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F-104G Starfighter Cockpit Kit

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

First Look

F-104G Starfighter Cockpit Kit
F-104G Starfighter Cockpit Kit
F-104G Starfighter Cockpit Kit

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.

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):

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
TAM
TES
XTRA
Blue 85285
FS 15180
 
 
C371
 
LC009
 
 
 
 
 
Air Superiority Blue
 
71.332
C074
N017
A155
C155
UA037
 
240
 
 
 
Insignia White
FS 17875
ANA 511
 
 
C316
H316
A049
C049
 
MMP104
099
AS20
X02
1745
X141
XA1141
Strong Reddish Orange
31400
 
70.829
 
 
 
 
025
 
 
 
Tan 686A
FS 33446
0025
71.122
 
A238
C238
 
MMP038
080
TS46
 
X812
XA1812
Insignia Yellow
FS 33538
ANA 614
0125
 
 
 
UA140
 
 
 
1708
 
Dark Green
FS 34084
 
70.889
 
 
UA422
 
 
 
 
 
Light Green
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
X15
 
 
Dark Gull Gray
FS 36231
ANA 621
 
71.277
C317
H317
A044
C044
UA033
MMP064
100
 
1740
 
Light Ghost Gray
FS 36375
0203
71.312
C308
H308
A037
C037
UA026
MMP073
038
AS26
1728
X136
XA1136
Navy #3 Black
FS 37038
ANA 604 - MERDC BL
0046
71.057
C033
H012
C012
A041
C041
LC002
 
020
 
1749
 
Gun Metal
0045
71.072
 
 
LC076
MMM010
149
LP19
X10
1795
X506
Medium Gray
FS 37200
 
71.072
 
 
LC076
 
 
 
 
 
Insignia White
FS 37875
ANA 601 - MERDC W
 
71.279
C316
H316
A043
C043
 
 
135
 
1768