ManCave Modeler presents...
    Vought F-8E Crusader
VF103 Sluggers

USN F-8E VF-162 "The Hunters"
Academy 15251

This is the 2015 release of their nice 1/72 F-8E Crusader kit with new markings options. Originally released in 2004 and retooled in 2012, this kit is molded in the usual light gray styrene on four sprues plus a sprue of clear parts.
Upon preliminary inspection, the parts are clear of flash, with well defined panel lines.
None of the parts were warped and there were no instances where the molds were misaligned.

Strictly out of box build
Once assembly began the parts aligned perfectly with no issues

I started of with the cockpit instrument panel which is well detailed considering the scale.
There is also optional decals if you'd rather not try to paint the miniscule dials & knobs.
another subassembly is the main landing gear well. again, nice detail for it's scale
The fuselage required a little drilling and then went together cleanly but a little bit tight.

The Crusader had a variable-incidence wing which raised the wing by 8° to give additional lift as low speeds.
This assembly requires a little filing if you decide not to display it in the deployed position


Click to enlarge

Paint & Decals:
The color scheme for this aircraft is typical of the period of U.S. Naval Aviation, Lt. Gull Gray, f/s 36440 on top with Gloss White Belly and control surfaces.
The design of this kit makes it an easy decision to paint the wings, stabilators and fuselage as separate components.

This aircraft will carry the markings of VF-103 "Sluggers" BuNo, 150303, USS Forrestal (CVA-59) 1964
I liked that the tail fin markings were a single decal it made life a lot easier than trying to align multiple decals on either side of the tail fin

(Click to Enlarge)

Aftermarket parts:

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Last Updated April 9, 2018