Minicraft/Hasegawa 1/72 F9F-8 Cougar




$4.95 back in 1984


Three Aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The F9F-8 is really a much different aircraft from its earlier Panther cousins. However, Congress had no money for a new plane, but did have funding available for an improved Panther. Like the USAF and their swept-wing F-84F, the Navy developed the Cougar, a plane that had very little in common with its Panther predecessor. The Cougar was not only faster and more capable, but from what I have been told, a fun aircraft to fly.

Like most aircraft of the 50's the Cougar did not last long in service. Aeronautical progress was such that even four or five years in fleet service were considered a lot! However, the Cougar was the perfect aircraft to supply to training units as an advanced fighter trainer. In addition to the regular single seat aircraft , a number of twin seat Cougars were built for this purpose, some of those twin seaters seeing combat in Vietnam with the Marines as fast FAC aircraft.


This kit is very similar to the previous Panther kit in terms of what the kit is like and what is offered. It has engraved panel lines, two position speed brakes and cockpit and the ability to carry underwing ordnance. In this case it is a combination of wing tanks and Sidewinder missiles.  The cockpit is identical with seat, stick and instrument panel. Decals are provided for instruments and you get a pilot should you wish to use it.

Instructions are also the same with six construction steps, though there is some color information for the interior and other parts. FS 595a colors are given in those cases. You get three different decal options. One is a Blue Angels aircraft, and for this you get a standard nose. For the others, a later nose with refueling probe is provided. A gull grey and white Cougar from VF-81 is provided as in a training TAF-9 from VT-86. This plane is in white with international orange sections on it. It makes into a very colorful model, but bleed-through of the orange is a real problem when it comes to decals. The decals provided in this boxing are the same subjects as what is in the Hasegawa kit. There is no indication of who does these decals, but they are crisp and in register.


This is another really super kit from Hasegawa. It builds quickly and thanks to not having inserts for many different variants, is a fun build as well. It is a kit that I can heartily recommend to all but the raw beginner.

Preview kit courtesy of me and my wallet!

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