F-89D Scorpion 59th F.I.S., Goose Bay, Labrador
submitted three previous F-89 builds to ARC (see Gallery), but they were all in
1/72 scale, and none were of the F-89D variant. This, however, is a more
monstrous 1/48 scale Scorpion; Revell was the only model brand on the market for
this size. Yes, it's a relatively dated mold release, with raised panel lines,
but since I already lost my modeling soul building a 1/48 model with raised
lines not long ago, I figure I can only lose my soul once; I'm damned, and
There's much to be said for those older (ca. 1980s & 1990s) Revell (and Monogram) kits: The cockpit appointments were very detailed, with raised knobs and dials. Too many newer model makers include instrument and console decals along with not too crisp raised details, but one has to painstakingly remove all that raised plastic to make decals usable. Not for me! My technique of using a white lead pencil, held at an angle and lightly brushing it along the raised edges made the instruments stand out and look realistic. Be sure, though, if you use this technique, that you not coat the part with Future or other sealer, as any fluid will dull - even remove - the chalk deposit, leaving a bare instrument/console panel. With the amount of detail on cockpit parts, there was no sense in spending extra funds for after market replacements.
The scale size and panel locations were other big pluses for these older molded kits. I lightly sanded the raised lines on this one, leaving enough to keep molded detail visible, yet not interfere too greatly with later decal placement.
A model this big ( about 14" wingspan from wing tip pod to other pod, by 13.25" length, by 4.50" height to tip of tail) begged for enhancements, so I liberally used Bare Metal Foil (BMF) in several shades, plus used Testor's enamel spray (buffing) aluminum plate. Let your eyes, with frequent check of reference photos, be your guide. I also cut white decal strips to scale and applied them as sealant around the canopy edges where it attached to the frame.
As I made this out to be a 'D' variant, the wing tip pods were the ones with the rockets in the front end. As I weathered the finished model I noted from photos that nearly every F-89D had smoke stains from rocket firings on the pods, at the joint where the rocket section ended and the aft wing tip gas tank began; the joint was made with a space to vent rocket gases when fired. Black pastel chalk worked well for this, as it can be applied as heavily as one desires.
On a final note, the decals were made by Repli-Scale, and has long been out of business. I bought the kit and decals in the early 1990s, so you can tell how long I've been cowering from tackling this big kit - until now.
Photos and text © by Carl Jarosz