Yes, folks, this is the Kitty Hawk 1/48 F2H-2 Banshee. I don’t think I need to go into the history of the plane as you guys already know far more about it than me, suffice to say that it’s a jet fighter bomber designed for the US Navy and Marines for use on carriers. So, why did I choose to build this kit. Well, Kitty Hawk have received their fair share of criticism and I thought I’d see if an “average modeller” could build one of their kits. I’m not really an aircraft guy, being more interested in racing cars and motorcycles, but I’ve recently found planes from the cold war period attractive, especially the early jets, so the Banshee fits the bill. So, onto the kit.
Kittyhawk give you the choice of four markings, two for the F2H-2 and two for the photo reconnaissance F2H-2P version. I was tempted by the El Toro colours but plumped for the dark blue US Navy scheme from VF-11 in the Korean War. The kit contains alternative noses, complete with interior detail, for both versions. As you can see I went with the folded wings
because I thought it looked more interesting and might just fit into my display case. I think the kit is designed to be built this way, if you want to build it with the wings unfolded then I think some reinforcement may be needed on the joint. Did I have problems building the kit you may ask? Well, yes, but mainly of my own making. The instructions are a little vague in places, some part numbers are muddled up and are difficult to find on the sprues anyway because of the haphazard numbering arrangement. A few joins required a little putty but nothing serious. I replaced the wing fold supports with household pins as the kit parts were not very strong and snapped before I could fit them. My biggest mistake was using Blu-tak as a masking medium in the cockpit and wheel wells, due to the summer temperature the Blu-tak was extra sticky and was very difficult to remove… I did weight the nose and all seemed OK, but she became a tail sitter when I added the wing folds so I inserted a pin underneath to keep her on three wheels.
So, all in all, an enjoyable build, and, I think I achieved what I set out to do. Thanks for looking, George.
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.