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Julien

Vought F-8E Crusader VF-162 "The Hunters" - 1:72 Academy

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Vought F-8E Crusader VF-162 "The Hunters"

1:72 Academy


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Vought designed the F-8 (Then the F8U) in the early 1950s in response to a US Navy requirement for a supersonic fighter to be armed with 20mm canon as Korea had shown the short comings of aircraft armed with the traditional 0.50 calibre ammunition. The F-8 would be the last USN aircraft designed with guns as its primary weapon, indeed the F-4 which followed never has a gun in USN service. This lead to the F-8 being called "The Last of the Gunfighters". A novel feature of the F-8 was the fitment of a variable incidence wing. This afforded extra lift without compromising forward visibility as the main fuselage stays level. The F-8E was a major development of the Crusader. A new AN/APQ-94 Radar unit was fitted giving the nose a new profile with its larger nose cone. Another noticeable addition was the dorsal hump. This contained the electronics needed to fire the new AGM-12 Bullpup missile. Weapons pylons appeared on the wings able to carry a combined 5000lbs of ordnance. A new J57-P-20A engine was also fitted. A total of 286 E models would be built.

The Kit
Academy's Crusader was first released in 2004 and welcomed by 1.72 scale modellers. It is as good now as it was then, the mould still producing crisp parts, with fine recessed detail. The kit arrives on three main sprues, with a smaller sprue for weapons; and a clear sprue. Construction starts with the cockpit. The four part ejection seat is assembled and then installed onto the cockpit tub. The instrument panel is added complete with its gunsight, a control column is added as is a rear cockpit bulkhead. Following this the engine intake, and main gear well sub assemblies are made up. Once these three sub assemblies are complete they can be added to the main fuselage. Also to be added to the main fuselage before closing it up are the main ventral airbrake, arrestor hook bay; and the bay under the main wing.

sp1.JPG


The main wing can then be assembled. It is worth noting that the kit allows the modeller to make the variable incidence main wing and allow it to be shown in the raised position. For this separate leading edge slats are provided as they drop when the wing is raised. However at the same time the slats drop the flaps also drop. Academy do not provide this as an option in the kit so the modeller will have to cut these out if they wish to raise the wing. To help there are a number of aftermarket kits to replace the flaps. It is slightly annoying Academy have not fixed this error. To make the main wing the electronics hump for the to is added along with the leading edge slats.

sp2.JPG


The next area to receive the attention of the modeller is the underside of the Crusader. The nose wheel is built up and installed along with the nose wheel bay doors. The nose wheel is a three part leg with a one part wheel. The ventral airbrake is installed in either the open or closed position. It is worth noting that on parked Crusaders there is some droop of this as pressure bleeds of the hydraulic system. The main gear is then built up next. There is a two part leg with a one part wheel. The main gear bay doors are then installed. The tail planes and ventral strakes are then added. Again if the crusader is parked the tailplanes tip backwards slightly as the hydraulic pressure bleeds off.

sp3.JPG


The modeller is now on the home straight. The canopy is added on the front, and the exhaust nozzle to the rear. Also at the rear the afterburner cooling scoops are added. If the modeller is going to arm their crusader up single and double "Y" racks are provided for the nose to hold either Sidewinder Missiles, or 5" Zuni Rocket Pods. For the wing pylons Multiple Ejection racks and 500Lb Snake eye bombs are provided. The bombs sit on the pylons in slant configuration where by only the bottom and outer parts of the rack are used. The last items to be added are the pitot tube and finally the main wing.

sp4.JPG


sp5.JPG


Decals
Decals are by Cartograf and should pose no issues, markings are provided for two options;

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  • VF-162 "Hunters" - USS Oriskany 1966
  • VF-103 "Sluggers" - USS Forrestal 1964
Conclusion
It is good to see this kit re-released with new decals, in particular a non Vietnam Squadron. Highly recommended.

Review sample courtesy of
logo.gifUK Distributors for logo.gif

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And for those with a taste for MiG killers, there'll be soon an 1/72 version of Furball decal sheet for F-8.

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Just noticed the funny "00" eyes :)

Great kit, almost no hassles building it.

Alex

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Decals are by Cartograf

:yahoo: That should solve the problems with the decals in the original issue of this kit. They simply didn't stick!!!

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Not only the original decals didn't always stick, the white was also not opaque enough, something particularly annoying on the large VMF(AW)-333 insignia as this covered both grey and white painted areas and of course the different underlying colours showed through...

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So we'll be seeing a French crusader soon? Nice.

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