1/72 Academy F-89D Scorpion

Gallery Article by Burt Gustafson on Apr 27  2009



For your viewing pleasure, here are some photos of my 1/72 scale Academy F-89D Scorpion. The Northrop F-89 Scorpion made aviation history by scoring a number of firsts.  It was the first jet powered aircraft designed from the start to be an all weather interceptor.  It was the first aircraft to carry the Falcon missile operationally, and the first to achieve a hit on an airborne target using the Falcon missile.  And finally, the Scorpion was the first aircraft to launch an air-to-air weapon with a live atomic warhead.

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Early F-89 variants carried six 20-mm cannons. To increase the probability of a kill against Soviet long-range nuclear bombers, the F-89D carried rockets. Other variants carried Falcon missiles and the world's first air-to-air nuclear missile. F-89s defended the continental United States for over 17 years, but never fired a shot in anger. The model here depicts a USAF F-89D, 61st FIS, Harmon AFB, Newfoundland, 1955.

About the kit: Not a bad kit overall. This was a total OOB build.  The parts fit was pretty good, although it did require some filling and sanding in places. The nose gear was a problem, I had to fiddle with it a lot to get it in place.  Decals were a little on the thin side but did snug down quite well.  Painting was done using Floquil Signal Red for the red areas, Model Masters Gloss Black for the black areas, and Alclad II Aluminum for the bare metal areas. 

I was pleased with the finished model.  It must be good because my wife likes it a lot; she calls it the bright red airplane.

Burt Gustafson

Photos and text by Burt Gustafson