtesy of
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