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F7U-3 Cutlass Cockpit

Lone Star Models, 1/48 scale


S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: Not Quoted
Price: $22.00 including U.S. shipping, Mail order from Lone Star Models
Scale: 1/48
Contents and Media: Four parts in yellow resin; clear plastic for gunsight; wire.
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Big improvement over kit parts; good detail; cast-on harness; includes rear shelf; no bubbles or pits.
Disadvantages: Additional references will be helpful
Recommendation: Recommended


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Reviewed by "Bondo" Phil Brandt




Bondo loves the "weirdness quotient" of the Vought Cutlass, but years ago, when Hobbycraft scaled up their 1/72 Cutlass to 1/48, the aching plainness of the larger model cried out for embellishment. HC must've listened, because a pricier "Elite" version (now relatively rare) of said kit soon appeared. With nicely detailed cast metal gear struts/wheels and PE for the seat, instrument panel and consoles, things were looking up, but Bondo Industries still had to do a fair amount of scratchbuilding to properly display an open cockpit, not the least of which was recarving and vacuforming a more accurate windscreen and "humped" canopy.

About a year ago, Bondo Industries Corporate Intelligence Division learned from usually reliable sources that a Cutlass detail/correction set might be in the offing, and it wouldn't be by Mike West at Lone Star Models. So, imagine this curmudgeon's surprise when "The Resin Prince of Sugar Land" (TX) revealed just weeks ago that he would soon release a Cutlass resin cockpit set. Great timing; only three years after I finished beaucoup scratchbuilding on the sorry hummer! :) But that's OK, because our Conversions Division is planning a 1/48 photo version of the Cutlass--don't know why HC didn't scale up an optional nose from the 1/72 recce kit, as long as they were doing the rest of the bird--and now yours truly can concentrate on carving and casting the recce nose section instead of "practice bleeding" over the very visible cockpit one more time.





Mike's mastering efforts are a significant step up for this kit. The set comprises tub, seat, instrument panel and the behind-the-seat retraction mechanism shelf that underlies the canopy. A small piece of clear plastic is included for the sight as well as fine wire for the ejection handles. Surfaces are nicely "busy" with avionics, etc., and definition is fairly sharp; I've yet to find any bubbles or pits.


Mike includes a hand-drawn sheet showing necessary actions to mount the parts. It's quite sufficient, but I still recommend that anyone doing this airplane obtain the Steve Ginter Naval Fighters F7U "bible."





Mike West has got a very welcome knack for doing kits and detail/upgrade sets for modelers taking the road less traveled, and we who do so are indebted to him.

Two thumbs up!


Review and Images Copyright 2004 by Phil Brandt
Page Created 01 December, 2004
Last updated 01 December, 2004

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