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Academy 1/72 F-8E Crusader "The Hunters"


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This is a project I've been really itching to do after first completing this kit about a year ago. You can review my old build HERE (which also includes some thoughts on the kit). The kit comes in two flavors, VF-162 "Hunters" or VF-103 "Sluggers". My first build was the Hunters so in this one I'm going to do the Sluggers.

 

In addition there were a few things that I want to do differently in this build.

  1. The slats are separate but not the flaps. All in the retracted position. This is wrong when building the kit wing "hump" up as the flaps and slats drop in conjunction with the wing (literally the whole wing raises if you're not familiar with the Crusader. So my first goal is to saw off the flaps and attach them with the slats to be in the deployed position. 
  2. While the kit comes with bombs and missiles I don't like how the F-8 has the rails on the side of the fuselage. It covers up a lot of detail so I'm going to leave them off but keep the bombs.
  3. Since I built the Hunters already I'm going to do the Sluggers.

 

The Kit

 

The kit comes with 3 sprues and 1 clear part. The parts are highly detailed like most 2010's new tooled kits by Academy. Also flash is non existent although there are the few ill placed ejector pin marks. It's a fairly simple kit that you can build up in a few weeks or less. 

 

The main feature is the wings which can be raised (deployed) in takeoff configuration with moderate detailing inside the upper fuselage. Regardless of how you build it, this is extremely beneficial as the fit is essentially a drop fit so you can feel confident painting, weathering, and detailing, the wings and fuselage separately. Also, the landing gear can be installed and configured (sans the tires) right away since it is the same color as the bottom fuselage and gear bays. So no fiddling with gluing and securing small parts after painting is completed.

 

Another takeaway is that academy loves to provide ordnance. In this kit you get 8x Mk.82 bombs, 4 AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and 2x French R.550 Magic missiles. Yes, you read that right, 2x French missiles. Why they're in this kit I have no idea. The French navy flew the F-8 Crusader but Academy has no boxing of that so it's a curious addition. Cut them out and add them to you spare pile.

 

Here's a the kit box and some sprue shots.

 

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39 minutes ago, Fox_Two said:

Another takeaway is that academy loves to provide ordnance. In this kit you get 8x Mk.82 bombs, 4 AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and 2x French R.550 Magic missiles. Yes, you read that right, 2x French missiles. Why they're in this kit I have no idea. The French navy flew the F-8 Crusader but Academy has no boxing of that so it's a curious addition.

 

Actually Academy has issued a couple of boxings for the Aeronavale F-8E(FN)/F-8P:  Kit No. 12407 was issued circa 2006, and in 2018 kit 12559 (to the best of my knowledge, plastic and decals in both are the same). They even represent the double-slotted flaps and enlarged horizontal stabilizers of the French variant.  The French kits include the same common weapons sprue as the US F-8E, so in that case you get AIM-9Ds and Zunis for the spares box! 😊

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6 hours ago, CT7567 said:

 

Actually Academy has issued a couple of boxings for the Aeronavale F-8E(FN)/F-8P:  Kit No. 12407 was issued circa 2006, and in 2018 kit 12559 (to the best of my knowledge, plastic and decals in both are the same). They even represent the double-slotted flaps and enlarged horizontal stabilizers of the French variant.  The French kits include the same common weapons sprue as the US F-8E, so in that case you get AIM-9Ds and Zunis for the spares box! 😊

Yes! I stand corrected: https://www.scalemates.com/kits/academy-12559-f-8p-crusader-french-navy-last-flight--1139425

 

Not sure how I missed that.

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Work on the cockpit is complete. Both the seat and the IP are pretty well detailed. I would recommend forgoing the decals and just paint and drybrush everything. It's 1/72 scale so the details are insanely small. The seat is also pretty basic but it does include the ejection handles which a lot of 72nd kits don't even include. 

 

For the tub the instructions call for Dark Gull Gray and afterwards I gave it a dirt wash.

 

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Added some detailing to the wing bay. I really need to get some better wiring. Up close the larger wire is starting to fray. I should just suck it up and get some lead fishing wire as opposed to twist electrical (speaker) wire. It really won't be too visible as the deployed wing hump isn't that high. But it's enough detail to make it interesting if you peek quickly with a pen light.

 

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I've used the inner copper wires of a CAT-5e network cable for conduits. The connectors were broken anyway, so..

Those have 8 twisted copper wires consisting of 6 thin copper threads in a very small mantle. Just one footlength will go a long way.

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3 hours ago, alt-92 said:

I've used the inner copper wires of a CAT-5e network cable for conduits. The connectors were broken anyway, so..

Those have 8 twisted copper wires consisting of 6 thin copper threads in a very small mantle. Just one footlength will go a long way.

IF you can strip them without cutting them - because they are so thin. I've been having a helluva time doing that. I've resorted to burning the insulation off.

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No build ever completes without some sort of royal f*** up. In this case we have three so far. All of them stem from sealing the two fuselage halves together without more dry fitting. 

 

1. As always I forgot to add weight to the front end of the fuselage. I really need a large LED sign telling me to ADD WEIGHT in front of my bench. Luckily I don't think the F-8 is rear heavy and shouldn't tail sit when built. If it does, I have some deluxe liquid gravity i can pour in the front intake (which has a sealed end).

 

2. I forgot to install the top fuselage wing bay. For whatever reason I though i could install this later. Nope needs to be installed before assembling the fuselage. So I to cut open the fuselage and install it.

 

3. Because of 2, the gear bays are all sorts of out of alignment. Also because i tried to force the fit, the shard edges of the gear bay, which align inside the fuselage, ripped through the plastic or stressed it (white spots on the left of the first picture and right on the second)   See pictures below.

 

These types of gaps are a perfect candidate for some milliput or styrene sheet.

 

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8 hours ago, Christer A said:

Oops, that was quite the gap!

I have this kit as well, and I really look forward to see how you tackle this.

As long as you're not stupid like me there should only be a very subtle step and gap on either side.

 

But DONT fill it. It's supposed to be like that as the gear doors essentially sit in the gap flush. So you don't need any filler. 

 

My mistake caused such a misalignment that I had to fill it in flush 

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As I'm working on filling the gaps and damage done by the gear bay I also wanted to close up the speed brake. Like a lot of kits where things are "deployable" (gear, speed brakes, flaps, etc.) usually dont fit right when retracted. The speed brake is no different.

 

There are a lot of gaps around it along with a depression where one piece is higher than the other. On the real F-8 this is a flat smooth area. Ignore the two sharp gaps on the speed brake as those will be filled in when the rest of the gear bay is installed. Although that will need filling as well. You can also see the milliput i used to fill in the gear bays i mentioned in the prior post.

 

We can tackle this one of three ways. I can sand it smooth which will leave a U shape depression (NO). I can fill it with putty (Meh, that would need a lot). Finally I can fill it with some plasticard and sand smooth (BINGO). The plasticard will also be easier to rescribe.

 

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Plasticard cut to size and put in place. I then sanded it smooth, filled in the gaps and panel lines, sanded smooth again, and then rescribed the lines. I forgot to take a picture of the finished job though and will update this post with it when I can.

 

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Here's where we're at with the wing modifications.

 

First, remove the flaps using a razor saw. The flaps are two pieces on the real aircraft so we have to cut out those portions as well

 

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Next, we sand out grooves (I used a round metal file) to allow space to insert the flaps. This gives it a more realistic look and won't extend the size of the flap.

 

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Next, fit and glue the flaps in position.

 

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Finally, we sand smooth the hard edges at the top of the flaps to give it a more rounded shape. Then we fill the gap and rescribe. Note, the F-8 doesn't have a gap. The flaps drop straight down on a panel line. They don't extend or extrude from the wing.

 

 

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On 8/9/2020 at 2:56 PM, Fox_Two said:

I really need to get some better wiring.

Solder comes in a variety of small diameters and is  easily bent and curved to fit the desired location and configuration; in addition, pulling the wire from old electric motor armatures will also give you a lifetime supply that is also easily bent to the desired shape. If you have an electrical/electronics shop nearby, you can almost always get a lifetime supply of old cables and wires for the asking!

Mike

 

BTW- I'm all over this build! The Crusader is one of my all-time favorite classic weenie cookers! Can't wait to see the RFI!

 

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The slats are molded separately so it will save time on attaching them. The attachment point is small enough that we can leave it on and just angle the slats down. To fill the gaps, on both the slats and flaps, I tried three different fillers and neither of them were good. This included sheet styrene, tamiya putty, and milliput. I eventually settled on Milliput as you can see in the images. Once dried we sand smooth and rescribe a large panel line to indicate the demarcation line where the flaps deploy/retract.

 

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Here is a shot of the flaps that have been rescribed.

 

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On 8/10/2020 at 11:02 PM, Fox_Two said:

As always I forgot to add weight to the front end of the fuselage. I really need a large LED sign telling me to ADD WEIGHT in front of my bench. Luckily I don't think the F-8 is rear heavy and shouldn't tail sit when built. If it does, I have some deluxe liquid gravity i can pour in the front intake (which has a sealed end).

A bit of Tamiya tape appropriately marked and stuck to one fuselage half works well ;) Yes, I forget too! :(

 

Martin

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