1/48 Collect-Aire FJ-4 & FJ-4B Fury

Gallery Article by Fotios Rouch

 

This is a double build up of the FJ-4B by Collect-Aire. I usually do not build two resin kits at a time but this kit is so easy to put together that I decided to make both variants in one shot. Most of the time I buy Collect-Aire's kits in doubles. One to collect and one to build. Well, in this case the subject was so appealing to me - two variants and the decals to do them - that I went against my rule!

Here are the two fuselages for the FJ-4 and the FJ-4B. The FJ-4 did not have the lower speed brakes and the one I made did not have a refueling probeeither. The only thing I added was a little more detail in the open gun bays. The FJ-4B had two more pylons under the wings.

 

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The FJ-4 is well known to anybody following the US Navy's airplane history. It was the last variant of the Fury family. Maybe it was even the best variant of North American's series of F-86 brothers and sisters. So I wanted to add the FJ-4 family to my collection of navy jets. Some years ago I bought the FJ-4B by Matchbox but never did anything with it because it was very wrong in profile and way too short in length. Not to mention the wing sizes and shapes. The worst part is that the published scale plans are not very good at all when compared with the real plane. I am lucky to live near the Pima Air and Space museum so it is very easy for me to go there and measure and photograph the real thing. Corollary. Never trust or take as gospel any scaleplans. Measure and study the real thing as much as you can.

These twoCollect-Aire kits were purchased at the same time and were delivered to me in fine shape in their sturdy yellow boxes. The parts were of very good quality with negligible defects that required minimum time and attention. They were built essentially out of the box with very few additions from me. The parts are engineered and look very much like what you would see in an injected kit. The panel lines are very delicate and about as good as what you get from the major Japanese companies. The kit offers 4 decal options. One of them is for an FJ-4. I wanted to have my two Furies look as different as possible so I decided to have the FJ-4 with wings folded, gunbays and speed brakes openand the FJ-4B in a clean configuration with wings down. All the parts needed for the wing folds are provided in the kit but you might want to add some plumbing and such. No matter what though, you need to buy the great Steve Ginter book on the FJ-4 (he also has books on the FJ-2 and FJ-1)
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Building the two Furies was a joy. The only comments I have for the prospective builders are the following. Add nose weight.Measure your vac canopy very carefully (you get two in case you screw up).Do not forget to use Future. It works miracles on Collect-Aire vac canopies. Be carefulwhen you work on the nose intake ring. It needs a little attention to look just right. The decals snuggle down really tight but be careful not to rip them because they are very thin.

Concluding, I would say that these are very much recommended kits. When the Grand Phoenix kit comes out I will make a three way comparison and will include the Matchbox kit to show what I mean by shape and size problems.

Fotios Rouch

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Photos and text by Fotios Rouch