F-104G Luftwaffe Starfighter
Kinetic, 1/48 scale
S u m m a r y
||Kinetic Item No. K48083 - F-104G Luftwaffe Starfighter
|Contents and Media:
||193 parts in grey plastic; 28 parts in clear; small photo-etched fret with 12 parts; markings for three German aircraft.
plus shipping available online from Lucky Model
||Crisp and fine surface textures; high level of detail in cockpit, wheel wells, engine nozzle, avionics and radar bay; perfectly printed decal sheet; full weapons fit; clear instructions.
Kinetic's 1:48 scale F-104G Starfighter is certainly worthy of the Gold Class label. The model scores big points in every category its surface textures, high level of detail including fully equipped radar and avionics bays, poseable control surfaces and speed brakes, and a lovely Cartograf-printed decal sheet. Kinetic's new 1:48 scale F-104G is one Century Series fighter that is quite at home in the 21st Century!
by Brett Green
HyperScale is proudly supported by Squadron.com
I posted an unboxing video when I first received this kit last month. You may find it by following this link.
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, supersonic interceptor aircraft which later became widely used as an attack aircraft. Initially a day fighter, it was developed into an all-weather fighter in the late 1960s. It was originally developed by Lockheed for the United States Air Force (USAF), but was later produced by several other nations, seeing widespread service outside the United States. One of the Century Series of fighter aircraft, it was operated by the air forces of more than a dozen nations from 1958 to 2004. Its design team was led by Kelly Johnson, who contributed to the development of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Lockheed U-2, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, and other Lockheed aircraft.
The F-104 set numerous world records, including both airspeed and altitude records. Its success was marred by the Lockheed bribery scandals, in which Lockheed had given bribes to a considerable number of political and military figures in various nations to influence their judgment and secure several purchase contracts; this caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan.
The poor safety record of the Starfighter also brought the aircraft into the public eye, especially in German Air Force (Luftwaffe) service. Fighter ace Erich Hartmann was forced into early retirement from the Luftwaffe due to his outspoken opposition to the selection of the F-104.
At the same time that the F-104 was falling out of U.S. favour, the West German Air Force was looking for a multi-role combat aircraft to operate in support of a missile defence system. In response, Lockheed reworked the Starfighter from a fair-weather fighter into an all-weather ground-attack, reconnaissance, and interceptor aircraft, and presented it as the F-104G. The redesigned aircraft was chosen over the English Electric P.1 (later the Lightning), Grumman F11F-1F Super Tiger, Chance Vought F-8U Crusader, and Republic F-105 Thunderchief.
The Starfighter found a new market with other NATO countries as well, and eventually a total of 2,578 of all variants of the F-104 were built in the U.S. and abroad for various nations. Several countries received their aircraft under the U.S. government-funded Military Aid Program (MAP). The American engine was retained but built under license in Europe, Canada, and Japan. The Lockheed ejector seats were retained initially but were replaced later in some countries by the safer Martin-Baker seat.
The so-called "Deal of the Century" produced substantial income for Lockheed, but the resulting bribery scandals caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan. In 1976, a U.S. Senate investigating committee led by Senator Frank Church determined that Lockheed had paid US$22 million in bribes to foreign officials during the negotiations process of the sale of its aircraft, including the F-104 Starfighter. In Germany, Minister of Defence Franz Josef Strauss was accused of having received at least US$10 million for West Germany's purchase of the F-104 in 1961. On 26 August 1976, Prince-consort Bernhard of the Netherlands was forced to resign as Inspector-General of the Dutch Armed Forces after being accused of accepting approximately US$1.1 million in bribes.
The international service of the F-104 began to wind down in the late 1970s, being replaced in many cases by the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, but it remained in service with some air forces for another two decades. The last operational Starfighters served with the Italian Air Force, which retired them on 31 October 2004. *
Modellers have had a number of choices when it comes to the Starfighter in 1:48 scale. The first is a 1950s vintage kit from Lindberg, that has been re-released by AMT as recently as 2017. This kit is best consigned to history.
Monogram also offered 1:48 scale F-104C and F-104G kits. These first appeared in 1978 and were typical of Monogram kits of the time - raised panel lines and pretty good detail - but they have been eclipsed by later releases.
Hasegawa's 1:48 scale Starfighter family kicked off with an F-104J in 2000. This was a beautiful kit for its time, but some modellers did not like the rivet-festooned wings. Cockpit detail was a bit basic and ordnance was as stingy as you would expect in a Hasegawa kit. There were also comments about a few minor dimensional discrepancies.
Nearly 20 years on, Kinetic has now introduced an all-new 1:48 F-14G Starfighter in its Gold series.
This all-new kit comprises 193 parts in grey plastic; 28 parts in clear a small photo-etched fret with 12 parts and markings for three Luftwaffe aircraft.
Surface textures are world-class - fine and crisp panel lines supplemented with appropriate recessed rivets. Please note that the main surfaces of the wings do not have rows of rivets, which will please most modellers.
Kinetic includes both the Lockheed C-2 and Martin-Baker GA-7A ejection seats, although only the Martin-Baker is called out for this boxing. Photo-etched harness straps are included for both.
The rest of the cockpit is nicely fitted out with a detailed tub, integral side consoles and an instrument panel with raised bezels and switches.
The nose radar module is fully fitted out and the nose cone may be posed open to display the detail. The avionics bay behind the cockpit is similarly detailed and a separate poseable hatch is included.
Undercarriage bay detail is also well done with separate side and top panels plus plenty of detail by way of raised hydraulic lines and cables.
The rear engine pipe includes separate fan and flame holder parts as well as a crisp one-piece nozzle.
Undercarriage legs are well done. The wheels are bulged and flattened, with a choice of styles for the nose wheel. The bulged and early style non-bulged main undercarriage covers, as well as the narrow main wheels are included on the sprues, suggesting that we will see different versions from Kinetic in the future. The forward main undercarriage doors may be depicted closed or partially open.
Fuselage speed brakes are separate parts that may be posed open or closed. Flaps, ailerons, leading edge slats and the rudder are all separate parts that may be posed to taste.
Clear parts are thin and free from distortion. The windscreen is a separate part and the canopy may be fixed in the open or closed position.
A nice selection of underwing and wing tip drop tanks as well as a choice of under wing and fuselage mounted rockets.
Three varied marking options are offered:
- 22+39 finished in splinter pattern green and grey over aluminium painted lower surfaces.
- 21+64 finished in four colour wraparound lizard scheme.
- 26+60 in two tones of grey attached to German Naval Air Wing 2
The decals are designed by Crossdelta and printed perfectly by Cartograf.
Instructions are supplied in a 16 page booklet across 30 steps. Four-view illustrations of all marking schemes are included.
Kinetic's 1:48 scale F-104G Starfighter is certainly worthy of the Gold Class label.
The model scores big points in every category its surface textures, high level of detail including fully equipped radar and avionics bays, poseable control surfaces and speed brakes, and a lovely Cartograf-printed decal sheet.
Kinetic's new 1:48 scale F-104G is one Century Series fighter that is quite at home in the 21st Century!
* Historical summary courtesy of Wikipedia
Thanks to Lucky Model for the samples
Review Text and Images Copyright © 2019 by Brett Green
Page Created 16 September, 2019
17 September, 2019
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