by: Andy Brazier [ ]
History The McDonnell F3H Demon was produced as both a single seat carrier based fighter and a missile armed interceptor. Originally flown with the Westinghouse XJ40-WE-8 engine, this engine proved unreliable and was later replaced with the Allison J71. The Allison engine was more reliable but the Demon remained underpowered.
The prototype XF3H-1 first flew on the 7th August1951 and the F3H-2N (powered by the Allison engine) first flew during January of 1955. The Demon was armed with four 20mm Mk12 Colt-Browning cannons in the nose, although it was common to remove the upper pair of guns to save weight and the gun ports were faired over.
The F3H-2N featured a “Beaver” tail fairing and was used in both the strike role and as a night fighter. The main armament consisted of four pods of Mighty Mouse FFAR rockets on the underwing pylons.
The F£H-2M (F-3C) was an interceptor armed with Sparrow 1 air to air missiles. A number of these aircraft were modified with an in-flight refuelling probe.
There was some 520 Demons built and the aircraft remained in service until 1964 when it was replaced by the its well known successor the F4H Phantom 11.
The sets Two resin sets are available from Pavla for the Demon, a cockpit set, and new nose cone, and a vac-form canopy, which comes with the cockpit set or can be bought separately.
The cockpit set
Item No - C 72121
Price - £15.99
The cockpit set replaces the entire front end of the kit with a new forward section as well as the cockpit. The nose undercarriage bay is not replaced though.
No air bubbles or discrepancies in the resin can be seen and each part has a small pour plug attached, which will have to be removed.
Detail is exquisite with recessed panel lines for the aircraft, and the nose cannon ports are more refined then the plastic part.
The entire cockpit is replaced with a one piece ejection seat, complete with a moulded on harness. Compared to the kit part this is a major improvement.
A new instrument panel replaces the blank plastic part, which doesn’t include a decal in the kit. The instrument panel has raised dials so painting should be easier even though it is still pretty small.
A new cockpit tub replaces the kit part that has no detail on it, with the resin equivalent having raised detail for the side consoles.
A resin control column, a rear cockpit shelf, a instrument panel hood and a part for the inside of the canopy are supplied to replace the basic kit parts. The resin parts are far more refined.
With all this resin in the front of the aircraft, it’s doubtful you will need any weight for the nose to stop it tail sitting.
A two part vac-form canopy replaces the pretty thick kit clear part. This has raised detail for the frames, but the instructions in either the kit or the replacement set don’t show if the canopy can be positioned in the open position.
The instructions for the set are printed on a slip of paper, in black and white line drawings. The build sequence is easy to follow with internal colours given for the various parts. Any parts for the kit that need to be used are highlighted.
F3H Demon nose
Item No – U 72-150
Price - £2.99
The nose cone is a one piece resin part, and replaces the kits one piece plastic part. The part has a pour plug attached. The resin replacement looks to be a bit sharper in profile then the kit part, and just looks more polished.
F3H Demon canopy
Item No – V 72-107
Price - £1.65
This is the same as the canopy supplied in the cockpit set.
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