F-84F Thunderstreak

Published on
Review Author(s)
Scale
1/72
MSRP
$22.75
Product / Stock #
SH72395 and masking set M72048
Company: Special Hobby - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Special Hobby - Website: Visit Site
Special Hobby F-84F Thunderstreak

The Republic F-84F was an attempt to increase the performance of the already proven straight wing F-84 versions. Although it had sleek lines and looked like a fighter, it was plagued by the same problem most aircraft of the era had, a lack of powerful jet engine technology. Despite its short comings, the Thunderstreak was pressed into service with the USAF and numerous NATO countries mainly as a stop gap till better aircraft replaced it.

This is a new tool kit of the F-84F and it’s impressive. The box top lures us in with some beautiful artwork of an F-84F from the 20th Fighter Bomber Wing. This is one of the three marking options offered. The other two are the commanding officer of the 401st Fighter Bomb Wing (FBW) and a jet from the 511 FBW. All three versions operated in Europe. Inside the box are four sprues of grey plastic and one clear. The surface detail is top notch and Special Hobby has planned for more versions of this kit as evidenced by numerous parts that are not used in this version including three different seats. A masking set was also provided for the canopy and wheels.

Assembly is a breeze. Everything fit perfectly and the inclusion of a dorsal spine piece eliminates a seam where it would be very apparent. The intake is engineered to allow nose weight installation. A full cockpit, wheel wells and tail pipe are included. The only gripe I have is no pilot’s harness is included. In a very short time, it’s ready for paint.

All three options are bare metal. Special Hobby has done their best to limit trim painting by providing decals for almost everything. I finished this model with a Tamiya gloss black base coat and Alclad airframe aluminum. I followed this up with a few coats of Alclad Aqua Gloss. This allows you to mask over the Alclad without fear of altering the finish. The anti-glare panel, grey tail tip and black spine panel are Mr. Color Aqueous per the kit instructions.

The decals look great on the sheet. I had an issue with the carrier film that almost looks as if it could be peeled away once the decal was dry. I noticed this when I made a test run with some decals I wasn’t using on a mule. I was able to peel off the clear top layer without pulling up the color, but it didn’t happen consistently. I also tried mineral spirits on a cotton swab. It did remove the carrier film but started to attack the color. Not wanting to take a chance, I applied all the decals leaving the film in place. The instructions are silent on decal application so I’m not sure what the correct process should be. The only other difficultly in decaling was the 401st FBW version I selected has a multi-color stripe going around the nose through which the “U.S. Air Force” marking passes. I thought I could apply the stipe and carefully trim away the section where the letting goes. It didn’t work because the decal, even though not fully dry, had already adhered to the surface. A coat of Aqua Gloss allowed me to mask and paint the section over with the airframe metal color. These decals needed no more than the Micro Set/Sol combination to settle properly. Do not use Solvaset, as it quickly ruined a test decal.

The remaining details: gear, canopy and pylons all fit as well as the rest of the kit. If you have an interest in this subject or even if you don’t, you should get one to experience what a pleasure it is to build. Well done Special Hobby! Thanks to IPMS for letting me review this kit and Special Hobby for providing it.

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