by: Andy Brazier [ ]
The North American FJ Fury was the first operational jet aircraft in United States Navy service. Ordered in late 1944 as the XFJ-1 in competition with proposals from Douglas and Vought, the Fury began as a straight-wing, tricycle gear fighter with a single turbojet passing through the fuselage.
By 1951, the Navy's existing straight-wing fighters were much inferior in performance to the swept-wing Soviet MiG-15 then operating in the Korean War; the swept-wing fighters in the Navy's development pipeline, including the F7U Cutlass and F9F Cougar were not yet ready for deployment. As an interim measure, the Navy purchased three swept-wing F-86E Sabres with Navy-specific equipment and strengthened airframes. The three planes began flight testing in December 1951 under the designation XFJ-2. The design was eventually put into production as the FJ-2.
The final versions of the Fury were the FJ-4 and FJ-4B, which featured several improvements on previous versions. Internal fuel capacity was increased, necessitating a distinctive, taller 'razorback' rear deck. The tail was modified, as were the wings, to provide more positive control and stability during carrier landings, and the landing gear was widened. Delivery of FJ-4s began in February 1955, and except for one squadron which trained Navy FJ-4B pilots, FJ-4s were used exclusively by the Marine Corps.
Packaged in the usual lidded box, with an artists painting adorning the lid cover, which quite frankly in my opinion is pretty horrid, but don't let that put you off buying the kit, things do get better once inside the box
The contents are all bagged separately with the clear parts also having a additional foam protector wrapped around it.
There are four sprues containing 129 light grey parts, which are free from flash and pin marks seem to be in places that wonít be seen.
The clear parts on the one sprue are nicely moulded and blemish free. The canopy frames have been given a frosted look, which should help painting.
Detail wise the cockpit is simple and can be added too, if you feel the need. The side consoles are separate pieces which have a rather heavy texture moulded onto them. The main instrument panel has some raised dials present and with some dry brushing should bring the detail out. The ejection seat is beautifully moulded but does lack any harnessís.
Undercarriage bays are nicely detailed with brake lines and pipes adorning the interior. The undercarriage legs are crisp and sharp but have been modelled fully compressed. Surgery will be required to alleviate this problem unless of course you hang all the weaponry off it.
The main fuselage and wings have recessed panel lines and have some delicate rivet detail where appropriate.
The wings can be positioned in the folded position, with some surgery, and Hobby Boss have supplied inserts for the folds, but only for the main wing section. This still leaves an opening for the wing tips, so some scratching needs to be done here.
With HB releasing a FJ-4B version they have used the same mould for both kits, so on the rear of the FJ-4 fuselage there is an extra pair of speed brakes moulded on. These will have to be removed, but as they are a raised affair, a bit of sanding should take care of it.
Ordnance provided are two drop tanks, two Sidewinders and six Bullpup missiles. The Bullpup missiles were only used on the FJ-4B version so should be left off for an accurate load out.
The seven step building sequence is on a folded sheet of A5 size paper.
The building sequence is in a logical and pretty simple easy to follow format with internal colours given along the way for Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby colour and MR Color range of paints.
Painting and Decals
A full colour sheet for the painting and marking guide is included for the two Marine aircraft that can be modelled.
The two aircraft that decals are provided for are,
FJ-4, (No 139510) VMF-232, 1957.
FJ-4, (No 139316) VMF-451, 1956.
Both aircraft have the same colour scheme of light grey over white undersides and control surfaces.
The decals look to be in perfect register with only a little carrier film around the edges.