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T-39

CollectAire 1/48 F2H-2 Banshee Kit First Look

By Fotios Rouch

Date of Review August 2006 Manufacturer CollectAire
Subject McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee Scale 1/48
Kit Number 4827 Primary Media Resin, White Metal, Vacuform
Pros Nicest F2H in 1/48 scale (only F2H in 1/48 scale) Cons Bubbles in resin parts
Skill Level Expert MSRP (USD) Out of Production

First Look

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McDonnell has had a long streak of developing successful aircraft for the US Navy. It all started with the FH-1 Phantom to be followed by the Panthers, the Cougars, the Banshees, the Demon and finally the Phantom II.

The McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee was a carrier based jet fighter aircraft and was used by the US Navy from 1951 to 1959. The Banshee was the natural development of the FH-1 Phantom becoming larger, more powerful and carrying an increased fuel load with 20 mm cannons, and the additional capability to carry bombs, rockets and missiles.

The prototype Banshee made its maiden flight on January 1947 with an order for 56 aircraft following. 334 F2H-2 were built. The F2H-2 served during the Korean War with the 7th Fleet as a fighter and later as a photo-reconnaissance platform.

This is a full resin kit with two vacuform canopies and white metal detail parts. The kit contains parts and decals for the modeler to turn their Banshee to one of the three versions, the F2H-2, the F2H-2N or the F2H-2P. Being one of my favorite early jets I decided to get three kits and do all the versions of the -2 Banshee.

This kit was mastered many years ago (early nineties I believe) and it shows with the maker's approach to the subject. All parts are heavy solid castings. The monolithic casting method shows with heavy mold release lines all across the fuselage, the nose parts and the fuel tanks. I wonder how do the figure resin shops or Fisher for that matter make their castings so flawless. The panel lines are very good on the wings but uneven, not too straight and of variable depth on the curved areas of the fuselage.

The soft metal parts are reasonably well done and they will need a little clean up before use. The canopy frame is well formed and it comes taped on a piece of cardboard to protect it from getting deformed by the heavier parts around it.

The rest of the resin parts are reasonably well molded but they will need cleaning with a file and an x-acto knife. All the big resin parts will need careful filling with putty to eradicate the numerous pinholes. This resin shop does not use vacuum or pressure casting methods and although their work is very good as far as traditional casting goes, maybe it is time to think about joining the other resin shops and move on to more modern approaches.

The cockpit is not very elaborate by today's standards but it covers all the basics. You get a good looking ejection seat, a control stick, different instrument panels for the different operational roles, a gun sight or photo scope and a basic tub with side panels molded in place. There is no detail provided for the side walls and the modeler might elect to scratch build some basic ribbing there. The wheels are cast in halves but you will need to thin them down quite a bit to reach the proper thickness and to have them mate flush. Test fitting shows that a lot of work will be required to adapt the different noses to the fuselage. One area that will need work is the area were the intakes merge with the wings and the fuselage. Another area of concern is the assembly of the tail fin and the tail wings to the fuselage. The parts fit superficially but putty and sanding will be required to eliminate the big gap left between the tail fin and the tail wing.

The kit offers all the under wing pylons but the modeler will need to look into their spares for the appropriate era bombs

The vacform canopies look reasonably clean and will look good after a couple of dips in Future. I will cut mine so I can pose my Banshees with slid back canopies.

The decals cover an aircraft for each variant. All three variants provided are Korean War era dark blue. These include:

  • F2H-2, 125068
  • F2H-2P, 126678, VMJ-1
  • F2H-2N, 123300

No 48th scale Banshee that looks like a Banshee has been done in injection form to this date. How can such an important subject be ignored for so long? The Collect-Aire kit is still the only game in town. Stay tuned because work on my -2P has already started with a photo build coming up really soon. I am planning to do all of my Banshees really soon before anybody in the limited run injection business wakes up and smells the coffee!

The kit is recommended to modelers with experience building resin kits.

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