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  • Writer's picture@PlaneThought41

Fighter Going Nuclear: 1/48th Revell F-89D/J Scorpion

Updated: Jun 28

Here is a big 1950's era Cold War aircraft to try out your Natural Metal Finish (NMF) skills on. This Revell 1/48th scale kit was released in 1990 however you don't see too many of them built, possibly due to the slightly obscure subject, combined with the size and the intimidating NMF paint requirement.

Notable Kit Features:

  • Simple construction

  • Nicely detailed front and back pits with fine raised details

  • Two decent pilot figures included

  • Engine compressor face part included as well as afterburner chamber detail

  • Separate parts for D or J version build

  • External stores and wing-tanks provided depending on A/C type chosen including Genie and Falcon missiles

  • Nice gear details

  • Open or Closed canopy option

  • Raised panel lines with some engraved details

  • Reasonable price

Build Inspiration:

I came across this kit in a local hobby shop and thought it would make a nice complimentary kit to the CF-100 Canuck that I had. It is a very big box and a pretty big kit at that. Interesting transition period aircraft, as guns were giving way to rockets and missiles. If you are wondering how that may have gone, look up the 'Battle of Palmdale'.

Heads-Up Report:

Note: I didn't have much reference material on this kit so I can't vouch for the accuracy. This was a wind-down build that I didn't want to put too much thought and effort into and just built it for a distraction.

  • Setting in the cockpit tub into fuselage requires some care

  • Intake seams will require some sanding and filler

  • Underside seam joins require more sanding and filler

  • Wing root fit will need some work

  • Raised panel lines (finely done)

  • Decals are on the thick side

Kit Additions / Modifications:

This Scorpion was built Out-of-the-Box with the exception of adding seat harnesses

End Result:

Another attempt at a NMF with limited success. These finishes require more work to get an appealing finish with the varied metal tones to make it more realistic and interesting. Nailing it down is the challenge and I didn't take enough time with this one. You really need to pay attention to reference photos on NMF aircraft and note where the panel changes tend to be and what effect aircraft use and weathering have on the metal. Maybe next time around, on an aircraft I am more interested in the end result on. ;)

The After-Build Report:

If you are looking to build a F-89 Scorpion this is the kit for you. (It is the only injection mold of this aircraft in 1/48th scale that I am aware of - Falcon did a vacuform version.) It is a fairly basic build out of the box however if you wanted to add in some custom details, you could do well here. I have seen a version complete with a scratch engine build! Revell also produced a C version kit of the Scorpion 10 years after this D/J version was released in 1990

Completed build #108 - August 2009 using the 1/48th scale Revell #4548 kit.

Feel free to comment or ask any questions - Keep on building, gain experience, challenge yourself if you like, but try not to stress yourself out over the build - it is supposed to be an enjoyable hobby after all - Cheers

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