Hobby Craft's 1/72 scale
Royal Canadian Navy
by Don Weixl
Royal Canadian Navy Banshee
Tamiya's 1/48 scale P-51B Mustang is available online from Squadron.com
39 McDonnell F2H-3 Banshees served with the Royal Canadian Navy from 1955 to 1962. My model depicts the first aircraft of the series, #100 as it would have looked in1955 upon delivery.
The inexpensive ( I paid les than $10 Canadian) Hobby Craft Banshee kit captures the overall shape of the 50’s fighter nicely. The kit has recessed panel lines which are a little heavy, but not as bad as the old Matchbox kits.
The canopy is on the thick side, so I replaced the rear section with the True Details vacuum formed canopy. The front section of the kit canopy has better detail than the vacuum formed version, so I kept it.
The cockpit can use some upgrading. The kit ejection seat is quite crude, so I replaced it with an Aeroclub F-86 white metal seat. I modified the Aeroclub seat by adding new seat rails made from styrene and a modified head rest and ejection seat handles made from fine wire, as well as masking tape seat belts.
I added detail to the area behind the ejection seat using small pieces of styrene and wire. This area is very visible through the bubble canopy, so it is worth the effort. The canopy has rear view mirrors made from Bare Metal foil adhered to .10 thou styrene, as well as a brace across the back as part of the sliding mechanism.
The Banshee’s canopy sat up at the front when open due to a unique sliding rail system. Small tabs of styrene duplicated the canopy roller arms that lift the front of the canopy away from the cockpit sides. Finally, a gun sight was added made from 4 pieces of styrene.
The wheel wells do not have any detail whatsoever. I took the lazy route and left the wheel wells as is. You can’t see into them without picking up the aircraft anyways! The kit’s wheels feature nice detail that looks good when highlighted with a black wash. The kit’s front landing gear isn’t quite right for a F2H-3, so I modified it using aluminium tubing and brass wire. The added benefit is that the front wheel now steers.
Other details that were added are the tail skid, fuel vent, and the unique pitot tube below the right side of the cockpit.
I used Extracolour enamels for the 2 shades of Ocean Gray. The bare metal leading edges of the wings are Humbrol 11 silver. I applied the paint through my trusty Pasche H airbrush.
The decals are a mixture of Arrow Graphics RCN roundels and custom ALPS printed (thank you Jay Chladek). Unfortunately the kit decals are quite crude. My kit was an older copy….hopefully Hobby Craft has upgraded the Banshee decals like they have in some of their other older kits.
A gloss coat of Future was airbrushed over the aircraft to seal the decals and prepare for a wash made from black artist’s oil and lighter fluid.
A final semi gloss clear coat was airbrushed over the entire aircraft (minus the canopies) made from 8 parts Future and1 part Tamiya flat base to complete the project.
November 1979 Airpower
October 1973 IPMC Canada Random Thoughts
Banshees in the Royal Canadian Navy by Carl Mills
Model and Text Copyright © 2010 by Don Weixl
Page Created 7 October, 2010
7 October, 2010
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