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Sackys FJ3 Fury

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Ah gotcha. Didn't realise you had a complete fuselage to work with. That was my puzzle. Building is something you don't forget. Like riding a bike. It's just that the world and products have moved on a lot so you have to get used to it. I did the same. Flew and built from 15 to about 25 then packed it in until about 7 years ago.

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The North American Fury FJ3 Cockpit

Some of you may have noticed I am rather obsessive on the cockpit area. The Fury FJ3 variant has been a challenge in terms of identifying the correct dash and then sourcing the components. After some work searching my final design is based on the Fury Flight Manual downloaded from 'flight manuals on line'. My original dash had been made using cutouts and lacked precision and some details. For this work I scanned the image of the dash and then cleaned it up in photoshop.

Working images are tif files and the highest resolution I could obtain. The details will be lost on compression but the better quality you begin with the better the end result.

Step 1

step 1.jpg

Step 2 was to add some 'lights' using photoshop for the detailing. These could be detailed with holes cut into the dash and with thin coloured plastic glued behind. A light source would then be required to illuminate the dashboard. I'm not going that far just yet !

step 2.jpg

Step 3 was a bit more involved. Each instrument had to be either recreated in photoshop or copied from on line photographs and resized to fit. Again using tiff rather than jpeg files as a personal preference.

step 3.jpg

Step 4 was to complete the detailing. This next image shows the final version of the dash with my original - inaccurate - version for comparison. Several copies of the final dash were reproduced on photographic paper at the best available resolution for my printer.

original and new dash.jpg

The dash was cut to shape and tested in the 'office'.

the office 2.jpg

I'm good with that.

The next step is to create the other cockpit panels which is going to take some time, especially as they will have to be drawn, uploaded and then edited.

And finally a stand off picture of the 'tub' which is coming on slowly but nicely.

the office 1.jpg

As always comments for improvement will be hugely appreciated.

Before I close off, and for the benfit of the rivet counters and MIG pilots, I will add that the dash has been identified as the one on my particular aircraft, following some upgrades, including the fitting of air to air missiles

Keep safe and keep well everyone.

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  • 1 month later...

David, two scans for you:

c.1962 aurora kit of cv62 indy.1.jpg

c.1962 aurora kit of cv62 indy.2.jpg

Your Captain Grey is looking good for an OK-3 on this one.  By the looks of the painting, I'm thinking the original art was done by the great John Steel?  Terrific action-perspective of CV-62, the Indy, one of the great Forrestal class "supercarriers".

You asked about my XFJ-2 Fury build progress: Zero!   But for weeks I have been focused on reorganizing my Cellar of Aeronautical Doom and it has been a colossal battle; a lifetime of STUFF and a glaring lack of discipline as to inefficient STORAGE vs functional WORKSPACE; as part of that war I found this circa 1962 model kit amongst the rubble.

I made these two scans off my small home machine for you; at 1/600th scale the kit is too large to fit on my scanner bed, so here are the two bits. No ideal, but there it is!

I have now declared a bloody stalemate/cease-fire in my battle with my mess; time for me to cut wood on the Fury. The workshop has never been better, all feels very good... so no more excuses! 

Meanwhile, thanks for checking in on me yesterday and kudos on your good work here.  That instrument panel is really COOL.  Sure looks the part!

Edited By John H. Rood on 09/06/2020 16:01:51

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Brilliant pictures Sir, thank you very much I believe the aircraft is one of the VF-84 'Vagabonds' squadron. The squadron was established 1st July 1955 and equipped with FJ3/3M Furys. The squadron was deployed twice as part of 'CVG-1' aboard the USS Forrestal. The FJ-3Ms deployed on the USS Randolph between 1958 - 1959. The USS Independence may have been used during the sixth fleet operations in the Med in January 1957, I cannot find proof of this though -sorry

The Fury's were later replaced by Crusaders, Phantoms and Tomcats.

Are you going to build the boat ?? ( asks he who has a loft full of unmade airfix kits)

Glad you are back in the saddle in your workshop and looking forward to more of your build. Cheers.

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  • 3 weeks later...

While all the other bits and pieces are coming together I decided to turn my attention to the drop tanks and Sidewinder installation. I made the club generic drop tank and found it was the incorrect shape for the FJ3 but it was a learning curve and taught me some new tricks. The sidewinder is also very different from our genernic plan. So using photos, models and more photos I designed a mounting for the AIM-9B as carried by the Fury's.

aim 9b mount plan draft.jpg

My prototype is made from a plasticard frame with foam surround and a final layer of balsa. It may sound heavy but the weight is currently 20g with the missile attached. The missile is made from A4 paper rolled around a 12mm knitting needle. My wife owns a wool shop so it was easy to source ! The paper was glued with pva and allowed to dry. There were two coats of polyurethane varnish allowed to dry and harden. Next a coat of white primer again allowed to dry. The fins were cut from 3mm balsa and secured with cyano. The missile is attached to the mounting at three points on the Fury FJ3 and I have emulated this with the fixing on the model.

So this is where I am at at the moment. Great fun ! (.....now where's that MIG ??)


Once this is done I will make the new shape drop tank, and that is going to be a challenge ! If anyone has any plans or drawings for the naval version I'd be glad to hear

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Excellent, Sacky!

The Sidewinder missile was so aptly named -- developed and tested in the harsh desert of China Lake, California. Deep in memory is the fearsome presence of The Sidewinder, a desert predator that pushed all the right buttons for many of us warped 1950s/60s kids in the USA. We first learned of it in the 1958 Walt Disney Productions' documentary THE LIVING DESERT.

And here's a fun little audio-visual foray into the Sidewinder's mystique!

Turn your audio UP! kuloukuloukulou


Edited By John H. Rood on 04/07/2020 19:01:46

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Excellent Roody, loved it! With all these learned articles I think we should rename our club the 'Power Scale Soaring University' ?? I have a couple of stories about the Smithsonian which I will endeavour to share with you on another occasion.

It has been difficult to find pictures of the mounting and the best images were in a video which I am sure everyone will enjoy - follow the link


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  • 2 months later...

The Fury FJ3 has a deeper nose than the Sabre and the shape is slightly different overall. The shape of the cockpit canopy is also a little less than straightforward Had I realised there were so many differences perhaps I would have stuck to an F86 variant ..................nah ! It was always gonna be Navy

Unfortunatley my deeper nose warped ever so slightly and I was not happy with the cockpit. There was no option and so I have had to rebuild it. The challenge of a redesigned front end was undertaken with reference to plans for the FJ3 and using as much of the sabre kit as I could modify to fit. I had used Gorilla glue originally, this time I stuck to cyano. For me the result looks better, meaner ! In this first picture the canopy is resting on the new shape with Captain Grey and the ejector seat in position. Compared with the real thing it doesn't look too far out - but yes, the seat is clearly wrong.

side on view.jpg

The rebuild also gave me an opportunity to redesign the cockpit and with the extra room to move the battery box forward hopefully saving weight at the balancing and trimming stage. The seat was slightly wrong and that has been rebuilt and primed just now waiting for the detail work.The pictures show the 'not quite right' incarnation and the (hopefully) improved version. Captain Grey says he is quite comfortable in the redesigned seat and can't wait to have some seatbelts fitted too ! For some reason he emphasized that ....... several times ?

Ejector seat


img_2934 seat reworking 2.jpg

As an aside I have been bothered by the visor on Captain Greys helmet. Fortunately I found one example that looked near identical on a navy Fury pilot, dated 1957, and feel mightily relieved that the dreaded scale police cannot get me for that one (Yes your honour, I will bring the said photgraphic evidence !!!)

Thanks for reading the continuing 'Greys Saga'

Keep safe everyone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This is a bit of a call for help really. Have any of you preped the fuselage with sanding sealer before using epoxy for the glass ?? My idea is to get the surface as smooth as possible with not to much absorption of the resin - due to a raised BMI.

There is a lot of info on the web but I have not found anything from 'our team' and our airframe so I'd really appreciate your thoughts.

Polyurethane has been mooted as a good way to prep balsa but having had experience with warping I was going to avoid using it until the surface had been sealed with epoxy, and then moving onto McGee's sauce, using the water based polyurethane, to finish.

I was going to avoid using P38, Steve McLaren has an impressive looking surface on his Sabre see his thread here:


It looks great but with my plane already 'obese' I am looking for weight savings.

Keep safe and keep well everyone.

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Hi David. I'm no expert but I would recommend that you should deal the balsa with something before you apply the resin. I used acrylic varnish with added talc (very similar the patent 'sauce' recommended by McG). But it's worth spending as much time as you can bear on getting the fuse shape right with lightweight balsa filler first. I ran out of patience, hence the need for the P38 at the end!

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Hi David,

I'm far from an expert either, but here's my approach in a nutshell.

I agree with Steve that after sanding your fuse to shape, my next step is taking care of any flat spots or planking joints with lightweight filler. I mix it with balsa dust and a few drops of diluted PVA (25%) to increase its adhesion to the balsa.

No real need to use a balsa sealer if you use Dirk's glassing method, i.e. bringing the glass on 'dry' and then wet it with epoxy through the cloth. One coat is enough, no need to fill the wave at all.

When your cloth starts to get 'transparent' it's more than enough; if your cloth becomes 'shiny/gloss', you 've been using too much epoxy...

The next step is to apply the Sauce which will cover the wave easily if applied in thin multiple coats with a little sanding in between. Very lightweight and a pleasure to sand smooth.

... of course, leaving everything to dry/cure correctly between the different steps above... angel

Cheers & keep safe, young man


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  • 4 months later...

Sorry if I seem to have gone quiet ! I have been watching the experienced peeps and trying to apply the learning to my overweight beastie. The reshaping of the canopy for the FJ3 has become almost an obsession. The tailplane root has also become something of a challenge to get right. Working backward the nose section now looks right. I still have to tidy up the air intake but its close. The canopy sits reasonably well - as it should I'm on my 5th version. The wing root is taking shape and the desired 6-3 wing has almost been achieved - we'll see what the scale police think (gulp). The airbrakes are not quite right so some attention required. The tailplane root  ARGGGGHHHHHH version 4 still looks wrong.

Well the images attached show the sauce covered airframe. There is an earlier picture shown, predominantly red, where I was developing the cockpit canopy shape. Excellent fun and I am still 110% enjoying this build.  Next week we will be working on the lines on the fuselage and wings. I'm looking forward to that.







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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 month later...

The post board has become very quiet as we approach the main event. I, for one, am looking forward to meeting everyone in Llandudno enormously and hope to pick up lots of tips and info as well as getting some memorable photos!  My build has not been without problems, having restarted the obsession after xx years. I have made plenty of mistakes some worse than others on my FJ3 but I am reasonably happy with the bodywork - although she is a  tad on the 'grossly overwight' side(its a re-learning curve). So a few details to complete before the photoshoot but I thought I'd drop a couple here now to show you what I've been up to 🙂





IMG_1387.thumb.jpg.b29a69240529ecc68be3270685b6e6fc.jpgIn this image I have been masking the lines for the tailplane detail.

The masking was sprayed with primer and then rubbed down providing a pretty good finish. maybe a bit weighty but I have given up on the diet.


















The next image shows the initial decal placement on the tail as well as some of the line detailing. The panel lines are being shaded with dilute umber acryic. This paint is also being used to detail other grubby bits of the plane.


















A grubby bit - a tad overcooked so I will hopefully revisit this before the weekend.





This next image shows how the front end is coming together. The modifications to make her an FJ-3 made a big impression weight wise here. I had used EPS foam to make the shape but underestimated how much mass was added using foam safe cyano and other glues. Simple mistakes but I hope I have learned a hard lesson. Again the dark umber is used to shade the panel lines.  The gun ports have worked quite well, notice how different they are to the Sabre version.















So there we are, a little update to hopefully inspire those in need of inspiration to get the job done. She aint' perfect but I am really pleased with what I have achieved.


I could not and would not have achieved this without this forum. Thank you All 🙂













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Despite some small problems I am delighted that my Fury FJ3 was able to get to the event. What a great bunch of people - knowledgable and helpful. Sadly missing some major contributors, i hope we can catch up in the future. Below are pictures taken for the event.


When I set out the plane was to be a well used FJ3M as scale as I could muster. It was a sharp learning curve with lots of mistakes, some which made it through to the end 😞  The pictures show the scale shape of the nose and 6-3 wing plus the canopy which  is all very different to the Sabre. Thoroughly delighted with this but the weight impact was significant. Gun ports are made with plasticard painted silver and recessed into the groove. The canopy opens to reveal the detailed cockpit and Captain Grey strapped in to a scale ejector seat. The gunsights and instruments are detailed with custom made photo quality decals.

Furthur back we have the airbrakes - again different to the F86 and they are made with internal detail courtesy of plasticard (Dirk you may notice similarities in our approach !) The hydraulic piston is made from plasticard with ball joints at each end. The fuselage was painted with Tamiya AS16 on top and AS20 underneath. The panel lines and grubby bits were then detailed with dark umber to simulate the grime of an aircraft in servce. The markings are made with printed decals, in future I will use a different method. A close up shows the detailng around the tailplane, a section that IMO worked well. The tailplane is a different shape to the F86 (it would be wouldn't it!) and also has stiffeners which are detailed.   The tailplane was shaped with reference to photos and models plus the excellent monogaph by Steve Ginter. The rudder is white as seen on many FJ3M images, probably through maintenace work. Also included is a  photo with the AIM-9B sidewinders, these will remotely detatch - well thats the plan. Andy Meade is able to supply all versions of the missile and so I will be looking to him to provide my ordnance.

The parting shot shows her 'On the ground in formation'

Perfect she isn't but all in all I am very happy with the effort, really happy, and one persons comment about her - 'That aeroplane looks the most used' - reassured me that my aim had been achieved.

Thanks to everyone for your supporrt and encouragement.













Edited by David Sack
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