Ryan FR-1 Fireball
Czech Model, 1/48 scale
u m m a r y
||CM4815 - Ryan FR-1 Fireball
|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; includes 50 page mini
"in action" book
||Some preparation required.
||Highly Recommended to modellers who
have built some limited run kits
1/48 scale Ryan FR-1 Fireball 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.
This compromise design was shortlived, however. The Fireball
did enter fleet service in 1945 but did not see combat against the Japanese
in its intended role of Kamikaze interceptor. 66 Fireballs were delivered
before the balance of the order was cancelled on VJ-Day. The FR-1 was
withdrawn from US Navy service by July, 1947.
Czech Models' 1/48 scale Ryan FR-1 Fireball comprises 53 parts in injection
moulded plastic, two canopies in clear vacform plastic, 37 resin parts and
markings for two aircraft. A mini "In Action" book is also included in the
The plastic parts are up to the same high standard seen in Czech Models'
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 37 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 Wright Cyclone
engine. The lovely resin crankcase is complimented by finely detailed
individual cylinders. Flap actuators, ordnance sway braces and an optional
nose wheel are also supplied in resin.
The canopy is supplied as a single piece on a vacform sheet. A spare is
provided in case of slip-ups.
Click the thumbnails below to view
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:
FR-1 Fireball, VF-66, 1945
FR-1 Fireball, VF-1E, 1946
The "FR-1 in action" book is
small in size - half-letter size and 50 pages - but big in inspiration.
Although less than 70 Fireballs were produced, this publication provides
plenty of historical photos, operational anecdotes and a pleasing selection
of colour profiles as a centrefold. In addition to his profiles, Don Greer's
artwork also adorns the front and rear cover of the book.
The book also covers the sleek
Darkshark. I wonder if we will see this attractive variant from Czech
Models in the future?
Czech Models' 1/48 scale FR-1 Fireball is a well detailed
model of a fascinating subject. The inclusion of the "In Action" book is a
genuinely useful bonus, as reference material on this uncommon aircraft is
equally rare. I do like the concept of the one-stop kit and reference
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 Fireball's
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 Models' 1/48 scale Ryan FR-1 Fireball 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 26 May, 2005
Last updated 27 May, 2005
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