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US Navy Furies Part One

HobbyBoss 1/48 scale
FJ-4B - Fleet Air Gunnery Unit (FAGU)

by Mike Robertson

FJ-4B - Fleet Air Gunnery UNIT (FAGU)

HobbyBoss' 1/48 scale FJ-4B Fury is available online from Squadron for less than $18.00!




Inspired by the variety of schemes featured in Steve Ginters Naval Fighters series FJ4/4B book and the release of the HobbyBoss FJ-4 and FJ-4B kits, I set about a small group build of four Furies.



I quite like the HobbyBoss FJ4/4B Fury kit though it is not without its issues. Reviews by other modellers have noted shape issues around the aft fuselage, the compressed undercarriage oleos, lack of depth to the jet pipe and lack of detail under the canopy behind the seat.



Though aware of these issues, I unashamedly simply wanted to do an out of the box group build to fill my modelling display case with a selection of schemes from a period of US Navy aviation that I find particularly inspiring, the 1950’s and 60’s (Oh for an S2 Tracker in 1/48th).





In general, the kit goes together quite well though there are a few niggly issues. Notably, the nose intake ring is slightly undersize and creates a difficult to rectify step. If you model the undercarriage doors in the up position as often seen on the ground work is required to obtain a decent fit and finish and finally, the wing to fuselage fit requires a little work. The only modification I made to the kit was to detail under the canopy behind the pilot seat as this area looks busy in photographs.



Painting and Markings


The kit features the markings of an FJ-4B assigned to the Fleet Air Gunnery unit (FAGU) based at El Cento, California in the mid to late 50’s. The markings are from Eagle Strike Furies of the Fleet Pt 2 sheet 48193. After undercoating in Humbrol Matt White, Extra Colour White was added then the nose and upper flying surfaces were masked with Tamiya tape. Extra Colour Light Gull Grey was then sprayed. This was followed with Testors Insignia Red for the intake ring and finally, the Black nose rings were sprayed Humbrol Gloss Black. The leading edges of the wings, tail planes and tail were sprayed Humbrol Aluminium. The cockpit interior is Dark Gull grey and Black while the undercarriage and gear wells are Humbrol Aluminium. The final clear coat was supposed to be semi-gloss but ended up somewhat flatter than I wished (I still have work to do in this department but will keep experimenting till I get it right).



I rather surprisingly struggled with the Eagle Strike decals getting them to settle and conform so much so that I ended up masking and spraying the upper/lower wing Red/White Checks as these simply remained as stiff as a surf board. I was indeed fortunate that I managed to get the tail Red/White check pattern to settle in the end. In retrospect my decision to spray the Black/White nose rings, that are provided as decals, was a fortunate one. I have used Eagle Strike decals before and not experienced this settling/conforming issue.







For the pure pleasure of a simple out of the box build, the Hobby Boss FJ-4/4B kits fit the bill and at around $26.95 here in Australia represent good value. They feature relatively restrained surface detail and assembly is fairly straight forward. The further articles in the 4 part series will rely on part one for commentary of the kit and build.

Part Two will feature an FJ4 of a Reserve Training Unit at NAS Gynco, Part Three an FJ4 of VU-7 in the Utility scheme and finally, Part four an FJ4/4B in an as yet to be determined scheme.


  • HobbyBoss 1/48 FJ-4B Fury by Mike Robertson: Image
  • HobbyBoss 1/48 FJ-4B Fury by Mike Robertson: Image
  • HobbyBoss 1/48 FJ-4B Fury by Mike Robertson: Image
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Text Copyright 2009 by Mike Robertson
Images Copyright © 2009 by Brett Green
Page Created 14 December, 2009
Last Updated 14 December, 2009


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