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CT Modeller

F7U-1 Cutlass - Aurora kit

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Vought F7U-1 Cutlass

NAS Patuxent River & USS Midway, 1951

‘Aurora’ is one of those names that have a mystical, nostalgic feel. It seems like the remaining Aurora kits are stocked in unknown dusty attics across the world. Imagine then my excitement when I came across one on sale for fiver on a stand at the Northolt Families day last year.

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What to do with it now? Shall I see what I can get on e-bay, put it in my own attic for a few more years....or maybe just built it !!! Yeah – just built it.

This is what you get in the box:

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A few gigantic rivets and a pilot’s head in the cockpit was standard fare in the late 50s / early 60s. I was tempted to just put it together as-is, but the thought of getting decals to go down over those rivets made me decide to sand them all off. Control surface demarcations were raised, of course, so they had to be scribed back in. I had originally thought of leaving Jo Pilot in the cockpit, but the canopy shape was just so horribly wrong that I decided to mould a new one and along with that would be opening up the cockpit. I only put some very basic details and an approximate seat in there.

There are all kinds of short cuts and dodgy shapes overall, but I thought I would leave it to keep something of the old Aurora character. That included the solid wheel wells and the original kit undercarriage, incredibly basic though it is (though eventually I did replace the torque links).

Decals were the next issue. The kit ones were very, very yellowed. I liked the chosen scheme though, and found this photo of it:

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I found some replacement decals from Techmod, and they went on well. The small Bureau Number decal in front of the air intake was from the kit decal sheet to retain a link to the original!

I wouldn’t want to do one of these again for a while, but it’s nice to have such a nostalgic model in the collection.

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Has turned out very well indeed, the hard work paid off. Good to see an F7U-1 Cutlass too :)

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That's really nice. You've done a magnificent job of de-riveting the beast.

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You made a great improvment here indeed! I made it about '75 OOB - and it looks really different :(

Congrats :)

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That's superb!

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You've done an amazing job with this old kit. Looks great. The Cutlass may have been more dangerous to its pilots than any potential enemy but it sure looked good.

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Lovely looking model.

Interesting that that they re-released it in an updated box with a newer logo (not the old elliptical one), and that the instructions have addresses for Croydon and the Netherlands.

Any idea what scale it is? Perhaps 1/50?

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Lovely looking model.

Interesting that that they re-released it in an updated box with a newer logo (not the old elliptical one), and that the instructions have addresses for Croydon and the Netherlands.

Any idea what scale it is? Perhaps 1/50?

Good point about the scale, as I forgot to mention it! It's actually roughly 1/72, so much smaller than you were imagining.

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Well done. It's a treat to see how well that turned out.

David

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I need a 1/72 Cutlass for a project I'm trying to start. I'd passed over this kit looking for the Fujimi one. I might have to reconsider that decision. Was it a really bad kit?

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Nice job on the old beast! I haven't seen one of these kits in ages. You've really polished it up nicely. I think the original release of this kit was the late 1950s, so if this is a re-release (when? - I don't recognize that box at all) then it looks like the mould has held up well. When this was first released, Aurora put "F7U-3" on the box top, but changed it to "F7U" on subsequent releases. As you've said, this is really an F7U-1.

There's nothing more satisfying than removing tons of rivets from an old kit - well, maybe a few things but you know what I mean. :)

Cheers,

Bill

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You have made a good job of rehashing this old kit. I had a old Lindberg Helcat that consisted of very parts from the early 60's Very old and very wrong so I built straight out of the box, rivets and all. I did it with reacted undercarriage and put it on its stand. I like to build the really old ones straight out of the box just to see what they did look like. I think the scale of some of these old kits are very variable.

Edited by Bear Paw

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I need a 1/72 Cutlass for a project I'm trying to start. I'd passed over this kit looking for the Fujimi one. I might have to reconsider that decision. Was it a really bad kit?

Firstly, there is no comparison between this old Aurora F7U-1, and the fairly modern Fujimi F7U-3 kit. As you can see from my photos, this Aurora kit is an example of the 1950s way of doing things. The Fujimi kit is a 'proper' modern kit with full detail, accurate and well moulded, but it is a -3 which is quite a lot different from a -1 so it depends what you want.

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I'm gonna cut it up to make the unbuilt A2U-1 version. So I'd rather start with a cheap kit incase I mess it up. I never thought this old kit could turn out this great.

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The Fujimi kits on Ebay are usually cheap enough to risk chopping up

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Cracking job on the old kit!

Excellent modelling :)

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You've upgraded the original in splendid fashion.

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