1/48 Grand Phoenix McDonnell F3H-2 Demon

Gallery Article by Eric Hargett on Nov 3 2015



This is a superb limited-run rendition of the Demon by Grand Phoenix. My kit represents an F3H-2 (strike-fighter variant) Demon (BuNo. 143410m) of VF-64, USS Midway (CVA-41) in the spring of 1958. This aircraft for the period retained the production ejection seat which was later replaced (and became standard in later Demons) with an improved Martin Baker Mk.4 seat. The Demon served the US Navy from 1956 to 1964 though never saw combat. Demons in Navy fighter squadrons were eventually replaced by Vought's F-8 Crusader or McDonnell's F-4 Phantom. 

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The Grand Phoenix kit includes a nice complement of resin and photoetched parts with little needed in the way of aftermarket items. As typical with limited-run kits, this one takes patience and requires plenty of dry fitting, filling, sanding, realigning and some scratch-building. The few enhancements to the kit included:

1) Aires F3H-2 short tail (#4232)
2) Eagle Strike 'Deadly Demons' decals (#48182)

Camouflage was the standard two tone scheme for the period of light gull gray over gloss white. Because of its short service life, weathering was minimal though included pre-shading, subtle color modulation, various tints/shades of base colors, oil pin washes and filters, pastels and pencils all of which were scaled down with coats of thinned flat clear.


Eric Hargett

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Photos and text by Eric Hargett