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F-8J Crusader Cockpit

1/48 scale for Hasegawa





S u m m a r y
Catalogue Number and Description Aires Hobby Models 4204 - F-8J Crusader Cockpit
Price: USD$19.96 from Squadron
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: See text below
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Excellent detail and casting; well packaged;
Recommendation: Recommended


Reviewed by Rodger Kelly

Aires 1/48 scale F-8J Crusader cockpit set is available online from Squadron.com




Fans of US Naval aviation will be pleased to hear that Aires Hobby Models has recently released a resin cockpit set for the Hasegawa F-8J Crusader in their Master Series. 

This set is basically a straight replacement for the kit's existing cockpit parts and comprises both resin and photo-etch parts as well as a clear acetate film for the instrument panel.  The resin parts include: 

  • Cockpit tub
  • Canopy bulkhead and rails
  • Ejector seat
  • Instrument panel and shroud
  • Cockpit sides

The photo-etch parts are mainly confined to enhancements for the ejector seat in the way of belts but also include brackets for the gun sight as well as the instrument panel and rudder pedals.

The resin parts are cast in the light buff coloured resin we have become familiar with from Aires.  The casting is superb and there are no miscasts or pinholes in my example.  All details are crisp, sharp and free from warpage.  Aires seems to have refined their approach to the casting process too as there is very little in the way of casting plug which translates to less preparation of parts and more importantly, less dust or slurry on the workbench. 

There is plenty of detail on the resin parts.  The cushions on the ejection seat –it looks to be a Martin Baker F7 to me- exhibit texture which will stand out well with a thin wash.  The same sort of texture appears on the canvas cover over the instrument panel shroud too.   

Are the parts better detailed than the kit parts that they are replacing?  A resounding yes!  The rear bulkhead of the kit part is lacking of any detail at all whilst the resin replacement faithfully replicates the one-to-one scale example.  The cockpit sidewalls too are far more detailed than their kit counterparts whilst the ejector seat is a giant leap forward. 

A small instruction sheet is included.  It shows an exploded view of the assembly process in black and white line drawings as well as sage advice "Warning:  Thinning of the plastic parts and dry-fitting of the assembly needed" To be truthful, this set is nowhere as hard to prepare as other Aires products that I have used and the preparation was nowhere as onerous. 

Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

A down side to the set is that there are no painting instructions but I dare say that you will be able to use the information provided on the Hasegawa instruction sheet or by viewing colour photos from the net – a quick "Google" will reveal most details. 

I love the Aires packaging and I make no excuses for repeating what I have already written in reviews of some of their other sets.  The parts sit in a vacformed tray which in turn sits on top of the cardboard header.  A vacformed clear plastic cover is then slid over both the tray and the header and it both traps and displays the parts and the photo-etch sheet.  Staples are then punched through the header card and the plastic cover to fasten them together.   This manner of packaging is a real boon as, in these days of mail order hobby shops; your set has a far better chance of arriving at your mail box intact. 

This is a high quality offering from Aires and well worth the price. 


Thanks to Aires for the review sample

Text and Images Copyright © 2004 by Rodger Kelly
Page Created 16 December, 2004
Last updated 16 December, 2004

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