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F-86D/L Color Profiles

Profiles courtesy of Chris Banyai-Riepl - visit his website at Internet Modeler (www.internetmodeler.com) to see more of his work as well as his team's articles and reviews published monthly.

All profiles are Copyright © 2004 by Chris Banyai-Riepl, all rights reserved.

F-86 F-86L-56-NA, 53-650, 56th FIS - This 56th FIS Sabre Dog was flown by Lt. Col. H. S. Askelson, the squadron C.O., while based out of Wright Patterson AFB. The tail is painted in a yellow and black checkerboard, while the 56th FIS emblem is carried on the nose. The pilot's name is in black on a yellow streamer on the canopy frame. Below the windscreen is an Air Defense Command pennant in blue and white. This plane has a somewhat odd placement of the buzz number, being in front of the star and bar instead of behind it.
F-86 F-86L-50-NA, 52-10133, 94th FIS - When the 94th FIS received its F-86Ls and relocated to Selfridge AFB, Michigan, the planes were toned down greatly in terms of markings. Standard USAF markings are present throughout, including the buzz number on the tail and the U.S. AIR FORCE on the fuselage. The 94th FIS emblem is on the nose (possibly only appearing on the right side, though), and an as yet unidentified emblem is on the tail. At this time the 94th was assigned to the 1st Fighter-Interceptor Wing.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0637, 108th FIS - This example shows to good effect the standard markings found on 108th FIS F-86Ls. Dayglo orange panels are in the usual places and the squadron markings are found on the tail. These consist of a blue band with the unit emblem centered on it. The radome on this example is unpainted fiberglass. The stenciling on this plane wasn't painted on, rather it was applied in the form of stickers, which resulted in the squares of silver around them on the dayglo areas. The flight color of yellow is on the tail and on the drop tanks, with the aircraft number duplicated on the tanks as well.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0726, 120th FIS - When it comes to gaudy Air Guard Sabre Dogs, the Colorado ANG ones probably were the most colorful. In addition to the already bright dayglo orange panels on the nose, rear fuselage and wings, this plane also has red chevrons on the fuselage and tail, and red stripes around the fuselage, all outlined in yellow. There is a thin outline around the letters and numbers that go over the chevrons. This is definitely a plane that would be hard not to see, either on the ground or in the air. Other aircraft in the unit had different colors of chevrons for different flights.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-0750, 124th FIS - The F-86Ls of Iowa had a bit more color than most ANG Sabre Dogs. While the majority of the markings were standard (dayglo panels, Iowa Air Guard on the fuselage), the tail was painted in red stripes outlining a pale green band, with the 124th FIS emblem centered on the pale green band. The emblem consists of a hawk wearing fatigues, running with a pitchfork and a bonedome on his head.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0573, 125th FIS - This F-86L of the 125th FIS carries the unit emblem on the tail (a beaver with a coat, tophat, and walking stick, holding three aces). The standard dayglo bands are present, as is the OKLA AIR GUARD on the fuselage sides. Other unit-specific markings consist of a red and white striped rudder and a red band on the tail with a white silhouette of the state of Oklahoma. The belly of this F-86L has been painted in aircraft gray.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0607, 127th FIS - This illustration shows an early iteration of a Kansas Air Guard F-86L. The only markings carried were the "KAN ANG" on the fuselage sides and the tail markings consisting of a yellow band with a black silhouette of the state of Kansas. It is uncertain as to whether the band was in flight colors or remained yellow on all of Kansas ANG F-86Ls.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0607, 127th FIS - After the planes had been in service for a while, dayglo bands were added to the fuselage and wings. The name on the fuselage has been moved forward and spells out Air Guard. The tail band has also received some additions, this time in the form of white bands outlining the yellow and the name "Kansas" in white on the state silhouette.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0651, 128th FIS - This F-86L adds a bit of color to an otherwise plain scheme in the form of a yellow and black triangle on the tail. The 128th FIS unit emblem is clearly presented on the tail above the serial. At this time no dayglo was used on the Air Guard F-86Ls, so the only other identifying mark is the GA AIR GUARD on the fuselage.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-4023, 146th FIS - The F-86D/L sure lends itself well to sharkmouths, so it's surprising that there weren't more of them out there. The most famous are likely the 498th "Geiger Tigers", but at least one ANG plane carried a set of teeth. This 146th FIS bird has its sharkmouth extending back past the windscreen, and an eye finishes off the 'face'. The former U.S. AIR FORCE on the fuselage has been stripped off, leaving a hint of its location, and the PA ANG was applied around the star and bar. The 146th FIS emblem adorns the tail and consists of a Keystone Cop running with his billy club extended. The belly of the plane is painted in aircraft gray.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-0807, 146th FIS - A typical Air National Guard Sabre Dog, this Pennsylvania ANG F-86L has dayglo in the usual places, with PA. Air Guard on the fuselage as the only identification that it is an Air Guard aircraft.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0716, 147th FIS - This F-86L shows typical ANG markings of the period, with dayglo bands in the usual spots and PA. AIR GUARD on the side. This is somewhat unique as most states didn't finish their abbreviation with a period. The nose of this plane is a medium tan and the antiglare panel could be either black or green (depicted as green here because I had to make a choice). No unit markings are carried.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0709, 168th FIS - Illinois had two units flying the F-86L, with the second being the 168th FIS. The 168th received federal recognition on October 19, 1947 and like the 108th it too flew A-26s. Following its sister squadron during the Korean War, the 168th also took its A-26s to France. Upon returning to the US the unit traded in its bombers for F-51Ds, receiving them in mid-1954. A year later F-84Fs replaced the piston-engined fighters, and two years after that the F-86L replaced the F-84F, in October of 1957. The squadron didn't get to fly the Sabre Dog long, though, as the unit was disbanded due to funding restrictions on May 31, 1958. The short life of the F-86L with the 168th meant that little was applied in the form of squadron markings. This example carries an interesting style and location of the Illinois Air Guard name on the fuselage. No unit emblem was carried.The 168th remained allocated to Illinois until 1986 when it was transferred to the Alaska ANG.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-3678, 181st FIS - This is a very plain F-86L, wearing mainly USAF markings throughout. The only ANG markings are on the tail, with the round ANG emblem and the word Texas located above the serial. The anti-glare panel is black on this example.
F-86 F-86L-35-NA, 51-8491, 185th FIS - The markings found on this F-86L are fairly simple, with the usual OKLA ANG surrounding the fuselage star and bar. The serial on the tail is in a rather unusual size, being much smaller than normal. This is due to the position and size of the orange chevron outlined in black on the tail. The anti-glare panel of this plane is black, and the radome is unpainted fiberglass.
F-86 F-86L-50-NA, 52-4274, 187th FIS - This ex-USAF F-86L still shows remnants of the U.S. AIR FORCE on the fuselage, while WYO ANG straddles the star and bar. The tail gets the biggest ANG treatment, though, with the 187th emblem on the tail (a silhouetted rider on a bucking horse) and the gray area on the tip of the tail also has the text WYOMING stenciled in white.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-0953, 190th FIS - This F-86L shows standard ANG markings from the 1960s, with the state name carried on the fuselage and dayglo bands on the nose and rear fuselage as well as the wings. The bands on the fuselage are outlined in black.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-0997, 191st FIS - When it comes to boring F-86D/Ls, the Air National Guard planes rank high on that list, and Utah has to be the winner with this example. Normally the ANG planes would carry the state name in large letters on the fuselage side, but Utah chose a much smaller size for their F-86Ls. The tail serial is also smaller than most ANG units, and no other distinguishing marks are carried. The belly of this plane is painted in aircraft gray, and the anti-glare panel is dark green.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0594, 192nd FIS - The F-86Ls of the Nevada ANG wore the usual Guard scheme consisting of dayglo bands on the fuselage and wings, with the ANG emblem on the tail. This plane also carried standard U.S. Air Force lettering on the fuselage instead of the usual Nevada Air Guard, and a blue tail band has the name of the state written across it.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-0947, 194th FIS - Many Air Guard Sabre Dogs had their bellies painted with aircraft gray to fight against corrosion, as this example shows. Like most Guard units thisexample is fairly boring, with the ANG emblem and the word "California" on the tail being the only identifying marks for an ANG bird. This plane even kept the original U.S. Air Force titles and buzz number.
F-86 F-86L-55-NA, 53-0684, 196th FIS - Dayglo orange adds a lot of visual impact to this plane, and it is clearly identified as a California Air Guard plane by the fuselage text. The belly is painted in aircraft gray like the above example, and the serial on the tail is larger than the standard Air Force serials.
F-86 F-86L-60-NA, 53-4062, 197th FIS - This profile demonstrates just how bland Air Guard F-86D/Ls can be. The only distinguishing marks on this plane are the serial number on the tail and the "Ariz. Air Guard" on the fuselage sides. The radome of this particular example is unpainted fiberglass.
F-86 F-86L-45-NA, 52-4183, 199th FIS - This F-86L is one of the first to arrive in Hawaii, as denoted by the fuselage lettering identifying "Territory of Hawaii" rather than the state of Hawaii. Other than the text the plane is very plainly finished, with no emblems or color applied.
F-86 F-86L-50-NA, 51-10174, 199th FIS - Once Hawaii became a state, the Sabre Dogs became quite colorful. This example shows off some of that color, with yellow and red checks on the tail, red/yellow/red fuselage stripes, and the name "Clarysse" on the nose. The THANG markings have been replaced with HAWAII AIR GUARD, and the pilot's name is on the canopy frame. This particular F-86L was highly polished and was likely the squadron leader's aircraft.

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