Superscale 72-197: F-106A + a T-33
|$2.50 when new|
|Notes:||Photos via Mark Williams and Scott Van Aken|
Following up on the recent ADC F-106 and T-33 decal reviews here’s the old Superscale, nee Microscale, sheet for three, Air National Guard F-106As including bonus markings for an 87th FIS T-33A hack all in 1/72 scale. The Hasegawa F-106A was/is recommended for this sheet (groan – only game in town) and if you find this sheet, you’re pretty much committed to it. Our friendly, local editor commented on the F-106 kit in his review of 72-092 and I totally agree. The Hasegawa, 1/72 T-33A in USAF markings is what I’d recommend for those markings. Both kits are readily available though the current T-33A kit is listed as a limited release. I haven’t seen it but the original wasn’t too bad and I imagine this one is the same mold. All F-106s and the T-33 are painted in overall ADC Gloss Gray FS16473. Wheel wells are chromate green for the Darts and possibly chromate yellow for the T-Bird. I’ve seen the T-33s in either color. See www.f-106deltadart.com and www.convairf-106deltadart.com for the best on-line F-106 references available.
I’ve always liked these old F-106 decal sheets, as Superscale was able to squeeze as many jets possible onto them and provide plenty of stencils. A few may need some of the carrier film trimmed up a bit - instruments in particular. I previously used the T-33 instrument decals which needed trimmed but are okay for the most part. The F-106 instrument decals are just plainly too big. Add some self-made, custom sheet styrene for the front instruments or use kit decals. Trim up the side decals for them to fit in the Hasegawa kit. It’s hard to see in there anyway. On this sheet there are enough stencils to detail at least two of the three F-106s less the national insignia. This was standard for all the old Superscale F-106 sheets. None are provided for the T-33 so you’ll need a kit with USAF stencils for it. Unlike a lot of Superscale instructions you can actually read most of the stencil instructions on this one! Only port side views are provided for unit markings and a split, upper/lower view is drawn only for the F-106. Common stencils “generally” mirror each other but use your references.
On to the markings!
is a 119th FIS F-106A of the New Jersey ANG. Based then as now out
of Atlantic City they flew the Dart longer than any other guard unit – 1972 to
1988 – and in fact was the last, Air Defense F-106 user finally exchanging them
for the F-16, which they still fly today. These are the original, “Jersey
Devils” markings and like the other Sixes here are the only ones I’ve seen in
this scale. Unlike most other F-106 units the 119th used its parent
group’s “devil” emblem – the 177th FIG – on their jets with the ANG
badge. Photographed in this line up from the mid-70s “240” stands ready to
defend Atlantic City. As a side note, 57-0240 was one of two F-106s converted
to the YF-106C advanced radar model though it was used only as a static test bed
in that configuration. (57-0239 was the flying test bed and was later destroyed
in fatigue testing.) Subsequently converted back to the “A” configuration,
“two-four-zero” was assigned to the 27th FIS and later the 95th
FIS before being turned over to the New Jersey ANG. She ended her days as a
drone shot down by an AIM-9P on 2 Dec 93.
Next is a squadron with some of my favorite F-106 markings - the 186th FIS, Montana “Big Sky Country” ANG based out of Great Falls. The 186th maintained a detachment at Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ as well. Like the 119th they too now fly the F-16. The 186th was the first guard unit to fly the Six in April 1972 and gave them up in 1987. The brilliant blue of these markings are what really appeal to me and the fact I frequently saw these jets at the Fairchild AFB open houses in the early 1980s. These markings include the unit’s Outstanding Unit Award decal as well as the ADC “A” Award pennant. 57-2485 - one of the first two F-106s assigned to the 186th - later sported commander’s stripes as seen in the photo. Montana did not use unit insignia on their F-106s preferring the ANG badge on both sides of the tail. The wing tanks unique insignia carried their parent group name, 120th FIG, and home base location. Succumbing to a broken wing spar during the drone program 57-2485 was written off on 26 Apr 93. If you want to see her today, get your diving certification - she’s about 112’ down in the Gulf of Mexico sunk intentionally with two other Darts on 25 Sep 95 creating an artificial reef.
The last F-106A on this sheet is an equally eye-pleasing example from the 194th FIS, California ANG, Fresno ANG Base. Again, they too are now an F-16 unit. The 194th FIS/144th FIG flew the Dart from 1974 to 1984 trading them in for the F-4D – ‘til 1989 - and since then the Fighting Falcon. Very original and simple, but requiring work from the model builder, these markings are some of the most beautiful any unit used. Must have drove someone crazy because in 1982 the 194th went to an equally simple but really boring blue tail stripe with TAC and squadron markings. I don’t know if that had anything with them dropping from 1st at William Tell 80 wearing these markings to 4th at William Tell 82! The modeler must paint the upper tail gloss white, lower tail and speed brakes gloss red, then apply the decals. Additionally you’ll have to paint the wing tanks stripe and nose gloss red as no decals are provided. (No FS numbers are provided.) The bear on my sheet looks a bit lighter than photos but may look better when applied. 58-0790 ran off the runway during a drone mission on 30 Nov 93 and I presume she was written off and scrapped.
Lastly on this very busy sheet is a bonus, T-33A in early 87th FIS markings. The 87th became an F-106 operator when the 11th FIS out of Duluth IAP, MN was deactivated, then renamed in 1968 during a shakeup in the ADC. Moving to K.I. Sawyer AFB, MI in 1971 the 87th became one of the more famous F-106 units in large part due to their original paint scheme. Inactivated in 1985 they now live on as the 87th FTS, a Laughlin AFB, TX based T-38 training unit. Kind of a neat addition to this otherwise all-National Guard sheet it has the rare “bull in the arrow” decals for the 87th hack tip tanks. Front and side instrument panels are included for the front and rear seats as well as the unique “Red Bull” tail marking, squadron, and ADC insignia. Unlike the Experts-Choice 1/48 T-33 decals I reviewed, this tail decal includes the rudder extension marking. Again, all other stencils and national markings need to come from another source.
If you can find this old sheet I’m sure you’ll want to use all of these markings.
A. Dorr, Robert F., with Terry Panopalis, “Convair F-106 Delta Dart – The Ultimate Interceptor,” Wings of Fame, Volume 12, 1998, pp. 36-97
B. Foster, Peter R., USAF Fighter Interceptor Squadrons, Osprey Aerospace, London, 1994
C. Kinzey, Bert, F-106 Delta Dart in Detail and Scale, (D&S, v. 13), Aero Publishers, Fallbrook, CA, 1983
Reviewed November 2002
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