early US Turbo Jet
Kit No. 4806. 1:48th scale
Checking the joins again no filler needed but I ran a bead of wood glue along the wing join
to round that off. As the whole airplane is one colour I was able to assemble all but
those outer pylons where the star and bar and the word "navy " was.
The Skyshark was intended to be a replacement for the Skyraider with a more powerful engine and performance, development started in 1945 and the first flight took place in 1950. Unfortunately the gearbox for the contra rotating props caused many problems and several accidents, one fatal, and was never overcome. In the meantime the project was overtaken by Ed Heinemann’s A-4. Skyhawk and so the Navy cancelled the Skyshark order with only 12 examples being built and only one example surviving today and under restoration at present.
The kit is of the usual standard set by Dynavector and if you don’t know what that is then let me explain, the main components are vacuformed but way above most other manufacturers, the parts are so well defined and easy to remove from the sheets of 40thou plasticard, the panel lines are nicely done and look quite impressive when painted and there are tiny location marks where any holes are to be drilled or parts are to be cut out or mounted.
Plus any parts that Dynavector thinks you might have difficulty with is duplicated, in this case you get two sets of spinners and two canopies.
All the parts which were hard to make from “spare plastic” as used to be the case in years gone by are now provided ready made in white metal and only need painting and assembling so saving hours of drudgery.
Cutting out the main components is fairly easy, I first run around the edges of the components with a fine “Pilot pen” which is waterproof, remembering to keep the pen upright so the ink goes on the base rather than the component. For the large bits I then score the plastic so they can be snapped out of the main sheets and as each piece is freed I carefully score around the outside of our ink line about 1mm from it. The excess plastic can now be snapped off the edges, from now on it is careful scraping and sanding from the reverse side until you see the ink line show through the plastic, now take a fine grade sander and slowly sand the edge until the floppy edge is free all the way around you now have the part where it should be, ready to use.
Do not worry if you have been a little too enthusiastic in places for as long as you do not distort the parts on assembly the gap can be filled using fine strips of plasticard or even filler to bring back the correct shape, remember that you will get better on the next one you make but of course there is always that learning curve to get through.
I assembled the fuselage halves after adding the air intakes at the front and when the parts were hard I added the oil cooler intake through the space where the wing was to go. The two exhaust pipes (and all the other metal parts) were given a good rub over with a Suede (brass wire) brush to remove the oxidisation, the exhausts were then polished with very fine wet or dry paper till the surface was perfect and finally rubbed over with Brasso or Duraglit and wiped off with a clean dry rag, to keep them in this condition coat them with Johnson’s Klear, and insert into the prepared hole in the fuselage again through the wing space.
The instructions ask you to add a drop of epoxy resin to the spinner interior as it is quite thin and could easily be damaged, I did that on one without any problem and tested the spare without, both worked out fine because I used a new scalpel blade to remove the holes for the prop blades.
I put my spinners and plates straight onto the fuselage as you can see but providing you correctly align the centre shaft and plates you could fit them later as a separate unit. Remember to put the shaft in the nose before you close up the wing space.
The cockpit is nicely detailed but you could add some seat harness from wine bottle foil to enhance the area and careful highlighting will also help I have used coloured pencils, white red and yellow seem to work well in most cases, again this was inserted through the wing space and superglued in position but I also added some strips of spare card below the joins to make sure it stayed there (just an added precaution).
When you make up the wing reinforcing strips take heed of the instructions regarding the glue you use, if you choose normal liquid cement you may find in a few months time that it has melted it’s way through to the outer surface, it has a funny way of doing that so be warned. I drilled out all the holes for the pylons before cementing the wing halves together and tested the pylons in the holes to ensure a good fit when made up this gave me time to make adjustments if I made a mistake. When the wing was hard I fitted it to the fuselage and adjusted slightly until I got an almost perfect fit, I checked the wing attitude using the fin and tailplanes (already fitted) as a guide to ensure all was squared up and cemented it in place, I found I had a tiny gap along the top edge of the join so I ran a bead of PVA glue along the gap as a filler which worked fine.
As the whole plane was to be dark gloss blue all over I added all the remaining parts except the main wheels and propeller blades, the canopy and exhausts were masked off and the model was sprayed using Humbrol No181 glossy sea blue FS15042, Xtracolor 121 is an equivalent. The remainder of the painting was done with a brush i.e. filling in the wheel bays etc.etc. and then the decals were added, the instructions give a full layout for all the stencilling and the main insignia but they note that the decals may be less than easy to slide into position because they are very thin, well I found no trouble at all using a small paintbrush.
Finally all the remaining parts were added including the pylons which fit over the lower wing insignias, take note of the prop blade positions which are stamped on the root of each blade and there you have it, a fine model, a big beast of a machine and I will bet that more models of this airplane are built than the real ones. Highly recommended and I really got more pleasure from making this than just assembling an injection moulded kit, why don’t you try one.
was a good fit and easy to assemble,
I built all three of these Dynavector Kits in 18 days.
an excelent article on Vacform Modelling can be found here