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US Navy F2H-3 of VF-41 "Black Aces" on USS Bennington, 1956 (Academy 1/72)


jrlx
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Dear All,

 

Having finished an AZ Model AH-1G Cobra in mid-December, which gave me a fight almost every step of the way, I decided to build something simple and out-of-the-box. I opted for Academy's F2H-3, which seemed quite simple and has been recently re-boxed.

 

Here's a picture of the box art, sprues and decals:

y4mUfM67eWSfxThpSma06OwybTeVP7pM1OAzr-zJ

IMAG7109

 

The decal sheet in detail. It's printed by Cartograf, should perform flawlessly:

y4mBzjVDa75lnLMlJUawc3b2B3p9lmm83e-bEeub

IMAG7110

 

The decals allow one of seven schemes to be built. On the box side we can see six of these:

y4mDV8bZeHqGCXGRBa28LGLyvFoP91bL9duKffUN

IMAG7111

 

However, I'll build the box-art scheme, which is also shown on the top sides of the box:

y4mz52psNccU5jkMeiOa9mko-TcZY1zpB5Ikmopp

IMAG7112

 

There's a good picture of this aircraft on the net:

F2H-3_of_VF-41_on_USS_Bennington_(CVA-20

 

There's also a video of flight operations of VF-41 aboard another carrier (USS Forrestal) around the same time:

 

There are two detailed walk-arounds on the net:

https://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/f2h/f2h_walk.shtml

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/bill_spidle2/f2h_126419/

 

I started the build by removing the cockpit parts from the sprues:

y4mAnJzSfS2afQpX8sXLBYwyFhKgFiED5ybZo0g_

IMAG7113

 

The instrument panel and side panels have raised detail to represent the instrumentation but there are no decals for that. The control column is a poor representation of the real thing. The ejection seat needs some scratch built additions to represent the ejection handles.

 

These handles are shown in the following pictures of the real thing: there's one on each side of the seat, in red and yellow stripes,

fortin_f2h_11.jpg

 

fortin_f2h_13.jpg

 

There's also a red handle on the top of the seat, visible through the canopy on this picture:

fortin_f2h_63.jpg

 

I made the handles from 0.2 mm copper wire. The seat was drilled on the proper places and the pre-bent wires were glued in place with CA. Here's the final result:

y4mTMW4di2RhDsyWY1_EWWNwUHsrIYzDg2O3hXI1

IMAG7119

 

The ejection mark on the floor of the cockpit tube isn't completely covered by the seat. So, I applied a circular piece of plasticard and a bit of Perfect Plastic Putty (PPP) to make it disappear:

y4m72YAArTT7GUKLmLAOd9UUE2lcWYUkIOk-NIgu

IMAG7115

 

The bulkhead on the back of the cockpit tube was glued in place:

y4m0pYZXhyzr2Jj007Ad1k5QC7BgFeIfZKA-LvdG

IMAG7117

 

The cockpit parts are ready for painting:

y4mDq0JxVIiGGcUsvT-Tvxu-cnAl5a2oxkQ-jmj1

IMAG7120

 

The fuselage and wing parts were also removed from the sprues:

y4m811da2wGON4KIdxfYWvawHj8Eq1Xf7cFOcNhW

IMAG7114

 

The fit seems to be good. The main and nose wheel wells are very poor: too shallow and with no detail whatsoever. I'll try to improve them somehow. Another problematic area are the air intakes, which lack the inner tubing leading to the compressor faces of the turbines (though these are schematically represented in the kit).

 

Here is a picture of the real thing:

 

Front compressor face and intake tubing

fortin_f2h_09.jpg

 

Rear compressor face and exhaust tubing:

f2h_126419_10_of_72.jpg

 

The kit parts for the front compressor faces (bottom of the image) and rear compressor faces (four parts on the top left of the image):

y4mHTln--W7Rh-yDDkkIn__KLIPZ9Jzut81U23tq

IMAG7122

 

I'll try to make the intake tubing from thin plasticard sheet but it will be complicated. In the meanwhile, I glued in place two parts that represent the vertical sidewalls of the intakes:

y4mbNYYEIkS-jRnzFrLxL90EFNOZPquQKl8V-V5X

IMAG7121

 

I noticed that the openings for the canons on the sides of the front fuselage are simple holes (visible on the left edge of the previous picture), allowing the inside of the model to be seen. To avoid this, I used thin plasticard to create tubings for these openings.

 

Here are they glued in place on the inside of the fuselage halves:

y4mJjS5lDoNW7VcR_LXeYy0wwI-ZI5M1xQJOZ9po

IMAG7123

 

Here's a front view of the result:

y4mdACJDeHMJ8P-vY6l4K6QoZhOXzb-rVXVEa_Gl

IMAG7124

 

Well, so much for my intentions of building the kit OOB...

 

The cockpit parts and the inside walls of the cockpit on the fuselage halves were primed with Alclad Black Primer and Microfiller but I didn't take pictures yet.

 

That's all for now. Thanks for looking.

 

Jaime

 

 

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Some notes here: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2009/12/f2h-banshee-modeling-notes.html

 

The most noticeable, sort of, is the nose landing gear difference from the F2H-1/2 Banshees.

 

I failed to mention that in the -3/4s, a large radar scope was added on the right side of the instrument panel. It is missing from the kit’s instrument panel and is one of the less significant but still somewhat visible differences between the -1/2s and the -3/4s.

 

Note: I’ve just modified that post to add an illustration of the -3/4 instrument panel and one of the fillet added to the inboard leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer. 

Edited by Tailspin Turtle
Correct typo
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Nice to see the -3 "Bigger Banjo" getting some love. It wasn't what one would call a flashy performer, but it proved very dependable and it provided McDonnell with enough cash to go on to bigger and better things.

 

-d-

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16 hours ago, giemme said:

Off to a great start already, Jaime! :clap:

I'm in, if you don't mind :popcorn:

 

Ciao 

 

Hi Giorgio! It's always a pleasure to have you on board! I hope I won't disapoint!

 

 

10 hours ago, Tailspin Turtle said:

Some notes here: https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2009/12/f2h-banshee-modeling-notes.html

 

The most noticeable, sort of, is the nose landing gear difference from the F2H-1/2 Banshees.

 

I failed to mention that in the -3/4s, a large radar scope was added on the right side of the instrument panel. It is missing from the kit’s instrument panel and is one of the less significant but still somewhat visible differences between the -1/2s and the -3/4s.

 

Note: I’ve just modified that post to add an illustration of the -3/4 instrument panel and one of the bit fillet added to the horizontal stabilizer. 

 

Thank you very much for the link: very interesting and useful.

 

 

7 hours ago, David H said:

Nice to see the -3 "Bigger Banjo" getting some love. It wasn't what one would call a flashy performer, but it proved very dependable and it provided McDonnell with enough cash to go on to bigger and better things.

 

-d-

 

I find these 50's jets quite interesting and have a few different types in my stash.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

 

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Hi again,

 

a small update with some recent progress.

 

I applied Alclad Black Primer & Microfiller to the cockpit parts:

y4mjaYfZnJnviIeW3oeS1mZ3HUDzZBrVgnTAvSlj

IMAG7125

 

and to the inner cockpit walls:

y4mQxfu2bCtDQtbPBL2w2tEJEKEZuxqYrWPJsIGb

IMAG7126

 

Since the side panels are black, I masked them on the cockpit tube before painting the interior colour:

y4m5AOKN4GQ8UyplaQ64-_JloeLh6Wx7FZVNNeb8

IMAG7127

 

The front and back coamings of the cockpit were also masked:

y4mIep-EajPTQnIKC2EsW-CaMpFuIlvjvRUSTQno

IMAG7128

 

After painting the interior grey (Gunze H317 Dark Gull Grey), the masking was removed:

y4mWJGc3RTPOwbupn714nRfdTHuc4xSv7A5Y-vVL

IMAG7130

 

I'll dry brush the instruments latter with grey and silver to make them stand out.

 

y4mjPYB7VTJaVkSDrsWx2YbtLhd1lyPXOLsh7ev9

IMAG7133

 

The other colours on the small parts were brush painted. The ejection handles of the seat were first white based:

y4mDpHWDXFBDEOe4OJiMPMavzwYbXaxh11jTrU_9

IMAG7129

 

Next, I painted the yellow handles:

y4md-W_C_qbHpDya0ke0L-FtODFpLnuJN3Lwqdgy

IMAG7131

 

Finally, I painted the red handle and the red stipes on the yellow handles:

y4m9Ush7ht506GxNZrKAYVU_DAYWDeEw2twfPpTb

IMAG7132

 

I'll add seatbelts from a spare PE set.

 

I'm now trying to make the intake tubings from plasticard but I've been a bit stuck on this task. I'll report latter, when I manage to finish them.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

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Hi again,

 

As I said before, due to some inaccuracies of this kit, this project won't be an OOB build. One of the areas which I want to improve is the intakes, for which I decided to scratch-build the intake tubing. For that, I started trying to create a template out of paper, from which a plasticard piece would be made and bent to proper shape. After several tries with paper cuts, I was convince I had managed to create a proper template and cut the corresponding pieces in plastic from a 0.13mm plasticard sheet.

 

This picture shows the paper template on top (the one on the right is already bent) and the plasticard templates on the bottom:

y4mkQxkQ8WYkhi1WrOpzjepnlG5IYDKoxTok_R-Q

IMAG7134

 

Unfortunately, after several tries, I didn't manage to get properly shaped intakes by bending the plastic templates. This is due to the complex variation of the tubing from front to back. I decided to put this task to rest and move to other areas of the build, while thinking on a better way to build the intakes (possibly with two pieces of plastic per intake, but we'll see).

 

Another area to improve is the compressor faces of the jet engines. The front face is open and needs to be closed by a piece of plasticard. On these pieces I scribed radial lines to simulate the compressor face blades. This picture shows the piece on the left ready:

y4mBKDHEaXxJPUQHWyWPbgzyre6kLC9r6t8jRrkq

IMAG7135

 

This is how they look after glueing in place. Hopefully, a coat of steel paint will make them look ok. The ejector marks on the parts shouldn't be visible after installing the intake ducts, so I didn't remove them:

y4m_-cbR9jdDqtMear8Ju3c76s3QoO6ekp6F9nUS

IMAG7136

 

I also scribed radial lines on the exhaust ends of the jet engines:

y4mZOwfBQlhIWErPupgFCUM1xiquTn4oEW8NB1MK

IMAG7137

 

End result, ready for painting:

y4m-vtRhRAkS6zIWurdyqkE6aKDle9VFSsZ7bSyn

IMAG7138

 

Next, I decided to scribe several panel lines that are missing on the underside of the wings. The most prominent are those of the wheel well door which covers the well. It is shown on the painting scheme of the kit, so I decided to scale the scheme in the photocopier to the size of the wing part and cut a paper template for scribing these panel lines. However, the scheme is not dimensionally correct: the inner part of the wing is wider than the corresponding section of the plastic part. I opted for scaling so that the outer part of the wing in the scheme would correspond to the real size of the same section of the wing part. A scaling of 226% was applied. Using the resulting paper template, I scribed the wheel door on one of the wings, as shown in this picture:

y4mRmNpy8Hl0nBMx-595IpJyeQ1L9D_KBHymp4u_

IMAG7139

 

There are other lines that must be scribed on the control surfaces (trim tabs) and some lines are missing or incorrect. While searching the net for blueprints and pictures showing these details, I found that the wheel door already scribed wasn't exactly correct: the top and bottom edges shouldn't be parallel but slightly angled towards one another. I'll have to rectify that.

 

Right now I'm figuring out the proper placement of the additional lines to scribe. This is not so easy, because the available blueprints are not very detailed or consistent with the pictures of the walk-arounds. More on this latter.

 

Thanks for looking

 

Jaime

 

 

 

 

 

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Looks great so far. Detail and Scale is coming out with a new book on the later Banshees, one of the errors they point out on the kit is the step on the tailplanes is way too abrupt. One look at a picture shows it. Of course I missed it! I built this years ago, I finished the intakes with milliput and a wet qtip. No sanding and no seams. I think I just held some plastic tubing over the compressor faces while I pushed the milliput around them. 

Edited by Robin-42
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On 12/26/2020 at 8:36 PM, jrlx said:

 

 

 

I find these 50's jets quite interesting and have a few different types in my stash.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

 

I have an old hobby craft kit in the stash if you want to talk about simple!

Edited by Bejay53
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2 hours ago, Bejay53 said:

I have an old hobby craft kit in the stash if you want to talk about simple!

The Academy kit is the Hobbycraft kit re-boxed. Only difference is useable decals.

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Nice progress, Jaime  :clap:

 

For the intakes: I used a template made from an eraser gum (Staedler works very well) in a couple of builds. It's very easy to carve and sand/shape, and strong enough to hold vacforming/plounge moulding. HTH

 

Ciao 

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Strictly speaking, those red and yellow “handles” on the sides of the ejection seat were there to keep the pilot’s legs from flailing when he came out of the cockpit into the free stream air. The pilot was supposed to put his feet into something like pans on the front edge of the bottom of the seat and pull those handles into a vertical position (the early seats required a separate action to arm the seat and accomplish some preliminary functions before the face curtain was pulled). The “handles” should therefore be angled forward out of the way of the side consoles normally. Also see https://images.app.goo.gl/haFZu7FhKGgn2JwJ8 

 

Note that the illustration is misleading in that the seat would normally have a seat cushion/survival kit in the bucket and a back-pack parachute in it (these were standard GFE and often left out of the aircraft manufacturer’s illustrations).

Edited by Tailspin Turtle
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  • 5 months later...
2 minutes ago, Shalako said:

Any progress?

 

Hello @Shalako, thanks for your interest. I did progress a bit but didn't have the time to update the thread yet. I still have to solve the problem of how to create acceptable intake tubing.

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

 

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On 10/01/2021 at 16:06, Tailspin Turtle said:

Strictly speaking, those red and yellow “handles” on the sides of the ejection seat were there to keep the pilot’s legs from flailing when he came out of the cockpit into the free stream air. The pilot was supposed to put his feet into something like pans on the front edge of the bottom of the seat and pull those handles into a vertical position (the early seats required a separate action to arm the seat and accomplish some preliminary functions before the face curtain was pulled). The “handles” should therefore be angled forward out of the way of the side consoles normally. Also see https://images.app.goo.gl/haFZu7FhKGgn2JwJ8 

 

Note that the illustration is misleading in that the seat would normally have a seat cushion/survival kit in the bucket and a back-pack parachute in it (these were standard GFE and often left out of the aircraft manufacturer’s illustrations).

 

Thank you for the explanation. I wasn't aware of these details and followed the pictures of the cockpit which I inserted in my first post of this thread. In the museum aircraft, the handles are positioned vertically and so did I in my scratch building. I'm afraid the fuselage was already closed when I read your explanation, and there was no way to modify the position of the handles (I still have to post those pictures, though).

 

Cheers

 

Jaime

 

 

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