The F-86F Sabre happens to be my favorite jet aircraft so when this kit was given to IPMS for review I almost begged to do it.
This kit is not in a scale I normally build but since it was one of the only Skyblazer scheme F-86s, I just had to do it. I was not sorry. Upon opening the box the first thing that amazed me was the size of the decal sheet. It is huge and had every bit of the great color scheme in decal form so I did not have to mask and airbrush anything.
The cockpit was adequate with decal instruments and side consoles. The seat was fine with the belts molded in. I liked the way that the cockpit fit with the intake trunk and front landing gear bay. When assembled, it became foolproof with the L/G well in just the right place and the same with the cockpit.
After closing up the fuselage the rest was a piece of cake. I remembered to add about a pound of lead sinkers before closing the fuselage as I didn’t want this baby to be a tail sitter. The wings were an easy three part deal with nice boxed and detailed wheel wells.
The only fault I had was two small pieces on the sides of the cockpit. I could not see any reason for not molding them into the fuselage halves. This just added more filling and sanding to the job. The wings fit perfectly with very minor filling. The tail control surfaces fit nicely with just the right dihedral to them.
I left off the beautiful landing gear until the aircraft was painted and decaled. I sprayed the entire A/C with Duplicolor Primer White and then airbrushed with Duplicolor Bright Silver. I like using these paints as they are lacquer and dry very fast.
After I had all the components painted and mostly assembled, I then tackled the decals. I left off the wing tanks until all the wing decals were in place. The decaling was quite a job due to the vast amount of them. I took my time and used about a gallon of Micro Sol. I really didn’t need it but I didn’t want to take a chance on them not fitting every bump and panel line. These were some of the finest decals I have ever used. The come from Cartograf and are super thin. I would, however, recommend keeping the surface wet as once they go on they stay put. They can be moved on a wet surface.
The decaling took up most of the time building this kit and I held my breath every minute while applying the decals.
Actually it was a straight forward kit to build. I would recommend shortening the speed brake actuators as they are a bit long and give the wrong angle of the speed brakes when opened.
Overall, I would highly recommend this kit to any builder, even the novice. It was great fun to build, especially this colorful scheme.
I wish to thank John Noack for this kit to review and to MRC/Italeri for sending it to IPMS/USA.
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