After getting a nasty surprise during the Korean War from the Soviet MiG-15, the US Navy began looking for swept-wing replacements for their straight wing jets, the F2H Banshee and F9F Panther. Also necessary was a true all-weather, high performance fighter, one that would be missile capable--not just with the heatseeking AIM-9 Sidewinder, but the radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow. McDonnell submitted the F3H Demon.
The Demon's design owed some to McDonnell's other very successful interceptor, the land-based USAF F-101 Voodoo. As such, it was rather unconventional in appearance. Development was plagued with engine problems, and by the time these were solved, the Demon was already becoming obsolescent in the face of the F-4 Phantom II and F-8 Crusader. As a result, the Demon did not stay in fleet service for long. While engine reliability continued to be a problem, the Demon had decent manueverability and good speed; the forward position of the canopy also gave it good visibility in combat, to the point that pilots nicknamed the F3H the "Chair." The Demon's biggest flaw was that it finally reached operational status just as the aircraft designed to replace it approached that point.
F3Hs briefly operated off the USS Yorktown following the Quemoy Crisis, flying with VF-193 ("Ghostriders," later the F-4/F-14 equipped VF-142). This F3H-2 modeled here is armed with four AIM-9B Sidewinders and carries standard US Navy camouflage of the time. The kit used is the 1/72 Emhar F3H.