Matchbox 1/72 F-101B Voodoo






Three Aircraft


Scott Van Aken




The F-101 Voodoo was originally designed to be an escort fighter for SACs B-50s and B-36 long range bombers. The initial versions were built as single seaters and mounted four 20mm cannon. They were quite large aircraft, mainly due to the need to carry a great deal of fuel. Twin engines provided the power and reliability needed for long range missions.

When it was seen that the need was not really there for bomber escort, the aircraft was fitted for the interceptor mission. In those days, that meant missiles and another crew member. The F-101B was designed around that premise and able to carry Falcon and Genie Nuclear air to air missiles. For nearly two decades, the F-101B was a standard interceptor for both the USAF and for the Canadian Air Force. It was also developed into a reconnaissance aircraft, though very few were built and all flown by the US Air National Guard.


  One thing about Matchbox is that they could always be counted on to provide kits of subjects people wanted and that they would be relatively easy to build. They were also quite light on detail and often had shape problems. Back when the kits were designed, those were not major concerns of the vast majority of modelers. Today it is and 'serious' modelers will avoid this kit like the plague.

The major problem is that the canopy area just does not have the proper shape to it. A similar problem curses their F-4K/M kit, though it also had trouble in other areas. There is no detail at all in the wheel wells, the landing gear are normally just plastic posts on which wheels and doors are fit. Cockpit detail is laughable, and the kit comes in three different colors; in this case, all of them dark. However, the target audience is generally 10-15 years old so for that crowd, ease of construction was paramount and if nothing, this kit is pretty easy to build.

For the older crowd, we bought it and gussied it up as best we could for we knew that there was nothing else. We could only cast covetous glances at the Monogram 1/48 Voodoo and fervently hope that the 1/72 crowd would get something as good. As it turns out it happened and the Matchbox Voodoos languished on the dealer's shelves.

The kit did come with a nice variety of markings. Unfortunately for me, this kit (which was part of a package deal of models) had gotten damp and so the decals were ruined. However, you can still tell that there were decals for an F-101B from the Happy Hooligans of the 178 FIS, North Dakota ANG, and 409 Squadron Canadian AF in overall light grey. There was also a separate nose section as the kits only real option and that was for an SEA painted RF-101B from the 192 TRS, Nevada ANG.




I can only tell you that I built this kit back 20 or more years ago and thought it was a bit of a dog back then. That makes it a major pooch nowadays and one that most modelers won't touch. However, it is a kit that is just fine for a beginner or a youngster. Ease of construction was generally the mantra of Matchbox and this one does a good job in that respect. It also comes with a stand (oooooo!)

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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