Italeri 1/72 F-84F Thunderstreak
Kit Number: 107
Price: $5.00 (when new back in the dark ages)
Decals : Several different schemes
Date of Review: 29 Nov, 1996
Comments: The F-84F was a swept wing revision of the straight winged F-84E/G that was used with such success as a fighter-bomber in Korea. Although it did not arrive in time to be used in Korea, it did go on to provide sterling service for the USAF, ANG, and many overseas users, as well as portraying Mig-15s in a number of movies.
The Italeri Kit has been around for quite a few years, and while not currently available, has made appearances over five years or so. I have built several of them including the RF-84F version that shares many parts with the F-84F. It is molded in a grey plastic with raised panel lines, and can be built with canopy open or closed. The interior is sufficiently detailed for the era and there are aftermarket bits and pieces for this kit. The overall fit is superb with only a minimum of filler needed. You do need to put lots of weight in the nose to prevent tail sitting. The landing gear is beautiful and quite scale. Although it looks fragile, it is quite sturdy and my kits have survived several moves with no problem. The kit offers positionable air brakes and underwing tanks. One area of concern is the tailpipe which, if not blanked off, will provide an opportunity to see through to the intake.
There are a large number of possible schemes for the F-84F, but the most colorful are in natural metal. The three F-84Fs I have on display are in that scheme and have been further enhanced by using aftermarket decals as the kit decals are very flat and just not that good. Superscale offers a number of F-84F sheets. One that I used is for the Indiana Air National Guard, another is for a Thunderbirds aircraft. This one is particularly striking, but requires the painting of several red areas to match the decal. Fortunately, this is easily accomplished using Testor's bottled paint that is an exact match for the sheet. Another is the one shown above from the 20 FBW in England tasked with carrying tactical nuclear weapons. This scheme was with the Testors release of the kit.
It is natural to compare this kit with a similar offering from Airfix. Airfix's kit is older and even thought it is nearly as good, the Italeri kit would be my choice. Either the F-84F or RF-84F version is highly recommended.
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