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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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 Post subject: MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 6:37 am 
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The Aircraft

The Republic F-84F Thunderstreak is the swept-wing version of the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. It was developed with the desire to increase the performance of its straight-wing predecessor. Ordered into production in 1950, the aircraft ran into production problems, and was not operational until 1954. Even though it had a more powerful engine, the F-84F did not meet expectations for improved performance. It would equip the US Air Force until removed from service in 1964. It was also used by many NATO member nations.

The F-84F had a maximum speed of nearly 700 mph at sea level. Its maximum service ceiling was 46,000 feet. It was armed with six .50 caliber machine guns and could carry external ordnance (not exceeding 6000 pounds) of rockets and / or bombs, as well as a single Mk. VII nuclear bomb.

The Kit

This kit is a re-box of the kit originally issued by Airfix. The model is stamped with 1974, while the box has an issue date of 1983. Purchased on Ebay for approx $11.00 USD (including shipping).

I really like the early jets and so it was natural to want one for my collection. I saw this on Ebay and thought all looked fine in the pics. The decals looked to be in good condition as did all the parts. When it arrived I gave it a going-over and thought it looked pretty good for a quick weekend build (always a bad thought to have). Keeping in mind it was a thirty-year-old kit, I wasn't expecting much, the good gray plastic had raised panel lines and details were minimal. Even the pilot was missing his legs below the knees!

The instructions were adequate for the simplicity of the build. However, the paint and decal instructions were very poor. Good thing there are lots of pics of this aircraft online.

The Build


Okay, it took a week to finish. Since there was little detail for the wheels / wheel wells, I opted for a wheels-up build. Also, I thought it had a cool profile that begged for that. ;-)

The cockpit was where I face my first big problem. The cockpit itself consists of a tub and seat for the pilot and a rudimentary control panel. Nothing else. It isn't to big a deal since, because of the curved fuselage, you cannot see anything on the sides of the cockpit. But you can the side controls on the tub so I painted "controls" to have something to look at. Disaster struck when I was trying to paint the dials on the control panel. I was holding them in tweezers which slipped while I was painting. The slip caused the piece to fly someplace in my office - never to be seen again. After much searching (and cursing), I gave in to the realization I would have to build something to replace it. Off to my spare parts bin I go! As luck would have it, I found an extra structure from one of my ship builds would work great with just a little trimming. Happy days! Back to building.

I joined the fuselage halves together and found a problem. One part of the cockpit, the part behind the pilot's seat, was supposed to extend to the top of the fuselage (all the way to become part of the external skin of the fuselage). It didn't and was to short, so I had to cut a piece of plastic and glue, file, and form in into place. In fact, I did a lot of filling and filing on this kit too. Other than that, there was no further drama assembling the model.

That comes later during the painting and decal phase of the build. :roll:

There is a lot of confusion with how to paint and mark this model. The box-art shows a rendition of what the plane should look like. The built example on the sides shows the model missing the red nose markings and decals not in the kit. Then you get to the instructions which are way off as well. The placement of the wing markings are incorrect. The decals require lots of trimming as they are too large (especially the tail markings). The red nose decal is useless (I had to paint mine). And the black area behind the cockpit is in the wrong place which, as an added bonus, will throw off the placement of the striped fuselage-band. Do yourself a favor and look online for this information.

The windows behind the canopy are supposed to be tinted dark (they are clear in the kit). I tried a nifty little trick I read about on the forum, of mixing a bit of wash with the clear floor polish and applying it to the clear piece. Awesome, that worked great (and thanks to who came up with that!). So I mounted it to a stand I built and finished today.

Btw, the markings are for aircraft of the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron, USAF, stationed at RAF Bentwaters in the late 1950's.

Conclusions

If you want an F-84F Thunderstreak, I would probably buy a different, and modernized, kit rather than an old one like this.

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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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 Post subject: Re: MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 11:13 am 
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That turned out fine. That is one of my favourite Airfix kits. The mid 1970s was one of Airfix's best periods before the modern Hornby era.

The only other F-84F in 1/72 is Italeri's - which is actually older. I don't know how it stacks up as a kit compared to Airfix's.


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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 2:45 pm 
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Very nice work. :grin:

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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 3:38 pm 
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A superb build. Thanks for the build notes. Very useful for when I build mine.

All the best

Greg

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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 4:51 pm 
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Thats nice - I like the markings!

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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 5:54 pm 
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That looks very tidy indeed, and a classic kit too; what's not to like!

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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2017, 6:21 pm 
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That looks excellent. I built this in my youth back in the 70's (in the original Airfix packaging) but needless to say it didn't turn out anything like as good as yours! Great build and an interesting narrative.

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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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 Post subject: Re: MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 3:54 am 
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Well done. I'm always impressed to see a classic kit in metal finish. I find it hard enough to get a spotless surface on modern kits, on something with 70s fit? Well! Lets just say it is a testament to your talents.


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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 5:07 am 
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Eric Mc wrote:
That turned out fine. That is one of my favourite Airfix kits. The mid 1970s was one of Airfix's best periods before the modern Hornby era.

The only other F-84F in 1/72 is Italeri's - which is actually older. I don't know how it stacks up as a kit compared to Airfix's.


You are certainly correct in that there doesn't appear to be a completely new kit for the F-84F in 1/72. It almost seems that all 1/72 kits (with the possible exception of a kit, I saw on Scalemates.com, from PJ Models. That kit was released in 2003, but I've never seen one anywhere) come from the Hawk kit of the 50s. It's a shame nothing has been done to modernize the kit in this scale.

Thank you for commenting, Eric Mc. I appreciate it.


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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 5:08 am 
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Thank you all for your very kind comments. I do appreciate them.


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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 8:46 am 
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I'm sure the Airfix kit owes nothing to the ancient Hawk rendering (apart from being in the same scale). Its main problem (if people see it as a problem) would be the raised panel lines.

I've a couple of Airfix F-84Fs in the stash. I really must give one of them a go.


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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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 Post subject: Re: MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 11:37 am 
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A good looking model indeed.

I especially like the tinted windows, having previously not spotted that they were tinted on the real aircraft. There would also have been a thin yellow framing to the glazed areas.

I suppose the biggest confusion, or perhaps false information, is that the model should be painted overall in G8 Silver. As far as I can see from photos, these aircraft like so many other early US jets, were in natural metals, i.e. with multiple 'silver' metallic shades and tones. Even in 1/72, these differences should be noticeable. It's just a thought.


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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 1:30 pm 
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This kit was always a favorite of mine, and you've done a superb job of it. Love the markings - USAF aircraft were so colourful in this period, in stark contrast to today.

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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 1:53 pm 
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Well tidy indeed.


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MPC 1/72: Republic F-84F Thunderstreak
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PostPosted: December 4th, 2017, 3:16 pm 
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Wow. Great effort. Nothing wrong with this one. Actually thought about Blitzing this one.

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