Kit preview: HobbyBoss’ 1/48 FJ-4 Fury
Drew Hatch reports on his latest styrene acquisition- HobbyBoss’ FJ-4 Fury. And he only sounds a little bit excited about it. I can’t wait to see the final build!
The FJ-4 Fury was the last variant and epitome of the Fury series. Designed specifically for the Navy and Marines, it had an improved 7,700 lb thrust J-65 turbo jet engine and an increased fuel capacity to give the Fury a range of more than 1,500 miles. These improvements allowed it to top its Air Force Cousin, the F-86F Sabre. Other improvements to the Fury included four wing pylons enabling 2,000 lbs of fuel tanks, bombs and missiles to be carried. Also all the pylons were wired to carry Sidewinder missiles.
First thoughts when seeing this release were that it would be the Grand Phoenix mold with new sprues instead of resin parts. I could not have been more wrong. This is an all new tooling. Yippee!!!
The kit is molded flash free in light gray plastic consisting of 136 parts on five sprues (including one clear) and one sheet of very colorful decals. The seven step instructions include a parts map and color guide called out to Gunze brand of paints. A full color glossy for painting and marking guide is a nice touch (wish more companies did that). Options include open or closed speed brakes, canopy, and if you’re feeling brave – folding wings, if you ‘cut on the dotted line.’ External stores consist of drop tanks, 2 Sidewinders and 6 Bullpup missiles.
The 5 piece ejection seat and cockpit are well done for this scale, even though the seat is lacking any type of harness. The beautifully recessed panel lines have faint rivet detail where appropriate. The intake has significant depth even though no fan face is included. The exhaust does include a turbine face even though it seems a bit short. The gear bays have adequate detail. The main gear legs seem to be fully compressed, and may not give the correct sit of the real aircraft. On a good note, I did not see any ejector pin marks or any sink marks that had to be dealt with. The plastic is generally smooth and shiny. However, in my sample the plastic seems to have a rough texture in some areas, nothing a few quick swipes with a sanding stick can’t cure though.
This kit seems to be a hybrid. The details molded on the fuselage and Bullpup missiles are all remnants of the FJ-4B. There are a second set of speed brakes (raised and scribed) into the aft fuselage behind the standard set. This was specific to the FJ-B. If a modeler was concerned, the second set can be simply eliminated. FJ-4’s did not carry the Bullpup missile. The FJ-4B was modified with 6 wing pylons could carry 5 Bullpup missiles and their guidance pod. The inclusion of the second set of speed brakes and Bullpup missiles indicates a second kit forthcoming with the correct pods and fairings specific to the FJ-4B.
Since I missed purchasing the Grand Phoenix Fury (see my wife) I am very pleased to have this gem in my hands and can’t wait to get it on the bench. This has been a long awaited kit for many reasons. I think this kit as a must have for any fan of early jets! Very much recommended.
Drew Hatch has been an avid modeler since he was a teenager. Taking a modeling hiatus while flying in the Canadian Armed Forces, he picked it up again when he met his wife. They’ve been married ten wonderful years. Drew’s interests are naval and Canadian aviation, with an emphasis on the Pacific War. (Along with the slight detour into N. Africa during WWII.)