Tamiya's 1/48 scale
Skyray is available online from Squadron.com
This is Tamiya's 1/48th scale F4D-1 Skyray. I was waiting impatiently
(just like the rest of the world) for this model to be released. From
the time I learned that Tamiya was going to do it to the time I finally
had one in my grubby hands was far too long. I immediately decided to
The kit builds extremely easily. I built it out-of-the-box and had
the entire airframe assembled and ready for paint in the first night.
The kit provided cockpit is rather spartan, but not unacceptable. Tamiya
obviously figured that the after market industry would provide complete
cockpit details and did not waste much time over-detailing that area of
the kit. They were right and a couple manufactures have risen to the
challenge, including Cutting Edge. I highly recommend getting the
Cutting Edge F4D cockpit set to improve the cockpit detailing of the
kit. I will be using this cockpit set if I ever build another F4D.
Even in this model, I chose to leave the canopy and ejection seat
unattached so I could replace the seat at a later time. The kit provided
ejection seat is very simplistic. This over-simplified seat and the lack
of a canopy actuating plunger are noticable minuses to the kit. The
canopy fit is tight enough to hold it up without a plunger, but anyone
looking inside will note the lack of a way to hold the canopy open.
The kit provides for folding the wings as would be seen on the carrier
deck, but I chose to not build the model with this option. The wings
look funny (to me) when folded, and I did not want them that way. The
kit provided wing fold is apparently not completely accurate, also, as
Cutting Edge has produced a wing fold set for the kit that fixes the
errors. I am uncertain exactly what is wrong with the kit provided
pieces, but Cutting Edge claims it is substancial.
To resolve the biggest short-coming of the kit (to me), the lack of any
ducting inside the engine intakes, I painted the entire interior of the
engine intakes in flat black. This included the turbine face, the inside
bulkhead, the sides walls, and the fuselage interior portions. This
turned the view inside the engine intakes into a virtual "black hole" on
the completed model, hiding the fact that there is no intake ducting
leading back to the engine turbine face. (If you can not easily fix
something, make it hard to detect...)
I painted the entire model in Testors Model Master enamel paints. The
camouflage is the old standard of Light Gull Gray (F.S.36440) over Gloss
White. Because the upper control surfaces of the squadron I chose to
build are not white, I did not need to mask these to paint the Light
Gull Gray. I free-handed the line between the gray and white on the
sides of the nose and intakes using my air brush.
I completed the model in the markings of VF-162, "The Hunters", my
personal favorite of all the F4D markings out there. The decals come
from Cutting Edge, both squadron and data markings, on sheets #CED48089
and #CED48092. The decals went down with no trouble. I used Solvaset as
a setting solution.
For weathering, I used my typical style of thinned down enamel paint
washes and air brush shading. I finished the weathering with some dry
brushing to pop out the surface details. For a more complete discussion
of what I do to weather my models, see my posting on "Weathering
I will echo all the reviewers I have read before me - this is a great
The cockpit is a bit too simplistic for an out-of-the-box build, but
it is not completely unacceptable. The engine intakes are also far to
empty for the amount of view you have in the completed model, but this
can be minimized with a little black paint. I already have another kit
in my model stockpile with a bunch of after-market goodies ready to go.
I look forward to revisiting this kit at some time to do a fully
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11 October 1998
Extra Detailing /
Model, Description and Images Copyright ©
2001 by David Aungst
Page Created 25 October, 2001