1/48 Fonderie Miniature Blue Angels-Grumman F11F1 Tiger

Gallery Article by H. Davis Gandees on July 19 2021

 

      

The Grumman F11F1 Tiger was the first supersonic fighter flown by the US Navy during the 50s and 60s. It served with the Navy carrier fleet for only 4 years and 200 were built. It was flown by the Blue Angels team from 1957-1969.

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I think the Tiger is one of the most beautiful jet fighters flown by the US Navy. To me it is like a jet Bearcat, simple, compact, lightweight and powerful with a 16,300 fpm climb.

I saw the Blue Angels Tigers perform when I was 10 years old and had the opportunity to shake hands with Blues leader, Commander Zeb Knott, a highpoint in my childhood! This model represents his #1 Tiger, BuNo 141872.

The Model
The 1:48 Fonderie Miniature (FM), F11F1 Tiger was a limited production kit from France in the 1990s. The white metal and resin parts are quite nice, but the plastic appears to be low pressure injection molded that produced a somewhat grainy surface and an abundance of flash. The vacuformed canopy, (2 included) have flaws. Dipping it in Pledge made some improvement. I used the spare to trace out Tamiya tape masks. The model was painted with Tamiya TS-15 Blue, TS-34 Camel Yellow and TS-30 Silver Leaf. The kit decals performed well with warm water. I tested a sample with Tamiya clearcoat that crazed the decal, so no final clearcoat was used. The kit was challenging and took me 35 hours to complete. It is strange that The Tiger has not been offered by a current company.

H. Davis Gandees

Photos and text by H. Davis Gandees