Caracal Models CD 72096: NASA F-104

Units: See review




Scott Van Aken

This next Caracal Models sheet is for the NASA F-104 Starfighter. NASA bought three aircraft brand new that are basically F-104Gs, but without any of the weapons stuff in them. These aircraft were F-104Ns and used as chase planes. One was lost in a collision with the XB-70 fairly early in its life. These early planes were unpainted metal with yellow and daglo red. The instructions just have it listed as red as extant planes on display have used that shade as da-glo fades so quickly. Here is a period photo that shows this color.


NASA then switched to overall dloas white with a dark blue stripe outlined in gold with a light blue underside. The light blue then gave way to white, which is the scheme in which the planes were retired.

 The sheet has markings for seven aircraft. Three of these are in the early scheme and you have both early and late numbers for those early birds. There are enough stripes to do one early and one later aircraft.

F-104N, NASA 011 (later 811)

F-104N, NASA 012 (later 812)

F-104N, NASA 013

YF-104A, NASA 818 (N818NA)

F-104G, NASA 820 (N820NA)

F-104G, NASA 826 (N826NA)TF-104G, NASA 825 (N825NA)

When it comes to kits, the recommended ones are by Revell and Hasegawa. ESCI also did a very nice F-104G that has also been sold under the Italeri label. This is another nice sheet that was originally offered in 1/48. If you want to keep seeing these being produced, buy them, Any of these are excellent schemes and the instructions provide all the guidance you need.

November  2020

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