3 April 2015: A new resin XF6U kit has been announced by Prop&Jet, a company previously unknown to me that is located in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic. Their kits appear to be of excellent quality so I'm eager to get one.
Back to the original post:
Admiral has produced a welcome pair of newly tooled 1/72 kits of the F6Us. For a good build article and comparison with the Pavla kit, see http://s362974870.onlinehome.us/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=249413. Derek Olson made some notable improvements to the kit such as reshaping the fences on the horizontal stabilizer, relocating the tip tank mounting, creating and adding clear lenses to the tip tanks, drilling out the 20 mm cannon ports, replacing the nose wheel, and substituting the Pavla vacuform canopy for the kit's injection molded one. The result is an excellent model:
The Admiral kits are designated as Early and Late but the only difference between them appears to be the markings provided. I've only seen the box art and photographs of the sprues (see http://www.hyperscale.com/2012/reviews/kits/admiral7211reviewmd_1.htm) so this is preliminary, but it looks like there was some confusion about the configuration and markings in the Early kit.
The box art for the Early version depicts the XF6U that was retrofitted with the afterburner except that it has the longer production forward fuselage.
The XF6Us and production F6Us also had slightly different sliding canopies to accommodate the pressurization and ejection seat that were added to the production airplanes.
The Later version is more representative of actual aircraft in configuration and markings.
Also see http://smm.solidmodelmemories.net/Gallery/displayimage.php?pid=826
Steve Ginter has published a comprehensive monograph on the F6U in his Naval Fighters series.