Whirlykits 1/72 YF-102

KIT #: ?
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Martin Pohl
NOTES: Resin with metal parts and vacuformed canopy


The Convair F-102 all- interceptor was the first delta-winged combat aircraft in the world to enter service. It was also the world's first interceptor capable of supersonic performance in level flight. It was the first fighter to have an all-missile armament provided as standard from the very start of the initial design. It was also the first manned interceptor designed from the outset as the principal component of a weapon system.

The design of the F-102 is based on the Convair XF-92, which itself was based on the Lippisch Delta design glider DM1. The DM1 was captured in Germany and brought to the USA. The XF-92A was the first all Delta wing jet to get airworthy. It was not brought up to a standard to become a series aircraft but all the knowledge found with this plane found their way into the F-102.

The prototype of the F-102 series the YF-102 flew for the first time on October 14 in 1953.


To find a kit of the YF-102 is a little difficult and when I per accident came across of this one I just grabbed it. I didn't know the company Whirlykits. Today I've learned that this company is offering a lot of prototype kits like the Fairey F.D.1, the Bell X-5 and lot's of others. Some are vac formed and others are resin kits. The YF-102 comes in 6 resin parts, 20 white metal parts, 2 vinyl tires and two VAC formed canopies. The fuselage is made in full resin with just the space left for the cockpit.

The parts a molded as one could expect from a short run kit. There are some bubbles here and there but nothing which couldn't be handled. The instructions are one piece of paper with an explosion drawing on one side and the painting and decal instructions on the other. The decals are for two versions and are printed very clean.


The construction of a resin kit starts always with the same step; cutting the parts from the molds. Here a quite simple job, as only the big parts are made of resin. This cutting I always try to do with a hot knife, because its easier to meld down the resin than to have all the dust you get when using a saw. This is just, one have to wear as dust mask because resin dust can harm your lungs.

The parts really went together with no problems, just some small sanding strokes. On resin kits its well known, that there are issues with holes. My example had some too, but not that much, so I'd call this a good resin example. The white metal parts need a little more sanding but fit very well in the end. Needless to say, I prefer having i.e. the landing in white metal instead of resin, cause resin landing gears tend to wrap over time when standing in the shelf.



After looking at my references and the color guide given with the kit I decided to do the FC-782 version, just because of this big red decal in front of the intakes. For the NMF I decided to to an experiment with a silver color you can buy in my country as oven-pipe silver. This color is designed to be burned in to the oven pipes when the fire is on. Compared to ALCLAD it is less than half the price and it comes very thin. On a separate piece I found that this color could be polished almost to mirror shine, what I tried on the YF-102 too. After all this polishing some panels where sprayed with some semi opaque airbrush gray colors and at last the protecting Future coat.

Well are there any advantages using this oven-pipe silver? Not that much, it's cheaper than ALCLAD and a little thicker, so some little scratches disappeared after spraying the silver. You cant spray it directly onto styrene or resin, cause it eats both.

With short run kits I always have problems with the decals, don't know why, it probably must be me this everything was fine, the decals went on very smooth and the reacted very good with SOL.


Well I like my oven pipe color testbed even other may dislike this form of  self-praise, but I'm not when or on which I'll use next I have a bottle of it now, so you'll never know.

If you want to build something different and you want to try a resin kit then I really can recommend this one, as it is not that difficult, every average modeler should be able to build this into a good looking example. The only problem will be to find an example of that kit. Whirlykit kits pop up from time to time and they a hard to find.

The only other chance to get a YF-102 as far as I know is a kit from Nostalgic Plastic made by Anigrand


Convair F-102 Delta Dagger by Wayne Mutza, Schiffer Military History Book and the internet, especial pictures of Nasa Dryden Research Center

Martin Pohl

April 2010

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