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F-80C Shooting Star, Airfix, 1/72


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F-80C Shooting Star

16th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, USAF Suwon Air Base, Korea, 1951 | United States




Here is yet another "Saggin' Dragon" Airfix build.  This is the old Airfix kit that has been done by so many. I finished this on September 6th, 2019. It was completely OOB except for some scratch-built additions to the seat (which can't be seen now because the opening for the cockpit is so small... :facepalm:).  This kit was OK. It has extremely fine raised detail which looks nice; I know many have rescribed the panel lines, but I've found that with raised detail and NMF the eye is often tricked to make it look like they're engraved, plus they're so fine I decided "Why bother?". 


This was my first attempt using AK Interactive's Extreme metal line and I was generally very impressed.  With these paints I was able to finally achieve the look of "Shiny-but-not-mirror-like", which I have been unable to do with Alclad.  Not that these will replace Alclad for me -- they will just supplement it. The Extreme metal paints are easy to use and pretty much impervious to masking, but wear off very easily with handling, so I had to do a few touch ups (Which, luckily is extremely easy).


WIP is here.


Finishing: Seams filled with CA (superglue) and Apoxie Sculpt epoxy putty

Paints: Mr. Surfacer 1500 Gray primer > Decanted Tamiya Black Gloss Spray > AK Interactive Polished Aluminum with some panels painted with AK Interactive Aluminum > Another coat of AK Polished Aluminum to tone down the contrast between the panels > selected post shading with Alclad Magnisium > Testors Model Master Olive Drab for the anti-glare > Testors zinc chromate for the wheel wells > Decanted Tamiya Silver Leaf spray for the landing gears > Tamiya acrylic NATO Black for the tires > Testors metalizer sealer for sealing in the decals

Decals: Kit decals

Weathering/Wear: Oil wash on the landing gears, thinned watercolor and Tamiya pastels for various dirt and oil streaks
























And my scratch-building -- Arm-rests and Ejection handles on the seat:






Build Notes:

  • Many people rave about this kit, but I found it to be just "OK".
  • Getting the Air Intake pieces to look right took a lot of sanding, but otherwise everything fit together reasonably well with a minimum of seam work. 
  • The seams on the bottom were pretty big, but at least they were even (that is, no step between the pieces) so they were easy to fill and finish.
  • The red and white on the decal sheet were a fraction off-register from each other.


Thanks for looking! Comments, Questions and Constructive Criticism always welcome!

Edited by opus999
Added link to WIP
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Very nice indeed.  A great natural metal finish.  This kit is like an old friend.  For some reason it stands out in my memory as part of growing up in the 70s more than any other kit.  I think there was quite a stir when it was released.  My one was produced in 'silver' plastic so I didn't paint it, I just put the stickers on!  I built another in the 90s which I rattle canned with various car paints to try to recreate the varying panels.  Not sure it was particularly successful though - certainly not up to the standards of your build anyway. 

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19 hours ago, stevej60 said:

Probably the best build of this kit I've seen,superb!


10 hours ago, Natter said:

'the old Airfix kit that has been done by so many'


But not many done so well.

Wow, thank you guys!  That really means a lot to me. :) 

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1 hour ago, Mark Joyce said:

Very nice job!  I agree; those panel lines look fine as they are.  Great looking NMF and subtle weathering, and you must have a steady hand to highlight in silver those lines, etc. in the wheel wells.





Thank you! I really strive for subtle. As for the wheel wells, it was a challenge for sure! ;) 

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Very nice! The overall form is so good and your NMF paint job with subtle weathering really show off the lines.


Good to see that the old Airfix F-80 can turn out so well, you have given me confidence to attempt one myself.

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