Emhar 1/72 FJ-4 Fury
|REVIEWER:||Carmel J. Attard|
|NOTES:||Pavla cockpit set used|
The FJ-4 prototypes were complete redesigns by North American engineers and these consequently differed from the earlier FJ-2 and FJ-3. The first of the prototypes made its maiden flight on 28th October 1954 and the first production machine came off Columbus assembly line in February 1955.
The new design had smaller fin, and fitted with a shorter redesigned rudder and a fuselage that was deeper and shorter than the previous Fury versions. It also had a dorsal spine running all along on top of the fuselage. There was also increase in cockpit armor plating. There was increase in wingspan by 2 ft which was also reduced in thickness and have a multi spar design. The wing had a mid-span aileron, high lift flaps and leading edge slots.
The FJ-4 carried four underwing pylons with the inboard staion being capable of carrying drop tanks or up to 2,000 lbs of ordnance. All 4 stations were wired to carry air-to-air Sidewinder missiles. The FJ-4 carried 50% more fuel than earlier FJ-3 giving combat range close to 1,500 miles with comparable speed to the FJ-3. It also contained electronics, which made it capable of carrying an attack in all weather conditions.
The FJ-4 was equipped within-flight refuelling probe and was often flying in company with the AJ-2 Savage that served as tanker. The majority of FJ-4s were operated by the Marine fighter squadrons. Navy utility squadrons also operated a number of FJ-4s. These carried target-towing reel under the wing inboard pylons. The end of 1962 has placed FJ-4s out of front line use, operated mainly by reserve squadrons. Such types were assigned to Naval Reserve Air Units of NAS Memphis during summer of 1962.
FJ-4B differed from the FJ-4 in several ways. It featured strengthened wing that could carry 6 underwing ordnance stations, additional speed brakes positioned at the rear of fuselage which had two external reinforcing channels and extended approximately half way back under the tail surfaces. These additional speed brakes helped slow the aircraft considerably at low level, allowing more precise bomb runs.
Following introduction into fleet services the FJ-4B had a number of changes incorporated into the aircaft. To extend its range a Buddy refuelling package was designed that allowed the FJ-4B to take full advantage of its in flight refuelling capability. The Buddy fuel tank contained hose and drogue refuelling system, allowing one FJ-4 to refuel another with some 3,000 lbs of fuel. This extended the receiving aircraft combat radius by 50%. The system was successful and was put in operational use by VA-151 during June 1958 while deployed aboard USS Bennington.
More significant improvement s to the FJ-4Bs was the introduction of the ASM-7 Bullpup missile to its arsenal. This allowed the aircraft to hit a target with great accuracy while avoiding heavy ground fire. The 11 ft long missile weighed 540 lbs and carried 250 Lbs of warhead. The pilot using a small control stick directed the missile. The stick transmitted radio signals to the missile that the pilot tracked through his gun sight with the aid of a flare mounted in the missile tail.
A total of 5 ASM-N-7s could be carried by an FJ-4B, along with a missile guidance pod, which was carried on the inboard starboard wing station. Bullpup armed FJ-4Bs were soon in service with Pacific fleet units although none were delivered to Atlantic fleet units.
The FJ-4 attack aircraft was powered by 7,700 lbs thrust Wright 65-W-16A engine. 222 FJ-4Bs (later AF-1E) were an improved attack aircraft that operated a totally new airframe. Two examples of a universal sub variant of the FJ-4B had the designation FJ-4P was used for evaluation purposes; each had an auxiliary rocket motor and supplementary fuel tank.
The kit which was for a time overlooked until Rareplanes released the kit to 1\72 scale and Matchbox produced in 1/48. I recall that US Naval enthusiasts welcomed the kit with open arms in spite of its short comings.
The eye catching box-art depicts an aircraft of attack squadron VA-116 with contrasting orange lightning flashes on fuselage and tail fin. Released by Emhar and later reboxed by Revvell the Fury kit comes in pale gray plastic. The cockpit is very basic consisting of an instrument panel, a basic crew seat in two parts having a large headrest, and cockpit floor. The simplicity of the cockpit office which lacked even the detail issued earlier in the Rareplanes kit makes one look for after market sets available to enhance detail and make good for what was lacking. The cockpit canopy was also inaccurate in shape besides having a section on the thick side and earned for a replacement part.
The Pavla Models cockpit set for Emhar
kit, which is set C72122 contained all that was lacking in the kit that
consisted of several dark gray resin detail parts. These consist of an
instrument panel, control column, front and rear cockpit coaming, left and right
instrument console, a
super detail ejection seat and best of all a clear vac form canopy that
can be assembled in the open position to reveal all that inside the cockpit
office. The usual Pavla accurate oblique projection drawings depicting all color
details on each part are contained in the instructions that come with the set.
(This set was previewed earlier in MM so check the archives for pictures. Ed)
(This set was previewed earlier in MM so check the archives for pictures. Ed)
A feature that comes with the kit is
the provision for the outer wings that can be attached in the folded or deployed
configuration. Six hard points can carry a pair of drop tanks and four AAM
Sidewinder missiles. Pylons and launchers are also provided for the missiles.
Being a B-variant this could also carry Bullpup missiles.
Maximum load was five
of these missiles and an electronic pod.
The Fury series of carrier born aircraft has always been the types that I have been totally unable to resist with their unique shape variations they took emanating from the F-86 Sabre from the North American Company.
Having built 3 FJ-4s including two Rareplanes vacform kits I was eager to build two ‘B’ versions and with the provision of the Pavla series of detail parts the turn has come to make good model representation of the Emhar FJ-4B. Dating from some years ago the kit features raised panel lines and a rather thick plastic. Construction is fairly simple if you just go by the instructions. I have gone through both the instructions and those that come with the resin detail sets that Pavla Models issued. For the more accurate kits of the Fury I have therefore used the kit in conjunction with Pavla C72122 and U-72-151. The former is detail set for the cockpit office; the latter is the jet outlet orifice.
Construction begins in the cockpit, which is quite basic. The only alteration to the cockpit is the removal of the gun sight coamind and it is replaced by resin part NoR4 and there is the cockpit floor, which is only required to fit upside down in order to accommodate the resin set arrangement. The Emhar kit parts 23 and 28 are no longer required as there are replacement resin parts. The same applies with the rear nozzle part 21 and the canopy 48.
Other areas that were improved were as
follows: Air intake part 19 was opened up at the rear and a short pipe extension
cut from a short ball point of similar diameter was added to give a better depth
of the intake. The nose wheel well was also opened so that it was deepened,
added sidewalls and base. Nose wheel door 35 and also main nose wheel welldoor
18 were reshaped and rebuilt to a more accurate representation. The wing tank
pylons were modified to a more proper shape with a taper leading edge. Wheel
door stays added to forward edge of each door. 4Gun ports were drilled open
using a 1mm diameter pin drill. The air intakes at side of fuselage were opened
at front so thqat section is thinner and the reqar airbrakes had streaks added,
two on each.
The cockpit new resin tub fitted well inside the fuselage. Lead weight was also added to the nose areaat rearof tub before the fuselage was closed. The resin tail pipe replaced the kit part. This was deeperon the inside and in more detail. Areas at wing root required a little filer to smoother out the wing joints. A metal pitot tube was attached to then starboard wing tip. Do not be misguided by the box art where the wing tip tube is left out. The clear vac form canopy complete with the inside resin deck to the rear was attached in partially open position. The FJ-4B completed in the markings of VF-214 was armed with a full load of five bullpup missiles and a pod, all the items came from a Rareplanes kit I made previously as a tanker version, thereby being spare and are used on this kit.
|COLORS AND MARKINGS|
FJ-4 in Action …Squadron Signals publications.
Carmel J. Attard
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