Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lindberg F8U-1 Crusader

Lindberg reissued a bunch of their classic 50's model kits in 1973. The 1/48 scale Chance-Vought F8U-1 Crusader was one of them. It has lots of moving parts including a rubber-band powered ejection seat, retractable landing gear, moving control surfaces, arresting hook, and removable engine. It was a ton of fun to build in '76, and just as much fun again in 2011. You can see a picture of my completely unpainted original Crusader in the first blog entry (along with my completely unpainted Monogram F-105.)

A big question to consider for this rebuild was whether to paint it in operational Navy colors (light sea gray and white) or leave it silver like the XF8U prototype. Since the kit is engineered to have the long test probe fitted on the radome, I chose to keep it unpainted silver-gray like the XF8U. Lindberg included rather basic decal markings for this model which do not match the prototype or production versions. So, the whole thing is not really correct. But it's a fun model to build and display. Lindberg moving parts are only good for several "play withs" before they break, so I've put the gear down to stay, and the ejection set installed without rubber bands. The display stand is rather wobbly, but useful if one has crowded shelf space, as it lifts the plane pretty high.
Thinking back, I really don't remember why I got this model the first time. I was never crazy about the Crusader; perhaps it was just an impulse buy at Gemco or Thrifty Drug Store. I do however remember being pleasantly surprised by the action features on this kit, which made for some good quality play time with it before it fell apart into pieces again.