Trumpeter 1/48 F-100F Super Sabre
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
This is not a new kit, having a date of 2010 on the box. However, it was purchased as I was looking for a two seat F-100. Many years back, I had bought a resin two seat conversion to use with the Monogram kit. That got about 2/3rds of the way done when I got frustrated with the difficulties that the set was constantly tasking me with and put it into a box where it has sat for the last 20 years.
As often happens when looking for a kit that is not new, I had some difficulty locating one until the LHS got in a mint kit from a collection. Looking over all the sprues, the kit seems to be quite well done. The molding is very typical of what appears out of China today with everything engraved, including rivet detail.
The cockpit is well done with raised detail on the consoles and instrument panels where one can either paint this or apply the decals that are provided. A pair of nice looking ejection seats seem to be the correct type and one gets separate rudder pedals. This assembly fits atop a long two piece ribbed intake. One thing I did notice is that it appears that one gets the standard F-100D kit with a different sprue for the F variant instead of the single seater.
No indication of nose weight is provided by the instructions, but I'd add some just to be safe. There are two different styles of speed brake, each with their separate brake wells. Again, the instructions are mum on which one to use. This item was normally down as it fell as hydraulic pressure was relieved after engine shutdown. The only afterburner one gets is the original version. Now I realize that the ANG eventually replaced these with the much simpler and more reliable burner can of the F-102A on the F-100D and I'm assuming the same was done for the F-100F, which limits what you can use in terms of aftermarket decals somewhat.
The wings are an upper and lower section for each side with separate slats, flaps and ailerons. One will have to remove a long sprue protecting the slat rails propr to assembly. I should mention that the F-100's slats could be pinned in the up position, but were frequently not. The kit includes a two piece rudder which can be moveable. The stabs are a single molding for each side.
Landing gear is nicely done and somewhat complex with quite a few smaller struts. Inner gear doors were normally up, but one does have the option of modeling them lowered. Two different styles of pitot tube are included, again, no indication of which is appropriate for which markings option. The F-100F was also equipped with an arrestor hook and that is included. I found it nice that Trumpeter includes both a straight and folded pitot tube. This item was frequently folded to keep people and vehicles from bumping into it while on the ground.
A separate windscreen and cnaopy ae provided, though there is no mechanism to allow the canopy to be modeled open, quite an omission in my opinion, especially as a boarding ladder is provided. For things under wings you have a pair of Y pylons for Sidewinders (almost never carried on an F), a centerline 'practice bomb' which I believe is something else, an ALQ-31 jammer, also almost never carried, two large fuel tanks and outer wing pylons with TERs. Usually the only thing carried on the two seater were the fuel tanks and perhaps a travel pod. It wasn't until the Vietnam War that F-100Fs carried any sort of defensive electronics or weapons. I have a feeling these are left from the F-100D boxing. I'll take this moment to mention that Trumpeter has continued the rather irritating habit of opening all the lower wing and lower fuselage holes for pylons so you'll probably want to fill many of them.
Instructions are well done and in landscape format. Gunze paint references are used. There are four markings options. One is a Thunderbirds plane and that one consumes most of the decals. The box art plane is from the 48th TFW, an SEA camouflaged version with VP tail codes is from the 614th TFS in Vietnam and a similarly painted plane with the Nationalist Chinese Air Force is provided. None of these units are identified in the full color painting and markings guide. Both the Thunderbirds plane and the 48th TFW aircraft are listed as unpainted metal, though the latter may be in aluminum lacquer. The decals are nicely printed and the Thunderbirds sheet is huge. They should cause no real issues, but I would be quite careful if doing the Thunderbirds option as large decals can be difficult to apply. Pretty much every F-100 unit had a two seater so if you have decals for a single seat F-100, a simple serial change may be all that is needed.
I will admit to not being an expert on the aircraft, and it may well be that this kit is rife with detail errors. It looks fine to me unbuilt and other than the things I mentioned in the write-up, should make into a very nice model that will look great on your display shelf.
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