MiniWings 1/144 CF-101B Voodoo

KIT #: Mini049
PRICE: $33.00 SRP
DECALS: Two Canadian options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin kit with vacuformed canopies


The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo was a supersonic military jet fighter flown by the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Initially designed by McDonnell Aircraft as a long-range bomber escort (known as a penetration fighter) for the Strategic Air Command (SAC), the Voodoo was instead developed as a nuclear-armed interceptor for the Tactical Air Command (TAC), and as a photo reconnaissance aircraft based on the same airframe. Extensively modified versions were produced as an all-weather interceptor aircraft, serving with the Air Defense Command, later renamed the Aerospace Defense Command (ADC), the Air National Guard, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the unified Canadian Forces after 1968.

The Voodoo's career as a strike fighter was relatively brief, but the reconnaissance versions served for some time. Along with the US Air Force's U-2 and US Navy's RF-8 Crusaders, the RF-101 reconnaissance variant of the Voodoo was instrumental during the Cuban Missile Crisis and saw extensive service during the Vietnam War. Interceptor versions served with the Air National Guard until 1982, and in Canadian service they were a front line part of NORAD until their replacement with the McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet in the 1980s.

While the Voodoo was a moderate success, it may have been more important as an evolutionary step towards its replacement in most roles, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, one of the most successful Western fighter designs of the 1960s. The Phantom would retain the twin engines, twin crew for interception duties, and a tail mounted well above and behind the jet exhaust. Both aircraft were influenced by the McDonnell's F-3 Demon, a carrier-based naval fighter-interceptor that served during the 1950s and early 1960s. 


The MiniWings kit continues their standard of making interesting subjects in 1/144 that we'd be unlikely to see from other manufacturers. The short production run nature of these resin kits means that they are quickly sold out so those wanting one need to get them rather soon after release.

MiniWings produces a solid, one-piece fuselage with the cockpit section already hollowed out and this one is no exception. There is a separate nose cone, which will be handy if the front needs to be drilled for nose weight. The main landing gear is one piece with the wheel and gear door molded together. Nose gear strut and wheels are separate as are the nose gear doors. Ventral strakes and exhaust are also separate pieces. The instructions show the intakes as separate bits as well, but on my kit, they were molded in with the fuselage. The wings and tail planes will butt join to the fuselage. Two fair vacuform canopies are provided as is a length of plastic rod for the pitot tube and main gear retraction struts. For the interior, seat back bits (which look nothing like the aircraft's bang seats) and a central console are for the interior.

Probably the poorest part of the kit, and this has been true of other MiniWings kits, are the decals. They are Alps printed, easily damaged, and not very opaque. The decals also suffer from pixellation (jagged edges) on some of the markings and in the past have shown themselves to be oversize. There are markings for a 419 Squadron plane and the black one-off EF-101 that was with 414Sq. I'm afraid that the red markings on this latter plane may well disappear against the black as they are not backed with white. Testing will show if this is the case. An addendum sheet has been provided as the initial print fuselage stripes were particularly poorly done. Instructions are an exploded view on one side with small detail images to help in the build, while the other side has color camo and markings information. The standard CF-101B is in overall Voodoo Grey, a color used solely by the Canadian Voodoo fleet and available from the Testors Model Master line.


It is great to have this aircraft available in this scale. Building will not be as easy as what it looks from the parts count, especially as my copy has a chunk taken out of the very thin fin that will need to be filled once the warp is taken out of it. However, with some of those construction skills that one picks up over the years, a very nice replica can be built.


March 2011 

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