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Josh Patterson
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Revell 1/48 F-89D Scorpion

March 9, 2014 · in Aviation · · 20 · 3.3K

Just completed my F-89D, one of my favorite planes. This particular plane ended up in the drink after having an engine fail on takeoff. The pilot brought it back around and landed hot and heavy and was unable to get it stopped and overran the runway into a lake. There is a picture of it "getting a bath" on page 46 of -A Photo Chronicle.

I didn't bother correcting the rockets protruding from the center tubes. I did however pass up the decals for the white trim on the tanks and airbrushed them on instead. One thing regarding the national insignia on the red portion of the wing. It is supposed to have had an area of bare metal around it before the red starts as on the USAF on the opposite wing. I simply masked off an area and painted it silver and the circular area is not quite round! I had forgotten my F-89C kit has an extra pair of insignia with the silver surround already printed. As my C is not going to have the arctic markings I could have used them and gotten a better result. (If anyone knows how to remove decals without destroying the paint, I'm all ears!)

I do like this kit. It goes together well the only trick being to align and glue the center panel on the bottom to one fuselage half before mating them together. The finish of the plastic lends itself well to MNF. It is finished with Model Master metalizers and MM insignia red. I was going to go for a totally polished look, but that wing just looked too boring so I used the wet paper strip method to mask off and spray some magnesium and more aluminum that I didn't quite buff out as much as the rest to break up the surface a little. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, you can mask with wet paper strips applied to the surface and blotted dry. (It goes really quick if you keep a bowl full strips soaking in water nearby!) Since I only apply a siphon tube to my airbrush for metalizers, color changes are really quick (simply run the airbrush dry, wipe off the siphon and go) and I can knock out a plane fairly rapidly!

I have however answered a question I asked myself on this site. You can spray metalizer over enamel. Although since I did it on flat paint, it didn't polish up as nice as if it had been painted over a gloss finish. I'm going to experiment a little before I paint my B-29. I'm going to use a cheapo model and paint it various gloss colors and see what the buffing aluminum does when sprayed over it. (The gloss paint might negate the need for the fastidious polishing of the plastic acting as a filler for the smaller scratches!) I'll keep a post going or something!

The pictures were taken outdoors, seeing that it's in arctic markings and the setting was appropriate! I just with it wouldn't have been overcast, it subdues the panel variations a little.

Reader reactions:
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11 additional images. Click to enlarge.

20 responses

  1. Looks great, Josh. The paint job came out very realistic. I'm glad to hear you were happy with the kit. Thanks for the tips.

  2. Nice job, Josh!

    This one is on my to-do list. There were two of these parked for a long time along Boeing Drive back home, They were behind a chain link fence about ten feet from the curb. I remember telling my dad to drive by there every chance I got so I could look at them. One of them "survived" to become a training aid for the El Paso Airport Fire Department:

  3. Nice job on the Scorpion, Josh...I like it - as for decal removal sans paint removal, I would first try some low-tack tape (Tamiya 'yellow' tape, for instance) or some 3M "blue tape'. Decal setting solution should loosen them up without any adverse effect on paint as well. it all depends on where the decals are in relationship to the paint, how long they've been on there and the size. let us know your results. Again, nice work on the build.

    • Use clear shiny Scotch tape to remove a decal. Press tightly over the decal ONLY, then pull up with a quick rip. It'll do it pretty much every time. The low tack tape won't pull up anything.

  4. You've achieved a very realistic finish on this, Josh. Personally, I'd join Frank Cronin's club and leave the decal as it is, rather than risk spoiling the paint.

  5. turned out beautiful josh

  6. Great work, it looks the business!

  7. Good job, an interesting plane from an early jet era.

  8. Nice clean build, great natural metal finish overall. A favorite 1950's era jet!

  9. Thanks guys. I still have a few to build. I have a C to work on and I also want to do a J. With those two kits I'm going to try and knock out an H and a B as well. I think I only have to add mass balances to the elevator and remove the center rib on the canopy for a B and I'll modify the D tip tanks into the missile pods for the H. (I should have enough Falcons by then!) I also want to do a "what if" K wild weasel version with 4 HARMs D rocket pods and SAE camouflage. I could see that as an imposing radar hunter/ground pounder!

  10. Nice job there Josh.
    I have built one of those when I re-started the hobby and I was surprized at the size of her.
    Well done Josh.

  11. Josh,
    This is beautiful. You did a magnificent job on this. Can't help but love the Scorpion, it is just one great looking airplane. Leave the decals alone. If you don't point it out no one would mention it. I ca't wait to see the next Scorpion.

    P.S. My club is:

    "I Know Where The Mistakes Are But I'm Not Going To Show You Where They Are"

  12. You can also apply the other decal over the existing one, it'll settle in without showing anything.

    Nice model.

  13. Josh,

    This is just beautiful. Not one of my favorite aircraft, as I am really fond of the Gloster Javelin in this category, but your posting and write up made me more aware of the F-89 and its place in history. Pretty wild that you took photos of it in snow! When my wife and I were first married, we lived in an apartment in the City, and one of our neighbors had flown in F-89s (as a radar operator if I remember right). I believe he told me once that they trained in B-25 Mitchells before going on to the Scorpion. Does that sound right?

    • Funny you should mention the Javelin as I am working on one now! You probably already have Airfix's kit and do not need to be told how much awesome is in that box! I don't care where they come from, I just love the early jets. Seems like back then something new was coming out every week!

  14. I love a man who is not AFRAID of raised panel lines!
    One of my favorite aircraft and I have decals from my birth place of Maine
    Very nice NMF and leave the decal alone and don't tell

    • Thank you. I was checking out your lightning as I am currently working on one. Kind of curious how the metalizer will lay down on it. I did their F-100F and the plastic must have had pores in it because there were a few waves that showed up as areas that wouldn't buff out as well as others. (I had the same problem on the Airfix B-57 but to a greater extent.) I was thinking about foiling my B-29, but I don't know. I am definitely not afraid of raised panel lines! I also don't do much to make them stand out.(I read an article from a guy who completely sands them away and represents them as differing panel shades.) If you think about the scale distance from the camera to your model, what can you see on a real plane from that far away? (Kinda depends on the plane though.) I'll weather a little, but I don't go crazy. Think of a lovingly cared for warbird that is flown regularly. It shows signs of use, but it's not dirty. (My D-Day project will be another story!)

      P.S. If you like foil finishes go on YouTube and check out Carl Bachhuber. He does very large R/C planes and they are usually bare metal aircraft. The videos don't do them justice, but you'll get the idea! Simply amazing! (His C-119 is particularly good. Bare metal AND arctic markings!)

  15. Great job on the finish!

  16. This is a well crafted example of the F-89. The landing gear and cockpit modeling are especially nice, as is the aluminum skin. However, I don't see radar displays in the front or rear cockpits. Looks like this one was photographed at Ladd AFB around spring breakup.

    These were among the first of the USAFs "all weather" jet fighters. My father was flying as a radar observer in F-94/F-89 squadrons when I was born at Otis AFB. Cape Cod Mass. The R/O vectored the pilot to the target with long range radar until the aircraft was in close proximity. The pilot then took over with his shorter range radar to make the kill. One must stand next the F-89 to appreciate the size of this aircraft that was as big as the medium bombers of just a few years prior.

    Air Force century series planners - Cockpit visibility? Windshields? We doan' need no steenking' windshields, we got radar!

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  17. Very Nicely Done Josh. Great finish. Hope you left the decal alone.

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