Pro Resin 1/72 F2H-2/2B Banshee
KIT #:  R72-052
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin with vacuformed canopies


The McDonnell F2H Banshee was a single-seat carrier-based jet fighter aircraft deployed by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps from 1948 to 1961. It was one of the primary American fighters used during the Korean War and was the only jet-powered fighter ever deployed by the Royal Canadian Navy, serving the RCN from 1955 until 1962. The aircraft's name is derived from the banshee of Celtic mythology.

Despite the Navy's accepting the F2H-1, it was the more capable F2H-2 that was most widely used. With newer Westinghouse J34-WE-34 3,250 lbf (14.5 kN) thrust engines, it had improved performance. The wing was modified and strengthened to add provisions for 200 gal (760 l) wingtip fuel tanks; unlike the contemporary USN F9F Panther, the Banshee's wingtip tanks were detachable. Two armament pylons were added under each stub and outboard wing, for a total of eight, allowing the aircraft to carry a maximum stores load of 1,580 lb (454 kg), consisting of four 250 lb (113 kg) bombs and four 5-in (12.7 cm) unguided rockets. The “kneeling” nose gear was omitted from the F2H-2 and most other subsequent Banshee variants.

The F2H-2 was the foundation for three minor variants of the Banshee. The first, the F2H-2B, had strengthened wings and a strengthened inner pylon under the port-side wing to allow the craft to carry a 1,650 lb (748 kg) Mark 7 nuclear bomb or a 3,230 lb (1,465 kg) Mark 8 nuclear bomb. In order to compensate for the vastly increased load, the F2H-2B was fitted with stiffer landing gear struts and a pilot-switchable power booster for the ailerons; the latter was necessary so pilots could control a roll to the left with a heavy Mark 8 nuclear bomb fitted on the left-hand pylon. One 20 mm cannon was omitted to make room for additional electronics to arm the nuclear weapon. 333 F2H-2 and F2H-2B aircraft were built. 


ProResin kits have always been well molded and generally fit quite well. Their tan resin is fairly free from any casting errors, though one does find a pin hole from time to time. These parts are all in a sealed polybag and due to the weight of some of the parts, it is not uncommon to find some of the smaller bits have broken away from the pour stubs, though this one seemed to miraculously survive international mails with no problem.

Once the parts are removed from their pour stubs and any seams lightly sanded down, this kit builds like any styrene kit aside from needing super glue to assemble the kit. Some have gone the extra step of cleaning all the parts in warm soapy water or rubbing them down with lacquer thinner to remove molding release oils, but judging from past builds, that may well not be necessary as modern casting techniques have made those agents redundant. 

Detailing is excellent with fine, crisp engravings on the surface and well done inner detail cast into some parts. The ejection seat has the belts molded in place so just needs some painting to help things. The instructions show what looks to be a decal for the instrument panel, but none is provided. None is really needed as the detail on the resin panel is very good. Landing gear is well done with the proper number of struts and bits. The kit does have some very small parts so beginners should look elsewhere for their first resin kit.

The tip tanks have separate nose caps while the intakes and exhaust have reasonably good depth. There are intake compressor pieces that can be installed to add detail. These fit into one-piece wing ses some early -2Ns had the kneeling nose gear feature, Pro Resin offers that as an option. ctions which then butt to the fuselage. The fin and tail planes are separate butt fit pieces as well. One thing that I am not fond of is that the lower canopy frame is resin while the clear part is separate. I have never been able to successfully join these two pieces even in a styrene kit without a visible join area.

The kit comes with a goodly weapons load of two bombs and six rockets. These fit on eight pylons that are glued to the underside of the wings. It is a pretty hefty load so the distance to the target would have to be very short for such a load. Most often then either carried rocket or bombs, but not often both. There are two clear vac canopies given and if you want to pose the canopy open, this must be cut. The instructions state that 10 grams of nose weight will be needed. The instructions show the kneeling nose gear option, but that was not part of the -2 Banshee

Instructions are well done with color references in Humbrol, Modelmaster and Revell paints. The two options are overall gloss sea blue, including the wells, gear and struts. These aircraft had  unpainted metal leading edges and tank tips. Markings are well printed, but here is a quandary. My kit came without instructions or a painting guide. An e-mail to ProResin got a scan of the instructions with a promise of a scan of the markings guide "in a few days". Several e-mails and many weeks later, still no markings guide. It seems that there are markings for two planes. I can see right away that there is a problem. If the box art plane is correctly marked, then the decals have the trim in the wrong color. E-mails from those who know more than I have verified that the decal sheet is correct in the colors being used. There is an ancient decal sheet by Microscale on the Banshee that fits the Airfix kit. It may be useful to hunt that one up if you wish other options.

It all makes for a nice model and an interesting comparison to the ancient Airfix kit.  Many of us were hoping that a more modern injected plastic kit would be available, but it is hard to beat the detail in this ProResin kit. Recommended for experienced modelers due to the small parts.


February 2012

Thanks to ProResin for the preview kit. If your dealer does not carry it, have them order it for you.

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