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Neil Armstrong’s F9F-2 Panther – Hobby-Boss 1/72


HISTORY

The Grumman F9F-2 Panther was the primary US Navy and USMC jet fighter and ground-attack aircraft in the Korean War. The Panther was the most widely used U.S. Navy jet fighter of the Korean War, flying 78,000 sorties and scoring the first air-to-air kill by the U.S. Navy in the war, a North Korean Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter.

F9F-2s, F9F-3s and F9F-5s, as rugged attack aircraft, were able to sustain operations, even in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire.
Future astronaut Neil Armstrong flew the F9F extensively during the war, even ejecting from one of the aircraft when it was brought down by a wire strung across a valley, in 1951.

Panthers were withdrawn from front-line service in 1956, but remained in training roles and with U.S. Naval Air Reserve and U.S. Marine Air Reserve units until 1958. The Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration team used the Panther for four years, beginning in 1951.

Building the kit

I’ve always liked this plane, finding it quite different yet beautiful. One day, looking for a quick-build, found a Hobby-Boss one, which I bought. The kit in the box was a reconnaissance version but, as I found Neil Armstrong had flown a combat one, I went to the required modifications.

The kit it self has no major problems although the instructions are not that good, failing to warn the kit as a tail siter, leading to mount some rockets and/or bombs on the reconnaissance version and more. The nose with the 4 guns had to be an aftermarket option or, as I did, scratched. The ejection seat received also some attention, with homemade seat belts and handles.

Painting
Painting was quite straightforward, with very slight weathering as this particular plane went down on her seventh mission.
I used Mr Hobby Color H55 and some Alclad Aluminium. As I didn´t had the decals to this particular plane, it was necessary to paint some and get others from spares.

I’m quite happy, hope you like her too.
Cheers,
Manuel

11 additional images. Click to enlarge.


14 responses to Neil Armstrong’s F9F-2 Panther – Hobby-Boss 1/72

  1. What a great little build. That letter is amazing!

  2. She’s a beauty! The panel wash really helps it stand out. Nicely done.

  3. A bit more about Neil Armstrong’s adventures in Korea.

    The wire he hit at low level wrapped around his wing and took off the outer six feet of his right wing, which should have been fatal, yet he managed to pull out of the dive, keep the airplane level and climb to an altitude safe for ejection. He then kept the airplane level (hard to do) for the 25 minutes it took for them to fly south of the MLR, where he then ejected and landed in a rice paddy near a Marine airfield, where the Marine who pulled him out of the paddy was a fellow student from his class at Pensacola. A good preview of how cool-headed he would be over the Sea of Tranquility 18 years later.

    Nice model, also.

  4. Nice little model !

  5. A great build! That’s a poignant letter

  6. Very nice work Manuel!

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