Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Andrew

1/72 Aeronautica Militare F-104G and F-104S

Recommended Posts

My contribution to the GB will start with a pair of Italian Air Force Starfighters, a recce pod-equipped F-104G from 28o Gruppo and an F-104S from 102o Gruppo.

 

Here's a jumble of parts from which I'll build the pair, and the eagle-eyed will spot more than enough bits for two models; with any luck I'll also attempt a third kit in the pile, an F-104J that was started many years ago. At some point in the intervening years I've attempted a refurbishment of the incomplete model, only to put it aside for a rainy day or a F-104 STGB like this...

 

37687980444_bc64a38de0_o.jpg

 

A bit of reference material -

 

37687979834_8563a4e123_o.jpg

 

37687979054_43188995eb_o.jpg

 

and the odd instruction sheet, in case I get confused about what goes where...

 

37687978574_d11e67e6fa_o.jpg

 

Thanks for looking.

 

Andrew.

Edited by Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good selection of Starfighter bits you have there Andrew, and nice references too.

Will your Italian F-104's be in normal camo colours or are you going for some of the special schemes?

It will be good if you do the F-104J later too, be nice to have another JASDF bird in the GB.

 

Craig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much Craig,

 

Both my Italian Starfighters will be in standard camouflage (grey/green over aluminum), so will look similar to each other; only the presence of a reconnaissance pod on the F-104G and other subtle differences will help to distinguish them. I really like the standard scheme of the mid-'80s with large roundels, huge code numbers and colourful unit markings, so I apologise in advance for the lack of special markings - steering away from the many special/commemorative schemes wasn't a difficult decision for me, but I understand why so many folks find them appealing.

 

Here's a little bit of work on the cockpits done in the last couple of days...

 

38370724152_3c9aa062e4_o.jpg

 

38347236396_ce2c933e85_o.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Andrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I may be a bit biased, but two thumbs up from me for choosing the Italian 104s ! :D

I see you have plenty of good reference, you may find this link also interesting:

https://theaviationist.com/2009/04/21/f-104-versions-explained/

 

Regarding the S, you probably already know that the 102° Gruppo was a CBOS (Caccia Bombardieri Ognitempo Speciali - All weather special fighter bomber) unit, meaning their main mission was nuclear strike. For this reason they used the CB subvariant of the F-104S, without Sparrow capability. They retained the gun but the aircrafts on strike alert generally replaced the gun with a fuel tank.  Said that pictures of aircrafts in the nuclear alert configuration are impossible to find... security was really tight on these aircrafts. While they were not capable of firing the Sparrow, sometime aircrafts of this unit carried the missile during static displays at airshows

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Giorgio,

 

Thanks for looking in. I'm grateful for the link and your information - it was your post in a Real Aviation topic on Italian Starfighters that inspired the F-104S CB. I think that I'll complete both of the Italian jets with relatively heavy loads, each with four tanks and a centreline store (recce pod for the F-104G and a practice bomb dispenser for the F-104S) - they just look that bit more purposeful when carrying lots of stuff...

 

If I may, a question for you about the 28 Gruppo F-104G: the jet I do won't have the camera fairing immediately behind the nosegear bay, but will carry the Orpheus pod. Were these jets also called RF-104G?

 

cheers,

 

Andrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice work Andrew, looking forward to following your progress.

 

I have that Daco book to, its brilliant isn't it.

 

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Andrew said:

Hi Giorgio,

 

Thanks for looking in. I'm grateful for the link and your information - it was your post in a Real Aviation topic on Italian Starfighters that inspired the F-104S CB. I think that I'll complete both of the Italian jets with relatively heavy loads, each with four tanks and a centreline store (recce pod for the F-104G and a practice bomb dispenser for the F-104S) - they just look that bit more purposeful when carrying lots of stuff...

 

If I may, a question for you about the 28 Gruppo F-104G: the jet I do won't have the camera fairing immediately behind the nosegear bay, but will carry the Orpheus pod. Were these jets also called RF-104G?

 

cheers,

 

Andrew.

 

Andrew, I'm glad that my post was of inspiration !

Agree on loading the aircrafts, they look much cooler with a nice full load !

Regarding the Orpheus equipped machines, these were F-104Gs made available by the units that had converted to the S.

I've seen them called both RF-104G and F-104G but "proper" references mention the F-104G designation.

Interestingly these machines could be seen both with and without the gun..  I believe that the gun was replaced with the extra fuel tank for missions requiring longer range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, franky boy said:

Nice work Andrew, looking forward to following your progress.

 

I have that Daco book to, its brilliant isn't it.

 

James

Thanks James, I hope to keep the progress, er, well,.... progressing.

 

I find the Daco book indispensable, irrespective of the small scale I'm working in and the fact that it's heavily oriented towards German, Dutch and Belgian variants - the details it reveals are amazing. I also have the old Verlinden Lock-On book on the F-104, but it is a generation or three behind the Daco book in terms of the sheer quantity of illustrations and information contained.

 

Andrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/15/2017 at 10:47 AM, Giorgio N said:

...I've seen them called both RF-104G and F-104G but "proper" references mention the F-104G designation.

Interestingly these machines could be seen both with and without the gun..  I believe that the gun was replaced with the extra fuel tank for missions requiring longer range.

Excellent, thanks very much for the answer and the bonus information - I knew you'd know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've made some progress on these kits over the last few days, including work on the cockpits...

 

... starting with black primer (Gunze's Mr. Finishing Surfacer 1500 Black):

 

38475453792_eea9c4bddb_b.jpg

 

... then some cockpit grey (FS36231, or Dark Gull Grey), also courtesy of Mr Color:

 

24635281068_ddf81733a5_b.jpg

 

... and a dark grey wash (mix of Future, water and Tamiya acrylic colours):

 

38475452572_a2061df295_b.jpg

 

... and finally some black/very dark grey (Tamiya acrylic mix) and detail colours (Tamiya enamels) applied to the consoles and instrument panels:

 

38475452222_42b41c0e06_b.jpg

 

 

I've also devoted a bit of time to the other end of the jets, as the exhaust ducts and turbine faces need to be painted and glued in place before the aft fuselage halves are joined. In fact, I've probably spent too much time on these exhausts, as I doubt that much will be seen (or that many will go looking once the jets are finished) down the dark length of these 'tubes', but I couldn't help myself and I had fun trying to achieve the appearance of the hot end.

 

Again with the Mr Surfacer 1500 Black:

 

37792043164_ff236dfe50_b.jpg

 

and some graded green (dark to light), utilising Hataka's newish lacquer paints in appropriate tones:

 

38475453512_3cd514274d_b.jpg

 

then some dark metallic colour at the escape opening and 'dotted' along the length of the tube/duct (the latter to represent what I think are cooling perforations in the real thing):

 

38475452972_60e72fdf18_b.jpg

 

This is how I achieved the 'dots' - the piece of etched grille has been bent to shape to sit inside the tube half and I sprayed the dark colour through it. It fits the bill very well and was a serendipitous find while trawling through one of many 'boxes of bits':

 

37792043074_457f9bca7f_b.jpg

 

In fact, the whole process was so enjoyable that I did a couple more sets...

 

38475453712_f0df45052b_b.jpg

 

... it would be reasonable to assume that another couple of F-104s will soon make an appearance appear on the bench...

 

thanks for looking,

 

Andrew.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow ! Fantastic job on both the cockpits and the afterburners ! Love that metallic effect and most of all those perforations. Really a very simple yet effective method

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much Giorgio. Painting the exhausts was fun, but sadly won't be very visible... at least I know it's there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Love the dots.  This is one compelling argument for "production line" building: while you've had the clever idea, get the rest of them taken care of, because (in my mind, at least) you'll be less inclined to have to resurrect the entire process sometime in the future.  Or maybe I'm just lazy...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is superb work Andrew!

The cockpits look excellent and those exhaust are simply superb, the dots sprayed through the mesh is a brilliant idea and one which I think you will see copied many times over from now on.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, gingerbob said:

Love the dots.  This is one compelling argument for "production line" building: while you've had the clever idea, get the rest of them taken care of, because (in my mind, at least) you'll be less inclined to have to resurrect the entire process sometime in the future.  Or maybe I'm just lazy...

If so, then I'm equally lazy - you've described my rationale for the approach perfectly.

4 hours ago, modelling minion said:

That is superb work Andrew!

The cockpits look excellent and those exhaust are simply superb, the dots sprayed through the mesh is a brilliant idea and one which I think you will see copied many times over from now on.

To be fair, and in the interests of complete disclosure, I can't claim credit for the idea, just its implementation on this occasion... I saw something similar done years ago in a magazine article by (I think) Diego Quijano, where he sprayed a dark colour through a fine mesh to replicate a grille on an S/HH-60, also in 1/72; I thought the result was very realistic and have tried it only recently on my AMK Kfir build I started for the Mirage GB.

 

Thanks to you both for your kind words.

Edited by Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Andrew, it seems like you can't build just one of anything at a time.

 

More :popcorn: time required for your next builds. I will have to see if I still have those Candian Anniversary decals :D

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

Well Andrew, it seems like you can't build just one of anything at a time.

 

More :popcorn: time required for your next builds. I will have to see if I still have those Candian Anniversary decals :D

Hi Ray, thanks for stopping by! It's true about the multiple builds - one day I'll just settle for one of something on the bench. That day is fast approaching I'm sure, but not before I've finished a couple (at least) Starfighters for this GB. Hope you can get started on a build or two of your own...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good start and I like the subject choice Andrew. As the other ones I really like the dotting in the exhaust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/20/2017 at 1:47 AM, Andrew said:

 

This is how I achieved the 'dots' - the piece of etched grille has been bent to shape to sit inside the tube half and I sprayed the dark colour through it. It fits the bill very well and was a serendipitous find while trawling through one of many 'boxes of bits':

 

37792043074_457f9bca7f_b.jpg

 

 

Very clever, I have saved this pic for future builds and will use it plenty, thanks for showing us it (Fantastic painting too!). 

 

David

Edited by mirageiv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Work continues to transform all these bits into more recognisable shapes:

 

37699001215_5ffbf026ed_b.jpg

 

Rear fuselages were joined as well, but only after I'd scribed some absent panel detail on the fins of each kit. Inspiration for this embellishment came from the odd Esci kit languishing in the stash; to their credit, the panel detail on the Esci kits is arguably superior to that of the Hasegawa kit (not that it's bad, just missing in places), despite being even older - anyway, the plans in the Daco and Verlinden books were invaluable for this task.

 

In the picture below, the fuselage at the front is for the F-104S and you might notice that I've removed a piece of the forward edge of the ventral fin so as to depict the steeper rake of the F-104S variant - I do occasionally remember to make the necessary changes at the appropriate juncture, not several stages later when it's nearly/already too late!

 

38554544172_e4b031c3fc_b.jpg

 

This is the F-104S rear fuselage again, showing evidence of some pretty tired moulds. The surface on the underside of each half was 'wavy' and where the halves joined needed a fair bit of filling. Also, a small portion of the exhaust opening was short-shot, enough that I couldn't ignore it but luckily not so badly that it was anything other than a straightforward fix to rectify (a curved sliver of plastic was glued into the squared-off gap and then filed/sanded/scraped to shape)

 

26810739569_25d90269c5_b.jpg

 

I think what I'm trying to show here is that I've thinned the edge of the kit's exhaust nozzle to a more realistic degree and removed a considerable amount of flash. I've lost some detail as a result, but I think it's still an improvement.

 

38530078876_3b93f6174b_b.jpg

 

It's a great moment in the life of every Starfighter kit when you can join the pointy bit to the hot bit, and I got to do it twice:

 

37699000795_9f8b8c0596_b.jpg

 

I've even started to clean up the main undercarriage legs (and test-fit them, along with the 'keel' portion of the main undercarriage bay), but I'm still not sure how best to approach painting the undercarriage. I'll work it out I'm sure.

 

thanks for looking and for your kind words.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice progress ! And good job on the S ventral fin, it's a small detail often forgotten.

These moulds seem very tired now, the kit has been in continuous production for almost 30 years and it shows. Maybe it's time we see a new kit that improves on the hasegawa offering ?

Speaking of missing details, Hasegawa also missed the vent grills around the gun, if your aircraft carries a gun it's something that may be worth adding.. or not, I'm not doing it on my model :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew,

 

Giorgio is certainly best placed to talk about Italian '104s but I have a number of Italiam publications on the subject that might help if you get stuck. Also I've been to Villafranca and have a number of flight line images of the "RF"s in operation. PM me if you need.

 

Martin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Andrew,

 

a great build(s) so far, and I am sure it will carry on that way.

I am planning to have a go at the Hasegawa 104S when I come back from the UK next month. Just a stupid question: I do remember reading somewhere that the rivets covering the back of the aircraft should be back-filled on the model, as they are either not there in reality or too marked on the model (forgot which one it is!).

What is your take on this.

 

Keep having fun with your production line!

JR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...