Vought F-8 Crusader
Legends of the Sea
13.5cm x 20cm decal sheets; one small errata sheet; double sided,
letter sized, full colour instruction sheets.
variety; high quality printing; depth of research; errata sheet
supplied to correct color problem; extensive French and US stencil
Reviewed by José Herculano
HyperScale is proudly sponsored by
Eli Raphael of Albatros decals has just produced one
of the most intriguing decal sheets for the Hasegawa F-8 Crusader in 1/48
always liked Albatros for quality, depth of research, and good ol’ plain
caring – Eli likes to go the extra mile, and proof of that is the usual
practice of throwing in – at launch – small correction sheets whenever
This decal sheet, aptly name Legend of the Seas
gives us markings for 4 different birds, one US Navy, one French Navy and
two variations of the Philippines AF scheme. The French and the Philippino
were the only foreign operators of the Crusader, and France paid the
faithful gator one of the best compliments ever – just look at the wing
platform on a Mirage F1.
nice new Hasegawa F-8 Crusader has been launched in 2 variants so far, the
initial F-8E, and more recently an F-8J. In December they’ll launch a
French Navy F-8E(FN), but there is neither need nor reason to wait for
that one to use the Albatros decal sheet. The Hasegawa will represent an
early French Navy Crusader, which is just the F-8J model with new decals.
The French Crusaders were F-8E based, but due to the
small decks of the aircraft carriers from which they would operate – the
Foch and the Clemenceau – had some changes to allow for decreased landing
speeds. Hence they were fitted with blown flaps (indistinguishable in 1/48th
from the stock ones), double hinged leading edge flaps and enlarged
These improvements were incorporated into the
remanufactured US Navy F-8E, which became the F-8J. The F-8J also had new
mainmounts, which became known as the A-7 type main gear.
The Hasegawa F-8J does not give us these mainmounts, which makes it a nice
model of an F-8E(FN), but and incomplete one for an F-8J.
The Philippino Crusaders were F-8H, that is,
remanufactured F-8D. For these one should choose the Hasegawa F-8E and use
the Cutting Edge F-8A/B/C/D/H/L fuselage conversion.
The USN bird featured in this decal sheet is an
RF-8A, the initial recce version, that saw service during the Cuban
missiles crisis. For this version one should buy the Hasegawa F-8E and the
C&H resin RF-8 conversion – either the new one, or the old one (for the
Monogram), since both fit the Hasegawa without too much trouble.
The French Crusader on the sheet represents one of
the latest flying examples, with an intriguing farewell scheme – two
enlarged squadron insignia on the tail, and a striking sharkmouth over the
nice late scheme of overall blue-gray. There are some differences between
a late life French Navy Crusader (F-8P) and the initial F-8E(FN): the
instrument panel is different on the radar scope, there is a funky T
antenna just behind the cockpit, and the tail is a bit taller with an ECM
appendage – not that hard to scratchbuilt. Seat on these birds was also
changed to the Mk7.
Albatros sheet includes extensive French stencil markings, to go along the
full stencil markings to be applied to the US birds.
A looker, if I ever saw one.
The Philippino Gator’s are represented with both
operational schemes – the early light gray overall scheme, with the
catching bulldog over die squadron emblem, and a later two-tone gray
To round up, we have an historic RF-8A from VFP-62,
veteran of the Cuban missile crisis, were this Gator went to take pictures
of Fidel, dodge SAMs and outrun MiG-21s supersonic, at tree-top levels.
These flights were codenamed Blue Moon, and it is even possible that this
very bird is the one used on a mission described in Paul Gillcrist’s book
Crusader!, that has it egressing feet wet at extreme low
level, flat out supersonic, just over the heads of two Cubans and one
burro… one of the former pissing over the ridge at the sea and the
remaining staring over the ocean. Must have been the scare of the
All in all an extremely nice decal sheet that I
recommend highly to all Crusader aficionados.
Albatros Productions Decals
are available from many dealers including
, Linden Hill Imports ,
Great Models webstore ,
Meteor Productions ,
Victory Models ,
North American Hobbies and
Squadron Mail Order
Review Text Copyright © 2003 by
This Page Created on 26 September, 2003
26 September, 2003
HyperScale Main Page