McDonnell XF-85 Goblin
"parasite fighter"


XF-85 Goblin in 1/72 scale using the MPM kit : kit review & building report

After the second world war the US Air Force continued to rely on large bombers and with the new Cold War, the giant Convair B-36 bomber was developed. It was thought that it needed a self carried defensive parasite fighter. McDonnell expressed interest to develop a small jet driven parasite fighter that was to be carried in s section of the B-36 bomb bay. Two prototypes were built and tested in 1948. To be carried with a B-36 bomber due to its folding wings, it could be entirely stored in a fuselage bay. Flight tests with a B-29 showed that the idea had a lot of practical difficulties such as a lack of fighter performance against possible enemy opponents as wel as docking difficulties and landing on a fixed runway was in fact not possible as it had no gear. The fight tests were quickly stopped after a crash landing on Muroc dry lake and the project cancelled. 
See references for more info
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             "no, no, I wanted air in the tyres, not the fuselage.... "

In 1/72 scale there is a model from MPM (kit no. 72042). It was bought for only 5 Euro's at a swap market. It has about 30 short run parts but after some clean up with sand paper are not bad at all and the fit is reasonably good. Some etched metal parts are provided as well. 
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A vacuform canopy is provided and also a transport dolly for manoeuvring in the ground. The plane itself has no landing gear. The Propagteam printed decals are OK. 
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All parts were separated from their sprues and cleaned up. Assembly is per kit instructions and straight forward. The parts F1 and F2 seemed optional wing tips fitted later on during testing. 

Etched metal parts can be used for the sidewalls

Some putty was needed at the wing-fuselage joints and intake lip to get a good oval shape.

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The time needed to complete the basic model is not much and soon the model is ready for painting. Some care is needed for the wing fences of teched metal, some white glue was used to close the timy gaps.

A first coat of light grey was air brushed to check for any flaws.

The overall colour is metal and the ALCLAD II method was used here with ALC-105 "polished aluminium". This requires first a base caot of gloss black, which was airbrushed with a couple of extra gloss coats of Johnson Future floordope.

After 24 hours, the anti-glare panel was masked of (this being black) and the ALCLAD II was air brushed, for which an old BADGER 150 airbrush was used. Quickly clean the airbrush when ready as ALCLAD quickly dries and clogs up your airbrush and its nozzle. 

The interior of the XF-85 cockpit and hook bay in front of the windshield was painted interior green with black instruments and details. The pilot seat got some straps and painted medium grey with a green head rest. The canopy and wind screen fit was OK, closing the gaps with white glue. The few decals went on smoothly. A pitot tube at the wing tip was added made from a metal needle. Finally, the whole model got a sealing Johnson Future coat airbrushed on to it. 

I found out too late that the canopy can not really be set open. That would need cutting out the windshield as well from the vacuform shape as well as its base uselage-frame, part of which is in the transparant part. So you better to set the closed canopy in place, fill the gaps and paint it silver. (it would be nice to do this in the same colour as the ALCLAD).
 

The Propagteam printed decals of the kit are very thin, and each decal applied by sliding it off is backing paper after being soaked in water. The decals went on without problems.

The ground dolly was also assembled and it requires some filling and sanding to get a nice result. I made the dolly colour yellow but probably it should be black, being dark (black) on pictures. I added some rods to get a correct 'sit" of the model on the dolly.
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The dolly was made yellow just for a nice contrast. The model was put on its dolly and ... that's it, a nice little gem in the 1/72 X-perimental USAF collection



Now... I still have the large 1/72 Monogram B-36 kit.... put were to put it after finishing this big bird?

Back to 1/72 models....


References:
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_XF-85_Goblin
- YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PisUjsXSUZU
- YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHHF3z2UH8c

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Created December 18, 2011