Hasegawa 1/48 Vought F-8J Crusader

with Cutting Edge resin seat

US Navy, VF-24 ‘Red Checkertails’, USS Hancock 1974

Built alongside Hasegawa’s F-8E, this later ‘J’ model, with the double droop leading edge flaps and larger tailerons, was a perfect opportunity to raise the wing, drop the flaps and use the kit supplied rockets. General comments for the E model apply, and I had exactly the same problems with the finish, as they were painted at the same time. I made some small modifications to enhance accuracy:

  • Thinned the main landing gear struts.
  • Modified the afterburner can so it doesn’t protrude from the rear fuselage.
  • Drilled out the rear fuselage vents.
  • Removed a small circular panel line under the front cockpit.
  • Replaced the kit ejection seat with a correct MB Mk.7 resin seat from Cutting Edge.

Again, I replaced the nose pitot with brass tube and wire. As with the F-8E, I went to some effort to remove seam lines in the nose intake, work well-rewarded.

The wing is more complex than on the F-8E (22 parts!) and the trailing edge flaps needed some material removed from their inner surface so they didn’t foul the fuselage. Other modellers have said they needed to do the same to the leading edge flaps, but I found I didn’t, and thus mine are unmodified. You will easily spot my mistake with the rockets – I glued the rocket heads in the wrong end of one of the bodies (doh!).

You can read of my tales of woe in painting this aircraft on the F-8E page, and I won’t repeat them here! Suffice to say it was a good build that went wrong. The wash is my usual heavily thinned oil (this time with some brown added) and it stands out a little too much for my liking on these Crusaders. The decals are from the kit (what could be better than the very cool nose spiral?) and were applied with no problems. Because black paint on the rudder and red on the fin tip got pulled up so badly by my masking tape, I used a combination of decals and paint in these areas (whereas I had intended to use paint only). All the little bits and pieces fitted without any drama, and finally she was finished. I’d love to build another, particularly a French F-8P or an early Crusader with the more pointy radome, and hopefully do a better job with them than I managed here!

Year bought: 2004 (R&D Models, Cambridge)

Year built: 2006 (St Ives, Cambridgeshire)

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