Lockheed F-104C Starfighter
by Graham Green
Here is the Hasegawa F-104C Starfighter in 1/48 scale. This is a nice kit to build and a departure for me from my more usual 'real aeroplane', prop driven models.
The two aircraft options in the kit are for natural metal F-104Cs and as you can see this option is perhaps best described as the more 'gaudy' - typical American 'razamataz' colour scheme of the period. Nothing against our American cousins you understand - just jealous really. Our aeroplanes were just Grey/Green finish, but tastefully done of course! Until we got the EE Lightning, and they shone brightly and went like stink!!
Now back to the serious stuff! The kit is very nice indeed and was a pleasure to build. The cockpit is reasonable but if you want to pop in a Cutting Edge update set, go ahead, it is very nice and definitely has a few more 'bells & whistles' extra to the kit version. Hasegawa have left off the cockpit bracing struts which is a feature when the canopy is displayed open. Fit of parts is good, as should be expected from Hasegawa, and there are enough to keep the modeller busy for a few evenings at least!
I painted the model with the new Alclad II metalizer paint. This is best sprayed over a primer, in my case Halfords Grey Acrylic. There are various shades of Alclad II and these can be changed by adding (Humbrol or Revell) enamel paints to them to make differing shades of the original colour. Be careful when spraying this paint (or any for that matter) and wear at least one of those disposable masks for your own protection, and try to spray in a well ventilated room.
The wings are white in both colour schemes and I painted them separate from the model. The reason for this is that the wings are such a 'darned good' fit that they can be fitted after the model is completely painted and decaled!! 'You can't see the join' as Eric would say to Ernie!
The decals appear thick on the sheet but they do settle down well, aided by Micro 'Set' (refrain from using the Sol) and are not as thick as might be at first expected when they settle down onto the paintwork.
There are a couple of errors that I noticed for the 'Really George' aircraft. The instructions tell you to put the green and white 'Really George' name plate on the starboard side of the model and the black panel on the port side. The picture in 'Wings of Fame' shows it, on delivery, and it has this name plate on the port side. Another picture shows the starboard side with no name plate nor the black panel!
Oh, yes the white walled tyres are on the delivery picture, partly why I chose to do this 'Cadillac tyred' version.
This model is highly recommended.
I cannot wait to get the 'G' and the 'S' for those super airshow schemes and also make some of those Canadian machines!! Starfighters are Go! - well, just until I am tempted to open that Lightning kit or the TSR2 box....now there's an aeroplane and an arf!!
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Model, Text and Images Copyright © 2000 by Graham