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F-8C Crusader Conversion

Fisher Model and Pattern 1/32 F-8C Crusader Conversion First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review April 2009 Manufacturer Fisher Model and Pattern
Subject F-8C Crusader Conversion Scale 1/32
Kit Number 3211 Primary Media Resin/white metal
Pros Backdates the Trumpeter kit to an F8U-2/F-8C Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $42.95

First Look

I'd say that this detail set has easily achieved these objectives. Let's take a closer look:

F-8C Crusader Conversion
F-8C Crusader Conversion
F-8C Crusader Conversion
F-8C Crusader Conversion

Resin guru Paul Fisher of Fisher Model and Pattern has made good on his promise to release a backdate set for the Trumpeter 1/32 F-8E Crusader kit. This 'conversion' is more than meets the eye.

Some modelers were concerned about the shape of the kit's nose and windscreen. I am aware that this detail set was extensively researched to do a number of things:

  • Provide a seamless intake
  • Nail the C-model radome shape
  • Be almost a drop-in conversion for the stock kit
  • Backdate the shape of the wing dorsal fairing
  • Correct the shape/frame of the windscreen
  • Correct the 'sit' of the landing gear
  • Provide the earlier ejection seat as an option

I know of only a few folks that can create a complex casting like this one, and fewer still for 1/32 scale subjects. Look at these three images of the nose section. You simply cut just forward of the panel line ahead of the gun ports on the side of the nose. With a few minor adjustments to trim the remaining styrene up to the panel line, the lugs on either side of the intake trunk will drop into place inside the fuselage halves replacing a number of parts in the process. If you look down the intake, there are no seams to fill and you have a nice proper shape to the intake mouth.

Next, you'll remove the center section from the upper wing half and replace it with the resin casting below. This reduces the size of the dorsal hump to correspond with the pre-Bullpup F-8C configuration.

This set provides the Martin-Baker F5 seat fitted to the F-8C and this casting is a beauty with all of the harness/seat belt details.

The clear resin windscreen corrects the Trumpeter part and is perfectly clear.

Last but certainly not least are replacement struts for the main and nose gear cast in white metal. These parts will be stronger than the kit parts and they've been tailored to correct the 'sit' of the aircraft. The set also includes a spoked nose wheel should the aircraft you're modeling be so fitted.

If you're wondering what you'll do for decals/markings if you do backdate your Crusader, Zotz Decals has a set that has been released just for this variant. You'll have several interesting schemes to choose from produced to Zotz's usual fine quality.

This conversion is yet another fine example of Fisher Models' excellent craftsmanship and eye for detail. I hope they'll consider a similar update for the stock F-8E/F-8J as well!

My sincere thanks to Fisher Model and Pattern for this review sample!