Kinetic 1/48 F-84F Thunderstreak Kit First Look
|Date of Review||May 2007||Manufacturer||Kinetic|
|Kit Number||4801||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Nicely scribed detailing||Cons|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$24.95|
When I got home, I saw the package shoved in the screen door on the front porch. It has some wear and tear coming all the way from China but was intact. Once I opened the box in the sanctuary of my hobby room, I saw some of that wear and tear transferred itself to the box. But its contents were safe and sound. The art is nicely done on the front and is equal to most kits in this class.
The first thing to catch my eye was the decals. They depict the 110th Fighter Bomber Squadron and the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron based out of Robertson Air National Guard Base, Lambert Field, St. Louis Missouri and is nicknamed “Lindbergh’s Own” as Charles Lindberg had once been an member of the squadron. The squadron was co-located with the 131st Fighter Bomber Group. They switched from F-80’s and B-26 Invaders to the F-84F in 1957.
You might see this color scheme a bit different when “MO AIR GUARD” was replaced by the more traditional “U.S. AIR FORCE” on the nose when the squadron was activated for the Berlin Airlift Crises. You get all the small stencils and warning areas along with star and bars. The quality looks as good as anything the West can produce. I am looking forward to using these decals on the finished kit.
The instruction manual is done in a booklet style with the colors referenced to “Mr. Color” line of paints. There is an English translation that is easy enough to follow on the grid of colors and just a bit of research on your own part will yield the correct paint to meet your needs. The first page has a drawing of all the trees you get in the kit and then the next pages show a 30 degree exploded view of the assembly process with flow arrows allowing you to know where each part should end up. It is clear and easy to understand. A separate sheet gives you common stencil locations and decal locations for your two different choices
Next comes the glass. It is clear and not too thick and on profile with the drawings and observations I have of the real thing at Dyess AFB and Edwards AFB. You get the forward, main and aft glass along with a HUD, landing gear light, spine formation light.
I couldn’t find where to use part D3 on the clear tree. This is a quick look and I could have missed something but I never figured it out. Not anything to loose sleep over.
Now for the meat and potatoes! The plastic is cast in a medium gray styrene. There is some flash but it seems to be confined to the smaller parts while the wings and fuselage seem flash free. I have never really worried about flash anyway. Two seconds with a #11 blade will clean it right up. The two main trees has the fuselage halves on one tree and the wings on another. There is a set of duplicate trees that has the drop tanks on them. The finish is a flat finish similar to some of the Nichimo kits.
The panel lines are recessed and a bit on the heavy side. I guarantee that a coat of primer and your main colors will soften the lines a bit. I still think they are oversized for this scale but it will not stop me from building the kit. There are no rows of rivets that haunt other kits from this side of the modeling world. There are fine rivet and screw holes where they belong, along the wing root and a very nicely done rows on the thin sheet metal on the trailing edge of the top of the wing.
A pilot figure is included and is passable but I really never use them and he will go into the parts bin with all the other little guys. The cockpit is well done though not spectacular, but is very buildable and very presentable for out of the box type building. I am sure that the aftermarket community will hook us right up.
The landing gear and gear covers are molded as one piece. My kit had just a bit of a sink mark on the thickest part of the gear. Easily fixed. The wheels are molded separate from the tires. An interesting choice was to mold the fender onto the front wheel while molding the tire separate from the wheel. Another interesting choice was to cast a four pack JATO bottle set. I can’t find many references where these bottles were used in any great numbers.
The speed brakes look like they might be a bit close to the wing root. I will not be able to tell for sure until I get out to the real thing at the base. Pictures can throw off perspective and drawings are only as good as the drawer. The speed brake petals look very nice. They are molded on the backside of the speed brake petal too. A very nice touch if you pose them in the open position.
A feature I really like is that there are two large ball bearings to insert in the nose. A holding strap keeps one in place and a nice small tub at the back of the wheel well keeps the nose sitting down where it belongs. Another great feature is the gun bay in the nose. It is made to be closed or open if you wish. I know the aftermarket bubba’s will like that too! The underside of the gun bay cover is molded with stiffening ribs for that extra detail when posed in the open position.
The nose wheel wells are acceptable along with the wing wheel wells and landing gear are more than acceptable. The nose gear itself is very well done and spot on to the pictures I am looking at.
I am looking forward to this kit and the excitement it will generate over the next few months. The price is good and the quality is on par with the big boys. I think you will enjoy it. Now where did I put those decals!
My sincere thanks to Kinetic for this review sample!