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Kitty Hawk’s Grumman F9F-8T Cougar in 1/48

October 30, 2014 in Aviation

As soon as I saw the advance notice I put in my order for this magnificent & much neglected model. It seems that most kit manufactures have forgotten about the 1950’s & ’60’s so a Cougar was great news!

It arrived (of course) just after I started to hear comments about ‘buildability’. Nevertheless, since I had already built two Hawk Banshees & survived, I made a start. It is somewhat over-engineered to say the least, but the main problem was the type of plastic used – it just didn’t like polyurethane glues & a letter to Kitty Hawk received a reply confirming that whilst they had had no trouble building their test shots, they had apparently changed the type of plastic in their production run. My understanding is that they will rectify this for future models; I certainly hope so! Anyway, runny CA solved the problem although not all was plain sailing & using CA for an entire model was a new adventure for me.

Since this is not a kit review, I won’t go into all the stops & starts involved in completing my Cougar, but I will say that I will most certainly build the single seater (& their pair of Banshees too), when they hit the market! This build took me three months, which is slow for me, but I am happy with the result. To me it looks every inch a Cougar & that’s what matters! I know the next one will be easier. I hope you like it.


5 additional images. Click to enlarge

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27 responses to Kitty Hawk’s Grumman F9F-8T Cougar in 1/48

  1. Very nice build Tony. Very nice finish on your Twogar!! Well done!!

  2. Beautiful looking model, Tony.

  3. A great one Tony !This is a not often seen model, while it was not an easy one, the outcome is rewarding and a pleasing sight, well done mate.

  4. Well built Tony.
    Looks great, nice paint job, and also a nice backdrop too.

  5. Great job Tony, looks better than KittyHawk’s promo model. I like your “can do” attitude as well. Im sure it would help your fellow Cougar fans, if you posted a summary of what challenges you encountered and your solutions in another article.

    • Thanks Rick.
      I guess that if you want a Cougar you have to just persevere. I am also a Banshee nut so I have no doubt you will see one of these eventually. I didn’t take any build photos of this one but if there’s sufficient interest I could make up a list of problems & solutions.

  6. I haven’t seen too much written good about Kitty Hawk’s stuff, but yours certainly looks good..!!

  7. Well, I am glad they managed to retain you as a customer. I will never build another (Sh)itty Hawk kit again. I don’t care what they release.

  8. Great modeling Tony. You are a brave man to finish this kit to such a high standard. Well done.
    California Steve

    • Thanks Steve. It was a bit of an exercise in problem solving to say the least, but the fine surface detailing & the accurate shape made the effort worthwhile. I’ll do better with their next one (I hope!)

  9. Thanks for the heads up on the glue issue Tony. The kit is sitting there ready for me to start. I hope mine comes out as nice as yours.

    • Hi Jack. Thanks for the flattery. May I make a couple of suggestions? Firstly: Consider putting in wing spars if you want to have the wings spread. Next: KH’s references were taken from a museum ‘plane with no hydraulic pressure in the oleos so the nose leg is too short. I lengthened mine with brass tube. And lastly: (OK that’s three) The rear fuselage needs to be pushed deeper when mating with the nose section & might benefit from a circular bulkhead or some tabs to improve the fit. The other fixes are pretty straightforward stuff. Enjoy your build; i’ll look forward to seeing it in due course.

  10. Hello Tony…Looks like you did a nice job on that Cougar build. No doubt a challenge but the results look well worth the effort. Fine results on the model as well as the photography. Very nicely done.

  11. Your love of the prototype is definitely reflected in your perseverance in building and finished this, Tony, and you must be more than pleased in the result. I know nothing about the prototype, but it sure looks pretty!

    • Grrr, my finger hovered over the post button before I finished checking this! It should read: “Your love of the prototype is definitely reflected in your perseverance in building and finishing this, Tony, and you must be more than pleased with the result. I know nothing about the real thing, but your model sure looks pretty!”

  12. Flawless build Tony. I have been building models using almost exclusively CA for almost 20 years. They are still holding up pretty good. Great job!

    • Thank you Salvador. My biggest problem with CA was that it is instant! A bit difficult when you need to move bits around. The runny stuff is good though & I might try the gel type next time for the bigger parts.

  13. GREAT job Tony too many people shy away from these kits, I think when you can take a below par kit and make a masterpiece it really says something about your skills well done sir

  14. Thanks Steve. Much appreciated.

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