Italeri 1/12 F-104G Starfighter Cockpit Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||July 2020||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||F-104G Starfighter Cockpit||Scale||1/12|
|Kit Number||2991||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nice details||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$49.95|
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter was the world's first Mach 2 fighter and featured many innovative features to enable it to be that fast. The F-104G was the export version that would equip the air arms of several NATO Air Forces and allied air arms. These aircraft were equipped with the Stanley C2 upward firing ejection seat which, like most other early ejection seats, was launched by an explosive charge, but didn't have the energy to get pilots clear of the aircraft and into an open parachute below minimum speeds and altitudes. Martin-Baker developed the rocket-powered ejection seat which didn't expend its propellant in one 'bang', but rather could not only get a pilot clear of the aircraft, but also accelerate him to a sufficient height and speed to get a parachute open, even at low altitude. This is where the term 'zero-zero' ejection seats came from as they'd work even while the aircraft is parked (zero speed/zero altitude).
A few decades ago, ESCI developed two kits of aircraft cockpits in 1/12 scale: the F-16A Fighting Falcon and the F-104G Starfighter. These kits offered amazing details without being complex to build. Italeri reissued this F-104G about nine years ago, and here it is once again. This kit looks as good now as it did several decades ago, but now it is even more relevant as a training tool for detail modelers (more on this shortly). The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one small tree of tinted clear parts and one black display base, one set of color-printed vinyl pilot restraints, and one sheet of decals that has the instrument faces and placards.
Assembly is straightforward and will go together relatively quickly. What will take a little time is painting all of the details and the instructions provide excellent color call-outs, though they don't identify color 'L' which is FS 36231 cockpit gray.
What makes this kit rather timely and relevant is the availability of a new product line from Anyz whcih provide cockpit knobs, switches, handles, etc., for 1/32, 1/35, and now 1/48 scale subjects. To use Anyz's detail parts as well as their associated decals, you modify the kit cockpit replacing molded-on details with holes for the Anyz parts. This kit already has the holes in place to accommodate the separately-molded knobs and switches. Building one of these cockpits will help you with the workflow to prepare, paint, and assembly of any super-detailed cockpit. Even if you don't use Anyz parts, you can have some fun using your skills to bring this cockpit to life.
Thanks to MRC for the review sample.
For a look at this kit built-up, look here.
Here is a list of paints Italeri identifies for the colors of this kit and the equivalent colors from other brands (note that in the instructions, the detail colors are identified with GSI Creos colors, but the camouflage colors are identified using paints produced in China and we've substituted those colors with available equivalents):
ANA 604 - MERDC BL
ANA 601 - MERDC W