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This is the F-8E Crusader from the F-Toys US Navy Collection Volume 2. These are pre-painted Gashopon trading kits from Japan - apparently you can buy these in vending machines. Oh how I long to live in a country where I could pick up a kit in a vending machine! I stripped and repainted it completely. Well worth picking up if you want a few evenings worth of fun. 



More familiar in this scale is the Platz F-8, though that is an earlier mark. 



For a gashopon, this is among the nicest I have built in terms of fit and details. I'd quite forgotten how good it is. I think the only Gashopon kit that rivals it is the F-Toys Curtiss Helldiver. Truly must have been a labour of love for the creators - the attention to detail is brilliant for this scale (and a kit that sells for less than £6 over there) - even the interior of the engine burner can is nicely moulded. Yes the panel lines are heavier than the Platz kit but they are very modest indeed compared to many other styrene or resin kits being released in 144 these days. 



The only bits I added were to tart up the cockpit a bit with some seatbelts and a few details on the ejector seat like the yellow/black pull cord. I also stole some Zuni rockets and pylons from the Platz kit (incredibly fiddly to assemble I found) as the photos I could find of a VF-13 Crusader showed it with Zunis mounted. 



Paint was Hataka. I probably weathered it way too much for a mediterranean cruise but you do see photos of these quite dirty and I was having fun and trying some new techniques. I'm really quite pleased with the results, I have to say. My one regret is the oil panel wash on the white belly particularly is too harsh, but I don't really want to mess with it any more. Knowing when to stop is good - ask me how I know... 



The decals area also from the kit - though I stole the insignia from the Platz kit as well as a few spare stencils from the old Microscale sheet. The F-Toys decals worked remarkably well - they are often very hit and miss. Though on the thick side they settled into the surface detail very well with some setting solution and they are very well printed (none of the graininess of some F-Toys decals). 



The one thing I notice now is missing is the number 1 on the flaps/ailerons. I'll have to add that now - I always notice something when writing these things!



The scheme I went for is for an aircraft from VF-13 Nightcappers which flew the F-8E from 1964-1966 on several cruises in the Mediterranean aboard USS Shangri-La. The paint scheme changed in 1966, so this dates this particular aircraft to mid-1965.







I wanted a change from photographing things on aircraft carriers so this particular F-8 has put down on land. Probably never happened but indulge me. Heroes Models figures and cart, Brengun MD3.




A lovely kit - looking forward to the new F-Toys Crusader release in November  (which my conscience is now cleared to buy having finished all my previous release boxes!).


Finally - with some of the other USN aircraft I've finished the past couple of months.




There's a bigger brute in the works next...



Thanks very much for looking, as always, if you made it this far.



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Can't quite believe I'm looking at 1/144 models!

Incredible detail & finishing in miniature!


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