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  1. This is an F-86A-7 in the colours of 92nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron based at RAF Shepherds Grove, England in September 1952. The black wing bands denote temporary markings applied that same month for an exercise simulating a Korean War scenario and using the River Humber in place of the Yalu (The 92nd’s sister squadrons within the parent 81st Fighter Interceptor Wing used a single stripe (91st FIS) or no wing stripe (116th FIS)). And though the exercise order stated that only one wing per aircraft would be striped, many aircraft were painted on both wings and retained these markings as late as March 1953. By late 1952 the squadrons of 81st Fighter Interceptor Group had lost the colourful fuselage lightning flash they’d worn when they arrived in the UK during 1951; by early 1953 they began to wear ‘U.S.AIR FORCE’ stencils on the fuselage and the colourful tails also began to go at that time, replaced by more generic black-bordered yellow wing and tail bands akin to those worn by Korean War F-86s. Thus this model is a snapshot of a six-month period in the unit’s history. Note also that, despite what may have been written – or even modelled – before, all units of the 81st FIG had tails painted in mid blue with yellow lightning bolts. This colour combination is described a number of times in the official Wing and Group records, and corroborated by colour photographs. It’s based on the 1/48 Hasegawa/Eduard F-86F (‘Ultimate Sabre’ kit 1163) fuselage, mated to the narrow-chord, slatted wings of the Revell/Monogram F-86D (I used the ‘early’ version, kit 85-5868). Speed brake wells are rebuilt to reflect the uncluttered F-86A type; tail section extensively reworked and elevators also reworked to show mass balances of the A-version. Various vents and intakes were filled, modified or added, as necessary. Finally, the vee-shaped screen typical of the F-86A-5/6/7 was made using the modified plastic part from the Revell F-86D (it’s thicker than the Eduard version so gives you a bit more to work with), plus acetate vee-screen centre section. Paint is mainly airbrushed Mr Color acrylic, using white and black to darken and lighten various panel shades. F-86A-specific colours include the interior green landing gear bays, speed brakes and speed brake wells. Markings are a mix of masked tail lightning flashes and decals. Decals comprise mainly AeroMaster stencils (148-026 - F-86 Stencils); Caracal F-86 Buzz Numbers (CDB48002) and a few from the Eduard sheet. Canopy names and squadron badges are custom decals by Bedlam Creations (https://www.bedlamcreations.com/). The WIP is here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235050524-f-86a-in-148/&
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