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Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set

DACO 1/48 F-104 Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2014 Manufacturer DACO
Subject F-104 Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set Scale 1/48
Set Number 4802 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Where do I start? Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $67.00

First Look

Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set
Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set
Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set
Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set
Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set
Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set

What would the perfect detail set for any kit subject look like? Lots of options, lots of details, and NO photo-etch? Here is Danny Coreman's (DACO) F-104 Starfighter Improvement and Completion Set which he admits in the instructions is a project that got a little out of hand. There are over 500 parts in here! And no resin or photo-etch! This set is designed to fix/complete/enhance any of the Hasegawa 1/48 F-104 Starfighter releases and you'll be as amazed as I was when you first open this box.

This detail set (which has far more parts than the target kit(s)) is molded in light gray styrene and presented eight parts trees plus four trees of clear parts. The same tree is molded in clear, clear red, clear blue, and clear orange. Two sheets of decals containing airframe and weapons stencils round out this set.

Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Parts for MB GQ-7A, 1Q-7A and Lockheed C-2 Ejection Seats
  • New wings with positionable leading and trailing edge flaps and ailerons
  • New stabilator
  • Optional open/empty drag chute bay
  • Jig to correctly angle the wing and underwing pylons
  • DH412, Guneau 316, P3, HGU-55, HGU-2 helmets with O2 masks and visor options
  • Canopy defogging tubes for single and two-seat aircraft with Lockheed or Martin Baker ejection seats installed
  • F-104 boarding ladder
  • F-104 tow bar
  • Conversion for kit afterburner to render J-79-MTU-J1K
  • Detailed avionics bay behind cockpit with positionable doors
  • Variety of launch rails needed for any variant of the F-104
  • Corrected F-104S intakes
  • Corrected F-104S ventral fins

The kit includes the following external stores:

  • Vicon Recce Pod
  • Orpheaus Recce Pod (Netherlands and Italian versions)
  • SUU-21 Practice Bomb Dispenser w/BDU-33 and BDU-48 practice bombs
  • MN1A Practice Bomb Dispenser
  • Secapem Target Towing Pod
  • LAU-3/A Rocket Pods with and without covers
  • LAU-32/-59 Rocket Pods
  • AIM-9B Sidewinders
  • AIM-9J/N Sidewinders
  • AIM-9L Sidewinders
  • AIM-7E Sparrows
  • Aspide Mk.1
  • B43 Nuclear Bomb
  • B57 Nuclear Bomb
  • B61 Nuclear Bomb
  • AS.30 Missiles
  • Kormoran Missiles
  • Travel Pod
  • Chaff/Flare Dispensers
  • Underwing Fuel Tanks
  • Corrected Tip Tanks

The instructions show you which stores and details are correct for which country and also show which colored lenses install into the various lighting options on the aircraft as well.

As you can see, this is the ultimate detail set for the Hasegawa 1/48 F-104 Starfighter and provide some excellent options and details which are not rendered in the basic kit. What's more, this set is usable by any experienced modeler using simple liquid cement for assembly - no multimedia parts are provided or needed. As you can imagine, you won't need all of these parts for one build, but there are a number of things in this set that can enhance other aircraft subjects as well. Now I just need to decide which version I'm going to build!