Grumman
F9F-5 Panther
[Page 1]


Panther model in 1/32 scale of FISHER MODEL AND PATTERN
Building report

kit review building report kit review building report kit review building report 
The Grumman F9F Panther was a single-seat, single-engine, carrier-based, jet fighter used by the US Navy and Marine Corps during the Korean War.   The F9F Panther fighter was Grumman's first jet-powered aircraft for the US Navy. Development studies began at the end of the second world war as the first jet engines emerged. The prototype first flew on 24 November 1947, and deliveries to US Navy squadrons began on 8 May 1949.  Production of the F9F ended January 1953 after about 1,300 were built. Various variant were developed and the F9F-5 was the last and most numerous of the Panthers built, being some what larger than previous variants. (Also a swept wing variant was developed based on the Panther, called the Cougar).

Fisher Model and Pattern issued a 1/32 kit of the Grumman F9F-5 Panther as kit number 3201 in 2005. It is a very impressive kit in full resin with additional etched metal parts and nice decals including stencilling. 
 
The Panther kit costs about U$ 150,= and although at first site not cheap, you get a very impressive and nice model well worth the money. Certainly compared to good injection moulded 1/32 kits , the price is competitive.

The kit was ordered directly through the Internet  http://fishermodels.com/ site 

... and came in a very sturdy box within a month.

Instructions are comprehensive and have a personal touch as Paul Fisher clearly shows you how to get most out of this model with a step by step description and black and white pictures. 

The resin is executed in a superior fashion with a clever kit parts breakdown. The resin is very sturdy and has a fine surface texture and need minimal trimming and removal of resin flash. 
Cleaning up the parts takes no more than a few hours. Clearly, this company has a lot a experience moulding resin models, most of them being very nice resin kit of cars. 

You get in the Panther kit various optionable parts such as separate flaps, choice of how to make the canopy, choice of weapons and stores and also very nice additional options such as speed brakes. All the parts of mainly resin and etched metal are impressive. Cockpit is well detailed with a very nice seat, instrument panels, side walls etc etc.
The undercarriage legs have metal rods moulded in to get the necessary strength as the model in resin weighs quite a lot. You also get some "spare parts" in areas in case you loose on or when there are some options such as tow types of main wheels. 

Parts fit is very good with minimal filler being required at the wing-fuselage junction. Before starting the assembly and painting, thoroughly clean up all the parts with a bath of water and soap. 
Assembly is rather simple just as a "normal kit" using superglue and two-component bonding glue.



OK, let's begin...

The cockpit section is very well detailed. 

Drybrushing revealed the various details on the side walls etc. 

I used some home made instrument decals to make the main instrument panel.

The seat is very nice with straps to be added from masking tape. 

Also add enough counter weight! Use small "Dollar" or "Euro" coins. 

 

Speed brakes were set half open and have nice detail (with metal parts). The bay was painted red and is seen here masked for spraying. 

 

Flaps, aileron and stabilizer are very nice separate parts. I suspect the slats have to extend and droop a bit when flaps are also drooped. As the kit has no separate slats, I only drooped the rear trailing edge flaps a few degrees.

Filled gaps can be cleaned up using nailpolish remover. This minimizes the otherwise required sanding. 


After the assembly, the overall model got a light grey primer (using Revell 75 light grey) ; this will reveal any small flaws and gaps that need some attention. After that a first coat of dark gloss sea blue was airbrushed and the model was side aside for a couple of weeks.



After a while a problem was discovered with the large wing part. After fitting the heavy tiptanks, it would not stay straight but bended as seen here....

When the model was turned upside down, the bending continued towards the other side using the law of gravity. So the problem was not a "memory" problem in the resin. 
After sending an email to Fisher Model and Pattern,  I was told that the problem was indeed not caused by the resin having a "memory" but was really caused by an error during resin production and now definitely resolved. 
Fortunately, from Fisher instantly a new wing and even some extra parts were dispatched. So a very dedicated and good customer service from Paul Fisher. 

I fitted the new wing part and the problem was solved. In the picture the upper blue wing is the old wing, the lower gray wing the new straight replacement resin part. 

It was fitted to the Panther without further problems.

So now back to assembly.



The undercarriage legs got some extra brakelines made from thin metal strip.

For the under wing stores a lot of optional stores are given which are all excellent. Select what you want and choose the appropriate provided pylon.

For creating the canopy different options are given. 
I choose the nice "clear resin" part which was OK. 

Leading edges were airbrushed in dull aluminum after masking.

 

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Best references 
Squadron Signal Publications : Panther / Cougar book

On Internet: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F9F_Panther

http://www.aviation-history.com/grumman/f9f.html

http://www.angelfire.com/space/grumman/aircraft/panther.html
 

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Created November 18, 2005