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Revell 1/48 F-89D "Scorpion"

Ever since Revell issued their Box Scale F-89D Scorpion in about 1956, I have been a fan of the airplane. My dad brought one home with him. It was in the "S" kit box, I believe the artist was Kishady, and it was I that arctic setting, the thing just looked mean. Dad did a decent job on it, brush painting the red and black, I thought it was awesome. I have had this 1/48 kit for awhile and decided to finally build it. The decals were yellowed so I put them on a window facing south and let the sun bleach out the yellow. After about 6 months it was about as gone as it was going to get. Things were going quite well. I checked a build out here on the IModeler forum and some reference photo's and away I went. My first mistake was putting the main gear on backwards. I didn't catch that until later to my horror. The Horizontal stab was fixed upside down. There are vents on the tips that need to be on the bottom. I knew that, but yet, here it is on the top. The final blow was the paint. I had a can of Tamiya "Mica Red" and by the cap color looked perfect. Sadly it was/is metallic. At this point I was really frustrated and thought that through dull coating , it would tone down. My wife liked it a lot. So I plodded on. The decals from the kit went on "okay" with some minor breaking but I managed to get them on. I did borrow from another F_89 sheet the natural metal backing for the national insignia, only to find that it is a bit out of register. GRRRR! Too late now, plod on and get this pariah off the bench. I gave it the old dullcoat and when dry unmasked the canopy. Another disaster, pieces of plastic and overspray managed to find their way into the cockpit area and onto the inside of the now cemented canopy. It looks good from about three feet. What started out on a good positive note really ended up trying my patience. I think the problem is, I was trying to get it finished in 2019, and I finally knew that wasn't going to happen; I had multiple distractions and interruptions from SWMBO, and I should not have used the rattle can red. I do have an airbrush and I could have used good old Testors #3 Red, but the red on the cap was so compelling! Anyway, the last three photos show to good effect the "Sparkly" affect of the paint. Oh well. I did get another one off ebay for a "Decent" price as it is not an easy kit to find, and will do the "J" variant Hopefully my mojo will be in better form. In the meantime, enjoy!

12 additional images. Click to enlarge.

27 responses

  1. Beautiful! One of my favorite aircraft of all time nicely done!

  2. 🙂 … Greetings … 🙂 :
    Taking upon consideration the slight errors you mention, that model turned out great, very nice rescue and end results … nice work Mark.

  3. Great build, my father flew F-89s out of Otis, intercepting way ward airliners back in the 50's and during the Cuban Missile crisis he flew them for the Minnesota Air National Guard. I was shocked to learn that we had nukes in our state at the time. Dad said he had to arm the Genie missiles and wasn't to happy with having to do so. Mostly he was on alert sitting in the cockpit of the a/c waiting for Soviet bombers to fly over the pole. This information wasn't said until he was in his 80 s. The cold war was serious business and the plane was kept in the inventory from 48 when it was developed and test flown until 1969 when the Guard units put them to bed. By then most airliners where flying at the speeds of the F-89 but, when you have nukes your the eight hundred pound gorilla in the sky.

    • Thanks for your comments and a bit of a story about your dad. Growing up in the '50's there were frequent documentaries about pilots sitting in their cockpits on the ready for any mayhem the Red Threat could devise. Interesting times. The MN Air Guard Museum has an F-89 painted up in Air Guard Markings. It is a big plane.

  4. I remember this kit when it first hit the shelves, what is even more remarkable is the size. It is huge when seeing them built up. I did get one along with the A-6E Intruder. Don't know what happened to it as I never did get around to building it. Now they are quite hard to find. So this one is quite special. Your patience and passion really shows on this one Mark. I know the feeling when a kit fights you and most of the time its not the kit but unusual gaffs that just happens of our own making. You stuck with it and it shows in the presentation. Outstanding, thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

    • Hello Chuck: They are hard to find and it's odd because I rarely see one at a show or competition. They must be gathering dust on shelves somewhere. It was frustrating and the frustration was on my part. The kit is dated 1990 and is typical of the Revell/Monogram offerings of the time. Too many distractions but in the end, it looks like an F-89 and I am pleased with it. I build for my own enjoyment and don't get too wrapped around the axle over the small stuff. Indeed a Happy 2020 to you as well.

  5. I just love these early straight wing jets, and despite your troubles this one looks great.

  6. Well, after reading the long litany of difficulties, I was glad to see a model that didn't look like any of them had happened. You could have fooled us all!

    Nice work. I have one of these, obtained for a decent price from a collection brought to the LHS by a modeler who finally realized he was never going to complete them all.

  7. Thanks Tom for scoping it out and leaving your comments, always appreciate you stopping by.

  8. Very nicely done. I built that kit many times when i was a kid. One of my uncles was an Air Force line chief who worked on F-89's at Ladd Field outside Fairbanks, AK in the mid 1950's. To come full circle, Ladd Field is now part of Fort Wainwright. In the 1985 and 1987, my two sons were born in the base hospital there while I was flying A-10's at Eielson AFB just does the road. I really loved flying over the arctic terrain...supremely majestic and awe inspiring.

    • Thanks Tom for taking the time to share your experiences with the F-89 and Alaska. I was in Alaska during Desert Storm with the USMC and the rugged terrain is magnificent. I can understand how you would love it especially flying over it.

  9. Well done! I like this old cold-war warrior, and plan to build one in 1/72. Hope it ends up looking as good as yours.

  10. Nice job. Those kits are difficult to find.

  11. Thanks John for your comment and looking in. Duly appreciated and yes they are getting hard to find. Snap one up if you can find one.

  12. I think it looks great! Nice job. I did the old box scale years ago, It's a cool looking bird.

    • Thanks Robert for looking and your comments. I remember the box scale one too. I actually built it in about 1998 or so and compared it to the then newly released 1/72nd scale one and it really is a nice model, just an odd scale, considering it was released in 1955.

  13. Mark, @mkrumrey
    I have one of these Revell / Monogram 1/48 kits in the stash, and after talking with Jaime about it, (and especially after seeing how nice yours looks once assembled), it is now inching it's way towards the build pile...They look to be a fairly good sized model once assembled.

    I like how you continued on, even after all of the problems you encountered. These are often the models we can look back upon later and say, "Yes I finished that one !" Well done my friend, I like it a lot...

  14. You really have done an excellent model!

  15. My father was the Crash-crew Fire Chief at Keflavik N.A.S in Iceland from about 1962-1964. He set fire to three of these that the USAF left behind, having switched to the F-102. The burning tested a new theory of using the rotor wash from the Rescue H-19 to beat the flames away from the aircraft so that a rescue of aircrew could be attempted. When I find the pictures, I will post them, but I still can’t believe he burned real aircraft!

  16. Hi Jeff: Thanks for the info about your father. Yes, once the aircraft or piece of gear was written off they became junk or targets. By using real objects for training the training became realistic and the trainees knew how to deal with a "Real World" situation. As a young Marine going through training, we would fire the 3.5 rocket launcher at old deuce and a halfs on the range.
    Thanks for looking and your comment

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