Book Review: Detail & Scale FJ Fury Part 1; Prototypes Through FJ-3 Variants by Bert Kinzey and Rock Roszak

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Summary and Details:
Title and ISBN: Detail & Scale: FJ Fury Part 1: Prototypes Through FJ-3 Variants
By Bert Kinzey, art by Rock Roszak
Detail & Scale Aviation Publication
ISBN: 979-8-5241309-4-5
Contents and Media: Print Format; Print, iBook and Kindle
Price: Print editions; $19.99, digital editions; $12.99
Review Type: First Read
Advantages: Well written and detailed; high quality photography, profile artwork; included modeling section
Conclusion: Recommended for its style, historical reference, high quality photography; detail and color profile drawings; excellent kit reviews.
How to Order: www.detailandscale.com; Amazon or Sprue Brothers, https://spruebrothers.com/

Reviewed by Don Linn
FJ Fury; Part 1 Prototypes Through FJ-3 Variants is the latest new book from Detail & Scale by Bert Kinzey, art by Rock Roszak, and is part one of a two part series. I must confess I do have an affinity for early US Navy jets and this updated Fury book, originally published in 2003 as FJ Fury in Detail & Scale, is a welcome addition to my library. You will find this is a significantly expanded version of the original 2003 publication. Immediately catching my attention is the striking front color photo of an FJ-3 in overall Gloss Sea Blue, representative of the 1950’s US Navy paint schemes, with red lightning bolts on the nose and a red and white checkerboard tail and wing tips of the Fleet Air Gunnery Unit (FAGU). This beautiful scheme would look excellent on a built up model of the Fury.

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As with all Detail & Scale books, they appeal to both aviation enthusiasts and model builders for the in-depth coverage of the design and development as well as fleet assignments of the subject aircraft. The excellent photography and color renderings are a key ingredient to the success and appeal of the Detail & Scale books and serve to illustrate the book’s chapters, and provide the detail images needed in accurate model building. I know from personal experience that the authors take great pains in searching for high quality and never before published photography to illustrate each book, and this updated FJ Fury edition is a great example of this effort. The photography is sharp and crisp printed on high quality semi-gloss paper and packed with images of squadron jets and details of every aspect of the Fury inside and out. Many of the detail images are the result of special permission given by museums to Detail & Scale photographers to capture the details of their respective restored jets that would otherwise be unavailable.

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Kinzey methodically covered the Fury’s history from prototype to the FJ-3, each section illustrated with high quality photography and detail drawings of each specific variant. Noteworthy are some of the historic events that occurred in each variant’s development. An example being the first carrier trials for the FJ-1 which took place in March of 1948. What is unusual is that instead of the NATC conducting the initial carrier trials, VF-5A deployed two of their FJ-1s aboard USS Boxer, CV-21. Thus VF-5A gains a place in aviation history as the first jet fleet squadron to conduct operations off a US Navy carrier. Three months later, in May 1948, VF-5A deployed aboard USS Princeton, CV-37 with eight of their FJ-1s for squadron qualifications. “The trials were disastrous”, as Kinzey writes, “and included several barrier crashes. One aircraft landed hard on the flight deck and broke off the left wing, as the rest of the aircraft, including the pilot, went into the sea.” This is one example of the Fury story.

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The kit reviews are an essential and expected part of each Detail & Scale book. For the Fury there are few models available of this historically important aircraft as noted in the first paragraph in the Modelers Section. However, Kinzey and other respected modelers, have provided kit reviews for each of the Fury models available. The kit reviews discuss each kit separately pointing out the quality of the kit and inaccurate aspects of the model it represents and is accompanied with an image of the built up model. Fortunately Kinzey and the model builders who contributed their modeling skills and reviews of specific kits point out the problems, none of which are overwhelming for the experienced builder. It is hoped one of today’s model manufacturers takes the lead to produce an accurate model of the Fury. A 1/48th or 1/32nd scale model of the FJ-2 or -3 in the markings of the Fleet Air Gunnery Unit (FAGU) would be a welcome addition for any modeler.

In closing I found the FJ Fury Part 1; Prototypes Through FJ-3 Variants to be an excellent value and an ideal reference tool for the model builder. It is filled with high quality photography, detail and profile drawings by Rock Roszak, and an easy to read and informative history of this important aircraft, and along with the detailed kit reviews, is highly recommended.

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