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F4D-1 Skyray

Fisher Model and Pattern 1/32 Douglas F4D-1 Skyray Kit First Look

by Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2012 Manufacturer Fisher Model and Pattern
Subject Douglas F4D-1 Skyray Scale 1/32
Kit Number 3212 Primary Media Resin/Photo-Etch
Pros Another magnificent resin release - no casting blocks, no pinholes, near-perfect fit! Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $259.00

First Look

F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray
F4D-1 Skyray

Douglas designed a carrier-based, all-weather interceptor based on the delta-wing approach used by Convair for the Air Force's family of interceptors. The aircraft first flew in late January 1951. The aircraft entered service in 1954, powered by the same J57 afterburning turbojet that would propel the F-100 Super Sabre and F8U Crusader through the sound barrier.

The aircraft was purpose-built around an intercept radar in the nose, four 20mm cannons and two Sidewinder missiles. It was so effective that one Navy squadron was assigned to NORAD for all-weather intercept missions in the US.

The aircraft was refered to as "Ford" (pronounciation of 'F4D', just as the S2F Tracker was 'Stoof'). In 1962, the F4D was redesignated as F-6A as part of the Department of Defense's aircraft designator standardization. While the aircraft never saw combat, it served US Navy and Marine Corps squadrons until retired in 1964.

Fisher Models and Pattern has released their latest masterpiece, the 1/32 F4D-1 Skyray. This kit is another feat of engineering mastery which took lots of time to work through, but as you'll see in the images to the right, the time was well spent. Molded in light gray resin, this kit is surprisingly light for a resin model. The reason for this is the advanced molding - look at the third image which shows the hollow interior of the upper and lower wing/fuselage areas. The nose is one-piece hollow-cast as well. I believe the heaviest parts are the two solid resin external fuel tanks.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Super detailed cockpit
  • Positionable canopy (paint masks included)
  • AMS Resin ejection seat with all of the harness/belt details
  • Seamless intake ducts with the engine compressor face at the end
  • Detailed afterburner chamber/tail pipe
  • Detailed wheel wells
  • Positionable elevators
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable leading edge slats
  • Positionable tail hook
  • 2 x external fuel tanks
  • 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinders
  • 2 x rocket pods
  • 1 x centerline pod

This project requires a little more modeling skill and experience than previous releases because of some of the tight tolerances needed to get everything to fit as intended. Unlike most aircraft builds, construction begins with the installation of the main wheel wells into the lower fuselage half and a caution - to check that the thickness of the resin in both wheel well openings in the lower wing half are the same to ensure a constant thickness of the wings after assembly. And so it goes with the rest of the build, the well-illustrated instructions walk you through each step. The whole project is quite innovative in its approach and should create an awesome looking Ford (F4D).

Markings are provided for four subjects:

  • F4D-1, 134802, VFAW-3, PA/32
  • F4D-1, 139113, VF-74, AF/106, USS Intrepid
  • F4D-1, 130743, NATC
  • F-6A, 139177, US Navy Test Pilot School

In addition to the unique markings for each subject, the kit provides a complete set of airframe stenciling, walkways, and national markings as well.

This is another magnificent kit that will build into a show stopper. With Fisher Models' own 1/32 F7U Cutlass kit and F9F series kits, Zoukei-Mura's 1/32 A-1H Skyraider, Trumpeter's 1/32 A-4E Skyhawk with Zotz/AMS Resin A-4C backdate set, and others, you can replicate many of the US Navy's 1950s-era carrier aircraft for your own scale flightline.

This kit is definitely recommended!

You can get more information on this and other kits from the Fisher Model and Pattern website.

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