1/72 scale Hasegawa F11F-1 Tiger of the US NAVY
review / modelling report
The Grumman F11F/F-11 Tiger was a single-seat carrier-based fighter used by the US Navy fighter in the 1950s and 1960s. It orginated as Grumman design with designation F9F-3, a further advanced "swept wing" version with an area ruled fuselage, it was later after designated F-11.
First flown in July, 1954, it was the first carrier based fighter with supersonic capability. An unusual feature of the Tiger was the use of spoilers instead of ailerons for bank and roll. This permitted flaps which extended the full length of the wing trailing edge.
Tiger deliveries of production aircraft began with assignment to VA-156, a fighter/attack squadron in 1957. Production continued through December 1958, the last of about 200 built delivered in 1959. Its main drawback was its limited range. Planes were armed with four 20mm cannons and capabale of firing four Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. It did not fly very long with the US Navy, and there were numerous engine reliability problems. The type was soon replaced by the Vought F-8 Crusader.
The Navy's Blue
Angels aerobatic team used Tigers for more than ten years. Two Tigers were
modified with a 15,000 lb thrust J79 engine and in 1956 one set a new world
speed record of 1220 mph (Mach 1.85) and a new world altitude record of
more than 76,000 feet.
The Hasegawa kit in 1/72 scale has appeared in various boxes with different decals. My kit JS158 is the most commonly found one (in a UK importer HALES box).
It has decals for two gull grey/white schemes of VF-21 Free Lancers of NAS OCEANA 1959 with shark mouth and VT-23 with orange panels.
Another box issued of the same kit of Minicraft USA had the same marking options. But the Minicraft
decals were made by Super/ MicroScale of better quality.
Another Hasegawa box had Red VF-121 'Peacemakers' markings.....
Another kit was for a Blue Angels Tiger that had appropriate decals and a resin "short nose" part supplied:
.. and another box art:
The kit is simple being quite old and with raised panel lines. It also has a very simple cockpit tub. It was decided to only detail it in some areas and built bit otherwise rather straight from the box.
The kit is a very simple and quick build with only about 50 parts. I started with spraying some parts while still on their sprues, eg. various coats of white on the doors, gear legs and wheels. Also, some parts were sprayed metallic. After drying, moved on to assembly....
The seat is simple, and probably a
Grumman design? From old flight manual some sketches...
Also add a nose weight before closing
the fuselage and the main halves set together.
Some minor filling was done now, the fuselage fits well.
The edges of the wing moving surfaces and rudder were "cut in" with a razor saw to better suggest the gaps on these moving surfaces.
The wing mating areas to the fuselage are very thin so it was a bit difficult to get a good strong joint at the correct 6 degrees dihedral.
Basically the model is now ready to
receive a first primer coat to check for any flaws as well. Light grey
paint was sprayed on to check this.
I opted to make the Tiger scheme of
US Navy squadron VT-23 as provided in the kit with high visibility orange
panels. The basic scheme is the USN Gull Grey FS16440 and white lower surfaces
Next followed the metallic leading edges of the wings and horizontal and vertical stabilizers. These were masked off and sprayed. (the tiny metallic intake lips were hand painted). The (still separate) jet exhaust D20 and aft section of the fuselage was sprayed metallic as well.
The orange panels were sprayed after masking the rest of the model surfaces, using Lifecolor LC23 acrylic. This should also be applied to the wingtips, which Hasegawa forgot to indicate in the instructions.
I replaced the flowvanes C3 and C4
with pieces of thin card and added these now. These were painted white.
Adding the decals is now easier to
do than later on to avoid damage. So the model was given a coat of Johnson
Future to get a good even gloss coat. The decals were applied
as provided in the kit for VT-23, except for the US Marking stars-and-bars
which are to bright blue. Replace these with markings from eg. Microscale
or Cutting Edge.
The kit seat can be used as starting
point as pictures show it was a simple seat especially when the parapack
is not installed. Some added drybrushing also does the trick here in the
The AIM-9B Sidewinders in the kit are crude and in fact unusable, so I did not install them. Although the external fueltanks were rarely seen on operational planes, I added those on the model.
Some weathering was applied on the moving surfaces gaps with PROMODELLER Black wash, to suggest some oil streaks. The wingtip anti-collision lights were painted on and given a drop of Microscale Kristal Kleer. On the fuselage, a piece of transparant red plastic was set on for the light as well.
Some panellines (these were raised on the kit) were highlighted with some pencil stripes.
The overall model was finally given a overall semi matt coat with Johnson Future mixed with some drops of Tamiya Matting Agent. It now looks fine with an even shine.
Finally, the outside canopy frame
was painted gull grey and the inside black, whereas the front windscreen
frame painted black with a paint brush, the fit is OK.
As a last finishing touch, a tiny pitot tube was added on the vertical fin through a piece of metal needle.
she is... a Grumman Tiger.......
F11F, US Naval fighters, Steve Ginther
F11F-1 Tiger, Scale Aviation Modeller, November 2004 (with nice profiles)
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|Created this page May 25, 2009