Sword, 1/72 scale
u m m a r y
|Description and Catalogue Number:
Sword Kit No. 72139 - North American FJ-3/3M Fury
|Contents and Media:
See details below.
€14.78 plus shipping available online from Sword
GBP£17.99 EU Price (£14.99 Export Price) plus shipping available online from Hannants
and hobby retailers worldwide
||Nicely moulded with good detail, a resin seat and very good decals.
The usual short run lack of locating pins/holes; no clear explanation of which tail and rudder surfaces are used on each example; no mention of nose weights.
It is nice to see this kit back again, with good variety of schemes, and sufficient detail to make up into a lovely replica. A much improved kit over its predecessors.
Reviewed by Graham Carter
The North American FJ-3 was designed as carrier versions of the F-86 Sabre and first flew in 1951. As such they had modifications such as wider track, arrestor gear, extended nose u/c legs, machine gun armament reduced to four 20mm cannon, a modified canopy front and outer wings that folded up to ease storage on a carrier.
The -3 variant had a different wing and fuselage of slightly deeper form to the FJ-2 in kit SW72138. They were very different from the straight wing FJ-1, and later FJ-4s had a different wing again for new undercarriage and weaponry. Numerous alterations were made to the airframe to accommodate weapons and performance changes.
Never a really successful aircraft, the 538 FJ-3s only served with the Marine Corps, none being offered to overseas nations unlike the very successful F-86 Sabre. Later nearly 200 were converted into -3M variants for carrying the Sidewinder missile and refuelling probe, but there is no indication that the examples provided in this kit had this facility, none of them being designated as -3Ms.
In 1/48 the Fury has been well served by Lindberg, Italeri, Matchbox, Hobbycraft and KittyHawk, but in the ‘One True Scale’ there has only been the Emhar/Revell and Aeroclub kits, the latter as a vacform. The former is bit crude and the latter very hard to find, so Sword’s kits have been a welcome addition on the kit market. First released as a trio in 2018 as kits SW 72107-19, this is yet another iteration with a new sprue and decals.
A hunt through the ether will find these earlier reviews on Hyperscale.
Sword's 1/72 scale FJ-3/3M kit comes in the familiar end-opening box with a nice CAD illustration on the top and the three decal choices underneath. Inside is a resealable plastic sleeve containing the two larger mid-grey sprues, a clear transparency sprue and a resin ejector seat, the latter two in their own bags. The instructions are a colour twelve-page folded A5 booklet ( although the last three pages are either a kit catalogue or blank), and the decals are in there as well.
Parts are nicely moulded with very little flash and only a small seam to clean up, especially on the wheels and u/c legs. Details are very well delineated and finely reproduced, although some modellers would have liked the control surfaces to be better indicated.
This kit has a different wing and fuselage sprue to the FJ-2 variant reviews elsewhere by myself. The new sprue has the different wing with different undersurfaces and a mid-wing fence for higher performance, as well as a slightly different fuselage with variations in the rear cooling intakes. There are also two sets of rudders and tail planes but no clear instructions as to which ones are used on which scheme. As usual with short-run kits, there are no locating pins/holes so can will be needed in lining parts during gluing. The inner wheel bay doors are correctly moulded closed, although incorrectly shown open in the colour scheme drawings! I’m sure the detail nut will be able to adapt PE detail sets for the F-86 to these kits.
Construction steps are clearly set out and start with the cockpit, then the internal intake and exhaust trunks, followed by wings and undercarriage, another nicely detailed area with boxed in wells and good detail for the legs and doors. Finally come the tanks and canopy as well as seperate wingtip lights. In each stage there are colour call outs indicated by a ten letter key in name alone, with no manufacturers mentioned. Curiously, there are two Sidewinder missiles and a refuelling probe provided but no reference is made to these. The missiles do not appear on the sprue maps and are not used in this model, although the refuelling probe is. The two-part resin seat will enhance the interior and the instruments are suitably embossed on the side and front panels for careful painting - no decal are provide for these. No mention is made of the need for nose weight and I would be inclined to throw a bit in the front to prevent tail-sitting. Alternatively, the modeller can have the arrestor hook in the down position as a support.
Decals are for three examples:
BuNo. 139261, AD/204 of VF-173 on USS Randaoff in 1957 in light gull grey over white with a yellow elephant trunk (!) on the nose,
Bu.No. 131255 NK/208 in the same colours with blue tail bands and diamonds in 1957, and
BuNo 135867 of VU-3 at NAS Moffett Field in 1958 with dark blue fuselage, yellow wings and tail and red vertical surfaces
Decals are very nicely printed by Techmod with great colour, register and density and with barely a whisker of carrier film beyond the image. With quite a lot of white markings it is nice to see them printed on mid-blue paper so the all items can be clearly identified - thank you Sword!! Each example is illustrated with four-view colour placement and colour drawing.
In summary, this is a nice little kit and the decal choices will enable the modeller to add to his or her naval fleet.
Thanks to Sword Models for the review samples.
Text and Images Copyright © 2021 by Graham Carter
Page Created 14 December, 2021
14 December, 2021
Back to HyperScale Main Page