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1/72 Sword F9F-8T Cougar - Pics Intensive

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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.


Old Viper Tester


Edited by Old Viper Tester
Photobucket silliness.
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I love those training schemes. I think that you wisely choose to leave it clean. Looks very very good! Nice model, those swords look perfect on sprues but somehow challenging for building.

Regards Djordje

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