OZ Mods 1/144 F9F-5 Panther
|$12.95 AUD from OzMods|
|Scott Van Aken|
The Panther was just another of the famous Grumman 'Cats' to be used by the Navy, a history that went back to the F4F Wildcat and continued until the F-14 Tomcat that is now leaving Naval service. The Panther was eventually modified with swept wings to become the Cougar.
The Panther in its F9F-2 and F9F-5 variants was partnered with the F2H-2 Banshee and carried out much of the Navy's air to ground campaign during the Korean war. Though able to carry a modest amount of ordnance, it was the high speed of attack and withdrawal that made these jet aircraft successful. Probably the major down side of using jets was that they did not have the kind of range that the piston-powered aircraft like the AD-1 and F4U-4 had. They also couldn't carry the same weight in ordnance, but they were still quite effective and early in the war, also managed to knock down an enemy plane or two.
If you have seen any of the previous OzMods kits, then this one will look familiar. OzMods puts quite a bit of detail into their kit, especially when one considers the actual size of the kit. The fuselage is split horizontally with the tail section split vertically. I've not seen a kit done like this in a while, but it seems to be one way of doing things. The wings are one piece that glue to the roots and two-piece wing tanks are to be added later.
The cockpit consists of a tub, seat and instrument panel. You can build the kit gear up if you wish though rather complete landing gear are supplied. The tail plane slots through openings in the fin and while this may seem rather retro, it should be just fine for a kit in this scale. Two clear vacuformed canopies are provided.
Instructions are a basic exploded view that is more than sufficient and a sprue diagram is provided to help with identifying parts. No ordnance is supplied, though that can be ordered as a separate item should you wish. No interior or wheel well color information is supplied, which would be helpful for those not familiar with the color requirements of USN aircraft of this period. Markings are given for two aircraft. First is an F9F-2 aboard the USS Midway in 1951. This aircraft has white fuselage and wing bands. The kit will also have to be modified by trimming the fin to the shorter version used by the F9F-2. The other is from VF-192 aboard the USS Oriskany in 1954. It also has white wing bands and a white fin tip. Both are overall Sea Blue with aluminum leading edges to the flight surfaces and the nose of the tip tanks. The decals are thin and well printed. The US insignia looks a bit odd, being a bit too thin in the red and blue bits for my tastes. I'm also thinking that they should really be just the white and red parts for the overall sea blue aircraft of this era.
It is pretty obvious by now that OzMods is providing some very interesting subjects and is concentrating on the 50's and 60's for its new kits. With this very nice Panther now out, could we be getting ready to see a Banshee or perhaps an F-94 or F-80 or T-33 or......
Thanks to OzMods for the review sample. You can get this and other kits and conversion sets direct from their website.
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