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Dan DeSilva
72 articles

Collect-Aire 1/48 F9F-8

March 30, 2022 · in Aviation · · 25 · 1.2K

So, years ago I invested in a Collect-Aire -8... At the time, the only 1/48 kits around of the F9F-8 were the Lodella/Revell kit (1/50) and the FM kit. I actually got both (then sold the Lodella/Revell), but later I learned about the Collect-Aire kit. I wanted to build a history of the Blue Angels display aircraft in 1/48, and wanted to splurge- back in the day when I was young and single! Opened the Collect-Aire kit, and was bothered to see that the tail section of each fuselage half had a nasty warp. I have heard that it seems to be the case with the single seat Collect-Aire kit- but not the F9F-8T -yeah I got that too!

Flash forward about 20 years, and Kittyhawk put out their 1/48 F9F-8 , with options of splitter plates or not, 8P camera nose or gun nose! So, I bought one of those, to finally build my Blue Angels Cougar.

Post Pandemic lockdown, and I decided I would build the other Cougar kits, firstly the Collect-Aire as it was a very nice kit, and cost me a lot of money back in the day! After trying hot/cold water on the resin to straighten the tail (which did not work at all), I figured out how to glue the tail together in stages to straighten the warp. Sadly, I did not take photos, as that would help others who have the kit, I will do some drawings and will insert them here at some point. I glued the fuselage halves from the rear of the cockpit towards the tail, a bit at a time and it actually straightened the tail.

I chose to do the decal option found in the Kittyhawk kit for VF121- couldn't resist the large "D" on the tail for obvious reasons!

The reference clarified that the airframe featured in the Kittyhawk kit did not have a nose refueling probe, or splitter plates on the intakes.

I used the Kittyhawk early seat, and the spare canopy. The Kittyhawk kit comes with two single seat canopies- my guess is they were going to release the single seat fighter -8, and the Photo recon -8T as two separate kits, but then decided to put it all together. I made use of the 8P parts... which you will see soon.

The rear canopy decking is not represented properly by any of the 1/48 kits, so I mastered a part and cast it for the other single seat cougars I have. Its not perfect, but I am happy with it!

After starting to apply decals, I looked at the reference photo, and found the Kittyhawk decal placement diagrams were wrong, as well as the size of the D on the tail! I could not pull off the incorrectly placed rear fuselage markings, so, I did what we modellers do- I found an online build that did not use the decals I needed, and sent an email! Marvin Reyes was a big help- and now you see my completed Collect-Aire F9F-8 Cougar! Thanks again Marvin! I also was able to adjust the proportions of the "D" on the tail, although I wish I had cut a mask and sprayed it on!

coming soon...1/48 FM F9F-8P!

Reader reactions:
15  Awesome

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

25 responses

  1. Very nice looking machine

  2. Love it. I have built a VF-781 Panther in a similar colour scheme, and have always had also doing a Cougar in my wish list. Sadly Kitty Hawk has folded, so now this has become more difficult.

  3. Beautiful Cougar!

  4. Very nice paint job?
    Really like the shiny finish also good job with the decals!

  5. Great results, Dan @danfrombermuda
    Nice work on the rear canopy deck part.

    • Thanks John, I would have liked to refine it a lot more, but it works under the canopy- a good aftermarket improvement, but I guess it wouldn't sell as well as 109 or spitfire improvements!

  6. Finishing a Collect-Aire kit is an achievement by itself, yielding an excellent result as this only justifies your really superb modeling skills, Dan!

  7. Well done build of a not easy kit!

    • The kit has really nice scribing that is still visible under a coat of the GSB paint and Future. I wish someone else had posted about fixing the tail warp- I am sure there a lot of these kits still in boxes. Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Nice work, Dan! Full resin kits are not easy.

  9. Superb work on the Cougar, Dan. Your correction set on the rear decking is excellent. Congratulations on your fine work!

  10. Nicely done Dan, that's good looking Cougar.

  11. That's a great Cougar Dan! Well done indeed sir! ?

  12. Beautiful build!

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