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1/48 scale Scratchbuilt
Vought XF5U-1

by Allen K. Hess


Vought XF5U-1


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This model was originally built in about 1971, and was my first attempt at scratch building. It was built in a hurry and was never very well detailed. That, combined with the ravages of time made it kind of an eyesore in my collection.

I was looking for something to build for the 2004 IPMS Nationals, and since Iíve always liked this airplane I decided to rebuild it, this time with a lot more detail.



The model was completely disassembled and rebuilt. About all that was used from the original model was the body shell and the propeller blades.





The model originally model took about 5 weeks to buildÖthe rebuild took about 8 months.

Construction details are as follows

  • Design information based on the Vought General Arrangement Drawing and Paul Matt 3-view drawings.

  • Basic model is constructed of laminated fiberglass.

  • Landing gear is completely scratch-built, mostly from brass stock.



  • Most smaller parts were developed from wood, plastic, or metal patterns and cast in polyurethane resin.

  • Nose and canopy are stretch-molded from 1/32" plexiglass.

  • Main wheels were modified (made thicker) and cast from the Monogram F4U. (Real Corsair wheels are too big).

  • Instrument panel was scanned from research material, redrawn in photoshop and ink jet printed at high resolution.



  • Individual photo-etched bezels were then added.



Painting and Markings


Finish is nitro cellulose lacquer with a clear coat.

The Bugs Bunny logo was hand drawn at a large scale, scanned and reduced in Photoshop.



Decals were then printed on ALPS and ink jet printers.




I would also like to build the Sword kit of the V-173 prototype. Since it is currently being restored by volunteers at the Vought plant in Texas Iím hoping someone might have access to lots of good infoÖIím especially interested in the shade of yellow used on the upper surfaces, since it seems to vary widely in the different photos Iíve seen. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images: 

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Allen K. Hess
Page Created 30 September, 2004
Last Updated 30 September, 2004

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