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Phantom's Granddad
F3H Demon

by Fotios Rouch

 

F3H Demon

 


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Background

 

The US Navy originally commissioned McDonnell to build a high performance day fighter. The new machine was pretty advanced swept wing fighter for its time. However the delivery was delayed by problems with its Westinghouse J40 engine and the navy's changed demand for it to be an all weather night fighter. The first XFD3H-1N prototype first flew in August 1951.

The F3H-1N entered service March 1956 with the Westinghouse J40-WE-2. The J40 was unreliable and lacking in power, and later was revised with the J71 engine. Total production was 519 up to 1959, and the type was withdrawn in September 1964.

Here is a drawing my wife made for me of the Demon that I was going to be building one day.

 

 

I always had a love for Phantom's grand dad. Sadly the subject has been very much neglected. Other that the Golden Wings vac and the resin Collect-Aire kit nobody else has bothered with it in 1/48 scale.

 

 

Collect-Aire's Demon

 

I purchased my first Collect-Aire Demon back in the late 90's. I was so disappointed and scared with the quality of the kit that I put it away.

A couple of years ago after I noticed a slight improvement on the works of this specific Eastern European maker I decided to go for it one more time hoping that the kit would be a bit better. It was. Not great but at least the small parts were not buried under blobs of resin and I could make out their shapes. The big parts only needed 10 days worth of preparation....

Here are some pictures of the main fuselage and wing parts before and after preparation.

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:


 

 

Construction Tips

 

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are building this kit.

The kit comes with both beaver tails for the early and late variants. Choose properly since the kit provides only one type of ejection seat. I did not find a refueling probe in either of my two Demon kits so I made my own. It would be nice to scratchbuild some detail behind the canopy especially if you pose it open.

 



Most importantly. I checked both my kits so I know this is a design issue. Pay very close attention to the main wing because the maker dialed way too much anhedral. Everybody who is going to invest in the Collect-Aire kit probably already has gotten the Steve Ginter book. Go to page 28 and note the correct angle for the anhedral. The kit has much more than that.

 

 

After you have fixed the wing joints which will not be flush to the fuselage any more since you changed the geometry, you need to do some other calculations. The maker made the length of the main landing gear struts such so that they correspond to the anhedral he originally chose. Also note that if you leave the length of the landing gear struts as is you will have the fuselage aux tanks touching the ground. Although I corrected the main wing anhedral and added a little length to the main landing gear struts I was still not satisfied with the distance between the tanks and the ground so I left them off.

Other than that, the rest of the kit is okay. The panel lines are exactly what you see at the scale plans in the Ginter book to the last rivet practically.

 

 

Epilog

 

Since this same maker made the Hawkeye for Collect-Aire that went on sale a couple of months ago I inquired and got a new fuselage for my first Demon that I had purchased some years ago. Day and night difference. This fuselage is good enough to tempt me into punishing myself and making one more Demon as a long beaver tail variant!

 



Footnote

To see more of my wife's airplane art go to http://home.earthlink.net/~m.rouch/retail/aviation.html 

 

 

Additional Images

 

Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:


Model, Images and Text Copyright 2003 by Fotios Rouch
Page Created 28 July, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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