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F-8E Crusader

by Mark A. Sindiong


F-8E Crusader


Hasegawa's 1/48 scale F-8E Crusader may be ordered online from Squadron.com





Here is Hasegawaís new 1/48 scale F-8E Crusader.

After roughly 20 hours of work over a week and a half, Iíve finally finished this new kit. The model was built 99.8% box stock with the only exception being the addition of two AIM-9s stolen from a Hasegawa weapon set (no air to air ordinance is included in the kit).

Why did I decide to build this straight out of the box? Primarily, to enter it in our local IPMS chapterís box stock night and I was anxious to see how the kit went together. Well, all I can say is that it went together!





The kit was pretty straight forward, but there are many small fit issues, just about all of which had been covered here on Hyperscaleís Plane Talking discussion group.

The cockpit was assembled and painted and all the other interior parts attached then sandwiched between the two fuselage halves. There were not fit problems encountered there. One note - make sure you remember to put all the poly caps in place per the instructions.


The wing was then assembled and the flaps animated in their lowered position. There was a slight problem with the fit of the leading edge flaps in their lowered position. A little sanding corrected this quickly. Again remember the poly caps, this time inside the wing. The wing was then attached to the fuselage so I could get an idea of what the aircraft looked like with the wing in the raised position and thatís when I discovered the next fit issue. The flaps actually contact the fuselage with the wings raised and the flaps lowered. It took quite a bit of sanding to correct this, but luckily it doesnít appear to be that noticeable and the shape of the flaps had not been changed. Iím pretty sure that this is actually a fit issue with the kit and not something I screwed up. But who knows, it may just be my building skillsÖ

The rest of the kit went together pretty well, but hereís a quick list of some of the other quirks I discovered over the build:

  1. The ejection seat interfered with the canopy and required sanding to allow the canopy to close. (Maybe my mistake.)

  2. Ejector pin marks. Several located on the model, many of which can easily be seen on the built up kit. Both the outboard leading edge flaps and outer portions of the pylons suffer from large ejector pin marks.

  3. Burner can and augmenter. Both need to be sanded to achieve a flush fit of the jet exhaust area.

  4. Somewhat weak panel lines on the belly of the fuselage and misalignment on many of the Zuni warheads (really poor molding on a couple of them).

  5. Frosty canopy that required a lot of polishing (at least in this kit).

Thatís pretty much it for the areas of irritation I encountered. There were a few others but most of which have been covered on the discussion group.



I corrected a few of the small quirks, but didnít mess with opening the canopy. I am saving that for my next Crusader project.



Painting and Markings


Moving to painting, I took a different approach to what I normally do. I didnít have Model Master colors for the exterior and decided to prime and paint the model using Gunze lacquers. Both the gull grey and white were thinned at approximated 60% thinner to 40% paint. This provided me with a really smooth durable finish that dried extremely fast. The paints were applied using my Thayer & Chandler Vega 2000 airbrush (gravity feed). Detail parts were painted with Model Master enamels and Alcad II metallic lacquers.



Once the primary colors and detail colors were complete, the decals were added.

Decaling the kit was straight forward using the kits decals. This time I used some additional Gunze products and achieved some really nice results. Before I placed the decal in its spot, I coated the respected area with Gunze Mr. Decal set and then followed up with Mr. Mark Softer to get the decals to conform to the model surface. Iím not sure if it was just dumb luck or if Mr. Decal set is some kind of amazing product, but there was absolutely no silvering once this process was complete. Iím sold on these Gunze products.

Next was weathering, the final step for this model. Again I used another different technique, one I never tried before. I tried the technique described by Mr. Paul Boyer called a ďsludge washĒ. I ended up using some Testers Model Master acrylics, thinned with water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. The sludge was then added to the models panel lines with a small brush section by section. This wash dries very quickly, so you have to be fast in wiping it away before it really sets up. I was really happy with the effect, but I didnít take Mr. Boyerís advice on the colors to use. In his Fine Scale article he suggests a medium gray and I used gunship gray, far to dark for this paint scheme. Oh well, I screwed up and will use the lighter gray on my next similar project.

Thatís pretty much it for the kit. I created a very simple generic base to place the model on. I neglected to mention the additional weathering with some pastel chalks, but really didnít do too much of that. I wanted to keep the aircraft relatively clean representing the CAGs aircraft parked on a navel air station ramp.





Even with some of the fit issues and possible accuracy issues (most of which I have no clue of), I found this kit still enjoyable to build and quite convincing as an F-8 Crusader.



I am looking forward to building several more in some of the fancy liveries these aircraft flew in.

Mahalo Nui Loa!


Additional Images


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Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2003 by Mark A. Sindiong
Page Created 24 February, 2003
Last Updated 17 March, 2004

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