F-105D Thunderstick II
Revell has reissued a modified version of their venerable F-105D kit. This time, they have added the larger spine necessary to make the Thunderstick II conversion. This allowed a better visual and blind bombing capability by adding electronics which were housed in the larger spine.
The Revell kit has 87 parts and there is little to no flash. There are two clear parts and the HUD. The plastic is a nice gray color and the panel lines are raised. The build starts with the cockpit, which is nicely detailed and has a nice instrument panel. Color hints for the kit’s parts are given in colors, but there are no FS numbers, which would be handy. The FS colors are listed for the airframe colors but not the interior or details. The seat has molded-in belts and good detail. The front wheel wells and gun details are added. There is a main spar added for the wings and this is also part of the wheel wells. Next came the splitter plates and engine. I added the wings next, watching the alignment. Here is one failing of the kit – there is no engine trunking in the front, so the intakes are large black holes with nothing inside. I built some FOD guards for the kit which are very generic – a good set of aftermarket could help here. The kit took a little putty on the bottom, but the overall fit is good.
I added the scoops and parts to the fuselage but left off the horizontal stabilizers as they fit well enough, and added the nose cone and pitot tubes and prepared the landing gear doors. I also wanted to use a centerline MER and used the Aerobonus set for that piece (which is reviewed elsewhere). The windscreen and canopy were masked with an Eduard mask set and the windscreen glued in place. I added the wing pylons and was ready to paint. The markings for the kit are standard SEA with Camouflage Gray (FS36622) on the bottom and Dark Green (FS34079), Light Green (FS34102) and Tan (FS3219) on the top. The nose was masked and sprayed black. ModelMaster paints were used and the kit was set aside to dry.
While it was drying, I prepared the landing gear, eight bombs, and two fuel tanks. No fit issues here, so these were painted and prepped. I also prepared the exhaust, which is nicely done and fits well enough to be left off until all camouflage painting was complete. The exhaust were painted in Alclad Jet Exhausts and Pale Gold over a base coat of Tamiya sprayed with lacquer thinner. This cured quick and hard and made a great base for Alclad.
I clear-coated the kit with Alclad gloss clear. Once dry, I added the kit decals for the markings of 60-0471 based in Carswell, Texas. The decals were glossy and settled well. I then flat-coated the kit and added pastels. Since this was not a combat aircraft (the Thunderstick variants never saw combat), I kept it clean.
Final assembly was a snap, adding the gear, bombs, and canopy. A quick flat application and the kit was finished. This kits looks every bit an F-105D and the Thunderstick version, which was previously only available as a conversion, is now a reality. The first thing that hits me about this kit is its excellent price and good fit. Some modelers may object to the lack of intake trunking or to the raised panel lines, but it builds well and for about $20 you can't beat the value.
Recommended to all fans of the mighty Thud. My thanks to Revell and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this kit.