McDonnell F3H-2 Demon
HobbyBoss, 1/48 scale
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|Catalogue Number and Description:
||HobbyBoss Kit No. 80364 - F3H-2 Demon
|Contents and Media:
||220 kits in grey plastic, seven parts in clear and markings for four aircraft.
||£34.99 plus shipping available online from Creative Models Limited
||High quality moulding; accurate; excellent surface textures; accurate outline; useful options.
||Detail is good, surface features are excellent and there are plenty of useful features and options. I can’t see any potential hazards in construction either. This is a really nice package.
Reviewed by Brett Green
HobbyBoss' 1/48 scale F3H-2M Demon is available online from
Designed as a successor to the McDonnell F2H Banshee, the F3H Demon was a carrier-born subsonic swept-wing fighter aircraft. Despite development problems with the engine and the ejection seat, the Demon entered US Navy service in 1956, but was retired in 1964 before the type could see front line service in the Vietnam War.
The Demon was sometimes referred to as “The Chair” thanks to its high pilot position and excellent view; but it was also dubbed “The Lead Sled” due to its mediocre performance.
Back in 2004, Grand Phoenix (a part of Gaston Bernal’s Aeromaster empire) released a limited run 1:48 scale F3H Banshee. It was a typical limited run offering with good detail provided via resin and photo-etched parts, excellent decals, canopy masks and short-run injection moulded parts, These plastic parts needed a bit of extra time to clean up flash and ensure perfect alignment, but for experienced modellers this was a good kit in its day.
In 2008, A.Z. Model released several F3H Demon kits. These were essentially re-boxings of the Grand Phoenix kit with different ordnance and marking options.
Winding forward another four years, HobbyBoss has now released several brand-new 1:48 scale F3H Demons as mainstream plastic kits.
HobbyBoss’ 1:48 scale F3H-2 Demon comprises 220 kits in grey plastic, seven parts in clear and markings for four aircraft.
I was surprised at the large size of the model upon opening the box. I had forgotten just how big this aircraft is. The fuselage is quite rotund too.
Surface detail is by way of fine, crisply recessed panel lines and rows of rivets. Various vents, scoops, intakes and ports are also authentically depicted on the airframe. The external surface detail throughout is petite, consistent and convincing.
Undercarriage bays are nicely done, and I was also pleased to see that the tyres are moulded to the wheels as injection moulded parts – no circumferential vinyl seams to worry about here. The exhaust nozzle is well detailed too.
The tail hook bay is a separate part, and the hook may be posed either up or down. Actuators and a tie down hook are supplied as part of this sub-assembly. The fuselage speed brakes are offered as separate poseable parts as well.
The wings are moulded full span, broken down into one upper and lower half for each side, but a positive cutting line is moulded on the inside surfaces if you want to depict the wings folded. Strangely, the instructions would have you glue the wing halves together in Step 6, and they do not even mention the wing fold option until Step 8. Read ahead and avoid disappointment!
Wing fences and the perforated air brakes may be found on the single photo-etched fret. Control surfaces are separate, and may be deflected if desired.
Cockpit detail is okay. The basic elements are all there but the seat is plain and the dials on the instrument panel are a bit undersized. A decal is provided as an option for the instrument panel. However, the determined super detailer might prefer to use the resin parts from either the Grand Phoenix or A.Z. kits, or buy the Aires cockpit set that has specifically been designed for the HobbyBoss Demon.
Canopy shapes have not traditionally been HobbyBoss’ strong point but there are no problems here. The shape of the windscreen and sliding section look good, and the clear parts are sparkling and thin.
Ordnance includes AIM-7C and AIM-9B missiles and two high speed external fuel tanks.
Markings are offered for four options, all in Light Gull Grey over White.
The decals appear to be well printed and in register, but the yellow looks a bit washed out to my eye.
Modellers have waited a long time for a mainstream 1:48 scale F3H Demon, and HobbyBoss has delivered a worthy replica. Detail is good, surface features are excellent and there are plenty of useful features and options. I can’t see any potential hazards in construction either. This is a really nice package.
Thanks to Creative Models Limited for the sample
Text and Images Copyright © 2012 by Brett Green
Page Created 19 March, 2012
19 March, 2012
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