|Trumpeter 1/144 F-86F Sabre
|Scott Van Aken
If you don't know the history of the F-86 by now, I suggest reading one of the many reviews already on this site. A google will also get you more info that you really can digest at a single sitting! This kit is supposed to be the late war F-86F-30 version.
Molded in Trumpeter's usual grey plastic, this kit also has a two piece canopy so that it can be positioned open if desired. Also separate are the speed brakes. The landing gear is a single piece, but well detailed for this scale. Panel lines are engraved and in this scale are unrealistically large as you might expect. However, the overall effect is quite good. The cockpit is fairly well done and though there are no side consoles, you do have a seat, instrument panel and control stick. These items sit atop a shelf that is molded on both sides so the seat and stick can be glued in place after the fuselage halves are together. You also have an ADF antenna that sits behind the cockpit, however, this part on the real aircraft is part of the canopy assembly so it pretty much forces the modeler to do the kit with the canopy closed. External stores are limited to early drop tanks. Sabres are judged by their wings and this one has the standard 6-3 wings with fences
Instructions are rather simple as you'd expect with so few parts. Color information is provided where it is needed during construction. There is but a single decal option as shown on the box art. It is pretty much a generic 335 FS/4 FW aircraft and not one of the various aces or other special markings. One can hope that this kit will catch on and aftermarket sheets will be produced. The one in the kit is fairly well done, though the yellow in the bands is really too light and should have more orange in it.
1/144 is a scale that seems to develop in spurts, especially for military modelers. For a long time there is nothing and then suddenly an influx of new kits arrives. We are in that stage now and this is one of the better ones. If space is at a premium or you are just looking for a relatively quick build, you may well want to consider this one.
Thanks to Steven's International, US importer of Trumpeter kits for the review sample.
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