by Francesco Pernice
Tamiya's 1/48 scale Skyray is available online from
Tamiya's 1/48 scale F4D-1 Skyray is a very nice kit. It can be
assembled very easily, although there might be a number of modifications
required in order to make it look more realistic.
The first and biggest difficulty occurs when assembling both the
internal and external air intakes. Inside, the pipesí internal bulkhead
is divided into upper and a lower halves. Once assembled, it will be
very hard to fill and sand the seam line. This line will be quite
obvious as the interior of the intake should be painted in white.
Outside, the air intakes do not line up with the wings so it will be
necessary to use a file to fix this problem.
I decided to display the plane on the ground with scratch built
plasticard covers over the intakes to reduce the assembling time.
Of course the model must be assembled with folded (and not unfolded)
wings, seeing as the external folding parts are slightly higher in the
internal section. It will also be necessary to use a file to address
this issue. Luckily in this area there are no lines to carve.
I recommend that the two tailerons should not be assembled according to
the instruction handbook. They should be set apart from the axis which
connects them and then assembled later, so that the metal portion of the
tail might be easily painted.
The interior is quite detailed and I do not think it needs any
additional parts. If you are really picky, you could add a few things
using common material including the engine lever and some other little
levers shown on the photo and on the pictures.
The seat represents the early series and it must be detailed by piercing
the slides holes (which are only indented) and by adding the telescopic
tube at the back and the belts with the buckles, which represent the
only exception in the use of photoetched parts.
More attention should be given to the canopy, seeing as the interior was
full of details. On my model they were scratch built in plasticard
according to BURIN-DO pictures.
The undercarriages must be detailed with the usual small brake pipes.
Carefull anyway to pierce all the torsion compasses with elliptical
Skyray colours mainly follow the US Navy standard in the 50/60ís,
with slight variations according to the operation area.
The Marines model I reproduced, belonging to VMF-115, was land based in
Japan, in a base with far away parking areas and it had quite a dusty
Photos of this plane in the BURIN-DO book shows that it has a heavily
worn appearance. The external folding parts of wing have been replaced
by others, clearly cannibalized, where the US emblem was diagonally
placed, like on the first F4D-1 models. The paint used to cancel them
out was in the right Light Gull Gray shade and it seams to be in good
conditions, even if it clearly was not enough to cover out the whole
folding part of the wing, seeing as the whole end portion of the
previous emblem is still uncovered.
The rest of the model is painted in FS26440 semi gloss Light Gull
Gray lightened with 20% white on a dark grey pre-shaded base. On the
right lower surface of the folding part of the wing, although I had no
photos to refer to, I thought that the white paint used to cancel the
emblem out could show the emblem bar, and so I painted one in light red
and blue, and then I painted it over again in white.
Unfortunately in my photos the camera flash on the white paint has
attenuated the effect.
Click on the thumbnails
below to view larger images:
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Page Created 24 May, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
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