Hobby Boss 1/48 FJ-4B Fury Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||March 2008||Manufacturer||Hobby Boss|
|Kit Number||80313||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, great details||Cons|
|Skill Level||Novice||MSRP (USD)||$27.95|
The FJ Fury was the US Navy's first operational jet fighter with its first flight in 1946. Based upon the same straight-wing approach as other US Navy carrier fighters, the Fury helped bring the US Navy into the jet age, but its straight wing resulted to inferior performance compared to the swept-winged MiG-15s encountered over Korea.
The North American Fury followed a parallel development cycle with the Air Force's P-86 Sabre, though when the Air Force pushed North American forward with captured German engineering data on swept-wing technology, the Navy did not benefit right away from the major improvements built into the operational F-86. Once the Navy found themselves behind the power curve with their other swept-wing developments, they operated an interim version of the F-86E dubbed FJ-2 until a purpose-built carrier fighter could produced in the FJ-3.
The FJ-4 fighter Fury and FJ-4B fighter-bomber Fury were the last of the breed with almost 400 examples produced. While these Furies saw some service with the US Navy, the main recipient was the US Marine Corps who flew the Fury into the 1960s. In keeping with cold war requirements, these Furies were also nuclear capabile. These late Furies were also among the first to carry the new heat-seeking Sidewinder missile.
Hobby Boss has tackled another interesting subject with the FJ-4 and this FJ-4B Fury. I honestly can't tell you if this kit has any resemblance to the Grand Phoenix kit, but this kit looks clean and buildable.
Molded in light gray styrene, the kit is presented on three parts trees plus a single tree of clear parts. The molding is crisp with finely scribed detailing and no sink marks noted in visible locations.
The features some nice options including:
- Positionable canopy
- Positionable speed boards
- Optional wing folds
- Positionable tail hook
- Positionable rudder
- Realistic length intake duct
On the flip side, the ailerons, elevators and flaps are all molded in closed/neutral position. If you want to drop the flaps, you'll have some careful surgery and wing tweaking to do.
The kit definitely loads you up with external stores:
- Two external drop tanks
- Two heaters (Sidewinders)
- Six Bullpups
This kit comes with two colorful aircraft options:
- FJ-4B, BuNo 141467, VA-241, ND/00, USN, 1958
- FJ-4B, BuNo 139462, VMF-323, WS/20, USMC, 1958
This is a very nice looking kit and is definitely another example of why we want to keep an eye on Hobby Boss as they cater to 1/48 scale modelers. The price is right and it provides a nice (and cheaper) option to the Grand Phoenix kit (if you can find one).
My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample