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F-84F Thunderstreak

HobbyBoss, 1/48 scale

S u m m a r y :

Catalogue Number:

HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726 – F-84F Thunderstreak

Scale:

1/48

Contents & Media:

7 plastic sprues, 1 clear sprue, 1 photo etch sheet, 2 decal sheets, A4 kit instruction booklet, A4 painting guide for two aircraft.

Price:

£28.99 plus postage available on-line from Creative Models Limited

Review Type:

First Look.

Advantages:

Simple construction, finely rendered surface detail. Colourful markings.

Disadvantages:

Cockpit tub light on detail, soft detail on main wheels, single piece nose wheel and strut, engine intake detail minimal.

Conclusions:

Pros of simple construction and excellent surface detail outweigh cons of the soft detail.


Reviewed by Mick Drover


HobbyBoss' 1/48 scale F-84F Thunderstreak is available online from Squadron.com

 

Introduction

 

Evolved from the straight-wing F-84, the F-84F prototype first flew in June 1950. Deliveries began in 1954, with most of the aircraft going to the Tactical Air Command as a ground support fighter bomber. Republic built 2,112 F-84Fs while General Motors fabricated 599 more. Of these, 1,301 were delivered to NATO air forces. Production of a reconnaissance version, the RF-84F, totalled 715 aircraft, including 386 for allied countries. To accommodate cameras in the nose, Republic moved the RF-84F's air intakes to the wing roots.

Through the late 1950s, the U.S. Air Force replaced its F-84Fs with supersonic F-100s, and the Thunderstreak’s went to Air National Guard units. However, some F-84Fs temporarily returned to USAF service in the early 1960s due to the Berlin crisis.*


 

Previous Kits

The F-84F Thunderstreak has been around in 1/48th scale for an awfully long time. The earliest release of the kit I’ve managed to find was by Hawk circa 1954.

Since then, numerous manufacturers including, Revell, Italeri, Monogram, Heller, XKit and Kinetic have all released the kit in either new tool versions or a reboxing of each others plastic.

Hobbyboss is the latest to render this cold war warrior in plastic. Let’s take a look at what they’ve delivered.

 

 

FirstLook

 

The kit comes in a top opening box adorned with artwork of an aircraft from the 78th Fighter Squadron of the Illinois Air National Guard. The plastic is a neutral grey and the finish of the large parts is reasonably smooth. A coat of primer maybe required for the natural metal finishes supplied with the kit. Sprue attachment points are small and are located in positions that should only need minimal cleanup. As 99.9% of kits usually start with cockpit construction Hobbyboss have decided to play it safe and stick with the trend. A 13 piece ejection seat (including the etch straps) kicks off the build which then drops into a fairly spartan cockpit tub. Sadly this is where the kit falls off the wagon as the side wall and console detail is minimal. Some creative painting maybe in order though I did see on the AMS resin website that a cockpit set in nearing completion specifically for the Hobbyboss kit. The instrument panel is well done with a decal provided for the instruments. The gunsight glass and reflector are moulded as individual items.

 

  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
  • HobbyBoss Kit No. 81726  F-84F Thunderstreak Review by Mick Drover: Image
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Moving onto the nose undercarriage, a flimsy single piece strut strut with integrally moulded nose wheel is provided here. I’m not a fan of painting wheels in situ. Scale Aircraft Conversion have a set available that allows for painting the nose wheel as a separate unit. A shallow intake trunking finishes off the nose. One thing I did notice with the intake shape was the difference between the kit intake shape and the 1:1 item. The kit intake lip appears to form a neat oval shape whereas the actual aircraft has intakes sides that transition in and out of a slight vertical edge. I think a small amount of work with a sanding stick here will get you close to the shape needed.

 

 

The single piece fuselage halves have cut outs for the separate air brake wells which should aid in painting of those parts. The air brakes themselves are externally sheeted with a perforated photo etch plate. Finely rendered actuator arms are also supplied.

 

 

The final interior component to be constructed is the vertically split exhaust tube which is backed by a generic exhaust face though not much will be seen at the end of this dark tunnel.

 

 

Wings are a simple top and bottom construction with flaps provided as two piece units and the spoilers provided as photo etch items.

 

 

Wheel wells to my eye are too shallow as the wells themselves are moulded integrally to the lower wing half. A more appropriate solutions to this would have been to mould the roof of the wheel week into the upper wing allowing for a greater amount of depth.

 

 

Main undercarriage tyres and wheels are sadly anaemic in detail. The wheels are split vertically and the hub detail is very shallow. Brake details lack real definition and the callipers look generic. Due to the simple nature of the main undercarriage, perhaps Hobbyboss could have put a bit more work into the tyres and wheels to help this area ‘pop’.

 

 

Underwing store options are limited to fuel tanks and/or 750lb bombs.

The unique hinged canopy is provided in either an open or closed position with separate parts for each. Clarity of the parts is excellent and reasonably thin for this scale.

 

 

I’ll commend Hobbyboss here for wrapping these parts in a thin foam packing material which has prevented any damage to the surfaces. A lesson that some of the larger manufacturers could perhaps learn from.

 

 


Marking Options

Once the build is complete it’s time for paint and here we’re provided with two options. Sadly, unit information for each aircraft is not supplied.

 

 

After some quick searching around the web I found that the options are:

  1. The 78th Fighter Squadron from the Illinois Air National Guard. This aircraft later served with the German Luftwaffe and Hellenic Air Force.

  2. Wing Commander’s jet from the SAC 407th SFW.

 

 

Each of these options are in a natural metal finish adorned with some very colourful fin flashes and fuselage stripes. If the NMF finish spooks you, aftermarket decal manufacturers supply options for other operators including the two I mentioned above.

 

 

Conclusion

 

My overall impression of this kit is most definitely value for money.

By definition the F-84F is a simple airframe and here Hobbyboss have followed that vein by producing a simple to construct and well rendered facsimile of the aircraft. Kinetic last produced a 1/48th scale F-84F back in 2006 and I think Hobbyboss have just replaced them with this kit.

If you’re a Cold War jet fan or looking for a simple kit to get out of a rut, I recommend getting yourself one of these kits.

* Aircraft history sourced from the National Museum of the US Air Force.

Thanks to Creative Models Limited for the review sample.


Review Text and Images Copyright © 2014 by Mick Drover
Page Created 26 August, 2014
Last updated 27 August, 2014

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