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F-100D Kit

Trumpeter 1/48 F-100D Super Sabre Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2010 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject F-100D Super Sabre Scale 1/48
Kit Number 2839 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Updated scribed surface details, more detail around the airframe Cons Minor issues carried over from the 1/32 Trumpeter kit design
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $59.95

First Look

F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit
F-100D Kit

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.

The F-100D incorporated numerous design improvements learned from production and operational experience with the F-100C. One of the most notable changes in the airframe was the updated wings that incorporated trailing edge flaps to reduce take off and landing speeds, thereby shortening the length of the runway required. The F-100D also incorporated improved avionics and a taller vertical stabilizer.

Trumpeter has released its second installment in the 1/48th scale F-100 series, the F-100D. Like the F-100C released a few months ago, this kit is a simplified and scaled down version of their 1/32nd scale design. As a result, this kit has similar features as its larger cousin.

Molded in light gray styrene, this kit is presented on seven parts trees plus two trees of clear styrene parts. Like the F-100C kit, this kit features finely scribed surface details and no sign of the 'mad riveter'. According to the specs, there are 168 parts to make up this kit. Is this a scaled down version of Trumpeter's 1/32 kit? Some parts of the design were scale down, but there are interesting differences as well. So let's get to the features:

  • Fuselage is molded without fuselage break
  • Fuselage has correct tail for D-model (and F)
  • Intake is flat on the bottom
  • Wing is correct for the D-model (and F)
  • Ejection seats are similar to the 1/32 kit w/seat cushions and D/F styled headrests
  • Boarding ladder
  • Separately molded ailerons, stabilator, and rudder
  • Positionable flaps and slats
  • Two styles of speed brakes and brake wells
  • Positionable speed brakes
  • Straight and angled air refueling booms
  • Straight or stowed pitot booms
  • Full length air intake duct
  • Canopy looks great
  • Inverted Y-type Sidewinder missile rail pylons for the inboards
  • Standard inboard pylons also included
  • 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 is one unfortunate difference between this kit and the previous F-100C in this scale - the F-100D does not include the F-102 afterburner nozzle. I received a number of complaints from some of the hard core F-100 fans about the Trumpeter 1/48 F-100C release complaining that the kit included both types of speed brakes and other details not found on the F-100C. Clearly they didn't understand that many of these parts trees are common to all of the F-100 releases.

However, when I examined this kit, I immediately noticed the lack of the F-102 afterburner nozzle and had to look at the F-100C kit to understand why - Trumpeter had molded that part on the F-100C wing sprue which would not be seen in the later releases. So, if you want to model an Air National Guard D or F model, you'll have to get an F-100C to get the F-102 afterburner nozzle.

Note that you will not use the F-102 nozzle on the F-100C as it was never used on that airframe. You'll also never use the F-102 nozzle on F-100D/F models before or during Vietnam. This innovation came along after 1975.

The kit provides four distinctive subjects:

For the bare metal modeler:

  • F-100D-25-NA, 55-3668, 20 TFW Commander's aircraft, RAF Weathersfield
  • F-100D-10-NA, 54-2158, 3-IJ, French Air Force

For the camo modeler:

  • F-100D-25-NA, 55-3634, 308 TFS/ 31 TFW, Tuy Hoa AB, RVN
  • F-100D-10-NA, 54-2154, 11-YK, French Air Force, Sharkmouth

A note on the camouflaged French F-100D. These aircraft were delivered to the France as bare metal airframes, so while the camouflage pattern looks similar to USAF patterns, check your references. They were similar, but they were not identical and even the colors were different.

Many of the sources I've been in contact with have indicated the sharkmouthed Huns over Algeria were light blue underneath, not gray as shown in the color profile. The greens and tan were somewhat different though we don't have good color match-ups yet. I bring all of this up as the sharkmouthed Hun is one of the most interesting camouflaged F-100s schemes I've seen.

We now have an updated version of the 1/48th scale F-100D on the market with some good potential for detailing. While the Monogram kit has been the mainstay of the Hun world before these Trumpeter kits came along, the raised panel line detailing was a legacy of the molding technology of the time and those details disappeared near the seam lines, especially around the nose. With this kit, the detailing is crisp and visible all around the airframe. the flat-bottomed nose is still an annoyance, but you do have a low-cost option available to you - graft on the nose from your Monogram kit and make the necessary adjustments to the underside of the Trumpeter nose to adapt.

The better news is that all of the aftermarket decals and details you've been setting aside for your Monogram kit can be used here as well.

I am really looking forward to the F-100F and I do hope we'll eventually see the F-100F in 1/32 scale as well!

My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!