|PRICE:||$11.60, which includes shipping from Japan|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||2001 Tamiya rebox of Italeri kit|
The North American F-100 Super Sabre was an American supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979. The first of the Century Series of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight. The F-100 was designed by North American Aviation as a higher performance follow-on to the F-86 Sabre air superiority fighter.
Adapted as a fighter bomber, the F-100 was supplanted by the Mach two class F-105 Thunderchief for strike missions over North Vietnam. The F-100 flew extensively over South Vietnam as the air force's primary close air support jet until being replaced by the more efficient subsonic LTV A-7 Corsair II. The F-100 also served in other NATO air forces and with other U.S. allies. In its later life, it was often referred to as the Hun, a shortened version of "one hundred".
ANG F-100s were retrofit with F-102 afterburner nozzles, which were much less maintenance intensive than the North American versions. This was also fitted to some NATO planes. The type was finally retired from military service in the US when a 113 TFS F-100D was flown to the boneyard in December 1979. Hundreds were expended as QF-100 drones. The type lasted in military service longer with other nation's air arms. At this writing, there are seven F-100s flying as warbirds, six of them two seat F-100Fs.
This kit first hit the streets in 1998 and at first glance, one would think that this was little more than a reboxing of the older, but still nice ESCI kit. This is not the case as this kit is a complete retooling, though perhaps based on the ESCI version. Like the ESCI kit, it is a pretty simple kit. There is a single piece canopy, a fairly nice cockpit tub with a three piece bang seat and no decals for the instruments, though there is raised detail instead.
The instructions recommend 20 grams of nose weight, which is a considerable amount and actually, you can get by on about a third of that. Fortunately, even with the cockpit and nose well in place, there is room to place it. There is a single piece nose section which means no intake trunking, the depth of the intake being about an inch. Wings have a complete lower piece with separate upper halves. All the holes for the pylons are already opened and there is a separate hole for the two different refueling probes (one straight and the other 'cranked'). Wing fences are separate.
On the bottom of the plane is an insert for the two inner guns and a separate speed brake, which can be posed lowered. This was normal as the hydraulics bled down. A tail hook is provided and one gets the option of a standard or F-102 burner nozzle. Landing gear and nicely molded and there are separate inner mian gear doors. I mention this as often times these inner doors were latched up. Same is true for the large nose gear door. With three pylons per wing, you'd expect something to put on them. The kit provided two large fuel tanks, a pair rocket pods with aerodynamic fairings and a pair of M117 bombs. These latter two items are nice, but would benefit from replacements. I would be remiss if I did not mention a glitch in the kit. For some reason, Italeri thought there was an additional frame about two thirds the way back on the canopy. This does not exist and you'll need to sand this off. Whomever built the box art model dutifully sanded off the errant frame, but the markings instructions clearly show it!
In brief, this is not the ESCI kit though it is similar. Major differences in this kit are:
A spurious extra frame on the canopy that shouldn't be there, the ESCI canopy is correct.
The shorter 275 gal tanks, the ESCI kit has the larger drop tanks.
Improved main landing gear parts with brake cables and slightly more detailed wheels.
A cockpit with raised switch/gauge detail while the ESCI kit had a smooth instrument panel and side consoles for use with the cockpit decals provided.
A better ejection seat.
The kit comes with M117 750lb bombs and rocket pods while the ESCI kit did not have any stores
Instructions are obviously not intended for the foreign market as everything is in Japanese. Naturally, this means Tamiya paint references as well. On the camouflaged version, you get a nice greyscale camo pattern with a small set of legends equating each shade to a paint color. Three markings options are provided. One is the box art plane from the 353 TFS in 1958. This is probably in unpainted metal, but could be aluminum paint. Bare metal F-100s were painted in aluminum lacquer though that varied from plane to plane so a photo would be best. Next is a French Version in a camouflage scheme reminiscent of the USAF SEA scheme but with slightly different colors. This option has a huge shark mouth. The third option is a Danish plane from 1961 in unpainted metal. As always, check for reference photos to be absolutely sure of the colors as kit instructions have been known to be wrong. The decals are quite nicely printed by Cartograf. There are quite a few aftermarket sheets for this plane in case you want something different.
Aside from the redundant canopy frame, this is a nice kit. Fit is good and it is a lot more available than the ESCI kit. It also does not suffer from the glitches of the Trumpeter versions. It has been reboxed by Revell as well as Tamiya so finding one should not be an issue. If you like the Hun and model in this scale, pick one up. I've included an image from my most recent build using this kit.
Thanks to me for the review kit. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contactthe editor or see other details in the
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