Lindberg 1/48 F-94C Starfire Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2011||Manufacturer||Lindberg|
|Kit Number||70554||Primary Media||34 parts (33 in white styrene, 1 clear styrene)|
|Pros||First kit of an F-94C in plastic (1955)||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$11.95|
Everybody has to start someplace. When I was just short of my seventh birthday one of my relatives gave me a Lindberg F-94C Starfire kit as well as a bottle of Testors Liquid Cement for some reason which I cannot remember. As my hero at the time was a 14-year-old kid up the block named Bobby Fisher, who was making wood kits the HARD way (razor blade and sandpaper) I was more than happy to have a fast way to build airplanes too!
Since I had never built a model – and my mother had no idea what it took – I was permitted to lay it out on our breakfast table which had coral acetate placemats. But being a bit young I did not read the directions on the cement (“Coat both parts to be joined before assembly”) and thus could not figure out why the parts would not stick together. I tried several times and could not get any results, and as I went to stick the little brush back in the bottle for more cement I flipped the bottle over. I called to my mother who got there as her second placemat dissolved into a pink gooey mess.
She took away what was left of the Testors and gave me a roll of Scotch tape. The model was more or less finished with that tape, which made the wings fold, the canopy open, and the landing gear sort of retract. I was quite proud of it but it didn’t last long with such flimsy assembly. I think she took the decals away as well, so don’t recall that one either.
Fast forward 57 years. I found one today in an Ollie’s for half price and picked it up out of fond memories. But my memory of it being such a “neat” model have run into reality.
Suffice it to say it was the FIRST kit of an F-94C to hit the market. It had landing gear of a sort and two pilots, which was better than some of the other kits on the market of the day. But what was great in 1955 has not aged well.
First off, there are no blocks in the model anywhere so it is another “Pan Flute” from the ‘50s with no interior to speak of. The landing gear simply mounts on the surface of the wings and fuselage (the kit does have doors for all of them) but no wheel wheels nor detailed parts to the landing gear. The inner doors are present in their down position, but it also adds an extra set of doors where the speed brake should be!
The “interior” provided consists of two one-piece pilots in “zombie” poses and two hanging seats for them to sit on. The canopy is a one-piece affair with heavy rib details and two extra ones to boot. Wings are one-piece affairs with oval (!) rocket pods and two-piece tip tanks. Wheel struts are simple “C” shaped affairs with no torque links or connecting rods.
Only one aircraft is represented, 55-8357 “Lady Val”.
Overall this is a really simple kit which was great for its time and would not be bad for a “first model” for a child. At least this time around I will try harder NOT to spill the glue.