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Mike

F-104 Upgrades (for Hasegawa/Eduard/Italeri) 1:48, 1:32

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F-104 Upgrades (for Hasegawa/Eduard/Italeri)
1:48 & 1:32 Eduard Brassin

In 1:48 Hasegawa's F-104 is probably the best liked Starfighter in this scale, and In 1:32, the new Italeri kit has the benefit of being a more modern tooling than the previous Revell Monogram kit. Eduard have produced some neat replacement exhausts and wheels in both scales that have been marked "early" and "late" for your convenience. All sets arrive in the usual Brassin clamshell package with Photo-Etch (PE) or masks hidden between the instruction booklet that doubles as the pack insert.

Exhaust Nozzles Early (648174) & Late (648175) in 1:48

boxtop-exhausts.jpg


These two sets allow you to portray the external differences between the earlier J79 engine, and the later models. "Late" applies to the engine only, and doesn't necessarily apply simply to one variant onwards, as some of the early models were re-engined later in their lives, so remember to check your references before deciding which engine to fit. If your engine was J79-11A onward, it's going to be the late version, otherwise, fit the early.

exhausts.jpg


The sets consist of an engine rear with bullet and stator blades moulded in, the exhaust trunking, PE afterburner ring that is inserted from the rear and affixed to a ledge inside the tube. Up until this point, the sets are the same but diverge here with the early having shorter exhaust petals with plenty of visible detail. The late petals are longer and more like the F-16's nozzles with smooth outer petals. Casting and detail throughout is superb, and of course there is no seam to hide away on the exhaust trunking. A pair of inserts are fitted to the insides of the fuselage before they are joined, after which the engine can be slid neatly inside the opening after painting.

Early 648174
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Late 648175
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F-104 Wheels Early (648176) & Late (648181) in 1:48

boxtop-wheels.jpg


These sets include replacement wheels with super-detailed hubs and tyres, plus a set of self-adhesive kabuki tape masks. The parts just drop into place on the kit axles, so other than removing them from their casting blocks, all you need to do is glue in the hubs being careful to align the small location tabs inside each one. The early set has a solid hub with holes drilled through, while the late set has spoked wheels main wheels, and a choice of spoked or dished nose wheels, the latter being achieved by using the appropriate part.

wheels.jpg

Early 648176
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Late 648181
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Exhaust Nozzles Early (632043) & Late (632044) in 1:32

boxtop-exhausts.jpg


The larger exhaust sets have the same nozzle detail as the smaller sets, but they lack the exhaust tubes and engine faces, which would have been too large and heavy to mould for very little in the way of benefit to the finished item. Instead you get a two part exhaust nozzle that consists of an inner and outer portion, and once fitted together they're a drop-fit replacement for the kit parts. Detail is lovely, and construction should be a breeze, with minimal clean-up of the parts needed. As above, the early exhaust is shorter and more "industrial", while the later one has smooth outer petals.

exhausts.jpg

Early 632043
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Late 632044
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F-104 Wheels Early (632045) & Late (632046) in 1:32

boxtop-wheels.jpg


As per the 1:48 offering, this set contains resin replacement wheels with separate hubs and a set of kabuki tape masks. Again, the early wheels are drilled, while the later are spoked, with separate hubs on the nose wheel to create the optional spoked or dished options.

wheels.jpg

Early 632045
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Late 632046
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Review sample courtesy of
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