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F4D-1 Skyray

by Francesco Pernice

F4D-1 Skyray


 Tamiya's 1/48 scale Skyray is available online from Squadron.com




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 holes.



Painting and Markings


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 look.

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.



Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2002 by Francesco Pernice
Page Created 24 May, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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