Revell AG 1/72 F-100D Super Sabre

KIT #

4606

PRICE:

Ä4.99

DECALS:

Two aircraft

REVIEWER:

Leon Wohlert

NOTES:

 

HISTORY

In my opinion the most beautiful of the Century Series, this fighter was the first operational fighter capable of level supersonic flight. First flight was on the 25th of May 1953, but in October of that year all F-100s were grounded until problems caused by the vertical stabilizer were solved. This was accomplished by enlarging the stabilizer substantially. Production and development went on and eventually, total production reached 2294 machines. Besides the USAF the ĎHuní flew with the air forces of Denmark, France, Turkey and Taiwan.

THE KIT

When I opened the box I was pleasantly surprised to see the old ESCI Super Sabre! (Actually, the Revell AG kit is a new mold one from Italeri. Though close to the ESCI kit, it isn't exactly the same. Ed) I had built the ESCI kit fifteen years or so ago, and remember that back then I enjoyed it a lot. It was state of the art back then. During construction I found out the molds had been altered somewhat, but to the good except for one major blunder. This kit has better detail and more parts than the ESCI version. Especially the Landing gear seems more petite (but that could be my memory playing tricks on me), and the instrument panel and side consoles now show raised detail instead of the decals in the ESCI kit.

 The sprues are molded in silver, with a one piece canopy which is very clear. Itís clear.....but it also is a canopy from hell. I will die not knowing what possessed the Revell engineers when they saw fit to add a frame to the canopy that is non-existent on the real thing! I carefully sanded it off and polished the canopy back to high gloss. I had never done this before and it gave me the creeps seeing a perfectly clear canopy going grey while I was sanding. The end result looks okay but next time I will use higher grit sandpaper and toothpaste. Thereís also a clear part for the gun sight. Everything looks crisp, with finely engraved panel lines on all parts.

 The instruction sheet is quite good and detail painting instructions can be found throughout the instructions. Since this plane is a potential tail-sitter you need to put weight in front of the main landing gear. The instructions point this out and suggest 20 grams.

 All in all, not the kind of box that would give this ďOh crap!Ē feeling when you first open it and makes you wonder why you didnít just simply burn the money you spent on it. Very nice indeed for $ 5!

CONSTRUCTION

Construction starts with the three-piece ejection seat which looks really nice. The ejection handles seem a bit oversized to me but that can easily be fixed. Next is painting the instrument panels, bathtub, cockpit walls on the inner fuselage sides, intake trunk and forward wheel bay. When all this is assembled and painted the cockpit is glued in place together with the nose wheel bay and the fuselage halves can be glued together. Fit so far was pretty good.

 Next the air intake and gun sight are glued in place. The gun sight consists of two parts. I replaced the supplied clear gun sight with one I cut from acetate sheet. This small alteration is such an improvement! The fit of the air intake was so-so, and it needs some work to get it flush with the fuselage. Finally in this stage the horizontal stabilizers are to be glued on, but I decided to wait with that until the main wing was in place to ease alignment.

 The main wing is a one piece lower part with two upper halves plus two wing fences. Fit was quite good again, and so far no problems.

 While the main wing dried I started on the main landing gear. The tires are split in halves, are threaded and look convincing. The main leg has a finely done break fluid hose molded on. It takes some fiddling to construct the MLG, but when done it looks really, really nice. Itís a complicated mechanism and I think they represented it quite nicely.

 Next the wing is glued to the fuselage and the hood is glued in place. Too bad Revell decided to make this a one-piece part. The ESCI kit had a two piece canopy and it could be displayed open. Well, nothing a razor saw canít fix. I left it closed.

 The large ventral air brake can be built in the open position and it wouldnít look wrong either: Iíve seen several photos of F-100s with the brake in the open position when parked. The brake assembly consist of the brake itself and two actuators. The inside of the brake also has surface detail. 

Thereís an arrester hook for the French version. The instructions state that the hinge-point of the hook is glued in the center of the fuselage while the end of the hook is glued off-center, to the left. I.e. the arrester hook is glued at an angle. I am not sure if this is right as I thought it was odd, but I followed the instructions. There are two refueling probes: the early style straight one plus the later bent probe. Must have been a drag hooking up to a tanker with the straight one and trying to fly straight......

 Next the pre-assembled main landing gear is glued in place and the gear cover doors, which also have nicely done inner surface details. The instructions show a frontal view to ease positioning.

 Under wing stores comprise of two large fuel tanks with sway-braces, two rocket launchers that look rather uninspiring, and two 500 lbs free-fall bombs. If I remember correctly, the ESCI kit also had Bullpups, but Iím not sure. I chose to leave off the launchers. Lastly I pre-painted the exhaust nozzle, of which two different types are provided. 

Now that construction was done it was time for paint.

PAINT & DECALS

The decal sheet covers two aircraft: one French F-100D of the E.C. 2/11 ďCorseĒ (Corsica) which was based at Toul Air Base in 1972, the other a USAF 309th Fighter Bomber Squadron F-100D in the scheme depicted by the box art. This is a really colorful bird, and you get decals for all the striping and two very large ones to cover the vertical stabilizer.

 I opted for the French aircraft. I masked off the canopy with Tamiya tape and gave the whole kit a coat of Heller 66 or 99 silver. This proved to be a mistake soon. The Piece-De-Resistance on this kit for me was the tailpipe since for my airbrushing skills it was a challenge to get it right. I wanted to make it look gooooooood!

When I masked off the tailpipe and had to re-position a piece of tape the silver stuck to the tape when I removed it....Darn! What a nightmare! I didnít know what to do so I just sanded and resprayed the affected area and gave the plane several coats of Krylon clear gloss in the hope this would strengthen the silver coat enough for it to take masking without problems. On my next F-100 I will paint the tailpipe first and then mask THAT off.

 I went ahead and masked off the area as per the instructions. I started off with airbrushing the burnt area Humbrol 56 aluminum. Next I mixed several colors of red and brown to create a rusty shade and airbrushed that along the panel lines of the burnt area. After Humbrol clear blue was thinned to a very thin mixture, almost water like, and thin coats of clear blue were added to the panels. Lastly I misted a few coats of the fuselage color on to the burnt area to tone it down a bit. I did all this without allowing the paint to dry. I think itís called wet-blending. Then came the moment of truth and I gently pulled off the Tamiya tape. No paint was lifted and I smoked a cigarette like I just had sex.

 Next the wingtips were masked off and painted Humbrol gloss red and the anti glare shield was also masked off and airbrushed Tamiya black acrylic.

 Now a few coats of Krylon clear gloss extracted from the can were airbrushed on the entire model to provide a base for the decals.

 You get a LOT of decals with this kit. The decals sheet is clearly divided in to a USAF, French, and common sections. The decals are super-thin, in perfect register and the colors look great. They reacted very well to MicroSet and Microsol (see the French flag on the rudder). I really like the newer Revell decals. They are even better than many Microscale sheets I used, with their ridiculously simple and unreadable instruction sheets copied on a Russian 1950 vintage copier. There are a lot of stencils on the sheet also. I used almost all. The decals came off of the backing paper within seconds of dipping them in cold water and they were not prone to ripping or curling at all. In fact, this kit is worth itís money for the decal sheet only.

After decalling was done I weathered the plane with burnt umber and turpentine. This was also a first for me and I learned a lot. Thinner is better, is my conclusion. Finally everything was sealed with Krylon clear gloss again, followed by a final coat of Humbrol 135 semi-gloss clear.

CONCLUSIONS

I had great fun with this kit. Fit was good and details are just right. Itís better detailed than many 1/48 kits. A beginner will have no trouble with it, and the advanced modeler can break a leg super-detailing it. I would say: buy four of them and enjoy!

Leon Wohlert

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