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F-104G Starfighter

Kinetic 1/48 F-104G Starfighter Build Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review September 2019 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject F-104G Starfighter Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48083 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros See text Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $39.99

Build Review

For an inbox review of this model look here.

The new Kinetic 1/48 F-104G/J Starfighter kits are very nice to look at in the box, and I wanted to see if they build as nice as they look. I had just started two Monogram 1/48 F-102A Delta Dagger kits and I put the Starfighter in line behind them, but when I started pre-painting the other two kits, I opted to do the same with this kit as well since I'm using many of the same colors. As I ran into minor problems with the F-102s requiring filling, fixing, and waiting, I started in on the F-104 as well.

F-104G Starfighter KitF-104G Starfighter Kit

As with any typical aircraft kit, assembly of the F-104 starts in the cockpit. The Martin-Baker ejection seat, used by several nations later in the aircraft's service, looks almost as nice as any resin seat. I say almost because this seat uses photo-etched parachute harness and pilot restraints. I had to do some tweaking to get the harness to fit into the various nooks in the headrest area and once I had one half cyanoed into place, the other half shot off into orbit somewhere and I gave up on the harness for this build. The rest of the cockpit tub goes together flawlessly as you can see.

F-104G Starfighter Kit

There are several subassemblies that need to go together, the nosewheel well, main wheel wells, cockpit, afterburner chamber, and radar. I opted to leave off the radar since the radome will be glued closed, but everything else is ready.

F-104G Starfighter KitF-104G Starfighter Kit

The fuselage halves are almost full-length with only the radome being separate. There are inserts that go under the forward fuselage, over the main wheel wells, and a smaller one under the rear fuselage under the speed brakes. Each of these areas have nice details, but more importantly, they fit snugly, so little or no filler will be required. I'll know better when I buff down the seams.

This build is already about 1/3 of the way through the instructions and it goes together rather quickly. Someone on Facebook asked how the model is going together and the only analogy I can offer is to imagine if Tamiya had just released a Starfighter in 1/48 - that would be this kit.

To be continued...

My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!