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FJ-2 Fury

Kitty Hawk Models 1/48 FJ-2 Fury Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2019 Manufacturer Kitty Hawk Models
Subject FJ-2 Fury Scale 1/48
Kit Number 80155 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch, Resin
Pros Wow Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $69.99

First Look

FJ-2 Fury
FJ-2 Fury
FJ-2 Fury
FJ-2 Fury
FJ-2 Fury

Not long after World War II, North American Aviation (NAA) jumped into the turbine-powered fighter world with the Model 135 developed for the U.S. Navy. At the time, the U.S. Air Force was fielding their own turbine-powered fighter with Lockheed's P-80 Shooting Star. NAA had a head-start on Grumman and their F9F Panther series, but the Model 135 which the Navy designated as the FJ-1 Fury was found to be underwhelming in performance. In parallel, NAA was developing a variant of the FJ-1 to the USAAF as the XP-86 Sabre. The Navy and USAAF both found their initial designs inadequate and NAA was given access to captured Messerschmitt Me 262 engineering data which introduced swept wing and aerodynamically activated leading edge slats (among other things). The resulting F-86A for the USAF and the FJ-2 for the Navy featured improved performance for both aircraft. While the FJ-2 was still ahead of its Grumman competitor at the time, the Navy still required additional changes which included a raised cockpit, revised horizontal stabilizer and landing gear, and even then, the aircraft was still not ready for carrier operations. The Navy gave the FJ-2 to the U.S. Marines and looked to the FJ-3 to address the type's carrier requirements. By this time, production of the FJ-2 was slowed as NAA was directed to focus their production efforts on the F-86 during the Korean war.

Here's a kit that many have anxiously awaited from Kitty Hawk, the FJ-2 Fury. The FJ-2 is indeed a navalized F-86, though one major improvement was the replacement of the Sabre's six .50 caliber machine guns with four 20mm cannons. Kitty Hawk nicely captures those details here. Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on three parts trees plus one tree of clear parts, one small fret of photo-etched parts, and one pair of resin figures. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed cockpit and ejection seat with photo-etched restraints
  • Positionable canopy
  • Detailed port and starboard gun bays
  • Positionable gun bay access panels
  • Four fuselage-mounted ammo cans can be posed separately or installed
  • Ammo bay doors are positionable
  • Wings can be posed flight-ready or folded
  • Wing slats are posed open
  • Positionable trailing edge flaps
  • Positionable rudders
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Positionable tail hook
  • Choice of engine bay cooling scoops
  • Detailed engine visible down intake and up exhaust duct
  • Optional pilot and plane captain figures

External store options include:

  • 2 x external fuel tanks

Markings are included for five options:

  • FJ-2, 132000, VMF-122, LC/318, USMC
  • FJ-2, 130257, VMF-312, WR/5, USMC
  • FJ-2, 131987, VMF-451, AM/12, USMC
  • FJ-2, 132055, VMF-334, MX/13, USMC
  • FJ-2, 131975, VMF-235, WU/22, USMC

Notes:

  • The instructions indicate that this aircraft was armed with the AIM-9B Sidewinder, but the AIM-9 would not debut until the FJ-4, just as the AIM-9 would not appear in the F-86 until the F-86F and even then, later in its service
  • The kit is designed with a separate forward fuselage and tail section with the split at the maintenance break, just like the full-scale example. The kit provides a complete engine shape with the details focused on the front and turbine sections of the engine. While you can pose the tail section removed from the airframe, the engine doesn't have the details around the outside of the compressor and turbine sections nor accessory packs, there is no cart to hold the tail section, but there are structural frames provided at the rear of the main fuselage and at the front of the tail section. If you want to pose the tail removed and the engine out, you'll need to add some scratch-built details to round out that display

As you can see in the photos, this is a simple build though it doesn't skimp on the details. The subjects provided in this kit are bare metal airframes given that the FJ-2s spent some time ashore before the Marines began carrier deployments to sort out its performance issues. This is a nice-looking kit and Kitty Hawk will be following this release with the FJ-3 in the coming months.

My sincere thanks to Kitty Hawk Models for this review sample!

Here is a list of paints Kitty Hawk identifies for use with this kit and the equivalent colors from other brands:

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
TAM
TES
XTRA
Black
0032
70.950
C002
H002
N002
A125
C125
LC002
MMP047
005
LP01
X01
1747
 
Silver
0195
71.062
C008
H008
N008
A003
C003
LC074
MMM006
128
LP11
X11
 
X038
Steel
0191
71.065
C028
H018
N018
 
 
MMM002
030
X10
1780
X502
Flat Black
0046
71.057
C033
H012
N012
A041
C041
LC002
 
020
LP03
XF01
1749
 
Olive Green
0084
71.093
C054
H080
N080
A152
C152
UA303
MMP034
078
XF58
 
 
Burnt Iron
0187
71.073
C061
H076
N076
A106
C106
 
MMM01
147
LP54
XF84
 
X508
Hemp
 
 
C336
H336
A262
C262
 
 
 
XF57
 
X016

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