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F4D-1 Skyray

by David W. Aungst


F4D-1 Skyray


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 build it.





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...)


Painting and Decals

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 Aircraft".



I will echo all the reviewers I have read before me - this is a great little kit.

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 detailed rendition.



Additional Images and Project Summary


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Project Statistics

Completion Date:

11 October 1998

Total Building Time:








Decals / Markings:


Extra Detailing / Conversion:


Model, Description and Images Copyright 2001 by David Aungst
Page Created 25 October, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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