North American F-86E – Academy 1/72
What a wonderful little kit, and a very nice example of simplicity, detail and value. The folks at Academy provide a neat package that includes a two-piece canopy, extended wing slats, and open fuselage speed brake doors. The cockpit instrument panel, gun sight, control column and ejection seat are each finely detailed. The detail doesn't stop here though, it extends to the fine engraved panels lines, nose and main wheel wells, landing gear struts and wheels. Options include wing mounted fuel tanks and nose intake and exhaust covers.
My model represents an F-86E in service with the Alaska Air National Guard's 144th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. The 144th received their Sabres in July of 1955 and wow, are they eye-candy! This aircraft carries the USAF's arctic red conspicuity markings over natural metal surfaces and Alaska Air National Guard lettering.
There were few only a few upgrades I made for this kit. They include additional detailing to the ejection seat/structure, the speed brake bays and navigation lights, all from scratch. I removed the flaps and dropped them to replicate an aircraft ready for takeoff. Eduard photo etched seat belts were added to the ejection seat (the only commercial parts added). National markings were from a Super Scale sheet. Individual aircraft “Buzz” numbers, serial numbers, and Alaska Air National Guard lettering were all printed on clear decal film using an ink jet printer. A very few technical stencil decals were used.
This is one of the more simple kits I've built. Nearly everything I needed was in the box. Printing the additional markings was a challenge but I learned a lot too. Those stripes on the aircraft's spine were troublesome until I laid them out on paper, scanned them into the computer and printed them. No more trying to layout individual stripes out by hand for this this guy.