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George Williams
95 articles

It’s a Banshee

July 26, 2017 · in Aviation · · 42 · 3.1K

Yes, folks, this is the -2 . 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.
Reader reactions:
11  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

42 responses

  1. Excellent work George ! Looks like a Banshee to me 🙂 🙂 🙂
    I really like the details in the wing fold areas and flaps. These planes really look good... I like it. Thanks for building a plane, although your race cars and motorcycles are very nice too !

    • Thank you for liking the post and your kind words, Louis. As for it looking like a Banshee there were some adverse comments regarding the shape when the kit was released, but, I was never any good at those "spot the difference" competitions so it's not an issue for me.

  2. Great job ,excellent detail work! the folded wings are great.

  3. Hey George, great build - especially for a car and bike guy. It's not easy getting out of the comfort zone but it really improves the skills. That is a mean looking Banshee. Beautiful photos and clean, skilful, and gorgeously painted.

  4. George, this is really nice, maybe model airplanes are your true calling ?
    So, yes I like it a lot. Well done !

  5. You did an out standing job on that one for sure.

  6. Looks the part, and I love anything Navy! Nice job!

  7. Beautifully done, George! The Kitty Hawk Banshee is at the top of my 'need-to-buy' list.

  8. Top-Notch build, my friend...turned out really well. I like it (a lot). 🙂

  9. One must credit Kittyhawk for their bold undertaking to provide us modelers with such often neglected early jet aircraft ie. Grumman Cougar, McDonell F 101A Voodoo, McDonell Banshee and even the Vought Flying Flapjack as of late. CAD drawings released of a proposed Grumman Tiger in 1/32 scale is eagerly awaited. However, Kittyhawk is constantly getting it wrong. Yes it is a Banshee and it does look like a Banshee and I don't want to sound like a rivet counter but you would expect that if a kit has such a high price tag then surely you would expect them to get the basics right ie. shape of engine intakes and the too high bulge of the intake/ engine area of the fuselage. The rivet counters have slammed this kit for all its inaccuracies and the aftermarket crowd is laughing all the way to the bank as resin and brass upgrade sets are already in the making. Albeit it does look like a Banshee and some of the inaccuracies I can live with. Some scratch building can solve some issues but the above mentioned shape issues are difficult to overcome and would require a new resin replacement. George you have done a stellar job on this kit and is inspiration for me to start mine in the near future. Well done George!

    • What they actually do, rather than a "bold undertaking to provide us with often-neglected early jet aircraft" is to poison the well for each of the named aircraft, for anyone doing a kit that doesn't live down to their nickname (replace the "K" with "Sh").

      George did a very nice job on this model, and in so doing confirmed for me why I won't be getting one, so I have to thank him very much.

    • Hi Morne, thanks for your comments and kind remarks. Rivet counters I don't mind so much it's the "armchair modellers" that annoy me, they are all too ready to find fault in others but rarely do any actual modelling themselves. I'm pleased to say, Morne, that you are definitely not an armchair modeller! As for price, I'm not sure, here in China I paid 165 RMB, which is equal to USD 24/18 English pounds, maybe you have to pay import duty and tax which would up the price.

      • Hi George I got mine from Hobbyeasy in Hong Kong and with importation and custom fees it came it at a hefty price!

        • It's a crazy world, who to blame, I'm not sure, but at least there is one advantage to living here in China, believe there are not many! I shouldn't complain, it's my choice. Looking forward to seeing your completed Banshee here on iModeler.

  10. George I thought there had been a shift in the earths axis when I saw you posted a plane instead of a car or bike. But all is well and the Banshee goods great. Especially like the version you did ,quite colorful. I encourage you to do some more.

  11. Excellent build George! Finished off nicely, love the scheme. Just a great-looking model.

  12. It doesn't matter what you build, if you are a good modeler the skills carry over. There's a guy in the local club who is always taking away hardware at the shows in multiple categories! I really envy his subtle weathering on his 1/72 planes and his cars are flawless! One thing in common with all his builds is that everything is crisp and clean. Looks like you can handle that as well! Glad to see another Banshee built up. I have one in line to build and I can't wait! (Although I'm nervous about the air brakes as they look quite fiddly!)

    • Thanks, Josh, there's some truth in what you say, but I'm definitely learning new skills with the aircraft. The air brakes are indeed fiddly, one of those folding gadgets for etched parts would be useful, this is also one area where the instructions are not too useful.

  13. Hello George...Very nice build on your KH Banshee. I've read a lot of negative comments about that kit but it certainly looks like a Banshee to me. The folded wing arrangement seems to minimize some of the kit shape issues. You did a fine job on that bird.

  14. Profile Photo
    said on July 27, 2017

    Good lookin Banshee George. This kit is tempting me despite the critics. Nice work.

  15. Nice build mate, and some really cool detail! I've been using fishing weights as nose ballasts!

  16. Hello George,
    I am not a rivet counter, but more interested in the finished model. You managed to get the job done and to me it looks finished to the highest standards. As mentioned above, stick with airplanes for a while, you are good at it. Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  17. Thank you, Dirk, your words are very much appreciated.

  18. Hi George
    You aren't the only one who enjoys those first generation jets ! - Have to admit they're very high on my list too. Like you I've read a lot of bad press about this Kittyhawk kit, nevertheless it's still on my want list and now seeing yours, I'm happy to simply go-ahead and buy/build it.

    Well modelled,sir.


  19. Thanks for looking, Ian, and for your kind comments. Kittyhawk have had plenty of bad press on this and other sites, whether it's well deserved or not I can't say, but I didn't really have any problems building this particular kit. Looking forward to seeing your Banshee here soon.

  20. Nice work. I'll definitely pick up one of these and bang it out. I'm glad it is more or less "designed" to be built with the wings folded...because that's how all Naval Aviation aircraft (that can) should be displayed in my book! NavAir 50s era subjects are about my favorite, glad someone finally did a kit of this...and I hear they are doing an FJ-2/3 Fury here soon too.

  21. Nice modelling George. Yours is the first finished kit I have seen and I must say you have more than done it justice. I admit to being a little wary of Kitty Hawk products, however I have also seen some superb KH models too, especially in 1/32.

  22. Great job for a non-aircraft builder George. I need to get one of these to build as a Canadian navy bird

  23. Nice job, George. When you mentioned in the Jaguar article that you had built one of these, I was surprised I didn't remember it. The date explains why...I was on vacation and wasn't really keeping up. Anyways, a belated well done and you've given me courage to do mine. Maybe after the Bobcat Yak I just started...

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