Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

Published on
March 14, 2023
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Sebastian Piechowiak
Other Publication Information
Softback A4 format (8.3”x 11.7”), 96 pages with 202 color photographs
Product / Stock #
Kit Build 8
Company: Kagero Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Casemate Publishers - Website: Visit Site

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter held several world record “firsts” in 1958: airspeed, altitude, time-to-climb, and becoming the first aircraft to hold all three simultaneously. It was also the first aircraft to be equipped with the M61 Vulcan autocannon, the first production aircraft to achieve Mach 2, and the first aircraft to reach an altitude of 100,000 ft after taking off under its own power. With all these records, it lasted a brief time with the USAF (until 1969 in the USAF and 1975 with Air National Guard). It did; however, serve with distinction with fifteen countries during the Cold War. It was built to intercept, hit with missiles, and run. Born during the end of the Korean War, it was the first aircraft to hit twice the speed of sound with pilot Joe Ozier flying a FY-104A (serial number 55-2955).

This book is Volume 8 in Kagero’s Kit Build series and focuses on the F-104 Starfighter through two builds (1/48 and 1/72) from construction, aftermarket detailing, painting, and weathering of two superb Starfighters, one each from Germany and Japan. With more than 200 color photos and text in both English and Polish, author Sebastian Piechowiak does a great job of highlighting why this Century Fighter still grabs attention with its long fuselage and stubby wings.

The book is presented in three sections, one for each kit build:

  1. 1/48 Kinetic Lockheed F-104G of the German Bundesmarine (pp 4-29)
  2. 1/72 Hasegawa F-104J of the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (pp 30-48)
  3. Six color profile port side single profiles painted by Marcin Górecki (pp 49-50 and back cover)
    1. F-104G Starfighter – Luftwaffe 25+18. 2./JaboG 33, Buchel 1979
    2. F-104G Starfighter – Luftwaffe DD+118. 1./JaboG 33, Memmingen, 1966
    3. F-104S Starfighter – Italian Air Force 5-40. 23 Gruppo, 5 Stormo Aeronautica Militare Italiana, Sigonella, 1985
    4. F-104G Starfighter – Italian Air Force 6-26. 6 Stormo Aeronautica Militare Italiana, Ghadi, 1982
    5. F-104C Starfighter – USAF 435 TFS/479 TFW, Da Nang, 1965
    6. F-104C Starfighter – USAF 57-0928, 435 TFS/479 TFW, Udom (sic Ubon), 1967

Author Sebastian Piechowiak has four books to his Casemate credit, two of which are in the Kagero Kit Build series (this is the newest, number 8, with seven aircraft and one armor book). Sebastian is a very talented modeler, and this book showcases his methods and results in two exquisite models. If there was any niggle, it would be the editing from Polish to English, but again, this is very minor as the photos speak every language. Also helpful for the F-104J build was the itemized list of the kit and accessories used.

This book is a fantastic reference and how-to guide for anyone wanting to build a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. I need to find a F-104G kit to build in Luftwaffe or Bundesmarine markings while the motivation is high after reading this book.

Profuse thanks to Casemate and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.


Submitted by JF (not verified) on Mon, 2023-05-08 19:12



Polish word "malował" means "painted by". Could you please correct point 3? I think it should be just "painted by Marcin Górecki".

Kind regards and thank you for this review

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