Muroc Models 1/72 F-8 Conversions

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

Muroc Models has been around for a while now, and they keep coming out with some very interesting subjects. Making an early F-8 Crusader seems right up their alley, especially since one of them is for the Digital Fly-By-Wire Crusader. These latest conversions are all based on the same parts, with subtle differences, and are designed for the excellent Academy Crusader kit. The main difference between these early F-8s and that as kitted in the Academy kit is with the nose, and these conversions provide a solid replacement with a vacuformed windscreen that will be quite easy to use. The other main difference is the hump over the wing, and each set provides a resin replacement for the kit piece. The other common piece is a small catapult attachment point.

For type-specific options, the F-8A (F8U-1) has a separate fuel vent that goes on the rear fuselage where the ventral fins show up on later variants. The most dramatic changes, though show up on the DFBW Crusader. This was a modified F-8C, so it has all of those parts. It also had the air refueling probe removed, and a plug is provided for replacing that bulge. A long test boom and cine cameras are also included. This conversion will take a bit more work, but it also has a very colorful scheme, so the work will be worth it.

Speaking of schemes, Muroc has come out with three decal sheets to go with these conversions. Of course, the colorful DFBW aircraft is one of them, and the decals provide that striking lightning bolt that runs down the side, as well as all the rest of the necessary NASA markings. The sheet designed for the F8U-1 is a very simple one, but for a famous Crusader, the plane involved in Project One Grand, the Navy F-8 that exceeded the goal of 1000mph. The third sheet provides markings for several VMF-235 F8U-1s, in their attractive red and white scheme.

All of these provide a nice, complete package to make an early Crusader from the Academy kit. While these may not be the easiest conversions, they are very well done and come with very detailed instructions, so they should be doable by even a fairly new modeler. My thanks to Muroc Models for the review samples. Muroc Models can be purchased from the AFFTC Museum gift shop at Edwards AFB, (661) 277-8050.

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