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F-84F Thunderstreak - 1:48


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F-84F Thunderstreak
1:48 HobbyBoss


The F-48 Thunderjet was a post WWII early jet with straight wings that suffered some horrible teething problems, which took a long time to fix, resulting in the F-84G. The Thunderstreak was a swept-wing variant that was needed to match the F-86's performance, as so different that it was pretty much a totally new design, but stayed under the F-84 designation. To maximise the performance gains, a British engine was chosen, which necessitated a deepening of the fuselage cross-section, which resulted in the intake having an oval profile. The Sapphire was eventually to be license made as the Wright J65, but flight related problems delayed its introduction into service until 1954, at which time it still needed a long take-off roll, and was prone to unrecoverable spins.

In service it was a problem child from the start, and was ear-marked for phase-out almost as soon as it arrived with squadrons. The last airframe left the front line in 1958, and was replaced by the F-100 Super Sabre in active service, while in National Guard service it soldiered on until the early 70s. The fleet was briefly reactivated in 1961 due to tensions in Europe, but after being grounded the year after due to control-linkage problems, it was gone again from front line service by 1964.

The Kit
This is a new tool from HobbyBoss, and on opening the lid on the box, you are greeted by six sprues of mid-grey styrene, clear parts, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a large decal sheet, instruction booklet and painting guide. It's a surprisingly large aircraft, and the fuselage halves take up a lot of room, with lots of nicely engraved detail on the outer skin that should look good under paint. It's a single-seat fighter of course, so construction is fairly straight forward, starting with the cockpit, which is made up from a "tub" with rear bulkhead, rudder pedals, control column and instrument panel added before side wall detail inserts are added between the panel and rear bulkhead to block off the blank fuselage walls. The ejector seat is made up from a sizeable number of parts, and has a set of PE seatbelts added before being installed in the cockpit. The nose gear bay, which is a single part tub has surprisingly good detail within, especially considering the small aperture. The nose gear leg is moulded with an integral wheel, which makes it look a little flat, but separate scissor-link and landing light should help distract the viewer a little. You need to glue the gear leg in place before installing it in the fuselage though, which I find to be a little bit of a nuisance, as you can quite easily damage these frail parts during the rest of the build.






The fuselage is closed up next, after adding the intake splitter to the front, the air brake bay inserts, and the exhaust, which is a tube split vertically along its length, with a rear engine face and some moulded in rib detail, that is attached to an oval bulkhead that curiously has a fan moulded into the forward side. When that would be seen is anyone's guess! The simple instrument coaming, which is a flat area with gunsight and reflector glass added, is closed in by the windscreen part that should be faired into the fuselage contours for added realism. The main canopy hinged up and back when opened, and this is replicated in the kit, with two vertical arms added to the side of the canopy, plus a section of the rear canopy that hinges up and is attached to the back of the opening part. The rear canopy section is glued to the fuselage behind the pilot, while the vertical arms hook into the cockpit sidewalls. If you want to leave the canopy closed however, there are alternative parts specifically shaped for the job. The air-brakes on the side of the rear fuselage are supplied as PE outer skins, which glue to styrene inners with a retraction jack added to achieve the correct angle. You will need to anneal and roll the PE parts to match the contour of the fuselage sides, but you'd be better of leaving them loose until later in the build to avoid damage. There is no option to have the airbrakes closed, but with some care and careful gluing, you could probably align the PE skin with the fuselage if you like the airframe cleaned up and sleek.


Bay doors for the nose gear and a large canoe-shaped ventral fin/bump-stop is added to the rear, and for some reason the wings are decked out with wheels and fuel tanks before being added to the fuselage. Scratch all that and add the wings from their separate upper and lower halves, before you build up the main gear, which is made up from gear leg, two-half wheels and two bay doors. The wings have the flaps moulded into the lower half, and a large contact patch for good adhesion, as well as separate PE spoilers, which can be modelled raised or lowered to taste. The main gear bays are nicely detailed with ribbing and plenty of hoses, which is well done considering they are moulded into the wing skin. They also have sockets for the main gear legs and their retraction jacks, with a small inner bay door added closest to the fuselage.


Holes for two wing pylons are already opened up on the underside of the wings, and you can choose to mount two fuel tanks under each wing, or the larger finned tank on the inner pylon, and a bomb on the outer one. Not much in the way of choice, but weapons technology hadn't yet progressed much past WWII levels, and these aircraft weren't involved in much actual combat. What is supplied however is very nicely moulded with filler caps on the smaller tanks, and fine panel lines throughout, including the separate pylons.

Post WWII was a colourful time for American jets, and the Thunderstreak was no exception. Plenty of bright colours over a bare metal or pale grey airframe was the norm until the ageing airframes reached the National Guard in their twilight years. Two US Air Force machines are depicted on the decal sheet, both of which are pale grey, and you can build one of them from the box:

BuNo. 51-9432 432nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron – blue/yellow/red stripes on the fuselage, wingtips and tip of the tail. Strategic Command crest on a blue starry background stripe just aft of the cockpit. This aircraft also had stripes on its nose gear bay doors at some point in its career – check your references.
BuNo. 26675 81st Tactical Fighter Wing, 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron, RAF Bentwaters UK, May 1958 – three red stripes on fuselage and tail, Bushmaster logo on tail, 81st TFW badge on fuselage in a stylised mushroom cloud on a blue backdrop.



The decals are well printed, have good register, colour density and sharpness, apart from some diagonal black lines where "jaggies" are visible under magnification. The various badges and an instrument panel decal are printed on a small separate sheet, while the stripes are printed on the larger sheet with the national markings.

A nice looking kit overall, with enough detail to please many modellers. The nose gear is a little simplified, and the cockpit is adequate, but not inspiring, however the addition of the instrument panel isn't noted in the instructions, but is welcome none-the-less. The decal options are colourful, but knowing a little more about the subjects without having to search the internet would be nice. If the decal choices don't appeal, you could go bare metal or Vietnam era camouflage by sourcing some alternative decals.



Review sample courtesy of

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Looking at that fuselage and the box art it appears they made the same error with the nose intake that Kinetic did. Its not oval but straight sides, round at the top and bottom.


Wonder if the quickboost correction for the kinetic kit will work with this one.


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Looking at that fuselage and the box art it appears they made the same error with the nose intake that Kinetic did. Its not oval but straight sides, round at the top and bottom.

The following ARC post could interest you


Edited by Laurent
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Very interesting.

Looking at that the most accurate kit is the old Heller one. I like that kit, needs a bit of work but I can now see why it looks right.


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Very interesting.

Looking at that the most accurate kit is the old Heller one. I like that kit, needs a bit of work but I can now see why it looks right.


Sorry have to disagree with that.... taking the measurements shown for actual as 572 (h) x 437 (w) - the hobby boss is 11 (h) x 7 (w) out. The old heller is 42 (h) x 33 (w). So using this as the basis, the hobbyboss is much nearer in dimensions.

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