Modeling the Vought F7U-3 Cutlass

The form of the Navy’s future fighters

The Fifties have been a time when the longer term appeared vivid. Influenced by German designs for his or her “Marvel Weapons” of the Second World Warfare. Probability-Vought took a radical leap into the longer term with the F7U Cutlass. In the end the smooth tailless design didn’t fairly cross muster. Poor efficiency and a excessive accident charge led to a brief service life.

Our Cutlass was impressed by this fighter getting used as a testbed for an early mannequin of the AIM-7 Sparrow missile, the AAM-N-2 Sparrow I. (U.S. Navy)

Did our characteristic on the “Gutless Cutlass” within the September 2016 Aviation Historical past pique your curiosity in filling that gap in your assortment of Fifties U.S. Navy jets? If that’s the case, you may have your work reduce out for you. Regardless of the futuristic Buck Rodgers look of this fighter, few kits that includes it have reached interest store cabinets. Among the many few selections accessible, Hobbycraft of Canada launched after which rereleased a 1/Forty eighth-scale equipment within the Nineties. It’s out of manufacturing now, however after some searching on eBay, the equipment (and the problem) is on the workbench.

Getting began

The fundamental define of the mannequin is nice; nevertheless, it’s quick on element and has greater than just a little flash, so cleansing up elements is a should. Dry becoming helps decide the place there are areas that want loads of filling and sanding. The directions are fairly primary, and also you’ll wish to determine upfront the steps it’s essential soak up development. After a cautious have a look at what’s in entrance of you, it’s off to the races!

Element within the cockpit leaves just a little to be desired. The excellent news is that Lone Star Fashions, a small aftermarket firm from Texas, makes a superb resin cockpit. The set has 4 properly forged items, a cockpit “tub,” the rear cockpit deck, an correct ejection seat and the management panel together with the ahead cockpit coaming. Somewhat surgical procedure on the equipment, and the resin items match as marketed. The extra element will make a giant distinction.

Lone Star Fashions resin cockpit provides good element. Somewhat work to the ahead fuselage elements the resin seat suits simply high-quality.

Subsequent glue the highest and backside fuselage elements collectively, then assemble the left and proper vertical stabilizers and the flaperons. The mannequin is now primarily divided into two main subassemblies—the ahead cockpit space and the fuselage, which incorporates the wings and the vertical stabilizer that make up the remainder of the jet. After attaching the 2 halves you’ll discover {that a} honest quantity of putty filling and sanding shall be required.

I swapped out the touchdown gear for a cast-metal set that has just a little extra element. The gear and inside of the wheel wells are painted a flat aluminum coloration. A wash of darkish gray and black will deliver out among the element. The equipment consists of 4 AAM-N-2 Sparrow air-to-air missiles. The Sparrow was solely simply being fielded in 1956, and early check variations have been fairly colourful.

A Pure end

Within the mid-Fifties, camouflage had gone out of favor and plenty of jets had a “pure metallic” look. I’ll admit a few of these shiny fighters appeared quick simply standing nonetheless, and on the Cutlass the look is downright futuristic. There are a selection of the way to duplicate a pure metallic end. For our Cutlass we’ll use a twig that’s designed to buff to a metallic sheen with a smooth material. It is available in a wide range of colours from “aluminum plate” to “chrome steel” and “titanium.” When you’ve polished the floor, a coat of sealer retains the paint the place you place it. These spray colours are a problem to work with, however in the long run the impact works fairly effectively.

The Hobbycraft F7U is a comparatively easy equipment by at this time’s requirements however with just a little persistence, and some “extras,” your Cutlass will look something however “gutless” on the show shelf. 

After a coat of gloss varnish, the airplane is prepared for a set of markings. Hobbycraft has included decals for no fewer than seven totally different plane, in each pure metallic and the follow-on U.S. Navy white and gray scheme that will turn out to be normal by the late Fifties.

The decals go on effectively with a nudge from a setting answer, they usually snuggle proper into place. The pylons and the touchdown gear are subsequent. Make sure you pack the nostril with loads of weight. The plane sits at an odd nose-high angle, and also you’ll want the additional weight to get it to sit down correctly. Some gentle weathering and an aftermarket cover (the equipment model doesn’t have the best “bulged” form to it) assist full the challenge. Your shiny Cutlass will look nice between that darkish blue Grumman F9F Panther and your gray and white McDonnell F3H Demon.

Need to know extra about this futuristic fifties fighter? Learn Vought’s Visionary Fighter by Warren Thompson from the September 2016 subject of Aviation Historical past Journal.