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Marvin Reyes
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Kitty Hawk F9F-8P Photo Cougar

May 18, 2017 · in Aviation · 38 Comments

Here's my take on the Kitty Hawk F9F-8P Cougar (1/48th). I originally was going to do the VF-61 fighter version, however, I messed-up by adding the intake spltter plate, before I realized that this version did not have the splitter. I found the problem when I examined the decals, then found that the markings were designed for the non-splitter airframe, hence the decals would not fit. Thankfully, KH included several different markings, so I opted for the photo bird.

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

38 responses

  1. Hello Marvin...Very nicely done and certainly one of the more colorful Cougar paint schemes. That's a fine model.for sure.

    • Bernard: You are correct about the Kitty Hawk does not fall together like a Tamiya kit. Still, if you want to do a Cougar, the Kitty Hawk kit is appealing. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this kit is the multi-piece fuselage, and how it connects to the wings; get this wrong and the rest of the build will not go well. The next bit of frustration is the outer wings; as molded, the outer wings are supposed to be folded (there is a big slot on the upper wing that provides the point-of-contact for mounting the outer wing to the main body); there is no provision given in the kit to unfold the wings, so, if you want the wings down, you have to improvise. I used some Evergreen plastic to make a mating surface. After this, evrything is pretty straight-forward. Good luck on your Cougar build. I am now working on the Kitty Hawk F2H-2 Banshee which has its own peculiar set of problems.I guess I'm too hard-headed to let the Banshee get the best of me.

    • Thanks, Jim...I appreciate your kind words.

  2. Marvin, a really nice build !. I always liked the Cougar, so I enjoy seeing one built well.

  3. Given some of the "bad press" this manufacturer receives, your build sure looks good. Nice modeling, my friend.

    • Kitty Hawk kits are, indeed, a challenge; if some other mainstream manufacturer put out the subjects that KH has been doing, I would not be building Kitty Hawk kits, for sure. Thanks for the nice comments, I appreciate it.

  4. I love anything with "NAVY" on the side and this is a beautiful build!

  5. Marvin, that's a beauty! Let me ask, what did you think about the build? As mentioned, their kits are not for the faint of heart and do not apparently fall together. Yours gives me hope, 'cause I'm a 50s guy and always wanted a Cougar or Twogar. Really looks good! Did I mention I REALLY like the scheme? Yowsa!

  6. I forgot to mention about the Kitty Hawk decals...they are not as opaque as they should be and the red underneath will "bleed" through; you need to put the KH decals over white, especially the national insignia. Other than this, the KH decals are pretty nice.

  7. Beautiful Cougar! Always liked this bird. Got a Sword Twogar in my stash waiting to be built.

  8. Very impressive work, Marvin. One can hardly see any specific weathering and all the same it looks so magically realistic.

    And yes, KH appears like the anti-Tamiya: lousy fit, research and engineering, but coolest subjects.
    Examples: their MIG-25 and the Su-35 they just have announced.

  9. Great job on the Kitty Hawk Cougar. Also like the colour scheme on this one, makes an interesting change in the collection.

  10. I have this, the F-101 and the F-94 all in the pile being built. I don't think any of them deserve some of the bashing they have received. Are they tricky to build, a little. Dry fitting, testing and planning ahead are crucial, but I don't think any of them are bad kits. For the fuselage on the Cougar I shortened the front and rear of the tabs a smidge and widened the slots toward the center so they basically slid into place. Before the surgery, they went together tight and wanted to cave in the center section. Probably the only thing I don't like about the Cougar (besides the slot for the folded wing you mentioned) are the wide open intakes. No blind ally or anything. I like it enough to go buy a Twogar so I can do a colorful scheme like yours though. I like the crisp masking, even over the wing fences and everything is tidy!

    • Thanks, Josh. I do like the subjects that Kitty Hawk has been putting out, in spite of the extra work needed to build them. I kinda fixed the intakes by adding a piece of Evergreen plastic to the intake area nearest to the cockpit/fuselage...I curved this part, then blended it in so that when viewed it looks like something is in there. I thought about some intake covers, but ruled this out because they aren't seen on Navy aircraft that much.

  11. Nice work, Marvin. What glue did you use? I have a Twogar and have been hesitant to build it because others have stated that normal styrene cement doesn't work on it.

    • Thanks, John. I used Tamiya extra thin cement, and super glue, in a few spots...nothing fancy, just commonly available glues. I did, however, wash the sprues to remove some greasy mold release.

  12. Hello Marvin,
    Master piece. Excellent finish in that bright color scheme.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  13. Profile Photo
    P.k said on May 19, 2017

    Nice work

  14. Very nice-looking Cougar! When I picked up a conversion set to make a Neptune into a gunship, it included parts to convert a Cougar to a recee bird. After seeing yours, I think I'm going to do it with a 1/72 Hasegawa kit. I really like the scheme on this.

  15. Alright, that's a beauty Marvin! I love '50s jets so much; I may just have to spring for this one. It would be so cool posed with my Monogram Panther. You've done a great job on this no matter how challenging it might have been. Good show! Thanks for the inspiration Marvin. 🙂

  16. Thanks to all for your warm, wonderful comments...I appreciate it.

  17. Marvin this is a great model. The colors are perfect ! I really like this one...

  18. Like the others have said, you've done a great job on a "difficult" kit, the paintwork is especially outstanding.

  19. Mee Likee!

    I'm sure Steve will too. He's in a cage match with the TanModel RF-84 so there's a little bit of symmetry here...


    • I decided to re-enter the octagon, too; this time with the Kitty Hawk F2H-2 know, the one everyone sez can't be buit due to so many shape issues. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. The sad part is that I have so many Tamiya kits in the stash but I rarely build those...not enough of a challenge, I guess

  20. Spectacular work, Marvin! The finish is just superb! I have two of these kits in my stash, and I hope they turn out half as well as yours.

  21. Very nice, love the scheme

  22. Hi Marvin. You've done a fantastic job on your Cougar. After building the Twogar kit I vowed that I'd never do another... but your single seater looks soooo good I can feel my resistance weakening. I had a lot of trouble with glue until I switched to superglue, but I think you've got the answer with Tamiya extra thin. I did the same with the intake trunking; it works fine. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Tony: Thanks for the compliments...much appreciated. The KittyHawk Cougar is, indeed, a labor-of-love, otherwise, nobody could finish one. There is simply too much to deal with for one small model, but perservearance (and a lot of cuss words) prevailed. Yes, I, too, used a lot of superglue and Tamiya glue to build this Cougar, along with rubber bands, clamps, and tape. Good thing we figured out the process because I have several other KH kits in the stack, including the Su-17/22M3/4 Fitter K (I should warn the family that lots of cuss words are soon to be spoken). Thanks again for the kind words, Tony.

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