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F-104G/S ASA/M Starfighter Kit

Kinetic 1/48 F-104G/S ASA/M Starfighter Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2021 Manufacturer Kinetic
Subject F-104G/S ASA/M Starfighter Scale 1/48
Kit Number 48093 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice kit and decals Cons See text
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $39.99

First Look

F-104G/S ASA/M Starfighter Kit
F-104G/S ASA/M Starfighter Kit
F-104G/S ASA/M Starfighter Kit
F-104G/S ASA/M Starfighter Kit

Less than five years after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier, Clarence 'Kelly' Johnson was looking at the first combat experience between jet fighters over the skies of Korea and understood the need for an aircraft that could reach high altitude and affect a high-speed intercept to achieve and maintain air superiority. His revolutionary Model 83 was designed to meet that need and was submitted to the USAF as an unsolicited proposal. The Air Force agreed with the need, but decided to seek other ideas from industry. Designs were submitted by Republic and North American, but a cautious Air Force staff opted for the Lockheed design. The F-104 was born.

Two XF-104s were delivered less than two years later, but the first production F-104As would not enter service until early 1958. The F-104 was the first operational aircraft to fly above Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound). Its small airframe enclosed a powerful afterburning J79 engine which could take the F-104 from the ground to 80,000 feet in less than five minutes. The F-104G and its two-seat trainer variant, TF-104G, was produced as a multi-role fighter for operations in Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Italy, with each of these countries producing a combined total of over 1000 airframes. Many of these would find their way into other Air Forces including Greece. Like the USAF F-104C, the F-104G was limited in its intercept capabilities because while it had a good radar, it lacked radar-guided missiles that could affect an intercept in all weather conditions (the AIM-9 Sidewinder is ineffective in clouds).

A few years ago, Kinetic Models first released their 1/48 F-104G kit in their Gold Series, and here is their latest: the F-104G/S ASA/M 2 in 1. The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus one tree of clear parts and one small fret of photo-etched details. Among the features and options in this kit:

  • Nicely detailed Martin-Baker ejection seat with photo-etched pilot restraints
  • Choice of instrument panels: F-104G/S, F-10$S/ASA, F-104/ASA-M
  • Nicely detailed cockpit
  • Positionable canopy
  • Positionable radome
  • Choice of intakes (F-104G/F-104S)
  • Detailed radar set for display with open radome
  • Detailed afterburner section and J79 nozzle
  • Detailed landing gear and wheel wells
  • Positionable avionics bay door w/detailed avionics bay
  • Positionable rudder
  • Positionable stabilator
  • Positionable ailerons
  • Positionable leading edge flaps
  • Positionable trailing edge flaps
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Positionable main landing gear doors

External stores options include:

  • 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder
  • Dual rail Aero-3B missile rack for under fuselage
  • 2 x wingtip tanks
  • 2 x underwing tanks
  • 2 x AIM-7 Sparrow w/pylons

The kit includes one sheet of decals which provide the following options:

  • F-104S/ASA, MM.6926, 4-56, 20 Gruppo OCU/4 Stormo, Grosetto AB
  • F-104S/ASA-M, MM.6930, 9-53, 10 Gruppo/9 Storma, Grazzanise AB
  • F-104S, MM.6926, 3-04, 132 Gruppo/10 Stormo, Verona-Villafranca AB

The decals provide a nice set of airframe stencils which are printed by Cartograf.

A few notes worth considering:

  • The instructions provide color information using Mig equivalents (again) though a cross-reference table is provided
  • The color profiles are printed in black and white, so good luck sorting out colors unless you have other references. Please print color profiles in color and and declutter the instructions with simple paint numbers/letters and not Ammo/Mig labels

Kinetic has really come a long way since their first release and this kit is easily the best Starfighter kit in any scale. The retail price remains the same as last year's single-seat release, $39 USD (plus shipping) if purchased from Lucky Model.

My sincere thanks to Lucky Model for this review sample!

Here is a list of paints Kinetic identifies for the colors of this kit and the equivalent colors from other brands:

 
AMMO
AV
GSI
HAT
LC
MIS
MRP
REV
TAM
TES
XTRA
White
0050
71.001
C001
H001
N001
A528
C528
LC001
MMP001
004
A014
32104
36104
LP02
X02
1745
X141
Black
0032
70.950
C002
H002
N002
A125
C125
LC002
MMP047
005
A012
32107
36107
LP01
X01
1747
 
Yellow
0048
71.078
C004
H004
N004
A290
C290
UA042
MMP007
386
32112
36112
LP08
X08
1707
 
Silver
0195
70.790
C008
H008
N008
A003
C003
LC074
MMM006
003
32190
36190
LP11
X11
 
X038
Flat Black
0046
71.057
C033
H012
N012
A041
C041
LC002
 
017
 
LP03
XF01
1749
 
Steel
0191
71.065
C028
H018
N018
 
 
MMM002
030
32191
36191
LP40
X10
1780
X502
Interior Green
0220
71.137
C027
H058
N058
A211
C211
UA004
MMP059
131
32360
 
1715
X117
XA1117
Tire Black
0033
71.315
C137
H077
N077
 
UA733
MMP040
 
 
LP65
XF85
 
 
Burnt Iron
0187
71.072
C061
H076
N076
 
 
MMM001
147
 
LP54
XF84
 
X508
Olive Green
 
 
C054
H080
N080
 
 
 
 
 
XF58
 
 
Dark Gray 2
 
 
C032
H083
N083
 
 
 
 
 
XF75
 
 
Clear Red
 
70.934
C047
H090
N090
 
 
MMP167
 
 
LP72
X27
 
 
Clear Green
 
70.936
C138
H094
N094
 
 
MMP169
 
 
X25
 
 
Gray
0211
71.275
C306
H306
A054
C054
UA094
MMP118
039
A064
 
AS28
XF20
1725
 
Gray
0205
71.277
C317
H317
A044
C044
UA033
MMP064
100
32378
36378
 
1740
X131