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Gene K

Hobbyboss 1/72 Panther

28 posts in this topic

BoxArt.jpg

I just received the new 1/72 Panther (and Seahawk) from Lucky Model - here's the link which shows price, shipping, sprues, and decals:

http://www.luckymodel.com/scale.aspx?item_no=HB-87248 . My order took seven days to get to Florida.

Box art and Instruction sheets can be found here:

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10140675

In the US, you can get it here from Squadron for about $10 more:

http://www.squadron.com/ItemDetails.asp?item=HY87248

Summary: Nice boxart; good instructions; very good packaging (for example, clear canopy is wrapped in thin foam as well as being in a sealed plastic bag); very good decals; and excellent molding (thankfully The Riveter and Trencher spared this one).

Molds: The plastic is perfect in terms of hardness/softness - easy to work. The engraving is excellent and, I think, just right for this scale. Clear parts are crystal clear. I found no sink marks, and the sprue attachment points are well placed so as not to cause problems when detaching pieces (the attachment points are raised on the parts's mating surfaces, so surface detail is not obscured when sanding them off).

External stores include six 100# and two 500# bombs, as well as six 5" rockets.

The cockpit is nicely done with raised side panels and an engraved instrument panel (a decals for the panel is also provided).

CockpitInst.jpg

Cockpit-1.jpg

InstPanel.jpg

The nose wheel is separate from the strut and nicely done.

Extras: There are no provisions for folded wings, nor are there separate ailerons, flaps or speedbrakes - hopefully Wolfpack will come through.

Fit: Excellent! Only two things to note: 1) When gluing the intake pieces to the inside of the wing, make sure you have them positioned correctly as shown - or the wing/fuselage fit will be...... terrible!!!

IntakePosition.jpg

2) Note that the instructions have you glue the bottom wing to the fuselage, then the tops to the wing. If you assemble the wings before attaching them to the fuselage, you have to spread them to clear the fuselage ridges...BUT, the plastic is very flexible, so not much of a challenge.

Fit1a.jpg

Fit2.jpg

Accuracy: Definitely looks the part, but my Panther refs are on loan, so I only compared it to the Detail & Scale drawings and some select photos - spot on with perhaps only the canopy being a little too flat . I have not built the Trumpeter 1/48 kit (rivets put me off), so I don't know the shortcomings of that kit to compare it to this little 1/72 brother... but I'll dig out a Hasegawa kit tomorrow for comparison.

I'm a bit disappointed that HB choose the -2 version since we already have the (old but OK) Hasegawa. On the other hand the (old but OK) Matchbox -5 is hard to find, so hopefully we'll see a HobbyBoss -4/-5 with the taller tail, lengthened fuselage, and revised intakes! At any rate, in that the clear sprue has camera windows, we'll undoubtedly see a F9F-2P

All in all a great little kit certainly worth the small cost!!

Gene K

Edited by Gene K

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Looks like a nice kit but I don't know yet. Something telling me this has to be a Trumpeter mold.

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Good stuff, Gene! :thumbsup:

Regarding the Matchbox Panther, I think it's currently available in a RoG rebox (CLICKY!).

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Nicely done Gene. Hope a Cougar and Twogar are not far behind.

Thanks, Norm. A Cougar and Twogar to this quality would be great, to say the least!

Gene K

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Regarding the Matchbox Panther, I think it's currently available in a RoG rebox (CLICKY!).

Thanks for that link, Moritz. Reminded me why I won't be getting it again to use for conversion parts.

Gene K

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Holy smokes...where was this blasted thing when I was doing my 1/72 history of the Jolly Rogers?! It's the same as the Crusader; literally 6 months after I finished converting the old Hasegawa F-8 into a "C" version, Academy came out with its fantastic release!!! :soapbox:

P.S. as far as the Matchbox 4/5, I've done that one, and I think you're MUCH better off using the old Superscale resin rudder replacement(got a couple left) and inserting a fuselage plug. I did that with the Hasegawa, along with the mostly-excellent Eduard metal set, plus Aeroclub's white metal gear, and I must say the results were truly amazing! With this new kit, it'd be a dream!

Edited by Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy

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Hey Gene - very impressive kit, and a very well written and illustrated review! Thank you!

John

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...where was this blasted thing when I was doing my 1/72 history of the Jolly Rogers?!

The release was delayed pending your finishing the history.... :coolio:

... you're MUCH better off using the old Superscale resin rudder replacement....

I've never seen that set - can you take a photo, please?

Gene K

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The cockpit and ejection seat detail is much better than the Hasegawa kit which has only decals and a very vague seat. I'm interested enough to get one. Thanks for posting the pics.

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I'm interested enough to get one.

I don't think you'd be disappointed at all! I pulled out a Hasegawa Panther and did some comparing, and the two kits line up pretty well...but the details on the HobbyBoss are decades ahead (naturally). Here are a couple of comparison shots:

Has6.jpg

As you can see, there is more detail on the HobbyBoss kit and it's more refined. The front of the HB kit is obviously fatter...I'll break out some refs to compare this evening.

Has5Wings.jpg Note: I cut/drilled out the pylon attachment points but haven't cleaned them up yet - my rough handiwork, and not HB.

HasCanopy1.jpg The HB canopy is very slightly longer and wider.

HasCanopy2.jpg

Again - I can't comment on accuracy...yet, but a quick look indicates the HB kit is better in outline. One thing for sure,though, The Jennings will poo poo any refs I have.

Gene K

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The HB canopy is very slightly longer and wider.

HasCanopy2.jpg

Again - I can't comment on accuracy...yet, but a quick look indicates the HB kit is better in outline. One thing for sure,though, The Jennings will poo poo any refs I have.

If it's a direct scale-down of the 1/48 Trumpeter kit, I've always thought there was something wonky with the canopy and this one doesn't look right either.

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Hobby Boss kits just seem to be getting better and better. Might have to add this one to the collection. Thanks for posting this.

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Hmmm...vertical tail almost looks straight-edged enough to be a -5...it's a -2 looking at the top, but got some -5ish shape to it as well, I think....

Gotta say, still absolutely the finest 1/72 early Grumman jet 'cat for sure! :thumbsup:

Edited by Andrew D. the Jolly Rogers guy

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Hmmm...vertical tail almost looks straight-edged enough to be a -5...it's a -2 looking at the top, but got some -5ish shape to it as well, I think....

A little.Here's an overlay using the Famous Aircraft Of The World #10 drawings (which match up well with the Detail & Scale drawings):

Overlay1.jpg (Right Click -> View Image then Ctrl/Scroll Wheel to enlarge)

Looks "almost perfect" to me, my only reservation being the canopy which may be a little flat at the point of the red arrow in the picture above. I have the Falcon 1/72 Set No.4: US Navy, 1940s-1950s that I need to look at.

I like it!

Gene K

P.S. J. Yes, I understand and appreciate that drawings (and/or photographs)aren't always accurate representations, yada, yada, yada, but I give credit to the technicians who did the FAOW drawings... which, to my eye, appear to match photographs (to the extent I can discern and tolerate). End of disclaimer.

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If it's a direct scale-down of the 1/48 Trumpeter kit, I've always thought there was something wonky with the canopy and this one doesn't look right either.

Greetings, JC...long time!

Do you have any links to reviews of the 1/48 kit that address problems with that kit?

Gene K

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Greetings, JC...long time!

Do you have any links to reviews of the 1/48 kit that address problems with that kit?

Hey Gene, been wondering where you'd been lately! :hmmm::lol:

I know it was discussed quite a bit on HS when that kit came out. The break between the windscreen and the canopy is angled forward (as shown in your graphic above), but on the 1/48 kit (and now apparently this new 1/72), it is straight up and down vertically. Look at the angle of the Hasegawa windscreen in the back of your picture and you'll see the difference.

The windscreen itself also looks to be oversized somehow (to my eye) but I've never been able to put my finger on what the issue is. I just know that the Monogram 1/48 kit has always looked better in this department. The other thing that has bothered me with the Trumpeter kit is that the main wheels look under-size to me, but since I don't do 1/48, have never done any kind of measuring to check.

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The break between the windscreen and the canopy is angled forward (as shown in your graphic above), but on the 1/48 kit (and now apparently this new 1/72), it is straight up and down vertically.

Nice catch,J.C.. I was reading a review on the 1/48 kit ( http://www.cybermodeler.com/hobby/builds/hc/build_hc_1421.shtml ) that states that Trumpeter fixed that problem in their 1/48 kit. Apparently, HobbyBoss reverted back - the angle of the vertical frame should definitely be perpendicular to the base of the canopy. Easy enough to sand the windscreen and canopy to the right angle and to rescribe the frames, but annoying that Hobbyboss made that error - again.

The other thing that has bothered me with the Trumpeter kit is that the main wheels look under-size....

Yup, looks like the HobbyBoss kit also has small wheels (as compared to 3 sets of drawings and the Hasegawa kit), but I don't have any measurements of the 1:1 wheel diameter.

Another problem that reviews of the 1/48 Trumpeter kit point out is that the intake areas are too small - eyeballing the Hobbyboss kit, the intakes look a little small, but not by very much. The intakes could also use blanking plates, but it would take a very fastidious IPMS judge with a flashlight and magnifying mirror to spot it. Nevertheless, easy to fix.

So.....the canopy error is the only significant problem I see that really needs fixin'. The wheels may prove to be too small, but I don't have the proper refs at hand to make a call.

I still like it - a lot!

Gene K

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The break between the windscreen and the canopy is angled forward (as shown in your graphic above)

Just to expound (or plain pound) on the canopy error/fix, here are some comparisons that better show "the problem":

CanopyComparison1.jpg

CanopyComparison2.jpg Note differences in length.

As I said, the easy fix is a sanding stick and the rescribe of a couple of frame lines, but here's another fix, if you happen to have a spare Hasegawa Cougar canopy:

CanopyFit2.jpg The Hasegawa Cougar fit is almost perfect.

CanopyFit1.jpg A little will have to be sanded from the rear.

I stumbled on the Cougar canopy as I was laying out a conversion of the HobbyBoss kit to a later -5, possibly using the Cougar tail. In that regard, I came across Tommy Thomason's excellent blog here: http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2009/10/grumman-panther.html . I suggest reading his other blog entries - a real treasure house!!!

Gene K

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Great photo comparisons Gene!

Is there a difference in the height of the Hobbyboss canopy versus the Hasegawa? It seems like it might be a little too tall.

That windscreen definitely has issues going on with the forward frame bars too. They seem too wide at the base and bowed too much at the sides. The addition of the additional plastic at the back at the top also puts the back of the frame bars too far forward where they curve in. It almost looks like a Mig-15/17 windscreen grafted to a Panther.

I just don't understand why stuff like this is so difficult for these companies. :fight:

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J.C.,

Sorry for the delayed response - I've been out of town.

Is there a difference in the height of the Hobbyboss canopy versus the Hasegawa? It seems like it might be a little too tall.

Here's my photo trying to show the RELATIVE (not necessarily correct) heights:

CanopyComparisonHeight.jpg Not sure I want to draw conclusions at this point since Tommy Thomason will likely address this issue further in his forthcoming blog on the HobbyBoss kit. This picture does, however, show how flat the HobbyBoss canopy is (viewed from the side).

Tommy will undoubtedly have the best answer to the canopy situation, especially since he indicates that the Hasegawa canopies also have problems. In that regard, here are some comments he posted on the 72ndscaleUSmilair@yahoogroups.com newsgroup :

I took a quick look at the Hobbyboss F9F-2 Panther kit... I'm impressed. There are a few small nits. In my opinion, the top of the vertical fin could be a bit wider and more rounded; the wing trailing edge shouldn't go straight out to the tip tank but curve forward slightly at the outboard end; and the gun gas vents in the nose, the tip tank lights, and the trim tab actuator fairing on the underside of the left wing should not be as prominent. The suck-in door on the top of the fuselage ahead of the aft fuselage join should be straight across the bottom: the mid-length change in direction was a -5 requirement due to its longer engine. Another F9F-5 feature that shouldn't be there is the little vent on the transition of the fuselage to the vertical fin as well as the misrepresentation of the small F9F-5 suck-in door just ahead of it. However, the length is spot on for the -2, as opposed to the -5, and it comes very, very close to capturing the odd shape of the underside of the F9F-2 vertical fin, among other nuances that indicate close attention to replicating the real article. There's quite a bit more detail than in the Hasegawa kit, which has its share of problems with the canopy as well.

I think Tommy is one of THE experts on the Panther/Cougar series, so I'm confident he'll have the definitive word on this kit when he posts to his blog: http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2011/05/172nd-f9f-2-panther.html . I've already given a link to his Panther/Cougar blog above (http://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2009/10/grumman-panther.html).

Gene K

Edited by Gene K

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This picture does, however, show how flat the HobbyBoss canopy is.

Okay, that's what it is that I couldn't put my finger on! The canopy on the 1/48 kits has always just looked too large to my eye and that would explain why!

No offense to anyone excited about this new kit and regardless of problems the Hasegawa kit has itself, I personally just think that the Hasegawa looks more "Pantherish," but that's just me. :dontknow:

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Well, I was going to give a heads up that Sprue Brothers had the kit in stock, but it sold out almost immediately after I received notification that it was in. The price is excellent, and Sprue Bros has a feature that you can be notified when the kit's in stock again - see here:

http://store.spruebrothers.com/172-hobby-boss-f9f-2-panther-87248-p27189.aspx

Gene K

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Damn fine Panther, but indeed it is a mystery why state-of-the-art brand slap-me new items have these silly little 'issues'.

PJ Productions did a vac-form fix for the 1/48 Trumpy canopy; maybe they'll snag this one too. But while I'm good to go power-shopping with the best of them for more detail, wing-fold bits, etc. I'm not happy doing it just to correct a mistake that the kit manufacturer should have jumped on.

Of course, I'm willing to forget the whole sorry affair if HB or Trumpeter will bestow 1/48 Banshees (the -3/4 model most crucially), Cougars and Twogars upon us within my lifetime.

Make it quick, guys -mid 50s and 20 a day...*hack*!

Edited by ChippyWho

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Thanks for the review Gene. I picked up one of these neat looking kits during my vacation this week in the Bay Area. Gotta love Ace Harware in Berkeley. Great selection of kits in the basement.

Now I just have to figure out what I want to do about the canopy...

-Derek

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