Takara 1/100 F-100D Super Sabre

KIT #: 441000
PRICE: $3.25 when new
DECALS: Two Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1982 release

I think most of you are aware of the background of the F-100. Probably not so aware of the Area 88 franchise so here is a brief rundown. Area 88 (エリア88, Eria Hachi-Jū-Hachi) is a Japanese manga series by Kaoru Shintani serialized between 1979 and 1986. The story is about a young pilot named Shin Kazama and his experiences at Area 88, a mercenary air force base secluded in the desert of a war-torn country. Shin goes from head of his class at a world-renowned aviation school, dating the beautiful daughter of an airline president, to a mercenary fighter pilot bound to Area 88 by a three-year contract that he was duped into signing by a jealous and competitive childhood friend. He is determined to earn $1.5 million to buy his way out of the obligation and return home, and killing becomes second nature to him as he quickly rises to the top rank at Area 88. Overwrought with shame and self-loathing for what he has become, Shin begins to question whether he is still fighting for survival, or, like his fellow mercenaries, for the sheer excitement and camaraderie of battle.

In 1982 and 1983, Takara released at least 10 kits depicting the aircraft of Area 88. This included this kit (which was the first) along with the A-4, F-14, AV-8A, MiG-27, A-10, Yak-38, F-8, F-20 and Kfir. At one time, I had the full series, but either built or sold off all but this one.

Molded in a tan plastic to assist with the desert camouflage scheme, it is molded with engraved panel lines and generally has quite good external detail. The interior is simply a seat and pilot figure that is covered with a single piece canopy. Intake and exaust are fairly shallow as you might expect. Wings have slots open for pylons aread and consist of a lower section with upper halves. Thes upper halves include the flight control surfaces, wing tips and the wing strakes. If you wish to use the enclosed display stand, you will need to open the slot for it.

On the underside is a later refueling probe, pylon shapes, tail hook and pitot, which I'd recommend attaching after painting. Landing gear is not very complex and the main gear has the wheels molded in place. Nose gear has separate wheels. Gear doors are provided for a gear down option. If you want to do gear up, you'll need to make your own doors. Under the wings are two drop tanks, an incorrect Sidewinder mount, and rocket pods for the outer pylons. You are also provided with a bomb cart, three crew figures and a 1/24 figure of the pilot.

Instructions are quite nicely done, though no color information is provided during constructions. Markings are for the box art plane and an aircraft of the 405 TFS, which would be in overall aluminum or unpainted metal. Since the instructions are entirely in Japanese, one has to use the box illustration for painting of the Area 88 option. Decals are nicely printed, though their viability is questionable due to their age. There are not aftermarket markings for 1/100 military kits so you will have to deal with the kit markings.


Overall, these are very nice kits. Based on the ones I've built in the past, they are pretty well engineered and look nice when you are done. Finding one at a decent price will be difficult as a web search found them ranging from $40 to $78, which is multiple times what they cost new. I am frankly surprised that no one else has picked these up, however, Takara is not a dead company being part of the Takara/Tomy group, which spends most of its efforts on R/C and robots.



May 2021

Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express permission.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page        Back to the Review Index Page        Back to the Previews Index Page