|KIT:||Monogram 1/48 F-106A Delta Dart|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
In the 1950s, the main thing driving US fighter aircraft development was speed. Interceptors were the main focus as the Red Plague was going to come over the horizon with its fleet of A-bomb carrying bombers. The USAF had to be able to get off the ground and intercept them while they were still outside US territory. So what if they fell on the Canadians, that was the price one had to pay for security.
Probably the ultimate in wide-use interceptors was what most consider the last of the Century Series fighters, the F-106. This was the first US interceptor with an integrated fire control system, the MA-1, an electronics nightmare that was fully up and operating only with a lot of work on the part of the electronics guys, and then not for long. The aircraft carried no gun until very late in its career and relied on Genies and Falcons to get the job done. The idea of exploding a nuclear Genie amidst a fleet of A-bomb carrying Soviet bombers just gives me the creeps, but that was the plan.
Eventually, the F-106 fleet was too old and replaced by either Phantoms or F-15s. Eventually all the FIS (Fighter Interceptor Squadron) were gone, the last of them being the 57 FIS in Keflavik which went away in the early 1990s, some 5-7 years after the last ones in the US. Those surviving F-106s were equipped as drones and blown out of the sky for target practice. Those few that survived went either to museums or to the dump.
One of the most popular Monogram kits produced, the F-106 is of the old school of raised panel lines, but still has incredible detail. This particular kit is from 1983 and molded in the standard grey plastic. It includes a well appointed interior with all the proper plumbing behind the seat. Wheel wells are also well detailed with the appropriate amount of 'stuff' in there. The weapons bay includes four Falcons and a single Genie. It is designed to be displayed in the open position so it you want yours with the doors closed, it will take a bit of work on your part. The kit offers both the new 'blown' canopy and the older style with the frame running down the middle. A pilot figure is also provided should you desire to use it.
Instructions are as good as it gets with 42 construction steps and color information provided throughout the sequences. These are keyed to Humbrol colors, believe it or not. No FS 595 colors are provided, but you should have no problems in this area. The lone set of markings is for an overall ADC Grey (FS 16473) aircraft from the 87 FIS that operated out of KI Sawyer AFB in Michigan. This one is the commander's aircraft with the additional fuselage stripes. Decals are well printed and very glossy. Some of these glossy Monogram decals don't work too well, but one doesn't ever know until they are tried. There used to be a number of aftermarket sheets for this kit, so they may be worth hunting up.
This kit has long been rumored for reissue and there are a lot of modelers who are looking forward to that. It will mean a reinsurgence of new decal sheets and aftermarket stuff for it. There have been recent sighting of it but as of yet, it hasn't reached the shelves of the local stores. It isn't difficult to find and if you do so, pick it up. A toss-together kit it isn't, but it does make in to a large and impressive model when done.
Review kit courtesy of your editor.
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