1/48th Monogram F-86 “Skyblazers”
Beginning in 1949, through 1962, the USAF flew an Air Demonstration Team called the “Skyblazers”. The team put on air demonstration in the skies over Europe . During this period the “Skyblazers” flew a number of different aircraft including: the F-80B, the F-84E, the F-86F, and the F-100. From 1953 to 1956, the “Skyblazers” flew the famed F-86F Sabre Jet. However, during this time a new demonstration team based in the U.S. called the “Thunderbirds” had been formed. By 1962 the development of mid-air refueling had come a long way, and the “Thunderbirds” were able to make the trip to Europe for demonstrations. This eliminated the need for a team based in Europe , and the “Skyblazers” were officially disbanded.
I wanted to do something a little different with the Sabre jet, other than the “usual” Korean War example or the “Canadair” version, so – with the help of a fellow modeler – I got a hold of the Cutting Edge “Skyblazers” set. I first sprayed the entire airframe with Model Master ‘buffable metalizer’ in aluminum plate. Next came the time consuming job of masking, painting and re-masking multiple times in order to get the desired result(s). There are, of course, the obligatory mistakes here and there, but hopefully, the camera WILL lie and not allow them to be noticed. This was a fun build, typical of Monogram’s excellent fit and decals that went on extremely well. It did require nose weight, which was accomplished by filling up a finger of a latex glove with birdshot and tying off the end – which fit nicely into the recess under the cockpit and just behind the nose wheel well.
8 additional images. Click to enlarge.