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Thursday, January 20, 2022
Thursday, January 20, 2022
  • Product Name : USN F-8E VF-162 "The Hunters"
  • Product Number : #12521
  • Manufacturer : Academy

The Vought F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) is a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft built by Vought for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps (replacing the Vought F7U Cutlass), and for the French Navy. The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955. The F-8 served principally in the Vietnam War. The Crusader was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, earning it the title “The Last of the Gunfighters”.  Information from Wikipedia

This aircraft was flown in VF-162 “The Hunters” during 1966 by Commander Burt Shepherd on the USS Oriskany.

This model was a lot of firsts for me, the first time I’ve ever black based a model, and the first time that I’ve used a wash on the exterior of an aircraft.

For the wash I used a black watercolour paint.  It worked rather well for me and I’ll be using one again for my next build.  The heat discolouration was achieved with Tamiya’s Weathering Master Set D, I think I over did the effect a bit but it was my first time using it so i now know what to do next time.

The Cockpit

The cockpit of this kit went together very well, but there are some downsides.  One of them being the lack of seatbelts but that was easily fixed with some masking tape.  Another thing to note is that there are instrument panel and side console decals.  I chose not to use these however as there is nicely moulded detail on these pieces and the next kit I’ll be building which is the HobbyBoss 1:72 A-7D Corsair II, has no moulded detail so these decals will find use on there.

The Build

Overall the build was nice and simple.  There were only small gaps that needed filling but along the bottom there was a gap the was about 1mm wide.  However this was due to my own error as I failed to align the main landing gear bay properly.  Also please note that I did not glue the wing on at this point to make painting easier.

Here she is primed in black and ready for the white


Black Basing

As this was my first time to attempt black basing I took to YouTube for some insight.  While I was there I found this helpful video to see what was better, Black Basing or Preshading.  Ultimately it is up to your own opinion and the effect you are after.  So here is my attempt at black basing.

The Painting Process

After I Black Based the Crusader it was time for the main scheme.  Here I used Vallejo Model Air White (71.001) and Vallejo Model Air Light Gull Grey (71.121).

Decals And Smaller Areas Of Paint

After I painted the main two colours I painted the Black nose cone and the metallic colour for the exhaust.  Once that was complete it was time for the first Gloss Varnish.  For this I used Vallejo’s Metal Varnish (which seems to be a relabeling of their Gloss Varnish).

The decals in this kit are printed by Cartograf and are very high quality I did however need to use 3 passes of Microsol and with the help of some convincing with a cotton swab the recessed into the panel lines perfectly.


After another Gloss Varnish to seal the decals in it was time for the weathering.  As I mentioned at the start I used a homemade wash for the panel lines.  This is mainly because I do not have any enamel thinners for my Tamiya Panel Line Wash I have.  With this Watercolour wash I made it so that when brushed into the panel lines it wouldn’t separate because of the Varnish (this took a few tries but I got the hang of it).  Once this wash dried I wiped the excess off with a damp cotton swab and a damp cotton pad (the makeup remover ones without any makeup removing chemicals on it).

The next thing I did was the streaking effects with some oil paints I’m still relatively new to this and I am getting better.  The worn effect was done by stippling some light grey oil paint and blending it with an older dry brush.  This same technique was used for the colouring around the 20mm cannons.

For the gun smoke and exhaust staining (on the inside of the exhaust) I used Ammo by Mig’s Black pigment, this was applied with a smaller dry brush and was lightly blended toward the edge.

One thing I only noticed when I took the photos is that the Vallejo Varnish created an “Orange Peel” effect.

Finishing Touches

Now I needed to apply the Flat Varnish.  For this I used the Mission Models one and I loved it, the application was smooth and it got rid of that horrid “Orange Peel” effect.  Only one thing to know about it is it needs thinning.

The only thing left was to glue on the; Landing gear, Weapons, and other smaller parts.  With that the model was complete.


In conclusion this is an amazing kit, one of the nicest I’ve ever built.  However this is not a kit for beginners, this is due to the fact that some of the parts (especially in the gear bay) are quite small and finicky.  Overall I’d highly recommend this kit.
























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