|KIT:||Starfix 1/72 A-4F Skyhawk|
|PRICE:||Whatever a seller can get|
|NOTES:||These kits have their uses|
There have been some excellent histories of the A-4 written by several other reviewers, so I am not going to restate all that they have restated. Take a look at those other reviews and get all the information you need.
Starfix… To the average or new modeler, the reply is “Huh? What is Starfix?” To the modeler who has been in the hobby a while, the response is either a pained groan or laughter. This company is long out of business, but their kits seem to be like Christmas fruitcakes and just get passed and passed and passed around again. On Ebay, you will see them grouped into two categories: The people who want to get rid of them and those who obviously picked them up in an estate sale and have no idea what they bought. You can tell the two apart because of the prices they ask. The people in the know will either lump them in as a ‘bonus’ in a lot with other kits, or they will list them with prices around USD$1.00. Then there is the other kind. I just saw some today researching on Ebay, actually, trying and charge ‘real kit’ prices for them. I saw a set of four 1/72 Starfix kits for sale for $19.95, plus shipping. Good luck with that.
For those of you who don’t know, or have only heard rumors, Starfix was a kit maker out of Israel who produced a handful of 1/48 and 1/72 kits of various common subjects. I can only assume these were for the Israeli local market as a cheap alternative to the imported kits, not unlike what got the eastern block makers going. At least I hope so, though the fact that the details are in English, French, German, and Dutch but not Hebrew make me think these were intended for export.
The quality of the kit is roughly that of the worst KP or Frog kits of yore. However, unlike the KP kits, there is very little flash. In fact there is almost no flash at all. The kit has about 30 parts, none of which has any detail that remotely resembles accuracy. There are a few rivet lines on the fuselage and then deep panel lines for the flaps, ailerons and such. That’s about it.
I have 7 or 8 Starfix kits, and I even built one, an alpha jet. I cannot build this particular one, because I don’t seem to have a canopy. If I do find it, I have an old blue angels decal sheet for an A-4 I will test fit and use if it works. The decals that come with it are unique in that they are inverted and you sort of stick them on, after soaking them in water. To quote exactly (including spelling and grammar issues) the instructions for the decals:
“Introduce for 5 minutes the decorating label in water. After its wetting, press the less glossy part of the image you want to stick, on the place of the toy indicated in the drawing.”
I think this is telling for many reasons. No ‘real’ decal would require 5 minutes in water. I guess that is why they call it a decorating label and not a decal. None would have a glossy part. Finally, they call the kit a toy, and I think that sums it up right there.
Whether these decals represent an authentic aircraft or not, I am going to guess it does not. The box art has it in a camouflage grey color with light ghost grey drop tanks. That is my guess, since there is no painting guide, only the photo of a finished kit.
Starfix kits have their uses! Really! Sure I could say target practice, landfill, or ozone depletion, but I mean in terms of actual modeling. You could build one if you wanted a light and easy project that requires little effort or thought. Something you could build in a half hour or so, rattle can a coat of paint on it, detail the wheels and tail hook, slap on the ‘decorating labels’ and have a nice little toy model. You could also use it for experimenting on, such as testing a new airbrush or brand of paint. Another use for them could be to give to your kids when they want to make a model and you don’t want to waste one of your good kits. Finally, you could use them to make your garage sale more diverse, or as a bonus kit in an Ebay auction to keep these kits floating from place to place forever, like the aforementioned fruitcakes at Christmas time.
ModelingMadness.com: kit reviews and previews of the A-4 variants.
This kit is courtesy of my wallet, sort of, as it was a ‘bonus’ kit in a lot with other more upscale kits in it. I would resell it or make it a bonus too, if it had a canopy.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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