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  1. 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: 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. 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: 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. 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? 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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