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Model Military Magazine

Home / The Workbench

Academy 1/72 F-8E Crusader

By Sav. 31/Mar/2009

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The Aircraft

The F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) was a single-engine aircraft carrier-based fighter aircraft built by Vought. It replaced the Vought F-7 Cutlass. The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955. The F8 was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon.

The Kit

I seem to recall this being one of Academy's first really good kits, it really is a pleasure to build with one rather large problem. The decals. But more on that later.

The kit is quite simple to build but has some really nice details such as full internal intake, speratate leading edges for the wing and the option to display the wing with the airbrake open.

Construction

As mentioned earlier, the kit is really simple to build and fit is excellent in all places. Because I wanted to display the aircraft just touching down on the deck I did need to make some modifcations to support the aircraft above the base.

As you can see, the arrestor hook is the only part of the kit touching the base so the first problem was figuring what I could use that would be strong enough to hold the kit aloft, was thin enough to pass as an arrestor hook and wouldn't bend over time.

All types of wire that I tried would bend over time with the strain or were too large. In the end I used a simple stainless steel nail which I filed down so that it was square and small enough to look like an arrestor hook.

I also built a strong casing inside the kit which about 3cm of the nail slides into. The nail was then super glued into the kit and came in handy as a 'handle' while spraying.

The only other major change that I recall was cutting out the flaps so they could be positioned down for landing. When removing small parts like this I always use a hobby blade and draw the tip gently backwards along path which needs to be cut (usually in the panel line) Doing it this way takes quite a while but does minimise the potential mistakes to almost zero and leaves a reasonbly clean cut.

Painting

Pretty standard paint job here. Started with spraying a little (too much) preshading with black and then oversprayed the white followed by the grey on the top once the flaps and various other spots were masked off. Once everything was dry it got a good coating of future so that it was nice and shiney for the decals to easily stick...

Decals

... But the decals didn't stick, with anything. I used copious amounts of mirco set, micro sol to no use. I used future to stick the decals on to no use. For one of the national emblems I even used some plastic glue to stick the sodding thing down.

Honestly, I don't know whether or not I'm cursed with Acedemy's decals but they have all given me trouble. I'll pop them into some warm water for 10seconds, apply it to the kit, press it down removing all bubbles then come back after a few minutes and the slightest breeze makes them fall off. If somebody knows the voodoo required to apply these things then please let me know!

Finishing

After the decals were *glued* to the kit I added another coat of future to seal them in (some still flaked off after a few weeks) then applied a wash to the panel lines and that was it.

Looking at the kit now it's really tempting to strip the decals off and put on some third party ones and add a bit more weather. Maybe that's what I'll do after I get through the 103 odd kits on the 'to do' list :)

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Academy 1/72 F-8E Crusader Comments

(3 Posts) Says:
21 Dec 2009 07:43 PM

Nice little write up of the Academy F-8. I did a similar review over on SMAKR, for the ESCI Crusader. Id like to have a go at the Academy version, and Im getting another ESCI Gucslinger ready to build. Maybe I can do a side by side!


 


Nice pose for that beastie, I must admt!



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