Takara 1/100 F-100D Super Sabre
|PRICE:||$3.25 when new|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
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.
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