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Tom Cleaver
912 articles

1/32 Fisher F9F-2, F9F-5 Panthers

April 4, 2013 · in Aviation · · 8 · 3K

As anyone who has seen any of Paul Fisher's kits knows, they are among the best resin kits made, worth every penny they cost. They are so well-designed that any modeler with any level of experience who takes their time, is virtually guaranteed of a wonderful model in the end. The Panthers, along with the Sea Fury, have been best-sellers since first released (the -5 in 2004, the F9F-2 in 2007).

The F9F-2 here is from VF-112, flown by LCDR William Amen, the first Navy pilot to shoot down a MiG-15 on November 18, 1950. The F9F-5 is from VF-192 "Golden Dragons" aboard the Oriskany in 1954, when it was used as the airplane flown by "Lt. Brubaker" in the movie "The Bridges at Toko-Ri."

The models were given a primer coat of Tamiya rattle-can grey primer, then the aluminum areas were painted with Talon Acrylic Aluminum, the white areas with Xtracrylix White, and then masked for a final paint application of Xtracrylix Glossy Sea Blue. The excellent kit decals were used in each case.

I've liked the since I first saw a photo of one as a kid - aesthetically it's just a very interesting-looking airplane. I was fortunate to see the Blue Angels perform in F9F-5s the last year they flew that airplane, 1955.

Reader reactions:
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21 additional images. Click to enlarge.

8 responses

  1. Simply superb work, Tom. Your builds are like engineering studies in miniature.

  2. Nice pair, and think a 7.5 more appropriate.

  3. " The F9F-5 is from VF-192 “Golden Dragons” aboard the Oriskany in 1954, when it was used as the airplane flown by “Lt. Brubaker” in the movie “The Bridges at Toko-Ri.” One of the best war movies ever made. The lead character played by William Holden dies in the end. Brubaker was more a anti-hero and the movie was thought to be a career killer for both Holden and Mickey Rooney.

    Great models by the way.

    • Deavid Sears' book "Such Men As These" tells the story of the real guys James Michener met in Task Force 77 in the fall of 1951 when he spent six weeks on the Essex and the Pinceton, out of which came the novel (which I think is the best of his writing). These were the guys who were his models for the characters. At the time he wrote it, everyone thought that the real "Lt. Brubaker" and "Chief Forney" had died in ways similar to what was in the book, which was published in 1952. In the summer of 1953 when the war ended and the POWs were returned, both guys turned out to have lived. "chief Forney" was a guy named Duane Thorin - if you Google him, you will find his true story.

      I once had the opportunity to talk to Mickey Rooney and asked him about the movie - he was delighted to have the question, since almost no one ever talked to him about it. You are right, everyone told him it would be a career-killer, but as he said, "At the time, I didn't have a career! I had nothing to lose!" And the role - his first success as an "adult" - didn't kill his career, it made it. To this day, you talk to Naval Aviators who flew then, and they'll tell you that "The Bridges at Toko-ri" "gets it," as Tom Hudner, the only USN Medal of Honor awardee of the war, put it. It's about a guy who doesn't want to be there, and is afraid of the job he's doing, and does it anyway - anybody who's been to war knows that's the truth.

  4. A very nice looking and well built model. I'll admit I'm not one to build the bigger 1/32 scale but I'd love to make a Panther in 1/72 or 1/48 for myself someday.

  5. said on May 21, 2013

    Tom .. as usual, your model, that looks SO real, IS an inspiration to us in here ..AND your "words" of help/suggestion/ideas ARE really a help in future building .. "MY HAT" is off to you in what you have accomplished with your models, guy! As they say, "A word to the wise.." THANKS for yours ..
    Sgt. Ray B. Hall USMC

  6. said on May 29, 2013

    FYI: I wonder I anyone has ever seen the nose of a Panther opened to be
    worked on .. quite interesting .. to see all that IS contained in that "nose
    space" ... AND as I have said before, once you experience the sounds of an
    F9F, whether Panther, or Cougar, start up, then taxi, it is something for the "memory bank" !

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