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Gary Brantley
44 articles

Republic F-84F Thunderstreak Monogram 1/48

December 15, 2012 · in Aviation · · 13 · 10.3K

Maybe it's my age, well, I was born in 1952 after all, but I really like the jets from the '50s. To me, they just look like a jet fighter is supposed to. It seems that to aircraft designers back then, there was no limit to their imagination. Some of the most beautiful fighters(the Hawker Hunter comes to mind!) were born then and no computer calculations determined that. For many it seems that if it looked "right" then it was! At any rate, I've really been on a '50s run lately. Buying and working(not finishing so many tho') on a lot of planes from that era.

This build was finished this past June. It's another of the "good" kits I think. It's possible to make a real nice model out of this old bird. I originally bought this kit back in the late 1980s(!) and it sat in the stash for years. When I did finally get around to building it, I tried an experiment of sorts. I primed the bottom side in a dark gray, and then sprayed the light gray over that. Then, I gently sanded away the lighter color over the raised panel lines. It turned out pretty much as I wanted, but the pics I've taken show it to be much dirtier that I'd like. Oh well, that's how it goes with builders of "four-footers" such as myself. I really like the looks of the and yes, I do know about it's shortcomings as a service aircraft. Still, it's a sleek, swept-wing beauty to me and I love how it looks parked with it's 1950's peers.

The kit dates back to 1984 and its detail must've been somewhat state of the art back then. I have seen examples on the web that are really outstanding. I finished mine in the three color camo seen on these birds near the end of their use. This one represents an aircraft of the Texas Air Guard. I used Humbrol 116 enamel for the darker green, Humbrol 117 for the lighter green, Model Master Tan for the third color. The underside was done in Model Master camo gray. All of the upper colors were lightened with Humbrol satin white to get a faded look. The decals are a combination of aftermarket and kit choices. The seat harnesses are from an Eduard set for an F-104 if I recall correctly. I figured close enough for government work! The characteristic insulation around the canopy framing is EZ Mask vinyl stripes and I used EZ Masks to paint the canopy too. The canopy support arms gave no end of trouble and I redid them several times, finally achieving the most tenuous attachment to the canopy. The arms should be more vertical but damn, I was just tired of fooling with it and left it as is. We'll just say the hydraulics are leaking a bit, lol.

The model has many flaws, as do most of mine I guess. But, it is finished and I love seeing it in my "gallery" of 1950's planes. As usual, I photographed her at the little Cameron airport. So, with some trepidation, I'll show my Republic Thunderstreak. Thanks for taking a look at her!

Reader reactions:
2  Awesome

14 additional images. Click to enlarge.

13 responses

  1. No need for "trepidation"; your F-84F came out super. I, too, love the old Monogram kits, partly, I guess, because I grew up with them. I used to wait in great anticipation for Monogram's next quarter scale release, and some, like the P-38 still have some of the finest detail found on any kit. How they managed to do this in the pre-digital age, without the use of computers and computer-driven equipment, is testiment to pure craftsmanship. Now, we have kits that are designed and made without the careful human touch...and many are still noticeably flawed, causing the Internet to explode with comments about mis-shapen radomes, too-long landing gear struts, wheels that are either too narrow, or too wide, or whatever (and this usually by people who have never even caressed the plastic, but just saw it on the Web.).

    Yes, the old Monogram kits are from a different age, but they still make up into some very nice models, especially in the hands of a superb modeller such as you. Thanks for sharing your F-84...I appreciate it.

    • Very nice! I have that kit, but have been too chicken to attempt all the scribing I feel i requires to clean up. I love the 94's, both straight and swept wing, Republic knew how to build solid craft, despite it's nickname "hog" for it's tendency to use up runway, it was a great bird.

  2. Very nice pictures, the model looks very natural.

  3. It's not just fighters of that period that look right. Back in those days you could look at an airplane, look at a car, look at pretty much anything and know who created it (the deHavilland vertical fin, anyone?). Nowadays with airplanes and cars, you feed the specs into the computer and - voila! - the Sukhoi F-16, the Lockheed MiG-29, etc., etc. Don't even get me started on modern cars. They may be mechanically better, but their esthetics are as bad as the bad 70s fashions their young designers think are cool.

    /auldphart rant

  4. Nice exterior posing of the model for photographs - looks like the one recently restored at Pima Air Museum. Very realistic.

    Excellent work on that cockpit!

  5. I have to agree with TC... most excellent workmanship on that cockpit AND the photographic setting. Outstanding build. Love it!

  6. Thanks guys! I'm humbled by such nice comments coming from such great model builders! You make my efforts, flawed as they are, much more worthwhile. I pretty much model in isolation as none of my close friends are into model building. So, affirmation like this means a whole lot to me. Again, I really appreciate it!

  7. Excellent job Gary! She looks ready to go! The F-84 F has always been a favorite of mine. I think the F-84 F was the classiest looking of all the Thunderbirds.

  8. Thanks John! Yep, that old kit turned out okay. Lol, it sat in my stash for nearly 25 years. I guess like fine bourbon, it improved with age...:)

  9. you are a very fine builder gary...i'm 60 born in 52...the first models i ever bought myself were the sbd...many avengers...lcp with frogmen...monogram halftrack...b-26 invader and i love a good glass of jim

  10. Thanks Bob! We're the same vintage then, I turned 60 this past 12/29
    (52! ). My first model was the old Aurora Zero, molded in bright yellow. My grandma sat on it. 🙂 And, yes Mr. Beam makes a fine drink, as does Mr. Austin Nichols! In fact, I'm planning on having some of his Wild Turkey as soon as I get home today! Again, thanks for the kind words Bob, you just made my day my friend.

  11. I always loved the Thunderstreak! To me it always made the F-86 look pudgy! I mean look at the sweep of the fuselage from the nose to the tail! This is also my favorite Monogram kit, just because of all the details in the cockpit! The seat is well done, the panels are nice (and fun to paint!) you get a hydraulic pump as a separate part and all the parts for the canopy! (Which I will agree is quite fiddley to assemble!) The panel are so finely done as well! You did a great job on yours! (The natural light and appropriate setting make the model pop in the photos!)

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