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Korea – The Forgotten War GB. Brubaker’s ride, McDonnell F2H Banshee

Talk about timing. This one got finished this morning, the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean Conflict. Louis sent the invite to join the group this morning as well, so I guess I'll kick off the forgotten war group build with one of its forgotten airplanes.

The F2H was a development of the FH-1 Phantom with more powerful engines and better armament. It served the US Navy and Marines from 1948 until 1961, and was one of the few early jets that could outclimb the F8F Bearcat. The Banshee's high altitude performance saw it assigned as an escort to B-29 raids over North Korea, and it performed admirably in the ground attack role alongside it's more famous cousin, the F9F Panther.

This model is the old kit that dates back from around the time I was born. It was in a box of stuff my friend Jack gave to me on a trip to Florida a few years back, already partly assembled but missing just about everything. It sat on the shelf of doom for quite a while until I noticed how dusty it had gotten. I'm a s****r for misfit models, so out it came for a bath to wash off all the dust, which resulted in a stream of rusty water running out all of the openings from whatever nose weight was buried inside! Took a few more washes to get rid of all that, and then I began rummaging through the junk box to see if I could find enough pieces parts to finish it. The canopy is from a Monogram Mustang kit, as are the main wheels; the main landing gear struts were in a small plastic bag from who knows what kit and I can't even begin to fathom what the nose gear came off of. Same with the windscreen. All of them were chosen by the TLAR (That Looks About Right) method. There were no tip tanks and I didn't have anything remotely close, so I decided to leave her clean, which also meant not adding any underwing stores. I found a 50's looking ejection seat and other miscellaneous parts to finish off the cockpit. Gear doors were all scratched from plastic card stock.

Decals came from the dungeon, but I didn't have enough leftovers from any one set to do an actual airplane, so I used a little creative license to represent an F2H-2 Banshee from the fictional USS Savo as depicted in the James Michener novel "The Bridges At Toko-Ri". Anyone who has not read the book tends to be rather surprised to find out that Lt. Harry Brubaker was a Banshee pilot, not a Panther driver as depicted in the movie. Furball Designs just came out with a sheet for the new Kitty Hawk Banshee kit, but for some reason, spending twenty bucks on decals for this model just didn't seem right. That would just sort of defeat the whole patchwork feel of this model.

I added a pic of the Banshee and Panther together for comparison, and the last shot is of my Korean collection - Seafire FR-47, F4U-4 Corsair, F2H-2 Banshee and the F9F-5 Panther. Hope to be doing some of the Air Force stuff soon.

Thanks to Louis Gardener for starting the group build, and to Jack for starting the model!

9 additional images. Click to enlarge.

12 responses

  1. Looks like a Banshee to me , nice work! Your absolutely right It was Banshees in the book!

  2. Nice work Jaime ! You have a nice group of Korean War era planes right there... I use TLAR method myself from time to time. I didn't know the Banshee could out climb a Bearcat, so I just learned something new. Man I have to get my F9F "Brubaker" Panther done...Thanks bud !


  3. That's a great job of an already started kit, Jaime.
    I too love to finish already started/missing parts/etc kits, felling like giving them a chance!
    I also liked a lot your collection of Korean era planes!

  4. A very nice build.
    Would not expect an F4U to be that big compared to the others.

  5. I like this a lot! How did you determine what the fictional Savo markings would entail?

  6. Very nice! I haven't really built much from the Korean War (just an F-86 and a Mig-15), so I'm going to have to pound out a few over the next few years for the Korean GB. This looks fantastic, and I think I have on in 1/72... But I do have a Skyraider up first...

  7. Nice work In making your jet fly again ! Great information on the Korean conflict. It ain’t over yet.

  8. Kit bashing at it's best, looks good to me. Nicely done

  9. Looks pretty good to me. I think I even recognise some of the decals you've used!
    There's always a great feeling of accomplishment when you finish a kit like this. It's also great to clear up the myth of Brubaker's aircraft. I guess the movie makers had to use what footage was available. Your collection looks great too.

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