For my next build I will be building Hasegawa’s 1/48 F-104C Starfighter. This will be detailed with the Eduard photo etch. For the scheme I am building it as a Viet Nam aircraft. Caracal decals has a nice set (#CD48102) that includes 9 different markings. Three of them are the typical silver version that were part of the initial deployment and 6 of them have the Viet Nam camouflage scheme. I will be doing the camouflage version of the “Nancy J / Snoopy Sniper” (Aircraft 56-0891) that was stationed at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand in 1966.
Starting off with the ejection seat, the only part of the kit seat being used is the bottom of the seat. The rest of it is all photo etch. The photo etch includes all the seat belts and side harnesses. Once assembled it fit into the cockpit tub without any problems. The main landing gear bay then was assembled and detailed with some wires and hoses. The instrument panel was then built up and detailed. The fuselage was then fitted together with the cockpit tub and main gear bay.
This is where I need to mention an issue with the kit instructions. Step 6 of the instructions has you install the cockpit and main gear bays then the fuselage is put together. The problem is in step 7 they have you install the instrument panel with the HUD section. You cannot put the instrument panel into the fuselage. I ended up cutting the front section of the fuselage apart so I could put it in. While it was not too difficult, it would have been better to install the instrument panel at the same time as the cockpit tub. Next I will be working on the landing gear and exhaust.
The work continues on the 48 F-104C Starfighter. This build is moving along very well. After assembling the fuselage I cut out a section under the engine for a photo etch duct. Then on the exhaust cone I added photo etch vane arms. More photo etch details were then added to the nose gear bay. They included wiring and hoses and the bay door mechanicals. The exhaust cone was painted and weathered with pastel chalk and then installed. After adding the landing gear, rear duct, wings and intake sections the fuselage was ready for the tri-color camouflage.
The reference photos I used show various lights on the fuselage and one on the bottom. I used a drill to form a concave dip. These were painted silver then filled with acrylic gel to make the “lens” and then painted with Tamiya clear paints (red and green). The photo etch HUD was installed and then painted silver with clear green on top. A piece of clear plastic sheet was then mounted for the HUD glass. With the decals applied and the top coat painted on I will be working on polishing, painting, and mounting the canopy. Stay tuned for the final photos!
The”Snoopy Sniper” has now been finished. With the canopy detailed, painted and installed the aircraft is now ready for the display shelf. One thing I needed to do also was to change the fins n the back of the wing tip tanks. I had the long fin pointing out and the long fin points in. With careful surgery I was able to correct this. As for the kit itself, aside from the dash issue it went very well. The Caracal decals were great. They went on very well with no problems. I used Mission Models paint for the scheme. The fit of the kit is good. You will need to pay attention to the left wing. I had to do a slight trim on the slot to move the wing to the correct angle. It seems to angle down slightly more. Even after trimming the wing root lines up with the fuselage very well. Thanks for following along.