1/72nd Fujimi F7U-3 Cutlass

  • 9 posts
  • Last reply 7 years ago
Viewing 1 - 9 of 9 posts
  • David Hansen said 8 years, 3 months ago:

    Hi everybody,

    First off i want to apologize in advance to everybody who has seen this model before. One of the first bare metal schemes i did i was happy with and i think it was my 3rd Fujimi F7U Cutlass.

    This is an awesome model of a truly mediocre and dangerous aircraft. Could be best described as too many really great, high-tech, forward-thinking, but unproven technologies in one package. Had the Westinghouse engines performed as advertised, and had angled deck carriers been introduced sooner, perhaps historians would be kinder to the F7U.

    The model was largely out of the box; i built it back in 1993 or so, but i replaced the wingtip lenses with clear sprue, filed and sanded to shape, i added masking tape seatbelts, and i added little rectangular strips to the recessed areas where the retracted slats go; i cut away the corresponding rectangular ares embossed into the slats to match.

    The fit of the model was good, although i eschewed the intake trunking since i felt it complicated splicing the forward fuselage to the aft fuselage. Its this area on the model where the fit of parts is frankly kind of vague but the rest of the model fit together well.

    Early F7U-3s were delivered to the fleet in (i think) a clear coat applied over bare metal, with several sections painted in aluminized lacquer (my guess is those were either magnesium, or the Vought “Metallite” composite wood-metal sandwich). I used SnJ for the shiny areas and Scalecoat Aluminum (a model railroad paint) for the aluminized lacquer areas. The Blue stripes were done with Model master GM or Ford Engine Blue.
    [pic 7]

    Composite Squadron 3 was based at NAS Moffett Field, literally a few blocks from where i used to live. VC-3 was involved in something called “Project Cutlass” which IIRC was the initial creation of a cadre of F7U Cutlass Instructors who would then go on to train would-Be F7U pilots. This slightly pre-dates the Navy invention of the Replacement Air Group, or “RAG”.

    Former Astronaut Wally Schirra is the only pilot i ever knew of who liked flying this plane. The Navy re-assigned these fighters to land based attack squadrons as soon as they could.

    Clearly, “Grumpy Kitty” didn’t like it.



  • Jack Mugan said 8 years, 3 months ago:

    David…… I love this plane ( I know it’s weird), but it was such a radical design for it’s time. I have built the 72nd scale version years ago, and I have the 48th scale kit on hand with tons of walk-around reference photos, but just haven’t psyched myself into taking on the challenge yet. It is not a plane you seen done very often. Nice work on your model.

  • Tom Cleaver said 8 years, 3 months ago:

    Very nice work, David. I remember going to the Navy Day air show at NAS Buckley Field in Denver in 1955 (yes, it was an NAS before it became an ANG Base in 1958), and they had a Cutlass there that did a flight demonstration. I always remember his high-AOA slow-speed low passes with the nose up a good 35-40 degrees. Really awesome. And then the Blue Angles flew their F9F-5 Panthers.

    You’ve done a very good job here of recreating that airplane. I too have always liked it, mostly for its weirdness. I remember a former Naval Aviator I knew back in the 70s who told me how upset he was to graduate from Pensacola and be assigned to Skyraiders while his friends got sent to the F7U. But a year later he wasn’t so upset, after 5 of them died in crashes of this awful monster.

  • David Hansen said 8 years, 3 months ago:

    Thanks Tom,

    Yes, it’s a weird one. Somehow i get drawn to building Chance-Vought designs. Probably because of the weird quirky characteristics they have. But i Like Grummans, McDonnells, and Convairs too.


  • Frank Cronin said 7 years, 8 months ago:

    I think the Fujima kit is far better than the Hobbycraft, but Hobbycraft is/was the only 1/48 in town. There was one F7U on board BHR when I went on board in 1957. It was lifted off and I don’t know where it went. Great looking but worthless airplane. A person had to love it. You did an excellent job on this model.

  • Nikola Pentić said 7 years, 8 months ago:

    Fantastic model, David. The finish is perfect.

  • michael dudick said 7 years, 6 months ago:

    most of the original navy astronauts had seat time in this abortion…they rated it as a deathtrap

  • Thomas Harper said 7 years, 6 months ago:

    David..FANTASTIC build I love this plane.Recently I visited a hobby shop in Eugene Oregon and they had some Fujimi jets on sale some are very hard to find now. Keep up the great work and I look forward to seeing more of your work. Tom

  • Josh Patterson said 7 years ago:

    Looks great! One of my favorite naval jets. I’ve built the HobbyCraft version a few times. One of the two I still have are in these markings. They look so sharp! From what I’ve read they were a joy to fly as long as it wasn’t from a boat. I’ve been hearing rumors about one being restored as a flyer for a few years now and have seen pictures of a nearly complete airframe. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Viewing 1 - 9 of 9 posts