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Republic F-84F Thunderstreak

3 Apr

Republic F-84F Thunderstreak,rc airplanes

Scale: 1:48 Kit type: Injection moulded Decal options: (four) JaboG 33, Buchel, Germany 1962 and JaboG 31, Norvenich, Germany, 1959, Luftwaffe; No. 12 Wing, Belgian air force, Kleine Brogel, Belgium, 1960; ‘Dash Four’ aerobatic team, KLu, Nellis AFB, Nevada, USA, 17 April 1959 UK price: £12.99 Website: www. revell. de

It is always good to welcome back old friends, and this kit is certainly no exception. First released in 1984 by Monogram, with markings for two USAF machines, Revell Germany has now re-issued it with four European air force markings. Checking the moulds indicated no problems or signs of tool wear, and the transparencies, always a high point in Monogram kits, are wrapped separately to protect them from scratching. Surface detailing is by fine, raised panel lines, characteristic of Monogram kits at that time. The instruction sheet is greatly expanded, now running to eleven pages, and the decal sheet, of which more anon, features well over 250 items.

Construction starts with the cockpit area, comprising a one-piece bath, to which is added the control column, emergency hydraulic pump assembly, a multi-part ejection seat and instrument panel. All these parts are well detailed, and will repay careful painting. The decal sheet features instrument panel detail, but as the mouldings have a wealth of fine engraved and raised detail, this is probably best discarded and paint used instead. I suspect that it would be a nightmare trying to get the decals to accurately align and settle onto the plastic parts. Some additional cockpit detail is also moulded into the fuselage sides. After completing the intake splitter and tailpipe assemblies these are added to the fuselage halves before joining. Revell has also wisely advised the placing of at least 35 g (1.2 oz) (not provided) of weight in the forward fuselage to avoid the model tail sitting when completed. You may find that a little trimming is required, particularly around the intake splitter/ nose wheel bay assembly, to ensure a good fit for the fuselage halves.

Wing and tailplane assembly follows, and the interlocking tabs on both ensure accurate fitting of these to the fuselage. A minimum of filler was needed, and this only on the underside of the wing/fuselage joint. The fuselage mounted speed brakes can be positioned open or closed, and fit very well in either position, with good interior detailing. The wing pylons are multi-parted, and care should be used when fitting these to the wing underside since the location holes will need to be opened up a little, and there are slight gaps, which need attention, between the wing underside and pylons. A nice touch is the inclusion of sway braces on the pylons, although these are a little on the heavy side. A full load of both 450- and 230-US gal fuel tanks and two 1,000-lb bombs is provided. While working on the underside of the model some of the undercarriage components can be fitted, but I would suggest that you leave off the nose gear and main wheels until after painting has been completed. If you are posing the cockpit canopy in the open position, I would advise that this also be left off until later, although now is the time to fit the windscreen and aft canopy. As a bonus, Revell has also provided a ground handling trolley, which has obvious possibilities for a diorama.

Painting comes next, with options for two natural metal and two camouflaged machines. The instructions only provide details for the relevant Revell paints, and no German RAL or American F. S. details. This is really rather frustrating, since German Thunderstreaks had at least two different colours applied to their undersides at various times while in service, as well as an overall natural metal finish. Careful double-checking of available references is needed, and I ended up painting my JaboG 33 machine with Xtracolor Olivegrun (RAL6003) and Basaltgrau (RAL7002) upper surfaces, and Silbergrau (RAL7001) on the underside. It is possible that this particular machine may have had Weissaluminium (RAL9006) on the underside at some point in its career. Decal placement comes next, and this decal sheet is a tour de force, being much more comprehensive than that offered in the original issue of this kit. As well as the major markings and national insignia, all the stencilling is represented, and is legible. The instruction sheet gives details of each item’s placement, and I reckon you will need between four and five hours just to get everything in place! I would give two tips here, firstly, as each item is positioned, cross it off on the instruction sheet, so you know that a particular decal has been used, and secondly carefully trim the decal film from the inside of the warning markings around the intakes on the fuselage – this will ensure that the decal will fit snugly when applied. The decals settled down easily on to the Xtracolor gloss surface without the need for decal setting solutions. A surprising omission was the yellow lining to represent the jointing compound around the transparencies, which was so prominent on these aircraft. Stencils are also provided for the drop tanks, but not for the bombs. ProModeler, by Monogram, issued a rather nice decal sheet for World War II/Korean War ordnance (88101200200) which would remedy this deficiency, if you can find it. Once all the decals are in place, an overall coat of Xtracolor matt varnish tones everything down nicely. A useful reference when modelling this aircraft is the Aerofax Minigraph 15, which gives wide photographic coverage, as well as an interesting text describing development and service history. This aircraft was certainly a very political animal. This is an excellent example of a re-issued kit that has stood the test of time well, with a good fit of parts, attractive finishes and a superlative decal sheet. Welcome back.

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