Academy 1/72 F2H-3 Banshee

KIT #: 12548
PRICE: ~$25.00
DECALS: Seven options
REVIEWER: Chris Mikesh
NOTES: 2017 'VF-41 Black Aces' release


Wikipedia: The F2H-3 was an all-weather fighter, with a larger diameter radar fitted in an 8 ft 0 in longer fuselage which also increased its internal fuel load by over 50. This allowed the detachable wingtip fuel tanks to be reduced to 170 US gal each, and due to the increased internal capacity, these were now seldom needed. The cannons were moved back, away from the nose to accommodate the larger diameter radar while allowing for an increased ammunition capacity. The horizontal stabilizers were lowered from the fin to the fuselage and were given dihedral on all but the first aircraft. The weapons load was increased to 3,000 lb. and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles would be cleared for use. The F2H-3 also added provisions for aerial refueling consisting of as-needed bolt-on, in-flight refueling probe that replaced the upper port cannon. 250 were built, with the first flight being made on March 29, 1952

In 1951, the RCN drafted a $40 million deal for 60 new Banshees to replace obsolete Hawker Sea Furies. Unfortunately, due to fiscal wrangling in the Parliament of Canada, the purchase was not approved until after Banshee production had ended in 1953. The RCN acquired 39 second-hand US Navy F2H-3s for $25 million which were delivered from 1955 to 1958. They would be flown from HMCS Bonaventure or as NORAD interceptors from shore bases.


Academy offers an earlier F2H-3/4 version that is predominantly blue (#1626, 2001 Release). I anticipate this will be the same kit with different decals.

Pros: This looks to be a beautifully crafted model kit with recessed panel lines. It comes with three primary gray sprues with sufficient detail for any modeler. I was very impressed with the packaging, as there were two plastic bags of parts, and none of them had broken off. With that said, be aware that you're going to need some good quality nippers to remove the parts from the sprues. All injected parts looked incredibly clean. Dry fitting the fuselage, and wings, all fit beautifully, and the seams can be addressed quickly and easily. Subjectively, this looks to be a very inviting model and no anticipated delays as you are constructing the kit.

In addition, Academy offers a paint index on the outside of the box from several different companies that can provide ease of construction and painting. The instructions and paint guide are very straightforward with very little text. It even notes with the amount of weight that would be needed in the nose for it to rest on its landing gear properly.

The seven options of markings on the decal sheet is a beautiful sight to behold. There are a lot of additional scraps that can be used on other projects. Cartograf produced these decals for Academy. With their reputation, I anticipate the decals to settle on the kit once painted. My personal preference is U S Navy or Marine Corp aircraft in this era, but the Canadian schemes are very inviting.

Cons: At this point the only negative distraction I see on this kit is the lack of interior detail. Additionally, the kit is missing wheel well details and engine detail (air intake, and jet exhaust lacking details).


If you are looking for a straightforward Banshee, I think you found it. However, this model is crying out for additional details that are not provided through Academy. However, the simplicity of the build, and the paint scheme, can render a beautiful model in a very short time.

According to some websites there is an ejection seat (Pavla) and a detail set (Obscureco). I do not know if they are current products nor information about them. There are also a few decal options as well as books to research.


Chris Mikesh

March 2022

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