Trumpeter 1/72 F-100C Super Sabre Kit First Look
By Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2009||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Subject||F-100C Super Sabre||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||1648||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||First production kit of this variant in 1/72 scale, nice new decal options, simplified construction||Cons||Minor issues carried over from the 1/32 Trumpeter kit design|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$34.95|
Back at the beginning of the 1950s, the US Air Force was working through numerous technology issues that surrounded transonic flight. While the sound barrier was broken a few years earlier by the Bell X-1, that was done with a rocket-powered straight-winged test aircraft. There were still issues with transonic drag, available thrust from existing jet engines, control reversal, etc. Muroc (later Edwards AFB) was a busy place as engineers raced to solve each new problem.
Meanwhile, North American Aviation developed a new design based upon a sleeker F-86 Sabre equipped with a 45 degree swept wing. Powered by the new J57 engine, this design showed promise. After submitting an unsolicited proposal to the USAF, the new design was put into production as the F-100 and the start of the Air Force's now-famous 'Century Series'. The F-100 was the first production aircraft to exceed Mach 1 in level flight (the Navy soon followed with the F8U Crusader).
The F-100A was a supersonic day fighter, a high-speed sports model of the F-86 Sabre dogfighter. While the F-100A did enter operational service, more aerodynamic problems were discovered including inertia coupling and low-speed wing-tip stalling which would lead to a sudden pitch-up of the aircraft. Despite its problems, the F-100A was kept on operational rolls for a number of years, but it was quickly displaced by the F-100C.
The F-100C had similar stability issues as the F-100A, but it also incorporated additional pylons, air refueling capabilities, and the ability to carry and deliver nuclear weapons. Like the F-100A, the F-100C did not have trailing edge flaps for take-off and landing - these were incorporated with the F-100D. These aircraft did have the aerodynamically actuated leading edge slats that were also used on the F-86 Sabre.
The F-100C did see combat with the Air National Guard, both Colorado and New Mexico took their aircraft over to Vietnam for a tour of close air support and tactical strike missions. In fact, New Mexico continued to operate the F-100C until receiving the A-7D Corsair II.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the very first-ever production kit of the F-100C Super Sabre in 1/72 scale. With this release, Trumpeter has now released the same subject in all three major scales - the F-100D in 1/32, the F-100C in 1/48, and this F-100C in 1/72. Trumpeter has announced the F-100C and F-100F in 1/32 scale and I'm still hoping these are still coming. The F-100D and F-100F have also been announced and shown at hobby shows in both 1/48 and 1/72 scale. It is a great time to be an F-100 modeler!
This is a scaled down version of the recently released 1/48th scale kit and now 1/72 modelers will have all three variants of the Hun as well. This kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on six parts trees plus two separately molded ejection seats and two small clear trees for the canopy and windscreen. There are 157 parts to this kit.
So let's get to the features:
- Fuselage is molded without fuselage break
- Fuselage has correct tail for C-model (and late A)
- Intake is flat on the bottom
- Wing is correct for the C-model (can be backdated to an A)
- Ejection seats are similar to the 1/32 kit w/seat cushions and D/F styled headrests - incorrect for the C
- Boarding ladder
- Separately molded ailerons, elevons, and rudder
- Two styles of speed brakes and brake wells (only one used with this kit, the other is for the D-model)
- Positionable speed brakes
- Straight and angled air refueling booms
- Straight or stowed pitot booms
- Full length air intake duct
- Canopy looks great
As for the differences:
- Includes standard and F-102 afterburner nozzles
- Inverted Y-type Sidewinder missile rail pylons for the inboards
- Standard inboard pylons also included
- New TERS provided for the inboard pylons
- Four AIM-9
- Small and large external fuel tanks
This kit does have one other interesting difference over the 1/32 F-100D kit - there is no engine face at the end of the duct in this kit. I'm happy to see that they didn't scale down that odd bit out of the 1/32 kit.
There are some nice details and options in this box as well as some parts that aren't used in this build as these trees are shared with the F-100D and F-100F releases coming in the near future.
The kit provides two distinctive subjects:
- F-100C-5-NA, 54-1775, 450 FDW
- F-100C-25-NA, 54-2076, 479 TFW, Wing CC's aircraft
Note: These aren't the markings provided in the 1/48 scale F-100C release. Where there was one bare metal (Iowa ANG) and one camouflaged (New Mexico ANG) F-100C in that release, here we have two active duty bare metal birds with all of the colors.
At last, we have the F-100C as a complete kit in 1/72 and 1/48 scale. Whether you prefer bare metal or camouflaged subjects, this F-100C kit has plenty of interesting subjects to choose from in the real world (look at the photos in the links below) and I'm sure we'll be seeing some of these from the aftermarket companies soon.
I am really looking forward to the F-100F as well and I do hope we'll eventually see the F-100C and F-100F in 1/32 scale as well!
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!