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FJ-4B Fury



S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: 4875
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: See text and images below
Price: USD$129.95
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Crisp castings; accurate; well detailed; improved quality resin; optional position for wing folds and arrestor hook; plenty of accessories and options.
Disadvantages: Some minor pinholes
Recommendation: Recommended (for those with the bucks!)


Reviewed by Fotios Rouch

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The FJ-4 is well known to most friends of the US Navy. It was the last development of the Fury line. Up to now we had the very average offering from Matchbox. I have seen impressive builds of it but I have not seen a corrected Matchbox FJ-4B with all the proportion problems addressed.

I am aware of 4 different scale drawings of the FJ-4(B). All of them have some issues with proportions of the fuselage area around the canopy hump and the main and tail wings. Even the North American drawings that were released for modelers have their own inaccuracies.




Some time ago Collect-Aire announced that they would be making a 1/48 scale FJ-4B. Knowing that the maker of it was going to be my favorite Russian master I placed my order for two kits and decided to be of as much assistance as it was going to be feasible. Collect-Aire was well aware of the inadequacies of the Matchbox kit and of the published scale plans.

Off I went to the Pima Air and Space museum to measure, photograph and videotape their preserved and immaculate FJ-4B. The Russian pattern maker determined all the necessary corrections and created the definitive (to my opinion) scale plans. I could not wait for the production to begin since I viewed photographs of the completed master! Add to that the knowledge that Collect-Aire's US based resin shop had shifted production to a new resin formula that looks very much like the one Black Box is using and you can tell that I was more than anxious to get my orders in!



The order arrived and, well, I guess I was not surprised at all at what was in the box. Perfect reproductions with much lesser number of pinholes (just a few tiny ones), very straight and thin parts and very cleanly molded metal parts.

The resin overflow around the small parts is so thin that you can remove it with your fingernails. The fuselage engraving is superb and it looks like every single panel line is there and matches the photographs.

I like the optional wing folds, up or down arrestor hook, both types of wing tanks, flaps down, speed brakes open and ammo bays open or closed.

As I was fiddling with the contents of my two copies I made up my mind to build both my Furies at the same time - one in a clean configuration and one with everything hanging out!

The decals are colorful and cover four Furies.

It should be noted that both kit contents were of equal quality and precision, some thing that I cannot say with some of the older Collect-Aire kits of the past.





I would love to see what Grand Phoenix cooks up. I have seen their Firefly and I think if their quality stays the same then the Collect-Aire kit is the way to go. I am also eager to see how the GP resin will look like for the wheels and cockpit. My plan is to do a three side comparison between the Matchbox, Grand Phoenix and Collect-Aire kits when the time comes.

I was asked by a friend why did I not cancel one or both of my orders after Grand Phoenix announced their FJ-4B. The answer is really very simple.

First, I am not sure at all that GP can beat Collect-Aire's Russian pattern maker (maybe in the cockpit and wheels).

Second, I would rather support a company that has given me all my favorite planes for many years.

Lastly, I put a lot off effort in aiding with this project and was very pleased to see a proper and accurate FJ-4B. This is why I am pleased that Collect-Aire withheld publishing the new scale plans until all the players have shown their interpretation of the grandest Fury of them all.

If you have the bucks, I'd say go for it.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Text and Images Copyright 2003 by Fotios Rouch
Page Created 16 February, 2003
Last updated 15 August, 2003

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