Czech Model's 1/48 Scale
by Richard Filteau
Model's 1/48 scale FJ-1 Fury is available online from
In 1944 the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics issued requests for proposals
for jet fighters to several aircraft manufacturers. The McDonnell XFD-1
(FH-1) Phantom receiving the only contract, up to that time, for a naval
jet fighter. In response to this request 3 manufacturers submitted
proposals: the XFD-2 (FH-2) Banshee from McDonnell, the XF6U Pirate from
Vought and the XFJ-1 Fury from North American. Contract for all three
aircraft were signed. North American received an order for 100
production examples, of which only 30 were built.
For a time the Navy's FJ-1 and the Army's P-86 were developed
concurrently. The designs diverged when the Army wanted to take
advantage of research suggesting the benefits of swept wings. The Navy
wanted a more conventional straight winged design to accommodate the
lower speeds needed for landing on carriers. The original design also
offered wing mounted dive brakes, which meant fuel was to be stored in
saddle tanks in the fuselage leading to the tubby looking fuselage of
the FJ-1. Having wing mounted dive brakes also prohibited wing folding
for carrier storage. The FJ-1 was fitted with a mechanism for lowering
the nose of the aircraft on to small wheels. The aircraft were then
stored one under the other.
The first prototype was completed in January 1946, but did not
receive it's engine until June 1946.The last production Fury was
delivered to the Navy in April of 1948.
The FJ-1 Fury only served with one regular navy squadron, that being
VF-5A (later VF-51) at North Island California. The squadron along with
the FH-1 Phantoms of VF-17 was tasked with the development of procedures
for the deployment of jets on board aircraft carriers. The Fury also won
the Bendix Trophy in 1948.
May of 1949 saw the Fury being phased out and relegated to Naval
Reserve units. The last Fury was retired in 1953.
I used Czech Model kit # 4805 to produce my model. I had always liked
the Fury and this recently released kit was in my favorite 1/48 scale so
the choice was obvious. This a multimedia kit with injected molded,
resin and vacuum formed pieces being used.
The kit was purchased with the intension of building it straight out of
the box. The panel lines are finely scribed, the resin cockpit pieces
are superb for as far as the seat, sides, control stick and sides but
the canopy slide mechanism behind the seat is completely missing. Small
details such as the tail skid, fuel dump tube and catapult hooks could
have been added to make it a more complete kit. There were also some
problems where the molding did not come out as crisply as it should
have. This is especially true around the gun ports. One thing that I
particularly liked was the vacuum formed canopy. Czech Model supplies 2
canopies but only one was needed as I assembled my fury with the canopy
The kit went together fairly easily. The shape and outline of the
pieces match the detail drawings in the Naval Fighter Series book "FJ-1
One feature that was not so much difficult as different was the
method of attaching the wings. There are no alignment tabs of any kind.
The flat surface on the wing root is simply glued to the matching flat
surface of the fuselage. I did have to do some sanding at the junction
of the fuselage halves as they did not line up exactly. Some minor
sanding was also done at the wing roots.
The entire airplane was polished using Blue Magic Liquid Metal.
used Testor's Model Master Dark Sea Blue which was applied in several
light coats until the desired depth of color was achieved.
Micro Sol gloss was applied before the decals.
A final coat of Future Floor wax to give the model that Dark Sea Blue
gloss that I like so much about 40's and 50's era Navy aircraft.
Sites used in researching this model:
Link to the kit used:
Books used in researching this model:
- Naval Air Fighters Number 7: North American FJ-1 Fury by Steve
Ginter with Ron Picciani
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Page Created 20 December, 2004
20 December, 2004
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