Italeri 1/72 F-100F Super Sabre
I've reviewed so many F-100 kits that I may actually start sounding like a broken record! Let me just ramble on a bit about it. If you asked me what my favourtie Century Series aircraft was, I'd do some heavy pondering and reply that it is the F-100. There are many reasons for this, but it really boils down to the fact that it was such a popular aircraft.
Let's look at the others in the series: The F-101 was only used by the USAF, Canada and Taiwan, and then as a recce bird or interceptor. The F-102 was used by the USAF, Greece and Turkey, also only as an interceptor. The F-104 was a close second in my ponderings as it was, and still is, used by a lot of different forces for a lot of different missions. It also has had some of the coolest paint jobs ever applied to an aircraft! The F-105 is in impressive plane, but is a bomber and only used by the USAF. Finally, the F-106. A really cool looking aircraft that performed its interception mission well, but again, was only used by the USAF.
The Hun, on the other hand, was used by a wide variety of nations. It wasn't so sophisticated that it took a sophisticated Air Force to operate it. It was around during the USAF's wildly colorful time of the 50's and was also toned down and camouflaged for use in Vietnam in the 60's. After its normal time of usage was over, the plane was used as a target drone, resplendent with orange hi-viz panels. Finally, there are still a few around flying at target tugs or in the hands of civilian warbird lovers. Besides, it just looks cool!
This is basically a twin seat version of the single-seater Italeri produced a few years back. For some reason, Italeri really made a major goof with the single seater by adding an extra frame in the canopy, something the plane didn't have. Well, fortunately, the F-100F does have this frame, so no problems there.
The kit itself is highly reminiscent of the ESCI F-100. I would dare say that many of the pieces are interchangeable, however, Italeri's kit is more modern. Overall detailing of the interior, wheel wells and the like is good, but not outstanding. There is room for improvement, and many aftermarket companies would love to sell you things to fix those areas!
Underwing stores include a pair of 275 gallon drop tanks, a pair of finned napalm bombs and what looks like a pair of unfinned drop tanks or perhaps travel pods. You get all three underwing pylon stations, but no ordinance for the outer pylons. The travel pods are too large for them. Two different afterburner nozzles are given, the more curvy one is actually from an F-102 and ANG units used these on their planes after the 102 was taken out of service and they became available. Not sure if they are germane to any of the schemes offered on the decal sheet.
Speaking of decals, the sheet is really very good. Three subjects: the box art plane is from the 353rd TFS/354 TFW circa 1958 in overall aluminum, though it could be natural metal. Same colors for the French aircraft from EC 3/11 at Toul in 1957. The final scheme is a Danish plane from Esk 725 at Karup in 1963. This plane is also in overall aluminum/bare metal. Denmark and France both camouflaged their planes late in life so with some aftermarket decals, one of those could easily be modeled.
A final comment on the boxing of Italeri kits. They use the open end type of box and do not shrink wrap the inner contents. This can easily cause small parts that have broken off the sprues to fall out of the box and be lost once the box is opened. Same for the decal sheet. It would be very nice for a real box with a lid, but it seems as if European kit makers all use these horrible boxes. I highly recommend that when you open your kit, you get a large plastic zip-lock bag to put the parts into. This will help keep you from losing parts until you are ready to build the kit.
Review kit courtesy of me and my wallet!
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