F-104G (CAF) Starfighter 1:48 Scale Revell Model Kit #85-5324 Review

2013 September 16
by Doug

RoR Step-by-Step Review 20130916*
F-104G (CAF) Starfighter 1:48 Scale Revell Model Kit #85-5324 Review
CF104 Final 000


Review and Photos by Frank MacKay Frank MacKay Thumbnail

The F104 supersonic interceptor was developed by Lockheed as the result of interviews with Korean War pilots, who wanted a simple and powerful fighter to intercept the MIG-15, an aircraft requirement many other NATO nations also lacked at the time. The CF-104 entered Canadian service in 1961 with 8 squadrons in Europe tasked with the delivery of nuclear weapons in the event of war. At home, it served as an interceptor to ward off periodic incursions by Russian bombers in the Canadian arctic, and it was also an excellent trainer for thousands of US and NATO pilots who trained in the vast and mountainous expanses around CFB Cold Lake, Alberta. The Canadian Forces, infamous for operating equipment until it absolutely falls apart, kept the Starfighters in the air until 1987 when the last surviving aircraft were sold to Turkey. As a young Canadian soldier stationed in Baden Söellingen, West Germany, in the early ‘80’s, I had to put up with the last RCAF Starfighter squadron as neighbours. They revved up and took off for the dawn patrol on a runway that was 100 feet from my barracks…every day at 0400. Even though I have a love/hate relationship with this aircraft, it was wise choice to assign this review build to a Canadian. This article covers building a CF-104 out-of-box, or at least as close to it as this kit permits.

For the Modeler: This is the F-104G Starfighter 1:48 Scale Revell Model Kit #85-5324. This Revell kit is the latest re-release of the old Monogram 1:48 F-104G kit first issued in 1991. It consists of 63 plastic pieces in light gray, including one sprue of clear canopy parts. All the panel lines on the exterior are raised, no engraved detail other than flaps, a few vents and intake louvers. A new 2013 decal sheet provides interesting markings for two CF-104 Canadian aircraft, as well as the familiar “Fighting 69th” USAF F-104 markings. The 16-page b&w instruction guide is well illustrated, providing clear instructions and painting call-outs. It should be noted that there are many aftermarket decal sheets, photo-etched and resin parts available specifically for this kit should you wish to super-detail it. Finished dimensions are: Length: 14 3/16 inches (36 cm), Wingspan: 5 ½ inches (14cm).

Covered in this Review:  If you want to perfect your build; basic construction; preparing parts for better finishing; extensive paint and finishing information; adhesive selections and applications building a Canadian RCAF CF-104 out-of-box, major differences and colour variations to look out for; basic construction; glue and material selections; coping with seam filling problems due to poor fit; preserving raised panel lines despite sanding; adding nose weight; preparations for airbrush painting; natural metal finishes with Alclad, Testors and Krylon paints; cockpit instrument panel treatment and highlighting; gluing clear parts without crazing; liquid frisket, low tack tape and cling film masking; flattening tires with heat to represent weight; black washes with tempera paint; accuracy of markings; decal preparation and application with setting solutions; applying Future floor finish as a varnish; RCAF pilot uniform colour notes; are all fully examined in this pictorial 14 page, full-colour Step-by-Step review.


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