by David W. Aungst
The F-104 Starfighter is represented in this display by the final production version of the aircraft flown by the US Air Force, the F-104C.
This is the Revell of Germany F-104G Starfighter kit in 1/144 scale.
This model is an older one from Revell. I'm unsure if it is actually their mold or one they acquired from another manufacture. In either case, the model suffers from not so great fit and poor shape around the cockpit canopy. It is actually a model of an F-104G/J with the bigger cord vertical tail. I cut the trailing edge of the vertical tail down to the correct size for an F-104C. The only other modifications I made to the kit were to fill in the wheel wells, include the mounting tube inside the engine exhaust cone, and scratch build a new nose pitot.
I used all Testors Model Master enamel paints and metalizers. I used five shades of metalizer to simulate the look of natural metal.
The markings are for the Wing Commander of the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing, 1959. As every project has a little dose of insanity thrown in, this was the model that tipped the scales on insanity in this project. I had no decals for a US F-104 in 1/144th scale. The kit decals were for German and Japanese F-104’s, so I needed to custom print all the markings for this aircraft. And, of course, I picked probably the most colorfully marked US F-104 in history. I custom printed most of the markings for this aircraft from original art I created on my computer by scanning 1/32nd scale decals taken from the Hasegawa F-104C kit. Hasegawa’s decals were fortunately for the exact same aircraft. To accomplish red and white lightning bolts on the fuselage and wing fuel tanks, I masked and painted them with an airbrush. I pieced together the data markings for this aircraft off of the other SuperScale decal sheets for the other aircraft with the national insignia coming off of the SuperScale decal sheet #72-083. There are 49 decals on the aircraft counting both major and data markings.
Then the real insanity started. The Wing Commander usually has some form of multi-colored panels on the aircraft. This F-104 is no exception to that rule with "rainbows" present on the fuselage behind the nose cone, on the nose wheel well doors, on the intake shock cones, and on the forward part of the wing fuel tanks. For these rainbow colored panels, I cut and applied individual decal stripes using solid color decal film from SuperScale. There are 72 decals used on this aircraft to apply all the rainbows, bringing the total decal count on this aircraft up to a whopping 121 decals! This is the largest count of decals on any of the six aircraft in the Century Series display and, this is the smallest airframe of the six aircraft.
As the Century Series display was being built in the style of a desktop model, I applied a final gloss finish with Floquil Crystal Coat and did no weathering to the model.
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Models, Description and Images Copyright © 2001 by David AungstPage Created 21 February, 2001
Last Updated 04 June, 2007
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