The Sound and the Fury
I hadn’t built a model airplane in several years, but like a lot of us, have a stack of unbuilt kits to choose from when the itch strikes. I was born a year before the middle of the last century and love the mid-50s Navy aircraft. I had the Hobby Boss 1/48 FJ-4B kit on the shelf and picked up the SAC metal landing gear, a resin cockpit, and some PE. By the time it was done, I snagged a Grand Phoenix kit of the same airplane to get the Hound Dog missile control pod and pylon. I also had the Eagle Strike decal sheet I wanted to use.
As I started the kit, I noticed the aft fuselage forward of the horizontal stabilizers was wrong. The “crease” forward of the stabilizers should run straight forward and fare into the fuselage, but the kit has it swooping down and then back up. Bondo time. I also found out the nose was too narrow. I partially fixed that by spreading the fuselage halves forward of the wind screen by 0.040″ top and bottom. This then forced the same thing upon the intake trunk, nose gear well, and the inlet lip.
The last problem was the kit decals and the Eagle Strike decals. Both have the colors in the multi-color vertical bands on the vertical stabilizer wrong. Hobby Boss had them as black, yellow, red front to back and Eagle Strike had blue, yellow, orange. As you can see from the color picture of the actual aircraft, it’s red, yellow, orange front to back. I cut out the blue/white section of the ES sheet to use over the correct colors I paint. Not a big deal.
The SAC landing gear is quite nice but the mains are molded identical to those in the kit – in what I call the bone yard position – completely collapsed. I cut the oleo lose and bent the trailing link down a bit and then spliced in a piece of rod to extend the oleo. The SAC nose gear is fine as is.
The last mod was folding the wings. The kit is scribed where the wing should fold, but the pieces the kit provides to fit into the wing where you cut are useless. For strength, I bent a 90 degree angle in a piece of brass sheet and put it in the wings. The tips slide down over them. A few scratch built details based on photos and finished up with Model Master paint and a commercial clear satin lacquer over the top.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.