Convair XFY-1 Pogo in 1/72 Scale

The Convair XFY-1 Pogo was a US Navy experimental prototype which flew in 1954.  It was designed as a shipboard VTOL aircraft which was to provide small combatants and even merchant ships with an air defense capability.   While the prototype flew successfully it proved difficult to land vertically on shore bases, to say nothing of the much more challenging shipboard environment for which it was intended.  It was also outclassed by the rapid advances in aviation of the time, for example the MiG-21 would first fly the next year in 1955.

In pictures of the real aircraft you can see various metal panels, but no panel lines.  The recessed panel lines on the KP kit are very prominent.  I sprayed them with Mr. Surfacer 500, which is ideal for this kind of job.  The model has a scratchbuilt cockpit with Eduard belts, Albion tube pitots, and the castor wheels were drilled out and rebuilt with wire stock and tube.  The kit canopy is excellent, a nice surprise.  Decals were a low point, and there is no help from the aftermarket on this one.  Almost all the markings are scaled incorrectly in size or layout.  For example, the Convair logo behind the cockpit is twice the size it should be.  The NAVY lettering is the wrong size and spacing.  The white bar (or is it a “1”?) under the cockpit is missing, as are the white outlines on the canopy frames.  Ironically, the art on the back of the box has accurate marking dimensions.  I replaced what I could, and will just have to live with the rest.  Other than that, a relatively simple build of an aircraft you don’t see everyday.