Ryan XF2R-1 Dark Shark
Czech Model, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||CM4816 - Ryan XF2R-1 Dark Shark
|Contents and Media:
||53 parts in injected grey styrene;
37 parts in cream-coloured resin; 2 clear parts; markings for two aircraft.
||Fascinating but until now neglected
subject; high-quality plastic; good detail; recessed panel lines;
excellent decals; effective use of multi-media; resin parts packed in
separate zip-lock bag
||Some preparation required.
||Highly Recommended to modellers who
have built some limited run kits
1/48 scale Ryan XF2R-1 is available online from Squadron.com
The US Navy recognised the importance of jet fighters during
the course of the Second World War, but early jet engines were
insufficiently responsive to take of unassisted from carrier decks. The
reliability of jet engines was also of concern to the Navy, considering its
pilots spent long hours over water.
The Ryan FR-1 Fireball was devised as the response to both of
these challenges. A 1350hp Wright Cyclone engine powered this hybrid fighter
on take off and landing, while a General Electric J-31 turbojet took over
when the aircraft was underway.
The XF2R-1 Dark Shark was a logical development of the
Fireball. The Dark Shark was fitted with a new forward fuselage, engine,
four bladed propeller and large fin fillet. Its power sources were a 1700
SHP GE TG-100 gas-turbine engine, with a 1600 LLBST J-31-GE-3 turbojet
engine in the rear fuselage.
However, with performance of only 75 mph faster than the
Fireball, the Dark Shark did not proceed beyond a single prototype
Perhaps there was only a single aircraft manufactured, but what an inspiring
When I reviewed Czech Model's 1/48 scale Ryan FR-1 Fireball back in May, I
hoped that someone making the decisions for Czech Model's release schedule
might also find the Dark Shark fascinating. We did not have to wait too long
to get the answer in the form of Czech Model's familiar box adorned with Don
Greer's artwork of the sole XF2R-1 Dark Shark
Czech Model's Dark Shark comprises 56 parts in injection
moulded plastic, two canopies in clear vacform plastic (one plus a spare), 31
resin parts and markings for two aircraft.
Click the thumbnails below to view
The plastic parts are up to the same high standard seen in Czech Model's
recent releases. The parts are crisply moulded with very little flash, panel
lines are sharply engraved. There are some raised ejector pins on the inner
surfaces, but these will be quickly be removed with a hobby knife or sprue
Trailing edges are quite thin.
The 31 resin parts are in the familiar style of True Details, with good
detail, high quality casting and a simple parts breakdown. These resin parts
will mostly be destined for the cockpit and the and the wheel bays. Flap actuators, ordnance sway braces and an optional
nose wheel are also supplied in resin. It is nice to see that the resin
parts are packed separately in a re-sealable zip-lock bag.
The canopy is supplied as a single piece on a vacform sheet. A spare is
provided in case of slip-ups.
Engineering is typical of limited run kits. There are few locating positions
or tabs, so extra care and time will be required to ensure correct alignment
and a secure bond. Interestingly though, this time the horizontal tail
surfaces do feature locating tabs. Also, the full-span lower wing will help
firmly fix this important join.
Two marking options are included:
XF2R-1 Dark Shark Prototype,
XF2R-1 Dark Shark, VF-41
"Firebirds" (this is a speculative scheme)
Czech Model's 1/48 scale XF2R-1 Dark Shark is a well
detailed model of a fascinating subject. It is very pleasing to see this and
other esoteric but important Allied aircraft subjects continuing to appear
in the last year or two.
In common with the last several releases from Czech Model, the relatively small number of parts and sensible
engineering makes this kit a candidate for a modeller who wants to try their
hand at their first limited run model. Despite the unusual nature of the
propulsion, the configuration of the airframe is very conventional. This
means that there should be no real complications with construction.
With suitable preparation and care in alignment and
assembly, Czech Model's 1/48 scale Ryan XF2R-1 Dark Shark will deliver an
attractive replica of this unique aircraft.
Thanks to Squadron
for the review sample.
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2005 by Brett Green
Page Created 21 November, 2005
Last updated 16 December, 2005
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