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Laven's Colorful F-104C Starfighter


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Hello everyone,

 

The latest bird in my colorful George E. Laven collection is the 1/72 scale Revell F-104 A/C kit, along with Microscale's #72-358 decal sheet and an unnamed F-104 resin cockpit, probably an ancestor of CMK or something.

 

The resin set had parts for the radar, fuselage spine and area behind the cockpit, but as I wanted to show the sleek lines of the aircraft, I only used the cockpit and vacuform canopy. The directions for the resin set were not very specific, and it took a while to get everything located to fit. I ended up using the vac canopy, because the resin ejection seat wouldn't fit under the kit hard plastic canopy, even after sanding.

 

The decal set was a little misleading, in that the simple illustration provided showed some decals on the wrong side of the aircraft, such as the colored stripes on the air intakes (which had to be installed, trimmed and masked before the kit was assembled!) , spiraling in the wrong direction. In addition, the tiny delta on the fuel tank decals needs to be on the top of both wing tip tanks, the illustration shows one up and one down.  Also, the U.S. Air Force decals are a little bit too large, which precluded applying some of the minor decals on the nose sides. The nose stripes decal is best installed AFTER the anti-glare panel is painted, then install the decal, and trim to fit with a sharp razor knife, before the decal sets fully.  Lastly, the decal sheet  call for a white nose and underside of the wings, which should almost certainly be FS 36495, a very light grey. Also the decal sheet calls for an olive drab anti-glare panel, but it should be FS 34079, as was the standard.

 

To help me determine these things, I used the following photo, found in several places on-line. I do not own the rights to this photo, but I cannot explain my observance of the above-mentioned errors without it. It may get taken down if the owner requests, so grab it, if you want it, while you can. Otherwise, PM me an email address, and I will send you a copy.

 

2v2JhALt5xfzdhW.jpg

 

This is the only photo I've found that shows the various colors on the wing tip tank fins. Many other decal sheets ignore this factor. Of course, at various times, maybe these weren't painted at all...

 

Note the clearly light grey nose cone, and the placement of the lightening bolts. Contrary to other postings on-line, these are the correct sizes, if installed according to this photo, and NOT as the decal sheet illustration says.

 

Anyway, as always being not quite perfect,  here she is, in all her colorful glory:

 

2v2JhAC85xfzdhW.jpg

 

2v2JhACMgxfzdhW.jpg

 

2v2JhACzWxfzdhW.jpg

 

2v2JhAL3qxfzdhW.jpg

 

2v2JhALUdxfzdhW.jpg

 

2v2JhALu5xfzdhW.jpg

 

2v2JhALJNxfzdhW.jpg

 

It was sort of a tough kit to build, for a ham-handed guy like me. The landing gear HAS to be installed at an early stage, and predictably, it got broken off several times. There doesn't seem to be any way to work around this, due to the kit's design, so be wary if you build one. Also, the very thin tabs that hold the wings to the fuselage were broken off a few times, when I  tried to hold the model by it's wing tips (wearing a white cotton glove!), and applying decals. Don't hold the model by it's wings!

 

But, despite the kicking and screaming, I am proud to add this model to my collection -- AND I'm glad it's over...!!!

 

Ed

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andrew, I think he was making a fashion statement -- here is one of his custom cars (he also owned two DeLoriens, one of which he walked away from after rolling it at over 100 mph!):

 

2v2J46ETqxfzdhW.jpg2v2J46ESFxfzdhW.jpg

 

If he wasn't the most colorful guy in the early USAF, he was certainly right up there...

 

Ed

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Hi James,

 

They were all Alclad II, the base color being #105 polished aluminum, and a couple of coats of Alclad, with two coats of Alclad II Aqua Gloss Clear overall to help seal the decals. The Aqua Gloss is an acrylic that doesn't kill the metallic shine.

 

Ed

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15 hours ago, TheRealMrEd said:

Andrew, I think he was making a fashion statement -- here is one of his custom cars (he also owned two DeLoriens, one of which he walked away from after rolling it at over 100 mph!):

 

2v2J46ETqxfzdhW.jpg2v2J46ESFxfzdhW.jpg

 

If he wasn't the most colorful guy in the early USAF, he was certainly right up there...

 

Ed

OMG that car!

 

Andrew

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