Aurora 1/88 Douglas F4D Skyray, Kit No. 292-60

By Al Supercynski

f4d box

First issued with Aurora's "Famous Fighters" logo in 1957 this kit, like last month's F-104, was released at least seven times over the years, including in Great Britain by Playcraft Toys as their kit number 292, in the Netherlands as 292 with the oval logo, and by Aurora's Canadian subsidiary first as kit number 292-39 with the "Famous Fighters" logo and again in 1964 as 292-60. My example is the latter issue and it has an unusual logo that I haven't seen before which includes the lettering "T.M. REG'D." - this particular release isn't listed in John Burns' PAK-20 either. One further interesting point is that my kit's box is a one-piece unit. Heh. I'm rich!

The kit was released in the US as 292-29 and 292-39 with the "Famous Fighters" logo, and 292-40 and 292-70 with Aurora's later oval logo - the last two digits in all cases indicating the suggested retail price in cents.

The listings in PAK-20 are again, as for the F-104 discussed last month, somewhat confused, all of them indicating that this kit was done from Comet tooling. This is in error as the Comet kit was entirely different; it was later released by Addar as part of a double kit with the ex-Comet F3D Skyknight and was the subject of an earlier Kit Corner in August 2002. I don't know if the Comet kit was ever released in an Aurora box.

f4d partsThe model is made up of eleven parts in gray plastic, including two for the stand, and a clear canopy. The drop tanks shown in the box art are not included. There is no cockpit detail - not even an opening for the cockpit area - the landing gear is extremely simplified with no representation whatsoever of the wells, and you can look down the intakes and straight out the exhaust. All surface details, including the decal locations and guides for painting the red trim, are raised other than the outlines of the control surfaces. My example is completely free of flash and sink marks but there are a few ejection pin marks on the gear doors and wings - not really a problem to remove since there's no surface detail worth saving anyway. Interestingly, the canopy framing is very well done with recessed engraving.

f4d decalThe instructions are adequate for such a simple model but don't include any painting suggestions although the box art is mostly correct in showing overall white with red trim. The kit provides decals for the first production F4D-1, BuNo 130740, but they really need to be replaced even if you should be lucky enough to get a usable decal sheet.

f4d instAgain not especially rare for such an old model, you should be able to pick one up for no more than around $20, probably less for the later issues.

Until next month, "Build what YOU like, the way YOU want to", above all have fun, and be sure to visit Al's Place while you're surfing the 'Net!

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