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Cold War (1950-1974)
Discuss the aircraft modeling subjects during the Cold War period.
Hosted by Tim Hatton
REVIEW
TF-9J First Look
RedStar
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Georgia, United States
Joined: October 05, 2010
KitMaker: 111 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - 03:36 AM UTC
Few companies draw as much, shall we say, commentary, as do Kitty Hawk when they make a new release. We've been hearing a lot about the new TF-9J Cougar, and as always, we will make an attempt to sort the facts from the hype. Is this kit worth your time? Follow the link to find out!

Link to Item

If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
md72
#439
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Washington, United States
Joined: November 05, 2005
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Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 - 04:08 AM UTC
Thanks Paul, neat subject , wrong scale I guess I can always hope for a modern 1/72 flavor.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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New York, United States
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Posted: Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 02:11 AM UTC
Paul,
Thank you for such a timely, accurate, and well detailed review. I've followed threads on this model from day one on a few sites, including two builds. The kit got slammed by Rivet counters who didn't even have the kit, yet alone build it!! I could care less about those type of rivet counters.

The consensus of opinion from those that do have the kit, is that it's very well detailed, but the surface detail is somewhat soft at times, and some what too shallow. Not a major issue in my book. And as you pointed out, the instruction sequence isn't always the right path to follow.

What does concern me is that Kitty Hawk is the design house, not the manufacture. No one has publically named a Chinese company as yet that makes the actual kit. The issue that came up and raised the red flag was the use of a different type of plastic other then the traditional Polystyrene. It's much more brittle, and yet is said to be soft at the same time. It doesn't glue up with some model glues such as Testors liquid glue in the black bottles as Darren Robert found out on his build. He used Super Glue. A 2nd build showed that Tamiya's Extra Thin worked perfectly, so I was satisfied, and ordered my kit from Sprue Brothers.

The missing intakes is a issue as you really need to make FOD covers so you don't just see through the fuselage. I'm going to wait until some AM co makes them.

Thank you for your excellent review.

Joel
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 08:12 AM UTC
Hi Paul

Nice Review! And great to read a balanced take on something when others are often all to quick to cry "fatally flawed".

@ Joel - I have to admit the talk of problems with styrene cement on Kitty Hawk kits is a new one on me. I've done assemblies using Revell (Europe), Humbrol and Ambroid ProWeld on a number of their kits and never noticed trouble.

I'm edging closer to tackling the recent Voodoo (similar daft construction sequence issues that Paul found with the Cougar), so I'll keep a careful eye doubly open for any hiccups with the cement(s) I use.

All the best

Rowan
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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New York, United States
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Posted: Thursday, August 07, 2014 - 09:49 AM UTC
Rowan,
Here's Darren Robert's build thread. All the issues I posted about are discussed in great detail.

The change in plastic resulting in the glue issues is only with the Cougar release. All the other previously released Kitty Hawk kits have the accepted polystyrene type of plastic.

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=277195

Joel



RedStar
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 11:31 AM UTC
Guys, I talked EXTENSIVELY with the Kitty Hawk crew at the show, and the kit glues together just FINE with all sorts of Polystyrene cement. They were testing and demonstrating at the show. They had a test of the Photo Cougar on their stand that they had glued with old fashioned Testors cement.
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 01:28 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Guys, I talked EXTENSIVELY with the Kitty Hawk crew at the show, and the kit glues together just FINE with all sorts of Polystyrene cement. They were testing and demonstrating at the show. They had a test of the Photo Cougar on their stand that they had glued with old fashioned Testors cement.



Paul,
As I mentioned, since the type of plastic used works with Tamiya Extra Thin, my preferred go to glue these days, I purchased the kit. The manufactures decision to switch from the usual Polystyrene to another type of plastic, has led to parts that are very brittle, and often break while cutting them off their respective sprue trees, or just from handling. At least this is the opinions and observations I've read in two other builds by two well known modelers.

Personally, I found it rather odd that they would make that decision on this kit only (to this point), and not inform the modeling public who actually buys their products. Was there any mention of this when you talked to the reps?

Joel
RedStar
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Georgia, United States
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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 05:05 AM UTC
There was no change to the formulation of the plastic. I cannot explain what the other modelers experienced. That said, given the suggested construction sequence that is provided with the kit, I would not be surprised if their issues were a result of inadequate gluing surfaces and the lack of internal bracing - like I mentioned in the review. Also note, that the build of the F9F-8T that was on the Kitty Hawk display table at the National Convention was built with Testor's glue and nothing else - it also had ZERO filler on it.
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 07:56 AM UTC
Hi Paul and Joel

If Darren reckons he cleaned the parts correctly for any release agent, and Kitty Hawk say there's been no change in the styrene used, I guess the only way to get anywhere with this one is to "suck it and see". Paul's got a sample kit, and Joel's bought one, so try some standard cements (even on bits of the sprue if need be) and get back to us with the results.

All the best

Rowan
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 08:33 AM UTC
Rowan,
Darren's issue was that his go to glue: Testor's liquid didn't work. My go to glue Tamiya's Extra Thin works fine according to all that have already tried it.

As for the type of plastic being very brittle, I'll just go with extreme care and caution, using a micro saw more then my nippers.

Those that did build the Cougar said that the fit is exceptional.

Joel
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 08:42 AM UTC
Hi Joel

What I'm suggesting is to try a few other cements too, if you have them, to try to put the issue to bed. Tests on spare bits of sprue should suffice.

All the best

Rowan
Joel_W
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
AUTOMODELER
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New York, United States
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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 - 10:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Joel

What I'm suggesting is to try a few other cements too, if you have them, to try to put the issue to bed. Tests on spare bits of sprue should suffice.

All the best

Rowan



Rowan,
Don't laugh, but my entire glue supply consists of:

Tamiya Extra Thin
Tamiya Orange cap which is like a gel
Zap a Gap Medium
Gorilla Super Glue which is also a medium
Loctite Super Glue which is a gel
Aleene's Tacky White glue.

So everything I have works.

I do have to admit that I've been thinking about going back to good old Testors tube glue (original formula, pre sniffing stuff), for when I need extra stress and gap filling.

Joel
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 08:07 AM UTC
Hi Joel

That's not a bad selection, but I'm guessing you don't share my excitement at going shopping and spotting new cement or glue! I've got weird and wonderful cements dating back to the '90s that I still wheel out on occasions.

Ironically, what I don't have is any Tamiya cement, because it's not so commonly available here in the UK. From all the good things I've heard, I really should get some on-line.

I'm going to Southampton tomorrow for an Oxfam area meeting, and my first ports of call afterwards will be the LHSs to see what supplies they have that I can't buy here on the Isle of Wight. One is primarily a flying models shop, so they might have some stuff I wouldn't normally come across...

All the best

Rowan
Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
#017
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United Kingdom
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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - 07:35 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm going to Southampton tomorrow for an Oxfam area meeting, and my first ports of call afterwards will be the LHSs to see what supplies they have that I can't buy here on the Isle of Wight. One is primarily a flying models shop, so they might have some stuff I wouldn't normally come across...



Hi again

So much for that... they were closed-down. A real sign of how LHSs are struggling in today's market if even a city like Southampton can't generate enough business for one to survive...

So - ironically - the Isle of Wight is actually better served with it's one or two toy shops that also carry a limited selection of models!

Moral of the story: shop locally when you can, or else the shop might not be there when you need it.

All the best

Rowan