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Cutlass and Tiger, why no kits


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I wonder why these aircrafts receive so little attention from manufacturers. The Cutlass is guaranteed to turn heads at your average exhibition and the Tiger, while of a more conventional design, carried some colourful schemes including a gorgeous sharkmouth. But what do we have? Old kits that in 1/72 (Hasegawa, Fujimi) are at least serviceable and in 1/48 (Lindberg - rivet fests, Hobbycraft - rarer than raw steak) are not. Demons and Skyrays demonstrate that there's a place in the sun for these early Navy jets, so does anyone know what's in the mind of the marketing departments?

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I think that 'hate' is over doing it, just lack of interest. After all manufacturers need to make money and if they think that a kit will not sell well they will not bother to produce it. The aircraft you mention did not have long and distinguished service careers so that might account for the lack of interest by modellers. Another indication is that when these kits appear on Ebay they sell for reasonable prices which would indicate that there is not a great demand for them.

John

PS. I have the Skyray, Cutlass and Tiger in my display case

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In the mind of the marketing departments is the fact that they have all the data for the sales of their previous kits. And they also have feedback from distributors who in turn get feedback from the channels that sell the kits to us enthusiasts, so that a rough idea of how much the other companies sell also reaches the hears of the same marketing departments.

And apparently the information they get is that these types are not stellar performers when it comes to sales, reason why mainstream companies today stay clear of similar subjects. Being a big fan of early USN jets this is disappointing but really I can't blame them as in the end it's a business for these companies and they must get a return on their investments.

Fortunately as I build in 1/72 there's no lack of kits around and overall they are mostly decent. As John said, prices are also reasonable for these OOP kits. I've kept an eye on several issues of the Fujimi Cutlass a while ago on Ebay and there were plenty around £17-20 plus postage. When I found one for £20 including postage I immediately grabbed it. IIRC this kit when new was around £15-16 in 90's money, so I'd say prices are good. The Hasegawa Tiger seems to fetch higher prices and is less easy to find but with Hasegawa there's always the possibility of a rebox at any point in the future.

I may add that the Hasegawa Tiger is IMHO more in need of a replacement than than the Fujimi Cutlass, as the latter is really still a nice kit today. Fortunately there are companies like Sword that thanks to their manufacturing process can make smaller number of kits while still making a profit and we've seen several early USN jets from them (Demon, Cougar, Skyknight, Fury...). If I had to bet on a new Tiger I'd bet on Sword and I'd be pretty happy with the result judging from what I've seen (with the Demon being very nice).

In 1/48 scale I guess that Kitty Hawk would be the name to follow as they've already done the Fury, the Banshee and the Cougar. Again a company used to work with smaller numbers compared to the better known "mainstream" manufacturers

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What I don't get about the F11F is that it was a Blue Angels aircraft! One would think that has some desirability. :shrug:

 

In 1/48, I'm only aware of the Lindberg and Fonderie Miniatures versions. The former is actually the "XF9F-9" prototype, well minus a cockpit and other detail. The FM version goes for waaaaay to much money.

 

I do occassionally read about some 1/48 version in the works, but we shouldn't hope for too much...

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I think previous posters hit the nail on the head.  For model manufacturers they are a business - there for profit purposes.

Completion of a line for the sake of historical completion, just won't cut it with share-holders.

 

That said I'm sharing the love for the Tiger:

Hasegawa-F11-F1-Tiger-Fleet.jpg

Hasegawa-F11-F1-Tiger-Blue-Angel.jpg

Now why have I NEVER found a mainstream XF-10F Jaguar to complete my Grumman line-up?

I think that confirms the point.

 

I've also got the Fujimi F7U-3 Cutlass tucked away in my stash.

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If you are to believe Kitty Hawk's FB page, they are working on a Tiger as well as a Cutlass.  Appears the CAD work has already been done for the Tiger. They mentioned on their FB page 4-5 years ago the Cutlass was pretty much ready to go.  They announced they were going to do the late Banshee. It seems they were interested in doing a F6U-1 Pirate. They did the Cougar, Fury and early Banshee so one would speculate they will be doing these other two eventually. Right now KH pretty much owns the 1/48 50's NavAir period. They seem poised to continue in that vein. 

Edited by jpk
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What Giorgio and the others have said is entirely correct, in my opinion. Add to those statements the fact that neither type had a very long service career, never saw combat, was only used by one nation, and other than the Tiger in Blue Angels colors, was basically in one color scheme, probably were  seen by mainstream kit makers as not having much of a sales market. The Fujimi Cutlasses are very good kits and can still be found reasonably priced- the Hasegawa Tigers, not so much- especially the early 'short-nose' boxing. Obscureco used to  market a cockpit/detail set for the Hasegawa Tiger, OBS72026, which is about all it really needs. RES-IM did a pre-painted photoetched set  for the Fujimi Cutlass, PE72-009, but I'm not aware of any detail sets for it. You could also look in @Tailspin Turtle's Tailhook Topics website for many Cutlass and Tiger details. (I don't receive any consideration for recommending Tommy's articles- he's just pretty much the go-to USN aircraft reference resource for us modelers!) Not being a 1/48 modeler, I can't help a lot with kits and/or  accessories- sorry! Hmmm- that being said, I seem to recall seeing a very nice build a long time ago where the 1/48 Lindberg kit was corrected and detailed to do one of the 14  F7U-1's built- you could look for that.  

Mike

 

http://www.obscureco.com/product_pages/OBS72026/OBS72026.html

Edited by 72modeler
corrected spelling
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Yes hate is a bit strong so its changed. 

 

I too cant understand why we have no 1/38 kits of these. The Fujimi Cutlass is a nice kit. We could do with Sword looking at these.

 

Julien

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1/38 Julien! Even I can understand why not.

Sorry - couldn't resist

John

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Actually, two F7U-1s had been used briefly by Blue Angels.

Gf7u-3.jpg

The aerobatic group had been using F9F-5 Panthers at the time, so I understand Cutlasses flew mainly as solo performers. Nevertheless, F7U in Blue Angels livery would make very attractive model. Cheers

Jure

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On 24/03/2020 at 18:25, Julien said:

I too cant understand why we have no 1/38 kits of these.

Because 1:38 would be a silly scale :wicked:

 

KH have a Cutlass scheduled for 2020 according to Scally-mates.

..

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With Kittyhawk focusing very strongly on helicopter kits right now, I wouldn't expect to see anything else in aircraft, early US Navy or otherwise, for about another year or two. Kittyhawk's Cutlass having been designed some time back, I would like to see a kit build review before I consider buying one ... and I love the Cutlass.

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16 hours ago, Denford said:

The Cutlass and Tiger are the US equivalent of the Scimitar

 

In modelling popularity, probably yes. However both US types have been better represented than the Scimitar.. the Hasegawa Tiger may be almost 40 year old but is still from many aspects a nicer build than the Xtrakit Scimitar... And there's no comparison with the Fujimi Cutlass

 

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Scratchaeronutics have just produced a long and short nose Tiger in 1/48. Hope these links work otherwise check out their Facebook page.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Glen said:

Scratchaeronutics have just produced a long and short nose Tiger in 1/48. Hope these links work otherwise check out their Facebook page.

 

 

If you are in dire need for a 1/48 Tiger, get the FM kit. It is light years ahead of the Scratchareonautic's Tiger which used the Lindberg Tiger kit as a basis. 

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I think it is about timing as well. I remember 40 years ago reading about "Buck Danny" flying the Blue Angels F11F Tiger. And strange is about the same time those available 1/72 Hasegawa Tiger's where all sold out. So I wasn't alone reading those magazine's about Buck Danny, Dan Cooper and other pilots flying Tiger's, Crusader's and Starfighter's.

 

Today young people don't read those magazine's and they don't build models. So the potential buyers are rather few. And it doesn't help that the Tiger still is an rather good looking aircraft. 

 

Cheers / André 

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On 3/24/2020 at 5:49 PM, Denford said:

The Cutlass and Tiger are the US equivalent of the Scimitar

That is a little harsh - the Scimitar flew off carriers far longer than either

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3 minutes ago, Scimitar F1 said:

That is a little harsh - the Scimitar flew off carriers far longer than either

 

and from what I have read the Scimitar didn't get the bad press the Cutlass received.  I gather the names "Gutless Cutlass" and "Ensign Eliminator" were two of the better known.  

 

from good old Wiki:-

In 1957, Chance Vought analysed the accident record and found that with 78 accidents and a quarter of the airframes lost in 55000 flight hours, the Cutlass had the highest accident rate of all Navy swept-wing fighters.[2]

The poor safety record meant that Vice Admiral Harold M. “Beauty” Martin, air commander of the United States Pacific Fleet replaced his Cutlass aircraft with Grumman F9F-8 Cougars.[2]

 

Possibly adds to the lack of appeal in the mainstream market.  

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On 3/25/2020 at 7:26 PM, JohnT said:

 

and from what I have read the Scimitar didn't get the bad press the Cutlass received.  I gather the names "Gutless Cutlass" and "Ensign Eliminator" were two of the better known.  

 

from good old Wiki:-

In 1957, Chance Vought analysed the accident record and found that with 78 accidents and a quarter of the airframes lost in 55000 flight hours, the Cutlass had the highest accident rate of all Navy swept-wing fighters.[2]

The poor safety record meant that Vice Admiral Harold M. “Beauty” Martin, air commander of the United States Pacific Fleet replaced his Cutlass aircraft with Grumman F9F-8 Cougars.[2]

 

Possibly adds to the lack of appeal in the mainstream market.  

 

The F-104 also had an rather bad reputation. At least in Germany. Still it sells rather well with Luftwaffe decals. Airfix, Hasegawa, Esci/Italeri, Revell, Academy made them in 1/72. So I think a poor safety record doesn't adds to the lack of appeal in the mainstream market...

 

Cheers / André 

Edited by Andre B
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F-104 had many different users, the Cutlass only one.

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36 minutes ago, Andre B said:

 

The F-104 also had an rather bad reparation. At least in Germany. Still it sells rather well with Luftwaffe decals. Airfix, Hasegawa, Esci/Italeri, Revell, Academy made them in 1/72. So I think a poor säkert record doesn't adds to the lack of appeal in the mainstream market...

 

Cheers / André 

Agreed Andre  - a bad record  is not an issue all by its own.  Where the Cutlass and the F-104 stories differ of course is that the Starfighter was sold to many countries, had many varied colour schemes including "specials" for Tiger meets and the like, was land based so seen in many countries/airshows etc and was a rather slinky looking machine whereas the poor old Cutlass wasn't any of those.

2 minutes ago, Julien said:

F-104 had many different users, the Cutlass only one.

Julien just beat me to it as well.

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On 3/24/2020 at 2:16 AM, Bonehammer said:

I wonder why these aircrafts receive so little attention from manufacturers. Does anyone know what's in the mind of the marketing departments?

So many great and far more successful types are equally neglected. 

 

Sadly, modellers ask this question all the time and occasionally a manufacturer will take a punt on the perceived market and produce one. Rather than applaud them and buy it, the modelling fraternity condemns it for being the wrong variant, the wrong scale (it's ALWAYS the wrong scale), too expensive, or because ‘the nose is off'.

 

Deeply unimpressive sales follow, and the manufacturers take note. Then they release another 1/48 F-16 or Spitfire instead. And so it goes. 

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45 minutes ago, JohnT said:

Agreed Andre  - a bad record  is not an issue all by its own.  Where the Cutlass and the F-104 stories differ of course is that the Starfighter was sold to many countries, had many varied colour schemes including "specials" for Tiger meets and the like, was land based so seen in many countries/airshows etc and was a rather slinky looking machine whereas the poor old Cutlass wasn't any of those.

Julien just beat me to it as well.

Om the other hand I feel the Cutlass has än interesting story. I remember an "story" in FSM about how the modernised Cutlass with new avionics was chosen by the US Navy when the F-14 was experienced as an "failure".

 

I have two 1/72 Fujimi Cutlass'es in my stash and feel it's rather nice kits of an unconventional but still good looking aircraft. But one have to take time and caution when it comes to fit the forward fuselage to the wingfuselage. Dryfitting is the road to succes...

 

Cheers / André 

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