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 1/48 Hawk 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.