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F-104G Starfighter - 1/48 Monogram - Late Finish


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I would like to take part in this GB with the 1/48th Monogram Lockheed F-104G Starfighter.


This is the 1986 #5447 version of this venerable kit that was first released in 1978 and last in 2013. This version was released as the specially painted "Buschel Canary" operated by Jbg 33 and was retired in 1985. I paid £4.39 for the kit on eBay 11 years ago and I almost sent it back, the box smelled of mildew and sadly the decals are unusable. Not sure how I am going to paint her yet, maybe a 'Tiger' scheme but I have plenty of choices.


Whilst looking around in the stash I found some Eduard photo etch detail sets which must have been in a sale so I might use some of them on this build.






Edited by Ghostbase
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Just thinking at this stage, which decal scheme to use on this F-104G. I did have a complete sheet for the Monogram F-104S 'Tigermeet '91' but Icarus beat me to it 😂


My main choice now is a NASA bird. I do have the decals from an old ESCI 'F-104N' as N820NA, they have been stored in a dry place and hopefully should still be usable:




If this plan does not work I do have some of the ancient Microscale 48-43 which builds into F-104G N812NA:




The ESCI decals are preferable because they mean that only the topside white and underside light blue have to be applied, the central dark blue outlined with yellow/gold is all contained within the decals. If they prove to be unusable then the dark blue has to be painted and outlined with the Microscale gold stripes.


I am also considering whether to break up an old Eduard Zoom detail etch set for a TF-104G and use it to build two of these old Monogram kits, or maybe another ESCI kit. It would be fun to give it a try though I suspect that a 'Zipper' purist might not approve!




I am trying to build some of my older kits to reduce the stash. I was getting a lot of bargains on eBay way back when and I really want to get them out of the way to free up space.


Just have a Sabre to finish then I will get started on this old gal 😍






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19 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

That makes two NASA/NACA birds now. Im doing the NACA F-94B from the late 1950’s. 

Just took a look at your build and that was quite a surprise, I never thought of the F-94B Starfire as a NACA research aircraft! I think that in comparison the F-104G was definitely the 'next generation' 🙂



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Quick update, ready to get started, have started taking items off the sprues (those that had not already fallen off) and have made some light applications of primer.


The question is whether to go ahead and break up an Eduard cockpit etch set for a TF-104G  ie use the etch for the front cockpit of the twin seater on this much more basic model. Here is what I am working with:




The first item of interest is that the cockpit contains two ejection seats. The first two issues of this kit were for USAF F-104C models whereas this one is for a West German F-104G. After a little searching on the web I learned that USAF Starfighters used the Lockheed C-2 ejection seat whereas most European models were equipped with the Martin-Baker Mk. Q7(A) to give more rapid ejections in high sink rate situations. Looking at the photo above I think the seat on the left is the Lockheed seat, the one to the right the Martin-Baker type. As I am still very warm towards a NASA F-104G I understand that the Lockheed seat would be the one to use.


The Monogram cockpit is very basic indeed, apart from the control stick what you see is what you get! The use of even just a few pieces of etch would give it a great deal more detail though I might have to trim some of them to get them to fit. I think it is worth a try.



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I agree, it's definitely worth a try. Looks a bit empty in there otherwise!


Great subject, by the way, looking forward to seeing more.



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  • 1 month later...

Finally got started today, how far away is the deadline? 😉


Certainly not going to get any prizes for accuracy, or even neatness, however it certainly gives the cockpit a little more detail. Having used the TF-104G PE set I have enough left to complete a second cockpit in the future.







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  • 2 weeks later...

Some more progress today, have tried to put as many parts together as possible prior to filling, painting and decaling. To reiterate, this kit was originally released in 1976 so I am not expecting too much in terms of fit, my plan is to get as much together as possible then see what needs to be done regards filling and sanding. So, our start point...




 Maybe a little work to be done? As expected the nose cone, air intakes, and the rear fuselage join. Very happy with the rear cockpit area.


Not quite so bad the other side...




Now I am happy with this! I added PE details from the Eduard TF-104G set to the cockpit and it looks good 🙂





And the underside...




So a lot of work ahead but it is not unexpected and fits in with the age of the original kit.


Still intending to finish this Starfighter as a NASA chase bird. All the instructions I have say to finish the gear wells in silver however I am sure they would have been painted matt white this late in their careers. More research needed 👍



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  • Ghostbase changed the title to F-104G Starfighter - 1/48 Monogram - Late Finish

Sixteen months later... Finished!


This is not my best, in fact it was headed towards the eternal bin of doom, but I decided to see if it could be rescued and the end result (though ficticious) can go as a filler at the back of the display cabinet. She looks like this:-


50732164018_cf03aaa34c_b.jpgIMGP4093 by Ghostbase, on Flickr


So what went wrong? My filling and sanding was not good then I could not get the airbrush to spray acrylic paints (problem now solved). In a moment of madness I decided to spray the model overall with Halfords Aluminium and that worked well however it also showed off the poor upper / lower fuselage join. It spent a long time on the shelf of shame until a couple of weeks ago I decided to use the original NASA decals that I had originally intended. For decals upwards of 40 years old they applied well and, although brittle when dry, a coat of 'Klear' settled them down quite well.


The finished result looks pretty good from a distance and maybe NASA should have considered this colour scheme 😉


Anyway, as always learn and move on 👍




50732894791_c1962a0e02_b.jpgIMGP4096 by Ghostbase, on Flickr


50732991152_d2b67f9cbd_b.jpgIMGP4094 (2) by Ghostbade, on Flickr


50732162828_3ea8f70be3_b.jpgIMGP4095 (2) by Ghostbase, on Flickr

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