Hasegawa 1/48 F-86F-30 Sabre
|KIT #:||Pt 13|
Aerocalcas # 48011, 48002 and 48014
1957, after an impressive display of the Gloster Meteor acrobatic team of the
Air Force in front of Gral Emrick (USAAF), Argentine pilots were invited to
learn to fly Sabres in the
A contract was signed for the first 28
planes that were part of a potentially larger number of planes (December 1958).
These were second hand. They had the -40 wings (slightly longer and with slats).
They were thoroughly inspected in the
The first planes were delivered behind
schedule in 1960 and were C-101, 105, 108, 110, 111 and 112. On
The now called Grupo 1 de Caza Bombardeo
had 3 operational and 1 reserve squadrons. Corean ace Pete Fernandez completed
the training about tactics in
The fact that this technology was a considerable jump when compared to the Meteors, and the lack of spares, meant that some planes were grounded almost from the very beginning (C-105, 121 and 122) and were cannibalized.
The first plane (C-103) was lost in an emergency landing in June 1961. The first fatality in a Sabre happened at the end of an Air Show at the Vta Brigada Aerea, when the experienced ViceCommodore Correa Arce lost control of the C-118 during an take off acrobatic maneuver.
Seven planes were selected to become the Acrobatic Squadron called Cruz del Sur (Southern Cross). Planes were painted in a very attractive red, yellow and blue scheme and they toured the country intensively (planes were named Alfa, Beta, Alfa Centauro, Gama and Delta)
The First Competition among the American
Air Forces took place in 1962 in El Plumerillo and the winner was the Argentine
team flying their Sabres, followed by the USAAF and
The Air Force also gave support the operation of their F-86s to the Bolivian Air Force.
Accidents reduced the flight line year
after year. In 1966 cracks in the wing spars were detected. Only 4 planes were
in flying condition. Kits supplied by the
By 1972 the F-86s started to have a
3-colour cammo and the all-metal scheme was not used anymore. These colors
varied throughout the service in the Air Force going from a Dark Green (almost
black) to Dark Green, Dark Grey to Light Blue Gray, and Dark Brown, Green to
Light Brown. Undersides were always white. In 1974 both color schemes where
still co existing. During the first years of the new color scheme, the words “Fuerza
Aerea” were painted in white on the nose. Towards the end of the life of the
Sabres, this text was expanded to “Fuerza Aerea
In 1973 and due to the fact that the number of available Sabres was greatly reduced, only 2 Squadrons were left. Then, in 1975 the A4-Cs were purchased and all Sabres constituted II Squadron.
With the Skyhawks in service, the
remaining 13 Sabres struck of charge and sold to
In 1978 only 4 planes were flown in a constant basis in order to use up all the remaining hours that those planes had, the rest were grounded with different mechanical problems.
In 1980 the Squadron was activated again and little by little, all 13 planes were made operational again. They were the intermediate step in the training of the new pilots that were to fly Mirages or Skyhawks and several of these flew with distinction against the British in 1982 (Zini, Mariel, Litrenta in C-130, Paez, Puga, Arnau, Diaz, Palaver, Cimatti, Mir Gonzalez, Garcia Cuerva, Musso, Lupianez, Castillo, Demierre, Velasco, Yebra, Lopez, Constantino, Gabari Zoco, Gonzalez, Castillo).
Modifications that the Argentine planes went thru were the replacement of the VHF for a Collins 20B, installation of VOR/ILS in 1978 and an ADF Collins 60 placed on the tail of the planes in 1983.
Still being used as trainers in the post
Some of them are in display in different
parks along the country, a couple are in Museums (C-127 at the Air Force’s) and
C-109, 119, 125 and 127 were sold to customers in the
The planes were used during some internal conflicts during the early part of the 60’s.
Then, in 1965, the ever-present conflict
In 1978, when war was only averted by a
storm that prevented Argentine Marines from disembarking on the islands that
were disputed in
C-101: Destroyed in 1968 in an accident. Pilot ejected
C-102: Destroyed in 1983, pilot ejected but entangled in the parachute cords, he fell to his death
C-103: Heavily damaged in emergency landing in 1961
C-104: Flew for the last time in 1986. 4804 hours flown
C-105: Used for spares after 1963
C-106: Accident during landing in 1971.
C-107: Fire on board in 1967, pilot ejected safely
C-108: Crashed during mock combat against C-114 but the pilot managed to land with a seriously damaged tail. Pilot ejected after plane ingested shrapnel during live ammo exercise. 1981
Flew for the last time in 1986. 6027 hours flown. Sold in the
C-110: Air collision with C-127 during combat practice in 1975, pilot ejected safely
C-111: Emergency landing with nose gear
retracted in 1973.
C-112: After several accidents during its
life in Argentina, it was nicknamed “El Asesino” (The Murdered) as the guns
fired accidentally and provoked the death of a Corporal and seriously injured a
NCO. After an emergency landing in 1972 it was
C-113: Crashed in 1962, pilot ejected safely
C-114: Crashed in the air with C-108, pilot ejected (1974)
C-115: Crashed due mechanical failure in 1976, pilot ejected
C-116: Destroyed in 1967, pilot ejected
C-117: Run out of fuel and was destroyed in 1974, pilot ejected
C-118: Destroyed in 1961 shortly after take off, pilot killed
C-120: After an eventful life, suffered a crack in the spar and fell to the ground taking her pilot to her death in 1986
C-121: After a minor accident it was used as a source for spares (1963)
C-126: Crashed in 1981, pilot ejected safely
C-128: Air collision with C-101 in 1968, pilot ejected safely
This is a Korean War Sabre Dash 30. As such, the wings are shorter and the slats are not present. It is typical of Hasegawa or Tamiya, great quality of parts and lots of details.
Being as I said above a Hase, build is really easy. The engine and air intake were painted in silver. The cockpit, wheel bays and air brakes have lots of details and I painted it in US Interior Green, red or black when appropriate, with some dry brushing with silver here and there. Instrument panel faces were given some drops of Future.
I built the pilot using the correct helmet for the ones used in the AAF. Minus the head it was glued in his seat. I left the orange scarf for last in order to paint it with all the other minor details.
Once the fuselage halves were joined, I found some small areas where Putty was required.
Next I put together the wings. Before attaching them to the fuselage, I cut out the tips, added 2 pieces of plasticard 8 mm wide. These were bent (especially the top one) to follow the contour of the wing. The wing tips were glued back. It really took lots of sessions of putty, extra glue and sanding until I got a decent look.
The slats were marked with a knife. Finally, wings and fuselage were joined. There is very small gap (less of 1 mm) here and I covered it with acrylic base. Before it got dry, I wiped out the excess, leaving only this base in the gap.
The drop tanks were modified to remove the fins. I had to use plasticard and putty to cover the slot thru which the fins are installed.
Just before starting to paint it, I added the horizontal tail surfaces.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I gave the plane a coat of light gray to check for imperfections and also to give a better surface for the MM Acryl gloss white paint to adhere.
It has been a long time since I preshaded my kits. I did it again on this plane using black along all the panel lines.
Then I started with the Light gray (MM Acryl 4746 with some drops of black) for the upper surfaces. Using “worms” of Blue Tac I masked this area and then painted the kit with a combination of two colours: MM Acryl 4812 and 4728 for the ochre.
After another session of Blue Tac, I finally painted the dark green (4726) that was made a notch darker using some drops of black.
In between coats, the panel lines were dry brushed again in black when they were lost under the previous color.
Some areas in the tail were painted in burnt metal, same as the exhaust.
I dry brushed sanded black pastel along moveable areas, guns and some caps.
The entire top surface was given some coats of Future until I was satisfied with the gloss.
Please note that the demarcation line between white and cammo on the left side should have been lower in the nose area…I only realized when I was taking the pictures!
I decided to build C-111 because it had a very interesting story in the Argentine Air Force and also because there are several pictures of this plane towards the end of her life, which is what I wanted to represent.
Well, here I had to use 3 sets of decals from AeroCalcas, as the 2 Sabre sets don’t have all the stencils or details required for my C-111 (circa 1982). The words “IV Brigada Aerea” were “borrowed” from their A4-C set 48011.
The numbers are from set 48002. As this set is one of the first produced by Aerocalcas, they don’t have lots of ink density and the yellows, for instance, look more like a light green when applied over a dark background. “C-111”s were the only usable decals from this set.
Hence, all the stencils and flags are from set 48014, which has better ink density.
I glued the landing gear. The entire plane was given a coat of satin varnish.
The gunsight and windshield were glued, as well as the air brakes (should have been in a more “dropped” position), landing gear doors and the pitot tube (cut to remove the bent tip as the Air Force planes had a straight version).
As I had forgotten to open the holes for the drop tanks located under the wings, I scratched the white paint and very carefully I glued them using pictures to properly place them.
I painted the scarf in orange (red + yellow) and glued the head of the pilot.
Very tiny red dots (that mark access to panels?) were applied with very thin metal tips on a couple of places on the left side of the fuselage.
The navigation (?) light inside the hood received a drop of red at the bottom and was then glued. It then seems to be painted in clear red. Navigation lights on the wing tips were painted in green and red. Formation lights on the tail were clear and orange (mix red and yellow)
The metallic covers for the intake and exhaust were painted in bright red.
The landing lights received some drops of chrome silver and placed under the nose.
Several minor details were added and the last part to be glued was the rear mirror.
I feel quite happy with the results as I believe that it represents quite well the look of the Argentine Sabres during the last years of service.
NA F-86 F-30 Sabre, by Atilio Baldini and Jorge Nunez Padin (Serie Fuerza Aerea #16 - 2008). Excellent reference in which most of the historical part of this text is based.
NA F-86 F-30 Sabre, by Jorge Nunez Padin (Serie Fuerza Aerea #6 - 1999)
Escuadrilla Cruz del Sur, by Atilio Baldini
And my special thanks to Fernando C. Benedetto for his help with the historical part of the text.
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