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RidgeRunner

Heller TF-104G 1/72

35 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

Seeking a view.

 

Given that the Hasegawa kit is expensive and rare, how is the Heller? I know it has raised lines of dubious placement but does it build to a reasonable model with a bit of care? I really need a TF and this is the only way I can see oher than shelling out for a pricing Hasegawa plus shipping and customers charges! :(

 

As always, I'd appreciate your views. Thanks.

 

Martin

 

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Posted (edited)

 I brought one down from the attic stash recently with a view to building it , raised panels and detail quality patchy and not as good as the Hasegawa kit.     Detail in the main undercarriage bay but not the doors whereas the nose undercarriage bay has no detail but the doors do , also the forward edge of the air-brake doors look a little out.     Raised console and panel detail in the cockpits and the seats are vaguely similar to the C2 , canopies are single piece.     Tanks provided for the wingtips and underwing positions but they are rather thin looking , detail on the inside face of the afterburner and rear engine face but not on the jet pipe.     Undercarriage detail reasonable with the main gear and wheels being perhaps better detailed than the nose gear.     In general it seems a fair enough kit and is sharply moulded although I have not removed any of the parts to check the nose/fuselage/wing joint yet but  no doubt if it is awful someone will be along soon with dire warnings.

 

B%20%20IMG_3936%202_zpsfrwelj6r.jpg

 

B%20%20IMG_3936%201_zps3sa6x5hu.jpg

 

D%20%20IMG_3938%202_zpszk5paqrp.jpg

 

D%20%20IMG_3938%201_zpseryfk73w.jpg

Edited by Des
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Funnily enough I also have this in the stash...bought from the online gambling shop😉

I thought that it looked like a two seater....not that i can recall seeing one...not recently anyhoo.

Have aspirations of a Danish one.

Be good to see how it turns out.

Ps did Frog do one?

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It's a nice kit and when it first came out, it was my go-to '104, until I tried to put it next to a Matchbox F-101B ... it was as large or larger than the Voodoo!  It was then I found out that as good as the kit was, it's not 1/72.  Just thought someone should point that out.   I think way back soon after it was first issued, I read someplace that stated it was actually more like 1/67(?).  In any case ... if you plan on using AM 72nd decals for the '104, they won't fit the Heller kit properly.  They'll be much too small.  On the other hand, if you choose to build it OOTB and display it on it's own (where size comparisons aren't easily done), it's a great little kit.

 

junglierating:  Frog only released the single-seater (F-104G) and it was the same plastic as the original Hasegawa tooling - not the best rendition of the a/c by any means - as the two companies frequently swapped moulds during the late 60's and 70's.  I'm only aware of two companies that offered the dual version ... Heller and the 'new tool' Hasegawa (1990).  However, where Heller managed to offer both the single and the dual versions in the same  boxing, Hasegawa later did it In two (but they are 1/72). I'm working on both Hase. kits, right now,.

 

FWIW:  If you're looking for a good 'inexpensive' F-104G (single-seater), it may take some looking in the secondary market, but ESCI did a nice 72nd kit for it's time. IMO, it was only surpassed when the 1990 tooling of the Hase. F-104's appeared on the scene.

 

Scott

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I can't comment on accuracy, or details beyond those items Des has mentioned above. When I built mine a couple of decades ago, I don't recall any major construction issues. 

Decals may need replacing, unless you get a newer release than the one I had (looks like Des' photos above).

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Hello, Scott

I thought Revell did TF-104 G a decade or so ago. I have one and I doubt it is re-packed Hasegawa. Cheers

Jure

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You're correct, Jure.  The key phrase to my post was "that I'm aware of" and having never seen the Revell offerings, that still applies.  But having said that, one of the modellers I email fairly regularly mentioned his Revell kits, so I stand corrected for the over-sight.  Thanks for pointing that out.

 

Scott

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Who'd have thought this thread would balloon like this.Just like sorting out the hassles of real aircraft.

What we need now is a kit comparision anybody?

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39 minutes ago, Scott Hemsley said:

FWIW:  If you're looking for a good 'inexpensive' F-104G (single-seater), it may take some looking in the secondary market, but ESCI did a nice 72nd kit for it's time. IMO, it was only surpassed when the 1990 tooling of the Hase. F-104's appeared on the scene.

 

Are you saying you prefer the ESCI/Italeri kit over the Revell one from the 1990s?  Would be interested to know why: I have both but Starfighters are Not My Subject.

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Effectively the Heller kit fuselage is a bit overscale, quite obvious when putting it close to other Starfighter kits.

Nevertheless it looks the part if you're not going to line it up with other F-104...

I built it about 35 years ago and used Microscale sheet 72-180 decals for the bicentennial TF-104G in Luke AFB - I believe they were designed for the kit as they fit quite well.

 

I wonder if Matchbox did not issue a two seater too? Their single seater was a good base (even with the trench-like panel lines) for detailing in the hands of a good modeller - may be the Revell was a re-pop of the Matchbox?

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Posted (edited)

I was not aware of the scale discrepancy that Scott mentioned but a few minutes with a craft knife to release the parts from their sprues and some scrap masking tape enabled the following comparison of the single-seat parts as I do not have another twin-seater. 

 

I am presently working on a Hasegawa F-104G kit and assuming that this is more accurate taped some parts of this (in light grey) against the Heller parts (in tan) and discovered that the problems are not quite as simple as being merely different scales.     Both kits share a fairly similar radome shape but then it goes all wrong with the Heller forward fuselage being much deeper and much longer.     However using the quite similar fin leading edge and height for comparison albeit with no rudder on the Hasegawa part the rear fuselage lengths are almost exactly the same but again the Heller is much deeper.     Comparing the wings both kits seem to share the same span but the chord on the Hasegawa kit is deeper.

 

 

 IMG_3943_zpsqqcmtrpg.jpg

 

 

Sadly the major sub-assemblies for the twin-seater version of the Heller kit come together well as when roughly taped as shown below and obviously with more attention it could result in a good looking but maybe slightly distorted model.     

 

 

 IMG_3940_zpsy6abdpi8.jpg

 

IMG_3942_zpstrfnigt7.jpg

 

 

If accuracy is essential then maybe the old Matchbox twin-seater or its Revell rebox as mentioned along with the Heller kit for some of the detail parts such as the cockpits could be an alternative.

Edited by Des
Remove repeated word

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Thanks chaps. Having considered the cost of purchasing the Heller and an Esci (for conversion, which I now know wouldn't work) I have gone for a Hasegawa TF ;). Expensive but no more than the other options. Even the Revell is expensive and that has accuracy issues too!

 

Martin

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Seahawk asks "Are you saying you prefer the ESCI/Italeri kit over the Revell one from the 1990s?  Would be interested to know why: I have both but Starfighters are Not My Subject.'

 

As I stated above. I've not touched the Revell kit.  However, the chap who recently mentioned his Revell kit in an email, also sent along a couple of sprue shots for me to look at.  Quite frankly, I was not impressed by some of the parts break-down and as a result, I'm even more satisfied with how my two Hase. 104's are turning out.  One of the main areas I found rather unnecessary concerned the fin.  I realise that to accommodate the shorter fin of the F-104C, they had to break-up the fint to provide the option for the shorter "C" fin vs the longer "G' fin.  It's where they chose to make the join. I guess a convenient panel line was just to obvious and they ended up vertically splitting the fin fwd of the rudder hinge-line, in a most awkward place for sanding.  It might have been better to split the fuselage vertically cut the fuselage at the fwd  tip of the fin and offered a complete fin/engine for either the (shorter) F-104A/C or the later F-104G, etc..

 

A lot of flak has been made of the Hase. kit and the tooling that vertically cut the fuselage just behind the intakes.  This allowed common tooling with a complete front of the fuselage for either a single-seat or a dual, depending on the boxing.  In my experience, this join can mate perfectly ... it all depends on how you assemble the previous step which include the MLG bay.  It's that single assembly that determines the fit of the vertical join as it plays a major role in lining up both fuselage halves.

 

But getting back to your question, the ESCI single-seater became my go-to kit until I managed to score my Hase. kits in a blow-out sale at my LHS.  Unfortunately, I was denied a dual-seat Starfighter, until the Hase. came along. I got both of my Hase. kits in a blow-out sale my LHS had back when the kits were released.  Seems people preferred to pick up the other F-104G boxings with either the Canadian or German boxart rather than the Japanese boxart, despite all the "G" kits having identical plastic, only differing in the parts marked 'do not use' on the part schematic. 

 

Returning to the Revell kit - I've never seen one in a LHS around me, either back in the 90's or now ... so it was never on my radar.  Having said that, from the sprue shots I've recently seen, I'd say it comes a close 2nd to the Hase. kit, if only for some questionable part break-down.  I can't comment on how it goes together or the resulting build.  As I recall, I found the ESCI kit to be simple by comparison to the Hasegawa kit (surprise!), but it built up into a nice kit.

 

Scott

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Many thanks for your thorough answer.  Won't bin the ESCI kits yet, then!

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5 hours ago, Scott Hemsley said:

Seahawk asks "Are you saying you prefer the ESCI/Italeri kit over the Revell one from the 1990s?  Would be interested to know why: I have both but Starfighters are Not My Subject.'

 

As I stated above. I've not touched the Revell kit.  However, the chap who recently mentioned his Revell kit in an email, also sent along a couple of sprue shots for me to look at.  Quite frankly, I was not impressed by some of the parts break-down and as a result, I'm even more satisfied with how my two Hase. 104's are turning out.  One of the main areas I found rather unnecessary concerned the fin.  I realise that to accommodate the shorter fin of the F-104C, they had to break-up the fint to provide the option for the shorter "C" fin vs the longer "G' fin.  It's where they chose to make the join. I guess a convenient panel line was just to obvious and they ended up vertically splitting the fin fwd of the rudder hinge-line, in a most awkward place for sanding.  It might have been better to split the fuselage vertically cut the fuselage at the fwd  tip of the fin and offered a complete fin/engine for either the (shorter) F-104A/C or the later F-104G, etc..

 

A lot of flak has been made of the Hase. kit and the tooling that vertically cut the fuselage just behind the intakes.  This allowed common tooling with a complete front of the fuselage for either a single-seat or a dual, depending on the boxing.  In my experience, this join can mate perfectly ... it all depends on how you assemble the previous step which include the MLG bay.  It's that single assembly that determines the fit of the vertical join as it plays a major role in lining up both fuselage halves.

 

 

Agree on the Hasegawa kit, that joint can be made good with only a bit of care.

The Esci kit itself has a potentially awkward joint where the designer decided to cut the fuselage to allow both C and G to be made. In the several Esci kit I've built, this joint often tends to result in a step where the fuselage sections meet, particularly if followinf the instructions. My solution is to eliminate the flange on the rear part of the front fuselage section and glue front and rear separately on each fuselage half, keeping the outer surfaces properly aligned.

 

But getting back to your question, the ESCI single-seater became my go-to kit until I managed to score my Hase. kits in a blow-out sale at my LHS.  Unfortunately, I was denied a dual-seat Starfighter, until the Hase. came along. I got both of my Hase. kits in a blow-out sale my LHS had back when the kits were released.  Seems people preferred to pick up the other F-104G boxings with either the Canadian or German boxart rather than the Japanese boxart, despite all the "G" kits having identical plastic, only differing in the parts marked 'do not use' on the part schematic. 

 

 

Not all Hasegawa kits contain the same parts. All the boxes I've seen of the Japanese variant don't include the thicker wheels and the bulged wheel well doors of the G. At the same time not all the G boxes include the parts for the S and none of the G/S boxes include parts for the CF RWR system. Personally I'd always buy the G/S box (the one with the Italian aircraft on the cover) for any G or S, but also works for a J or an early CF while the box for the Japanese/Canadian variant is the one to buy for a later Canadian aircraft. These two boxes are today the easiest to find

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21 hours ago, Des said:

If accuracy is essential then maybe the old Matchbox twin-seater 

 

Considering that the Matchbox TF-104G had a Vulcan gun port, I would hardly call it accurate... ;) 

 

Also,it featured a nosewheel that was on the rear of its bay, as on the singleseaters. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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7 minutes ago, Hook said:

 

Considering that the Matchbox TF-104G had a Vulcan gun port, I would hardly call it accurate... ;) 

 

Also,it featured a nosewheel that was on the rear of its bay, as on the singleseaters. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

 

I would have thought  'accuracy' was obviously being used in a relative rather than a literal sense to provide something a bit closer in proportions to the TF-104 with the removal of the gun port and reversing of the nosewheel arrangement being fairly obvious to anyone attempting such a project.

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Thanks for the clarification on the contents of each of the boxings. Giorgio..  My comment in that regard, stemmed from my understanding of comments from other club members during a club build, back in the day.   The two I currently have on the work table are the CF-104G boxing (#1005) and the TF-104G/F-104DJ boxing (#1004).

 

Scott

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I am not aware of a Revell rebox of the Matchbox TF, apart from possibly in a Matchbox "black box ". Revell' is their own mould based on the early /mid 90s mould. I had a feeling AMT may have done a twin in similar fashion to their F-100F, but a quick Google yielded only a boxing with an orange bird, probably the one I was thinking about. 

There aren't many possible newer boxings of the Heller kit, as the mould was sold to Argentina ca. 30 years ago. For a time,  the Heller kits used to be quite expensive on ebay, at least here in this country where we don't speak English 😆 (sorry, couldn't resist ). Unless found cheap, I'd definitely prefer Hase or Revell. 

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13 hours ago, Des said:

 

I would have thought  'accuracy' was obviously being used in a relative rather than a literal sense to provide something a bit closer in proportions to the TF-104 with the removal of the gun port and reversing of the nosewheel arrangement being fairly obvious to anyone attempting such a project.

 

Still - with the Hasegawa and RoG kits, why seek out the old Matchbox which hasn't ben in production for ages..? 

 

The fuselage of both single- and twoseaters have always struck me as being too narrow. 

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

 

On the well known auction site the Revell is the same or more expensive than the Hasegawa. I'd therefore go Hasegawa every time. I still believe that the Revell  is to drawn out at the front end of the canopy - but that may be my eyes! ;). The Hasegawa, on the other hand, is good all round.

 

This is what I mean:

01_zpsgp9xecw2.jpg

Revell - it even looks a little oversized to me.

 

hasegawa_zps7rrq4xnb.jpg

Hasegawa

 

Martin 

Edited by RidgeRunner
added images
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1 hour ago, RidgeRunner said:

On the well known auction site the Revell is the same or more expensive than the Hasegawa. I'd therefore go Hasegawa every time. I still believe that the Revell  is to drawn out at the front end of the canopy - but that may be my eyes! ;). The Hasegawa, on the other hand, is good all round. This is what I mean:

01_zpsgp9xecw2.jpg

 

 

Revell made the same error on the single-seater canopy: the division line between the windshield and the canopy is 1 mm too far forward. That makes the windshield too small, and the canopy too big. Once you know it, you keep seeing it..


Rob

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The difference is clear in those pictures. I'd say that if the two are at the same price, then it's a no brainer, hasegawa all the way !

I never realised how hard to find the hase 1/72 TF was, I checked that well known auction sites a couple days ago and found that there were more 1/48 ones for sale

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10 minutes ago, Rob de Bie said:

1 mm too far forward

 

too far back, I reckon

Absolutely, Giorgio..... I've gone Hasegawa!!! I'm broke :( but its fun, eh?

 

Martin

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So now I'm set up for a G (Hasegawa), an A (Revell) and a TF (Hasegawa). I just need the time now!!!!

 

M

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