The F-101, built by McDonnell, made its maiden flight on September 29, 1954 at Edwards Air Base. The Voodoo was the result of the USAAF Penetration Fighter Competition that started in 1946, calling for a long-range and high performance fighter escort for the next generation of bombers. The first prototype, identified as the XF-88 Voodoo, was powered by two Westinghouse turbojets revealing a disappointing top speed of 641mph. A redesign using the more powerful Pratt & Whitney engines provided a speed of Mach 0.9, resulting in a initial order of 29 aircraft being designated the F-101A. The Voodoo went on to set a number of speed records, including fastest airspeed in 1957 reaching a speed of 1,207 mph.
With delays in the 1954 Interceptor project, the introduction of the F-101B as a stop gap, which introduced a rotating weapons bay the could hold four Falcon missiles or two Genie rockets. The F-101B entered service in 1959, and joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1961. The aircraft went on to serve with the Air National Guard till 1982 and the RCAF until 1984.
A new kit from Kitty Hawk
, building on their previous release of the F-101A, now brings the RF/F-101B to us in 1/48 scale.
6 Plastic sprues
2 Clear plastic sprue
1 Fret Photo-ectched parts
2 Decal Sheets
1 Instruction booklet
Opening the box, first impressions I was pleasantly surprised by the look of the kit from Kitty Hawk
. Molded in a grey plastic, the kit looked to be very well molded, including some nice surface detail on the aircraft with some fine engraved panel lines and rivet details. While I did not find any sink marks on the kits, I did notice lots of ejector marks. It does look like many will be hidden on the inside after assembly, but I did find some that will need to be dealt with, and some may not be easy, with some of the key internal details.
The kit does provide positional control surfaces, as well as the option to deploy the air brakes and an open electronics bay. But the internal surface, some with nice looking details, include ejector marks within the details. There are also some larger ejector marks on the internal surface of the intake ducting and engine, but these should be easier to deal with.
As stated, there is some nice nice additions, to include internal electronics bay with positional doors, deployable air brakes, and some real nice looking details on the landing wheel bays. Kitty Hawk
has included a fret of photo-etched parts that look to provide details for the engine, intakes, and cockpit, including seat belts, though only the over the shoulder straps.
Speaking of the cockpit, it does look to be decently done, including photo-etched shoulder straps, no lower belts, and decals for the instrumentation. I did find that the seats could use some extra details, as the overall moldings do look a little weak. There are some photo-etched parts, which should add a little extra details.
The engines and intakes are multi-part affairs that will require some planning for painting, especially the internal parts. There are a few ejector marks that will need to be cleaned up, some of them rather large. Again there are some photo-etched parts used here which is a nice touch from Kitty Hawk
The kit does include two variants of the AIM-4 Falcon missles as well as two AIR-2 Genie air-to-air unguided rockets. These provide some nice options to include in the rotary weapon mount. Based on the instructions, I do not beleive this would be movable after assembly.
This new kit does provide the option of building either the F-101B or the RF-101B, so the builder will have to watch for part options when assembling the nose section.
The instruction booklet looks to be well laid out, and includes large fold-out painting and marking schemes in full color. There are paint callouts thoughout, that should help with paint choices, but I do suggest always checking with your references.
The kit includes two decal sheets, a smaller one with mostly the instrumentation decals, and a larger one cover the five marking options provided in the kit.
- CF-101B RCAF 409 Squardron "Nighthawks" 395
- F-101B 60th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 1970
- F-101B 136th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 1968
- F-101B 437th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 1967
- RF-101B "White 434"
The decals look to be well printed, with great looking color and all in register.
Overall, this does look to be a nice kit of the F-101B from Kitty Hawk
in 1/48 scale, long overdue in my opinion. The moldings do look to be well done, but there are some badly placed ejector marks that will need to be dealt with, especially if wanting to show off the included electronics bay or open the air brakes. I have heard that there were complaints of fit with the initial release of the F-101A, having not built this yet, I am unsure if this issue has been resolved. The inclusion of the option for build either the F-101B or RF-101B, Falcon and Genie missles and marking options for five different aircraft should make this an attractive kit. I would recommend it.