this is the Mach 2 kit! Yes I spent weeks in dry fitting, filling,
The Mach 2 kit actually features an AJ-1 with retrofitted tail group, but became AJ-2 with an Xtrapart vacformed canopy (the one in the Rareplane kit), some minor surgery, and an Xtradecal sheet (the one in the Rareplane kit as well).
I used Naval Fighters n°22 by Steve Ginter as main reference material, but I have to thank Roy Leverich and Chuck Huber for their great help in providing me web references and color photos, after hours surfing the web to almost no avail on that subject (even the main US Navy dedicated sites) which I have to say is a pity, considering that the AJ-1/AJ-2 is the first carrier aircraft with nuclear strike capability, in US Navy service for 10 years from 1949 to 1959 in many roles (including recce and tanker) before its replacement by Skywarriors.
Rouch’s article on his Collectaire 1/48 Savage in Hyperscale is of great
interest as well.
This 3 crew aircraft was powered with two “turning” P&W R-2800s and one “burning” Allison J-33.
model represents a VAH-7 AJ-2, DET45 on USS Essex during the Formosa crisis in
1958, of which two photos are featured in the Ginter Book p.104. I painted it
with Tamiya spray TS-27 for white and AS-16 (light grey – USAF) which actually
matches perfectly a slightly weathered US NAVY Gull grey. Satin varnish Humbrol
spray seals the decals without reaction from either paint or decals.
Photos and text © by Alex Bigey