by: Andy Brazier [ ]
historyThe Douglas F3D Skyknight (later designated F-10 Skyknight) was a United States twin-engined, mid-wing jet fighter aircraft manufactured by the Douglas Aircraft Company in El Segundo, California. The F3D was designed as a carrier-based all-weather night fighter and saw service with the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The mission of the F3D-2 was to search out and destroy enemy aircraft at night.
The F3D Skyknight was never produced in great numbers but it did achieve many firsts in its role as a night fighter over Korea. While it never achieved the fame of the North American F-86 Sabre, it did down several Soviet-built MiG-15s as a night fighter over Korea with only one air-to-air loss of its own against a Chinese MiG-15 on the night of 29 May 1953.
The Skyknight played an important role in the development of the radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missile which led to further guided air-to-air missile developments. It also served as an electronic warfare platform in the Vietnam War as a precursor to the EA-6A Intruder and EA-6B Prowler. The aircraft is sometimes unofficially called "Skynight", dropping the second "k". The unusual, portly profile earned it the nickname "Willie the Whale". Some Vietnam War U.S. Marine veterans have referred to the Skyknight as "Drut", whose meaning becomes obvious when read backwards. This may be in reference to its age, unflattering looks or its low-slung air intakes that made it vulnerable to foreign object damage (FOD).
Info from Wikipedia
in the box The front of the box features a painted picture of the F3D-2 Skyknight in flight having just tangled with a Soviet MiG. The rear of the box has side profile coloured drawings of the five schemes that can be modelled.
Packed in an end opening box the kit comes with two grey plastic sprues with one clear sprue, totaling around 60 odd parts. The sprues are packed in one bag with the clear sprue in a separate bag within the main bag. A set of instructions and one decal sheet make up the contents of the box.
Flash is nearly non existant on the parts but one of the air intakes does have a little flash covering the hole, but a quick go with a knife will get rid of it.
Ejector pin marks can be found on most of the major parts and are raised, but dont seem to be in any places that will be seen, apart from the main wheel wells where one is located right on the sidewall, and could be a bit of a pain to clean up..
Exterior detail is in the way of recessed panel lines and raised and recessed lumps and bumps along the fuselage for various sensors(?).
Interior detail for the cockpit is adequate with multi piece seats, but no harnes's are supplied, so adding your own will have to suffice. The instrument panel is well done with recessed dials. No decals are supplied so the age old painting them in will need to be done. The cockpit tub is moulded as one piece with the side consoles having raised detail.
The main wheel wells have a respectable level of detail in the way of spars moulded onto the underside of top wing part. The nose gear well has the same amount of detail. Adding a few hydrulic lines into them will liven these areas up. The gear doors have some nice recessed detail on the inside faces.
The undercarrige legs are decent enough in this scale, and the wheels are a one piece tyre and hub combination with some quite exqusite detail for the hubs.
The engine nacelles are seperate parts that fit into deep recesses along the fuselage sides, so filling should be minimal. The engine ducts have compressor and turbine faces at each end and have some nice detail moulded onto them.
External stores for the kit is in the way of fuel tanks and for most modellers this will suffice. One part of the instructions show sway braces on the pylons, but the kit parts only have stubs.
The clear parts are thin and clarity is good. The main canopy is split into three parts as the sides have bulged areas, so glueing these together will have to be done carefully.
instructions, markings and decals The instructions are printed on black on white line drawings on three folded A4 size sheets, with the build over 16 easy to follow steps. A parts guide at the front of the booklet numbers each piece, as no numbers are on the sprues.
Generic paint colours are given in Czech and English for the internal parts along the build sequence , but no colours are linked to any manufactuers.
A stencil data sheet starts the decal guide off, followed by the five profiles for the aircraft which are only a side view and in shades of black and white.
Four of the aircraft main colours are given as Overall Gloss Blue, but the 5th and most interesting scheme, no colour is given ( I do believe its black). This is also the cover picture aircraft.
The five marking options are -
F3D-2, 124620, VMF(N)-513, USMC, Pyon Taek AB, Korea, 1953.
F3D-2, VMF(N)-513, USMC, Pyon Taek AB, Korea, 1953.
F3D-2, 124615, VMF(N)-513, USMC, K-6 AB, Korea, 1955.
F3D-2, 127022, VC-4, "Nightcappers"CVA-42 USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1952.
F3D-2, 127072, VF-14, Air Task Group 201, CVA-11 USS Intrepid, Autumn 1954.
The decals are printed by Eduard, so they have little carrier film, are in register and have good colour. Having used Eduard decals before I cant see any problems from them.
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